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15/07/2013

Tactica: Abaddon the Despoiler


Abaddon is my boy. He is the meanest close combat special character in the game and choppy choppy is his business. Question is how do you get the best out of Abaddon?

The Despoiler

Abaddon is the Warmaster of Chaos and as you would expect has a profile to match; WS7, BS5, S4, T5, W4, I6, A4 LD10 2+ armour save.

Abaddon has been blessed by all Chaos Gods and has all their marks, they are all included in the profile, though note that Mark of Khorne gives rage and counter-attack special rules. In addition his invulnerable save is 4+ thanks to Mark of Tzeentch.

Abaddon has the Black Crusader warlord trait which gives preferred enemy: Space Marines to all units within 12".

In addition Abaddon has champion of chaos, eternal warrior and veterans of the long war special rule - this guy really doesn't like Space Marines!

Abaddon is armed with two chaos artefacts, both of which are special weapons (so gets the +1 attack from having two special weapons):

Drach'nyen is his funky daemon weapon (gives an extra D6 attack - do not roll a 1 though, Abaddon will be WS5 then and takes a wound no armour saves) sword which gives +1 strength and is AP2.

Talon of Horus is the weapon taken from the dead Primarch of the Luna Wolves, it gives x2 strength, AP3 and has the shred special rule. It also has a twin-linked bolter and Blood Angels have the hatred rule against Abaddon, they never did get over Horus killing their Daddy.

As a nice bonus Abaddon makes Chosen troops :)

Another cool little bonus is that Abaddon cannot be changed into a Prince or Spawn as per the FAQ. It may seem uncool about the Prince, but it is a blessing in disguise as at least Abaddon can join other units and is small enough to block LOS to him. A Prince will just get blasted by krak missiles etc and will have a hard time trying to find LOS blocking terrain.

Let the galaxy burn!

Recently I did this article: Abaddon the Despoiler challenges you! which looked at Abaddon squaring off against some of the Imperium's and xenos mightiest heroes. To cut a long story short, only Lysander managed to cause some damage while all other loyalist scum fell like wheat to a scythe. Only the Swarmlord was triumph over Abaddon and it was possible a Necron Overlord with mind shackles could do the job as well, of course depending on dice rolls.

Ultimately Abaddon's downfall would come from within his traitorous brethren; a Daemon Prince with the black mace or a Bloodthirster (or any greater daemon) would beat Abaddon to a pulp.

So, if Abaddon can stand up and destroy the Imperium's characters then normal infantry units are just going to get busted.

Tactics

Abaddon is a close combat death machine and wants to get into the fight a.s.a.p. As Abaddon is in terminator armour this can be difficult to get Abaddon about over the table top.

Option 1 - Deep strike Abaddon on his own or with a Chaos Terminator unit. The Terminators will soak up wounds and then Abaddon can split off and do his own thing.

The downside so this is you are at the mercy of reserve rolls, so you would need to invest in an aegis defence line with comms relay. You still have the issue of deep strike scatter etc and even if Abaddon arrived turn 2 the earliest you could assault is turn 3.

Ideal targets would be camping units such as troops holding objectives, units behind enemy aegis, Devastators, Long Fangs, Dark Reapers, static tanks such as Predators, artillery etc. Abaddon can hammer all of these units easily in close combat or if coming in with Chaos Terminators the Terminators could go Termicide route (three combi meltas) and slag a vehicle and then Abaddon goes his own way. Having Abaddon and a unit of Terminators patrolling the enemies deployment zone is no laughing matter for your opponent.

Option 2 - Take a Chaos Land Raider and throw Abaddon inside. You could add a unit of Chaos Terminators, however this would be making this setup cost even more, plus the Land Raider keeps Abaddon protected so you won't really need a unit to take wounds.

The Land Raider would surge forward with armour support i.e Vindicators and once close enough open up and let Abaddon unleash. The lascannons from the Land Raider can open up transport vehicles and Abaddon can get stuck into them. Of course you have to take note of the fact that the Chaos Land Raider is a bit poo :(

Option 3 - As mentioned above, Abaddon makes Chosen troops, so you could bung Chosen in Rhinos and have Abaddon move between the Rhinos using them to block LOS.

This way units will make the most out of Abaddon's pref enemy: Space Marines bubble and Abaddon will make an effective counter assault unit. It may take Abaddon until turn 3 to get into close combat, though that is about the time as deep striking and you do not have the cost of an expensive Land Raider.

Out of all the options above I would consider option 3. This way you get the use out of the pref enemy bubble, which itself if of course situational, but you do not need to invest in an ADL comms relay and you do not need to hope for a good scatter. If done right, it is possible Abaddon could be in assault turn 2 as the two forces meet up to each other.

Warmaster loves his friends

Like any other unit, Abaddon needs support. Unfortunately his slow speed means cool choices such as Chaos Spawn or a Brand Bike Lord are out the question. Luckily Abaddon has a few options:

Chaos Sorcerer - Take a Chaos Sorcerer in terminator armour with mastery level 3. With good rolls the Sorcerer could get iron arm on the biomancy table and could be T7, and as you know the majority toughness rule would make the tag team of Sorcerer and Abaddon T7! Add in that the Sorcerer has the force weapon to instagib anything the talon cannot cope with i.e monstrous creatures.

Daemon Prince - Ok I know that Abaddon cannot join the Prince, but a Prince can add target saturation. Take a winged Prince with the black mace and now you have two uber nasty close combat units. What does the opponent shoot at - the flying hard to hit nasty Prince who will mash up anything and anything around it or Abaddon and try and get slay the warlord? Choices choices.

Typhus - Typhus is another HQ in terminator armour and basically can fill the role of the Chaos Sorcerer minus biomancy. You also get the added bonus of having Plague Zombies as troops, which would go nicely with units of Chosen.

Possessed - The only close combat unit on foot in Chaos Marine form besides Chaos Terminators. Their random abilities are not too bad and they can act as cheap wound takers for Abaddon. If you want them them in a Land Raider with Abaddon and spill out splitting the units and creating some serious mess.

Abaddon is tricky to use, but if your meta is Space Marine heavy then Abaddon will pay for himself with the benefits he brings. Abaddon, how do you use yours?