On Abaddon two groups of humans: the Commonwealth & the Satellite City-States war over the a precious resource called Feronium. These crystals are highly sought after. These two groups fight against each other by using giant bio-mech suits.
In the desolate wasteland two to four players will fight for Feronium. Abaddon can be played by players ages fourteen to adult & may take forty-five minutes to an hour to play. Play time is dependent on what mission scenario you play.
Abaddon comes with thirty-two miniatures representing each of the four Links that each player will use during their missions. Also included are sixteen battle dice & ten activation dice.
During a players turn they will be able to perform six different phases.
First a player may place their Lock-On Relay-Piece onto a grid sector with an enemy unit. For the duration of that round, their units have a “Lock-On” that grid sector. Any of their units that are engaged with the opponents unit in that grid, they will add +1 to their battle roll. If a player forgets to place their Lock-On piece after they roll their activation dice, then no sector may be locked onto.
Next a player will roll their activation dice. These D6 dice allow the player to draw additional Weapon System Cards, command various Links, & to command a variety of weapons.
After the player rolls the activation dice, they will move on to the Order Units phase. The player who rolled will place the appropriate command dice next to the appropriate unit to command them to move & battle. Multiple commands can be given to each of the Links. For example, if a player rolls three Heavy Link dice, then that player may command the Heavy Link to move three times but only to attack once.
After deciding which Links will move the active player will move those chosen Links the distance that is listed on the Links stat list. Units may move orthogonally or diagonally up to it’s full movement value. Units may not move through terrain or another sector occupied by another unit. After all units are moved then the active player will move to the battle phase.
There are two types of combat. There is ranged combat & close combat. Units that are at least a distance of one sector away are considered to be engaged in ranged combat, while adjacent units in combat are considered to be in close combat. Weapon System cards will be used for ranged combat while close combat does not.
Ranged combat will take on two different forms; line-of-sight or indirect combat. In line-of-sight combat, units must follow two rules, the attacking unit must have proper range & perfect line-of-sight to the enemy unit. A Weapon System target card must be played for this type of combat.
When in indirect combat players do not need line-of-sight. The attacking player will have to use cards like Smart Bomb, Doomsday Bolt, & Long Range Bombardment. These cards all need range. If a player decides to use Doomsday Bolt, then they must remember to keep a command die after rolling for activation.
After the attacking player finishes activating his Links for combat, then the opposing player will have a chance to respond to each of the Weapon System cards that are used for line-of-sight combat. Opposing player will play one Weapon System card. If a unit is target by multiple units, then that unit may only respond to one attacking unit.
Next players will resolve combat. Depending on which combat is being used, players will resolve by rolling dice for attack or for defense. If players are in close combat & a player rolls a “1” on their die then the opposing unit takes a critical hit. Units in combat that are only using a shield can not inflict a critical hit. When a player takes a critical hit they will draw a card from the Wildfire deck. Some Wildfire cards will require a player to place a Wildfire marker on the base of the affected unit.
Once all combat is resolved, the next player will start their turn.
Victory is decided on the objective in the mission log. Some missions will end when a certain number of units are destroyed, when a player receives a certain amount of power crystals, or players will play to a certain amount of victory points.
I love a good card driven miniatures game. I haven’t played all of the scenarios, but the ones I did play, I have to say were a lot of fun to play. Abaddon is in my opinion a mech version of Memoir ’44.
I’m a fan of how the combat system works. If players are line-of-sight then both players may commit to the attack, while if an opposing player is not in line-of-sight then that player may only roll to defend. And face it, what other game allows for a critical hit on a natural 1 roll? Plus a critical hit takes precedence over a tie in combat.
Just like in any war game there is a lot of strategy in Abaddon. Each scenario is really unique. I like the use of the terrain pieces & how they are assembled. There are definitely a lot of terrain pieces that can be used.
I totally recommend getting Abaddon. You get a lot of game for the price. Plus the game is designed by Richard Borg who also designed games like Memoir ’44, Command & Colors, Battlelore, & a slew of other awesome war games.
It’s a desolate world full of humans commanding Links looking for power crystals. Get ready for all out warfare & game on!
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