Prot’s First game of 9th Edition (sort of): Adeptus Custodes VS. Orks

As usual time is a bit of a crunch but I really want to get this batrep out. I know there are a lot of Custodes fans out there and none more than me wanted to see how they will fair in 9th edition.

Be forewarned that this is really a ‘Maelstom’ Game of… let’s say 8.5! We used a smattering of the new rules, including, but not limited to: Table size (44×60), Command Points (12 +1 per Command Phase), Fly (can’t shoot after retreat), Terrain (Obscurement/Heavy/Light), and Monster/Vehicle shooting heavies/and while engaged.

Onto the fun stuff! But before I get into the game, please indulge me as I thank a fellow moderator on the Bolter and Chainsword, “Ranulf” for getting me some extremely rare dice from the Black Library Celebration all the way from Australia!

Thank you Ranulf! These dice were sold out in 10 minutes on the GW website, yet I could see them for sale for double the price on Ebay that same day! Shame on you GW. Let FANS have those dice, not the speculative buyers!!! (I did contact GW to give them a piece of my mind about their practices of selling ‘limited editions’ in an eBay fueled collectible market.)
The Regent has decreed: It is time to leave Holy Terra, and push back the Xenos threat! 9th Edition awaits! And by his golden light, we shall hug the new terrain rules!!

The Setup:

We played a Maelstom. Simple game really, make your deck, draw 5, play 3 cards, and your opponent picks 1 card to be worth 1 additional point.

The Map was slightly adjusted to accommodate the new map size:

Our deployment zones were 10″ each, which maintained the ‘neutral zone’ of 24″.

And the table was prepared as such:

For simplification, all terrain was “Heavy” (+1 save) but the two larger Ruins were declared “Obscurring”.



I always screw up the Orks, but here we go from memory:

Ghazkull + Psyker + Banner Bearer +? Forcefield dude (conferring 5++ in an aura)

4-5 Squads of various boyz. Some on foot, 1 squad in a Trukk, 1 squad in Battlewagon (T8!)

1-2 squads of Nobs in a Battlewagon

A large pile of Artillery. (D3 shots, and D6 damage each!)

A large squad (6-8?) Copters.

The Emperor’s Holy Golden Fist of Smashing: Custodes:

Let’s hope the Shield Captain doesn’t lose his head! (Aaand the bad puns are starting already.)

Dread Host:

Allarus Captain with Relic Axe (3 Damage base), and Dread Host Warlord Trait (6″ aura of exploding 6’s in assault.)

Trajann Valoris (just because I love the guy.)

1 Squad of 3 Guardians (1 Shield) + 1 squad of 5 Guardians (2 Shields) +1 Squad of SoS (Greatblades)

4 Allarus Terminators, 1 Telemon Dreadnought, 1 Caladius Grav Tank, 3 Virtus Praetors, 1 Vexilla Imperialis Magnifica.

1 Culexus Assassin.

Fred and Bill contemplate a future away from home. Tears were shed. Nothing to be ashamed of. Move along.

Early Game:

  • I should mention in the pregame I go about spending a plethora of my newly found 12 CP: Victor of the Bloodgames goes to my Allarus Captain. I spend 1 CP on the Telemon to put him in Godstrike reserve. I spend 1 more to put the new +1 attack, re-roll charges Stratagem. 1 CP is spent on the new Shield Commander pre game to give my Vexilla Bearer the ability to farm my own CP back on a 5+.
  • The Custodes win the roll to go first. I think in hindsight this may have been an error on my part… perhaps not. You’ll see why I say that. Anyway, I take first turn, so I must deploy first, but it won’t make much of a difference. The all consuming horde of Greenskins display their typical lack of ingenuity and simply spam themselves in blobs, hugging the frontline.
  • TURN 1 has very little to show. I have trouble scoring any points. I move my forces up, but trying to stay out of a first turn assault. My shooting is as terrible as I suspected…. the Custodes BARELY kill one of the Artillery units! I end my first turn with a single point. I shoot a tremendous amount of S5 shots into a mob of boyz, but I cannot kill them all. Guess what the Orks are going to do about that?


  • The Orks consider a “Da Jump” but realize there’s really no point. The Orks do some shooting, and because I ‘hid’ my Sisters of Silence and better units behind the Obscuring Ruins, the Orks struggle to kill too much in shooting. I believe for infantry I simply lost a Shield Custodian, and some Sisters? But the -1 to hit Vexilla helped as well. I do take a smattering of wounds across a few units, weakening them slightly but the numbers hold.
  • The Majority of the Orks force advanced on foot, including Ghaz.
  • To my surprise, it was easy for him to hit me turn 1, rounding the corner of the Ruins with 2 Battlewagons! The Custodes brace for impact.
The Green Tide meets the Golden Speed bump. Who wins? Quantity or Quality? The Emperor bets on Gold.
  • The Battle Wagon deth rollas can hurt. The wounds go right through the Guardians, killing one. I feel lucky and manage to hold him back… or is he holding me back? I can’t tell.
  • In the retaliation it’s hard for the Custodes to really hit back hard. (Here’s where a +1 attack on charge/charged units would have really helped Custodes.) I manage to get a few more wounds off of each Battlewagon (combined with my Caladius tank shooting phase.)
  • The Custodes are pinned, deep. They don’t like that, but are the Orks dictating the battle? Or are the Custodes laying a trap? Both wagons are still full, so a lot is yet to be determined. However with such a poor stake on the table real estate, the Custodes struggle to score, and the Orks take the lead.
l almost forgot to mention: remember the Orks’s half dead mob? They recycled on my edge the bottom half of the turn. It must be nice to grow back your troops like a rotting crop of cabbage.


  • The trap(?) is set. The Custodes’ Allarus Shield Captain: Crunchavius, teleports into battle! He brings the 4 Allarus, and the Telemon. Project Annihlate anything Green!
“EVERYONE MOVE FORWARD! We have NOTHING TO FEAR here!!! Not even unstable petroleum sources, used in hastily engineered vehicles by a race of borderline morons!!”
  • The second turn is spent deciding we must crack open these cursed garbage trucks! The Deathrollas threaten to turn me into gold paste, and the contents of the Wagons will surely get the charge off.
  • All Custodes that are on hand rush towards the Wagons. (this move would be debated for centuries after the fact. You’ll see why.)
  • With a smattering of axes, and the Sister’s Great Swords, and a dash of Spears, the Wagons fall! By the Emperor’s Grace!….. but then a gas leak is noticed…. an Ork lights a cigar, and the whole thing goes BOOM!
  • Yes the primary Battlewagon detonates on it’s last breath of life! Incredible! The explosion is IMMENSE. And this changes the battle.
  • All told the mortal wound damage totals: 1.5 Virtus Praetor bikes dead (5 wounds). 5 Wounds off of The Allarus Shield Captain! 5 Wounds off of Trajann Valoris! 1 wound off of the Sisters of Silence. 4 wounds off of Guardians, and 5 wounds off of the Vexilla ! (DEAD!)
  • For those counting along… that’s 25 MORTAL WOUNDS!
Bill, “Yeaaaaa…. so the Battle Wagon has been confirmed dead. Let’s not tell Guilliman about the lil’ explosion part, agreed?”
  • Twenty-Five Mortal Wounds (It’s hard to type through the tears.) For the record this has broken my previous record of 21 Mortal Wounds caused against me: (My Ultramarines’ Repulsor explodes on me Vs. Death Guard. Circa 2019. RIP Calgar.)
  • The Vexilla is gone, opening up a slightly better shooting phase for the Orks. (Thankfully they didn’t bring Shokk attack guns today!) As well it’s important to note, although not dead, the Custodes HQ’s are on wooden legs at 2 wounds a piece. I think I scored one point.


  • Like a field of rotting cabbage, green is everywhere. The smell of farts, and giggling greenbacks celebrate their exploding vehicle like the pack of axe wielding simpletons they are.
  • The Orks dump out of their vehicles. One squad of Nobs uses the wreckage of one of the Battlewagons to strap to their extremities for extra protection (+1 armour.)
The Allarus carve up a Battlewagon, and the passengers want revenge (and an old ABBA cassette tape found in the wreckage).
  • The Orks more or less, have the Custodes surrounded. They advance, including Ghaz. But something interesting happens here which surprises even me…..
  • The Orks shoot up a bit, but the Allarus really can’t be shot through the ruins (thank you 9th edition!)
  • The Charges come in hot, and the Green tide…. bounces, hard. With a notable lack of AP, the large Boyz squad, and the Nobs simply don’t have the numbers at this point, or the AP to cut down many of the Orks.
  • The Custodes hit back with a vengeance and cleave through the green masses like jello.

Late Game:

  • There is a lot of green on the table, but the Custodes show resilience. Even so, it’s important to note the ‘character shield’ of Custodes is shrinking, and all of the HQ’s are severely wounded.
The Custodes start to shave wounds off of Ghaz. This picture is from the Ork side of the table.
  • The Orks have moved in, and the Custodes get a big break here. The solo Guardian above (above/left) loses 2 wounds to a Nob Claw, BUT he then makes 21 consecutive 2+ saves to hold the line! This allows the squads behind to move into position as shown above.
  • The Ork Truk remaining has slid around the ruins to my far right. (left of the picture). So some shots are fired at the transport, and the heavy shots in the army fire at Ghaz. Since he can only lose 4 wounds per phase, I figure I have to start shaving him down as he is a beast if he makes it to me. Ghaz looses the maximum 4 wounds.
  • The Allarus position themselves, as a total of 3 points rest in the hands of the Allarus, and the Guardians removing the large Mob to the left to take control of the objective they now control.
The two sides quickly come to a full on smash in the middle of the table.
  • The Allarus do the job and annihilate the masses. The Guardians pitch in, and the Telemon holds the rear.
  • This gets the Custodes a 3 point turn which is much needed! But the Orks aren’t finished.
  • At this point I feel it’s necessary to explain what’s been happening to ‘Nappy head’. Nappy Head is my Culexus Assassin. And he chose to appear from the shadows in Turn 2. He was within 12″ of the Ork Pskyer…. what a beautiful opportunity. I got to use the D6 shots from the annimus speculum (?) (Horrible name btw). And I also used the D3 wounds Strat from the new Psychic Awakening. What a golden opportunity (pun intended) to earn a CP back! Just kill the stupid Ork Psyker! Not happening.. nope, ol’ Nappy Head rolled a bunch of 1’s, to hit, and the remaining were 1’s to wound. (I re-rolled for the heck of it with other dice, and would have killed the psyker 2 times over. Just bizarre.)
The somewhat diminished horde charges the Custodes to make room for Ghaz!
  • Even after that horrific explosion, and a poor start, the Custodes are still in the game. And the game hangs in the balance as Ghaz with his entourage are coming closer. (I failed to mention the Allarus managed to ‘snipe’ the +1 to hit in CC Banner dude.)
From the Ork perspective: Copters fire away at Allarus, as Ghaz moves forward.

  • The shooting is pretty strong. Between the remaining Artillery, and the fact I don’t have the -1 to hit Magnifica banner, more shots hit home than I’d like!
Wild shots ring out in the distance, but a good precentage find their mark. Allarus start to fall.
  • The Allarus fall down to 2 models, with one being severely injured. The Orks have been massively cleared out, but at the cost of many models that were protecting the HQ’s.
  • At this point, I don’t have the points to win. The rest if for bragging rights!
  • Ghaz rushes in, assaulting the last two Allarus, and my Allarus Shield Captain, and I play my last 2 Command Points on a critical Stratagem: The Emperor’s Auspice. This is essentially the equivalent of Transhuman Physiology for Marines. Essentially I cannot be wounded on a 1,2, or 3 from Ghaz. This is huge…. as Ghaz is Strength 16! (This was actually the second time I played it this game. Both times; life savers!)
  • The Allarus die, but the Shield Captain is only wounded 2 times thanks to the Stratagem! I fail one of the saves (which would have killed him!) BUT finally the Victor of the Blood Games comes through with a save.
  • I hit back failing to kill Ghaz, but cause 4 damage easily enough with the Relic Axe.
  • At this point, instead of going another full turn, I conceded. I am quite certain Ghaz would have died in the following Assault phase, but with all of those Copters, and Artillery, I didn’t have the man power, or movement available to get the points I needed.
  • That being said I still had a healthy Telemon, the Caladius, and Trajann with 2 Guardians. Not very much, but this was anyone’s game! Hard fought, and a mutual annihilation which seemed… intensified by the smaller battlefield. A very fun game.
We will return…. with fire retardant armour for those exploding vehicles!

Post Game:

  • It was a lot of fun, but a few quick notes on game changers, and some units of note:
  • The Allarus are good. Much more empowered by the strats in Psychic Awakening. Plus….
  • The Allarus Captain’s WL trait, exploding 6’s, was very good. It didn’t happen very much, but the quality of the hit is important.
  • The Allarus were very valuable, but even so they do fall quickly with the modern game’s plethora of shooting, and mid-damage weaponry.
  • New Survivability: It’s here. The ability to shut down re-rolls of any type when targeting an Allarus unit (2 CP) wasn’t useful here at all, but the two times I used the “you only wound on 4+” was HUGE. The guaranteed charges with the pregame and Teleport homer (I did use this in T2) combine for a very reliable pounce in turn 2.
  • The new Assassin rules are okay. These aren’t game changing, and feel in a very good spot. The lack of performance from my Culexus was purely my fault with poor rolling. On any other day, he would have done his job of rear flank shenanigans combined with anti psyker which by the way combines nicely with….
  • Sisters of Silence. Coming from both sides you can be somewhat immune from Psyk that targets ‘nearest’ enemy. Plus they are a cheap troop. I don’t know if Great Blades are the best choice. I’d rather take a shooty variant however these are the models I own. They also come with a 3+ denial strat which should come in handy. I consider them an auto take for now.
  • The Telemon is my favourite Dread type in 40K. It’s great to see he’s truly functional now combining 9th edition with the new War of the Spider Strats.
  • The new Dread Host empowers my favourite unit: Allarus. It also helps the Allarus Shield Captaing, but everything still dies, and with new Character targeting rules in 9th, this is going to be VERY difficult for Custodes to leverage and something to watch out for.
  • How about that explosion? That was insane. I felt myself getting pinned in my edge, and that seemed to be the game changing moment.
  • The Virtus Praetors (bikes) were miss used by myself. I should have held them back, counter charged, and taken better advantage of their Rapid Fire Hurricanes on the masses. But I got worried about those Battle Wagons which would inevitably cost me the squad (and so much more!)
  • Speaking of which: The debate was had about 1. Me going first. 2. Me moving so many squads to assault the Battle Wagons. I still contend that scoring was hard enough for me. If I went second, I believe I would have possibly been in a worse spot. Nevertheless I think there’s a case here for going second in this situation. The firepower he had was strong enough to put the fear into the Allarus!

Thanks for checking out the Batrep!



  • Great report and as a fellow custodes player I feel your pain about that exploding battle wagon. Never seen such a huge blast! I otherwise also agree with you that it seems like custodes could be a fun army in new 9:ed. If GW only gives us a couple more plastic kits and perhaps some higher stats (now when marines in gravis armour is as good as we almost) then our army would be great.


  • Great battle report! The new stuff we got from the War of The Spider seems nice, but not great.
    One thing though; aren’t Sister of Silence all Elites, rather than Troops?


    • Right you are. Thank you. I misplayed that one… which sure makes it tougher. Glad you enjoyed the report. The future certainly looks promising for Custodes.


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