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Retro Review - Rogue Trader Compendium (1989)  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in gb
Wise Ethereal with Bodyguard







But having the different stats permits them to be boosted or degraded individually for a much more psychotically detailed system of something. It probably involved a d100 roll on some table or other.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

Terranwing - w3;d1;l1
51st Dunedinw2;d0;l0
Cadre Coronal Afterglow w1;d0;l0 
   
Made in ca
Stoic Grail Knight





drinking tea in the snow

It's a good thing i was only four-ish when this rules came out because i would have run screaming in the other direction.

After rolling a scatter die to see which direction i would actually flee in.

realism is a lie
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 amazingturtles wrote:
It's a good thing i was only four-ish when this rules came out because i would have run screaming in the other direction.

After rolling a scatter die to see which direction i would actually flee in.


The best part about it is that you would continue doing so as compulsoray movement until you either died or ran off.

   
Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User




Another amazing write up. Thank you.

I have really enjoyed reading this and many of your other reviews
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

And at last we get to one of the oddest and coolest of the RT armies, the Ninja-Jedia-Acrobat-Dancer-Assassin-Psyker-Space Elf Clown-Posse!



Their name was later simplified to Harlequins.



The Eldar in RT were not really sketched out other than being a race of mercurial pirates and mercenaries who will fight for anyone and switch sides on a whim. They were more like the elves of folklore and myth who might invite you to a feast or steal your babies, or both.

(Craftworld Eldar were still a year or two away)

Their background was further fleshed out in the Chaos books which introduced the fall of the Eldar and Slannesh.

With Harlequins (or as the Eldar call them Rillietann, a fact the article includes for no great reason, in fact a lot of weapons and stuff get Eldar names) we get a fully insane Eldar army who see no difference between art and war.



And yet with their Venetian Carnival costumes they manage to feel familiar enough that audiences can relate to them.



I've seen far too many science fiction and fantasy writers create aliens with names like the Aaryafta of Haterwewq who use their Usrejtajisj rifles to channel pure Aywtjkkdyk which inverts the polarity of... WHO CARES!

40k has been able to walk that line of having aliens that are familiar enough you can get the idea in one sentence - Space Elves! - but have enough meat to the idea they can support your interest across years of novels. And crazy Space Elf dancer clowns who kill you with monofiliment kisses is a great example of that.



The design of this article is great, while Imperial articles have official looking stamps and 'thoughts for the day' the Harlequins have a more theatrical looking font with names appearing in scrolls and domino checks everywhere.



This article introduced the Harlis trademark weapons, holofields and other new stuff and made it clear they were the razor blade army, sharp and deadly but fragile as well, not the type to field heavy armor and...



What. The. Holy. Hell?



Vehicles and robots can ONLY be fielded with a Harlequin force if the models are suitable painted, and bedecked with appropriate banners. It is not permissible, for instance, simply to take a Rhino in a codex standard paint scheme with Imperial banners and attach it to a Harlequin force.


No.

Of course not.

Perish the thought.

*******************************************************************************************

So some final thoughts...

The Compendium is really where modern 40k took form. There's no mention of GMs, rolling for subplots or random Ambull attacks to even the sides out. It is now a game of two roughly equal armies smashing into each other. The inventiveness of the early days is still there, the Harlequin fluff is proof of that, but now it's part of a structure that works.

Like Magic, Warhammer has succeeded because 2 random strangers can meet up and play, no need to coordinate the schedule of a half dozen players or negotiate house rules (well OK, there SHOULDN'T be a need...). And of course because the fluff is both very cool, and open ended enough that players can feel like they're making their own armies.

At this point the game was 2 years old and Rogue Trader would continue another 4 years or so, but with the rules serious surgery during that time.

The Compendium was followed by the confusingly named Compilation (or was it vice versa?) which I think I'll review sooner rather than later. That was the last major fluff book, with the Vehicle Manual and Battle Manual focusing on rules changes.

If you're thinking of collecting RT books the Compendium is fairly common and a great read. It's worth seeking out.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
PS I do need to correct an earlier error. I said that Orks didn't show up much in this book because they had two hardcovers.

I was mistaken.

They had 3 (!!).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/12 16:35:57


 
   
Made in jp
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Japan

Man, I love Harlequins. I sold off a lot of my unpainted RT Eldar, but kept all the Harlies. I will probably never play 40K again, but the models are too cool to let go.

While RT itself was nearly unplayable, my old gaming group would periodically break out the d100 tables to generate multi-player scenarios. Good times.

Now showing more Mantic dwarfs, and also some hills!




Painting total as of 10/17/2019: 119 plus a wooden bridge and gnoll encampment and 36 pieces of Mantic scatter terrain and three fly holes and three farm buildings and a fire pit and two hills.


 
   
Made in us
VF-1S Valkyrie Squadron Commander





Mississippi

That first marine picture with the lightsaber, thrusting it down into the Orc - how do you make arms bend backwards like that?

Also, on the lasgun-mounted Vortex grenade, note the (1) in parantheses - I believe that means you can only take 1 per army (Back then, I recall the Wargear cards from the Dark Millenium boxed set - there were only so many copies of certain items and if your opponent snagged it up before you could get a copy - of which there was 1 Vortex grenade card - you were SOL; both because you didn't have the card and you knew your opponent did....).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/13 11:13:41


It never ends well 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






No, the numbers in brackets next to the grenades is the number you get for the points it’s 25 points for one grenade, not an infinite amount, unlike frag grenades.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Mind you, I’ve only ver seen this described by people looking back, never anyone saying “yep, I did that”. It was an elegant (?) ruleset for a more civilised age.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/13 13:52:26


 
   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Brilliant stuff - thoroughly enjoyed the review!

And great write-up KK, laughed out loud a fair few times as I was reading through it

Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
Made in us
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine




San Jose, CA

MarkNorfolk wrote:
I remember thinking that having the whole 10-man squad heavy bolters was pretty cool. And trikes! Trikes are the coolest!

In my own GW retail days I remember hearing that the design crew dropped squats because they couldn't think of a decent 'theme' for them, and all they had was 'bikers in space'.

Well, FYI, bikers in space was awesome! (Or maybe I'm just easily impressed).


I miss my biker gang Squats, bike & trikes with a squad of hearthguard.

Grendl is waiting!
   
Made in us
[DCM]
[***]







Certain parts of the Squat army were quite awesome.

I'm still convinced that they could be 'done right' today, and would love to see modern version of Exo-Armor...
   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Definitely think Squats worked much better in Epic scale back then - rather than as KK says rubbish Imperial Guard with a 3" move - all of those massive war machines, drillers, land train etc. which were the characterful elements of the Squat army were only in 6mm scale.

Agree it would be pretty awesome what they could do with it these days in 28mm scale, and the massive plastic kits etc. I think we've also now passed the point (as most younger games won't even be aware of their existence) where GW-jobsworths would scoff "puhhh.. Squats!" and snort each time they were mentioned, as they used to do. Now, it would get more of a "high-tech dwarves in space! cool!" reaction - which is the correct one.


Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

I'd be happy just with cross over rules for these guys.


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Harlequins. Some of the best stuff ever.
   
Made in us
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine




San Jose, CA

 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
I'd be happy just with cross over rules for these guys.



ditto


just look at both the kharadron & grombrindals models, with new weapons and a modified aesthetic (more 40k) they're basically Squats.
   
Made in ie
Norn Queen






Dublin, Ireland

What a wonderful thread this is

Dman137 wrote:
goobs is all you guys will ever be

By 1-irt: Still as long as Hissy keeps showing up this is one of the most entertaining threads ever.

"Feelin' goods, good enough". 
   
 
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