Forces of the Emperor – Custodian Venatari Squad

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Vaunted as a high honour among the Legio Custodes, the role of Custodian Venatari is reserved for a scant few. Among their ranks are those who have proven themselves both through successes in the Blood Games, the competitive exercise run by the Custodes to test the vulnerabilities in the Emperor’s personal defences, and those with proven skill with the Palace walls and its spire-tops. While shield companies patrol the vast hallways and cavernous rooms of the Imperial Palace, the Venatari are elevated above, making their domain among the rooftops and spires, overseeing and assessing the threat of all who enter or leave. Their predatory instincts have earned the Venatari the nickname of the Emperor’s ‘Hunting Eagles’, standing as immobile and vigilant as the birds of prey of Old Earth atop the mountain peaks before swooping into a killing dive.

  • Custodian Venatari Squad 230 pts
M WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv Base
Venatari (base: 40mm)
Venatari 8 5 5 5 5 2 5 4 9 3+ 40mm
Unit Composition
  • 3 Venatari
  • Kinetic destroyer
  • Tarsus buckler
  • Misericord
  • Venatari jump harness
  • Auric demi-plate
  • Frag grenades
  • Melta bombs
Unit Type
Special Rules
  • Legio Custodes
  • Bulky (4)
  • Chosen Warriors
  • Relentless
  • Stubborn
  • Deep Strike
  • Loyalist
  • The unit may include:
  • - Up to 7 additional Venatari
    +70 points each
  • Any model in the unit may exchange both its kinetic destroyer and Tarsus buckler with a:
  • - Venatari lance
    +10 points per model
Melee Type
Weapons with the Melee type can only be used in close combat.
Rending (X)

Some weapons can inflict critical strikes against which no armour can protect.

If a model has the Rending special rule, or is attacking with a Melee weapon that has the Rending special rule, there is a chance that their close combat attacks will strike a critical blow. For each To Wound roll equal to or higher than the value listed, the target automatically suffers a Wound, regardless of its Toughness. The controlling player may choose to resolve these Wounds at AP 2 instead of the weapon’s normal AP value.

Similarly, if a model makes a Shooting Attack with a weapon that has the Rending special rule, a To Wound roll of equal to or greater than the listed value wounds automatically, regardless of Toughness, and is resolved at AP 2.

In either case, against Vehicles each Armour Penetration roll of equal to or greater than the listed value allows a further D3 to be rolled, with the result added to the total Strength of the attack. These Hits are not resolved at AP 2, but are instead resolved using the weapon’s AP value.

For example, a model with the Rending (5+) special rule that rolls To Wound against a non-Vehicle model will wound automatically on the roll of a 5+, and the attacking player has the choice of using an AP value of 2 instead of the AP value of their weapon.
Gets Hot

Some weapons are fuelled by unstable power sources and risk overheating with each shot – often to the detriment of their wielder.

When firing a weapon that Gets Hot, roll To Hit as normal. For each unmodified To Hit roll of 1, the firing model immediately suffers a single Wound with an AP value equal to that of the weapon that was used to attack (Armour Saves, Invulnerable Saves and Feel No Pain rolls can be taken, but not Cover Saves or Shrouded rolls) – this Wound cannot be allocated to any other model in the unit. A Vehicle instead rolls a D6 for each roll of a 1 To Hit. If this roll results in a 1 or 2, the Vehicle suffers a Glancing Hit.
Assault Weapons

Assault weapons either fire so rapidly or indiscriminately that they can be fired while a warrior is moving.

A model attacking with an Assault weapon makes the number of Attacks indicated on its profile regardless of whether the bearer has moved or not. A model carrying an Assault weapon can make a Shooting Attack with it in the Shooting phase and still Charge in the Assault phase.

Plasma blaster18"74Assault 2, Rending (4+), Gets Hot
Instant Death

Some blows can slay an enemy outright, no matter how hardy they may be.

If a model suffers an unsaved Wound from an attack with this special rule, it is reduced to 0 Wounds and is removed as a casualty.


Melee, Instant Death
Frag Grenades

This class of grenade contains only a small explosive charge, and is intended primarily to disorientate and distract the foe while closing on a fixed position.

A unit that includes at least one model with frag grenades makes attacks at its normal Initiative Step during an Assault after it has successfully Charged through Difficult Terrain or Dangerous Terrain, but still suffers any penalties to Charge rolls imposed by Difficult Terrain or Dangerous Terrain when resolving a Charge through Difficult Terrain or Dangerous Terrain.

A carefully placed explosive charge can easily doom even the most heavily armoured vehicle, but are difficult to attach accurately in the heat of combat.

A weapon with this special rule may only be used to attack models of the Vehicle, Dreadnought or Automata Unit Types, any model with a Movement Characteristic of 0 or ‘-’, or Buildings or Fortifications. Furthermore, a model that is chosen to attack with a weapon with this special rule during the Assault phase may only make a single attack in the Fight sub-phase, regardless of its Attacks Characteristic and any bonus attacks from Charging or other special rules.

This weapon is very large, and more than a little clumsy, making swift blows all but impossible to achieve.

A model attacking with this weapon Piles-in and fights at Initiative step 1, unless it has the Dreadnought Unit Type or Monstrous sub-type.
Armourbane (X)

This weapon has been crafted with one aim in mind – to pierce the hides of armoured vehicles.

If a model or weapon has this special rule, it rolls an additional D6 for armour penetration when targeting a Vehicle model, or, when targeting a model with the Automata or Dreadnought Unit Type, re-rolls all failed rolls To Wound instead. These effects apply to both Shooting Attacks and close combat attacks.

Some instances of the Armourbane special rule may include a qualifier after the rule in brackets, for example Armourbane (Melta) or Armourbane (Melee). These variant rules are described below:

Armourbane (Melta): A model or weapon with this Armourbane special rule only gains the benefits of the Armourbane special rule when at half range or less. If the attack is more than half its Maximum Range away, it gains no benefit from the Armourbane special rule. If a weapon with this version of Armourbane also has the Blast special rule, measure the distance to the centre of the Blast marker after it has scattered. If this is half the weapon’s range or less, then all Hits are counted as having the Armourbane special rule, otherwise the Hits are resolved as if they did not have the Armourbane special rule.

Armourbane (Melee): A weapon or model with this version of the Armourbane special rule only gains the benefits of the Armourbane special rule when attacking in close combat.

Armourbane (Ranged): A weapon or model with this version of the Armourbane special rule only gains the benefits of the Armourbane special rule when making Shooting Attacks.
Nemesis Units
A ‘Nemesis’ unit is defined as any enemy unit that fulfils at least one of the following conditions:
Legio Custodes

The Custodes were the finest warriors known to the Imperium, faster and stronger than even the super-human warriors of the Legiones Astartes and outfitted from the secret arsenals of the Emperor himself. They were deployed to the field of battle only in the face of the most dire threats or to accompany the grandest heroes and pay witness to the most important of triumphs. They were the heroes of their age, renowned for their courage and feared more than any other by the foes of Mankind.

Models with this special rule gain the following benefits in various situations that involve ‘Nemesis’ units (see the Nemesis unit entry):
  • All models with this special rule gain +1 Attacks when locked in combat with a Nemesis Unit.
  • A unit composed entirely of models with this special rule gains an additional bonus of +1 to all Charge rolls made when all targets of the Charge are Nemesis Units.
  • When rolling to Hit while Engaged with a Nemesis unit, a model with this special rule will never need to roll better than 4+ to score a Hit – unless the Nemesis unit is composed entirely of models with the Primarch Unit Type, or the attacking model is in a Challenge with a model that has the Primarch Unit Type.

Whether pledged to the Emperor himself as the rightful leader of Mankind or to the dream of the Imperium that he intended to create, some warriors swore to fight and die for the Loyalist cause and no other.

A model with this special rule may only be included in an army that has the Loyalist Allegiance.
Army List
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This weapon is particularly heavy and requires both hands to wield.

A model attacking with this weapon never receives +1 Attack for fighting with two Melee weapons.
Melta bomb

Melta bomb
Melee, Detonation, Unwieldy, Armourbane (Melee), Instant Death

Bulky (X)

This creature is so massive, it takes up an inordinate amount of space in any vehicle or building it enters.

Bulky models count as a number of models equal to the value X in brackets after the rule’s name for the purposes of Transport Capacity and whether a given unit outnumbers another in combat.

For example, a unit comprised of five models all of which have the Bulky (3) special rule, would count as 15 models when attempting to Embark on a Transport Vehicle or when deciding if they outnumber an enemy unit (see, for example, Rampage (X)).

Relentless warriors are strong of arm – nothing can slow their implacable advance.

Relentless models can shoot with Heavy or Ordnance weapons, counting as Stationary, even if they moved in the previous Movement phase. They are also allowed to Charge in the same turn they fire Heavy, Ordnance, or Rapid Fire weapons.

The ancient volkite weaponry employed by the armies of Terra in the earliest years of the Great Crusade fired arcing blasts of energy rather than solid projectiles.

After normal attacks by this weapon have been resolved, count the number of unsaved Wounds caused on the target unit. Immediately resolve a number of additional automatic Hits on the same unit using the weapon’s profile equal to the number of unsaved Wounds – these can then be saved normally. Models in the targeted unit must still be in range in order for these additional Hits to take effect. These additional Hits do not themselves inflict more Hits and do not benefit from any other special rules possessed by the attacking model, such as Preferred Enemy (X) or Precision Strikes (X).
Pistol Weapons

Pistols are light enough to be carried and fired one-handed.

A model attacking with a Pistol weapon makes the number of Attacks indicated on its profile regardless of whether the bearer has moved or not. A model carrying a Pistol weapon can make a Shooting Attack with it in the Shooting phase and still Charge in the Assault phase. A Pistol weapon also counts as a close combat weapon in the Assault phase. In addition, all models with two Pistol type weapons can attack with both in the same Shooting phase. This follows the normal rules for shooting.

Volkite serpenta10"55Pistol 2, Deflagrate

Many warriors live and die according to the principle of ‘death before dishonour’. Seldom do such warriors take a backward step in the face of danger.

When a unit that contains at least one model with this special rule takes Morale checks or Pinning tests, the unit ignore any negative Leadership modifiers. If a unit is both Fearless and Stubborn, the unit uses the rules for Fearless instead.
Chosen Warriors

Trusted lieutenants or paragons of martial virtue, these warriors let no challenge go unanswered in the heat of battle.

A model with this special rule may issue and accept Challenges as if it had the Character type. Note that this does not allow a model with this special rule to use any other special rules associated with the Character type.
Deep Strike

Some units make their way to battle via tunnelling, teleportation, flying, or some other extraordinary means which allows them to appear in the thick of the fighting.

A unit made up entirely of models with this special rule may perform a Deep Strike Assault. Certain Faction or unit special rules may present other options for the deployment of units with the Deep Strike special rule.
Auric Demi-plate

A lighter version of the Custodes armour, designed for maximum manoeuvrability and minimal bulk, allowing those clades of the Custodes that rely more on speed for their protection to make the best use of their unique wargear.

Auric demi-plate confers a 3+ Armour Save and a 6+ Invulnerable Save.

Kinetic destroyer

Kinetic destroyer
Pistol 3, Rending (6+)
Tarsus Buckler

These small shields do not offer much protection on their own, but the complex energy fields lodged within serve to diffract and weaken radiation and energy bolts directed at the wielder. These fields are directional and relatively small, and must be angled precisely to affect incoming strikes – a feat that only the Legio Custodes can easily accomplish.

Reduce the Strength characteristic of Shooting Attacks made against a unit in which the majority of models have a Tarsus Buckler by -2 (to a minimum of 1).
Venatari Jump Harness

While it shares some similarities with the more common jump packs used by Imperial warriors, the jump harness relies not on the brute force of rocket engines, but on a complex array of null-grav generators and precision thrusters. These complex systems allow the Venatari to cover more ground and with greater precision than other assault troops.

At the start of the controlling player’s Movement phase, a model with a Venatari jump harness may set its Move Characteristic to a value of 14 for the duration of the controlling player’s turn (sometimes referred to as ‘activating’ the jump harness). This allows a model with a Venatari jump harness to move up to 14", regardless of the Movement Characteristic shown on its profile and gain any other benefits of a Movement Characteristic of 14 (including the bonus to Charge distance). In addition, all models with a Venatari jump harness that has been activated ignore terrain while Moving and Charging, but must take Dangerous Terrain tests as normal when beginning or ending its Movement in Dangerous Terrain. A model with an activated Venatari jump harness treats all Difficult Terrain as Dangerous Terrain and may move over both friendly and enemy models or units without penalty – but must end its Movement at least 1" away from any model from another unit.

A model with a Venatari jump harness may still Run, if it would normally be able to Run (this does not allow units that include any models with the Heavy Unit Sub-type to Run). When making a Run move for a model with an activated Venatari jump harness, add the Initiative Characteristic of that model to 14 to determine how far it may move – the model ignores terrain and models from other units while making a Run move with a Venatari jump harness as noted above, but may not make Shooting Attacks or Declare a Charge in the same turn in which it has Run as per the normal rules for Running.

During a Reaction made in any Phase, a player may not choose to activate a model’s Venatari jump harness pack to gain any bonus to their Movement Characteristic.

Venatari lance

Venatari lance
 - (Shooting)
Assault 3, Rending (6+)
 - (Melee)
Melee, Two-handed
© Vyacheslav Maltsev 2013-2024