Custodes Tactics: Beginner's Guide


Today’s, article is all about Custodes Tactics. So, If you’re interested in starting a Custodes army you will learn everything you need to know below. We will talk a little bit about who they are, their play style, and end with a solid 1,000 pt army list with some Custodes tactics.

Who Are the Adeptus Custodes?

Custodes Tactics

The Custodes are the most elite fighting force in the 42nd millennia. Which is fitting, seeing as they are the Emporer of mankind’s personal bodyguards. Furthermore, each Custodian is a hero in their own right, rivaling the combat prowess of most Space Marine Chapter Masters. Additionally, they have some of the best equipment the Imperium has to offer and were genetically enhanced by the Emperor himself. With their overall capabilities falling somewhere in between a Space Marine and a Primarch. However, they had been relegated to guarding the Imperial Palace for the better part of the last 10,000 years. Only recently being let loose upon the galaxy by Robute Guilliman himself. Personally, I could only imagine how that conversation went after Bobby G found out they had been doing a whole lot of nothing while he was away.

Custodes Playstyle

Firstly, I wasn’t kidding when I said they were the most elite fighting force in the 42nd millennia. The only army that is more elite are Knights, and only because they happen to be giant robots. However as far as an army that has actual infantry, the Custodes reign supreme. Your average Custode is S5, T5, WS/BS 2+, 3W, and rocks a 2+ save with a 4++ if your battle forged. Furthermore, they have a 6+++ FNP against mortal wounds, just in case you need it. Additionally, they have some incredible wargear and are terrifying in close combat.

However, it is worth mentioning that they do have a few downsides. Since they have some of the best stat lines in the game they also cost a lot of points. As a result, most Custodes armies won’t have a whole lot of models on the battlefield and will usually ally in other factions. Otherwise, they tend to have a bit of trouble controlling the board and generating command points when played on their own. Luckily they have access to some units so awesome you can still effectively run them solo at 1,000pts.

The List.

++ Outrider Detachment +1CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [54 PL, 1,000pts, 4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle-forged CP [3CP]

Detachment CP [1CP]

+ HQ +

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 165pts]: Salvo Launcher, Superior Creation, Warlord
. Auric Aquilis

+ Fast Attack +

Vertus Praetors [15 PL, 285pts]
. 3X Vertus Praetor: Salvo Launcher

Vertus Praetors [15 PL, 275pts]
. Vertus Praetor: Salvo Launcher
. 2X Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter

Vertus Praetors [15 PL, 275pts]
. Vertus Praetor: Salvo Launcher
. 2X Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter

++ Total: [54 PL, 4CP, 1,000pts] ++

Custodes Tactics and Army Breakdown

Custodes Tactics

First off this List is incredibly straightforward and doesn’t require a bunch of combos and synergistic nonsense. In Fact, this army mostly operates on the strength of the units in it, Ie. Jetbikes. Seriously, the Vertus Praetors are some of the scariest units in the entire game and are close to impossible to kill. Additionally, we have equipped our bikes with a nice mix of Salvo Launchers and Hurricane Bolters.

 In case you were wondering, we will have the hurricane bolters handy to deal with any screens of tarpits our opponent throws at us. After all, having an expensive unit of bikers spending 2 turns killing a unit of gaunts in combat can cost you the game. Meanwhile, we have our Salvo Launchers handy to give us the option of dealing with tanks and monsters as we move up the board. Luckily, while these units are expansive, they are also very fast, and should always look to be in combat with something as quickly as possible.

Lastly, we have our Sheild-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike, who is one of the best generic characters in the game. As far as traits and relics go he has Superior Creation and the Auric Aquillis, both of which make him incredibly formidable. To elaborate, he will be toughness 6, strength 5, has 7 wounds, a 2+ armor save, a 3++ invuln, and a 5+++ FNP.  Additionally, he provides nearby Custodes a re-roll 1’s to hit aura and is capable of taking on entire units by himself.

Parting advice

This army list is actually incredibly powerful despite its low model count. Having said this, it is very important you play the army aggressively in order to get the most out of your expensive units. Remember, a 40pt cultist unit can spend a turn doing nothing, but your 275pt bikers cannot. Also, I would recommend saving your command points for re-rolls. While the Custodes do have some great Strategems, you are only getting a total of four of them. As such, you will be better off saving them to re-roll charges and armor saves when needed. 

In conclusion

Custodes Tactics

Well, that will wrap up today’s article for Custodes Tactics. This Army list is very powerful, and a lot of opponents won’t have an effective answer for your bikers. Also, now that your here why not check out some of our battle reports by clicking here and here.

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As always thanks for reading!

Special thanks to Games Workshop for the use of their images and for making the best game ever!

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