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Goatboy’s Warhammer 40k: Custodes Forge World Update is Pure Win

7 Minute Read
Nov 16 2020

Goatboy here and I do enjoy playing Custodes from time to time. Forge World just gave them everything they need.

There is just something neat about the flying jet bikes, the simpler playstyle (no psychic bs aggression), and overall ease of painting that makes the army exciting.  I don’t think it is the best army out there – but it can do some things a lot of other armies can do.  You mix this with a careful and planned approach to doing damage and you have an army that can be very rewarding.  Also very frustrating when you don’t hit those 4+ saves.

The Forge World update was important for Adeptus Custodes as a lot of the extra units they needed to compete – different troop options, some powerful dreadnoughts, and a strong jet bike weapon – was what the army needed to get working.  Today I want to go over what changed from Forge World and see if they are worth taking now.  At least the ones I like to take.

Overall the big change that happened to Custodes is all their rules were brought more in line with what GW wants to have living and breathing in the 40k universe.  All the -2 to charge nonsense the Flying tanks have has gone away – most likely due to the nature of no one liking to play against it.  It is also one of those rules that just doesn’t seem fun.  So while they lost that they all kept their 4+ invulnerable saves (with their army-wide rule), hitting on a 2+, and most of their weapons got tweaks in their damage output.  The army is still based on quality shooting versus quantity (bar lots of regular bolter shots) and with the increase in some damage here and there and drops in point costs the army makes more sense in the world of 40k.

Custodian Troops

I really like how they got some cheap troop options as both seem worthwhile to play with.  150pts – while high for a troop – is a pretty good deal when you deal with the golden boys.  I like the Combi-Bolter like guys the best as I feel 150 pts for a decent set of anti marine firepower is a pretty good trade-off.  The other option with the Melta spear is also not too bad as they can assault as well as shoot alright.  I end up using my bikers for my assault ability and these troops are designed to sit back, be a pain to just remove, and throw out some damage as needed.  If you are playing Custodes I would look towards the Sagittarum Custodians as a good option to fit in those point tight Patrol options.

Custodian Elites

***Goofed – I figured like all Marine style armies any bonus they got went to their Dreadnoughts too – guess they don’t get a +1 to their invulnerable saves***

On the Elite side of things, their updated Aquilon Terminators seem pretty good – I just wish they were troops too.  They are pretty rough too as their Powerfists don’t have a -1 to hit and their base cost has a slightly stronger Storm bolter to boot.  The weird Assault gun seems ok too as it does a flat 3 damage which seems pretty good.  It does make them more expensive – but when you are already playing an army that pays a premium for anything they do – it isn’t the end of the world.  The Shield toting Galatus Contemptor dreadnought might be pretty rough.  I like how many attacks it has access to and just having a 4+ invulnerable save seems pretty good..  At 170 points and hitting on a 2+ with the ability to have more attacks, it isn’t a bad option.  Especially as another threat to move up the table and an auto hitting flamer.  I don’t know about the Spear option as having a 4+ invulnerable save, -1 damage, and a 6+ FNP seems just too good to pass up.  If I didn’t say it more – all the Dreads got a -1 to their damage profile which again makes them in treating.

Custodian Fast Attack

***The jump guys are pretty dang nuts when a reader pointed out I goofed – good gun, 2+ save, double shooting, and still infantry all means a sweet – but weird looking model***


On the Fast Attack front, I built myself a unit of Agamatus Custodians as it was one of the only decent ways to have an anti-vehicle option that wasn’t assault based.  They were very expensive and while neat I never found them to be good enough to take all the time.  Thankfully they tweaked how the Bikers work and the old Melta Missiles became decent so needing to have anti-vehicle options is not nearly as exciting.  Still, they dropped the points a bit on these guys so while not nearly as needed they are actually pretty good now.  If you want to get a ton of bikers you can expect to see some of these guys as a nice way to get 12 anti whatever they want shots into someone’s face.  Their little Pallas “Land Speeder” seems ok as it is again another Engage on all Fronts option – but its damage output might not be enough.  A read pointed out some fun things with the Jump Troop due to myself forgetting to use some Psychic Awakening goodness.  Being a Jump Infantry unit – and having a pretty nice pistol weapon – they get access to the double shoot stratagem from those updated bits and pieces.  This is pretty interesting as their Pistol is a 2 shot, 18″ range, Strength 6, flat 2 damage, and at -2 AP.  You get a nice squad of them pumping out a ton of 2+ hitting shots which can be pretty dang amazing.  I still don’t like the models and just feel they look odd in the current 40k universe.  You would think they would end up looking like a big Inceptor with more bling – but they still get a 2+ armor save due to the little buckler on their arms.

Custodian Heavy Support

On the Heavy front, you got the big fat super Dreadnought – the Telemon.  This one might be better now too as the playing field is shorter, this guy is tougher, and its weapon loadout isn’t too terrible.  It is pretty dang expensive so having one on the table as a backfield holder might be worth it.  It does have a 4+ invulnerable save, 6+ feel no pain, and the big boy Custodes pants aka 2+ armor save.  From there you got a ton of tanks with a transport version and a gun version.  I really wish these guys guns moved up to 2 damage as I think that is the missing piece to making these be worth it.  That is my issue with a lot of the weapons as they really should have gone up to 2 damage to make sure this army stays worthwhile.

Super Heavies

Finally, we have the super heavies where we have two options.  The Orion carries troops and shoots better and the Ares can bomb stuff and shoots a bit less.  We see these from time to time in events but at 500 points for the good one, it gets hard to fit them in, not waste CP For them, and have enough to win the game.  I have painted one of them – it was a beast but being a huge and solid block of resin it wasn’t too bad.  Will this end up winning you games?  Maybe – but overall I don’t think it is worth it.

Overall it isn’t a bad update as you get a cheaper troop choice to make your Patrols easier to build, a neat update/point fix to the Biker unit, and 2 pretty decent Dreadnoughts.  I like the idea of this army not going fully aggressive and instead of trying to win the game via measured offense, board control, and high maneuverability.  How are you guys liking the rules?  Did the simplification of options seem too much?  Are the FW options still needed?

Golden Boys Army List Idea

Custodes Patrol

Shield Captain on Dawn Eagle Jetbike – Misericordia, Salvo Launcher – 178pts
Shield Captain on Dawn Eagle Jetbike – Misericordia, Salvo Launcher – 178pts

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought – 170pts


Sagittarum Custodians X 3 – Misericordia X 3 – 159

Agamatus Custodians X 5 – Twin Las-Pulsar X 5, Misericordia X 5 – 565pts
Vertus Praetors X 5 – Hurricane Bolter X 5, Misericordia X 5 – 490pts

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought – Illastus Accelerator Culverin X 2 – 260pts

Golden Tactics

You have enough CP to get really crazy with the two characters and Dreadnoughts if you wanted.  A bunch of options will have a 3+ invulnerable save – so you can set up the 3 things surviving and you get points secondary, Engage on All Fronts, and whatever else you think you might be able to do.  The Shield Dreadnought is there to move up and be a pain in the midfield as needed.  Plus it is an extremely small army at 17 total models on the table top.

For the Emperor!

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