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A Case For Abaddon


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I don’t know. Most of these things were available last tournament season... summer of 2019. They never did a heck of a lot back then and let’s be honest, a metric ton of advantages have come out for other armies since then including other Legions.

 

I’ve played too many competitive games with my Terminators to give them much of a chance going forward. They work the odd time you’ve spun the wheel and land in a matchup that has trouble dealing with 2+ saves in cover which is becoming exceedingly rare in competitive play.

 

Trust me..once a month I go back to the ‘box of dreams’ and pull out all sorts of wonderful items like Termies and raptors and Landraiders. It’s usually a game at most like today for example to give me a harsh reminder.

 

The problem with playing a firebase Black Legion army is we aren’t near the top of the food chain on that one. You’re going to need diversity, and janky units. Psychic powers and off the wall units.

 

This year at ITC it was Possessed and really aside from TJ ( who is an exceptional player) the attempt was mostly a bust. Let’s remember that it was never going to be Black Legion making that bomb run.

 

Other chaos hopefuls used those off the wall units I referred to....a few guys gravitated towards triple choo choo train super heavies and that’s always going to get ripped by haywire in a really bad matchup.

 

I went back to the drawing board and am stuck right now. The Forgeworld dreads are just so much better with marines. I don’t know if I can compensate for that level of disadvantage.

 

When I think back of what Abaddon has done for my competitive games, it’s largely revolved around stopping Cultists from breaking, buffing a firebase for one or maybe two turns ( Havocs die superfast...I really miss having ablative wounds) but really if... some how Abaddon makes it to the opponent.... short of a Primarch he can do some serious work. I’ve sacrificed him at tournaments in a calculated trade off against marine fire bases and won because of it. That’s what I think his true strength is. It’s geting to the fight and with a worthy crew.

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Maybe Abaddon is best as the leader of a Vanguard detachment without additional BL.  Or, maybe just him, and a bunch of cultists to hold objectives?  Perhaps instead of building an army around him, just drop him in an otherwise solid list of other CSM legions.

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Maybe Abaddon is best as the leader of a Vanguard detachment without additional BL.  Or, maybe just him, and a bunch of cultists to hold objectives?  Perhaps instead of building an army around him, just drop him in an otherwise solid list of other CSM legions.

 

I'm starting to think this is best in a competitive environment.

 

I do know when I make a heavy Flawless Host list, it gets a lot more mileage. 

 

I was hoping to do a full Black Legion army based around the Abaddon premise, but I am starting to think it's not plausible. So I may go back to Knights/Flawless Host for this tournament season.

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Maybe Abaddon is best as the leader of a Vanguard detachment without additional BL.  Or, maybe just him, and a bunch of cultists to hold objectives?  Perhaps instead of building an army around him, just drop him in an otherwise solid list of other CSM legions.

 

I'm starting to think this is best in a competitive environment.

 

I do know when I make a heavy Flawless Host list, it gets a lot more mileage. 

 

I was hoping to do a full Black Legion army based around the Abaddon premise, but I am starting to think it's not plausible. So I may go back to Knights/Flawless Host for this tournament season.

 

Something that could be fluffly and effective would be a Supreme Command with Abby, 3 Terminator Sorcerers, and 5 Chainaxe/Combi-Bolter Termies as a screen clearance unit/bodyguard. That way, you get access to Abby, Brutal Subjugation for screen clearance, Chosen Enforcers in case he goes down, Angelsbane and Foecleaver to murder Marines, and a few other tricks. Plus it's Abby and the Bringers showing up to reinforce that section of a Black Crusade. Makes total sense.

Edited by GreaterChickenofTzeentch
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That detachment would probably work very well with Chaos Knights. :)

 

I've been kind of going back between my Black Legion and my Thousand Sons. Neither are working 'great' right now, so I may just toss one of these forces in with my Chaos Knights to make them a bit more competitive.

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It makes me incredibly depressed that it's almost impossible to have a fluffy mono-legion army that's also good. I have never once in the 20+ odd years I've been involved in Warhammer (I started in 1996!) had any interest in mixing different subgroups together, and as the years go by not doing that usually becomes worse and worse.
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That detachment would probably work very well with Chaos Knights. :smile.:

 

I've been kind of going back between my Black Legion and my Thousand Sons. Neither are working 'great' right now, so I may just toss one of these forces in with my Chaos Knights to make them a bit more competitive.

Chaos Knights LOVE Death Hex support, so yeah, 3 Sorcerers would work great. Maybe put a Lord of Skulls in the LOW slot in the Supreme Command (drop one Knight in your Knight Detachment and/or downgrade to a War Dog) so it can be Warp-Timed in to deliver more nastiness. You also have World Killers in your pocket to steal objectives. Maybe put an 2 Apostles and 3x10 cultists down as a Battalion for CP, 2 Prayers, and unlocking Council of Traitors?

 

Or, hang it all and run the Abby detachment, the Apostle/Cultists package, and 3 Lords of Skulls. That's a lot of scary stuff to be getting rerolls.

Edited by GreaterChickenofTzeentch
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It makes me incredibly depressed that it's almost impossible to have a fluffy mono-legion army that's also good. I have never once in the 20+ odd years I've been involved in Warhammer (I started in 1996!) had any interest in mixing different subgroups together, and as the years go by not doing that usually becomes worse and worse.

 

If it makes you feel any better, this problem started almost immediately in 6th edition, when "can" mix went to "must" in order to stay competitive.  And, if the prospect of mixing Legions depresses you, imagine being a Necron, Ork or Tau player.  They can't mix with anyone.

 

I think the Loyalist supplement model is a good start.  You don't get access to the super doctrine unless all models in your army are of the same Chapter.

 

As far as BL is concerned, GW is striking an odd balance with them being both the Sons of Horus, and emphatically not the Sons of Horus.  They retain SOH oriented Stratagems and Relics, but also emphasize through Legacy of Horus and Chosen of the Pantheon that they are the glue in a Chaos mashup.  If you run mono Black Legion you give up Legacy of Horus, which, whatever.  Not every Stratagem is worth using.  But, you also forfeit using Icons if you want to stay unmarked in order to qualify for Chosen of the Pantheon.  It is more of the same, everything, but nothing. 

 

I'm increasingly thinking that Abaddon is best used as an anchor for Troops on objectives, leading a Terminator teleport, or heading a Devastation Battery.  He would need to be purpose built for these approaches, and the more effort put into making him the head of a BL mono build the worse returns you will see.  

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What about going deeper on characters?

 

I don't have freedom to battlescribe, but something like Bringers Battallion, Chaos Lord in Termie armor with the Black Axe and Flames of Spite, Slaanesh plasma termie, Dark Apostle, Outriders, Chaos Lord with Burning Blood and Tip of the Spear, Talons*3, Battallion, Abaddon, Sorcerer, Plague Knives Marine/Rubric Marine mob buffed running up the board?

 

Obviously this would need Relics of the Legion *and* Council of Traitors.

 

Edit: Toddler

Edited by BrainFireBob
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Had time. What about something like this?

 

Pregame:

Council of Traitors

Bringers of Despair

Gifts of Chaos

Field Commander

 

Battallion:

 

Abaddon

Dark Apostle+Acolytes, Tzeentch, Benediction+Mutation, Council: First Among Traitors

3*5 CSM, Combibolter, Chainsword, Autocannon

20 Rubrics

Dual Las Contemptor, Tzeentch

 

2nd Battallion, Bringers

 

Terminator Lord, Cfist, Angelsbane, Warlord, Chosen of the Warmaster, Mark of Khorne

Terminator Sorc, Warptime, Tzeentch, Weaver, Trait: Veteran Raider

5*Terminators, Slaanesh, Combiplasma + Poweraxe

3*5 CSM, combibolter, chainsword, autocannon

 

Outrider:

Jump pack Chaos Lord, Khorne, Tip of the Spear, Talisman, twin l. Claws

3*5Warp Talons

 

1991 points, 10 CP

 

Put bluffs into the rubric turn 1, drop the Bringers+Host turn 2. Run Abaddon behind the brick with the contemptor. Deploy sorc as needed-putting him in Bringers just gives the keyword.

 

Alternately, make him a nurgle sorc, give him miasma, change the contemptor to nurgle, sub knife plague marines with a fist for the rubrics, and swap cfist+angelsbane for Foecleaver+combibolter

 

Edit: just use field commander again, make abby warlord. Nets you 1 cp

Edited by BrainFireBob
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A few nitpicks not related to the value of the list.

 

-Abaddon already has First Among Traitors.  Did you mean to double up with the Dark Apostle?

 

-Would Abaddon count as a Terminator for the purposes of Bringers of Despair, if he was in the detachment?  If so, having the x2 for morale purposes Strat fits really well with him.

 

-If the Terminator Sorc stays in the Bringers of Despair, is it better to give them the Angelsbane, and the Foecleaver to the Lord?  That seems like that would stronger.  

 

-Is the purpose of the Contemptor being Tzeetch to receive the invulnerable save?

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A few nitpicks not related to the value of the list.

 

-Abaddon already has First Among Traitors. Did you mean to double up with the Dark Apostle?

He's not Warlord, so no double. He only has the trait if he's Warlord, but the list as posted doesn't use him that way. His full re-roll aura isn't linked to his being Warlord, note.

 

-Would Abaddon count as a Terminator for the purposes of Bringers of Despair, if he was in the detachment? If so, having the x2 for morale purposes Strat fits really well with him.

He doesn't gain anything aside from access to a couple of stratagems. And he has a full reroll bubble- this creates a second termie-only one via the Chosen of the Warmaster trait. BRINGERS OF DESPAIR models within 6" of the warlord can re-roll 1's to hit. If the WARLORD has the LORD OF CHAOS ability (ie, already has reroll 1's to hit), they gain the ability to reroll all hit rolls instead.

 

Any model that is a BLACK LEGION TERMINATOR gains the Bringers of Despair rule. So the Warlord himself gets it, and the sorcerer will get it. 

 

-If the Terminator Sorc stays in the Bringers of Despair, is it better to give them the Angelsbane, and the Foecleaver to the Lord? That seems like that would stronger.

I considered this, but it costs 2 more CP. Really want that talisman on the Outrider. 

 

-Is the purpose of the Contemptor being Tzeetch to receive the invulnerable save?

Yep. Weaver. Two good targets. Contemptor already has an invulnerable save.

 

EDITING and adding to post.

 

So, I was thinking about what Black Legion can do better than other chaos legions, since that was Prot's challenge.

 

Really, it's advance up the board, deny scoring on objectives by destroying them, bring in Abaddon, and bring in more Warlord traits/different relic set. 

 

This list wasn't a hard suggestion, but rather a "something like this?" posting. Abaddon's a personal beatstick and brings a reroll aura regardless if he's Warlord.

 

An Oblit and a squad of Warp Talons are the same cost. You could alternately kill the Outrider detachment, bring three Oblits, make Abby's batallion a Devastation battery, and reconfigure points to try to sneak in an extra gun contemptor. Instead of an overwatch-killing drop, you'd have two gun drops with *full* rerolls available based on mission. 

 

I believe that list design needs not just multiple threats, but multiple options during deployment and multiple strategies available. The design way of this list is deploy one hard-to-shift blob that's mobile that needs to die before it closes- either buffed Rubrics or assault Plague Marines- with Weaver/Benediction or Miasma/Benediction to act as a screen for Abaddon to run up the board. They can assault with their guns when advancing, absorb a lot of firepower, and maybe get Warptimed to get somewhere. Meanwhile, some mobile guns in the back are an alternate buff target for the sorcerer/apostle depending on opponent. The Apostle would run with this blob no matter what; the Sorcerer can hang with them, hang with the guns, deploy with the gun mob, etc. The core idea there is inspired by GreaterChickenofTzeentch and his raving support of the Ru-brick squad.

 

I favor the Warp Talon Host Raptorial against things like Tau. But the Oblit version, while light on bodies, does have benefits.

 

As noted, if you make Abby Warlord and pay for Field Commander instead, you gain +1 CP net, but you need to find another trait for your apostle, and I really like First Among Traitors on this guy as a combo with his rerolls aura. If you do, take Trusted War Leader instead. Might be better, mind- this was just a tossed-off list. Or take that one on the Sorcerer and move Veteran Raiders to this guy.  

 

It may be completely terrible. My BL list is all fluff; it rarely hits the table and rarely wins. Fact is, since my girl's been born my playing is way down. But as a starting place, I tossed this out.

Edited by BrainFireBob
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Older lore had Abaddon lead a smaller elite vanguard personally into battle alongside allied CSM during Black Crusades. So there is some precedent to BL soup at least lore wise. 

 

Absolutely, and honestly, that's probably a better use of Abaddon is as monosodium gluconate detachment for Death Guard, 1K Sons, etc. Or vice versa- I'm really digging that "Cult of Prophecy" tri-brute loadout for budget fire support. 

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As noted, if you make Abby Warlord and pay for Field Commander instead, you gain +1 CP net, but you need to find another trait for your apostle, and I really like First Among Traitors on this guy as a combo with his rerolls aura. If you do, take Trusted War Leader instead. Might be better, mind- this was just a tossed-off list. Or take that one on the Sorcerer and move Veteran Raiders to this guy.

 

 

Abaddon has to be the army Warlord in order for you to get the 2CPs.  Your Chaos Lord has to use Field Commander to get the Chosen of the Warmaster WLT if you want those 2 CPs.  There's nothing stopping you from taking two instances of First Among Traitors.  Alternatively, the Sorcerer is a good candidate for Trusted War Leader.

 

I suggest putting Abaddon in the Bringers of Despair because he benefits so strongly from Brutal Subjugation.

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So here's the deal....

 

I'm pulling out my original Possessed army using only Black Legion. A brigade... that's right... a BRIGADE! All the CP will be used.

 

The idea is when I was trying to make Possessed competitive, the whole list was a lot more expensive. So all I've done is add some bodies to the list and the basic premise will remain the same.

 

So why Black Legion? There's so many cooler options, so many cooler Strats.... 

 

Well I decided the extra attack strat will come in handy (I have 15 possessed in the list) and other extra attack strat, plus Abe's re rolls will save me CP.

 

We'll see what happens. No idea what I'm playing yet.

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  • 2 months later...

So here's the deal....

 

I'm pulling out my original Possessed army using only Black Legion. A brigade... that's right... a BRIGADE! All the CP will be used.

 

The idea is when I was trying to make Possessed competitive, the whole list was a lot more expensive. So all I've done is add some bodies to the list and the basic premise will remain the same.

 

So why Black Legion? There's so many cooler options, so many cooler Strats.... 

 

Well I decided the extra attack strat will come in handy (I have 15 possessed in the list) and other extra attack strat, plus Abe's re rolls will save me CP.

 

We'll see what happens. No idea what I'm playing yet.

 

 

I meant to revisit this thread as it's been a while since I reported back.

 

So far the results have been mixed. If I were.... a legion or whatever that could assault after advancing I think it would help, but Tau are a huge issue, as is anything with fly and some of the newer marine assault armies.

 

That said I've had some good experiences against some really deceptively good Nid Kraken/GSC armies. At first I was thinking I would get hammered, played too conservatively but then I went back at it and I think it was really worth it to be more aggressive and won the second game.

 

I'm still trying the Brigade. There are 3 Spawn in it to make it complete, but if I were playing ITC, perhaps they would would be engineers? At any rate I have a lot more CP 17 so I'm using 4 Pregame for extra Warlords, and Daemonkin Ritualists.

 

I do think it might be a good idea to fit in a "Mirror" some time to decrease the retreating stuff. I guess that would mean a dual batt at best, which isn't the end of the world, but the mirror clocks in about 200 points if I recall. I do own the model but last time I used it, I think I used the MoP to psychically bring her/it in. I may have to brush up on those rules and tweak the list, but for now it's a simple Brigade.

 

Game tomorrow vs. Deathguard. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok.....I've been mulling this over.

 

I can only really comment from a more relaxed list point of view as I haven't used him competively in any way but it's my 2 credits worth....

 

I struggled with Abaddon for a long time. I would deep strike him, run and gun him, anchor him at the back.....all of these and he pretty much died every game. Because of his high threat level and maybe because I've been playing sub 1500 points games where he becomes target no.1!

 

Finally though after a couple of years of using him I have found a niche he clicks with. His strength for me is always as the 2nd assault wave/mid table counter unit. I run him with either a 5 man termie unit and shadow the main assault force, bubbling them with his gifts as we all jog up the table....then peel him off to either mop up higher wound targets or slaughter through chaff. If the termies aren't available I'll run him with a cultist unit and 5-10 man CSM unit either side of him.

 

BCC

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That very well -might- be the way to do it now. It's hard to say. The army composition definitely plays a key part in that decision.

 

One thing someone said... and it might have been in this thread is Black Legion hit a lot. It's about the only thing I have found we excel at... hitting. Hitting often, in shooting or close combat. 

 

So the longer Abaddon isn't on the table, I find it makes a big difference because unlike 90% of my other chaos armies, I make a notable investment in shooting with Black Legion. A year or two ago, I think anyone would say that's an exaggeration, but today the overall game is so crazy with damage that you need the right match up.

 

I certainly enjoy the flexibility Abe has for sure, but he's in very, very few competitive lists for a reason. On the other hand if we had truly punishing shooting, at reasonable ballistic skill, it might be different. We'd then be using him as our own "Cawl".

 

But I think that's one of two ways to look at it. The other is I was starting him in a Landraider, but Landraiders are so horrible right now, I stopped doing that about a year ago. However, as you suggest, I've been running a two prong assault, and having him come in with Oblits, and as you say, he does have that one turn to shine.

 

It is funny though because I watch the rest of the army lose a lot of potency without him. Hence that's why I've gone back to Disco Lords since they are a pretty autonomous unit. :)

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