40K: What Does Codex Adeptus Custodes Mean?

GW’s latest codex out of the blue points the way at GW’s path ahead for the game.

This weekend GW pulled the covers off an all new codex like a bolt from the blue! There’s no better way to kick off a new year than with an all new army.

Adeptus Custodes looks to be an amazing addition to the game.

Simmer Down

First a quick aside for the fluff fanatics.

Remember that for all you out there saying the Adeptus Custodes are TOO ELITE and rare of a force to merit inclusion as an army on the tabletop. The Custodes unofficial name is “The 10,000” – their standing strength since the time of the Great Crusade. Yes IT’S TRUE – there are TEN TIMES AS MANY CUSTODES AS ULTRAMARINES! I’m sure in the new order Guilliman can just order a mere 2-3000 of them to get out there and start kicking ass in the galaxy.  Then they would only be 2-3 times as worthy of a codex as the Ultramarines – while still leaving 7000 to guard the Holy Cadaver back home.


Ok, Back to the Codex

From what GW has revealed this looks like a codex wrapped by about 3-4 new kits on top of the existing default Custodes we got out of Burning of Prospero. Throw in a bunch of “standard” Marine kits for them to use – like Land Raiders and Contemptor dreads – and you have a codex very, very similar to what Grey Knights looked like when GW rolled them out.

And that has me thinking – there are several more or these “mini factions” that GW could roll into a codex using 3-4 new kits on top of existing vehicle ranges.


1 HQ, 2 other boxes of new units and a smattering of Craftworld and Dark Eldar vehicles would blow the Harleys into a full fledged standalone army.


Sisters of Battle

HQ, 2-3 infantry squads, and LOTS of borrowed Imperial vehicles and Ministorum units will do it.


Sisters of Silence

Pretty much identical to Custodes – but with shiny metal corsets.


Kroot Mercs

2-3 Kroot kits and some “borrowed vehicles” from whomever has hired them. I will heartbroken if we don’t get the Krootbird as a plastic bit!

He’s the cutest Toucan Sam of the grimdark!


Imperial Knights

Give these guys 2-3 kits to represent their household infantry and mounted warriors – along with some Rhinos and they are ready to roll.

~ What “mini-factions” do you think GW is most likely to pump up into codexes this year?

  • euansmith

    “40K: What Does Codex Adeptus Codex Mean?”

    Does it mean you didn’t check your title before posting the article. That’s certainly the sort of thing I would do.

    “40K: What Does Codex Adeptus Custodes Mean?”

    • orionburn III

      “IT’S TURE”

      • euansmith

        I was very careful checking my spelling before hitting post 😀

        • bobrunnicles

          The first line of your actual post looks like a question but you’re missing the question mark at the end…. 🙂 🙂

          • euansmith


          • orionburn III

            At least you know you have a future at 40k blogging! lol

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Isn’t that spelled DOAH?

    • Krijn van Alten

      You must have a lot of friends.

      • I’d wager that he does.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          I’d be his friend.

          • euansmith

            Aw, thanks.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Hey lets be honest you are the person I agree with most on this site and I tend to enjoy your sense of humor as well. Have to give the ovation when the chance comes up.

        • Commissar Molotov

          He certainly does here.

      • ZeeLobby

        Haha. We love euansmith!

    • mgdavey

      40X: Why Dogs Codex Adopto Codex Momo?

      • orionburn III

        “Oooooooh. Derka derka derka.”

    • Nyyppä

      Didn’t even notice. 😀 That is freaking hilarious and perfectly represents the level of intelligence behind this release schedule.

      • SYSTem050

        You do realise that bols is not responsible for GW’s release schedule?


        • Nyyppä

          Yes. I also get that they did not do this intentionally. That does not hinder my enjoyment in any way. It fits just too well. 😄

  • Sonic tooth

    I’m surprised sisters of battle don’t seem to be included in the custodes army. They go together well in the fluff

    • orionburn III

      Well, it’s a way to sell an extra codex for starters. I can’t imagine that book having a hole helluva lot pages to it.

      In all honesty I don’t get why GW doesn’t update SoB. I don’t even play them but would love to see them get updated. Between them and SoS it brings a nice female aspect to the game. GW just needs to do what they did with Skitarii – bring out 2 new plastic boxes where each can be built one of two ways. Have one box for your core troops and the other box geared for specialist/heavy weapons and elites.

      • Sonic tooth

        It would be really lazy if they threw them in with the sisters of battle. They’re complete opposites, sisters of silence are completely different to the religious, puritanucal SOB

        • orionburn III

          Oh, I agree. If they can field these guys as a standalone then there’s no reason SoB couldn’t get their own codex. SoS would have to be lumped in with a generic Imperium codex.

      • Sonic tooth

        Sorry, I meant sisters of silence (doh!) I don’t care about sob

        • EnTyme

          Neither does GW.

      • As for number of pages, they did say they were adding support for the Forgeworld Custodes. There’s a decent number of units in that that aren’t in 40k including several vehicles and even a titan. If they add some more units on release, it’ll actually be a pretty decent army.

      • Sniddy

        Indeed why sell one codex when you can sell 3

    • gunsrlove

      Did you mean the Sisters of Silence? The two orders were the original Talons of The Emperor(and current ones as well) who resided in the Imperial Palace. Sisters of Battle came in way later, and since they are part of the imperial structure and have nothing to do personally with Big E or the Palace, the Custodes don’t much care about them.

      • Sonic tooth

        Ha yea, i meant the sisters of silence/null maidens. Doh! I don’t like the sisters of battle, I don’t see the point. I love the silent sisters tho.

        • euansmith

          I think that the point of Sisters of Battle is flamethrowers.

    • Michael Cameron

      Sisters of Battle go with Guard and Marines. Guard and Marines go together too. Sisters of Silence will get their own supplement. It will be 20% smaller though. 😉

      • euansmith

        The fluff section will contain one word, “Shush!”

    • Simon Bates

      Indeed, especially as a whole army of anti-psykers just doesn’t make much sense except for specific narrative battles. Hell, it’s bad enough trying to make sense of why the Grey Knights are fighting Orks or T’au, but at least most of their stuff that’s good at killing daemons is pretty good at killing other stuff too.

  • Kabal1te

    It means GW thinks it can make a quick buck selling these dudes over what they could make on existing factions. That’s what it means.

    • stinkoman

      yeah, this article is really a bunch of wish listing rather than analysis. they explicitly said that they made custodes because they sold really well last year and only made sense to make a codex army.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. Starting the year of Xenos off with Space Marines (albeit shiny gold ones) is no real shocker.

      • BaronSnakPak

        Genuine question: can anyone link to where GW officially said “2018 would be the year of the xenos”?

        I can’t find an official source for it.

        • ZeeLobby

          Oh, i never said they said it, always figured it was a community assumption, as peoples armies got passed over again and again. I just think it’s funny/sad for them. Ofcourse Xenos will continue to be neglected, GW has always played favorites.

          • BaronSnakPak

            I agree, and I’m not pointing the finger at you, it’s just a phrase I’ve seen used in protest of this announcement. I would love to see an official source for “year of the xenos”.

  • SpaceDwarf

    Expectation: We might be getting a catch-all Imperial Adepts codex for all the cool units (Arbites, Custodes, Astra Telepathica) we haven’t seen yet.

  • What does “Codex Adeptus Codex” mean? Gibberish, because proofreading is hard. Yes, IT’S TURE.

    Also, the Adeptus Custodes have lost probably about half during the events of Rise of the Primarch / the battle for Terra as the Great Rift opened.
    Nevermind that the Custodes STILL don’t really act as a unified fighting force. Their experiences at Terra and right after, trying to foil the plans of Abaddon to seal Terra’s safe, mapped warplanes off, show that they have a long way to go to become a true, independent army again.

    Custodes also work in tandem with Sisters of Silence, so I don’t quite see why they weren’t rolled into a single Codex. They were basically designed to complement each other’s fighting styles and battlefield roles.

    • mgdavey

      In fact, only 1,000 of the 10,000 remained after the battle in the webway on Terra.

      • Yeah, ten-thousand years ago. They replenished their ranks plenty since. Few of them ever left the Palace in M41, however.

        • They replenished? Who knows how to create them?

          • They do. I’d recommend reading Chris Wraight’s Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor’s Legion.

          • euansmith

            When a Mummy Custodes and a Daddy Custodes love each other very much… 😉

          • eMtoN

            Sorry. Women in power armor aren’t supported.

          • AkulaK

            You mean women with progenoïd glands. Cause i’m pretty sure Sisters of Battle and Sisters of Silence wear power armour 🙂

          • eMtoN

            lol… what exactly do you consider to be “support”? ’cause neither of those qualify, imho.

          • AkulaK

            Oh you meant supported by GW, i heard it like in the fluff there is no women with power armour… but now that you say it, it’s illogical from me 😀

        • They replenished? Who knows how to create them?

  • V0iddrgn

    Mini factions are abhorrent! Skitarii, Imperial Knights, Custodes, etc… More flavors of “Imperium” for your soup, *#$&@!

    • euansmith

      Codex : Adeptus Croutons?

    • Kabal1te

      I agree with you all the way. All these small side factions and they have to be updated each edition. That’s a bad design.

      • ZeeLobby

        What’s scary is that it still seems to be ever expanding. At some point the axe will have to fall. Simply to provide retailers with shelf space.

  • euansmith

    If we get a Kroot Bird (which would be lovely), could we get Harkaz too?


  • Heinz Fiction

    Nothing against new factions, but an other Adeptus Something doesn’t really excite me. There is already more than enough Imperium in this game.

    • euansmith

      Kroot would be cool; especially if they were modeled to they could be easily kitbashed with other kits to create all the crazy Kroot Shaper Hybrids; Kroot-Orkz, Kroot-‘Nids, Kroot-‘crons?

      • Severius_Tolluck

        Talk about getting enough iron in your diet!

    • marxlives

      Infinite variety of SM is still variety!

      • euansmith

        What always mystifies me is the number of Sherman Tank kits available for historical players; not just a zillion cosmetically different marks of the tank, but dozens of kits of the same mark made by different companies. I’m amazed that there are enough customers to make it viable.

        • marxlives

          That is true, historicals is pretty neat because you have a rulebook but where you bought your models from is not so important. And players who play historicals are really big into the history. In terms of modelling the IP is very open, but it has be because, a Sherman is a Sherman. No one had to invent the concept of the Sherman and then copyright it.

  • Bran D

    Holding my breath for Eldar Exodites…I’ll be dead before that range ever sees the light of day 🙁

    • euansmith

      That’s a mighty impressive set of lungs you must have there 😉

  • orionburn III

    I remember when the rumors last year were saying 2018 was to be the “year of xenos” for 40k. Nice to see the 2017 rumors are shaping up as well as the 2016 ones did! lol

  • Drpx

    Finally, an army that Grey Knights can outnumber, shoot off the table and wipe out with smite spam.

    • zeno666

      New faction that no one has models for yet = People will have to buy a lot of stuff to get started = It’ll be overpowered for sure so more people will want to buy in.

      • Griffin

        They already have models out and have since 2016….

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        People already have whole armies of Custodes…

        • ZeeLobby

          But do enough PEOPLE have enough armies of custodes?

      • BaronSnakPak

        If their points stay around the same as their index, then a 2Kpt army will not have many models. A bare bones infantry squad is 260pts. The most effective loadout costs 291 points.

        Assuming the cheapest HQ option is 100pts (which is a low number), thats 880-973 points for a battalion with 16 models.

        • Erber

          I heard they have changed it in the codex so that you will be able to take squads of 3 instead of 5 to make it easier to build a more varied list and get a better use of your points.

          • BaronSnakPak

            That’d be nice, but the cheapest unit is still 52 pts per mini, or 468pts for 9 spear guardians. It’s a safe bet that custodes will be one of, if not THE, lowest model count armies in the game.

  • Nosebleed

    Custodes is what the Primaris Sculpt scale should’ve been.

    • ieyke

      They’re about the same size.

      • dynath

        Custodes are roughly 2mm taller and their bodies are thicker.

        • YetAnotherFacelessMan

          Custodes have one more point of toughness and one more wound. They’re to OG Primaris and I’d be insulted if these new little marines are the same size as a custodian. 😉

  • ieyke

    I’m glad everyone else seems almost as fed up with Imperial and Chaos armies as I am.

    They need to do Sisters and Slaanesh, and then ignore the Imperium and Chaos for about 5 solid years while the xenos get hardcore updates and new stuff.

    Double the number of kits/units for Necrons and Dark Eldar, Release a full-blown Old Ones army (including Jokaero units), a proper huge amazing Eldar Avatar, Demiurg as a 40k version of Kharadron Overlords, Hrud, Enslavers, more/better Kroot and Vespid units for the Tau, etc etc.

    If they focus on ANY Imperial factions in that time, make it an expansion of Deathwatch with lots of new crazy xenostech weapons and wargear, and Rogue Traders who have xenos in their retinues.

    Human/Chaos kits/armies/units/support outnumbers the xenos like 10:1.
    That’s stupid.

    • Ak318

      1 old ones and enslavers make no sense lore wise. THe old ones were wipped out by the enslavers as the made the most delicious meal ever. Enslavers are a single unit or multiple if you count whatever they take over (at which point your playing that army not an enslaver one)

      2 Xenos really do not need a year and i say that as a xenos player you could update the current dexes in 2 months (last year showed yes this can be done).

      3 for new xeno demiurg would be in the same tau auxillary list as kroot and vespid (would have no issue with an auxillary list tho do worry would mean no auxillaries in the core army book. Hrud would be cool as a new army we have been wondering about them for ages.

      4 Do necrons need more kits? they have the standard amount for most armies (yes less than imps and chaos when you consider how allying keywords works but that point we should double tau and orks). Like wise do DE need more minis they have a standard number of kits and can ally with craftworld, yvnari and harlequins. Like I feel if any xeno need more minis it would be craftworld and that mainly to bring them up to date so half their range is not resin.

      • eMtoN

        DE need their HQs back. Also, as a DE player I’m sick of being forced to ally. It’s been like 2 or 3 years since I’ve been able to field a competent DE only army.

        • Simon Bates

          But that’s mostly rules, not models, right? There’s a bunch of DE stuff that needs to work better than it does, but most of their models are still relatively new (pretty well everything is from either 2010, or 2014 since all the original kits were expunged) and there are few glaring gaps where they need entirely new stuff. The problem is that too many of their current units just aren’t very effective and they suffer, as do all Index armies, from a lack of strategems, relics, subfaction rules and warlord traits.

          • eMtoN

            Vect, Lady, Baron, Duke and other were removed entirely due to lack of models. I’d like them back.

            Lelith, Drazhar, all court models, the beast master, mandrakes and incubi are still finecast. These need to be plastic.

            Other than rules everything else is fine.

      • ieyke

        You are wrong on pretty much all major points.

        • Ak318

          usually you point out how arguments are iccorect rather than making a statement with no evidence

          • ieyke

            I do, usually, but I can’t be bothered.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      Harlequins for the win!

  • majbjörn

    Maybe it means that GW is just trying their luck with Golden Space Marines?

    I mean blue, green, red, grey and silver seemed to work, so why not gold?


    • euansmith

      First we had “easy build” Space Marines.Now we have “easy paint” Space Marines! Yipee!

  • EnTyme

    I can’t remember feeling more “meh” about a “huge” announcement. We’ve seen space marines. We’ve seen jet bikes. Gonna take more than some gold paint to make this guys different from everything else we’ve seen on the tabletop.

    • orionburn III

      I like the models but when I heard it was going them as the big reveal I was bummed as well. Hearing the bit about “watching” had many of us hoping it was a reference to the Watchers in the Dark and we’d finally see the Lion return.

      GW dropped the bombshell about the AoS Overlords at LVO last year, and they’ve already hinted at something big getting announced at this year’s event too. Hopefully we get something non Imperial related soon.

    • zeno666

      And quite a lazy paintjob at that

  • Adeptus Codex means I get to save a lot of money 🙂

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    new bikers look pretty cool

    • Adam Richard Corrigan


      • Spade McTrowel

        The mock-ups in the case are resin, but they are to be fully plastic upon release.

        • euansmith

          They’ll look cool with some kitbashed Arbites riding them in to the Underhive to lay down the Law.

      • Andy Wise

        Not sure about your policing their Lou…

        FW ones already up look quite distinct from these.

        Could be wrong of course but these look like new plakkies.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers


  • fenrisful2

    They have watched, they have waited, they might as well have stayed at home:

    Codex Adeptus Boring number fifityeleven.

    Slaanesh should rejoice over all this excessive cloning.
    It makes me wonder if the Aeldari actually made a mistake or if Slaanesh was purposefully intended to corrupt the humans, then once all humans have been consumed it will work as a shield against both the necrons and the tyranids. 😉

  • Munn

    For those wondering, he’s right, the entire SoB line could be done with 3 new kits and 2-3 clampacks. A nurgle Size release would actually mean they could add NEW units to the army(4 kits with 3 characters)

    • Kabal1te

      Yea but GW will never do it. It would make too many people happy.

  • Jared Jeanquart

    Want kroot. No vehicles needed.

    Just needs:
    Plastic Shaper (lots of bits and bobs to represent, shapers, master shapers, and Shamans)

    Maybe plastic Hounds or Krootox

    Knarlocs always struck me as kinda too big. Maybe a more horse-sized beast that has alternate bits for a fast scout cavalry and heavy assault cavalry

    Greater Knarlocs kit; lots of bits and loadouts; alternate weapons, shield generators, and the like.

    Everything else is meant to be converted.

  • CKyle80

    Don’t understand why some are complaining about the order of codex releases. Of the 12 released / announced codexes, only 6 of them have been Imperium. In a game where half of the factions are Imperial (if you count each sub faction individually), and they’re trying to update every faction, it makes sense that half of the releases are Imperium.

    If you want to argue that it should be Imperium / Xenos / Chaos that’s fine, but then we’ll get to a point where you’re going to have to have like 5 or 6 Imperial codexes in a row in order to get everyone a codex before re-releasing 8th ed codexes. The business decision was probably made to release Imperium and “Other” at roughly equal intervals in order to prevent just that.

    • Simon Bates

      There’s some slightly odd distinctions that get made as well. Like how many Power Armour Codexes (so SM, CSM, BA, GK, DA, DG and now TS and AC) but then you should really count AM and IG as well as Daemons on the over side, giving you a split of 8/5. Even that sounds worse than it is, because DA, BA, GK, DG, TS and AC have no subfactions and so are much simpler to write compared with, say, Tyranids. So only 2 of the 8 Power Armour Codexes are really “full” codexes in that sense.

      The one that really gets me is when people talk about “non-Imperial/Chaos” Codexes. Which seems a bit silly. It’s true there’s only been 2 of these so far, but there are no subfactional non-I/C codexes so there are always likely to be fewer. If you only count full-faction codexes, there have been 3 Imperial (SM, AM, IG) and 2 Chaos (CSM, Daemons), so it looks more even. Arguably the subfactions could have waited, but then again they presumably need less rules development than full factions.

      I guess you could argue I’m making a dubious distinction myself, between full-faction and subfaction codexes, and that’s fair. Moreover, you could argue that the very fact that GW doesn’t think any of the Xenos races merit a subfactional codex in and of itself shows a bias against them. Still, considering that no Xenos faction apart from Eldar has really had subfactional rules before (and Codex Craftworlds was a long time ago and rather different from the kind of subfactional rules 8th ed uses), whereas SM have had them arguably since 4th edition’s chapter traits, and CSM have had them on-off since late 3rd edition, it would have been one heck of a leap to suddenly do Codex: Hive Fleet Leviathan or Codex: Goffs.

  • BaronSnakPak

    The devil’s advocate in me wonders, if GW announced plastic SoB and new codex instead of custodes, would there still be all the xenos gnashing of teeth and anti-imperium rhetoric?

  • frank

    Knight houses with infantry and rough riders would be really cool. they could throw in engine seer equivalents too be even cooler with options to mount them on steeds too.

  • Sniddy

    Or there are 100’s of marine splinters they could build on, space sharks anyone, after all if it’s not a marine codex it’s rare to get a release – lets not encourage them into mini factions – we have big factions wanting some love