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A Case For Abaddon


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In an attempt to not make a completely useless, complaining or wish list post.... I want to explore reasons for taking Black Legion generally and in this case Abaddon specifically. 
 

I admit I almost posted this a few times but didn’t want it to come out wrong. 
 

The problem is since PA particularly I’ve seen the limited, competitive use of Black Legion slip from minimal to nearly non existent.  
 

I took a break from my strict BL lists and started playing my favourite models which lead to Flawless host. My winning record went up, and my ability to truly utilize the power of Daemon princes, Disco  lords, possessed and Daemon Engines seemed to increase significantly. 
 

I started to feel like this is just wrong. There has to stuff I’ve started overlooking. 
 

so in an effort to turn this around I look towards my favourite figure... Abaddon. 
 

let’s explore what Black Legion do better than anyone else.  I don’t want to ta8nt the initial topic with my own thoughts so I’d like to hear what you guys have come to believe Black Legions true wheelhouse is. I’ll just start by saying... let’s leave cultists out of this. ;). 
 

what have you come up with? What are you playing that Black Legion really gels with?

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BL hit.  That's what they do.  2 of their Stratagems are about rerolling to hit in the Shooting phase.  Abaddon's aura grants a general reroll to hit, as does the Warlord trait from the Bringers of Despair detachment.  These Stratagems run 1CP each, freeing you up to use Veterans of the Long War or Command Reroll on critical wound and damage rolls.  The other BL Strats aren't much to consider.

 

Advancing and firing Bolters is an interesting idea in a format that genuinely rewards getting to, and camping on objectives with Troops.  Maybe a 20 man CSM squad double move/advance with Warp Time on turn 1 to an objective, camping it and forcing your opponent to get rid of them under the threat of World Killers could be a thing.

 

Other ideas are the old Slaaneshi Terminator deep strike double tap.  Tip of the Spear would reroll both rounds of shooting.  Potentially 80 Combi-Bolter shots rerolling to hit, for 3CP.

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My initial thoughts on Black Legion are that they are more of a fluffy army. You play them because you enjoy the stories you read about them. But if I really dig into it I can see a few merits to Black Legion. But to support my ideas I'll need to give an example of what I think chaos space marines are supposed to focus on. Unlike the loyalist marines whose focus is ranged then melee I think chaos space marines are melee then ranged. For chaos space marines the ranged part of their profile is mainly for something to do before they get in the thick of things.

 

So, onto what I think Black Legion brings to the table....

 

So Abaddon needs a bandwagon. He is a beatstick for sure but his delivery system is deep striking and that is not very reliable in the current meta outside of drop pods and that new Grey Knight deep strike strat. So, this being said I would mostly likely always run with a core of at least one unit of twenty CSM with as many melta guns as you can put in them (3? Two melta guns and one combi-melta?) the run the rest with bolters. Make use of the move and advance to use weapons as assault. It doesn't matter if your opponent assaults you. You should have the bodies to absorb the initial shock. If you position correctly you could even have that unit auto pass morale with Abaddon's rule if you can get a HI with Abaddon. Another option is to run him with a twenty man cc squad of plague marines that are surrounding him. 

 

So I was thinking about the Plague Marine blob protecting Abaddon. They move 5". Which means if that if you do decide to give them a few bolters they will be able to shoot and you can drop the shooty Plague Marines first and still maintain that melee core. Maybe go with like 12 shooty and 8 melee? 

 

Another setup you can run is Berzerkers in Rhinos with a librarian in each Rhino. Race all three across the board, drop in Abaddon on T2, disembark the berzerkers and use one of the sorcs to give Abaddon a free move to close in on the enemy and then assault in after the zerkers assault in to give them all reroll all to hit rolls. 

 

This also works well with other specialist units. Pretty sure everyone knows about the Oblitz bubble of doom. 9 Oblitz and Abaddon drop in on T2 with cacophony nonsense. Those new Oblitz look SO GOOD!!!

 

One of the lists I'm contemplating building for my Black Legion is something like this...

[HQ] Abaddon (Drops in with Oblitz)

[HQ] Librarian (Slaanesh to buff the Daemon Prince with the 5+ FNP)

[HQ] Daemon Prince (Double Claw, Slaanesh with the potion, Wings)

 

[E] Double Fist Helbrutes x3

 

[T] Undecided right now, most likely 6 units of 5-man CSM squads with missile launchers/lascannons

 

[FA] Raptor Squads x3 (3x5 most likely, more if I can afford it. They will not deepstrike. They are going to move around and mob targets)

 

[HS] 3v3 Oblitz

 

Anyway... I'm sure I'll think of more. I'll mention it when I do. Also, if you're going to walk Abaddon up the board with that horde of Plague Marines you can give them a sorc as well to give them that miasma buff. Also, that 20-man blob of Plague Marines are immune to morale. 

Edited by Aothaine
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My personal lists revolve around having up to 4 Warlord Traits, which is something that BL do better than the other Legions.

 

Big, nasty units with multiple buffs is another one they do well. Taking a unit of 10 Terminators, popping Chosen of the Pantheon on them and then casting Miasma of Pestilence, Delightful Agonies, and Weaver of Fates on them can be fun.

 

The last thing I can think of right now is that they serve VERY well as the foundation of a soup list. Chosen Enforcers, Haarken, Abaddon himself, Legacy of Horus......they have a lot of tools specifically meant to help them stiffen other Chaos Marine forces.

 

WAIT: Forgot that they are also optimized to fight Imperial opponents via multiple different relics, their Warlord Trait (on Abby), Tactical Objectives if you're using those, etc. For example, with Foecleaver, Prescience and Abaddon nearby with First Among Traitors, you can get Death to the False Emperor popping off on 3's.

 

It might be a great idea to build a BL list around Abaddon and throw in everything that could make it a Marine killer. Meta's a target rich environment for that type of list right now. :smile.:

Edited by GreaterChickenofTzeentch
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Well anything around Abaddon is immune to morale. (BTW try the new relic talons on the DP, you’ll be amazed....especially in Flawless Host ( unfortunately a lot better)). 
 

these are interesting thoughts. I’m not sure if they translate into a competitive weekend without a lot of hard losses though. 
 

the 20 man marine squad sounds so tempting but it just doesn’t do anything. Cultists seem the better buy and can be recycled. However the Marines have better staying power in some situations which may or may not be relevant and of course there’s the special weapons. Melta is fun, but such a hard thing to get into real range. 
 

I’ve contemplated high end dreadnoughts as a living , moving bodyguard. But loyalists just do it so much better I’m sure a win would be very hard to come by in that road. 
 

as a bodyguard I’ve run Oblits and they can work. I think the Havocs have merit but MUST start in a vehicle or forget it ( this was probably my biggest mistake in my last GT). 
 

Possessed are another good bodyguard but aren’t obsec. And get far more mileage from Alpha Legion 

 

so where does this leave me... or Black Legion?

 

i think the turn 1 strat is something Ive contemplated with the Fire Raptor. That’s what I mean by something ‘competitive’ that Black Legion can do. 
 

the other thought I have tried to work out (but really hasn’t so far) is Ghorisvex’s teeth on a jump lord. I kept trying to make that work with Raptors since it’s our unique relic. Unfortunately most of these ideas don’t need Abaddon. 

I think Snazzy has the right mindset.... put severe pressure on your opponent quickly. Make him uncomfortable with some st ring shooting, but make him pay when you get there for castling up. Don’t let him get comfortable.... make sure to have reinforcements that force him to plug deep strike holes, and if he leaves gaps, he’s gotta pay. 
 

I personally believe the above describes the Black Legion playstyle I’ve had the most success with. 
 

some problems with this; it still feels others do it better.  Also it’s expensive points wise, yet you want, or need serious board control and threat range. The points can be too restrictive.

 

also the whole idea is exceptionally character heavy which is extremely dicey in 40k NuMarine meta. I find I’m always trying to fit in a Sorc, a DP, Abe, and an Apostle! Not to mention a MOP when the Daemon keyword is high and Oblits are present. Heck I was even in a funk of using the MoP to bring my Contorted Epitome in!
 

Tomorrow I am going to try departing with my ‘go to’ formulae of writing a Black Legion army. I will try a dual bat, with perhaps lots of Melta marines. Oblits are a staple for me. Havocs in rhinos or perhaps I need to pull out the crappy Landraider and get stuff up the board. 
 

my pots is getting too long but I recall before the new Oblits, and those Vanguard figs came out, I played this very vanilla list of Oblits and a Landraider with a warsmith, and termies.... it actually worked. Then the game seemed to get crazy with damage and I’m struggling to compete with these guys. 
 

anyway by tomorrow at this time I will be playing again.   With my Blavk Legion so I’d really like to try to make this work. I appreciate the thoughts, and any new ideas this might spawn. 

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My personal lists revolve around having up to 4 Warlord Traits, which is something that BL do better than the other Legions.

 

The problem with Council of Traitors is how restrictive the choices are.  I like the characters, but sometimes i want a cheapo Master of Executions instead of a DA.  Otherwise, totally agree.  BL can set up a machine of CP cheap Stratagems, Warlord Traits (including CP refunders) and reroll auras.

 

Melta is fun, but such a hard thing to get into real range. 

 

 

IMO, there's no reason to run Melta as Legion.  With all of our rerolls, it is cheaper to run Plasmaguns and Combi-Plasmas everywhere.  My SoH (BL) army runs 13 PGs and 16 CPs at 2,000 points.  The combination or range, firing modes and Black Crusaders giving you that shoot after Advancing quality shared by Assault weapons... Plasmagun spam seems likke a given in Legion.

 

 

the other thought I have tried to work out (but really hasn’t so far) is Ghorisvex’s teeth on a jump lord. I kept trying to make that work with Raptors since it’s our unique relic. Unfortunately most of these ideas don’t need Abaddon. 

 

Teeth is best used on an Exalted Champion, because it is S=User.  Donnie providing rerolls to hit, Exalted Champion providing rerolls to wound in Fight Phase.  Could work.  Overall, i'm not super impressed by Ghorisvex's Teeth.  It would be a great relic for a Berserker Champion, if Chaos could give relics to squad leaders like Loyalists.  If you are going for a jump Lord, i'd consider a Slaanesh marked one with the Slaanesh Daemon claws, maybe paired with Black Clad Brute to make them S5.

 

Are you running a Devastation Battery for the Oblits?  It can be counter-intuitive to leave Oblits exposed, but they can get a free turn of shooting with the detatchment Strat.

Edited by Snazzy
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I agree on the Plasma/Combi Plasma. I have roasted a fair number of my Termies in my life, but they get used to it. :)

 

On Ghorvex's Teeth.... I played a lot with it in the opening release of Vigilus Ablaze. I think it was massively overrated. The only thing I liked about it (without putting too many crazy resources into it) was it was a cheap use of a Jump lord with the Vigilus Raptoral Detachment.

 

Now that Raptures/Warptalons are cheaper I was just thinking of hauling him out again. But I dumped him from the list last night.(Also I really do like those Relic Daemon Talons, but I was using them on my Flawless Host DP and I'm trying really hard to not do that anymore and play actual Black Legion. But yea the talons on a warlord Flawless Host has done AMAZING things for me.)

 

On Devastation Battery:

 

Yea I ran it a lot when Vigilus Ablaze first came out. I ran it at a local GT and it was good and bad. You can never leave those Oblits out on certain match ups which sucks. Astra for example will win that match up about 11 out of 10 times. 

 

In tournaments I never had a chance vs. Astra but largely I blame that ridiculous Stratagem that makes all IG players giddy when they play me. (IMO it's completely broken.)

 

Anyway, the list I've just made goes back to very vanilla basics. (This is in lieu of Chaos Knights which I've been using a lot lately).

 

I'm using Abaddon on foot. He's leading a Dev battery with 2 Havoc squads and 3 Oblits which... I'm putting in a Landraider. Only in fun games have I used this but I think I'm sick and tired of the Alpha strike nuking my fire base and then Oblits come in T2 and then get nuked anyway. I'm going to use a D.A. to put BoD on the Landraider and force people to open it up. 

 

Dev battery in the past has been hot and cold. Sometimes I expose the Havocs instead, and hope for a good LOS or poor/lazy movement from my opponent. I don't like to play "gotcha" Warhammer so I ALWAYS explain the Strat to my opponent, and yet they rarely if ever care to change their movement. In one tournament game I took a knight down to it's lower bracket from Dev battery from a squad of Missiles and Las. (I did get a little lucky but Abe was close by).

 

Terminators:

Anyway, I'm going against my own sanity on this one.... the rest of the list is basically a single Battalion using 7 termies with 4x  combi plas, and NO mark. I'll drop them in with a Sorc, and a DP with wings will give Miasma/Dlightful Agonies. And then I pray to the Dark Gods.

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IMO, there's no reason to run Melta as Legion.  With all of our rerolls, it is cheaper to run Plasmaguns and Combi-Plasmas everywhere.  My SoH (BL) army runs 13 PGs and 16 CPs at 2,000 points.  The combination or range, firing modes and Black Crusaders giving you that shoot after Advancing quality shared by Assault weapons... Plasmagun spam seems likke a given in Legion.

 

 

 

Yeah, you CAN run Melta as Legion because you're free to Advance and combo Rapid Fire stuff with it, plus rerolls can mitigate the penalties involved in doing that, but it can be a trap when you deny yourself the flexibility of Plasma too often. I personally like Melta in my BL army, but I only run it on Terminators (since I want them to be either a DS threat or an Advance/Warp Time threat to heavy armor and I want a "shoot me" sign on their heads after lots of buffs) and Bikes (usual suspects).

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I'll make a bigger post later, but man being a BL stan since I started in 3rd ed I have seen them and CSM evolve for years. here are some general points-

 

- CSM and BL can do some crazy builds below 2k points standard in 8th ed.

- BL double down on the overall CSM play-style of mid range shooting and melee.

- Warlord and CP flexibility, quite close to the toolbox/ utility of the new UM except our units are mediocre, not under-costed/ as points efficient, lacking defensive ability but I believe they are close on potential dmg output with no staying power which hurts when the missions are objective based/ board control. 

- Reliance on FW to compete with better contained codex only forces.

- Lore breaking soups/ soup builds strength VS mono builds, which SM have corrected this problem BL/ CSM still have this issue despite the Vigilus, Faith and Fury updates.

- Prot told us not to say it/ talk about it..... BUT cultists are still a necessity. They are the not scouts for CSM, so still an important part of the faction overall. 

- Abaddon is good though you have to build the entire army around him in comparison to other named characters who you can just throw in there and just roll on. As an example, I have Trajan in my Custodes list, he just works without needing to take center stage in comparison. 

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I like a Combi-Melta on a Smash Captain.  Maybe even a squad Champion, if i invested in a Power Fist.  Raptors, maybe.  I just don't think they are good for CSMs or Terminators, given our easy access to rerolls.  BL really elevates a gun that already has a suspiciously low cost.

 

One thing i really like is Ruthless Fighters against vehicles.  There's some real potential there with Host Raptorial, maybe even Haakon.

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Great report.  It highlights a reoccuring problem a lot of competitive players face with Orks, in that small model counts are often the norm.  Your BL army is really low model count for my comfort level, so it is interesting to see you explore a character and elite unit approach against 100+ Orks and lots of big guns.  Also, interesting to see Chosen of the Pantheon being used to such an extent on the Terminators.  I admit, i often skip over that Stratagem and mark my Terminators Slaanesh, or Khorne for the Icon.

 

Just curious.  You described the shooting in the 1st turn as lethargic.  In hindsight, should you have used the Chaincannons on the Boyz?

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Great report.  It highlights a reoccuring problem a lot of competitive players face with Orks, in that small model counts are often the norm.  Your BL army is really low model count for my comfort level, so it is interesting to see you explore a character and elite unit approach against 100+ Orks and lots of big guns.  Also, interesting to see Chosen of the Pantheon being used to such an extent on the Terminators.  I admit, i often skip over that Stratagem and mark my Terminators Slaanesh, or Khorne for the Icon.

 

Just curious.  You described the shooting in the 1st turn as lethargic.  In hindsight, should you have used the Chaincannons on the Boyz?

Another problem people face with Orks is that minuses to hit don't mean much because of shot volume and Dakka Dakka.

 

And yes, Boyz should be murdered with extreme prejudice via all available anti-infantry fire. Overkill to keep them from recycling and swamping objectives.

Edited by GreaterChickenofTzeentch
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Great report.  It highlights a reoccuring problem a lot of competitive players face with Orks, in that small model counts are often the norm.  Your BL army is really low model count for my comfort level, so it is interesting to see you explore a character and elite unit approach against 100+ Orks and lots of big guns.  Also, interesting to see Chosen of the Pantheon being used to such an extent on the Terminators.  I admit, i often skip over that Stratagem and mark my Terminators Slaanesh, or Khorne for the Icon.

 

Just curious.  You described the shooting in the 1st turn as lethargic.  In hindsight, should you have used the Chaincannons on the Boyz?

Thanks for reading it. 

 

well about the matchup... first off I almost never know what I’m playing against or whom. So when I saw his list, I knew it was very likely going to be a poor outcome for me. His list is on par with undefeated LVO Orks IMO

 

on the shooting...

Here’s the thing that I despise about Oblits and every tournament I use them in...and I get asked about them a lot.... they are swingy as hell. I have a love hate relationship with them. 

 

you can roll the stats on the guns before targeting, but an FAQ clarified that you have to reroll those stats if you choose to cacophony. 

 

so in this game for 3 firing  attempts in a row I rolled S7 AP1 D2. 

 

that really sucked but isn’t all that uncommon. So when I fired at all those Smasha guns, the fact is two still had a single wound on them which is ridiculous. Since I can’t target any of the crazy Shokk attack guns, I split fire with chaincannons. The idea being I finish off the smasha single wound models and some Orks Boyz but then Cacaphony the chaincannons again purely against the Boyz. 

 

well I spread it too thin.  I only got one smasha gun.  The other chaincannons and bikers shot 16 + 16 sots, causing 11 wounds and killing 6 boys. This stuff happens a lot against T4 chaff. It’s not as automatic as people think. 

 

So now I’m forced to cacophony the Oblits instead and waaay overkill the 2 Smasha guns to buy time for my Oblits and termies. 

 

Orks are (IMO) one of if not the best shooting army in the game. I knew right then it was probably over. I had to get that close due to my limited range. Sure enough his T1 erased most of my effectiveness   

 

as far as elite units... I agree. I didn’t have bodies in exchange for killyness. But it wasn’t enough. 

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I dunno, maybe instead of the bikes and spawns greater possesed and master of executions might have been better speed bumps to prop up the cultist screens ? 

the bikes and spawns were cheap, fast units to protect the front lines which didn’t work against 60 boys and all those sluggas. 

 

I think quality body count was an issue too but I personally feel the short lived life of possessed are coming to an abrupt end with Grey Knights. 

 

I could be wrong about that last part but I feel GK will see more play now and they will be a hot smite knife through possessed butter. 

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I regularly play a Black Legion player and it might be due to skill (his or mine), but it’s always a tough fight, even with my BA’s stratagem to proc off 4’s. 
 

He uses Abaddon in every game and he is one tough :cuss -er. Between the re-rolls and morale buffs for the units around him, and the ability to halve incoming damage and throw out ridiculous attacks with Drachynen (so?) I find him quite the challenge on the table top. My opponent’s go-to strategy (with all armies) is a High-Low concept of tough characters and units surrounded by cheap units. In the game we just had today it was 3x units of Combi-plas/dual plas 10man CSM squads surrounding Abby. Not only do the plasma and boosters greatly benefit from the re-rolls and fearless bubble, but it becomes a trap for a melee force like me since anything that wants to punch Abby can get bogged down by “crappy” CSM and anything that will chop up chaff units can be solo-swatted by Abby without breaking a sweat. He typically uses this as his main line that takes up the middle of the field, steadily advancing, while other units (varies game to game ) swirl around it. Today was it was Slaaneshi Oblits and a Justarean Slaaneshi plasma Termie bomb. Previously it was Venom crawler and Disco Lords to the face. He has also rocked Leviathan + Contemptors and Daemon Prince spam (my own preferred tactic with my Iron Warriors). 

As of late he has definitely been milking the 4x WLT ability by bringing Abby, a Bringers of Despair detachment that makes a Termie Sorceror essentially a Lord as well to buff the plasma termies, and then two other characters getting WLTs as well (today’s menu had a Lord with Black Clad Brute + Ghorisvex’s Teeth....brutal). 

 

As someone who has been on the receiving end of the BL many a time I think they are deceptively strong, Instant-win? Absolutely not, but I think their abilities are “passive” and as such a player needs to use sound tactics overall rather than building lists that try to stretch every inch out of a faction trait (I’m guilty of that with my BA). The Ld bonus doesn’t do much until it does and the Rapid Fire = Assault thing likewise doesn’t seem like much but can really catch opponent’s off guard. 

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I regularly play a Black Legion player and it might be due to skill (his or mine), but it’s always a tough fight, even with my BA’s stratagem to proc off 4’s. 

 

He uses Abaddon in every game and he is one tough :censored: -er. Between the re-rolls and morale buffs for the units around him, and the ability to halve incoming damage and throw out ridiculous attacks with Drachynen (so?) I find him quite the challenge on the table top. My opponent’s go-to strategy (with all armies) is a High-Low concept of tough characters and units surrounded by cheap units. In the game we just had today it was 3x units of Combi-plas/dual plas 10man CSM squads surrounding Abby. Not only do the plasma and boosters greatly benefit from the re-rolls and fearless bubble, but it becomes a trap for a melee force like me since anything that wants to punch Abby can get bogged down by “crappy” CSM and anything that will chop up chaff units can be solo-swatted by Abby without breaking a sweat. He typically uses this as his main line that takes up the middle of the field, steadily advancing, while other units (varies game to game ) swirl around it. Today was it was Slaaneshi Oblits and a Justarean Slaaneshi plasma Termie bomb. Previously it was Venom crawler and Disco Lords to the face. He has also rocked Leviathan + Contemptors and Daemon Prince spam (my own preferred tactic with my Iron Warriors). 

 

As of late he has definitely been milking the 4x WLT ability by bringing Abby, a Bringers of Despair detachment that makes a Termie Sorceror essentially a Lord as well to buff the plasma termies, and then two other characters getting WLTs as well (today’s menu had a Lord with Black Clad Brute + Ghorisvex’s Teeth....brutal). 

 

As someone who has been on the receiving end of the BL many a time I think they are deceptively strong, Instant-win? Absolutely not, but I think their abilities are “passive” and as such a player needs to use sound tactics overall rather than building lists that try to stretch every inch out of a faction trait (I’m guilty of that with my BA). The Ld bonus doesn’t do much until it does and the Rapid Fire = Assault thing likewise doesn’t seem like much but can really catch opponent’s off guard. 

 

Your opponents list is very similar to what I ran back in the glory days of the 3.5 CSM dex (minus the new stuff + FW obvs). I had my suspicions BL should maybe migrate to a more old school build. Sounds like they are leveraging the BL strengths there effectively. If I were him, I would look into a pair of deredeo's with 5++ bubble and butchers to back up the infantry. Ah memories, kinda regretting recycling my BL into my IW's now, getting a bit of nostalgia. :cry:

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Thanks for the thoughts Indefragable. 
 

I certainly welcome close combat match ups with my Black Legion. I rarely get the chance. Every once in a while I got to face a very competitive GSC army and my BL is the only army I had that could truly give that army a whoopin’!

 

Most of my games have been multiriptide Tau, or these shoot type Orks, Astra, Dark Eldar, etc. Not a lot of assault and most BA are souped here. 
 

Although I’ve taken my BL to competitive games/ITC, I am strongly considering packing them up for a while. I won a lot of painting awards with them, but that’s it. Lol

 

i just cannot find success with Termies or vanilla marines. The no AP bolters and lack of survival, I just really feel like I get nearly as much out of Cultists with rerolls. Plus when they die it doesn’t bother me as much. 
 

I’d go as far as saying 30 ish cultists with mark of Khorne might still be more valuable. 
 

im glad you and your friend are having great, tight games with the armies. The last time I played BA was about a week ago and I did win quite convincingly but it was his failing to get his Dreadnought flying in that sealed the fate of his Death company and his sanguinary guard. 

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Prot, have you tried more OG BL mid ranged builds similar to Inderfragable's opponent ?

 

Actually... I think my list list (the one I just batrepped) is in that category. It's definitely OG.

 

I was getting tired of playing non-Black Legion (even if I had a lot more success) so that's why I thought of making a thread based on what BL does best, or better than all the 'cool' stuff that came out in PA3.

 

I would say it's been a grind in my meta so far. 

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I think the strengths of the BL at this moment in time is it's characters: the ability to have 4x dudes with WLT's is nasty: 

  • Abaddon or your main Daemon Prince/Chaos Lord
  • A dude in a specialist Detachment (free Chaos Lord buff to a char or make a Chaos Lord Abaddon-lite for 2CP)
  • Council of Traitors Dark Apostle
  • Council of Traitors Sorcerer

And since you can have a whole bunch of WLT's, how do they do?

 

Hidden Content
  • Veteran Raider: yet another subtly good ability, especially for anything that can jump (plasma gun raptors, anyone? Move+Advance+shoot plasma as Assault; next turn charge, fall back, shoot+charge)
  • Indomitable: solid if not the most exciting
  • Black-Clad Brute: as mentioned above, this one is way better than it seems especially when given the right warlord. My opponent did serious damage to both Captain Smash AND Mephiston with this one. 
  • Soul-Eater: like Indomitable, good if not great
  • Trusted War-leader: very good. A must-have if you can spare the ability to have multiple WLT's (which as mentioned above you absolutely can, so almost a must -take)
  • First Among Traitors: situational, but makes a huge difference when fighting against Imperium which you will be 50%+ of the time. 

...and that's not including the main Codex ones.

 

 

And how about Relics?

Hidden Content

 

Not going to bother with the Codex ones since those have been talked about endlessly already...but I will point out the:

 

  • Talisman of Burning Blood: Khorne model on bike, winged, or jump pack. With BL, you can move + advance + shoot + charge + fight twice. While not as direct as WE or other punchy units, this one is unique in it's well-roundedness. Have a non-Khorne model throw Warptime on him for extra trolling. 

 

  • Foecleaver (Bringers of Despair) : not bad by any means, though not an auto include. Especially brutal if nearby WL Abaddon....

 

  • Ghorisvex's Teeth: :cuss - ing dirty. I hate this one (that's good for you)
  • Trophies of Slaughter: if you for some reason are fighting someone who loves to manipulate Ld (Night Lords, I guess?) having +2Ld to your dudes is not bad. But pretty meh overall
  • Sightless Helm: interesting, but not great. Probably best on a chainsword. 
  • Angelsbane: <grumbles about the name> Not as good as the Iron Warriors one, but this is is really not bad at all, especially when fighting Imperium, especially since you can Advance + Shoot it. "Free" D:3 while running up the board is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Cloak of Conquest: not bad, but I personally shy away from stuff that has unlock conditions (probably why I wouldn't be good with Space Wolves)
  • Spineshiver Blade: I like it, but sucks that it's tied to just power swords (Daemon Prince Sword? Yes please!)

 

Some Strategems of note (from my opposing perspective) : 

 

Hidden Content

Chosen of the Pantheon: pop this on something Mark of Slaanesh, shoot twice, than fight twice as Khorne, Extra Heretical for the Slaanesh + Khorne angle, but as someone who also plays Iron Warriors, I like to think the benefit of the more "mercenary" Chaos legions like BL + IW is their ability to do things like that. My opponent loves his "Justarean" termies, so this one I've felt a lot. 

 

World Killers: again, not an obvious one, but amazing wen you have Troops all over the place. Your opponent needs that OBJ for some VP? NO SOUP FOR YOU.

 

Merciless Fighters: again, the theme of my opponent is a very 30k-ish style of BL (he wants to get into SoH in 30k as well), so running 10man squads is a common thing for him, so this is actually incredible when paired with Abby's 5+ DttFE: often times my units are wounded from the opening Turns of the game, so when he charges in with a 9 man CSM squad to finish them off, this does the trick. 

 

Tip of the Spear: I like the idea of this one, but it's kind of weird since most of your heaviest shooting will typically be in the back. Could be good on some plasma bikers.

 

Council of Traitors: as noted above, I think this is in many ways the defining Black Legion Stratagem at the moment. 

 

I'm sure most of the above is already known to you, but it is my observations of someone who has been on the receiving end quite a bit. To summarize, I think Black Legions strengths are:

  • Characters: strong WLT's and decent Relics and Abaddon, one of the strongest characters in the game at the moment
  • Independence: so many abilities and Stratagems are about making a unit off on its own better. This might seem counter-productive if you're already getting so many auras from all the characters you're bringing (see above), but I think it takes that theme to the next level: in many ways, BL should almost always be getting re-rolls of some sort. Whether through characters, detachments (the Abaddon-Lite from Bringers of Despair), and Stratagems (Let the Galaxy Burn, Tip of the Spear). 
  • Bullying: like their SoH version in 30k, I think BL are at their best when they can beat up on equal or lesser units. This might come off as a bit Nostraman, but between the +1Ld, the Advance + Shoot, and stuff like Merciless Fighters, I think BL are at their best when they are carving out the soft belly of the opponent, efficiently culling the weak before dog piling on the more resilient foes. 

 

Just my observations. YMMV

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I want to like Black Clad Brute.  The problem is that all I really need is to get to S5, which is easy with a Power Axe.  BCB is good for someone using Foeclever, or a Daemon Prince using Claws.  Otherwise, I think there are better options for just about every HQ.

 

As for Chosen of the Warmaster… I think it works best on your Chaos Lord.  Rerolling all hit rolls, instead of just 1s is just so powerful.  It makes you less dependent on Prescience.  Maybe if you intended to have your DA use Dark Zealotry on your Terminators, or an Exalted Champion's Aspire to Glory in combination with rerolling 1s on shooting rolls.  I just think DAs and Sorcerors have better things to do than lead the charge with Terminators.  I want my Terminators to drop, shoot, and shoot again.  With Chosen of the Warmaster I feel safer using the bolter half of my Combi-Weapons, or otherwise getting the most out of Veterans of the Long War and Endless Cacaphony.

 

I keep trying to justify the use of an Exalted Champion, and it is difficult in a world with Masters of Executions.  The Teeth/Flames of Spite combo is possible with the Master of Executions, without needing a relic.  I am mulling a Master of Executions with Flames of Spite, and Talisman of Boiling Blood.

 

Tip of the Spear: I like the idea of this one, but it's kind of weird since most of your heaviest shooting will typically be in the back. Could be good on some plasma bikers.

 

Move, Advance, use Tip of the Spear and double shoot everything.  99 points for 3 w/Twin Bolters and Plasmas.  Alternatively, Flamers with some combination of Endless Cacophony and Veterans of the Long War.

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