The Custodian Guard are the most baseline troop of the Adeptus Custodes yet despite being troops, these honored Banana Men of the Emprah are still one of his most powerful warriors short of the Primarchs. Whenever sunlight gleams from burnished gold, it is a surefire message that the Custodian Guard are striding from the choking fog of war like fucking Gandalf the White during the ending scene of the Two Towers. These warriors make for a fearsome sight, for each is taller and broader by far than a mortal man, a goliath of battle that can snap an assailant’s neck with a single punch. Kenshiro style. They are so utterly fabulous that bullets and shrapnel ricochet from gilded breastplates as the foe tries in vain to land a telling blow but is too mesmerized by the Custodian's golden pecs and gilded muscles. Cases of Custodians stripping naked and posing their well endowed bodies are known to make the enemies of men get penis envy (And to make the females more moist than a Slaaneshi Daemonette in heat) and are often rejected by the Inquisition as outrageous and potentially heretical.
Each of these warriors is armed and armoured with the finest wargear, and they carry the blessing of the Emperah himself. So if your entire squad of Terminators suddenly turned into open minced meat, then you know who the main culprits are as these golden brotherfuckers could spank an Ork Warboss like a bitch. They are the bane of every non-monstrous creature EVER. And no. Your little Space Weeaboos with their tiny gunsticks and their precious little markerlights are only going to slow down the inevitable ass raping you will endure. Even baleful magic washes harmlessly from the steely minds of these paragons as the filthy witches drop to their knees to their TRUE Spiritual Liege. With their guardian spears and sentinel blades, they spin, parry and thrust, cutting the enemy down even as the built-in bolters hammer out death from afar. In their mind’s eye they carry judgment, and in their fists they carry death.
As bodyguards of the Emperor, the Custodian Guard are equipped with the iconic Guardian Spears, a Custodes Vexilla, Storm Shields, Power Knives and a Sentinel Blade. They aren't to be directly fucked with.
What do we get after years of waiting? Brutal statlines, plain and simple... First off: these guys have WS/BS/T/S 5 (WS6 on sarge). That's right guys, they are as strong and tough as a Warboss and almost as killy as a space marine captain (in fact, barring having a wound less, the custodes sarge is identical with a bike captain, all while having one more base attack and strength).
These beasts rock a 2+ save (and can get stormshields if they don't take a spear), 2 wounds (like grey knights paladins) and Eternal Warrior (not like grey knights paladins, suck on it!) all while being cheaper than a paladin squad in ppm. To cap it off, these giant golden bananas have Adamantium Will and get to Deep Strike, and are Fearless to boot, though it's not really a problem as they are bulky and are Ld10. Their base weapons are the classic Guardian Spear (but you can't have a stormshield with it, Asterion Moloc has the copyright for it) with S+1 (so S6... just like certain chapter master) and AP2 at initiative, which also has a built-in boltgun (NOT a bolt caster, though it can be used in both phases in the same turn) and can be used to negate an incoming melee attack once per assault phase. They can swap it for a Sentinel Blade for free, which is S:user, AP3 and come with a built-in Boltcaster, which is a 12" S4 AP5 Assault 2 weapon, that snap fires at BS2. It may seem like a downgrade to the spear, but Custodians also come with a Power Knife (read, common Power Sword, but probably so small that Custodians consider them kitchen utensils) so they would gain +1 attack for having two weapons. Also by not taking the spear they may also have a Storm Shield. And, lastly, they are ALL characters, meaning you can 'look out, sir' for all of them, and accept/issue challenges with all of them. yikes.
TL:DR I came, I saw, I tore down in melee. Then again, I cost about as much as a Land Raider.
Update:Talons of the Emperor Boxset goodness incoming: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2017/03/10/talons-of-the-emperor-in-the-41st-millennium/
Come 8th Edition
Stats-wise, the average Custodian is mostly unchanged, barring a drop in their Leadership score to 8, and a wound increase to three. That’s right, when running a Custodes army, your basic guy has three S6 AP-3 Dd3 attacks, three wounds, a 2+/5++/6+++ (and the invuln is upped to a 4+ if they come in a pure Custodes detachement), T5, and Ld8. They can also get a Storm Shield for a 3++ at the cost of having to take a Sentinel Blade, which is S:User, AP-3, Dd3. They also no longer have Fearless or Eternal Warrior built-in; instead they get a +5 Invulnerable save and a chance to ignore a Mortal Wound during the Psychic Phase on a roll of 6 thanks to their Aegis of the Emperor ability. Deep Strike as a movement option also requires spending 1 CP for one unit, or 3 for two.
In 30k / Horus Heresy
Heresy Era Custodians are an entirely different animal to work with.
They are NOT Eternal Warriors and are NOT Fearless, and now have Initiative 5 and Leadership 9. They also don't have Storm Shields and the ability to mix and match weapon types. This is a significant downgrade, even though with Inviolable Psyche special rule they are immune to Fear(Suck on that, Curze!) and can re-roll failed Deny the Witch rolls.
Futhermore, their Artificer Armour comes with a 5+ invulnerable save built into it and also gives them Move Through Cover, their initiative jumps up by +1 whenever their Weapon Skill equals or beats their opponents, they always try to regroup at unmodified Ld and their squad coherency is increased to 3" rather than the usual 2. Oh, and they have plasma(frag upgrade essentially) and krak grenades.
The basic unit is Custodian Guard Squad, starting at 165 points for 3 models. Their Guardian Spears are only S+1 AP2 on the turn they charge, reverting to power swords in following phases (similar to the phoenix spear). But on the plus side they come with straight out 18" Assault type bolters with AP4, so there is no ambiguity over whether you can shoot and fight, but the spear cannot parry blows. Instead you add additional attacks whenever a to-hit of 6 is rolled. But those extra attacks cannot confer additional attacks. Additionally 30k Custodians can replace their Guardian Spears with either Adrasite Spears which have an Adrathic Destructor (read Terran Disintegrator) instead of the Boltgun, while the Pyrithite Spear has an Inferno Pistol in place of the Boltgun for opening Tanks and the like.
If you take the Sentinel Blade+Shield option, the unit becomes Sentinel Guard, 180 points for 3 models. Sword is AP3, but it does get the Rending rule to make up. The shield they get is called a Praesidium Shield which grants an invul reroll in melee AND all the CC attacks hit the bearer at -1 penalty, so basic Space Marines hit them on 5+. Gorgeous. The only disadvantage is that model equipped with a Praesidium Shield cannot use a weapon with the Two-handed special rule, claim the benefit of an additional close combat weapon in assault, or use the increased close combat profile when charging for a Guardian spear-type weapon, though Sentinels are only slightly affected with "no bonus for 2 CCW" rule. It's not like you were getting it with Specialist Sword, eh?
Overall, both units are a great troop choice, Custodian Guards being able to mince absolutely anything due to potential I6 S+1 AP2 on charge, and Sentinels find their use in tarpitting and holding an objective. Anyways, use them wisely and don't throw them at something like Horus+12 Justaerin Terminators. You have Tribune and Hetaeron killteam for that.
|Forces of the Adeptus Custodes|
|Command:||Companions/Hetaeron - Shield-Captain|
|Troops:|| Allarus Custodians - Aquilon Terminator - Custodian Guard |
Custodian Warden - Sagittarum Guard - Sentinel Guard
Vexilus Praetor - Venatari - Warder
|Walkers:|| Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought - Telemon Heavy Dreadnought |
Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought
|Transports:||Coronus Grav Carrier - Drop Pod - Grav-Rhino - Rhino|
|Vehicles:|| Caladius Grav-Tank - Dawneagle Jetbike - Gyrfalcon Pattern Jetbike |
Pallas Grav-Attack - Venerable Land Raider
|Flyers:||Ares Gunship - Orion Gunship - Stormbird|
|Titans:||Warlord-Sinister Pattern Battle Psi-Titan|
|Auxiliaries:||Sisters of Silence|