For instance, let me provide the example of the new Versus Praetor Biker, compared to a Space Marine Captain on Bike.
To make them as "equivalent" as possible, let's give the Captain a Storm Shield and a Power Fist. So, in comparison, the Biker Captain has the following stats:
M14" WS2+ BS2+ S4 T5 W6 A4 Ld9 Sv2+/4++ (Note: He makes 5 melee attacks on the charge at S8 AP-3 Dmg2, with -1 to hit from the PF. Additionally, he has a RF2 Twin-Bolter as his shooting option)
Now, in comparison, a single Vertus Praetor has the following profile:
M14" WS2+ BS2+ S5 T6 W5 A4 Ld11Sv2+/4++ (Note: He makes 4 attacks on the charge at S7 AP-3 Dmg2, with +1 to wound on the charge, plus a free Misericordia attack at S5 AP-2 Dmg1. He also has a RF6 Hurricane Bolter as his shooting option).
Comparing the two, the Bike Captain has 1 more wound, but the Versus Praetor is +1T and has a built in 6+++ against MWs, so they are very close in overall survivability. In terms of mobility, the both move 14" and auto-advance 6", but the Versus Praetor has Fly, so he can move over intervening models and units, giving him a definitive mobility advantage (Oh, and you can use a Strat to Deep Strike him anywhere on the board, which the Bike Captain cannot do, being limited to Strategic Reserve options).
In terms of shooting, they are both BS2+, so the Vertus Praetor has a tremendous advantage with his 12 Hurricane Bolter shots compared to the Captain's 4 Twin-Bolter shots within rapid fire range. Moving to melee output, the Bike Captain gets one more attack on the charge, thanks to Shock Assault, and attacks at S8 vice S7, but the Versus Praetor gets +1 to wound on the charge (so basically the same as or better than S8 in all situations) and does not have a -1 to hit, plus the Praetor also gets a weaker 5th attack from the Misericordia, all of which basically puts him in par with Bike Captain overall.
Finally, in terms of additional "force multiplier" notes, the Bike Captain is a character, so he gets built-in Heroic Intervention and benefits from Look Out, Sir, while the Vertus Praetor benefits from the Custodes rule of counting as 2 models for purposes of holding objectives and, importantly, has the "Core" key word, meaning it can benefit from a whole slew of buffs that the Bike Captain cannot take advantage of (i.e. such as re-rolls to hit and wound auras, for example).
Taken all together, I would say that the Bike Captain and Vertus Praetor are VERY close in overall value and combat capability, with each having advantages in certain areas over the other.
So, knowing all that, how do their points line up? Well, based on the CA leaks, a single Vertus Praetor will cost 80 points, while a Captain on Bike (with PF and SS, to bring him up to "equivalency" with the status of the Praetor) costs 120 points.... i.e. the Bike Captain is 50% more expensive than the Vertus Praetor! Put another way, for the price of two Bike Captains, you could take three Vertus Praetors.
Now, I realize some of this is not an equitable comparison, as Bike Captains can take WL Traits, Relics, and have all kinds of Chapters Tactics, Strats, Litanies, and Psychic Powers to buff them, but Vertus Praetor also benefit from Shield-Host rules, Strats, and buffs from outside sources which, taken with the fact that they are literally 40 points cheaper per model, makes them a pretty incredible deal (remember, Bike Captains are a very solid competitive choice for SM armies right now).
More to the point, despite running small armies of very elite models, "pound-for-poind" it appears that Custodes units (like the Vertus Praetor example here) are an exceptional bargain.
I am not saying that every Custodes unit is as good of a deal as the Versus Praetor, but a lot of their units are in the same ball park (i.e. look at the new 45 point cost Custodian Guard... for 10 points more than a Bladeguard they get basically the same stats across the board, with the addition of +1T, +2S on their melee attacks, WAY better shooting, WS2+ instead of WS3+, and, most importantly, Objective Secured/being a Troops selection instead of an Elites choice).
Anyway, my entire point here is that, maybe, the whole Custodes "theme" is being an elite army that across the board has some of the very best points value per unit of any Codex in the game right now.
Thoughts on this? Agree? Disagree? Would love to hear other players' perspective on this!
Edited by L30n1d4s, 19 January 2022 - 05:10 AM.