The Codex: Orks and Codex: Custodes FAQs Hot Take

When it rains, it pours – Games Workshop dropped a pair of FAQs today, covering the recent Codex releases for Orks and the Adeptus Custodes. If you missed our reviews of each Codex, you can find them here:

Custodian Guards
Custodian Guards. Credit: Pendulin

The Codex: Adeptus Custodes FAQ

There are really only two changes here. There’s a third, but it’s correcting a typo on the Champion of the Imperium Enhancement in Talons of the Emperor, which previously referred to the Deadly Units ability instead of “Deadly Unity.” 

Auric Champions – Shoulder the Mantle Stratagem now has to be used before the Reinforcements step. In addition, it now explicitly prevents you from joining an attached character to another unit without a leader.

Jeremy: The first part of this change has fairly big implications – previously some clever Custodes players were using this to shorten deep strike charges by having a character like a Blade Champion advance up the board, then deep strike a unit behind it. Using Shoulder the Mantle like this allowed them to change a 9” deep strike charge into a 5” charge thanks to 2” coherency and 50mm bases. Apparently this was not at all intended, so they cleaned up the timing wording.

The second part is a direct shot at “jank” players who tried to argue they could take a character model currently leading a unit and join his attached unit to an unattached one, creating a Captain Planet monstrosity. This cleaning up of the wording was a nice change, while still allowing some creating character bouncing throughout the game.

Valerian gained Deep Strike.

Welcome to the party, Valerian. It was kind of an insane oversight that Valerian didn’t have Deep Strike to begin with, so this is a fine fix.

Rob: Overall, this is kind of a bonkers FAQ given how many problems there are with the Adeptus Custodes book. I was expecting some kind of change to the Strategic Mastery ability on Shield-Captains to let them actually use the Stratagems in the Auric Champions Detachment for free, but that may apparently be the purview of the Dataslate? Either way it’s an insane situation to be in with the army. The other changes are whatever – Valerian was clearly a typo, and no one was misplaying the Champion of the Imperium enhancement.

The fix to Shoulder the Mantle is fine; that was kind of a weird oversight but I’ll admit that using it to get short charges out of Deep Strike is clever in a way that I can appreciate. 

Jeremy: A note on the Shield Captain ability – dataslates are not universally applied – they are recommended for Matched Play and are used at all Games Workshop Crusade events, and I strongly encourage others to use them as well. It’s a weird split for sure, but if you’re playing beerhammer go ahead and let your Shield Captain flag fly!

Rob: Yeah if you’re playing more casually at home I’d recommend letting Auric Champions Shield-Captains use the Detachment Stratagems for free. The Battle Tactic restriction always was an inelegant kludge.

Jeremy: Agreed – it was a very clunky fix to a problem that I hope the rules team revisits sooner rather than later. There’s one other thing that’s being asked about after this FAQ and it’s Devastating Wounds protection. Again, it’s a dataslate vs FAQ issue – the change to Devastating Wounds not inflicting Mortal Wounds is a dataslate change, and so doesn’t apply to all rules. If Adeptus Custodes stratagems / abilities that give Feel No Pain against Mortal Wounds get extended to include Devastating Wounds, it would also be a dataslate change (as seen in the 2024Q1 Dataslate in January).

Battlewagon - Deathrolla and Kannon. Credit: Rockfish
Battlewagon – Deathrolla and Kannon. Credit: Rockfish

The Codex: Orks FAQ

There are four datasheet changes here to mull over, and one of them is particularly interesting.

The Thievin’ Scavengers Ability on Gretchin now works at the start of your Movement phase (rather than your Command phase).

This means you can’t just use the ability before you have to actually take a Battle-shock test, and that feels like the intended order of things. That’s relevant given Gretchin are one of the game’s few Ld 8+ units. It also makes this ability work going first in the first battle round, as at the start of the battle round all objectives are contested.

Ghazghkull Thraka now takes up the space of 15 models in a Battle Wagon or Stompa, instead of 18.

This is a huge change, since it means that after Ghaz and Makari go into a either vehicle, you can still fit an additional 6 boyz, or more accurately, a unit of 3 Meganobz,, This means you can have Ghaz lead a unit of Meganobz and actually still have him ride in a transport, opening up a lot of possibilities.

Hunta Rig’s On Da Hunt ability has been clarified to actually work – it now explicitly states that it can modify the number of attacks made with the butcha boyz weapon even though it is an Extra Attacks weapon (which you can not modify per the core rules on Extra Attacks).

Teensy oversight on this one, and nicely cleaned up.

Conniving Runts does not require you to succeed the 4+ roll that does mortal wounds in order to do the reactive move.

Fairly clear here, would definitely suck to spend a CP and do nothing on a 1-3.

Green Tide’s Go Get ‘Em! stratagem checks after the shooting unit has finished its activation to see if there are 10 or more models in the unit.

This means it’s a risk you may not get the flat 6” surge move if brought below the threshold by this activation.

Rob: The Ghaz transport change is huge. 

Jeremy: Ghaz being able to ride in Stompas or Battlewagons alongside some useful friends is a very nice quality of life change. In the Index, the transport section was poorly worded leading to confusion about whether Ghaz & Makari took up 18 or 19 spots. They fixed this in the codex, but left us with the unfortunate reality of him not being able to fit with even 2 Meganobz. Now you can take 3 + him, or other combinations. The Go Get ‘Em clarification is a good one – the timing requires you to use the stratagem before the activation, but isn’t resolved until afterwards so it leads to some confusion.

Rob: If nothing else, it opens up some new list building variety, though I’m not sure I wanted more ways to play Bully Boyz.

Jeremy: There’s one thing that’s left unanswered in this FAQ and it’s already come into my inbox a few times today – how does Dread Mob’s Bigger Shells for Bigger Gitz work, namely when do you get the +1 damage? Bigger Shells for Bigger Gitz extra damage only applies against Monsters and Vehicles as the wording of the stratagem links the extra damage to the attack targeting a Monster or Vehicle (emphasis mine on that): 

“Each time you use this stratagem, you can choose to push it. …each time a model in your unit makes an attack that targets a Monster or Vehicle, add 1 to the Wound roll. If you choose to push it, add 1 to the Damage characteristic of that attack…”

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