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Hardcore Abaddon - Black Legion (9th)


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#1
Prot

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I've now played a fairly good chunk of 9th edition with a wide variety of armies, against a wide variety of opponents.

 

I started with Chaos, had a lot of difficulty, and decided to test various other armies to get a better feel for the meta, vs the Chaos fishbowl scenario. I finally feel I have a decent idea of where Chaos/Black Legion sits.

 

While I don't think it's a great time for most CSM, I thought I would go hardcore Abaddon/Black Legion.

 

I still don't know what to do about Tau, and even Astra is proving really tough. Marines, are marines and I expect them to have the advantage/limelight for at least 3 months.

 

So I don't even know if Abaddon fulfills the "Supreme Command" detachment requirement, so I'm not using the Supreme Command as a result.

 

What I am trying to accomplish is a list design that is aimed at competitive play, but definitely forces me to make the Black Legion  function around Abaddon.

 

This means I may even force myself to take While we stand... as a secondary, since it will always be Abaddon in the mix. A dangerous choice perhaps, but a big pay off as well.

 

Must Use Units:

 

- Abaddon

- Sorcerer (probably with Jump Pack)

- Third HQ slot 

 

- At least one squad of Marines (ugh).

 

- At least one squad of Oblits

 

- One 5-10 man Terminator squad (probably going to keep using Combi Plas)

 

High Priority Units:  This is obviously a subjective category. To me these units are comprised of stuff Black Legion should use for game, but also thematic purposes.

 

- Heldrake (Just loving the terror factor, and the fact it annoys opponents so much.)

 

- Havoks. Kind of in a weird spot. They would have serious merit if they had 2 wounds (always felt like they should have had 2.) 

 

- Master of Possession: Although I can't use Vigilus, this guy seems to fit with Oblits and...

 

- Possessed/Greater Possessed. Yes even thought their time has gone, I've decided to go ahead and use these as a staple cc threat over the Khorne Berzerkers for now.

 

- Rhino(s) - Forsaken by the Primaris, but a hold over that maybe gets a bit better with Havok launchers.

 

 

So that's the plan. Do you think I've missed any "Must" use units? I'd love to use Chosen, but I just can't see a point right now, especially as the list is heavy enough with point heavy units. 

 

How about Black Legion 'power units'. Is there something really good you've tried that Black Legion truly do well?


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#2
Ezekyle_Abaddon

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I don't think you necessarily missed any "must" units per say, but with our legion trait being almost worthless we don'y have any units that are amazing with it. I think chaos bikers might be good this edition. With the smaller boards bikes get some amazing mobility and getting 16 shots per squad at 87 (Champ with another combi-bolter), they can deal with most infantry on objectives. I love plas termins, but I still like to run mine with combi-bolters and chainaxes. Land raiders are also looking really appealing. Being able to shoot into combat is extremely good for them as well as being able to transport terminators and oblitz, aswell as providing good anti tank. Sidenote: If you put 3 oblitz in a land raider you can also use the last spot for a MoP and buff them when they get out. I plan on running a Khorne Lord of skulls. With the buffs to vehicles he is looking like an excellent tank hunter while also dealing with infantry really well. 

 

I hoping that when we get a new codex GW will fix our god awful legion traits as wells as give us custom warbands. 

P.s I think it would be really cool if for BL you get the +1 to Ld and before the battle you can pick one trait from the custom ones.


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#3
Prot

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I like the idea of the Lord of Skulls, but what I don't like is the... 3CP just to include it in a list?

 

I agree the whole of Chaos Legions need retweaking, but Black Legion has always been among the worst offenders. Be that as it may, I think 'forcing' Abaddon into the forefront of the list means I have to take advantage of all the 'to hit' stuff I can.... and he's great for that at least.

 

He's a bit of a beatstick too, so I am counting on him hanging around for : While we stand, we fight, or whatever it's called. Unfortunately my second most expensive model is probably... a Defiler, which is sure to get corked in T1. I may have to rethink that. lol

 

LR would be okay, but I spent a lot of 8th edition trying to make them work... just feel they're too expensive, and I have been finding in my 9th edition games, it's all about the primary for chaos. I need feet on the ground. I actually did use 3 Oblits and a Warsmith in a landraider through many trials in 8th. It  wasn't great, but wasn't the worst either. My problem is I'm trying to use Oblits/Termies/Possessed which are all pricey.

 

MoP is something I'm very likely going to take as my 3rd HQ: As you note, great for Oblits, and even with the loss to the Daemonkin Ritualist detachment, I think the MoP lends himself to Possessed well enough (Cursed Earth).

 

You are tempting me with the Lanrdraider. It probably means I could use a Havoc launcher on him, and perhaps... drop a Rhino, but there goes my Defiler as well. 

 

Also in the 'running' is a Helbrute. I've really liked the basic Helbrute, and since Plasma Cannons got Blast, and only overheat on unmodified '1's' , it's really a decent choice for its points cost. There comes this point though where you look at your list, and you think.... 'am I running a bunch of infantry here? Or am I running T7/T8 vehicles?'

 

Thanks for the insight. On a side note I really wish the Lord Of Skulls was easier to get in the list. I don't own one, but I'd like to... However I do own a half painted ... Kytan! 

 

I was a HUGE fan of Chaos Knights when they came out. I literally just ran a weird combo of a Tyrant (Harpoon variant) with 2 Wardogs, and my Black Legion Oblits/Landraider and Havocs. It did surprisingly well sometimes, but now I can't fathom using the Knights. 


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#4
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I like the idea of the Lord of Skulls, but what I don't like is the... 3CP just to include it in a list?

 

I agree the whole of Chaos Legions need retweaking, but Black Legion has always been among the worst offenders. Be that as it may, I think 'forcing' Abaddon into the forefront of the list means I have to take advantage of all the 'to hit' stuff I can.... and he's great for that at least.

 

He's a bit of a beatstick too, so I am counting on him hanging around for : While we stand, we fight, or whatever it's called. Unfortunately my second most expensive model is probably... a Defiler, which is sure to get corked in T1. I may have to rethink that. lol

 

LR would be okay, but I spent a lot of 8th edition trying to make them work... just feel they're too expensive, and I have been finding in my 9th edition games, it's all about the primary for chaos. I need feet on the ground. I actually did use 3 Oblits and a Warsmith in a landraider through many trials in 8th. It  wasn't great, but wasn't the worst either. My problem is I'm trying to use Oblits/Termies/Possessed which are all pricey.

 

MoP is something I'm very likely going to take as my 3rd HQ: As you note, great for Oblits, and even with the loss to the Daemonkin Ritualist detachment, I think the MoP lends himself to Possessed well enough (Cursed Earth).

 

You are tempting me with the Lanrdraider. It probably means I could use a Havoc launcher on him, and perhaps... drop a Rhino, but there goes my Defiler as well. 

 

Also in the 'running' is a Helbrute. I've really liked the basic Helbrute, and since Plasma Cannons got Blast, and only overheat on unmodified '1's' , it's really a decent choice for its points cost. There comes this point though where you look at your list, and you think.... 'am I running a bunch of infantry here? Or am I running T7/T8 vehicles?'

 

Thanks for the insight. On a side note I really wish the Lord Of Skulls was easier to get in the list. I don't own one, but I'd like to... However I do own a half painted ... Kytan! 

 

I was a HUGE fan of Chaos Knights when they came out. I literally just ran a weird combo of a Tyrant (Harpoon variant) with 2 Wardogs, and my Black Legion Oblits/Landraider and Havocs. It did surprisingly well sometimes, but now I can't fathom using the Knights. 

 

Totally agree on the lord of skulls. I think the -3cp is not so bad when you get +2 with Abs but that also means you can't really take another detachment.

 

Speaking of 8th, I had this really amazing possessed bomb list. 15 possessed, 3 Sorcerers (All different marks), MoP, Abs, 2DA, and EC. Use Chosen of the Pantheon on the possessed, buff them with all the spells and Prays. If you manged to get everything off the unit of possessed was -2 to hit, 3++, and a 5+ FnP, +1 to hit and wound, and rerolling EVERTHING in the fight phase. Never actually got to play this list but it was absolutely terrifying in theory.

 

Moving back to 9th, if you're "forcing" Abaddon into a lists I would definitely take some havocs. I've been running a list with 3 squads w 3 Reaper Chaincannons and a Las. The moving a shooting with no -1 is amazing, especially since most of the heavy weapons went down on infantry. I have been toying around with adding some plague marine squads, they're a really reliable unit to have on an objective.

 

Plas brutes are amazing, ran one if 8th and it caused havoc. Crazed is an amazing ability when combined with the plasma cannon, getting it off when it blows up in your face is awesome. 

 

I was one the verge of buying a chaos knight, I opted out because I felt that relying to much on them would be the down fall of my army and now it's impossible to soup with 'em.

 

It's a shame that GW got rid of the Vigilus detchaments, would have been amazing to use the Soulforge pack in an edition that daemon engines were good in.


Edited by Ezekyle_Abaddon, 07 August 2020 - 01:46 AM.

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#5
BrainFireBob

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No love for the Apostle and Council?

Why no termie sorc?

#6
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I know we could relive the successes of 8th... I ran a very similar possessed list in 8th, as well as triple Disco lists that did some work... those days are gone. But I do actually believe we will see some form of the Vigilus rules spill into our 9th Ed codex. 
 

I don’t mean to say I’m literally forcing myself to play Abaddon... I mean I always used him in 8th for better or worse. I just mean I’m going to force him to be an aggressive piece if the offence, and he will be getting his hands dirty. 
 

I always tried to use Havocs too. I actually used the Dev battery to decent results in one of my last 8th Ed tournaments. I am still using a squad of Chaincannons but I dropped my missile squad. The chaincannons do okay with Cacophony as I wait for Oblits to deep strike. Havocs usually due after one turn of shooting for me. 3 squads of Chaincannons has that overload affect that can work though. I may try 2 and one squad of Oblits. 


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#7
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No love for the Apostle and Council?

Why no termie sorc?

That was extremely common for me in 8th.. I still use council with A Sorc, but that’s it. I don’t think a DA is currently worth that third HQ spot for me.  Loyalist Chaplains are just miles better. I have opted for direct offensive characters... the MoP will be more utilitarian with Possessed and Oblits. 
 

Termie Sorc is good, an again something I always used in 8th with Traitors Bane, but in ninth I’ve preferentially having my Sorc on the table T1. 
 

I mean nothing is set in stone here, but I’m trying to learn from my games so far in ninth. I really feel like more than 3 characters is quite difficult to protect in ninth. 


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#8
BrainFireBob

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My big hope is that 9th sees jump packs for Dark Apostles and Exalted Champs.

Imagine a world where Haarkon isn't complete garbage, or a Dark Apostle can both keep up *and* chant prayers

Edited by BrainFireBob, 07 August 2020 - 02:04 AM.

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#9
Relic

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After hearing a podcast I suggest berserkers over possessed as someone made the point a couple of 5 man zerker squads in rhinos is good for jumping out and clearing an objective and getting lots of movement out of their wonky assault rules to score the mission.

My key units are sorcerer, berserkers, chainaxe terminators, the humble rhino and obliterators.

Noise marines could be very good for playing the mission. As they die they can kill units in opponents turn to deny points. Currently I use a chain havoc squad for clearing infantry but I could be convinced off of them to be honest!

The downside to the army is that obsec is very important and ours aren't great at all.
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#10
Snazzy

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First off, i want to say kudos to Prot for sticking with Abbaddon and our less than stellar Legion.  It is so easy to cut and run.

 

The downside to the army is that obsec is very important and ours aren't great at all.

 

The thing is, everyone thinks this about their own faction.  I've so far found success going heavy on CSM because opponents are not running Troops as anything other than a tax.  CSM hit a nice meaty middle mark of not being overly expensive, fairly tough and possessing some abilities to help them get to objectives and survive on them.  For me, Sorcerers using Warptime is a must.  Our infantry can double move, double Advance, and double tap their Rapid Fire guns.  A 6 inch footslogger becomes a 12+2d6 footslogger that can still get 5+ FNP, or -1 to hit from other psyker powers.

 

The other ace in the hole i've found is taking Mark of, and Eye of Tzeench.  Smite Spamming is harsh.


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#11
Prot

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After hearing a podcast I suggest berserkers over possessed as someone made the point a couple of 5 man zerker squads in rhinos is good for jumping out and clearing an objective and getting lots of movement out of their wonky assault rules to score the mission.

My key units are sorcerer, berserkers, chainaxe terminators, the humble rhino and obliterators.

Noise marines could be very good for playing the mission. As they die they can kill units in opponents turn to deny points. Currently I use a chain havoc squad for clearing infantry but I could be convinced off of them to be honest!

The downside to the army is that obsec is very important and ours aren't great at all.

 

- That's similar to my own theme, but I am in the air about Berzerkers. I think everyone is anti-Possessed because their strongest builds were chopped at the knees. You wouldn't want a big squad, you can't make them -2 to hit. You can't take all the buff HQ's, etc, etc... the Detachments are gone, etc.

 

The thing I don't like about Berzerkers is it's quite hard to fight twice with them, and then they're gone. Declaring all targets they may hits is riskier. 

 

That said, I think they are okay. In my games they have been 'okay'. But I will say part of my Possessed initiative comes from the facts 1) I love my MoP model, and 2) I have a mini-project that's been on going which is basically a minor kit bash of new chaos marines + the old Possessed box. So I'd like to see it through. Rhino's are cool for sure. Worth keeping behind with Havoc launchers if you can spare the points. I like them.

 

I really don't know anything about Noise Marines. I have a few from the 'old' days. I'm hoping for new kits.

 

 

First off, i want to say kudos to Prot for sticking with Abbaddon and our less than stellar Legion.  It is so easy to cut and run.

 

The downside to the army is that obsec is very important and ours aren't great at all.

 

The thing is, everyone thinks this about their own faction.  I've so far found success going heavy on CSM because opponents are not running Troops as anything other than a tax.  CSM hit a nice meaty middle mark of not being overly expensive, fairly tough and possessing some abilities to help them get to objectives and survive on them.  For me, Sorcerers using Warptime is a must.  Our infantry can double move, double Advance, and double tap their Rapid Fire guns.  A 6 inch footslogger becomes a 12+2d6 footslogger that can still get 5+ FNP, or -1 to hit from other psyker powers.

 

The other ace in the hole i've found is taking Mark of, and Eye of Tzeench.  Smite Spamming is harsh.

 

 

- Thank you Snazzy!  

 

I do not know if I share your findings with troops though. I have found the CSM to be lethargic, but other armies (including my own) benefit greatly from massed troops: GSC/Nids, Custodes, all NuMarines, Astra, Necrons, Grey Knights, Thousand Sons, ... all great troop armies. 

 

In my findings the bad ones are: CSM, Eldar, Tau(which don't leave their zone anyway), AdMech, 

 

I do agree Warptime is critical. I never leave home without my Jetpack Sorc. My problem is trying not to eat up CP by using multiple detachments, because I use too much CP for relics and Warlord traits as it is!

 

I am curious about how you are double advancing, double tapping rapid fire guns? What kind of squads do you use? Perhaps I should try this? Plasma guns?


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#12
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I think berzerkers are min squads to jump out of a rhino and clear an objective/gain extra movement and then they die. Although very point efficient for their combat stats I don't think they have made their points back for me in all but one game of 9th, however they have traded for extra primary/secondary points. Due to the new combat rules as you pointed out trying to use them to go deep into enemy lines clearing multiple units does not work anymore.

I think possessed likely make a fine counter attack unit in a rhino sitting behind an Los blocking piece of terrain midboard.

Regarding the sorcerer by the way, I am shaving a few points by using the terminator version. Jump pack is legit for the extra mobility, albeit a bit easier to target down by snipers and the like.

My list is currently something like a smash jump pack Lord (rapacious talons and flames of spite), MOP, sorcerer in terminator armour, 3x5 berzerkers, 10x chainaxe terminators, 3x 10 cultists, chainhavoc squad, 2x 3 oblits and 2x rhinos with havoc launchers (rides for berzerkers and chainhavocs).

Not fully sold on the MOP over just another sorcerer but that could be because I struggle to get off cursed earth consistently!

#13
BrainFireBob

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I agree on MoP- I think double sorcs is the way to go if not taking DA.

#14
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I am curious about how you are double advancing, double tapping rapid fire guns? What kind of squads do you use? Perhaps I should try this? Plasma guns?

 

 

I use 10 man squads of CSM with 2 Plasmaguns, champion with Combi-Plasma.  The unit Advances in the Movement Phase, has Warptime cast on them, Advances again.  Then, in the shooting phase they can shoot their Bolters and Plasmas using Black Crusaders, our Legion trait.


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#15
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I agree on MoP- I think double sorcs is the way to go if not taking DA.

 

I struggle to justify a DA without it being a babysitter for Cultists.  They are vastly inferior to Sorcerers.  You can't reroll the prayer die, whereas you can reroll a Psyker test, you can't Deny the Witch, no Stratagems to get more out of them, mediocre in melee, fixed melee weapon option.  Dynamite for large Cultist blobs when using Illusory Supplication and a Ld10 aura.  But, big Cultist blobs seem to be dead with the ppm hike and Blast weapons.


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#16
Prot

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The termie Sorc is my go to normally. The MoP is always swapped in for me if I play possessed and Oblits. 
 

I am on the fence with this because I want to use cool, fun stuff while trying to make this work. I have a second working list with just one small squad of Berzerkers in a rhino. 
 

I’d like to try the Landraider again. In 8th it was a bust but it seems to be reasonably costed right now, and with obscuring it might last longer now. We play with lots of terrain. 
 

As far as the Apostle, I just find it wasteful with only 3 HQs. The Sorc is just better utility and we don’t have near the apostle content that loyalist chaplains have. 
 

Relic, I like the list. The core is similar to my own. 


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#17
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Regarding the DA I am on the fence - I think the sorcerer took an equal hit on the command re-roll for psychic tests as rolling both dice again makes a perils more likely.

The DA gives you a fairly reliable power and on smaller boards the lack of a bike/jump pack isn't as bad. For Space Marines the chaplain is probably better then the librarian, however for us we don't get the chaplain boosts SM get outside of the dark disciples. Still I think they can have a place.

That 3rd HQ slot in a battalion is hard to pick, I take it we need one re-roll aura character, one sorcerer as warptime is clutch and then something else. Currently I am on MOP due to my build as he lets the Lord go smash things with other mobile units whilst the MOP provides that re-roll aura to oblits. That is quite build specific though! A 2nd sorcerer or Lord if not running Abaddon sounds sensible to me.

Finally I want to mention that Chaos Bikes are pricey but a solid unit I think. I like the big unit of 9 with additional combi bolter on the champion and mark of slaanesh for clearing infantry. I could see a few min squads for hopping around on objectives as a thing as well.
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#18
Snazzy

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The MOP can also swap a Maleific power for a Dark Hereticus one using Chaos Familiar.  The MOP's aura alone is worthy of inclusion.  


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#19
Snazzy

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I had Grav-Amp Devastators Drop Pod onto me twice this weekend.  Really reconsidering the DA for Illusory Supplication.


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#20
Brom MKIV

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My bro plays double podded grab devs. They're painful. My main strategy is to limit their LZs as much as possible and then tag them and their pods in combat. If I can't shoot them off. As AL I can blast them on arrival depending on what is in proximity but still it's a nasty setup.

#21
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The problem I have with the DA now is he’s too many points for a one trick pony that has to be on the table T1. The Sorc can do similar and more. The only way you don’t get to use miasma is if you can’t go first. I used to default to the DA and cronies but I just feel like he’s a wasted HQ. Especially compared to loyalist Chaplains. 
 

we still get a lot out of Rhinos and there are other ways to get -1 to hit. I’m just trying to make my Battalion work as I hate blowing VP on detachments if I can help it. 


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#22
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I think ideally you want to screen the grav devs out turn one using chaff and terrain or have your valuable stuff in a transport or reserves. Fact is that Grav Devs are busted for their points right now.

I am having some success with my battalion as it does not have much fat I think which you need to do as CSM are likely a mid tier codex right now. In particular that core of 6 oblits, smash Lord, two sorcerers and a screen of 10 chainaxe terminators in front of the characters/oblits feels like a good base of a list with the rest filling in some specific roles like playing objectives (cultists/berzerkers/rhino's) or clearing chaff (havocs/terminators).

I think soup still works if you wish to go that route but I prefer mono myself for now and not dropping CP on an extra detachment as I burn through CP quickly.

Edited by Relic, 13 August 2020 - 06:50 AM.


#23
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Black Legion should (from a design/background stand point) imho should never have to soup. They are the ones with the resources, significant leadership and structure (if you can call it that - but driving fear into the hearts of your middle management seems to work!)

 

I agree, we have to block out. I listened to a podcast where a 'playtester' is stating point changes went up for some units not based on ability, but more in line with what GW feels an army should use to build their roster. In this case you still have to side with Cultists. Cultists are good for nearly nothing.... but perhaps this leads to better secondary choices with 'Actions' left to cultists, and blocking out as well. 

 

I think Rhinos again do okay here. They can sit on objectives in your zone, block out your backline, and grab you Primaries. This is in fact how I am using them.

 

As I write this I'm about 20ish games into 9th with various armies combined. What I feel is we are still -decent- at the Primary misison whereas some armies really suffer here, so I think we should really use that fact for our gain.

 

Secondly for... secondaries (no pun intended) I have skipped Action types entirely. When I first started playing 9th I tried them. Warpcraft in particular. I'm not sure if I just don't understand it, but I can't see a Psyker sitting on an objective (or mid table!) and just doing nothing but casting a 'fictional' power at approximately WC4 and sitting there twiddling his thumbs. Same goes for 'raising a banner' or whatever... my units are usually too important, and trying for board control.

 

Maybe I will change my mind in the future but for right now I prefer to be the aggressor and grab primary points. 

 

I have used Termies in almost every game of 9th with Black Legion however if ours gain a wound as suggested, how much better is that going to be for us? Quite a bit I think, especially if you're an old school nut like me trying to use Helbrutes, and other long dead units. 

 

Some of these discrepancies... like Grav Devs for example, we have to keep in mind a lot of balance is yet to come. If marines lose "gravatic amplification" that alone changes things a great deal. We will see further balance changes in the next months for sure. I mean just look at all the FAQ's already.

 

With GW trying to 'steer' us to marines, I still don't like the idea because our armies traditionally are quite 'elite' in nature, causing smaller model counts. We have countered that for many years by throwing cultists in little, or large blocks of units accordingly.

 

Without massive changes to vanilla csm marine troops, I still don't see that changing. My meta is pretty tough. Most of the guys use extremely tuned versions of their armies. I can't afford to make lists too soft, or I'll get tabled turn 1.

 

This week I don't know who I am playing (we do random pair ups) but I really want to challenge one of our Tau players as they are mopping up here. Sure my loyalist marines are very good right now, but I keep in mind GW wants to sell Primaris at least for the next few months. But I wonder if my Black Legion would have a chance in such a match up? Keep in mind no list tailoring. We treat our bigger weekly get togethers as 'tournament' standard, all comer lists. 


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#24
Relic

Relic

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Why wouldn't CSM be able to square up to T'au? In my opinion they may not even be the strongest shooting faction after facing marines and Guard in 9th. I don't think T'au play the missions great. Riptides, farsight crisis suits and commanders all have great firepower but the hike to shield drones drops the army durability. With terrain rules in 9th I think the common wisdom is currently T'au may struggle.

#25
Subtle Discord

Subtle Discord

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If you anything about Prot's local scene, it's very competitive, and if any group can find a way to make a weaker faction compete it seems like his is the sort to pull it off.


"The old galaxy is dying, and the new galaxy struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."

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