Custodes (Emissaries Imperatus) vs. Daemons (Undivided, Khorne Heavy)

It’s time for another Custodes battle report with a variation on my usual Emissaries list.

I recently acquired a Caladius Grav-Tank and I wanted to try it out, so I dropped the Vertus Praetors in the old list for the tank, and used the points leftover plus dropping the guns on the Achillus Dreadnought down to Bolters in order to bring in a Blade Champion.

Chris is back, this time with a nasty concoction of Daemons spearheded by a Bloodthirster, Be’lakor, and Skarbrand (I’m calling him Skittles from now on).

Jaden’s List (Custodes)

++ Arks of Omen Detachment (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [99 PL, 2,000pts, 2CP] ++

Arks of Omen Compulsory Type: Elites

Detachment Type / Shield Host: Adeptus Custodes, Emissaries Imperatus

Game Type: 5. Chapter Approved: Arks of Omen

+ HQ +

Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor [Relic -1 CP]:
– Balistus Grenade Launcher: Range 18, Assault D3, S5, AP -3 D1 Blast
– Castellan Axe (Shooting): Rapid Fire 1, S4, AP -1, D2
– Castellan Axe (Melee) : S+3, AP -2, D2
– Misericordia: Extra Attack, AP -2 D1
Bane of Abominations: +1 to wound Characters, Monsters, and Vehicles in melee
Praetorian Plate: +1 Toughness, Once per game Heroically Intervene anywhere on the map within 3″ of a friendly unit.

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [Emperor’s Heroes -1 CP]:
– Interceptor Lance (Melee): S+2, AP -3, D2, +1 to Wound on Charge or Heroic Intervention
– Misericordia: Extra Attack, AP -2, D1
– Salvo Launcher (Ranged): Range 24, Heavy 1, S8, AP -4, D3+3
Tip of the Spear: Re-roll wound rolls of 1 on charges or heroic interventions.
Superior Creation: 5+ Feel No Pain

Trajann Valoris: Warlord Trait -1 CP
Watcher’s Axe (Shooting) Range 24, Rapid Fire 1, S5, AP -1, D2
Watcher’s Axe (Melee) Sx2, AP -3 D3
Misericordia: Extra Attack, AP-2, D1
Master of Martial Strategy: Each time you spend a CP, get one back on a 5+ Additionally, once per battle you can re-arrange your Ka’tah order.
Champion of the Imperium: 6″ Heroic Interventions, re-roll all hit rolls.
Adamantine General: 5+ Feel No Pain
Legendary Commander: Core models within 6″ can re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1
Moment Shackle: Once per game, fight again, interrupt, or ignore a failed save.

Blade Champion:
– Never hit in melee on 1 – 3
– Fights first, Heroically Intervenes 6″
– +1 for SHIELD HOST units to charge models in engagement range of this model

– Three different sword profiles at D1, D2, and D3 with various traits.

+ Troops +

Sagittarum Custodians [13 PL, 250pts]
. 5x Sagittarum [250pts]:
— Adrastus Bolt Caliver (Bolt Volley) Range 36, Assault 3, S5, AP -2, D2
— Adrastus Bolt Caliver: (Disintegration Beam) Range 15, Assault 1, S5, AP -3, D3
When you choose to shoot with this weapon, choose either profile or both. If you select both, subtract 1 from the hit roll for all attacks.

Sagittarum Custodians [13 PL, 250pts]
. 5x Sagittarum [250pts]:
— Adrastus Bolt Caliver (Bolt Volley) Range 36, Assault 3, S5, AP -2, D2
— Adrastus Bolt Caliver: (Disintegration Beam) Range 15, Assault 1, S5, AP -3, D3
When you choose to shoot with this weapon, choose either profile or both. If you select both, subtract 1 from the hit roll for all attacks.

+ Elites +

Allarus Custodian
– Balistus Grenade Launcher: Range 18, Assault D3, S5, AP -3 D1 Blast
– Castellan Axe (Shooting): Rapid Fire 1, S4, AP -1, D2
– Castellan Axe (Melee) : S+3, AP -2, D2
– Misericordia: Extra Attack, AP -2 D1

Allarus Custodian
– Balistus Grenade Launcher: Range 18, Assault D3, S5, AP -3 D1 Blast
– Castellan Axe (Shooting): Rapid Fire 1, S4, AP -1, D2
– Castellan Axe (Melee) : S+3, AP -2, D2
– Misericordia: Extra Attack, AP -2 D1

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought:
Achillus Dreadspear (Melee) Sx2, AP -3, D3+3
Achillus Dreadspear (Shooting) Range 24, Heavy 2, S8, AP -2, D3
2x Twin Adrathic Destructor Range 18, Assault 2, S5, AP -3, D3
Stratagem: Eternal Penitent [-1CP]: +1 Attack, re-roll charge rolls or +1 to charges if you already can.

Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armor [Stratagem, The Emperor’s Heroes -1 CP]:
– Balistus Grenade Launcher: Range 18, Assault D3, S5, AP -3 D1 Blast
– Misericordia: Extra Attack, AP -2 D1
Vexilla Magnifica (Aura): Friendly units within 6″ of this model gain the benefits of dense cover
(Emissaries Imperatus): Voice of the Emperor: Increase the range of Auras for this model by 3″ , add 1 to the leadership of units within 9″ of this model.

+ Fast Attack +

Vertus Praetors
3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia
– Interceptor Lance (Melee): S+2, AP -3, D2, +1 to Wound on Charge or Heroic Intervention
– Misericordia: Extra Attack, AP -2, D1
– Salvo Launcher (Ranged): Range 24, Heavy 1, S8, AP -4, D3+3

+ Heavy Support +

Caladius Grav-Tank
– 5+ Invulnerable Save
– Hover Tank
– Blaze Cannon (Beam) Range 48, Heavy 2 S9 AP -4 Dd3+3
– Blaze Cannon (Burst) Range 36, Heavy 8, S7, AP -2 D1
– Twin Lastrum Bolt Cannon Range 36, Heavy 6, S6, Ap -2, D1

++ Total: [99 PL, 2CP, 2,000pts] ++

Chris’ List (Daemons)

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

+ HQ +

Be’lakor [21 PL, 420pts]: Pall of Despair, Shrouded Step

Bloodthirster [18 PL, 345pts, -2CP]: A’rgath, the King of Blades, Brazen Hide, Great axe of Khorne, Rage Unchained, Relics of the Brass Citadel, Stratagem: Warlord Trait, Warlord

Fluxmaster [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Bolt of Change, Infernal Flames, Relics of the Impossible Fortress, Staff of change, The Impossible Robe

Skarbrand [17 PL, 330pts]

+ Troops +

Bloodletters [6 PL, 130pts] . 9x Bloodletter: 9x Hellblade

Bloodletters [6 PL, 130pts] . 9x Bloodletter: 9x Hellblade

Daemonettes [6 PL, 120pts] . 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

+ Elites +

Exalted Flamer [4 PL, 75pts]

Flamers [3 PL, 75pts]: Pyrocaster . 2x Flamer: 2x Flickering flames

Flamers [3 PL, 75pts]: Pyrocaster . 2x Flamer: 2x Flickering flames

+ Heavy Support +

Skull Cannon [5 PL, 90pts]

Skull Cannon [5 PL, 90pts]

++ Total: [100 PL, 3CP, 1,995pts] ++

We rolled up scenario 1-2, Tear Down Their Icons. This is the scenario in which you can plant bomb markers in the opponents territory and score points at the end of the game for each one planted.

Spoilers: We both forgot about this until it was far too late to matter.

(I’m a Knights player at heart, what are actions anyway?)

I won the roll off and opted to deploy first and place the first piece of terrain.

Left to right we have Sagitarrum unit #1, the Achillus, a big gap, another Sagitarrum unit in front of the big building, and then Trajann, the Blade Champion (proxied for the moment by a Venatari because I was building him prior to the game), the Vexilus, the Terminator Shield Captain, Shield Captain on Bike, the Vertus Praetors and then the Caladius Grav-Tank. I started two Allarus Terminators in deep strike because these deployment zones are monstrously large and Behind Enemy Lines is a good secondary objective usually here.

Left to right here we have Flamers of Tzeentch, the Bloodthirster, then the two Skull Cannons flank the mighty Be’lakor, while the Daemonettes and Fluxmaster sit in front. Finally, a unit of Bloodletters stands in front of a ruin where an Exalted Flamer hides. Chris started Skarbrand, a unit of Bloodletters and a second unit of Flamers in deep strike as well.

I was curious how the Caladius would perform this game. Theoretically ignoring hit and wound roll modifiers is very good on a big S9 gun, but I had lost a full unit of bikes for it and that felt a bit rough.

For secondaries, I took Bring it Down (12 points for killing all three of his big Daemons, 2 more if I killed his Skull Cannons), Behind Enemy Lines, and Raise the Banners High.

Chris took Behind Enemy Lines as well, Despoilers of Reality (Action on an objective, 4 points if it completes next turn, any number per turn), and Psychic Interrogation.

Chris rolled higher than me and went first!

Round 1: Daemons

During his movement phase, Chris moved the Bloodletters up onto the far right objective, his Daemonettes onto the center, and kept his Exalted Flamer on the back objective so that all three of those units could do Despoilers of Reality.

The Bloodthirster moved up and stayed slightly out of range of the Sagitarrum big guns from the top unit.

Be’lakor teleported some Flamers into my backline to score Behind Enemy Lines and shoot at my top unit of Sagitarrum.

During the shooting phase, both Skull Cannons unloaded into the middle Sagitarrum, and even with the transhuman stratagem, I did lose a guy. The Flamers had the unappetizing options of shooting at Sagitarrum in cover or shooting at a Dreadnought, and opted to shoot the Dreadnought. This did a point of damage, and the turn ended.

Round 1, Custodes:

I had to try and stop his Daemonettes in the center, but I also wanted to put as many shots into the Bloodthirster as I could this turn. I opted to start in both stances of Conservai so I could advance and action as well as action and shoot with my army. The 4 man unit of Sagitarrum got booted into Rendax stance 1 (6s to hit auto wound vehicles and monsters) with the stratagem.

The top Sagitarrum moved onto the objective there and raised a Banner. The Vexila raised one on my home objective, and my middle unit of Sagitarrum with Rendax moved up with an advance.

The Vertus Praetors screamed up to the center objective, and I hoped that between their attacks in melee and the little shots from the Caladius (who stayed put this turn) I would be able to clear the 10 Daemonettes.

My Dreadnought wandered off to take care of the Flamers in the corner, which felt like a really weird use of him. The Sagitarrum had to be the ones on the objective though, otherwise no Banner goes up there.

My shooting phase was a bit of a disappointment though, barely doing a handful of wounds to the Bloodthirster and killing one or two Daemonettes with the Caladius.

The Praetors charged in and failed to wipe the unit completely as well.

At the end of the round, Chris had scored 3 points on Behind Enemy Lines.

Round 2, Daemons:

Chris kicked things off with 12 Primary points and 12 points on Despoilers of Reality as all of his units finished their action (he used Insane Bravery to keep the single Daemonette alive and then used some Warpstorm points to heal back a few). They fell back.

The Bloodthirster moved up to take care of my bike unit, and things pretty much shuffled around.

Be’lakor allowed Skarbrand to deep strike real close to my army, and the second unit of Bloodletters chose to Deep Strike in my deployment zone. His original unit of Bloodletters had moved up to threaten the center, while their abandoned objective was taken over by the second unit of Flamers.

Be’lakor then teleported the Exalted Flamer back into my deployment zone to shoot at my Blade Champion and score more points on Behind Enemy Lines. The Fluxmaster got a Psychic Interrogation off.

The shooting phase saw a couple wounds done to my Praetors and a single wound sneak through on the Blade Champion.

His charge phase was monstrous, with the Bloodletters charging into the Praetors as well as the Bloodthirster.

I heroically intervened with the Bike Captain into the Daemonettes.

He opted to fight first with the Bloodletters, which slaughtered two of the Praetors. I was able to use my fight first everywhere trait to get sneaky with the remaining bike, piling into the Bloodletters and then consolidating into them as well, all away from the Bloodthirster.

By the time his fight was over, the Praetor was 4.5 inches away from the Bloodthirster, so all he could do was pile in 0 (he was move blocked by the Bloodletters and Daemonettes) and sit there.

The Shield Captain rolled very poorly and only half finished off the Daemonettes. I chose not to consolidate with him so that the Daemonettes were now outside his melee range and therefore were ineligible to fight.

Round 2, Custodes:

I scored Eight on Primary at the beginning of my turn, and two on Raise the Banners High. I moved into Rendax stance 1 (sixes to hit auto wound monsters and vehicles).

My movement phase saw a couple of key mistakes. First, I chose to not fall back with the remaining Vertus Praetor. I should have done this, as combined with moving my Caladius tank to the far right objective it would have stolen it from the flamers. Also, it would have enabled the Caladius to target models with a 4+ Daemon save instead of a 3+ Daemon save with its little guns as the Bloodletters would then have been unengaged.

Instead, he sat there engaging the little horned demons, the tank moved to the bottom zone, and most of the rest of the army moved towards the center chokepoint. I chose to leave Trajann well back so that he could counterpunch when Skarbrand inevitably came in.

My Blade Champion went off in hopes of killing his Exalted Flamer, and I put the two Allarus Terminators into Chris’ deployment zone with Deep Strike.

I was able to pretty easily kill off the Bloodthirster with shooting thanks to Rendax. I chipped some damage into the hiding Skull Cannon as well with the Dreadnought.

My fight phase was a bit of a disaster. The Caladius charged the Flamers just to tie them up a bit. The Blade Champion did charge and kill the Flamer, and the Sagitarrum in the center charged and finished off the Daemonettes.

Then the Praetor missed or failed to wound every one of his attacks into the Bloodletters he was fighting, and Chris used the super sweet Khorne stratagem to let his unit of Bloodletters on the left side move towards my home objective.

After this picture was taken, his center Bloodletters then slaughtered the Praetor.

At the end of this round, I had scored 4 on Bring it Down, a further 4 on Behind Enemy Lines, and 2 on Raise the Banners High. I’d also taken back or tied on all but one of the objectives.

Round 3, Daemons:

Chris scored 4 on Primary here, and then promptly moved his brick of Skarbrand plus Bloodletters central.

Be’lakor decided he didn’t like Trajann very much, so he wandered off to kill a tank.

The other unit of Bloodletters made their intentions on my home objective known loudly by moving all the way on to it.

Be’lakor teleported the two remaining Flamers where the Bloodletters had just been, and the Fluxmaster Psychically Interrogated my Bike Captain.

His Skull Cannons took out another Sagitarrum from the center squad, and then Bel, Bloodletters of both units, and Skarbrand got in there. I thought for a bit, and then decided to Heroically Intervene Trajann into the Bloodletters.

Those same Bloodletters went first so they would still be around, and completely obliterated the unit of Sagitarrum. The Bike Captain nicked some damage into Skarbrand, and then the other Bloodletter unit bounced off the Shield Captain in Terminator Armor, who promptly, with the help of the Vexila slaughtered most of them.

Trajann hit and wounded all seven (one extra from Skarbrand) of his attacks, but the Bloodletters rolled pretty well on their Daemon saves and kept three alive. I had to break the Moment Shackle to fight again with Trajann and finish them off, or Skarbrand would 100% live through the next turn.

Be’lakor swatted the Caladius around and it died horribly.

At the end of the round, Chris had 3 more on Behind Enemy Lines thanks to the Flamers and single remaining Bloodletter, and three more off a Psychic Interrogation.

Round 3, Custodes:

Ironically, with the Bloodletters dead, Trajann just kept the center zone from Skarbrand so I got to score the big 12 on Primary, as well as 2 on Raise the Banners High. I moved into Rendax Stance 2 (+1 strength attacking Monsters etc.) and paid some CP to put the Sagitarrum back into stance 1 because 6s to hit auto wounding is awesome.

I scootched the Terminators around to shoot things, but I should have just planted explosives and run away from Be’lakor.

Trajann confronted his foe, and the Blade Champion trudged off to fight some other Daemon thing that had just teleported into his backline.

My Blade Champion, 2023, Colorized

My brave, brave Dreadnought scootched out of Line of Sight of the Skull Cannons and in range to shoot at Skarbrand.

Much shooting went into the big Daemon and dropped him to 8 wounds remaining, which was thankfully something Trajann capably erased afterwards.

The Blade Champion made his charge and eviscerated the Flamers.

At the end of the round, I scored 4 more on Bring It Down and 4 more on Behind Enemy Lines.

Round 4, Daemons:

Chris scored 8 on Primary, and then decided that Be’lakor going and killing both Allarus Terminators would deny me seven points at the cost of his 4 points on Primary, so it was worth the trade. The Fluxmaster used a tricky Tzeentchian stratagem to get back to my deployment zone, scoring Chris MORE points on Behind Enemy Lines and getting off one more cheeky Psychic Interrogation.

Be’lakor went forth and did so, even killing the Terminator Captain who used his relic armor to Heroically Intervene across the map.

Round 4, Custodes:

I went into my final stance (Calistus? can’t remember, it’s been a couple weeks and didn’t come up) and scored 12 on Primary. I had zero options for scoring more Behind Enemy Lines, so my Sagitarrum swapped into Rendax again and Trajann raised a banner in the center while they blasted a Skull Cannon (but failed to kill it).

All I scored this round was Raise the Banners again.

Round 5, Daemons:

With the only secondaries he could deny me being Bring it Down and Be’lakor needing a BIG number to charge my center brick, Chris scored his four points and then hid.

Round 5, Custodes:

I was able to score 3 points on Raise the Banners High at the beginning of my turn, pop the Sagitarrum back into Rendax again, and blow one Skull Cannon off the table for a 9th Bring it Down point before ending the game and scoring 3 more points on Raise the Banners High and Primary.

I also killed the Fluxmaster with my ever faithful Blade Champion.

When everything was tallied up, I had squeaked out a narrow 83 – 74 win in this particular match, largely off the back of my MUCH higher primary score.


While I can see the use of the Calistus, I just didn’t like it in the list very much. If that model and the Blade Champion had been three more bikes and better guns on the Achillus Dreadnought, I think I would have been much more effective and had a better chance scoring more on Behind Enemy Lines in addition to shutting down the Primary scoring for Chris harder than I did.

For his part, Chris mauled me on secondaries, scoring 36 to my 29. If I’d played cagier with my Allarus I would have scored better on Behind Enemy Lines, but it didn’t occur to me that it was worth it for Be’lakor to come get them. Overall, a tight game and a much improved Daemons list!

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2 thoughts on “Custodes (Emissaries Imperatus) vs. Daemons (Undivided, Khorne Heavy)

  1. Great battle report! Very entertaining 🙂 it sounds like the daemon player did a great job keeping your assets running in circles in your deployment zone and constantly running after teleporting units. Do you think the sagittarum were the right call, since they could just turn and shoot whatever teleported?

    How did belakor catch your tank, given that it has such high movement and long-range weapons? I figured you would keep it far away from any melee threats. Perhaps that could be a reason why it seemed to underperform? I agree the bikes are amazing, but also it seems from the report like your blade champ kicked ass!

    Did your dread ever get into melee?

    1. The Sagitarrum are the main answer to the big daemons with Rendax letting them sneak through way more damage than expected, so I think they had to be the ones moving up the table.

      Bel caught my tank because I was very aggressive with it, but I think if I hadn’t been he would have come to the middle and Trajann would have been in trouble. Specifically though I think that in Emissaries where you fight first AND ignore hit and wound rolls, a model that natively hits on 5s is bad to have around.

      The dread murdered a unit of Flamers and then took shots at things all game on that top objective holding it down. In hindsight I should have deployed the blade champ up there with the Sagitarrum and the Dread which would have let the Dread be a bit more mobile.

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