Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Custodes Beta Rules Review: Part 2- The Fast Attacks

Over the next few days I will be breaking down the Adeptus Custodes Beta Rules for Warhammer 40k that were released last month. You can download them here (for free) if you haven't had the chance to check them out yet.
Part Two below will discuss the Fast Attack Choices.
Part One covered the Elites Choices. Part Three will cover Heavy Support. Part Four will go into their Lord of War and Dedicated transport, as well as closing thoughts on the Beta rules.

Agamatus Custodes

I love what these guys bring to the table. If you liked playing Jetbikes, they are an auto-include IMO. Replace 3 of your Dawneagles with these Gyrfalcons (the actual name of the bikes them selves. The unit is Agamatus where the ones in the Codex are Vertus Praetors) and you are set.
These guys bring some potent anti-vehicle potential to the list with their Twin-Las Pulsars. This is the standout weapon, though it pushes each bike up to the 120 point range. But that is fine IMO for what you are getting. The S8 is a key feature here, as it means your aren't having to roll 5 ups to damage most vehicles like you did with the lances on your Dawneagles. It is also tremendously more firepower than the Melta missile with 2d3 shots, so not having the reroll to wound melta rule comes out in the wash. And it is way more points efficient than the melta missile. Really, if you mixed those into your bike force before, just run Agamatus with Las-pulsars now.

As for the other options, I at first thought the Lastrum Bolt Cannon was pretty meh... but then I realized it is 36". That is an incredible threat range for suped up heavy bolters. If you don't have the points for Las-Pulsars on all your bikes, this is the choice I'd take. It puts the bike on cost parity with your Dawneagles, and can just be used for targets of oppotunity around the board. Sure, the Hurricane Bolters of the Dawneagles are far more devastating up close, but when you have to sprint for a far objective turn 5, this guy will still have range on enemy units your Vertus Praetors just won't have.

As for the Adrathic Devastator... I just don't get why you would settle for this when you have twin-las pulsar as an option. Sure it is a lot cheaper... but it is short range and does mortal wounds to yourself. Just like I talked about how the Adrasite Spears in Part One were essentially worse Plasma Guns, this is a worse Plasma Cannon. Why didn't they just give Custodes a Plasma Cannon instead (from a fluff perspective). To make it even worse here, it is a Heavy Weapon on something ALWAYS MOVING, meaning you get -1 to hit. That means for the purposes of dealing mortal wounds to yourself, 2's count as 1's, and not even a Shield Captain Reroll will protect you from that like it would on other units. It just makes this weapon a hard pass for me.
To top this unit off though, THEY STILL HAVE LANCES!  In combat they are just as good as Vertus Praetors! Just a great threat all around.

The most comparable unit to these guys is the Pallas Grav-Attack, but we will get to that below.

Ventatari Custodians

I'm trying to figure out what the point of these guys are. In an Army with Jetbikes and 2+ save, 3+ save jump infantry just seems weird. Sure they come natural with Deep Strike, but there are better deep strike options in the army *cough cough AQUILON cough*. They just strike me as a unit made for people who just don't want to take bikes after one too many times of someone complaining about Custodes bikes.
If you are going to take Venatari, start with the Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler. This is possibly the most impressive pistol in all of 40k. Not only does the Combo look cool, but it can do some nice damage... more than heavy bolters actually. The buckler itself is pretty neat with the "ignore -1 AP" mechanic. It makes them as tough as any other Custodes unit against all -1 AP weaponry.

But if I was your opponent and knew that, all than means is I would shoot them with AP 0 or AP -2 Weapons.
Now I wouldn't use the Lance unless I had a Squad over 6. Once I had 6 pistols and bucklers, all the rest would have lances. Sure it is less shooting, and can't shoot in combat, but it is much better in combat than the buckler. And as a Custodes Jump unit, you really don't want these guys bogged down in successive rounds of combat, which is what you would need for the pistol to really be of use there. There are much better choices for tying up hordes in combat than these guys. Like all Jump Troops, they are for lightning strikes... which Jetbikes still do so much better. At 62 to 66 points a pop, I just don't see why you would take them over bikes or something like Sagittarum.

Pallas Grav Attack

A whole lot of people are ranting a raving about the Pallas. It does seem attractive at first I will admit. Only 100 points for what seems like a nice anti-tank weapon and a vehicle profile that doesn't degrade, all with Power of the Machine Spirit to boot.

But really, the only reason I see to take one (other than they do look neat) is if you are at 1900 points and saying "I don't know what else I can fit in".
First of all, lets compare to the Agamatus above. With no rerolls other than what the Pallas Arachnus Blaze cannon naturally has, a Agamatus will wound a T8 vehicle an average of 1.3 times compared to the Pallas' .9.  Really the S7 just does this weapon no favours. And that's without rerolls. Keeping in mind the bikes likely have a shield captain nearby, their performance only goes up. And their potential MAXIMUM is far greater.

On top of that, the Pallas has no presence in the assault phase, where as the Agamatus is brining 4 Lance attacks. And that is really going to be just about as effective as the Pallas's shooting attack against a T8 vehicle.

I could maybe see more use out of this if the Burst mode was heavy 12 (like it is on the Caladius, I'll talk more on this disparity in my next post, because we need to tie the Telemon in for that as well) or something, but at heavy 6, I just would rather really on other weapons and units for horde thinning.

"But this is a vehicle with 8 wounds. The Agamatus only have 4!" True. But this only will ever have a 3+/5+. The Agamatus have a 2+/4+. And they are the same toughness. It really makes them just about as hard to kill.

The other unit to compare the Pallas to is the Caladius. I know we haven't covered that here yet, but it is necessary to discuss. Too many people are thinking about taking 2 or more Pallas IMO. Take a Caladius with the Accelerator Cannon instead. For basically the same points (200 for two Pallas, 210 for one Caladius) you get more and better firepower at greater range and one more toughness, which make up for being 2 net wounds less.

"But the Caladius Degrades" you say. Yes. After 7 wounds. Where as with two T6 Pallas, I'd loose HALF my firepower after taking 8 wounds. I'd rather take the degradation. The only advantage I see two Pallas having over a Caladius is they can split their fire and/or be in two different locations.

Really these other choices are just no-brainers to me over the Pallas. Like I said, if you only have 100 to like 125 points left, sure, take a Pallas. It isn't terrible and it will do some work for you. Send it off to support half your Dawneagles. But that is really all it is good for IMO.

That is it for part two! Tell us what you think in the comments below and come back for tomorrow where we discuss Heavy Support in Part Three!