Battlefleet Koronus, the foregoing marks’ respective logos, Rogue Trader, and all .. rules on page of the Rogue TRadeR core rulebook. The powerful Gothic class Cruiser is a familiar sight throughout the Imperium and has a presence. What about a Rogue Trader game mode where you lead a scondrel or a pious rogue trader with a Letter of Marque to expand the reach of the. Rogue Trader fleets on the tabletop game used standard Imperial Navy vessels in addition to their own refitted and customized vessels.

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So I was poking around battlwfleet Lexicanum an excellent source for Warhammer 40k lore wh40k. The ship hulls described in Chapter 8 only offer a small number of the actual ships built by the Imperium. What if my Rouge Trader was a powerful lord-militant in the Imperial Navy and when he left the service for robue depths of the expanse, he took his powerful flagship with him? While not totally surprising, I wanted to know if there are any rules for the other ship classes possibly from Dark Heresy or guidelines for creating custom hulls?

It’s unlikely they’d let him take any ship, much less a trrader, that aside: Rogue Traders have to make whatever ship they use pay, dedicated and huge relative even to other 40K vessels warships would be much less economically feasible.

If you do want them, though, there’s quite a lot of info online from which you can nattlefleet and if you can get hold of Battlefleet Gothic, that’d be useful to you. I doubt that the Imperium would let you run off with a battleship. That said there are rules translated from BFG.

I’m pretty sure, FFG will present us soon with some starship compendium for rouge trader, including lots of ships and components and all that nice stuff we would love to know about starships.

Rogue Trader Mode – Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Until then those few ship in the rulebook or some carefull easy conversations from BFG should do. Beside that, I would strongly suggest to reconsider thoughts about battleships and other pure warships. First of all, rogue traders are mainly traders which means they are after profit as the profit-factor should suggest.

Warships, especially large warships are, as any secretary of defense or commerce could tell you, just huge blackholes for cash and profit. They cost unbelievable amounts of resources to keep up and their use for traders pretty limited.

It would be another story, if you’d play a session of “Warmonger 40k” or Sure, you can float on in orbit or let it exit the warp at the ptich of some struggle against a large fleet of xenos to save the day, but in any case, you don’t really need complete stats for them. Actually you really don’t want your players to own something as powerfull as a battleship, since you batttlefleet end up with either pretty boring space battles or you have to throw in atleast one oposing battleship into the fray of every battle.

Not very “realistic” even for the 40k-universe. Couldn’t agree more, Nadomir. Especially regarding the fact that Rogue Traders use armed merchantmen rather baytlefleet dedicated battleships. While I agree a RT would never have a battleship of his own unless he was in command of a Crusade of something.

Even then battleships are very rare in 40k. I’m not sure that you could say a RT only has a merchant vessels. The RTs are a diverse lot.

Some are rgue merchants, others are intrepid explorers, and a few are little better than pirates. There is a reason there are merchant hulls as well as raiders, frigates, and cruisers in the main book.

If an RT uses it, it’s an armed merchantman.

It’s actually closer to the Q-vessel idea, in many cases, I suspect but undoubtedly some sacrifice a lot of potential cargo space to weapons or troops – after all, the milk runs where you want a huge cargo capacity are the routes you already secured and sold off. Yes, they are armed, but true warships with the sole purpose of combat usually are much more heavily armed and more specialized gothjc combat.

Of course you can outfit your RT-owned vessel in a similar way but again at the cost of profit und higher upkeep costs. It would need a quite high profit factor to maintain such a ship. But of course it’s possible to play a military-oriented RT and his staff.


The 40k-Universe is defenitily big and diverse enough for all of that In my own game, we’re definitely outfitted towards that end of the scale – we have a sizable IG complement and fifty Astartes – but my character is in it for the profit and inherited the battlefldet ship and arrangement.

The Q-ships are very nice inspiration. I’ve gotic a load of background for my current rogue trader campaign and only one Rogue Trader in the Expanse has a battleship, its also described to my PCs as the “Biggest ship in the sector”. I’ve also created a cruiser as a pure navy ship, its far more formidably traxer than it needs to be and is truly deadly, but it would make a lame rogue trader vessel.

Rogue traders need versatile vessels, multi-role with the ability to adapt to situations. Pure naval vessels aren’t like this, they are warships. Also, while talking about battleships, no battleship would leave port alone. It would be accompanied by a battlegroup, maybe a pair of cruisers and a squadron of 6 destroyers, couple of rgoue vessels maybe. Treat them as carriers are treated in naval combat now.

It would be a rare rogue trader that can afford to run that when they could get far more profit out of smaller, cheaper vessels. That said, i’ve nothing against my players getting a battleship, they just learn to be fully aware of how rogye it is at pretty much anything but war. And the cost would be huge. And its not like they have them around for sale.

We don’t have to maintain their loyaly – Astartes are a law unto themselves and my character doesn’t ask them too many questions about their motivation or whinge too often about the way they don’t say their prayers Out of game I know the backstory; remember that marines rulrs fanatically loyal to their chapter and do what their Master tells them. I’m not sure how a ship described as a rogye is an armed mechant vessel, or how a sword frigate some how becomes an armed merchant when it’s owned by an RT?

Maybe if you rlues a cargo hold in it you could call it that, but the raiders, frigates, and cruiser are warships not merchant vessels. For a Rogue Trader, everything involves trade Remember, the Sword- Battlefleeh and Lunar-class battlefleef in the rulebook represent the basic superstructure only. An Imperial Navy Lunar-class Cruiser is battpefleet specific combination of that hull and a number of different components most characteristically, an armoured prow fitted with torpedo tubes, port and starboard broadside macrocannons, and port and starboard lance batteries Rulebook specifically mentions that torpedoes are likely to be removed, in order to make more cargo space.

The operative words being may or likely. Also not all warships have torps. The sword frigate being a prime example of this. Keep in mind most imperial cruisers are based on the same hull as the lunar roguue cruiser. You can’t claim a Dominator class cruiser isn’t a warship. Not to mention all tradfr various chaos cruisers. A more compelling reason to remove the torps is that you’ll tend to run out of torps on long trips into the expanse.

The same can be said for the Lunar-class or Dauntless-class hulls compared to the classes that share their names in service to the Imperial Navy. The Sword-class used by the Imperial Navy is a specific combination of components assembled within and around a specific hull A Rogue Trader’s vessel made from a Sword-class hull trafer same hull as used by the Navy as the core of the Sword-class Frigates is not inherently a Sword-class Frigate as the Imperial Navy classifies them, because it will have different components and be used for a different purpose.

A Dominator-class Cruiser is a warship.

That isn’t a matter for dispute, nor is it something anyone on this thread has ever attempted to argue. However, the vessels used by Rogue Traders are not the same as those used by the Imperial Navy – they consist of different sets of components and are used for a different purpose.

Rogue Trader Fleet – Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

That is, afterall, the point of having a starship creation system, rather than just a list of ready-made starship classes to from. For a real life analogue, several former Royal Navy combat vessels have been sold, in recent times, to other nations.


They were stripped of most of their military eqipment, especially any weapon systems and bespoke electronics. The buyer nation then refitted them as warships for their own navies and renamed the vessels. These new vessels are not the same class as the British vessels, built on identical hulls, which they once served alongside and are nowhere near the same league in terms of effectiveness in many cases, anyway.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

It’s the specific fitting that makes a warship fit for purpose, not any mystical property of the hull nor simply putting some guns on it US Coast Trwder vessels are not warships.

For example a sword frigate could in fact be more powerful than a naval one. As the RT ship can have xenos and aerchotech equipment. In you look at the lunar cruiser in the gm kit it’s armed with Mars pattern macrocannon broadsides, and titanforge lance batteries. Other than the torpedo urles it’s all in the main book, and the ship is no more powerful than a lunar cruiser a RT could get. Assuming you had the SP yothic which is questionable.

Nothing on this lunar cruiser is out of line with what you could fit yourself. And that’s an issue why? I wasn’t stating battlefleer Rogue Trader vessels are all, without exception, less capable militarily than those of the Imperial Navy, merely that they’ve got considerable potential to be different.

It is, afterall, extraordinarily dangerous in the Koronus Expanse and other such uncharted regions.

Having a vessel capable of dealing serious damage in a fight is extremely useful in such a place. How much of your ship’s space you want to devote to ‘things that go boom’ is an individual matter, however.

The point here is that the nature of rogus ship’s hull does not define its purpose.

Rogue Traders are an incredibly diverse group of individuals, with many different approaches to their goals and duties. To describe any given Rogue Trader’s vessel as an ‘armed merchant ship’ is technically accurate given that a Rogue Trader is as easily described as an ‘armed merchant’.

When considered in such a way, it doesn’t really matter what the vessel actually is, so much as the deeds that vessel is used to perform. I think you are talking at cross purposes to a degree fellas. Personally I think Rogue Traders tend to have a fairly impressive central ship with as much oomph as they can afford and then will add alongside that a little pocket fleet of specialist ships. After all you can still get the bonus from components on the other ships you bring with you.

Rogue Traders are not military, even if they are very well-armed, they remain essentially merchants that’s why they have ‘trader’ in the name and thus, by definition, any vessel they use is an ‘armed merchantman’ and not a warship.

Rogue Traders

Further to that, the pursuit of profit means that they cannot afford to run a dedicated warship, on formal military lines, as their main endeavour; such vessels are money-sinks, they rulds only don’t break even they require massive and continuous streams of resources to keep operational and their purpose is making war, not money. That doesn’t mean that a well-heeled RT couldn’t maintain what amounts to a flagship; a vessel sufficiently well armed and armoured as to stand up tradrr real military vessels or even defeat them but it does mean he better be making money hand-over-fist with his other vessels because he won’t be making it with that one.

There are undoubtly, a large number of minimally armed vessels held by RT dynasties and other groups. In this setting, i would have to disagree: A RT vessel is the velvet glove mailed fist of the Imperium in many ‘first encounters’: The difference between an RT frigate and a naval frigate is organization.