Right, so I don't have enough going on with Chaos and Undead Warhammer Fantasy models scattered all over my desk... I thought I'd add some more Rogue Trader models to my collection of painted minis. But where to start? I have piles of unpainted Space Marines, Adventurers, Pirates, Orks, Chaos, and Genestealers from the good 'ole days. Somehow just sitting down and building some army lists seemed like the wrong way to go about it though.
I decided to break out the Rogue Trader rule book and roll on the scenario chart, making a solemn pledge to adapt, collect, and paint models and terrain for whatever the results were. Might as well roll on the subplot table as well while I'm at it...
(85) Capture and hold an installation or site
(52) Traveling the galaxy in search of salvage isn't the easiest way to make a living, so when the opportunity came to obtain the wrecked alien space ship came along you were there like a shot! The planet is a Death World, but the ship must be worth a fortune - so you quickly landed nearby and set up a dismantling yard. The robots were busy hacking the ship to pieces and crating it when you were attacked by a bunch of Jokaero. What are they after? One things for sure they are not getting your scrap, and you hastily prepare defenses. Can you and your robots defend the scrap, dismantle the ship, load it aboard your freighter and take off before the Jokaero over-run your camp?
(60) Whilst the players battle it out a further alien force lands and enters the fray - perhaps hoping to take advantage of the disorder to fulfill some mission of their own.
Jokaero? Really? I have the core for almost everything else that I could have rolled... I nearly rolled again, but decided the whole point of the exercise was to follow the dice or I may just as well picked the Battle at the Farm. Building a ship crew really appealed to me and will make a great core for future games. I also did roll a generic alien subplot which will let me paint some Orks or Genestealers - I'll decide after I've worked out the plot a bit more!
I set out in search of Jokaero, knowing GW has only ever produced two models. I'm not going to list everything I found during the search, but instead show you where I landed...
Though these don't strictly fit the Rogue Trader definition of Jokaero, these Eureka models (photo above is from Eureka's site) are wonderfully full of character. I will paint them in Jokaero Orange and swap a few weapons to mix in some obvious 40k guns. I'm going to build some kind of heavy weapons gun platform Walker to back them up and may add a few human mercenaries depending on the size of my final game.
For the salvage team, I'm going to make them a Rogue Trader and his crew - the big man himself, a pilot, a navigator, a tech (for the robots), and as many security and minor crew as needed to balance the game. I discarded the idea of using Citadel robots after a quick tour through ebay (too pricy since I want about four). I don't need combat droids anyway and decided to use some old Grenadier Gamma World models from my bits box of days gone by minis...
I think these will be perfect for light duty robots. I may mix in some sort of lifter or utility vehicles as well.
For terrain, I already have suitable desert terrain boards and a ruined space ship...
The later is a stock image, but mine is painted and ready to go on the table (somehow I've never managed to take any photos with the wreckage)! It's not an alien ship, but salvage from an Imperial transport may just as mysterious and valuable (hmm.. maybe my 'alien' subplot should be Imperial agents? Not sure yet).
I still need a ship for the Rogue Trader. I could assume it's parked just off table, but where's the fun in that? Again an internet search turned up all kinds of options, but in the end I really liked this...
The actual model is 1:72 scale, but the kit is over 12" long when assembled and there are few details that will look wrong for 28mm models. I have lots of extra tank bits and hatches I can use to give the illusion of fitting with other 40k kits. Obviously this will be more of a lander than space ship, but it will create a good footprint for a 4x6' table and serve as the centerpiece for the Rogue Trader camp which will have assorted crates and maybe a prefab hut or two. The Rogue Trader's star ship will be in orbit around the planet.
Finally the alien subplot... Orks seeking to make the best of the opportunity to gather loot and make mayhem? Agents of a Genestealer coven attempting to retrieve something from the wreckage... maybe elements in their employ were seeking to smuggle something off the planet... like a Purestrain Genestealer (did it survive the crash)? Or my aliens could simply be Imperials since my alien craft is an Imperial Aquila... after all this is a Death World and all of these parties are probably aliens in the end!
This is exciting - I love doing this kind of stuff probably more than playing the games!