BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K: Tips & Tricks to Make Custodes Competitive

5 Minute Read
Jan 23 2018
Hot story icon

How to get the most out of the Emperor’s Golden Boys.

We’ve got our hands on the shiny new Custodes Codex and one of the big questions people are asking are is it is competitive? Now the list has a fair amount of potential in for sure, but I think a lot of people will struggle with mono-Custodes lists. I’ve gone over the codex, played some test games and come up with a few nice tricks and tips to help out the big boys. Lets take a look at a few.

I’m mainly talking about how to get the most out of a majority Custodes lists here, for tips at how to use Custodes in other armies, tune in later.

The Battery

Custodes has some really awesome and powerful stratagems. What they do not have is a lot of command points to use them.  In order to fix that we look to the Imperium player’s best buddy, an Imperial Guard Detachment.

Astra Militarum Battalion 

Company Commander -30
Company Commander -30

10x Guardsmen 40
10x Guardsmen 40
10x Guardsmen 40



This simple 180 detachment can slot into just about any Custodes army and adds a lot to the list. At it’s most basic it gives the list an additional 3 Command Points, which is big. In addition, it gives the list some bodies. It’s not unlikely that this 180 pts detachment will have as many models or in fact many more as the other 1800 points of Custodes you take. The extra AM units go a long way to letting the Golden Glory Seekers free by holding down objectives and getting some board control for their “big brothers”. Of course depending on how you want to play the list you could aslo make one of the those company commanders your warlord and give them the Grand Strategist trait, letting you get CPs back, add in Kurov’s Aquila to get CPs from the enemy and you’ve gone a long way towards fixing your CP shortage and being able to hold ground better.

Get You Some Psykers

Another big weak spot the Custodes have is in the psychic department. With almost no defenses of their own and a weakness to mortal wounds the Custodes can really be in a pinch when facing enemy psykers. One way of dealing with this would be to get some allied ones. It would be pretty easy and cheap to add some Primaris Pykers to the above AM Battalion, replacing one Company Commander with a  PP, and then taking a second would give give you some solid defense.

If you want to be a little more thematic a couple cheap units of Sister of Silence (or even and Culexus Assassin) can also mess with an enemy and fit right in. Either way the goal is to cheaply get some pyskic defense.


Use Your Stratagems All The Time

As I mentioned above Custodes have some really amazing stratagems. A good number of them are cheap one point abilities that can seriously boost your potential. Both Avenge the Fallen and Piercing Strike should be used almost every turn if possible. The army has a lot of tricks up its sleeve – but unlike some armies won’t survive without using their stratagems well.

Take Some Big Units

Custodes are expensive models. In addition all their their multi model units can be 3-10 models. It’s going to be tempting to field a lot of small 3 man units of Custodes. While this will help you fill out detachments and cover more of the table I think its really the wrong way to go. As I talked about above they have a some great Stratagems, which they NEED  to use to win games. These stratagems really benefit from being used on large units. I really think taking a few large units and using the stratagems on them is going to be how to win with them. This combo will allow you to build super powerful units that will melt the enemy. By taking an AM Battalion in your lists you negate the need to spread out you Custodes.

Be Aggressive


A good Custodes list is going to be a a very aggressive one. Outside of Land Raiders the army can’t hurt things beyond 24″ inches. Even when in range the army is only ok at shooting. Custodes can get some good shots in a 12″, but really it’s an army that wants to be in combat. To win you are going to have to get into combat ASAP and tear the enemy apart ruthlessly. This is not an army that can endure turns of enemy shooting. In addition, due to the cost of your units, you need them to be doing stuff. Having 2-300 points units sit back and hold objectives is a waste. Get your Custodes in there and have them hurt the enemy. Leave the holding ground to the AM. That is the path to victory.

Let us know how you plan to make the Custodes competitive down in the comments! 


Author: Abe Apfel
  • STREAMING NOW - "Custodes Q&A - Custodes vs Chaos Daemons Game"

    Warhammer 40K