PDA

View Full Version : What is the role of Rogue Traders



Easy E
11-05-2005, 03:13
What is the current role of Rogue Traders in 4th edition?

In the old days (appropriately called "Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader") the Rogue Traders were the crusaders and explorers of the Imperium. They traveled the galaxy exploring, trading and pushing back the boundaries of Imperial space. Entire chapters of Space Marines and regiments of Imperial Guard were seconded to them. They commanded fleets of ships with freighters, warships, and colony ships.

Without the Rogue Traders the Imperium would be stagnant and not grow. They would not discover new STC. They would not exterminate new aliens. They would not liberate new human worlds.

Now? They just seem to be a blip in 40K (as a game) history.

Sikkukkut
11-05-2005, 05:08
There are still Rogue Traders. There have been several major ones appear in the background and novels. They have been referred to in the Codices (there's a reference in the SM 'dex article about the disposition of the Ultramarines that mentioned that a small unit has been attached to a Rogue Trader fleet) and there's an article (http://www.specialist-games.com/battlefleetgothic/assets/pdf/official/fabimp.pdf) on the BFG site about the Traders and their role in the Imperium.

None of what you described has necessarily changed, it's just that the Rogue Traders are no longer the sole means by which any of that stuff gets done. Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator teams can scour the galaxy for STC fragments, Crusades can be launched by the Adeptus and led by Imperial Warmasters, the Adeptus Ministorum can run missions and Wars of Faith. Rogue Traders still do all these things, they just don't monopolise them any more.

gLOBS
11-05-2005, 05:23
I would have to say the galaxy is a big place. I seriously doubt that the imperium has actually visited half of whats out there other than say very very long range scans or what-not.

Plus warp storms calm down open up new areas of space, others lost centuries ago reappear, lesser dominant species technologically evolve.

Goblinardo
11-05-2005, 06:36
I'd say that Rogue Traders work as some sort of loose intelligence-gathering network for the Imperium. Nobody has so much freedom to travel as RTs except perhaps an Inquisitor, but RTs don't draw unwanted attention as often (they are supposed to go beyond Imperial borders and bring back loads of weird alien stuff, after all)

And all kinds of things can be heard at bars around the periphery. Stuff like, I don't know, a concentration of strange ships just beyond Imperial detection range, or something like that.

BTW, at some point of the timeline, one of the High Lords was an RT before his coronation, right?

salty
11-05-2005, 10:47
I always imagine them as being the 'explorers' of the 40k world... seem kind of cool and exciting, setting off to discover new places, often beyond the light of the Astronomican, when really the main driving force behind most of them is money.

Salty :)

sigur
11-05-2005, 15:00
Without the Rogue Traders the Imperium would be stagnant and not grow. They would not discover new STC. They would not exterminate new aliens. They would not liberate new human worlds.

One little note: The Imperium is in no way growing. It's stagnating. STC are never "new", they're lost knowledge and more and more knowledge gets lost every century...

Sojourner
11-05-2005, 15:19
Consider rogue traders to be 'privateers' or 'corsairs' AKA government-sanctioned traders or 'pirates'. Historically I believe Corsairs were allowed to beat up and steal from anyone outside the law while getting supplies and protection from the crown - ideal for both parties.

Rogue traders are however restricted on contact with aliens. Jan van Yastobaal for example was apprehended by an Inquisitor for trading (swindling) with aliens instead of reporting their discovery.

salty
11-05-2005, 16:23
I think Corsairs were mostly employed historically by the Barbary states of the North African/Mediterranean coastline, and were allowed to attack Christian countries/shipping. Though I'm not certain.

Anyway, was not one of the Rogue Traders famous for meeting with aliens and exploiting them, and arrived back at Terra with a ship encusted in gold and precious stones?

Salty :)

Sojourner
11-05-2005, 17:06
IThat was Inigo Portfell, but I don't think that was anything to do with aliens. I believe they were stranded on a volcanic world and while they were there, decided to milk it for all it was worth - producing so much wealth they had to plate the whole ship in gold to carry it all away.

Easy E
17-05-2005, 01:45
One little note: The Imperium is in no way growing. It's stagnating. STC are never "new", they're lost knowledge and more and more knowledge gets lost every century...

That sounds like a debate for another thread. I've read some interesting theories about that.

BOT- so we all seem to agree that Rogue Traders exist, and are just as important as they always were. Now they are just placed on the back burner.

The historical image of the privateer is particularly striking. I think I'll go read up on them.

He Who Laughs
17-05-2005, 02:03
With the whole "trading with aliens" link - it may eventuate that they end up somehow in the far-off Alienhunters codex. Most of the other character types from the Inquisitor game have crossed over to either Witch- or Daemonhunters - which would be very cool.

Actually, with all the funky wargear available to the Witch/Daemonhunters lists, with a little bit of lateral thought you can create your own Rogue Trader explorator party with Inquisitors as Rogue Traders (armed with devastating xeno-tech *psycannons and dig-weapons*), Inquisitorial Stormtroopers as tooled up mercenaries, Deathcult Assassins as Scythian Warrior-Monks, Officio Assassinorium operatives or lesser Inquisitors as Bounty Hunters... the list goes on...

P.S -sorry if that was a little off topic, it's just an idea thats been kicking around in my head for a while now

anarchistica
17-05-2005, 02:39
Consider rogue traders to be 'privateers' or 'corsairs' AKA government-sanctioned traders or 'pirates'. Historically I believe Corsairs were allowed to beat up and steal from anyone outside the law while getting supplies and protection from the crown - ideal for both parties.
Pirates could get a license ("pirating-letter") to do piratey stuff, if they kept it to the enemies of the country that gave the license. This was an accepted militairy tactic at the time.

One of the most famous of these corsairs was the Dutch dmiral Piet Heyn. Mention his name to any Dutchie and he or she will immediately say "zilvervloot" (silverfleet). The Spanish used a fleet to transport loads of silver from South-Africa to Europe. The English had tried many times to rob them, but always failed. Piet Heyn might've invented the (Dutch) saying "three times is ship's right", as his first two attempts didn't lead to a captured silverfleet. He was extremely succesful considering his resources. During his first attack on the Spanish, he captured San Salvador. The second time was even more amazing. With a tiny fleet of 14 ships he attacked the silverfleet, lost only 2 ships and captured 38. With the money gained from this the Dutch government funded a small army, a fleet of 31 ships crewed by 4000 men. When they attacked the Spanyards, the latter tried to flee but failed. Eventually, they managed to reach the land and fled into the mountains, leaving their ships behind for the Dutch to take. Only a single Dutch sailor was wounded. Piet Heyn only got 7,000 guilders of the 12,000,000 (almost 400 years ago!) he stole in this way however...

/history lesson rant

Seeing as GW recently made Ogre Pirates and a Zombie Pirate army, maybe they finally got what an effect pirates have on us and will make RT's an option in Codex: Alienhunters. :D

Easy E
17-05-2005, 04:23
I agree that codex:alienhunters would be a good place for them. I also agree that the current inquisitor codeii could be used for a Rogue Trader list.

Are Rogue traders allowed to sell there Xeno artifacts to anyone, or are they technically supppose to turn them over to the proper Imperial authorities?

Do Xeno races have there own version of a Rogue Trader?

On a lighter note I am glad this thread has not run across a Rouge Traders.

He Who Laughs
17-05-2005, 07:54
Are Rogue traders allowed to sell there Xeno artifacts to anyone, or are they technically supppose to turn them over to the proper Imperial authorities?

Do Xeno races have there own version of a Rogue Trader?



Under their license, I would assume any xeno-tech would have to be turned over - whether or not they do it is another matter ;)

In terms of other races - I'm sure most would have people that would fulfill similar (though not exactly the same) roles. Eldar Rangers/Pathfinders and certain members of the Tau Water caste perhaps.

mostholycerebus
17-05-2005, 09:32
Actually, with all the funky wargear available to the Witch/Daemonhunters lists, with a little bit of lateral thought you can create your own Rogue Trader explorator party with Inquisitors as Rogue Traders (armed with devastating xeno-tech *psycannons and dig-weapons*), Inquisitorial Stormtroopers as tooled up mercenaries, Deathcult Assassins as Scythian Warrior-Monks, Officio Assassinorium operatives or lesser Inquisitors as Bounty Hunters... the list goes on...


I think the Lost and the Damned list works just as well, though perhaps for a different 'type' of Rogue Trader. In some fluff RT's were merchant captains who explored on their own, not necessarily with the explicit OK of the imperium. They would hire guardsmen, banished marines, or anyone else who would protect them for money. Many had their own private armies. LatD list reflects this best because it can have guardsmen mixed with marines, but neither have the leadership or ATSKNF of warriors still completely loyal to the emperor. They are mercenaries, and the LatD lists' morale reflects that perfectly. It also allows you to field non-standard tanks and units, a literal smorgashboard of whatever toughs, guns, and tanks an enterprising trader can hire. As well as allowing you to field guardsmen lead by Marines, something that older marines did pre-heresy.

Easy E
18-05-2005, 06:12
Yes, LaTD work good for just about any irregular force. They are just so adaptable!

Do Rogue Traders have the power to speak for the Imperium. For example, can they sign a treaty? Can they claim worlds for the Imperium and set up Imperial Governors? Can they declare Exterminatus?

Iuris
18-05-2005, 09:21
The key word regarding rogue traders ir ROGUE. They are given the permission to act outside of the framework of the Imperium control.

What needs to be remembered is that there is no free trade within the imperium. Charters allowing traders to trade along a shipping route are needed in order to legally trade, and some are extremely valuable.

A rogue trader is simply someone licensed to go wherever he wants and trade wathever he wants. A private enterprise in the bureaucratic world of 40K. That is why they were so popular - they can hire anyone and do anything allowed within his charter.

Easy E
20-05-2005, 03:03
The key word regarding rogue traders ir ROGUE. They are given the permission to act outside of the framework of the Imperium control.

What needs to be remembered is that there is no free trade within the imperium. Charters allowing traders to trade along a shipping route are needed in order to legally trade, and some are extremely valuable.

A rogue trader is simply someone licensed to go wherever he wants and trade wathever he wants. A private enterprise in the bureaucratic world of 40K. That is why they were so popular - they can hire anyone and do anything allowed within his charter.

You speak the truth. Such a simple post, yet so illuminating.

Are they just glorified merchantmen or do they have a larger political context as well. It would seem the ability to go wherever you want and trade whatever you want when the majority of people can not do so would give you power. Can this power be translated into political power? If so is it only on the local level or is it larger?

P.S. here is another link with some Rogue Trader fluff.
http://www.specialist-games.com/inquisitor/assets/pdf/Livingrb/InqLRBpart2.pdf