Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reading Rogue Trader, Part Ten

Point Values
There were no army lists when Rogue Trader was initially published. In a normal game it was largely up to the Game Master to balance the forces in a given scenario. The point values system was designed to allow two players to build balanced forces without the need for a GM.

The human profile formed the basis for all point values and was given a base value of 5 points:

To work out base costs for other characters and creatures, the following modifiers (per point of difference to the above profile) were applied.

These could be applied as penalties as well so models with lower than average stats had their basic point cost reduced.

Values worked out from the formula given above tend to undervalue larger creatures. To compensate for this a modifier is applied to any creature whose point value works out to greater than 10. This done before adding weapons and equipment!

11-15 multiply by 1.5
16-20 multiply by 2
21-30 multiply by 3
31-40 multiply by 4
and so on...

Flying creatures are subject to an additional +5 points or +10% which ever is greater.

Creatures with innate armour saves cost +1/2 point per 'pip', before the multiplier is applied.

Every piece of gear in the game is given a point cost. Power gamers would have a field day here. For instance, such a player would always choose autoguns over lasguns because they cost the same, but autoguns have a longer range. There are other things on the lists that don't make sense. A Jokaero Digital weapon costs 50 points for what is essentially a +1 attack (valued at 4 points above) with a pistol of some sort. You can also have something else in the same hand as a Jokaero weapon, so that's something, but not 50 points worth.

There are also methods for working out dreadnoughts, vehicles, robots, and psykers. Finally there is a chart showing the basic cost for each race (basic, minor hero, and major hero) and creature in the Rogue Trader book to save you a little time calculating common troops.

That concludes the Combat chapter of the Rogue Trader book (whew), but there are still over 200 pages to go! Some of these I will gloss over quickly as they are merely extensions of some of what I've already covered, but there are some really characterful chapters ahead and I'm looking forward to presenting them, especially since some of seem to have never played the 1st edition of Warhammer 40k!


  1. We were just talking about the points modifiers needing to be different in 40K. e.g. for the original marine (+1 WS, +1 BS, +1 S, +1 I, +1 to personal), I would say that the BS is easily the most useful, probably followed by Ld/Cl. then WS, then S. That's almost the exact opposite of the actual value in points. Another blatant example is T vs W. Both offer resistance to damage, and which would you rather have - T7 or two wounds - both cost +4.

    1. That's right, but remember there are also guidelines a few sections earlier that say no model may have a characteristic score greater than a maximum for a Greater Hero of their race. Models are limited to a +1 Toughness over their base stat and +2 Wounds. Obviously you can build creatures with higher stats, but then they should be part of the GM's arsenal rather than a player's model.