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Warhammer 40K: Codex Adeptus Custodes – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

6 Minute Read
Apr 15 2024

Goatboy here with review on the new Codex Adeptus Custodes.  Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from what’s headed your way in 40K 10th Edition.

Alright let me not super coat it – Codex Adeptus Custodes got hit pretty hard from the old index PDF.  I don’t think it is end of the world, but all those Custodes players that just pushed their golden boys forward and didn’t think things thrrough will be sorely hit in business pretty hard.  The new codex is a very big shift from how the army worked before. It will make the Golden Boy players have to shift their own tactics to survive the changes.

As usual I go over the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the book and try to make something cohesive out of the new codex.  I love Warhammer 40K, and a lot of this is all based on what I would find enjoyable if I played this army.  I won’t lie – I have dabbled in Adeptus Custodes from time to time and while I don’t have nearly as many models as I once did (clients have grabbed a bunch) I still enjoy painting up the golden boys and girls.

Codex Adeptus Custodes – The Good

We got a new codex for this army and we can see where GW is going to go for a lot of rules other armies have.  I think this codex answers the whole Ignore Modifiers set of rules that is going to show up everywhere soon.  It obviously was written to ignore how people might affect your hitting with your weapons and not how much damage your weapons can do.  It something I have thoughts on as while I have used it in the past – it shouldn’t work that way.

We also see how GW is going to remove an index army that might be too good (cough cough Aeldari).  This is important to, as it again shows GW is willing to listen, learn, and update faction rules as needed.  It is a shame as while the Adeptus Custodes Index army danced between being too good and then not due to points – it still sorta sucks.

No New Units (the positive side)

The codex also doesn’t have any new options you have to worry about in your army.  There isn’t a new thing you got to rush out, kit bash, or find the kit for.  This is a good and bad thing but it is nice to think.  Whatever you got painted now will work in the new codex.  If you have a ton of Golden folks in your collection then you are fine as soon as this book hits the market.

A Handful of Solid Detachments

Now onto some things I like in this codex.  We do have four detachments, and I am still a fan of a limited amount of options to look through.  Each of the Custodes detachments try to do something different with the Talons of the Emperor (Combined with Sisters), Updated Shield Host (Replaces old one), Null Maiden Vigil (All Sisters of Silence), and finally the Auric Champions (A character focused one).  I like the Shield Host update and Auric Champions as they continue to work within what most people already had for their Adeptus Custodes armies.


I really do like the change to their Army rule with an updated Martial Ka’tah.  Instead of picking something at the beginning of the turn you now get to choose unit by unit.  The rule is either you get Lethal Hits or Sustained Hits 1 with some things that let you get both or even let your ranged weapons get it.  Yes this does mean your Custodes tanks no longer know Karate – which was a very dumb interaction we saw a ton of!

Heck, this is a lot of what codex Adeptus Custodes did – tone things down, tweak rules that needed to be updated, and hopefully make an army that isn’t just a ton of super hulks doing a bunch of dumb stuff.  Most of the rules in the detachment again revolve around making your characters better.  One of the Enhancements from the new Shield Host does give you a powerful redeploy.   Most of the other ones are adding wounds or other tough options to the model themselves.

It is the same with Stratagems.  A lot of responses to the enemy and ways to make your guys better.  -1 to hit and ways to get some kind of FNP versus Mortals.  I am liking the crazy Character Detachment (Auris Champions) as it is all about making your leaders awesome.  I can see an army that is just a bunch of Characters running around and yelling at things.  A few strats do things like increase your OC and Leadership to help let you stick around.


Codex Adeptus Custodes – The Bad

I will say this – the army has been hit very hard.  It lost a ton of its toughness as well as lost a bit of its punch too.  You see Fights First removed from a lot of things with only the Sisters of Silence getting an option in their Detachment.  This is another big push in trying to remove what is biggest bully for any other assault army out there.

A ton of models that are Toughness 5, 2+ armor save, and a 4+ Invulnerable save with a boatload of wounds is extremely hard for any assault army to chew through.  You add in Fights First and you just can’t survive with enough stuff to punch through.  I know a lot of Adeptus Custodes players are trying to ask for the moon in the comments of Reddit but that type of army is not something good for the game.

Will this army still work?  Sure! I think Custodes can do a horde of guys and just play cagey with hiding your models enough.  They are still tough as heck and hit pretty hard.  I just think you can’t just push your guys forward and expect them to survive everything like some kind of dang’d superhero.

Codex Adeptus Custodes – The Ugly

No New Units (the negative side)

There are no new units in this book.  It is a shame as I would think some kind of cool vehicle – whether it would be a dreadnought or a tank of some sort.  It is just kind of sad we only got an updated “clam pack” character instead of something really new.  One of the Forge World tanks in plastic could have been easily added as something fun and unique.

Overall it is a rough codex to dig through after the ups and downs of Adeptus Custodes in the new edition.  They went from top of the mountain, tumbled down, and then clawed their way back up.  I do wonder if we will see the Devastating Wound show up in the Talons of the Emperor.  I also feel like there is going to be something added to them later just due to the nature of this codex.  I could be wrong as just making these guys cheap as heck might be the key to making them strong.

For the Emperor!


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