Goatboy’s Quick & Dirty Thoughts on Adeptus Custodes

Goatboy here again with another quick and dirty look at the newest codex to hit the block – the Adeptus Custodes.

I helped do a quick youtube review for the book with the wonderfully Adam like – Adam Harry.  It pretty much sums up most of my thoughts but doesn’t let me delve into some of the neat things I see in the book.  Overall I don’t expect it to be crushing noobs and bringing you the gold in any major event.  It just doesn’t have the body count/damage potential it needs.  We’ll see if Forge World brings something to the table – but right now this tiny codex feels more like a combo piece to some brutal Imperial Soup style build.

Hurry up Forge World!

The Good Stuff

First – lets go with what is good about the book.  I think it feels really close to how you would expect these guys to play.  Beyond a few things (for the love of the Emperor give all their guns Rapid Fire 2 please) they are exactly what you expect from an genetic creation from the glorious genes of the Emperor.  They are tough, strong, have a decent amount of wounds and access to the best armor in the game.  This just all comes at a pretty steep price that while nice on your wallet – it does mean you will always be outnumbered in any match up bar Knights or some other super Lord of War army.

I think the all Adeptus Custodes trait you get when building a single army detachment is pretty good.  +1 to their invulnerable save is very strong and lets those guys have a lot more play as dealing 3 wounds can be hard to do.  They limit it to getting you to a 3+ inv save – so those pesky characters and other tougher options just sit at a 3++ instead of an ungodly 2++.  They also got some FNP options against Psychic Mortal wounds – but a 6+ isn’t something you can write to your momma about and expect her to be as impressed as you want her to be.

The Adeptus also have access to probably one of the most powerful additions to an Imperial Soup army.  You’ve heard how they have a ton of interesting banners to add to their armies and there are two versions to think about.  One is in the normal Custodes armor and the other comes in a Terminator flavor.  Both are pretty dang expensive – but again they do a ton for your army.  Besides having access to some Relics that seem pretty interesting the basic one out of the 3 choices that is the best is the one that gives the Imperium a 9″ inch radius KFF (Kustom Force Field) to all Imperium Infantry.  The unit is called the Vexilus Praetor and he will be the most important thing to come out of this book.  Well besides some interesting HQ choices when you throw them on a Killer Jetbike.  Be prepared to either see a Soup Detachment with a few of these guys or a straight Adeptus Custodes detachment with a Bike Leader and some of these Elite choices.  There is a Relic that replaces the banner and lets them give out a fearless bubble as well – which is especially powerful with those Conscripts we all complained about before.  They are expensive as you have to pay for the Banner but lucky for us the best one is the cheapest.

The next thing I do like is the Shield Captain on a bike you can get.  This is a pretty brutal guy who while expensive can be looked at as a great Bully unit in the right type of Detachment.  He comes close to a Daemon Prince price level – but has similar type of usage with his reroll 1’s aura for shooting, a good set of attacks, a decent amount of wounds, and a plethora of saves.  I can see some Bike based armies using Scions as your “chaff” and these guys as your push units.  The models are frigging gorgeous and using some strong HQ’s, small units of the bikes, and some help from the other aspects of the Imperium will let you build something decent with these guys.  The box set has 3 models and enough options to build the HQ and whatever else sounds goods.

The army does hit very hard in assault which is something that is very distinct in the fluff and stories for the army.  Also the whole – split a unit up into 10 individual models is pretty neat and very distinct in how they always seem to fight.  Each is their own individual bad a$$ so at the very least the army represents that.  They are just really expensive bad a$$es.  They have a ton of attacks and mixed with hitting on 2’s it means you can guarantee a decent amount of chances to wound.  If only they had a better way to get into combat (besides an expensive vehicle).  I know the FW set of units have a transport options so maybe will get a decent Rhino equivalent to help get our close combat murder machines near the enemy.

Finally the good thing is this army isn’t too expensive to build out.  You take a few kits, mix in some stuff and whammo you got a tiny army of golden gods (who hate massed firepower). Plus the scheme for gold is pretty dang easy to paint up by using some gold, bright silver highlight, a Flesh/brown style wash, and some careful silver line work and you got yourself a pretty dang nice model on the table top.  The biker army is pretty dang cool looking so most likely that is where I would put any thoughts into a build.

The Not Good Stuff

Now onto the bad from this book – it is way tot dang expensive!  The basic guy hits over 50 points a model.  Think about that as they are still a 3 wound, 2+/5 or 4++ model.  They are going to be constantly out numbered in any match up and while it is nice they get objective secured on all their infantry and bikes – it probably won’t matter as 40 cultists throwing Veterans of the Long War and a psychic spell upgrade is gonna be a pain in the butt for them.  Heck the Helblasters will be mean to face as they pepper these expensive gold gods full of hot plasma death.  The Elite Banner bearers are so important to the army that it starts to be a very slow, plodding group of golden plastic dudesmen.  I didn’t see a Rhino and only saw a very expensive Land Raider as their only true transport.  Sure you can deep strike some of them with a Stratagem – but that leads me into the next big issue.

We killed 12 cultists for every Custodes who fell – but they always seemed to have a 13th…

This army is so Command Point hungry it is crazy.  They want to burn them so fast and they have no way to regain them it becomes a big issue.  This is why it is hard form me to see this as a distinct one codex army and not some kind of mixture to help generate some Command points to use and abuse.  There is just too much this army wants to do and without the bags of tricks it becomes very hard for this army to function properly.  I really hope we see some cheaper or at least interesting options in the rumored Forge World PDF/update but will have to see next week.  I really wish they had made their shooting better – Rapid Fire 2 would go a long way to making a bit more scary.  Most of their fancy bolters do 2 damage – so making them like better Storm Bolters would have been a better option.

~ What do you think of the new army?


  • NNextremNN

    You seem to forget they do have a way to get back Command Points:


    • Marcet

      Once per battle, after using a stratagem, limited by the points spent on said stratagem, not very good. In addition if you do you can’t do any of the other two abilities.

      • NNextremNN

        It’s still more then nothing which the author claims and gives them some flexibility.

      • ellobouk

        180 points buys you 30 guardsmen. 2 company commanders. 3CP and Kurovs Aquila, problem solved?

        • Marcet

          I don’t play AC, I don’t care either way beyond how ridiculously easy it is for Imperium to get a lot of CP and regenerators.

    • Julien Huguenin

      On a vastly overpriced character even.

  • bad mood

    Please Goatboy, just stop with the complaining about Conscripts. Did you ever see anyone run them after they got their tripple whammy nerf (something that Bols has had a hand in I might add) and Commissars nerfed to toxicity? It might be best never to mention them again till another codex hits. There is enough other Imperial soup stuff going on that needs adressing and don’t forget the chaos is becoming a soup of it’s own slowly.

    • Fergie0044

      “becoming”??? Chaos has already developed a full range of soups, broths, creams of, casseroles and stews!

      • memitchell

        Mmmm… broths!

    • Jeremy Larson

      I still see Conscripts all the time. 20 guys that move 12+2d6 offers a stupid amount of backfield coverage and frontline deep strike protection. Sure, it’s fairly easy to dump wounds on it, but it’s hard to justify shooting back field coverage when the more dangerous stuff is killing you, and you still have to kill them all because the AM player will just burn 2 command points to auto pass the morale and roll to get those CP back.

      • bad mood

        I’d really like to hear the argument why not to use 2 combined squads of regular Guardsmen in that case. Especially if they are even willing to burn 2CP instead of using a Draconian Commissar or one of the other options to counter morale issues.

  • zeno666

    Same problem as every other army.
    Can only do cool and thematic stuff while command points last.
    Then it starts to show how bland 8th edition really is with just stat vs stat.
    I hope these abilities are built into the data cards in 9th ed.

  • OctopusVolcano

    Still waiting on my non-cp-based transport/delivery method. At least custodes HAVE a transport, and it’s not like a land raider is ever wasted points, lets be honest.

  • Rainthezangoose

    I feel like GW should have given them a GEQ in the book. I mean that way you can keep a ‘true’ custode army competitively without making it a pointless ‘just a ally’ faction. I mean it makes sense they would have tens of thousands of humans with them to do all the day-to-day jobs and tasks. If they didn’t want to make fresh models just have used the forgeworld Solar Auxilia models but painted gold. Make them slightly more expensive then guard and give them assualt 2 lasguns and 4+ saves idn anything!

    • william timonen

      Yeah, like how he TS got the Tzaangors as cheaper troops choices to balance out how expensive all the rest was.

    • Karru

      You shouldn’t be expected out of any “minor” faction codex for Imperium that gets released. They are not meant to be main armies for people, they are meant to be ally armies for the soup so that Competitive players buy more of them while narrative gamers don’t mind.

      That’s how the game works these days if you wish to get competitive, you really don’t choose a faction you wish to play, you choose your preferred soup.

  • Borja Saiz Bustamante

    Ineptus Custodes are vulnerable to huge ammounts of dakka and huge amounts of bodies thown to them.

    Ineptus Custodes are good against low body count armies derpian enough to bring ultra-kill-y weapons instead of dakka.

    Can we rename Ineptus Custodes as Golden Grey Knights??

    • Gorsameth

      Do the math, t5 2+/5++ 3w makes them a whole whole lot tougher then Grey Knights could ever hope to be. it takes over 100 lasguns to kill a single basic custodus. or 21 assault cannon shots.
      Pask in a LR Punisher (40 shots hitting on 2’s) doesnt even kill 1 model.

      • Karru

        Custodes won’t be useful against hordes that’s for sure. Yeah, they 4++ save by default when playing by themselves, but a single guard army will have more Heavy Weapons Teams on the table than the Custodes player has models. Best part is that the Custodes player won’t be reaching those models any time soon since between the custodes and the teams is easily 100+ Guardsmen. Each turn those Heavy Weapons can with relative ease just demolish one or two squads of Custodes while the Custodes can only shoot at so many Infantry Squads per turn.

        No DS shenanigans either since the bubblewrap is real with 10+ Infantry Squads scattered across the deployment zone so no window for that 9″ drop behind the lines.

        My Lascannon Teams costs 72pts a piece, so I can take 6 Lascannons per 3 Custodes roughly. Those Lascannons will have a high chance of instantly killing Custodes once they punch through that 4++ save, which when you have that many, isn’t going to be too difficult.

        • Gorsameth

          I never said that Custodes would be able to get through hordes, I just responded to the notion that ‘lots of dakka’ is going to tear them apart.

          ps. assuming basic guard vs 4++ its 5-6 lascannons to kill 1 Custodes.

          • Karru

            Lots of dakka is the answer to defeat them. The last thing you want to do is get in to CC with them, thus that leaves you with exactly one option, Ranged.

          • Dulahan

            The funny thing is GW said they were made to be good as anti-horde… and they’re definitely not.

  • Defenestratus

    Looks like I’ll need more war walkers.

  • Defenestratus

    As a somewhat Grey Knights player – I’m pretty pissed that there’s now Supermen of Supermen of Supermen as opposed to my poor knights who are just merely supermen of supermen.

    Oh well. It’s not like they have floating tanks and jetbikes like my beloved Eldar….

    Whats that? fuuuuuuu…..

  • EnTyme

    Custodes are like crackers. Yes, you can technically eat them by themselves, but they’re best enjoyed in a (Imperial) soup.

  • Dulahan

    I really am not sure what sort of drugs the GW people who said Custodes are an anti-Horde army were on, because… yeah. Just no way they are with all we’ve seen.

    The Hurricane Bolters on the Jetbikes will help, but still not enough. the all bikes and infantry getting Obsec is nice, but any horde army will outnumber them at the Objective, and probably be immune to morale anyways. ‘nids terrify me, particularly Genestealers.

  • Brandon Prouty

    did anywhere say what the base invulnerable save on the terminator Armour is? 5+ or 4+ like hh?