Following on from a brief few thoughts on the Sisters of Silence release the other day, I wanted to turn my attention to the Custodes today.
Firstly, their stat line is impressive. With a toughness of 5, they're going to be hard to kill, doubly so with 2 wounds each. Just hope that the enemy didn't bring vindicators (EDIT: they're eternal warriors, so hey hum) or D-class weapons. (You avoid playing against Eldar, right?). Effectively, they are terminators as well with a 2+ armour save and an invulnerable save when taken in their special formation. Yet, this invulnerable save isn't all that good really if you have taken storm shields (which many people will want to opt for). Hence the formation might be somewhat redundant depending on the exact build of custodes being employed.
The upgrades for the unit are nice -- especially the vexilla. But taking the vexilla means that one model will be losing their spear. That's not so good. But its more than offset by the bonus attack in a full, surviving squad to be honest.
The guardian spear is nice, but is different in 30k. The ability to block is really rather good indeed. The AP2 is just terrific. And coupled with some shooting, its all looking very good here.
The sentinel blade sword with the BS=2 snap shots is okay I guess. I prefer the spear to be honest though. The reason you take the blades is to also take storm shields I would think.
In some situations the preternatural skill will be very nice, but I can't think of too many squads that have WS=6 on the whole. Solidarity gives a nice spread in coherence which will also pay dividends down the line when dealing with large incoming pie plates.
The only real negative here is that they can break and be swept off the board. Its probably not going to happen, but it is a possibility.
Overall, they are a killy melee squad. To be honest, other squads can also do this, and the points value for their increased ability to kill reflects how good they are at it. I do wonder if TH+SS terminators are a better investment. Doubly so for taking land raiders and charging out of them (until I see the stat line of the Custodes grav-tank!).
Hence, I'm on the fence. They could be a real points sink overall and perform at the same level as other squads. I would like to see them face off against Salamanders (30k) terminators myself at equal points value just for entertainment purposes. Other than that, I can see them being of big use to loyalist and Imperial armies in both 30k and 40k the world over. But for me, I think I'd be taking something else. Its not that they're not good (they most assuredly are), but they're almost too powerful (i.e. less fun for an opponent) and too much of a points sink.