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Rogue Traders in Kill Team

homegrown rules rogue traders Astra Cartographica

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  • Location:Lost in shadow on the Path of the Outcast
Standard Rules can be seen here (Downloads section, Wargaming Downloads category)
Unchained Rules will be available soon.

Rogue traders have been an essential element of the Warhammer 40,000 setting and games since the very beginning, with the 1st edition of the game being colloquially named "Rogue Trader." Despite this, the rogue traders have seen very little coverage in games. There were rules for rogue traders in 1st edition WH40K, but they didn't really see further attention until they were included in the Inquisitor game, which was published during the time of 3rd edition WH40K. After that, Fantasy Flight Games released the Rogue Trader roleplaying game. Recently, we've seen three specific rogue traders given attention. Notably, Elucia Vhane and her retinue were created in the Rogue Trader expansion for the Kill Team game. Then Janus Draik and and Neyam Murad were included in the Blackstone Fortress game (with Murad also being included in the limited print Combat Arena game). All three of those rogue traders have rules for the Kill Team game, as do their compatriots in the games. However, we still don't have generic rules for rogue traders. Back in April, I began working with a group of other B&C members to remedy this situation.

Our initial work was with the Inquisition, as discussed here. There was consensus in the discussion that rogue traders and inquisitors shared many similarities, so we used our in-development rules for the Inquisition as a foundation for our Astra Cartographica rules.

As with the Inquisition rules, we decided that we were going to create two sets of rules for the Astra Cartographica. Notably, we used "Astra Cartographica" as the faction name and faction keyword as "Rogue Trader" was used for the "class" of the various rogue trader characters and "Astra Cartographica" appeared to be the proper name for the rogue traders as a whole. Since we used our Inquisition rules as a foundation, our initial efforts focused on finding out where the two factions were different.

One design element that bears discussion is the seneschals. Assuming the three official rogue traders serve as examples of how GW might represent rogue traders in Kill Team, players won't be able to use rogue traders unless they are using the rules from the Commanders expansion. So we wanted a way for players to use their "rogue traders" in normal games of Kill Team. To this end, we looked at the various crew members that serve rogue traders. After lengthy discussion on various titles, we settled on "seneschal" from the Rogue Trader game, with different types of explorers (from that RPG) covered as upgrades for the seneschal. These characters are watered down versions of rogue traders - they lack the full scope of weapons/wargear that the rogue traders can take, but have slightly more options than other CREW MEMBERS can take. Like the rogue traders, these seneschals can also be used with other IMPERIUM factions.

We had free rein in terms of creating sub-factions. Since the background for the rogue traders from the RPG doesn't really speak to distinct sub-factions, we instead focused on the provisions in a rogue traders warrant. For example, a rogue trader whose mission is to support a war of faith for the Ecclesiarchy is likely to have considerable representation from the Ecclesiarchy, whereas a rogue trader whose mission is to support an Adeptus Mechanicus explorator might include considerable Adeptus Mechanicus support. The sub-faction that was added last is also the one that allows for an "Astra Cartographica" kill team to represent something else entirely - pirates. The Mandate Denied sub-faction was inspired by discussion of various ideas for rogue trader crews, as well as further research into the lore of rogue traders and the game setting.

Anyone that compares the standard versions of the Inquisition and Astra Cartographica rules that we've created will see that they are very much alike, with the main differences being in the rogue traders/inquisitors and the seneschals/throne agents. The sub-faction rules are the other area in which the two differ. This was deliberate, allowing players to represent distinct rogue traders/inquisitors by using the opposite set of rules. The unchained versions of the rules are where the two factions really begin to differ (and I'll discuss those differences when those rules become available - two weeks from now).

Ultimately, we hope that you are able to use these in friendly games of Kill Team; and we are open to feedback for correcting errors and improving these rules.
  • war009, walter h, Dr_Ruminahui and 1 other like this
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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
Ynnari: KT faction rules

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: homegrown rules, rogue traders, Astra Cartographica

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