War of the Spider: Talons of the Emperor


Psychic Awakening 8 War of the Spider has given us rules for the Talons of the Emperor. Talons of the Emperor are Sisters of Silence and Custodes. We can now expand on our War of the Spider: The New Custodes Preview article. They also squeezed in a few changes for Assassins which will affect the Imperium as a whole. First, let’s take a moment to thank Games Workshop for this Tribute. Our genre may be Grimdark but thoughtful touches like this bring a little brightness to it. 

Talons of the Emperor

Agents of the Imperium

Starting with Assassins, this is not a reprint of the White Dwarf rules. First of all, they no longer break the Detachment bonus if brought using the Agents of the Imperium rule. Just like an Inquisitor. Currently, you can take multiple assassins in two ways. First, they can join each Patrol, battalion, and Brigade without breaking the ability bonuses. Think Combat Doctrines or using up an elite slot. Or, you can take them in a Vanguard detachment if you have a non-Fallen Imperium Warlord.

In that scenario, the not breaking of army bonuses to combat doctrines was left out. Furthermore, you are not spending 2 command points to take any 1 assassin. Instead, you spend 2 CP to change out an assassin already on your list.  Assassins have also joined the 0CP stratagem club. One of the changes to Priority Threat Neutralized. The other Psychic Abominations hanging out inside of Custodes Detachments are the Sister of Silence.

Adding Talons of the Emperor to your army

Talons of the Emperor help Sisters of Silence join your Custodes army. In the past, you could take Sisters of Silence as an Astra Telepathica Detachment. Adding in a Primaris Psyker from the Astra Militarum to gain a Command Point for your Vanguard Detachment. Or you could take a Vanguard without an HQ. This is possible still. Now you can save on a detachment by using the Talons of the Emperor rule.  Your Custodes detachment can have Sisters of Silence units in the same detachment. The only way to get the new Stratagems for Sisters of Silence is by using the Talons of the Emperor rule or the Null-Maidens Detachment. Custodes can find a spare 50 points to squeeze in a Prosecutors squad. 

Talons of the Emperor

The one Sisters of Silence HQ unit can still not be used in match play. Valeria and Aleya only have the Faction Keyword Imperium. Their individual Keyword sections have faction keywords in their sections. Astra Telepathica for example. Until they are labeled as Faction Keywords they are unplayable. Null Maidens Detachments will not have an HQ slot for her and Valerian anyways. If the Sisters of Silence Faction Keyword is added to Aleya she still can’t join a Null Maidens detachment. If they add the Custodes Faction Keyword to Valerian, and the Sisters of Silence Keyword to Aleya, then yes a Custodes detachment would allow for both Valerian and Aleya to be played. So yes, at this time these models are unplayable in matched play. 

Talons of the Emperor versus Psykers

Talons of the Emperor cover the great weakness of Custodes, Psychic Mortal wounds, and other Psyker shenanigans. In our guide for Custodes Tactics: The Next Step Up we discussed 3 ways Custodes could be protected from Psychic powers. Well now with the Talons of the Emperor you have the basic protection of Sisters of Silence. That is up to a -4 to casting psychic powers from Psychic Abomination. That’s in addition to the fact that Sisters of Silence can not be targeted or affected by Psychic powers. Those negatives won’t affect the risk of Perils of the warp but if your opponent does Peril, you can force them to take additional D3 mortal wounds. Death from Perils prevents Psychic powers from being manifested. 

Even if your opponent still manages to get off a psychic power within 18” of them after a Deny the Witch attempt, they can use the Stratagem Psychic Severance to stop that power regardless, on a 3+. Despite all of those hurdles, your opponent must clear for a psychic power to go off. When it is “successfully manifested” against your Custodes, you can still attempt to stop it again on a 4+. Wardens can stop it on a 3+.

The other Sisters of Silence stratagem include the 3 types of units. 4 hits per flamer, +1 to wound for Greatswords and turning Bolters into assault 3 18” weapons. The utility stratagems are a bit too limited. Such as preventing overwatch from Psykers and Daemons or putting additional negatives to hit. The ability to reroll all hits if the Sisters of silence had more fearsome shooting and melee. That Stratagem requires Custodes to work. Join us next time as we dive into the other Talons of the Emperor, Custodes, and their new tactics.

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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! Thanks again for that special tribute for a member of the community.

Talons of the Emperor

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