Abaddon the Despoiler, former first Captain of the Sons of Horus, survived his father's failure to overthrow the Emperor during the Horus Heresy. Abaddon renamed the Sons of Horus, leading them under his banner on repeated crusades to attempt to do what his father could not, conquerer the Imperium. Arks of Omen is the next phase of the Warhammer 40,000 ongoing narrative and begins with Arks of Omen Abaddon, and begins Abaddon's next attempt to do what his father could not. In this article, we'll look at what's in the book and the new 40K game style.
What Are The Arks of Omen?
Arks of Omen are a series of Warhammer 40,000 books that along with containing details of the next stage of the 40K narrative, will also include new rules for playing, focused on the included narrative campaign.
The Arks themselves are great space hulks, drawn out of the warp by Abaddon and his new ally, the chaos demigod of inventors, engineers, scientists, and artisans, Vashtorr, who is the focus of the third Arks of Omen book. Abaddon and Vashtorr have twisted these space hulks from their floating mass of dead ships, into powerful frigates that Abaddon filled with his warriors and sent out in search of powerful key fragments, that would see the dreams of Abaddon and Vashtorr fulfilled.
What New Rules Are In Arks of Omen Abaddon?
Games Workshop has said that following player feedback, there won't be any new rules in Arks of Omen for standard games, instead, in Arks of Omen Abaddon, there are the rules for a whole new game type, Boarding Actions.
Boarding Actions take place in the close confines of the twisted corridors of space hulks, using the walled scenery recently found in Kill Team into the Dark and Kill Team Shadowvault. 2 sets of the Kill Team scenery are required to play a standard boarding action game, so if you own both of those Kill Team sets, you already have all the scenery you'll need. If you don't, the upcoming Warhammer 40,000 Boarding Action Terrain set will include all the scenery you need to play in a single box.
How Are The Boarding Actions Missions?
Boarding Actions completely change the way that 40K is played. You're limited to 500 points including 1 HQ, and up to 3 Troop and 3 Elite choices. So no vehicles, monsters, jump packs, bikers, or flyers. There are also no Warlord Traits, Relics, or Strategems, other than those presented in the Boarding Action rules.
As you would expect, boarding actions are fast-paced, tight, action-filled battles. There are several new and slightly modified actions with overwatch, allowing a unit to fire after movement or when a hatch is opened, set to defend, which adds one to a unit's hit rolls when in melee, secure site, used to capture objectives and operate hatchway, to open the door units in the scenery walls. Nearby enemy models can resist opening and closing hatches, which results in a roll-off adding the strength of the two opposing fighters as they fight over the door.
Arks of Omen Abaddon also includes 9 boarding action missions, with pre-set maps, and a key for the boarding action scenery pieces. Those who've used the scenery in Kill Team will know it takes a little while to set up, but the scenery goes together well and is firm once set.
What Are Our Final Thoughts On The Warhammer 40K Arks of Omen Abaddon?
Arks of Omen is clearly leading up to something big in the 40K narrative. The first 3 books have been revealed with huge named characters and the fourth set to be xenos-focused. The narrative presented in Arks of Omen Abaddon really spotlights the focus of the boarding actions game type, with warriors of all races fighting in the arks, as they attempt to thwart Abaddon and Vashtorr's plans.
Boarding actions themselves are a lot of fun and having been playing a lot of Kill Team Into The Dark, it's great to see the style expand into the full 40K game. The points and troop choice limits really change up force selection and brings the focus into short punchy firepower and melee. We can't wait to see what the rest of the campaign brings, and look forward to some faction-specific rules for boarding actions.
Should I Buy Warhammer 40K Arks of Omen Abaddon?
Arks of Omen Abbadon is split between the narrative of introducing the Arks of Omen campaign and the core Boarding Actions rules. If you don't want either of these, then Arks of Omen Abaddon probably isn't for you. But if you've played some Kill Team Into the Dark, and want to step up to full squads, or if you want a fantastic new way to play 40K, or if you simply want to catch up on the ongoing narrative, then this book is a must-buy. It looks to be a great series, with each book expanding the narrative and the rules.
The copy of Warhammer 40K Arks of Omen Abaddon used to produce this review was provided by Games Workshop.