Sunday, May 31, 2015

Reading Rogue Trader, Part Seven

Still in the Combat chapter (told you it was long)!

This section is pretty basic and includes lots of 'the GM shall decide' type of language. There are rules for destroying buildings, hacking through walls, and breaking down doors.

"There are no specific model vehicles available for the Warhammer 40,000 game at the time of writing."

Yep. That monster below was scratch built! The next paragraph is about taking other kits available on the market and converting them for use in your games. Man is that different from the game today!

This section covers moving, boarding and leaving vehicles, and combat. Vehicles are basically treated as any other model when targeted by shooting with Toughness, Wounds (called Damage for vehicles), and Armour Saves. In addition, when a vehicle suffers damage, roll a d6 - on the result of a '6' you roll a d10 on the special damage chart that may result in reduced speed, loss of weapons, loss of control, or outright destruction. Each point of damage adds +1 to the roll, increasing the likelihood of more serious results.

The section also includes Dreadnought Suits and Robots which are treated in a similar manner. Dreads and Robots have all of the characteristics of a normal model, including WS, BS, Attacks, etc. Dreads have the personal characteristics of their pilot and are subject to all normal leadership and cool tests. Robots have additional rules to govern their behavior. Depending on the tech level and intelligence of the robot, players may need to write down their orders for several turns in advance. There is also the chance that a robot might shoot a friendly if they are in their fire arc and nearer than an enemy target (robot must pass a 2d6 Intelligence check or shoot the friend) so you need to be very careful deploying them!

There is another interesting optional rule (the GM may decide) that paints robots (and 40k technology in general) as quirky and unreliable and that is the Robotic Malfunction rule. This is a chance (1 in whatever-sided die the GM decides - seriously) that the robot suffers special damage just as if it had taken damage in combat. It might loose functionality, go berserk, or simply explode! I KNOW many players would hate this, this I just love as much chaos in my game as possible.

Finally there is some of the humor that I love from this book tucked away in the Dreadnought special damage chart...

10. Control Loss - The suit goes berserk, moving out of control, firing and moving in an amusing manner randomly determined by the GM.

Profiles for general types of vehicles, dreadnoughts, and robots are included in the equipment chapter, as well as rules to randomly generate profiles for each!

Aerial Movement and Combat
Finally there are fairly extensive rules for aerial movement and combat. I've never used these (or really the modern rules for flyers in 40k) so I don't really have an opinion on them beyond loving the fact that there are rules for dropping things which may include 'stones, bricks, and other improvised items as well as grenades'. I keep picturing the movie Road Warrior and dropping a sack with a rattlesnake in it...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Rest of the Rogue Trader Crew

Thought I'd post the stats of the other members of the team, including the fearless leader...

That makes my Rogue Trader faction 585 points...

Friday, May 29, 2015

More Mercenaries

Here are the rank and file for Beltane Tarsha's combat team...

The squad has two models with Las Guns and two models with Bolt Guns. As with the robots, the point values were figured from scratch rather than from any list. They are elite troops and all are based on the Human Champion profile...

Finally, here they are with Beltane Tarsha...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beltane Tarsha

Here is the leader of Marko Steelknife's mercenary security force. Although the Rogue Trader has access to two squads of Ultramarines and a company of Imperial Army troopers, he uses mercenaries for operations that might be better kept off the Imperial books...

He actually replaced my model of Worldburner for the leader of the mercs, because I couldn't get over that dinky pistol. I think Worldburner will work better as a scout or spy for Marko Steelknife.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Salvage Robot Team

For the Rogue Trader scenario I'm working on, I needed four non-combat robots.

These models are very old Gamma World miniatures by Grenadier. They appealed to me because they are from the same era as my other models and fit in very well stylistically. They were essentially identical with separate left arms. I set about converting a few to add variety and create a narrative. The tracked robot has a servo-claw from a tech-priest model... no idea what the track bit was from! The command robot has a comm pack from the Imperial Guard Cadian sprue.

In my scenario, these robots are tasked with the recovery of valuable (?) cargo that may have survived the crash of an Aquila Lander fleeing from an Imperial patrol in orbit. Conditions on the planet play hell with comms so I'm going to limit the ability of the robot tech to change their orders - he must be within 12". However, he may relay orders an additional 12" from the command robot (the spiffy yellow guy), increasing the possible range up to 24". If anything happens to Hart, Marko Steelknife may broadcast a recall command that will order the robots to return to Natasha's Luck, but that is the only command he can issue.

Point Values were calculated using the rules on page 58 of the Rogue Trader rule book. As non-combat robots, they are not armed with range weapons but may be ordered to charge (if Tech Hart is in range) and they will automatically defend themselves in close combat if attacked. The Fusion Torches equipped on the red robots are treated (and priced) as Power Swords.

I'm full steam ahead on this project and the next few weeks will be mostly dedicated to the models I need to complete this scenario!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Reading Rogue Trader, Part Six

Still in the Combat chapter...

Rout and Pursuit
A unit must make a rout test in the following situations.
1. The unit just lost a round of hand to hand combat.
2. The unit suffers casualties of 1/3 or more of its current numerical strength to shooting and/or psychic attack during a single turn.
3. As indicated elsewhere in the rules. For example, while breaking away from hand to hand combat.
4. Anytime at the GM's discretion.

That last bit is why I went through them all. Again, Rogue Trader assumes that having a Game Master adjudicating the game is the default. Of course Leadership is the characteristic used for Rout Tests, but there is an interesting note. The test is made on leader of the unit's characteristic - even if it is lower than the unit! It's hard to see when this would apply, but I could see designing a scenario where a unit is burdened by a less than heroic officer.

A unit failing its Leadership Test is immediately moved 4" (apparently regardless of the movement characteristic of the unit) away from the fight. In subsequent turns, routers are moved at double their normal rate during the movement phase. The victors will pursue to remain in contact unless the pass a Leadership Test not to do so. If their movement is sufficient to keep up with the routers, they will attack again in the hand to hand phase, and the routers are treated as WS1! If pursuers follow routers off the table, they may return on the roll of a 4+ in the same spot on subsequent turns.

As mentioned in an earlier post, models which have not fired and are not with 4" of an enemy model may make a reserve move. Again, I think it is probably better to simply allow a double move in the Movement phase under these same conditions. However, it is interesting to note that Routing troops within 4" of allies also prevent them making reserve moves.

Rogue Trader has four psychological conditions that affect troops - Confusion, Frenzy, Fear, and Hatred. All tests against these conditions are made using the Cool characteristic. These effects may be built into profiles of races or creatures and some weapons and equipment may trigger these as well. The results of a failed test can create quite a list of effects. For instance, units suffering from confusion have a -1 to hit with shooting and hand to hand, may not use psychic powers, move at half rate, may not be split, AND ignores further psychology tests.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chaos Dwarf Berserker Regiment


Once again, I am extremely pleased with the unified appearance of the unit despite the wildly different models. I will add a regiment standard when I get around to expanding them, but I don't have any suitable models at the moment (the other Chaos Dwarves I have are all in heavy armour).

I need to make time to set up some terrain and take a few army shots!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Chaos Dwarves

... and this makes ten...

... or maybe eleven since he's got two heads! I really like this model and was thrilled to find it on eBay for a decent price.

That will be it again for now - I'll publish the regiment pic tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chaos Dwarves

Here's a twofer...

These are pretty much just armored dwarves without much in the way of distinguishing chaos features, but I needed models to fill in the ranks!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Back to the Chaos Dwarves

I thought it was time to finish up a few more models for my Chaos Dwarf berserker regiment...

This is a truly evil looking little model... the kind of thing from dark stories that haunts the lonely places of the world, kills cattle, and steals babies!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Reading Rogue Trader, Part Five

Close Combat
Again, for the most part close combat is similar to the other editions - roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save. The declaration of the charge occurs in the movement phase and allows a double move, but it is interesting to note that the actually fighting comes after the shooting phase. A model being charged may Stand and Fire with a -1 to hit or Run Away at double their move speed. Targets with Slow weapons may not Stand and Fire.

What is really strange and makes this section a complete mess is the fact that models are treated as individuals rather than units! If a charge is declared, not all of the models in the unit need to charge. If they can maintain unit coherency (stay with 2" of at least one model in their unit), they can move at a normal pace and fire during the shooting phase. The target of the charge may elect to have some models run away while others stand and fire! If a charger's target flees, he may continue to move and attempt to reach another model. Units defeated in close combat are pushed back 2" and winners will follow up unless they pass a leadership test not to do so. Interestingly, models involved in that combat who kill their target, do NOT follow up and stay where they were. There is a relatively long section on resolving the fate and position of these scattered models. Again, not awful for a skirmish game with 10-20 models per side, but I must say I do prefer the close combat rules of 7th edition to 1st. When I get around to playing some games, I will probably need to house rule how some of these things are handled.

Combat is resolved in order of initiative. As with Shooting there are more modifiers than newer versions: +1 to hit if charging, +1 to hit if uphill (higher ground, stairs, rampart), -1 to hit crossing a defended obstacle, etc.

A specific pair of modifiers deserves a closer look. There is a -1 to hit if using more than one weapon and an additional -1 to hit for the weapon in the off hand. However, models with two weapons DOUBLE their number of attacks so a character with 2 attacks actually rolls four dice (-1 on the primary weapon and -2 on the secondary). Normally the more dice you roll the better, but it may be more advantageous to settle on a single weapon, especially considering the last little nugget...

... and I think is huge... even Weapon Skill requires a 5+ to hit rather than a 4+ as later editions. You are only 50/50 if your WS is one higher than your target. In general, it is harder to hit in close combat and again it may mean a higher rate of survivability and more models on the table during the later rounds of a game.

Next week we'll look at the morale rules.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ultramarines Tactical Squad

Really pleased with how this unit turned out!

For the scale of games I intend to play, this squad would probably be plenty with the addition of a couple of low-level characters and a support vehicle or two (my rhino and landspeeder), but I will probably paint up at least five more so I can play Battle at the Farm. Hell, then I'm half way, I may as well finish the second squad...

I also have an assault squad (the old foot-slogging type with chainswords and without jump packs) and some terminators if I really want to let things get out of hand!

EDIT for Leadhead (previously posted on Quindia Studios blog, but I was remiss for not adding it here, so thanks for asking the question): All of my models start with a black undercoat. All of the paints were from the new Games Workshop range. I painted the armor with Macragge Blue, leaving the black showing in the recesses between plates. Then the model was given a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade. The next step was the most time consuming, though not nearly as much so on the modern marine models. I painted all of the armor plates again with Altdorf Guard Blue and left the darker colors showing in shadow areas - the underside of the legs and arms, around obvious joins int he armor, etc. In large flat areas, this meant blending the color out, but in small areas I simply left a fine line of the darker color showing. The final highlights were fast and consisted of Calgar Blue painted on the sharp edges of the armor (seen best on the helmet above).

Other colors were far simplier and applied in only two layers - Leadbelcher and tiny highlights of Runefang Steel for the metallics, Mephiston Red and Evil Sunz Scarlet for the visor (with tiny dots of White Scar and a coat of 'Ardcoat Vanrnish to make 'em shiny), and Celestra Grey and Ulthuan Grey for the white details such as the stripe on the helmet and studs on the shoulder pad. I don't remember what the browns for the pouches were, but any earthy color will do.

The classic artwork is filled with images of individualized embellishments to the Space Marine armor. In fact, in the Chapter Approved painting section (Battle Colours)  this is canonized by the story of Jon Blanchisan which relates 'the need for personalized iconography on all forms of armour and equipment.' I intend to take full advantage of that with these models and the model above sports a 'KIL KIL' slogan on his shoulder pad, a popular addition among the Adeptus Astartes.

The decals are from generations of Space Marine kits. I wanted to vary the look to keep a sense of individualism.

The battle damage was done by adding small chips and cracks with Abaddon Black and highlighting the underside of each with Lothern Blue. The mud and dust was built up by stippling and drybrushing in two coats, first with Mournfang Brown and then very lightly with Karak Stone, but you should use the same colors you would normally use on the base of your models. These colors are focused primarily on the feet and lower legs, but the errant splash here and there (such as the shoulder guard above) is not out of place.

Actually, I'm really not concerned with point values, army lists, 'correct' squad compositions, etc. My goal for this project is long term and simply to build up my collection of Rogue Trader models painted to the best of my ability. Unlike my Warhammer Fantasy project, I'm more interested in variety than saying I can field x number of points. I already have a pile of Adventurers, Orks, Chaos Renegades, and Genestealers waiting to be painted. I also have a small group of Eldar (enough models to make a couple of squads from the Crab Nebula Pirate list from the Book of the Astonomicon) and a squad of Squats that can either be Imperial Guard or part of a Rogue Trader retinue. I want to get a few of the rarer things as well like Zoats and (original) Tyranids. I doubt any of these will rise to the level of 2000-point armies, but I will happily mix Imperials against devious alliances of aliens until my forces are strong enough.

Ok, more Chaos models up for next week...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I really love this model with the flamer...

I had to hand paint the 'U' on the knee because this guy is so badass he doesn't need the right shoulder guard!

This is also my 100th post on the Macekiller blog... Hard to believe I only launched this site five months ago! To celebrate I'm offering a give away of a rare Imperial Bodyguard (Adeptus Custodes) model...

To be eligible you need to comment on this post AND be a follower of this blog. One week from now I'll put all the names in a hat and have my lovely wife draw one at random and send this guy out to the lucky winner!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Not a whole lot to say with these... I wanted variations on the shoulder pad to continue the unique look I used on the first five models.

Monday, May 11, 2015


I finally got around to adding more models to my Ultramarines squad!

Hopefully I can finish the squad this week...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reading Rogue Trader, Part Four

Continuing with the Combat chapter, let's look at... errr... combat or more specifically, shooting!

As I mentioned covering movement last week, the facing of your models matters. In Rogue Trader, you have a 90-degree fire arc to the front of your model and cannot choose targets outside of that arc. Targets behind you are safe. Choosing the center of this arc can be problematic with some models and once again the book mentions that if there is doubt, the GM must decide if a target may be fired upon. As a simple rule of thumb, I make the center of the arc the direction a weapon is pointing. For models without firearms or weapons at ease, use the direction they are looking in. Line of sight is similar for the most part to the modern game which is basically the model's eye view, though woods block line of sight unless the target or shooter is within 2" of the edge, regardless of whether or not you can actually see models between the trees (remember these areas are representative and assume more trees and undergrowth than we can actually cram onto the base).

Something else missing from modern versions of the game is the ability to hide... not just go to ground for a cover save, but completely remove models from the danger of being fired upon (except by dropping templates on the area they are hiding in). The model must have some sort of cover - a wall, a building, a crater, etc. - and may not fire a weapon during it's turn or it will give away it's position. A hiding model may also not make a reserve move during it's turn.

Beyond these things, the familiar triad of roll to hit, roll to wound, and armour saves are pretty much the same with a few exceptions. There are more modifiers to hit (+1 to hit large targets over 3m high, -1 to hit small creatures under 30cm, -1 firing from a moving surface, -1 to hit target per 10" of movement last turn, etc.), including specific weapon mods for range...

Las Pistol +2 short range, -1 long range
Bolt Pistol +2 short range, no mod long range
Bolt Gun +1 short range, no mod long range

Another mod that stands is a -1 to hit if wounded, so multi-wound character models will find their effectiveness reduced after taking their first wound. There is also a -1 to hit when throwing 'stones, bricks, pottery and other impromtu missiles'. I don't know what I like more - the vision of an Inquisitor lobbing a potted plant at a foe or the use of 'impromtu'.

Also targets in cover are -1 to be hit in soft cover and -2 to be hit in hard cover rather than the modern cover save.

I think the modifiers may increase survivabilty of models, at least long range, which might be different from the modern game where armies seem decimated by turn three and the end of the game sees a dozen figures left per side. The number of modifiers doesn't seem prohibitive even for larger games.

Tales From the Maelstrom
As an aside, Andy Hoare from Tales of the Maelstrom has a great interview with Rick Priestly that touches on many points regarding the presence of a GM in games of Warhammer 40k. If you haven't read it you should go do it now (Quick! Run!). Besides being a great read, it may put some of my rambling into perspective for those who aren't as familiar with what I'm on about. Besides the interview, there are lots of posts on the site very much within the spirit of what I'm doing with my own collection and it's well worth some of your web time!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Beastmen Regiment

Now I have three strong infantry units as the core of my army.

I still want to make this unit larger to make them more of a hammer, but I'm happy with them for now. Besides, beastmen had two wounds in 3rd edition, so they will stand up to a lot!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Beastmen Standard Bearer

...and that makes 12.

This is once again a recreation of one of my original unit standards from waaaay back when...

Finished (for now) regiment tomorrow!

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Chaos Army So Far

Wow, Chaos Warriors are expensive!

Chaos Army (2019 points)


Maulblade the Doomkin (Chaos Knight), 332 points
Heavy Armour, Magic Weapon (Enchanted Wound)
Wobblegnash (Chaos Marauder), 73 points
Heavy Armour
Stabb the Acolyte (Lvl 10 Sorcerer), 85 points

Rank and File

Chaos Warriors (11 models), 912 points
Double-Handed Weapons, Standard
Chaos Thugs (15 models), 150 points
Shields, Standard
Chaos Beastmen (10 models), 110 points
Troll (Moog of Marrow Moor), 65 points


Chaos Dwarf Berserkers (10 models, inc. Champion), 292 points
Level 15 Hero, Double Handed Weapons

I never dreamed this tiny army was worth so many points! I wonder if it's not overkill with Chaos Warriors and maybe I should demote them Chaos Marauders. The Doomkin weighs in at 332 points as well which goes against my play style - I prefer not to have more than 10% of my points tied up in a single model and no more than 25% points in a single unit. If the general is in the unit as I plan, that is one 1244 point target waiting for Curse of Years (or some equally terrifying spell) or a Morale roll of "12" (I CAN do it) and there goes over half of my army. I definitely need to get some protection from magic on the field. I don't think the extra points are worth the third rank bonus either.

I guess having too many points is a great position to be in! In a 3000 point battle I might use them as Chaos Warriors, but would probably only field 8-10 models in the unit and just rely on their WS6 instead of the extra +1 rank bonus. I need to bolster the Beastmen regiment and add another hard hitting unit like Ogres or Minotaurs to draw some of the attention away from the Warriors. I probably also need another spell caster, but I'm eventually going to use a sorcerer for my allied leader because I plan to add a unit of Chaos Goblins and Chaos Centaurs with my Chaos Dwarfs and the sorcerer is required if you mix more than one race in the contingent.

Anyway, I'm not finished with the list, but it was fun to find out where I am with this army! I need to add a couple more models to the beastmen regiment to make them a proper unit with a standard and +2 rank bonus...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Reading Rogue Trader, Part Three

Moving on with the Combat chapter of my review of Rogue Trader...

These rules are a bit fiddly for my tastes, with 1/2" movement penalties, encumbrance, and facing considerations. These rules would not be bad with a dozen models on the table (perfectly acceptable in Rogue Trader), but will bog down the game with 30-40 models per side.

I am not against the encumbrance idea, but most armies had access to Suspensors, mini anti-grav generators that removed these penalties. Armour could cause encumbrance penalties as well, but these were some of the 1/2" penalties mentioned above that could make measuring a bit of a pain.

Facing of individual models was also an issue. Models could be turned up to 90 degrees before, after, or during their move. Any additional turns cost 1/2" of movement. The Example is tortured...

Example: A Space Marine is being pursued by his foes. He is facing them, and must make a 180 degree turn to face in the opposite direction ( a 1/2" penalty - the first 90 degree turn is free). The player moves the model a further 2 1/2" and turns 180 degrees to face his enemies once more (a 1" penalty). Total 1/2 + 2 1/2 + 1 = a move of 4 inches.

Arrgh! First of all why bother to get a whole 2 1/2" farther away when your enemies can probably advance 4" toward you without turning? Second, The game will run a lot slower, both because of the additional calculations and slower effective movement rates. Third, even though Space Marines lack the 'And They Shall Know No Fear' rule in Rogue Trader, MY Space Marines don't retreat voluntarily.

There is one rule I miss from this chapter and will certainly use when I get some games on the table...

Splitting Units
If a player wishes, part of a unit may be split off into one or more smaller units of as few as one model. These sub-units must be given specific tasks such as 'hold the ravine and give cover' or 'scout to the ridge and report enemy activity'. The new unit must obey the instructions AS INTERPRETED BY THE GM (see part one of this series if you missed it). The only action the sub unit could take beyond their orders was to move to rejoin it's parent unit (and would automatically do so if forced from their task). I could see ordering the guy with the Slow weapon (move or fire) to take a static position and cover the advance of the rest of the unit.

The inability to change a sub-unit's orders after they are deployed gives me the impression that the average soldier's personal comms weren't very advanced. I think that fits in perfectly with my vision of the Rogue Trader universe. This one of those forgotten rules that added a lot of character without being overly complicated (like the turning rules above). I'm sure there are goofy ways to take unfair advantage with this, but I don't play that way (yeah, I lose a lot).

Reserve Moves
Basically the same as the modern game in the fact that models that do not shoot may move double their normal speed. In Rogue Trader it was just split into two phases. Again, not a problem for small games and I like the tactical aspect of it, but moving 100 orks twice per turn could be a pain! The second round of movement takes place after the Close Combat phase.

Next time, Shooting!

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Here is a WiP one of the next models for my Tzeentch Warband, led by Githandus Threefold...

Chimeras a pretty powerful for a Reams of Chaos warband, so I've opted to use the least of the profiles you can generate and offer no bonuses for the heads, tail, etc.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl WP
5 3 0 5 5 5 2 6 7 4 7 7

Toughness 5 and Wounds 5 is going to tough to bring down but the creature only has a Leadership of 7 so Threefold will need to be careful of the creature's deployment because it may be easy to frighten away! Luckily, the Tzeentch champion has wings and will be able to use them to match the creature's mobility.

Shrug - not too concerned about it at the moment. If the monster proves too powerful I'll save it for Warhammer Fantasy games...

Friday, May 1, 2015

Skeleton Warriors Regiment and My Undead Army (So Far)

And here is the finished regiment...

I am super excited with how it turned out! I think I have enough models now to play a (very) small game...

Undead Army (1155 points)

The Lichemaster (Lvl 20 Necromancer), 250 points
Magic Weapon (Parasitic Blade)
Dread Dalgath (Lvl 10 Necromancer), 85 points
Wrathmoor (Lvl 15 Undead Hero), 95 points
Magic Weapon (Parrying Blade)
Arlun Meister (Lvl 10 Undead Hero), 60 points
Magic Weapon (Mighty Strike)

Rank and File
Death Riders (5 models), 138 points
Light Armour, Standard
Grim Reapers (10 models), 154 points
Light Armour, Standard
Skeleton Warriors (19 models), 273 points
Light Armour, Shields, Standard, Musician
Plague Cart, 100 points

I still have a Skull Chucker, three Undead Chariots, another regiment of Death Riders, 30+ zombies, 3 mummies, and 4 carrion waiting for paint, plus a handful more characters. I haven't really been worried about points so far, but I will probably sit down and work out a Stillmainia 2000 point list to work toward...

I need to sit down and figure out the points for my Chaos Army!