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Warhammer 40K: How To Expand The Adeptus Custodes Army

4 Minute Read
Feb 10 2024

The Adeptus Custodes is a rather tight range of miniatures. With a new codex on the horizon, can Games Workshop expand the army?

When it comes to small armies full of elite, tough fighters the Adeptus Custodes spring to the top of the list. Short of say an Imperial or Chaos Knight army, they provide the option for a relatively small model count army that packs one heck of a punch. That’s part of the charm of the army really — too many units and you start to water it down. So how does GW expand the army to give folks who play them something new to collect? Luckily, we can still mine the lore for answers.

The first and most obvious choice is more Blade Champion miniatures. This is already an established unit but sprucing it up with more options or even a new named character seems like an easy fix.


This would also provide the option for some cool modeling opportunities. Think of something like the old Space Marine Captain kit that just had a ton of options with various wargear and weapons.

But what about that whole “mining the lore” comment? Well, there’s certainly one part of the army no one would expect to see represented on the tabletop: The Ephoroi. These are the shadowy brothers of the Adeptus Custodes who specialize in covert operations, infiltration, assassination, and counter-intelligence. I think a new named character or even a generic Ephoroi would be an excellent edition to the army. What would this unit do? Well, it would probably not look exactly like a member of the Custodes. They might still be a large individual, but with less armor — more focused on speed and stealth. I also think they could lean into that infiltration and assassination aspect.


And yes, I know we already have Imperial Assassins in the game. So why not have the Ephoroi do something in addition to be a character-killer? Have them mess with Command Points, disrupt Objective Scoring, or mess with reserves. The door is wide open for this design space.

Without going all in on the Forge World units (of which there are many, many choices) I want to point out the Adeptus Custodes Dreadnought options. Specifically, in the current Index, you really only have the Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought. I think this is a HUGE missed opportunity for this army.

The fact that the Custodes are really just using repurposed Space Marine Contemptor Dreadnoughts has always irked me a bit. These are the Emperor’s guardians! Why are they using hand-me-down units from Space Marines? And same with the Rhino and Land Raider. Sure, you can make the case that “oh, well they are all Imperial so it makes sense!” I get that. But c’mon. You’re telling me that the Adeptus Custodes wouldn’t have some more blinged-out options? I’m not talking about some upgrade kit either. Yes, I do want GW to reinvent the wheel for these guys. And paint it gold!

There’s other units/subdivisions within the Adeptus Custodes GW could tap as well. The Dankanatoi could make a come back for example. GW could introduce new types of Jetbikers, too — like some gunship version. But, I think the best way for the army to expand is with these smaller changes first. Introduce some new named characters or champions of the Custodes. Have them change up something about how the army plays. But most of all, I even with an expanded roster, this army needs to stay true to itself and remain a small, elite fighting force!


How would you expand the Adeptus Custodes in 40k without adding a ton of units that water down the army?

Author: Adam Harrison
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