The last day or so has heralded the time after a Codex drop when I begin to think about lists, and I've had one list in particular bashing around my head. No it's not the Typhus Zombie horde. I'll come on to that later, after I've finished the unit analysis.
Today though it's the turn of Abaddon and his Chosen. So I'm going to dive straight in with that. Starting with the prospective Troops choice, as I always do.
Chosen are essentially Chaos Marines with +1 attack and leadership, access to lots of special weapons, and a highly inflated points cost. So, comparing them to the rubric of durability and points, they are just as durable as standard Chaos Marines for objective grabbing with the only up side being the improved leadership, although you have access to this on the Marines. And as for the points cost, they're more expensive. They're slightly more fighty if someone gets into your backfield but anything that gets into your backfield will be something that can be handled by normal Marines. Don't take them as Troops, they are not useful.
The only use for it being that if you push them forwards they will be able to score off your opponents objectives. But honestly, how often do you have enough time to get up to your opponents deployment zone, push them off an objective with a power armoured close combat unit, and secure it, ensuring that you can't be knocked off in return? Not often.
Now, how are they as an elites choice?
This is a little more difficult as I don't have much to compare them with, as everything else so far I've really said, take as a Troops choice to, or completely disregarded.
The key difference between Chosen and Marines is that Chosen will cause more damage when they get into combat. You have access to more special weapons, you have more attacks and a higher leadership. So, they hit harder, but are more expensive.
So I trundle up to the enemy lines in my Land Raider, I'm not going to be going on foot as they're still only as tough as Marines and a Rhino is essentially going on foot but giving away first blood in the process, because they're so fragile. So Land Raider it is.
Anyway, I come up to the enemy lines, dive out of my Land Raider with my tooled up close combat Chosen, and you will smash apart the first unit that you hit. The problem then comes that your expensive, hard hitting Marines with an enormous target on their foreheads are now likely to be in the open, and are going to get shot to pieces before they get to charge again, as your opponent has seen how much damage they can cause, and will move away with their closer units and use the shooting that they will have brought in the current edition to blow the Chosen away, and with them the large number of points that you invested into them, and was the Land Raider really worth it t get them into combat?
You can probably do a better job with tooled up Chaos Marines, they will do the business but not as quickly, remaining locked in combat, and if they are released into the open by the enemy unit they're cheap enough not to matter too much if they are killed. So, I'm not a particularly big fan of Chosen.
Now, Abaddon is a beast, he's a little cheaper than he was in the previous Codex, which is good, but the problem that I have is that I can't help comparing him to Typhus. I'm going to break this down.
Typhus is 35pts cheaper than Abaddon. Typhus unlocks Plague Marines as Troops, Abaddon allows you to unlock Chosen. Typhus lets you take Zombies, Abaddon doesn't. Typhus is slightly more durable on a wound to wound basis than Abaddon. Typhus is a psyker. Typhus has Blight Grenades.
The only guy in the Chaos Codex to have Eternal Warrior. Has all of the Marks of Chaos. Unlike Typhus, his Warlord trait isn't utterly terrible. Can choose between 2 different weapons.
I'm not saying that Abaddon is terrible, he's a close combat monster. The forcing to challenge doesn't help him but then again a lot of the time enemies will challenge him anyway to minimize damage. What I'm saying is why would you take Abaddon when you could have Typhus?