Switch Theme:

Retro Review - Rogue Trader Compendium (1989)  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in us
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Arlington, va

Well it's the tail end of my Christmas break, the kids are asleep and this is my 1500th thread on Dakka so it seems a good time for the latest installment of the Award-Seeking Retro Review Series!

Yay!

You may recall some of the earlier installments such as

Rogue Trader:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/689919.page

And Chapter Approved 1988:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/688008.page

And the rest!
https://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Kid_Kyoto_Retro_Review_Index

So tonight we'll be looking at the Compendium, the third Rogue Trader book.



This book introduced iconic units like terminators, Rhinos, Harlequins and um... Imperial Robots? Maybe we'd best forget those dudes...



This puppy hit the stands in 1989, so if this book is older than you be sure to say so!



The Compendium (not to be confused with the Compilation which I've already done twice as I type this) is actually the first 40k book I got. I kind of fell backwards into 40k, hearing about it from friends I loved the universe and the art but didn't have the money for miniatures I tried to build an RPG set in 40k. With borrowed copies of Rogue Trader and the Chaos books I bought this for the background and the great, great art.



I mean look at this stuff!



And this was an age when most RPG books were black and white with a maybe a few color pages thrown in. This book is still mostly B&W but with full color double page spreads thrown in throughout. And like all of the RT stuff a lot of time was spend on world building, even the art had time for shots of Marines getting into their gear, guys chilling on their thrones or technical diagrams. Yeah there are a lot of pictures of folks shooting improbably large weapons into the middle distance but there was more.

So kudos to the art team!



It was also the wild days of 40k modeling when you could count the number of plastic kits on one hand so there were great idea about how to use model kits, toys and, yes, even deodorant bottles to make vehicles and terrain.

And finally it was the book that cemented the major change in 40k from a skirmish RPG with a Game Master, to a one-on-one battle game between two armies. The army lists proposed in Chapter Approved become codified and the armies we use today take shape.

So this is one of my favorite 40k books and I hope you'll enjoy this trip down memory lane...



This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/04 03:44:05


 
   
Made in au
Anti-Armour Swiss Guard






Newcastle, OZ

Still got my copy of this book.

I'm 50.
Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a ****.

That is not dead which can eternal lie ...

... and yet, with strange aeons, even death may die.
 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.



Ah! There he is! My half-brother. Exactly as I remember him, what with his flamboyant pimp robe... and ink-well dinosaurs... wait what?

   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Brilliant - this is one of my favourite all-time books.

Like you say it's the one where the modern 40k started to take shape.

Looking forward to the trip down memory lane!

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 gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






I started playing 40k in late 1st edition, but I didn't get this book until much later, on a nostalgia collecting kick.

I suppose in a way, the current 8th edition army list layouts - with each unit being in its own box - harks back to these army lists. Although without so many random rolls.
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Chaplain with Hate to Spare





Upstate, New York

I actually find myself pulling that book off the shelf more often then the main RT book to look stuff up. It might be that it left a greater impression on me with the art, color and imagery, so I remember more things from it. Great book.

Ultramarines, 3rd Co. and friends, 12.5K+ Slowly growing 2Kish
Nevelon's Workbench: Ultramarines, Saim-Hann and other assorted oddities
 
   
Made in gb
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair





London

 Kid_Kyoto wrote:


So kudos to the art team!





Great art team, all the big names in there from the early days.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
[EX-MOD]






Svalarheima, MA

Having seen that picture many, many times, I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I never really noticed the two dinosaurs!

What was the explanation for them?!?

They appear to be...alive and well, and not just some sort of big game trophies?

Nil nos tremefacit.
 
   
Made in gb
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair





London

The one closest to him appears to have no body and an inkwell in his head, see the feather quill sticking out. I think they’re the heads of tyranids.

http://thecitadelcollector.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/tn_067.jpg

I’ve always wanted one of these figures but they’re exceedingly rare and I’ve, ahem, never seen a knockoff produced either. Not that I would ever buy such a thing of course.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/04 17:06:15


 
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Arlington, va

And we're back!

To no one's surprise the book leads off with those icons of Rogue Trader, Zoats and Vampire Intelligences.

No. I kid. It's Space Marines.



But what is interesting is that it kicks off with world building, the origin of the Marines.

I should note that when the Compil... COMPENDIUM! came out 40k was 2 years old and several White Dwarf articles had already fleshed out Marines. Introducing for example the Ultramarine and their quadriplegic Chapter Master, their half Eldar psycker and their desert world inhabited by sand worms. For some reason those articles were never reprinted...

So we meet Dr Devam Dutek and his hard-working team of Death Star Gunners creating the first Marines in their lab deep beneath the Earth. I also think this is the first time the Emperor speaks on camera.



'Dr Dutek, Phase Nineteen is complete?"

Stirring stuff.



Dr Dutek's efforts lead to the creation of the first 20 chapters of whom only 7 survive today.

I wonder which 7 are the real fist founding chapters, we know it's not the Ultras, they and their desert planet are a 3rd founding chapter to replace the originals who fell to Chaos.

I should review that issue one day.

Unless I already did...

Anywho I can't tell you how annoyed I am that the art has 8 chapter symbols...

Also no Primarchs, no Horus Heresy, These were reconned in a few years later in Lost and the Damned (which you can read about here! https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/229409.page)

What the book does have is the list of 19 implanted organs that make a Space Marine!



It's a fascinating bit of world building, totally unnecessary for a wargame but gives 40k the texture that makes the whole thing work.



The article introduces (for the first time?) the idea that Marines are not just humans in power armor but superhumans who can spit acid, eat brains, survive in a vacuum and have two hearts for extra love for the Emperor. None of this ever affects the tabletop game, but it's an impressive amount of background for guys who (at the time) were just T3 dudes in power armor!

(This would be fixed a year or two later)

Marines also get a new unit, something called Terminators.



I remember them showing up in Dragon Magazine ads and I was impressed, somehow they'd made the already imposing marine armor bigger!

I know some proto terminators showed up before, but this was when their design and weapons were really finalized courtesy of the great Jes Goodwin.



With 2+ saves, always saving on a 6 and a psychic save you could tell these guys were no push ov-



Oh. Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

I kind of miss the days when GW art was full of Marines getting slaughtered.

As befitting a new toy, Marines get a full colour double paged spread with art work and some models.



And of course their shoulder badges have fragments of the Emperor's Armor. I'm sure it's a reference to claim all Catholic churches have a fragment of the True Cross in the altar.

I'm not sure if the standard terminator appeared in Space Hulk or this book first, anyone know?



Marines and the Imperial Guard get something new in the next article, morale officers to keep them in line. And of course they have radically different approaches.



Space Marines get Chaplains, skull faced armored warriors who lead from the front.

Man guys with skulls for a head. There's a bad ass idea that will never get old.

I am sure this idea came from Starship Troopers where the squad Chaplain jumps with the rest of the Mobile Infantry. As well as the humor in the idea of a traditionally non-combat, wimpy role becoming the badest of the bad asses.

Commissars meanwhile...



Have a different idea of how to keep discipline.

Dressed like Gestapo officers, taking their name from Soviet political officers, they are the Imperium's grim-faced enforcers.

And finally we have another new Marine (and Guard and Squat) unit, the Medic.



But as you might expect, Medics in 40k are a bit more Grim Dark.



Just a bit.



And of course a new troop type requires a full colour painting guide.



For me stuff like this really lured me in, it made it clear there are A LOT of factions and you can create your own and paint them how you like. To this day it's one of the great strengths of 40k.

But this being the Rogue Trader era you can be sure there were over complicated rules too...



D100 rolls for each wounded model! Tracking wound locations! Stat modifiers!

Ug. It's like no one ever stopped to wonder if these rules would be fun. Because when I'm playing Space Knights vs Space Bugs what I really want is realistic wound rules.

And that's kind of RT in a nutshell, awesome fluff concepts and dire bad rules that don't know if they're for an RPG or a wargame.

And we'll be back soon with more fluff, more new units and of course the Tyrant of Baab.















Automatically Appended Next Post:
Ah turns out I did review the original Ultramarines, in my defense it was 11 years ago...

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/207705.page

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/04 17:36:38


 
   
Made in gb
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair





London

“Regulation Imperial Issue Battledress” - implying that space marine armour was regularly available to marines? I know non-marine characters wore them, Inquisitors and such like.


As well as T3 Marines, didn’t they all have jump packs? Those vents on the sides of the packpacks assumed as such, IIRC.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Terminators appeared in that article before we saw them in Space Hulk iirc, albeit in its WD original. Not really sure when the compendium dates relative to Space Hulk as having WD originals I didn’t buy it.

I’m sure those are Tyranid heads.

Hodge-Podge says: Run with the Devil, Shout Satan's Might. Deathtongue! Deathtongue! The Beast arises tonight!

Norwich Last Stand Wargames Club
 
   
Made in gb
Death-Dealing Dark Angels Devastator



Wrexham, North Wales

A couple of early terminator models were released before the classic 8 model boxed set - the first one being the one with a vaguely insect-looking head (I thought) and huuuuge shoulder pads. Then there was some crude squatter looking ones. Then the basic plastic space Hulk version.

and hey! I liked those robots and there program rules!
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka





6 foot underwater

Ahh, glorious stuff!

And definitely tyranid ink-wells - the very first tyranids being what very shortly became termagants.

cyborks & flyboyz : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/300067.page
heretical ramblings : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/302773.page
imperial preachings : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/303365.page
Da Waaagh-ky Races : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/325045.page
Briancj: You have the Mek Taint, MT, and the only thing we can do is watch in horror/amazement.

 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Chaplain with Hate to Spare





SoCal

 Alpharius wrote:
Having seen that picture many, many times, I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I never really noticed the two dinosaurs!

What was the explanation for them?!?

They appear to be...alive and well, and not just some sort of big game trophies?


I think they are supposed to be taxidermist-preserved Tyranids. The eye stalks on the space dinos were one of the hallmarks of the RT Tyranids, although the RT nids had smaller snouts.

   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

I still have that original Captain miniature. He's tiny compared to modern day Termies, but at the time his 4 weapons, including the fancy gauntlet grenade launcher made him unique among other Captains.

And I have to say that I adore his modern reimagining:


They even kept the skull-encrusted scabbard.

Check that out. It's a Dark Angel Terminator in full black armour. Wouldn't take long for Deathwing to come about and change all that (and that's before we even get to the Black-to-Dark Green change for DA's in general).

"Be Just & Fear Not!"

Common Chaplain words. Repeated all throughout history.



This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/01/05 01:25:32


   
Made in us
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Arlington, va

& we're back with some of the fluff sections!

The Compendium is a real grab bag of topics and one thing they spend several articles on is talking about various wars of the 41st millennium. It would be 10 years before the Black Library launched (OK there were 4 Boxtree books in the mid-90s) so fluff pieces like this were the only official accounts of what a 40k war would be like.



To no one's surprise, Space Marines take the first spot with the Badab War. The Tigers Claws and 3 other chapters (Mantis Warriors, Executioners and Lamenters) rebelled against the Imperium and were put down by the Fire Hawks, Red Scorpions, Nova Marines, Howling Griffons, Star Phantoms and Minotaurs. And some other guys were there too.

It is of course illustrated by a 2 page spread of color schemes with not just different chapters but different color schemes for different war zones. I also like how the basic figure gets some variety like the cyber claw on the Fire Hawk or the bare headed guys.

My favorites are still the Space Sharks, GW left money on the table by not making their arch rivals the Space Jets.

Then we get one of my favorite GW art works of all time...



Damn. This is a print I would buy. Endless guys in grey tromping through the med while towering God Machines spew apocalyptic amounts of firepower.

That is 40k.

For some reason this bit of epicness is buried in an article introducing Rough Riders.



Named for Teddy Roosevelt's cavalry unit in the Spanish American War, based on a bit WWII German propaganda about Polish riders charging tanks with their lances (the message being look how stupid and backwards the Polish are), and probably released so GW could reuse their existing plastic horses, RRs were never my favorite unit. I kit bashed one, once, and never got around to the rest of the squad.



Even the Squats got two pages of epicness (apologize for the center of the image, hard to scan a 30 year old book without damaging it).

IIRC this was the was the cover of the Squat boxed set, GW never let a good bit of art go to waste.

For some reason the Squat image is buried in an article on IG Whiteshields, rather than the Squat army list. Whiteshields are IG recruits who have not earned their unit colors yet. Because the game definitely needed rules for 12 year old child soldiers.



They never got models but the Penal Legion/Penitents and Human Bombs did.





The IG also get rules for Ogryn.





Like Rough Riders I suspect they were created mainly to resell existing Orge models.



However their fluff of bring simple minded and child like, worshiping Commissars as the Emperor does a lot to make them more the Space Ogres.



The fluff/IG section is rounded out by another great image of the Imperial All-Stars working together.







Ogryns, tech priests, Commissars,Rough Riders and so many IG. I'd love to see a color version of this. I also love that they're standing and posing rather than running and shooting their guns in random directions. It looks more real if that makes sense.

A before and after shot would be cool too, with the blooded survivors making a much smaller group.

 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






For all the complaints about current GW art just being drawings of the miniatures, that's exactly what that two-page spread is. Everything you can see there was available as a miniature.

The Terminators article appeared in WD112 (April 1989). Issue 113 had an article on the new Space Hulk game, so it looks like the metal Terminators came first.


Whiteshields didn't need miniatures, as they had identical outfits and equipment to the regular Imperial Guard troops, just as Conscript squads do now.
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I love these threads! Thanks, KK!

I just splurged and read all the old threads on your index. What stands out the most is how much more open and wacky the game was in the past, and how much more it has solidified into something pretty restrictive nowadays.

Also, they have lost the sense of the Imperium as the bad guys which was essential to early 40K.

   
Made in gb
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair





London

Didn’t the commissars have rules about shooting their own troops to get morale re-rolls??
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Chaplain with Hate to Spare





Upstate, New York

 Howard A Treesong wrote:
Didn’t the commissars have rules about shooting their own troops to get morale re-rolls??


Commissar Kreiglust lowered his bolt pistol. All eye were upon him. They didn’t know who to fear more - him or the Eldar.

“Weep for him -“ he indicated the fallen officer “ - for his faith was not sufficient. Rejoice for yourselves, for my faith is bottomless! Forward, for the Emperor!

I don’t see rules for auto-passing, but they most definitely will cap an officer who retreats for any reason and take command of the squad.

Ultramarines, 3rd Co. and friends, 12.5K+ Slowly growing 2Kish
Nevelon's Workbench: Ultramarines, Saim-Hann and other assorted oddities
 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






It amuses me slightly that Paul Bonner (and whoever drew the pictures in the army list entries) consistently draws Imperial Guard holding their lasguns upside down.
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Just pulled this out of a box and put it out on a shelf last night. Good times. This book is 40K for me.

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Fantastic - thanks a lot for the write up!

Ah Squats with their flak armour and 3" move, those were the days

Funny I remember the change of Marines from T3 to T4, and how much moaning there was at the time (at least within my playing circle, and this was obviously pre-internet days) about how they were always GW favourites and now over-powered. Those people complaining have had a difficult subsequent 20 years

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
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Kid_Kyoto wrote:


Ogryns, tech priests, Commissars,Rough Riders and so many IG. I'd love to see a color version of this. I also love that they're standing and posing rather than running and shooting their guns in random directions. It looks more real if that makes sense.

A before and after shot would be cool too, with the blooded survivors making a much smaller group.


That picture is pretty glorious!

Pour one out for the OOP units:
* Imperial Guard Power Armor
* Imperial Guard Jetbikes
* Imperial Guard Rhinos
* Imperial Guard Land Raider

It's missing the Imperial Guard Beastmen and Human Bombs, though.

Still, there's an Enginseer and Egg-walker, so that's good stuff!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/07 20:34:37


JHDD's Grand Hobby Ominbus
-- $k Kingdom Death : Monster P&M blog
-- 9k Craftworld Tian-Bing Eldar
-- 7k Ragnarok 1st "Einherjar" Imperial Guard
-- 2k Pale Templars CSM
-- 4k Solland's Ghosts WFB Dogs of War 
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Arlington, va

And we're back!

With the game two years old GW began to invest in larger models and even plastic vehicle kits. Which of course meant a need for rules to cover both.

Dreadnoughts and Eldar Warwalkers were among the first.



You'll notice the Orks don't get much in this book, that's because Orks got their own two hard covers 'Ere We go and Freebooterz. I don't have them and really I'm not that interested, maybe someone else can take up that challenge?



"The Dreadnought is the ultimate form of personal armour. Inside his giant armoured suit, the wearer - or more correctly pilot - controls the Dreadnought's movement, armament and defences."

Yep, the first iteration of dreads saw them as pilot, either physically or by mental links rather than interred corpses. That, I think, was a 2nd edition idea.

"The most enduring types are the Imperial Battle Armour classes, Contemptor, Deredea and Furibundus, whimsically known by the troops as Chuck, Eddy and Fury."

Ah for the days when Marines enjoyed some whimsy during their 15 minutes of free time a day.



The rules... well... look... No one can say I don't like GW games, and the early days of 40k. But the rules... well... they were certainly words written on paper. No one can say otherwise.



So instead let's look at the 2 page full colour spread.

Wow.

That's certainly a lot of um... color huh. My sympathy to anyone who copied the robot color schemes.

Eagle eyed readers might notice the Traitor Slaanesh robot in the middle. Chaos did not appear at all in the RT book and only slips in a few times here, a dead Chaos marine in the IG art, stuff like that. Like Orks they got their own 2 volume HC set which I really did like and have written up here:

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/227123.page
and here:
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/229409.page

To this day two of my favorite gaming books of all time.



Sprinkled throughout are more thoughts of the day and other wisdom.



I like to paste this one on my desk whenever I'm job-hunting.



The Rhino was, I think, the first plastic vehicle kit (maybe tied with the Ork battlewagon?) and get's extensive rules and fluff.



This one cracks me up, it looks all realistic and everything... Until you realize it had a tracked vehicle as the example. Which can turn in place...

2 pages of full-colour Rhino goodness. For Marines, Guard and Squats. I am SHOCKED Forge World has not yet made an ambulance variant for the Rhino.



It also has this tidbit...



"Camouflage is the colour of fear... I have no need to hide from my foes... I have no fear of death. My colours I wear openly, they proclaim louder than any words, 'I am proud to live - I am proud to die' - Commander Carab Culln, Red Scorpions"

Marines in cameo sort of disappeared after this book, it became more the Guard's signature, and I just love the reasoning.



Bike and trikes also got expanded rules as vehicles.



IIRC they were OK for troops but basically deathtraps for characters, exploding and killing the rider.

And some rules for craters



And of course the obligatory unique template, in this case for the Thudd Gun.



Y'know how models today will have a special rule with a meaningless name like 'Nerves of Steel' or 'Fists of Fury' or 'Awesome Mustache"? Well the Rogue Trader version was counters and templates... so many templates... And they didn't even print them on card, it was always photocopy and cut out... At least in 2nd edition if you needed a 'Foot of Gork' template you'd get a color card to punch out.



Ah, more dying marines.



Rounding out the vehicles, we have the Imperial Robots.



Nice models, but the rules...



All the fun of computer programing, but with counters.

So many counters.



So come back tomorrow, or later tonight, or in 3 days, when I'll be talking about modeling and the army lists.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/07 21:55:43


 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

So you're saving the Vehicle Guide until later? The one with the clear acetate targeting template?

JHDD's Grand Hobby Ominbus
-- $k Kingdom Death : Monster P&M blog
-- 9k Craftworld Tian-Bing Eldar
-- 7k Ragnarok 1st "Einherjar" Imperial Guard
-- 2k Pale Templars CSM
-- 4k Solland's Ghosts WFB Dogs of War 
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Arlington, va

 JohnHwangDD wrote:
So you're saving the Vehicle Guide until later? The one with the clear acetate targeting template?


I don't have the Vehicle Guide or the big books of guns (forget what it's called). Both were basically rule books that rewrote the basic rules halfway through the edition. Which necessitated a whole new edition to clean things up and buying more books.

No need to revisit that era since we're still living in it

 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Super-Attack Onslaughter Dreadnought.

I'm so glad that GW got over their obsession with stupid sounding names.


This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/01/08 10:51:13


   
Made in gb
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Devon, UK



See, if they dumped Cadians and remastered these into a new kit, I'd have real difficulty not buying some, even with no intention of every making an army.

We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't. - Frank Howard Clark

The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!” Professor Brian Cox

Ask me about
Barnstaple Slayers Club 
   
 
Forum Index » Dakka Discussions
Go to: