For the Warmaster, part 1 – Rules, Traits and Artifacts

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Bow down before Abaddon, Warmaster of the forces of Chaos, unchallenged leader of the Black Legion and the greatest spin-doctor of the far future. Of all the qualities Abaddon hold none is greater than his uncanny Orwellian ability to portray any failure as a victory. The man cannot be defeated. After twelve failed Black Crusades Abaddon still commands the Black Legion and its unrivalled might, the single greatest force in the galaxy. Who but Abaddon could pull that off?

Given his track record of defeat and failure it is a feat of epic proportions. Yes, for ten thousand years have Abaddon alone thought the striving warlords of Chaos that the path to victory can only be achieved by mounting crushing defeat upon crushing defeat. When commanding the forces of the Chaos Space Marines there is no such thing as losing, it is all a part of the bigger scheme of things. Your enemy might rejoice and revel in their perceived victory on the battlefield but you know, yes you know, that they’re only falling deeper into your trap. Soon the ultimate victory will be delivered.

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If you, like me, continue to play Chaos Space Marines despite their dire state, lackluster rules and underwhelming battlefield performance, always trying to usher in that ultimate victory (or just a win or two once in a blue moon) you probably fallen victim to the Curse of Abaddon. Can the Black Legion Codex supplement help you in any way?

I picked up the revisited Black Legion book the other day and thought I give it a run down. The background is, as expected, all about Abaddon but it is a good read. I haven’t read the old Black Legion book but I believe it is the same text. The layout, art and pictures are all the same high quality as any other publication from Games Workshop. I like the book, it is well worth checking out. It should have been hard back thou.

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They have done a good job capturing the mood and feel of the Black Legion and all the Black Crusades. After reading the book I’m actually compelled to add some black to my Chaos Marines to show their allegiance to the Warmaster. This is something I didn’t expect at all. Well done, Games Workshop!

The rules are still not the focus of the book but they are well worth checking out, especially now with the new formations added. The revisited book has a few minor but important changes regarding the rules (I believe it is changes to the rules anyway). The rules section is still no more than two pages including warlord traits and artifacts.

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Rules of the Black Legion
The traitor Space Marines of the Black Legion are Veterans of the Long War, as such they need to take that rule if they can. Veterans of the Long War is not the best special rule out there but the extra Leadership and Hatred (Space Marines) isn’t completely without virtue. Chosen are troops too, because the Black Legion is all about expensive elite units. But the clever part about the Black Legion is that you can count any Chaos Space Marine detachment and formation as a Black Legion one. This could prove quite neat once the new CSM codex drop (it will, one day, promise).

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The Black Legion may use Warlord Traits and Tactical Objectives from both the Supplement and the CSM codex. Again, it can prove good, not game-breaking good but good. And it doesn’t stop there (and this very important); Black Legion characters that can take Chaos Artefacts can take Black Legion artefacts in addition to the artifacts in the CSM codex. In addition. You mix it up any way you like. Pretty cool.

Warlord Traits
The Warlord Traits of the Black Legion are a bit underwhelming. Yeah, that is probably the most accurate description of them. If you play Space Marines you might want roll on the Black Legion table (but probably not). Luckily you can choose to roll on the CSM and rulebook ones. Back to the traits in this supplement:
Black Crusader – The warlord creates a 12″ preferred enemy (space marines) bubble. Great if you play against Space Marines. Worthless if you don’t.
Eye of the Gods – The warlord can reroll Chaos Boons. It would have been pretty good if it had been an army wide ability.
Gift of Balefire – It’s a one shot flamer with soul blaze. Not a heavy flamer, not ap3 or not anything that would actually make it good but a one use only flamer. The worst of the bunch.
Unholy Fortitude – The warlord gain It will not die. Decent.
Soul Eater – Melee attacks have the instant death rule on a To Wound roll of six. Pretty good if you bring a Daemon Weapon.
Chosen of Abaddon – The warlord creates a 12″ Stubborn bubble. Quite useful as Black Legion is all about scores of infantry. Stubborn Ld 9/10 solves some of the leadership issues of the CSM.

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Chaos Artefacts of the Black Legion
Be warned, most of the Black Legion artefacts are still too expensive for what they do. Some of them suffer from the general chaos design fault: every step forward requires one step back. Paying the points is never enough.
The Crucible of Lies (25) – Take -1T to gain reroll 1s on you invulnerable save. What? No. If you want to run the awesome cool Gaunt Summoner model (as a non-space marine sorcerer) in your army, this artefact might have a place.
The Eye of Night (75) – One use only large blast with ignores cover and Haywire Maelstrom. Vehicles under the template suffer 1D3 pens. It’s good but not that good, especially since it is ap4. For that price you would want to shot it more than once. It can have its uses but don’t expect too much from it.
The Hand of Darkness (50) – Sacrifice all close combat attacks to get one chance at kill whoever you hit. S*2, ap1, armourbane, fleshbane, instant death. It costs too much really but otherwise pretty cool.
Last Memory of the Yuranthos (30) – Your sorcerer gain an extra ML for only five points extra and can thus bring a ML4 psyker. In addition you get the Sunburst spell and the ability to overcharging it. Increase the range by making it WC2 (12″) or WC3 (18″). Great! Only problem is that if you overcharge the spell and peril, you die. No rolls, no saves. Still a decent artefact.
The Skull of Ker’ngar (40) – You gain Adamantium Will and Eternal Warrior. Not bad at all.
The Spineshiver Blade (30) – A daemon weapon with the profil of a power sword. You get +1 initiative too. Pretty good and not too expensive.

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That’s all for this time. A look at the formations coming up next.

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