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Goatboy’s Quick & Dirty Thoughts on Adeptus Custodes

6 Minute Read
Jan 22 2018

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?


  • 40K: Custodes Relics, Stratagems, and Traits