The Golden Host Rides Out

Last week, we caught up with Warhammer Community’s Steve to see how he was putting together his brand new Adeptus Custodes army. This week, he’s back with more tips he’s learned from his time with the Golden Legion, including some hard-won tactical advice from his first-ever battle with the army: 

With the Allarus Custodians and Captain-General Trajann Valoris now done, it was time to make a start on the Vertus Praetors. I got two boxes to give me two squads of three Bikers, one for each flank, and decided to fit them out in the same way. In the games I have played with the old rules, I found I was lacking in long-range firepower, and so decided to equip two out of the three of each squad with the salvo launcher. The melta missiles alone will be able to help reduce enemy armour or large beasts to bubbling piles of goo, but the additional option of the flakkburst missile provides vital defence against Flyers. The remaining member of each squad will have a hurricane bolter with the intention of softening up any hordes of light Infantry I come face-to-face with before charging in to finish them off. I assembled and painted them in two sub-assemblies: the bike and the rider. This made it easier to get to all the visible pieces of the model. After they were finished, it did take a bit of a delicate touch to put them together, but ultimately I think it was worth it.

In the box, you get the choice of either a clear flying stand base or a long oval base. I chose the oval one as I could then apply the same basing technique I used for the whole army, which makes it feel like a more cohesive force. I use an even mix of Astrogranite and Astrogranite Debris, washed with an even mix of Nuln Oil and Lahmian Medium, and dry brushed with Terminatus Stone. Finally, I then add tufts of Mordheim Turf. Basing isn’t my favourite part of the hobby, but this gives me a consistent result easily that gives a nice contrast to the bright armour of the Custodes.

With the marvellous gene-hanced super-men and their flying machines finished, I now set about the Custodian Wardens. As with the Allarus Custodians, I had decided to make a squad of five with castellan axes, mostly because they were a new weapon and I have a load of guardian spears already. With the other box, I wanted to use the third variant Vexilus Praetor and equip him with a guardian spear, so it felt right that the remaining four should also have them.

The completionist in me rejoices at having all options available to choose from. The reason for giving the Vexillus Praetor a guardian spear is that I recently noticed the Gatekeeper Relic in the new codex and liked the idea of a Warden-based Character having such a named item. The Gatekeeper itself in a greatly improved version of the seminal Custodian weapon that can pump out a huge 6 shots at close range, but more importantly can hit on a 3+ instead of the usual 6+ in Overwatch. Given my Vexillus Prator is likely to be a high-priority target for my enemy, I think this will be a great help for any fight that comes his way.

With the army complete, it was time to put it into action and so I agreed to chuck them into the deep end and face Eddie with his Thousand Sons led by Magnus the Red. Some of you may have seen the game on Warhammer Live, and it was a great fun game that was a lot closer than I thought it was going to be, proving just how resilient the Custodes can be. For example, as I was only able to field one Venerable Land Raider in the force, I had to march some units across the battlefield to get to their foe. I chose to put a Custodian Guard squad in the Land Raider and keep some Wardens on foot due to their ability to ignore any wound on a roll of a 6. This meant that they were able to weather a punishing storm of fire, as well as cut down a Mutalith Vortex Beast on their way to eventually helping to finish off Magnus.

What’s more, the inclusion of the Vexilla Magnifica really helped improve my survivability by hindering the copious amount of shooting coming my way. Reducing Eddie’s hit rolls by 1 may not sound like a lot, but it really made a difference in the number of hits I took. Another point that really cemented just how sturdy even the “regular” Custodians are was when five Scarab Occult Terminators went toe-to-toe with a depleted squad of three Custodian Guard. Shrugging off their shooting, the Guard charged in and wiped them out in a single Fight phase (small surprise, I guess, when I’ve heard tell that five Guard were able to wipe out a squad of thirty Ork Boyz in combat). With -3 AP and D3 damage, guardian spears really help make short work of even the most elite enemies.

Ultimately, I lost 6 victory points to 4, and I feel that a major factor in this was my failure to deal with most of the Thousand Son’s psychic output. Even though I had a 6+ save against wounds from psychic attacks (which did help greatly), I think next time I will need to save a command point or two for the Spark of Divinity Stratagem. This will allow me to take a Deny the Witch test should I have a unit within 12″ of the enemy Psyker. Had I used this, I may have been able to prevent Magnus from negating Trajann Valoris’ 3+ invulnerable save, which left him very vulnerable indeed.

I learned a lot in playing Eddie, who is a seasoned veteran of the tournament scene, and I look forward to a rematch at some point. That being said, I did manage to kill the traitorous Magnus, so I maintain the moral victory.

Thanks, Steve! If you’re looking to start an Adeptus Custodes army of your own, make sure to pick up their new codex – your complete guide to fielding an army of the emperor’s most elite warriors.

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