Friday, 9 August 2013

Rogue Trader - Space Marine and Imperial Guard free for all!

A few weeks ago Optimus Prime and I went back to where it all began. It seemed fitting given that the Autobot supreme leader was headed overseas. Our miniature obsession started with Rogue Trader. That's not strictly true, for me it started with a pack of 40k mercenaries before moving on to my first set of miniature gaming rules: a lavishly illustrated hard cover version of Rogue Trader. Without rules I was just using the minis as lead action figures; rules made it much more mature. Sadly the books spine went and my copy of Rogue Trader rapidly fell apart but I still loved it.

As we had done as unruly teenagers we rolled up a mission using the charts in the book and employed whatever models we had to hand. The mission saw two rival marine factions vying for control of a water treatment facility that was currently in the hands of an NPC faction of rebellious Planetary Defence Force (PDF).

25 years ago the terrain would have been lego and my Millenium Falcon, these days I have hills and trees. Shame about the esky ice packs that stood in for our water towers.
Note the Red Marines hiding behind a hill. Such cowardice is an affront to the Emperor!
The Planetary Defence Force, an NPC faction, were controlled by random rolls.
The end of turn 1 saw a Blue Marine picked off by a las cannon. 
The end of turn 2 saw more Blue Marines cut down by lasguns. T3 and 4+ power armour isn't great. I also learn the joy of follow-on sustained fire and the rules behind deviating weapons. Both rules changed dramatically through editions.
Take that sustained fire plasma pistol traitor!
A squad of rebels move to intercept the skulking Red Marines picking one off...
... but are trounced in response. A pair of traitors put up a stiff resistance refusing to rout.
The Blue Marines are having a tough day at the office. Their charge is hindered by the ineffectiveness of close combat in this edition.
As a reaction to being charged you can stand and shoot with devastating effect. Seeing his companion shot down this marine breaks and runs. Marines did not become superhuman powerhouses till the next edition.
Going into close combat really hurt the Blue Marines. The guards easily found the weak points in the Emporers finest's armour slaying the remanants of squad two with their combat knives.
With Blue team wiped out Red Team had command of the battlefield. They had lost two battle brothers and had smashed the PDF arrayed before them through a withering display of focussed fire.
The PDF had been intended as an interesting diversion as the two rival marine factions took pot shots at each other. Instead they became the main game and smashed me. Marines aren't that tough to kill in Rogue Trader and the dice certainly weren't with me yet again as my armour saves were atrocious.

It was a fun and fast game. The random mission generator provides plot hooks that make the whole enterprise that much more meaningful. Rogue Trader - still as good today as it was 25 years ago.

1 comment:

  1. I really should finish off their paint jobs. Your pics are getting better. Huzzah for the red team!


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