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★ Word Bearers

Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion, was always one of the most scrupulous and fervent followers of the Imperial Cult. He was sure that his steady, methodical progress during the years of the Great Crusade, as he converted planets to the Imperial Cult with dedicated zeal, would earn him the Emperor’s undying gratitude, and elevate him to a pre-eminent position amongst the Primarchs. It was thus a shattering blow when the Emperor instead harshly sanctioned him for his tardiness in carrying out the primary objective of the Great Crusade. The task of Space Marines was to fight, not to waste time in pointless ritual and monument building.

How This Supplement Works

On this page you will find special rules unique to armies from the Word Bearers that reflect their tactics on the battlefield. You will also find Warlord Traits, Chaos Artefacts and Tactical Objectives that you can use when fielding your Word Bearers army in games of Warhammer 40,000, and an exclusive Detachment – the Grand Host.


BookKindEditionVersionLast update
► Traitor LegionsCodex Supplement71.0January 2017


Traitor Legions

 Q: Alpha Legion have the ability to bring Cultists back on a 4+ in their Insurgency Force, but the only way to take Cultists is in the Lost and the Damned Formation which already has the rule. How do these interact?
These rules do not interact in any stackable way.

Word Bearers Special Rules

Any Detachment with the Chaos Space Marines Faction can be from one of the nine Traitor Legions. A Word Bearers Detachment retains the Chaos Space Marines Faction and is treated in all ways as a Chaos Space Marines Detachment, with the following modifications:
All units in a Word Bearers Detachment or Formation gain the following special rules:

Blood Feud

All units with the Veterans of the Long War special rule re-roll failed To Hit rolls in every round of close combat when attacking Ultramarines units. However, all Ultramarines units have the Hatred (Word Bearers) rule.

Profane Zeal

Friendly Word Bearers units within 6" of any Word Bearers Dark Apostles have the Zealot special rule.

Unholy Pact

Units of Possessed are Troops choices instead of Elites choices. In addition, Psykers from a Word Bearers Detachment or Formation harness Warp Charge points on a 3+ when attempting to manifest conjuration psychic powers from the Daemonology (Malefic) discipline.

Special Rules

Bane of Men

The bearer of the Cursed Crozius has the Preferred Enemy (Armies of the Imperium) special rule.

Tactical Objectives

11Unholy Crusade 
12Feed the Daemon 
13Slay their False Prophets 
14Allies Beyond the Veil 
15Delight in Despoliation 
16For the Glory of Chaos 

Presented below are six Tactical Objectives to use in your games of Warhammer 40,000, which are exclusive to Word Bearer players and reflect the ways in which they bring their unholy schemes into fruition.

If your Warlord is from a Word Bearers Detachment or Formation, you may replace the Capture & Control Tactical Objectives (numbers 11-16) described in Warhammer 40,000: The Rules with the Tactical Objectives on this page.

If a Warhammer 40,000 mission has the Tactical Objectives special rule, players use the normal rules for using Tactical Objectives with the following exception: when a Word Bearers player using these Tactical Objectives generates a Capture & Control objective (numbers 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16), they instead generate the corresponding Word Bearers Tactical Objective, as shown in the table to the right. Other Tactical Objectives (numbers 21-66) are generated normally.

Let your most dedicated servants lead the fight against those that would spurn the blessings of the Dark Gods.
Score 1 Victory Point if a friendly unit that included one or more models with the Zealot special rule made a successful charge during your turn.
Your unholy allies must feed upon the flesh of the enemy, and in doing so, devour their souls.
Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if at least one enemy unit was completely destroyed by a unit with the Daemon special rule during the Assault phase of your turn.
Prove the terrible might of those dedicated to Chaos by spilling the blood of rival champions.
Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if you killed at least one enemy character during your turn.
The Word Bearers have long been renowned for summoning daemonic aid from the Warp.
Score D3 Victory Points at the end of your turn if you successfully cast a conjuration power from the Daemonology (Malefic) discipline during your turn.
The Word Bearers take cruel enjoyment from defiling the havens of their enemies.
Score D3 Victory Points at the end of your turn if you control an Objective Marker that was controlled by your opponent at the start of your turn.
There is no higher calling than to serve the whim of the Dark Gods and give oneself completely, body and soul, to Chaos.
Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if you rolled any result on the Chaos Boon table. If you rolled 3 or more results on the Chaos Boon table during your turn, score D3 Victory Points instead, and score D3+3 Victory Points if you rolled 6 or more results. In any case, do not count any Unworthy Offering results.

Warlord Traits

When generating his Warlord Traits, a Warlord from a Word Bearers Detachment or Formation may choose to roll on the table below instead of those found in Warhammer 40,000: The Rules or Codex: Chaos Space Marines.

D6Warlord Traits
1Unholy Firebrand
This Warlord learned the art of oratory at the feet of Erebus himself and can rouse his followers to terrible acts of barbarity.
Your Warlord has the Zealot special rule. If your Warlord already has the Zealot special rule, then he and any models affected by his Zealot special rule can re-roll all failed To Hit rolls in every round of close combat, not just the first. 
2Latent Powers
Just like Lorgar of old, this Warlord has begun to develop formidable psychic powers.
Your Warlord has the Psyker (Mastery Level 1) special rule, and can generate his powers from the Daemonology (Malefic) discipline. If your Warlord is already a Psyker, add 1 to his Mastery Level instead. 
3The Voice of Lorgar
This Warlord speaks with the authority of his Primarch; when he commands, others follow without question or hesitation.
At the start of each of your turns, pick one of the following special rules to bestow upon a single unit from a Word Bearers Detachment or Formation that is within 12" of your Warlord: Counter-attack, Fearless, Furious Charge, Relentless. The unit you pick gains that special rule until the start of your next turn. 
4Unbreakable Devotion
This Warlord’s dedication to the dark powers grants him indomitable resolve.
Your Warlord has the Adamantium Will and Fearless special rules. 
5Nexus of the Gods
The Dark Gods pour their favour through their chosen conduit, blessing those they deem worthy of such esteem.
If your Warlord, or a friendly model within 12" of him, earns a roll on the Chaos Boon table, you can add one to or subtract one from the second dice of your D66 roll, to a maximum of 6 and a minimum of 1. 
6Unexpected Boon
As he readies himself for battle, this Warlord’s prayers are abruptly answered as the Dark Gods work to aid him in the coming conflict.
Your Warlord can immediately make a roll on the Chaos Boon table, re-rolling any results of 11-22. 


Word Bearers Grand Host

The Grand Host allows you to represent the typical structure of a Word Bearers army on the battlefield. Whether you wish to bring death and destruction with the full might of a Chaos invasion force, or field an elite warband tasked with some dark purpose, the choices below offer a great way to pick your army.

A Grand Host is a special type of Detachment that can be included in any Battle-forged army. Unlike the Detachments shown in Warhammer 40,000: The Rules, it has a Force Organisation Chart whose slots are a combination of specific Formations and Army List Entries instead of Battlefield Roles. However, it still has compulsory and optional elements, as well as Restrictions and Command Benefits, just like any other Detachment.

Although units cannot normally belong to more than one Detachment, units from a Formation that is part of a Grand Host are an exception. They count as part of both their Formation and the Detachment, and have all associated Command Benefits and special rules. If your Warlord is part of a Formation or an Army List Entry that makes up part of a Grand Host, the entire Grand Host is your Primary Detachment.


 • 1 of the following:
  - Chaos Lord
  - Sorcerer
  - Dark Apostle
  - Daemon Prince

 • 1 Chaos Lord
 • 0-1 Sorcerer
 • 1-3 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Chosen
  - Chaos Terminators
  - Possessed
 • 2-6 units of Chaos Space Marines
 • 1-3 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Raptors
  - Warp Talons
  - Chaos Bikers
 • 1-3 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Havocs
  - Helbrute
 • 1 Dark Apostle
 • 4-9 units of Chaos Cultists

 • 1 Warpsmith
 • 3-5 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Helbrute
  - Maulerfiend
  - Forgefiend
  - Defiler

 • 1 Warpsmith
 • 3-5 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Chaos Predators
  - Chaos Vindicators
  - Chaos Land Raider

 • 1 Daemon Prince
 • 3-5 units of Possessed

 • 1-3 units of Chaos Spawn
 • 2-4 Heldrakes

 • 1-3 Warpsmiths
 • 3-5 units chosen in any combination
from the following list:
  - Obliterators
  - Mutilators

 • 1 Chaos Lord
 • 3-5 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Raptors
  - Warp Talons

 • 1 Chaos Lord or Sorcerer
 • 3-5 units of Chaos Terminators

This Detachment must include at least one Core choice and one Auxiliary choice. It may include up to four Command choices and any number of additional Core or Auxiliary choices, in any combination. Only the datasheets listed here can be included in this Detachment and all units must have the Chaos Space Marines Faction.

Dark Crusaders: All non-vehicle units in this Detachment have the Crusader special rule.

The Coryphaus: If this Detachment is your Primary Detachment, you can re-roll the result when rolling on the Word Bearers Warlord Traits table.

The Eight-fold Path: At the start of each of your turns, pick one character from this Detachment and make a roll on the Chaos Boon table for them. Each character can only benefit from this rule once, though they may still earn further rolls on the Chaos Boon table as normal.

Chaos Artefacts of the Word Bearers

During the Long War against the Imperium of the False Emperor, the Word Bearers have come to favour a number of artefacts that serve as symbols of blasphemous hate to their unholy cause. Only one of each of the following items may be chosen per army, and only one may be chosen per model.

Units in a Word Bearers Detachment or Formation that can normally take Chaos Artefacts in Codex: Chaos Space Marines can choose to take items from the Chaos Artefacts of the Word Bearers list below at the points cost shown instead.

The Malefic Tome 10 pts
Baleful Icon 15 pts
The Scripts of Erebus 15 pts
The Skull of Monarchia 15 pts
Crown of the Blasphemer 30 pts
The Cursed Crozius 35 pts

Baleful Icon

This icon bears an eight-pointed star so saturated in the blood of loyalists that it is forever stained with the taint of treachery. Those who wish the bearer harm find their certainty sapped away by the mere proximity of this blasphemous standard. The Word Bearers that carry it feel its toxic aura much as a sun worshipper feels the kiss of a summer day upon his skin. Those who do not worship the Dark Gods instead find their skin crawling and their muscles shuddering in revulsion. Even Adeptus Astartes are drained of their righteous anger in its presence.
Units attempting to charge the bearer of the Baleful Icon, or the unit he is with, must re-roll successful charge rolls, and if still successful, models in the charging unit do not gain any bonus Attacks from charging.

Crown of the Blasphemer

Adorned with the finger bones of defiant men and anointed with the blood of unbelievers, the Crown of the Blasphemer attracts the attention of Warp entities to the wearer. Whether these daemonic creatures are keeping him alive for their own entertainment or because there is some purpose he has yet to fulfil on their behalf is immaterial, for upon the battlefield, the kingly figure beneath the crown is extremely difficult to harm. Powered blades are turned away at the last moment by invisible hands, thunderous volleys of bullets find themselves snatched into the aether at the last moment, and enemy warriors find their minds assailed with visions of a galaxy in flames.
The Crown of the Blasphemer confers a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, the bearer has the Adamantium Will and Fear special rules.

The Cursed Crozius

This was once the rod of office for a founding member of Lorgar’s Chaplains, one of the first of his kind to be sent into the Legiones Astartes in order to watch for signs of sedition. In truth, it has always been the weapon of an arch-traitor. First used in anger to bludgeon an ex-Librarian Praetor of the White Scars to death, it still bears the indelible stains of that first treacherous kill to this day. Those Chaos worshippers nearby are instilled with all the knowledge they need to slay the loyalist thralls of the Corpse God. Conversely, those who bear the mark of the Emperor find the crozius’ every swing unerringly seeking out the weak spots in their armour.

Range S AP Type
- +2 3 Melee, Bane of Men, Concussive

Bane of Men: The bearer of the Cursed Crozius has the Preferred Enemy (Armies of the Imperium) special rule.

The Malefic Tome

This blasphemous tome has been stitched together from the flayed skins of a dozen mortal psykers. These dabblers in the arcane signed their own death warrants, for though they took every precaution in their dealings with Daemons, they made their locations known to those Chaos worshippers who walk the material world at will. Each leathery page still bears the hairs and birthmarks of the book’s unwilling donors, their horror at the mistake they made still emanating from every inch of stolen skin. The book’s leaves are inscribed with true names, hexagrammatic diagrams and daemonic hierarchies that enable the bearer a measure of influence over his Warp-spawned allies.
Psykers only. The bearer knows one additional power from the Daemonology (Malefic) discipline.

The Scripts of Erebus

Copied with painstaking care by the first of the traitorous Dark Apostles from the runes upon his own flesh, the Scripts of Erebus were inscribed in blood bearing traces of Lorgar’s vitae. The rituals and imprecations of these long parchments are potent messages in the Dark Tongue. When read aloud, they can channel the energy of the Empyrean into realspace with a staggering degree of stability, allowing the bearer to unleash myriad unnatural deaths upon his enemies, or else banish the powers of their enemy’s worn Warp-craft. Though the scripts are rendered invisible by each reading, a journey into the Warp causes them to blossom into being once more, ready to unleash fresh carnage upon the worlds of men.
Once per game, at the start of either your or your opponent’s Psychic phase, the bearer can read from the Scripts of Erebus to immediately generate an additional D6 Warp Charge points. Add the appropriate number of dice to your Warp Charge pool.

The Skull of Monarchia

The destruction of Monarchia at the hands of the Ultramarines Legion was all but total. A few relics remain from that time, however. The artefact known as the Skull of Monarchia is foremost amongst them, the only intact cranium that remained after the utter destruction visited upon the Word Bearers’ perfect city. Chased with precious metals and protected with powerful force fields, it is a constant reminder of the destruction that turned the Word Bearers upon the path of rebellion and damnation. All those nearby find their hatred of the Imperium swelling to new heights.
The bearer and his unit can re-roll all failed To Hit rolls in close combat when attacking units that contain any models from the Armies of the Imperium. In addition, the bearer and his unit can re-roll all failed To Wound rolls in close combat when attacking units that contain any Ultramarines.