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Thanks to Lexicanum for providing brief reviews for each of the Black Crusades. I’d like to touch on the success of each one. While I initially thought we should start betting on another horse, after looking at them again, I started to understand the method of his madness, and can see the very intricate beauty of his plan.

Crusade One. Abaddon gains the Demon Sword Drach’nyen.
Crusade Two. Seemingly the same assault as the first Crusade. The Imperium was able to prepare and use defenses created solely from the failures of the previous defense of the first Crusade.
Crusade Three. Not actually led by Abaddon, but another Daemon Prince. Not much is known about this by either side. Although the Space Wolves were seemingly effortlessly victorious.
Crusade Four. Abaddon destroys the Citadel of Kromarch. He easily moves beyond Cadia up to El’Phanor.
Crusade Five. Led by another Daemon Prince. Two chapters completely destroyed. Official war declared against the Astartes.
Crusade Six. Unknown events and details.
Crusade Seven. The Ghost War, Cadia was left untouched while several surrounding systems were plagued by raids, disinformation, deceit and other forms of psychological warfare. The Blood Angels also suffer a great defeat at the hands of Abaddon.
Crusade Eight. Unknown events and details.
Crusade Nine. Led by a Slaanesh Champion. Again bypassing Cadia to assault outlying systems. Strangely, the Chaos Gods abandoned the Champion at the closing of the Crusade. In addition, while the victors did defeat Chaos, they were quickly destroyed by the Imperium due to the risk of chaotic taint.
Crusade Ten. The conflict of Helica. Iron Warriors defeat the Iron Hands at Medusa.
Crusade Eleven. Unknown events and details.
Crusade Twelve. The Gothic War. Abaddon successfully captures 2 Black Stone Fortresses.
Crusade Thirteen. The largest and most devastating Crusade to date. Minor victories by the forces of Chaos in nearly every front. Chaos still maintains control over the majority of Cadias surface. The Eldar assist and lose Eldrad in the fight.

Now as a like military mind, I can see the stages slowly being set up into a grand master plan. Each Crusade warranting a further piece of the puzzle being fit into place seemingly where no one sees any connection. Where we believe 12 failures led up to a final decisive victory in the 13th, we can’t ignore the image that’s slowly coming into place.

Stage one; Abaddon gains the favor of the Chaos Gods. Therefore, he’s left unscathed within the Warp and is granted immunity from Deamonic incursions or retaliations. He only has his fellow Marines to contend with, who are quickly intimidated by his newly acquired power and favors. His base of operations is firmly settled.
Stage two; Abaddon tests the learning capabilities of his enemies. To know whether or not they have the capacity to learn from their mistakes or repeat the same ones. This determines the necessity for new tactics.
Stage three; an effort to force the 13th Company back into the light. While it did fail, it notes that Abaddon knew additional Imperial allies were unaccounted for and was trying to determine where they might be and what forces they represented.
Stage four; possibly a blow to morale or removing a religious blockade. Keep in mind that Abaddon does have Daemonic allies so it’s unknown what forces the Citadel could have been holding back.
Stage five; while useless chapters by anyone’s estimations, the decimation of two entire Marine Chapters is very severe. This could also provide additional support through other ways; gene seed capture as one prime example.
Stage six; following what occurred in the 7th Black Crusade, it stands to reason that the goal in this Crusade was to test routes bypassing Imperial controlled space. Seemingly a success given the relative easy of the 7th Crusade.
Stage seven; begin planting the seeds of dissent within your enemy. Cover up this intention by a direct confrontation where morale is further crushed by victory at the hands of chaos.
Stage eight; given the events of the 9th Crusade, this seems like the perfect opportunity for Abaddon to stage events that would allow upstarts to gain power and identify plausible traitors. We all know what happen to his previous Sorcerer.
Stage nine; two fold plan. The first allowing one rival to waste his efforts against your enemies when you know he doesn’t have the strength to defeat them, but you don’t want to waste the necessary resources to destroy him yourself. The second seeing the efforts in which the Imperium will go to insure that your efforts are crushed without remorse; furthering dissent within its Empire.
Stage ten; revitalizing old hatreds. Beginning to gain the favors and assistance of other original chapters which are too strong to take by force but can provide great assistance in further campaigns.
Stage eleven; given the purpose of the 12th Crusade, this would seem to be a war of information. Gathering key locations. Abaddon already knew how to bypass Cadia with no efforts, this provides him the locations of the Blackstone fortresses, but perhaps more importantly, additional routes through Imperial controlled space.
Stage twelve; obvious intentions and successful capture of two piece of ancient and insanely destructive technologies. Did anyone else notice these things are powerful enough to destroy stars?
Stage thirteen; the loss of a very powerful ally in the fight of good and the solid assault and entrenchment of Chaos forces in Imperial controlled space. The main defense is left in shambles and remains in conflict to this day.

It’s like setting up a chess board; your opponent is playing against each piece you move when you’re focused solely on how to get his king. Abaddon has no enemies near his stronghold to contend with like the Imperium does. Abaddon is able to slip past the main defensive line with no efforts. Abaddon has already crushed several defending allies, brought the remaining allies (minus the Primarchs) such as the 13th Company back into play, thrown what forces he contends with directly into disarray and continual conflict, has broken the morale of most systems, has sown dissent into the Imperial where rebellions are a daily concern for the Imperium, and now has a firm grip within real space.

He’s been setting up the board for the past 10,000 years, and he’s done so successfully. He’s in the perfect position to strike; he’s just waiting for the opportune moment. I think he hasn’t struck yet because he’s also trying to figure out what to do with the other powers in the galaxy. While he could easily shatter the Imperium by striking directly at Terra, I don’t think it’s in his best interests to destroy Earth.

One has to wonder what the next Crusade will warrant the Despoiler.
 

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as the crusade is still going on, predicting whether or not it is successful seem premature. but you do make a good case to not give in to the temptation of, they beat him, so it failed. He does have a history of turning temporary defeats into long-term victory.
 

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The Hammer of Olympia
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i doubt any of the black crusades were loses. like revelations has so graciously pointed out. the imperium is just too damn ignorant to realize what he is doing. im guessing the traitor primarchs might follow him in the next black crusade but that is a big MIGHT. they still most likely see him as beneath them but this could explain why they have been hanging back for quite some time so they could not give the imperium a good idea at the ir force organization and numbers.

the next black crusade is going to tear the imperium to shreds. WOOT CHAOS!
 

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i dont belive that abaddon ever intended to fail but he is smart enough to know when to get out. sending in demon princes and other champions is a logical use for gathering information and while i think that these crusades were failures abaddon will learn and do better every consecutive time.
 

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I have to say Revelations, this is an intelligent and thoughtfull thread you've started. Your thinking about how Abaddon is setting up the pieces for an eventual "Final Assault" is very astute. You are one smart tactical thinker. I'd love to play a game against you.

+rep from me.
 

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Thanks to Lexicanum for providing brief reviews for each of the Black Crusades. I’d like to touch on the success of each one. While I initially thought we should start betting on another horse, after looking at them again, I started to understand the method of his madness, and can see the very intricate beauty of his plan.

Crusade One. Abaddon gains the Demon Sword Drach’nyen.
Crusade Two. Seemingly the same assault as the first Crusade. The Imperium was able to prepare and use defenses created solely from the failures of the previous defense of the first Crusade.
Crusade Three. Not actually led by Abaddon, but another Daemon Prince. Not much is known about this by either side. Although the Space Wolves were seemingly effortlessly victorious.
Crusade Four. Abaddon destroys the Citadel of Kromarch. He easily moves beyond Cadia up to El’Phanor.
Crusade Five. Led by another Daemon Prince. Two chapters completely destroyed. Official war declared against the Astartes.
Crusade Six. Unknown events and details.
Crusade Seven. The Ghost War, Cadia was left untouched while several surrounding systems were plagued by raids, disinformation, deceit and other forms of psychological warfare. The Blood Angels also suffer a great defeat at the hands of Abaddon.
Crusade Eight. Unknown events and details.
Crusade Nine. Led by a Slaanesh Champion. Again bypassing Cadia to assault outlying systems. Strangely, the Chaos Gods abandoned the Champion at the closing of the Crusade. In addition, while the victors did defeat Chaos, they were quickly destroyed by the Imperium due to the risk of chaotic taint.
Crusade Ten. The conflict of Helica. Iron Warriors defeat the Iron Hands at Medusa.
Crusade Eleven. Unknown events and details.
Crusade Twelve. The Gothic War. Abaddon successfully captures 2 Black Stone Fortresses.
Crusade Thirteen. The largest and most devastating Crusade to date. Minor victories by the forces of Chaos in nearly every front. Chaos still maintains control over the majority of Cadias surface. The Eldar assist and lose Eldrad in the fight.

Now as a like military mind, I can see the stages slowly being set up into a grand master plan. Each Crusade warranting a further piece of the puzzle being fit into place seemingly where no one sees any connection. Where we believe 12 failures led up to a final decisive victory in the 13th, we can’t ignore the image that’s slowly coming into place.

Stage one; Abaddon gains the favor of the Chaos Gods. Therefore, he’s left unscathed within the Warp and is granted immunity from Deamonic incursions or retaliations. He only has his fellow Marines to contend with, who are quickly intimidated by his newly acquired power and favors. His base of operations is firmly settled.
Stage two; Abaddon tests the learning capabilities of his enemies. To know whether or not they have the capacity to learn from their mistakes or repeat the same ones. This determines the necessity for new tactics.
Stage three; an effort to force the 13th Company back into the light. While it did fail, it notes that Abaddon knew additional Imperial allies were unaccounted for and was trying to determine where they might be and what forces they represented.
Stage four; possibly a blow to morale or removing a religious blockade. Keep in mind that Abaddon does have Daemonic allies so it’s unknown what forces the Citadel could have been holding back.
Stage five; while useless chapters by anyone’s estimations, the decimation of two entire Marine Chapters is very severe. This could also provide additional support through other ways; gene seed capture as one prime example.
Stage six; following what occurred in the 7th Black Crusade, it stands to reason that the goal in this Crusade was to test routes bypassing Imperial controlled space. Seemingly a success given the relative easy of the 7th Crusade.
Stage seven; begin planting the seeds of dissent within your enemy. Cover up this intention by a direct confrontation where morale is further crushed by victory at the hands of chaos.
Stage eight; given the events of the 9th Crusade, this seems like the perfect opportunity for Abaddon to stage events that would allow upstarts to gain power and identify plausible traitors. We all know what happen to his previous Sorcerer.
Stage nine; two fold plan. The first allowing one rival to waste his efforts against your enemies when you know he doesn’t have the strength to defeat them, but you don’t want to waste the necessary resources to destroy him yourself. The second seeing the efforts in which the Imperium will go to insure that your efforts are crushed without remorse; furthering dissent within its Empire.
Stage ten; revitalizing old hatreds. Beginning to gain the favors and assistance of other original chapters which are too strong to take by force but can provide great assistance in further campaigns.
Stage eleven; given the purpose of the 12th Crusade, this would seem to be a war of information. Gathering key locations. Abaddon already knew how to bypass Cadia with no efforts, this provides him the locations of the Blackstone fortresses, but perhaps more importantly, additional routes through Imperial controlled space.
Stage twelve; obvious intentions and successful capture of two piece of ancient and insanely destructive technologies. Did anyone else notice these things are powerful enough to destroy stars?
Stage thirteen; the loss of a very powerful ally in the fight of good and the solid assault and entrenchment of Chaos forces in Imperial controlled space. The main defense is left in shambles and remains in conflict to this day.

It’s like setting up a chess board; your opponent is playing against each piece you move when you’re focused solely on how to get his king. Abaddon has no enemies near his stronghold to contend with like the Imperium does. Abaddon is able to slip past the main defensive line with no efforts. Abaddon has already crushed several defending allies, brought the remaining allies (minus the Primarchs) such as the 13th Company back into play, thrown what forces he contends with directly into disarray and continual conflict, has broken the morale of most systems, has sown dissent into the Imperial where rebellions are a daily concern for the Imperium, and now has a firm grip within real space.

He’s been setting up the board for the past 10,000 years, and he’s done so successfully. He’s in the perfect position to strike; he’s just waiting for the opportune moment. I think he hasn’t struck yet because he’s also trying to figure out what to do with the other powers in the galaxy. While he could easily shatter the Imperium by striking directly at Terra, I don’t think it’s in his best interests to destroy Earth.

One has to wonder what the next Crusade will warrant the Despoiler.
Turns out each of the targets for every Black Crusade had Necron Pylons holding back the Warp from ripping apart into reality even more than otherwise. After the Thirteenth Crusade and Cadia was destroyed, the Great Rift opened.
 
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