Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
|This article or section is about something oldschool - and awesome.|
Make sure your rose-tinted glasses are on nice and tight, and prepare for a lovely walk down nostalgia lane.
"In the nightmare future of the 41st millennium there is no time for peace. No respite, no forgiveness. There is only war."
- – Ad in Dragon Magazine 147
Remember when GW was good?
Remember when Spaaaaaace Marines were the coolest Wombles ever?
Remember when Warhammer 40,000 wasn't all about depressing GRIMDARK WAR at all times?
Remember when a certain furry wasn't yet a demigod but merely captain of a Codex compliant legion?
Pepperidge Farm Remembers. So do we. Welcome to Rogue Trader.
(Warning: Contains dangerous amounts of '80s.
987.M2 1987, to be precise. Its art and style possessed a sort of indefinable, hand-drawn aesthetic and charm that immediately set 40k apart. Best read when listening to George Michael, Starship, U2, and/or Belinda Carlisle).
Not to be confused with the Pen and Paper game by Fantasy Flight Games, the Kill Team 2018 expansion, or actual Rogue Traders.
This book, the first supplement ever released for Warhammer 40k, was written WAY back in the day when all Games Workshop put out was Warhammer (RIP). As in the fantasy kind. People back then would look at you funny if you asked them which one they were talking about because THERE WAS ONLY ONE. Anyway, this archaic tome was created as a GW-supported add-on adaptation of Warhammer, so players could experience the new, futuristic world of Warhammer 40,000. Needless to say, some people thought it was pretty cool.
Just for clarification, this was written IN THE '80S. This book contains less grimdark and more hair metal than most Neckbeards could stand before raging, but luckily this book is a Venerable Dreadnought. No joke. It inspires awe and sometimes even manly tears in neckbeards, its legendary reputation has been passed down for centuries, and it has a wealth of information with which to aid anyone in their quests to create homebrew rules or craft inspired custom models. This includes how to make a Land Speeder out of a deodorant dispenser, so your army can smell as manly as it looks.
Whether or not you do. The Beakie and the Squat call this book home. This is the impenetrable fortress which crusty old neckbeards sometimes fall back on to defend their arguments and rage about how things suck in 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th Edition; and its reputation alone makes all but the hardest-core troll or newest newfag concede defeat. This is where fluff reigns supreme, and everybody was awesome. It is also a book so enormous that most copies are lost from being used to moor battleships, as anchors proved insufficiently manly. It contains the MOST COMPLICATED THING EVER in the form of the Imperial Robot rules.
This is the original source of Warhammer 40,000.
At the time, this was the finished product, what the original creators intended.
This IS Warhammer 40,000.
Forge World has released a long lineup of so-called "pre-Heresy" models inspired by art from this era. They started with powered armor, like the Mk. III "Iron" and Mk. VI "Corvus" patterns, and moved on to special weapons, including banana-mag-fed Missile Launcher, the old (and still horrendous) Flamer, and of course the AK-47 Bolter (but the magazine isn't completely unaligned with the ejection port anymore). They moved on to re-make the old Land Raider Spartan as the Land Raider Proteus and brought back the bubble-turret Predator Tank, and now that they're making a whole game line set in the Horus Heresy, they're going all-out. Even the Speed Stick speeder makes a return, as the Javelin Attack Speeder. These look just as amazing as you think they should, and really live up to the nostalgia; you just have to pay Forge World prices to get them.
Crazy Shit From Rogue Trader That Is (Probably) Now Retconned
- Hrud as SPESS SKAVEN
- Half-eldar librarians
- Half-naked Custodians (this is where the meme came from, folks!)
- Heretic Ultramarines. Specifically, in 1st Edition the original Ultramarines were traitors who were banished to the Eye of Terror after the Horus Heresy, and the current Ultramarines were a Third Founding chapter given the name, gear, and holdings of the former traitors to replace them. They were also a fleet-based chapter until the First Tyrannic Wars.
- Macragge was a Death World with little native terrestrial life and horrible dust storms
- Marneus Calgar was originally a prisoner of war rescued from a Tyranid prisoner camp (yes, Tyranids had prisoner camps), and the Gauntlets of Ultramar had Jokaero Digital Weapons built into them.
- Genestealers and Tyranids were completely unrelated xenos. Also Zoats
- Tyranids weaponry also looked a lot more Slaaneshi than in current editions.
- Space Marines could be inducted at much later ages than in current lore. Apothecary Hulm Singa was inducted at the "relatively early" age of 14, and Marneus Calgar wasn't inducted until he was 21.
- Necrons as "Chaos Androids", though with very little lore (the C'tan weren't created until 3rd Edition).
- Leman Russ wasn't a primarch, but instead was just another Space Marine commander. Also he looked like a fricking Mechanicus adept and lived in M32.
- Space Marines were all mind-wiped, hypno-indoctrinated criminals, psychopaths, and mass-murderers, not just the Night Lords. And they were also more like cops on the job eating donuts than ascetic warrior monks. Also marines dancing.
- Female Space Marines! Ok, so they weren't actually Space Marines, but there were two "Female Power Armor Trooper" minis (hilariously named Gabs and Jayne). They appeared to perhaps be mercenaries rather than affiliated with any one faction directly. Specifically, they appeared in one third-party Rogue Trader scenario, but even then, they were noted as being very rare. Apparently, no further follow-up models of this type were crafted because boys in the 1980's weren't interested in buying minis of female characters. Oh, how times have changed. In a sense, these two models could perhaps be considered the great-great-aunts of all subsequent female power armor figs in 40k, most notably the Sisters of Battle.
- The two missing primarchs are mentioned as having "probably" supported Horus during the Horus Heresy. Probably, because the deeds of the lost legions are said to be lost to history.
This was once a deodorant dispenser. With a little love, a little labor, and a little time in the Aspergarium, one can create a thing of true beauty.
SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH .... Mad Max, dorf edition
An ad for Rogue Trader Space Marine models, circa 1988. Features Brother Craig, aka "Johnny", the prophet of /wip/.
Yes, the Salamander's original colors were this positively funky tiger-stripe camo-scheme from hell.