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The Great Crusade > The Glorious Imperium > The Legio Custodes, Custodian Guard

Title: The Legio Custodes, Custodian Guard
Description: The Emperor's bodyguards.

Gagoc TheAncient - January 16, 2008 07:44 PM (GMT)
Custodes FAQs:

Are they Space Marines?
No! They are created through Genetic Engineering and not through Geneseed, which actually makes them superior to Space Marines, but fewer in number.

Is the Emperor their Primarch?
Are they the Emperorís Bodyguard, or a Chapter of Space Marines with the Emperor as their Primarch?

To have a Primarch you need to use Geneseed, and Custodes are not created through Geneseed.
There is no known genetic link between the Custodian Guard and the Emperor himself.
The Custodes act as both the Emperorís Bodyguard, the guard of the Imperial Palace and specialists sent on missions by the Emperor.

Does a lost Primarch secretly command them? Who is their leader?

No, their ultimate commander is the Emperor himself with Custodes as the command staff and Captain general Constantin Valdor leads the day-to-day operations.

The Legio Custodes / Custodian Guard / Adeptus Custodes Background

During the wars that the Emperor undertook to conquer Earth (known as Terra), the Emperor used Genetically Enhanced Techno Barbarians. By the time the Emperor decided to create the Primarchs, this Techno Barbarian force had evolved into the Emperors Personal Bodyguard (cum personal Spec Ops force).

After the disappearance of the Primarchs by the powers of the Warp, a project was undertaken to create a new form of Genetically enhanced soldier. This new process would be able to quickly create greater numbers of ,though slightly inferior, soldiers than the Custodes Process. This process utilised Geneseed and these new soldiers are Space Marines.

Therefore Adeptus Custodes (AKA Custodian Guard) are NOT Space Marines. In fact they are superior warriors to SM, to such an extent that before the Emperor ascended (sat on) the Golden Throne, squads were sent out to hunt Rogue SMs.

The standard armour of the Custodes and SMs Mk 1 are basically the same, they are closely based upon the Thunder armour used by the Techno Barbarians. To this day the Custodes armour bears the Thunder and Lightning Bolt icon on it's chest, as opposed to the Aquila, due to the fact it was the Emperors symbol during the wars to unify earth.

In the Horus Heresy art books, the Custodes are portrayed with the Thunder breastplate as part of their highly stylised and most likely artificer armour, but they are also portrayed in Terminator and Power armours, but without the Back packs common to SM armour. Also there are images of what appear to be Custodes Dreadnoughts.

Their favoured weapon is the Guardian Spear, a polearm / halberd type Power Weapon with a combined Bolter, though within the Imperial palace they are known to carry a powerful Las weapon patterned after the Guardian Spear. Along with the Guardian Spear they carry a Gladius, a short sword. When this is carried instead of the Spear, e.g. by assault units and Jet Bikers, It to may be a Power Weapon with combined Bolt Pistol.

Currently the Custodes forego their armour in the palace, they leather breeches and boots, a black cloak over their naked torsos, and ancient artificer helmets.
There is always several hundred on guard providing round the clock protection for the Emperor. It is commonly known that they never leave Terra and very rarely leave the palace.

Before the Emperor took the Golden Throne, their duty to the Emperor took them wherever he went, even into battle, though there were details sent on special missions. During the time up to the end of the Heresy, there is reported to be only two battles when the entirety of the Custodian Guard took to the field as one coherent force. One is during the Great Crusade, the other is the defence of Terra.


Rogue Trader, Page 133:
The Adeptus Custodes are the Emperorís inner guard, the members of which are privileged in being permitted to serve upon the Emperor, attending to his needs, receiving and recording his directions. These men never leave Earth and only rarely leave the Imperial Palace - an endless, black hive of forbidden technology and subterranean passages delving deep within the bowels of the planet.

Rogue Trader, Page 139:
The Adeptus Custodes forms the Emperorís inner guard whose duties are to serve and protect the Master of Mankind. A continuous rota ensures that there are always several hundred of these select warriors active within the palace, as well as a small elite of guardians who never leave the Emperorís side. Their uniforms are traditional but effective, leather breeches and boots with a long black cloak over a naked torso. Their helmets are ancient works of art; all-enclosing and tall they impart a threatening, impersonal appearance as well as providing a battery of protective equipment and communicators. The weapons carried by these guards look very much like spears or spear-guns, but are in fact lasers built to resemble the traditional and symbolic guardian-spear which has long association with the Adeptus Custodes and which appears on their banners, badges and other regalia. The guards themselves never leave Earth, and only rarely leave the Imperial Palace where their duties lie - their place is by the Emperorís side.

Codex Imperialis, Page 12:
Adeptus Custodes. The Emperorís Guard or Custodians are the palace guards of the Emperor, and their duty is to protect the Imperial Palace. As the Imperial Palace covers such a large area of the planet the Custodians act as a defensive army. Only a select inner corps of three hundred, called the Companions, actually serve the Emperor as personal bodyguards.

4th Edition Rulebook, Page 94:
On Terra itself, the Eternal Guard of Custodes keep constant vigil over the Sanctum Imperialis, the throne room of the Emperor himself. It is they, and they alone, who decide who may enter into the most sanctified place in the galaxy, and it is in their care that the future of Mankind is kept safe.

False Gods, Horus Heresy Book 2, Page 294:
There were six of them, each with the build of an Astartes, but without a suit of battle plate, they were less bulked out and gigantic. They wore fabulously ornate gold breastplates decorated with eagles and lightning bolts, and each wore a tall, peaked helm of bronze with a red, horsehair plume. Scarlet cloaks billowed behind them in the cyclone that swept through the chamber. Long spears with boltguns slung beneath long, crackling blades were aimed at him, and he instantly recognised the warriors for what they were - the Custodian Guard, the Praetorians of the Emperor himself.

Flight Of The Eisenstein, Horus Heresy Book 4, Page 401:
There were two men, but they were much more than that. Even barefoot, the taller of the two would easily have been a match for Iacton Qruze in his full armour. The watchful, hard lines of his face emerged from a suit of golden armour that was cut like that of a Terminator, but worn like that of a normal Astartes. Even at a distance, Garro could see an infinity of worked tooling in the etching that covered the glinting metal, the repeated shapes of eagles and lightning bolts. A cloak of rich red material hung around his shoulders and a towering gold helmet with a plume of crimson atop it was held in the crook of one arm. In the other, at an angle that betrayed the ease with which the warrior held it, rested a weapon that was half lance, half cannon: a guardian spear, the signature wargear of the Emperor's personal guard, the Legiones Custodes. Garro had often heard it was said that the Custodians were to the Emperor as an Astartes was to his primarch, and looking upon this man, he believed it.

Collectable Card Game:
Characters: Constantin Valdor, Chief Custodian, Captain-General; Mikaelor Cobernus, Shield Captain; Justinian Arcadius Custodian Sentinel; Aquillon, Legio Custodes Guard; Neron, Custodes Guard.

Command: Ares Guard, Command Squad of Constantin Valdor; Diocleton, Vespason.
Terminator: Aquila, Assault; Argonus, Ascetum.
Veteran: Artulon.
Assault (/Foot Knights): Adsulton, Heavy; Appollus, Lentum (FK).
Tactical (/Custodain Guard): Agricolus, Ballatoron (T), Centuron (T), Eratin (T), Herculaneum (CG), Praetoron (CG).
Support: Turmalis.
Recon: Castason, Comentoron.
Jetbike (/Cavalry): Avito, Fulmen ©, Trajanar.

Vehicles & Support:
Dreadnoughts: Primarus, Sagittarus, Senitorus.
Vehicles: Shield Of The Imperium (Land Raider), The Emperor's Gift (Rhino-Speeder).


Here follows the only known stats for a Custode from Rogue Trader. A Rogue Trader Space Marine stats have been provided for comparison.

Adeptus Custodes RT (Page 140)
M 4 WS 5 BS 5 S 4 T 4 W 2 I 5 A 2 Ld 8 Int 8 Cl 8 WP 8

Space Marine Rt
M 4 WS 4 BS 4 S 4 T 3 W 1 I 4 A 1 Ld 8 Int 8 Cl 8 WP 8

Here is the 5th edition stats for a Space Marine, and theoretical stats for a Custode in the 5th edition.

Space Marine 5th Ed.
WS 4 BS 4 S 4 T 4 W 1 I 4 A 1 Ld 8 Sv 3+

Adeptus Custodes 5th Ed. theoretical
WS 5 BS 5 S 4 T 4 W 2 I 5 A 2 Ld 8(/9) Sv 3+
They would wear Artificer armour (+1 to Sv) and bear the Guardian Spear, a Power halberd combined with a bolter, which would be a Master-Crafted weapon. As with all Pre-Heresy troops, it is possible they carried a Bolt pistol and close combat weapon, but they should have the choice to replace these with a Custode Gladius (combi-weapon of a short sword and bolt pistol)
Special Rules could include: And They Shall Know No Fear, Fearless, Relentless, and Deep Strike . Other possible special rules to be considered are Counter-Attack , Feel No Pain, Hit & Run, Eternal Warrior and when acting as Allies, Infiltrate.

rohanboi - January 17, 2008 09:48 PM (GMT)
:o How do you now all this !!!!!!!!!
lol once again Gargoc is god :D

The Red Sorcerer - January 21, 2008 11:54 AM (GMT)
Great stuff. Incidently this, for me, is exactly how background stuff should be presented as it gives all the references to the source material so everyone knows where the info comes from.

But no mention of Constantin Valdor? The Emperor may be their ultimate commander, but they do have a leader as well...

user posted image

Rogal Dorn - January 21, 2008 05:06 PM (GMT)
do you have any of the old custode models yopu can show off?

ShroudFilm - January 21, 2008 05:50 PM (GMT)
Old models...? When/where/what?

VESPASIAN - January 21, 2008 06:20 PM (GMT)
When Rogue Trader (Warhammer 40,000 to all you younger members) first came out, they produced a miniature of a bare chested custode, with cloak,helmet, spear, boots, breeches etc. The miniature looks extremely dated now.

Here is a link for the miniature itself:Custodian Guard The miniature itself is in the top,left hand corner of the page.

rohanboi - January 21, 2008 06:41 PM (GMT)
looks slightly xeno....
hmmm nice ad mech in mk4 on there

Fortronus - January 21, 2008 06:59 PM (GMT)
Ya Looks more like Eldar then anything but very cool find.

Lion El' Jonson - January 21, 2008 07:08 PM (GMT)
ah i've seen that one before, forgot it was a custodes, i thought it was an eldar :lol: the one thing is, even though its olld, it shows how hard custodes are, running around a battlefield topless :P

Rogal Dorn - January 21, 2008 07:14 PM (GMT)
its an interesting model....though i want artbook quality models! lol

and looking at the Inquisitors makes me think of my toilet bowl style =][=

rohanboi - January 21, 2008 07:35 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Rogal Dorn @ Jan 21 2008, 07:14 PM)

and looking at the Inquisitors makes me think of my toilet bowl style =][=


Rogal Dorn - January 21, 2008 07:52 PM (GMT)
its just a funny looks like a daemon gave him a swirly and its stuck to him. i love the model....if ill have to dig it up and paint it now

ShroudFilm - January 22, 2008 01:14 AM (GMT)
Ewwww... I remember those minis now.

Wow, takes me back to Combat Cards! :D

Rogal Dorn - January 22, 2008 07:15 AM (GMT)
i love playing the older additions of 40k.....rogue trader was the bomb.....2nd ed. was the best! squats to the rescue!

ive got all the old books and i gotta get a 2nd ed. game going

and i cant beleive you found this, do they have all the catalauge pages?

Gagoc TheAncient - January 22, 2008 02:32 PM (GMT)
That old model is of a Custodes in his 'Palace' uniform. They use the Laser-lance thingy instead of a Guardian Spear so that if they have to open fire they don't shoot-up the Palace.

VESPASIAN - January 22, 2008 03:19 PM (GMT)

You really must stop stating things as fact when it is not. It will cause so many misunderstandings amongst our members.

Its not really a 'palace' uniform at all .

Its actually nothing more than the equipment and uniform that the Custodes wore all the way back when they were first designed when Rogue Trader first came out.

That uniform and other Rogue Trader details have been superseeded by the newer style Custodes, with their current background.

Weiss - March 25, 2008 12:14 PM (GMT)
Further to that, I think there is a picture in the BBB depicting custodes (I think it's labelled as the Eternity Gate) and they definitely have armour on (as well as power fists).

Gagoc TheAncient - October 27, 2010 09:44 PM (GMT)
I've done a little update to the first post. Just a few details I wanted to add.

Here's some theoretical stuff I've been working on.

Custode Sentinel (=SM Chapter Master)
WS 6 BS 6 S 4 T 4 W 3 I 6 A 4 Ld 9 (/10) Sv 3+
Adamantine Mantle, Artificer armour (+1 to Sv), Guardian Spear, may replace Guardian Spear with Custode Gladius.
Special Rules could include: And They Shall Know No Fear, Fearless, Relentless, and Deep Strike . Other possible special rules to be considered are Counter-Attack , Feel No Pain, Hit & Run, Eternal Warrior and when acting as Allies, Infiltrate.

Custode Shield Captain
WS 6 BS 6 S 4 T 4 W 4 I 6 A 4 Ld 10 Sv 3+
Adamantine Mantle, Artificer armour (+1 to Sv), Guardian Spear, may replace Guardian Spear with Custode Gladius.
Special Rules could include: And They Shall Know No Fear, Fearless, Relentless, and Deep Strike . Other possible special rules to be considered are Counter-Attack , Feel No Pain, Hit & Run, Eternal Warrior and when acting as Allies, Infiltrate.

Custode Terminator
WS 4 BS 4 S 4 T 4 W 1 I 4 A 2 Ld 9 Sv 2+
Artificer armour (+1 to Sv), Guardian Spear, one per squad may replace Guardian Spear with a Flame Fury.

They have access to Rhinoís, Grav-Rhinoís, Land Raiders, Jetbikes, and requisitioned vehicles.

Guardian Spear (a two-handed master-crafted Power Weapon combined with a bolter) , Custode Laser (as used within the palace), Custode Gladius (mainly used by Jetbike riders), Guardian Lance (mainly used by Jetbike riders), Flame Fury flamer (Heavy Flamer with screaming eagle head), Boltguns. It is possible that they have access to specialist ammo for their bolters.

I put in the theoretical stuff to give an idea of what homebrew stats and rules for the Custodes could be like. It's also handy being able to say that they're updates of the RT ones.

Cpt.Loken - October 27, 2010 09:56 PM (GMT)
looks nice Gagoc, but im afraid i cant comment as i don't play much anymore...

One thing though, what are you referring to when you say Custode Sentinel?

Gagoc TheAncient - October 27, 2010 10:51 PM (GMT)
I was thinking that the Shield Captain would equal an Astartes Chapter Master, with the Sentinel equalling a Captain.

I even used the SM stats to come up with the Custode versions.

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