Adeptus Custodes Preview 6: Warlord Traits and Relics

After 10,000 years as the Imperium’s final line of defence, the Adeptus Custodes are marching forth from Terra in force, and thanks to a new codex, you’ll be able to lead them in battle with new units, Stratagems, Relics and much more. In our final preview, we’re checking out the Relics and Warlord Traits you’ll be able to use to customise your characters:


As the guardians of Terra and the Imperial Palace, the Adeptus Custodes aren’t just bodyguards but the stewards of that which the Imperium holds most dear – or finds most fearful.

The new Codex: Adeptus Custodes features one named Character, but by the same coin, also contains all sorts of tools for creating storied heroes of your own. Every Shield-Captain you make represents a hero without peer, armed with a unique set of skills and wargear, and you’ll be able to use Relics, Warlord Traits and differing wargear options to suit your needs.

Firstly, the Adeptus Custodes have a much larger selection of Relics than other armies. All in all, you’ll have 13 Relics of Terra, including items that provide support to your whole army and archeotech weapons which improve combat prowess.

The Adeptus Custodes have a variety of roles in the Imperium, acting to protect Terra according to their own mysterious motivations. Some, such as the Aquilan Shield, escort and protect individuals they believe to be essential to the Emperor’s safety, and with the Praetorian Plate, you’ll be able to turn a Shield-Captain into the ultimate bodyguard.

Suddenly, your commander just got a lot harder to kill – or Saint Celestine just gained a deadly friend in your opponent’s Charge phase.

Perhaps you instead want your Shield-Captain to belong to the ebon-clad Shadowkeepers, guardians of those last terrors of Old Night that dwell in the Black Cells. In this case, you can use the Auric Shackles:

In Warhammer 40,000, killing one another is all well and good, but to win your games, you’ll need more victory points than your foe. In a closely matched scenario, an extra couple of points from killing your opponent’s leader could well spell the difference between victory and defeat.

As a highly elite, specialised fighting force, any casualty the Adeptus Custodes suffer is going to sting, and making your opponent bleed for every loss they inflict is the best revenge. The Raiment of Sorrows means that every Infantry and Biker model standing near the wielder has the chance to make one final attack, meaning enemies are forced to consider the risk of enduring another volley from your Vertus Praetors’ salvo launchers or hail of blows from a Custodian Warden’s castellan axe.

Of course, providing a measure of protection for your troops is one thing, but most of all, you’ll want to keep your Characters safe. Should your superb saves and high Wounds count not prove up to the task, there are a couple of easy ways to give yourself a 3+ invulnerable save:

The latter is particularly useful, providing a straight 3+ save for a Shield-Captain mounted on a Dawneagle jetbike, even if he leads a mixed Imperium Detachment.

It’s not just Shield-Captains who can benefit from Relics – your Vexilus Praetors can also arm themselves with rare Vexilla that provide bonuses to ALL Imperium forces nearby. The Fulminaris Aggressor, for instance, lets all nearby Imperium Infantry and Bikers pass Morale tests AND smites your foes with righteous lightning! Nifty, right? Just imagine combining it with an Astra Militarum gunline…

Of course, Relics are only one of the ways in which you can customise your Adeptus Custodes Characters, and if you’re using an Adeptus Custodes Warlord, you’ll be able to pick from a range of Warlord Traits to improve their already prodigious personal prowess even further.

Champion of the Imperium is the ideal choice for more cunning Adeptus Custodes commanders, allowing every single Custodian close to your leader to make Heroic Interventions.

Suddenly, charging your units becomes very risky indeed and, used in conjunction with other forces of the Imperium, you’ll be able to use your Custodians to counter-attack anyone charging more fragile units.

One Warlord Trait, in particular, can prove extremely useful if you’re using a pure Adeptus Custodes army and encounter a powerful enemy Psyker.

Impregnable Mind allows your Warlord to Deny the Witch and adds one to the test – not enough to stand up to a dedicated psychic onslaught, but certainly enough to deny your opponent a particularly critical power.

Finally, everyone hates watching their favourite Characters get killed, so more durability is always welcome. The Superior Creation Warlord Trait helps your leader resist mortal wounds or deal with anything that manages to pierce their impressive saves.

You won’t have to wait long to start writing your own Shield-Captains’ legends – Codex: Adeptus Custodes is available to pre-order right now!

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