This codex supplement covers the Chaos Space Marines led by Abaddon the Despoiler, the Black Legion. The book contains a background summary, miniature gallery, army-specific rules, warlord traits, relics, formations, army-specific missions, and 6 unique tactical objectives.
The first part of the book covers the background of the army and goes into great detail regarding Abaddon’s previous 12 Black Crusades. The storyline in this book is excellent and gives a great overview of what the Black Legion have been up to since their involvement in the Horus Heresy (as the Sons of Horus). The storyline info is probably strongest part of this book and is a great read for anyone who has been playing Chaos Space Marines.
Being a Black Legion player, I was most interested in the new formations and rules content. The formations aren’t horrible, but they aren’t going to blow your socks off either. There are a few interesting ones like the Cyclopia Cabal (Chaos version of the Librarius Conclave) and the Hounds of Abaddon (Khorne-themed warband). I was able to test out the Hounds of Abaddon last night in a game against Imperial Guard and Blood Angels. This formation allows you to run and assault in the same turn once a game. It also gives all the units in the formation a free Mark of Khorne and +1 Str on assaults in which they roll 8 or more on their charge. This formation was a ton of fun to use and I enjoyed trying it out on the tabletop. Some of the other formations don’t really make a whole lot of sense to me from a design standpoint but I will still try them all out eventually.
The rest of the rules content seems fine but the formations are the reason why most players are probably going to end up grabbing this book. I found it surprising that we didn’t get a “Decurion” build within the book but that makes me think that we will see one very soon (maybe at the end of the Fenris campaign!).
The story-line in this book is great and is entertaining for both players of this army and anyone who has an interest in the background of Warhammer 40k.
Rules Content: B+
There are a ton of formations in this book that give Black Legion players new ways of playing their army. Unfortunately the lack of a Decurion-equivalent and somewhat lackluster relics make it seem like it is playing second fiddle to their Imperial counterparts. This book released on the same date as the Angels of Death Codex and if you look at the two books side by side, there is no comparison on who got the short end of the stick.
The layout and artwork in the book is excellent.
This book is a step in the right direction for Chaos Space Marine players but the army still needs a lot of attention to make it feel like it is being given its proper due. This is a very fun read and well worth picking up. At $33 (or £20) MSRP it is really great value as well!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian is an avid gamer who plays at TJ Collectibles in Milford, MA.
His hobby club enjoys playing Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40k, and a bunch of other tabletop games.