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The Argo Cluster - 40K Roleplaying Campaign

Edit: Updated the economic rules, recruiting and procurement.


The Argo Cluster. Like a luminous mass of jewels in the darkness it hangs in the Eastern Fringe, a beacon in a desolate region of space, attracting star voyagers for millions of years. The light of the stars mirrors the light of the human souls on this far flung outpost of the Imperium, their courage a bulwark against the uncaring night. The Skaith cluster has seen many waves of human settlement over tens of thousands of years, but during the time of the Imperium it has been a fiefdom of the Adeptus Mechanicus, particularly the Magos Biologos, and its inhabitants reflect that allegiance. Humanity exhibits a wide range of forms, each created for a particular purpose, and abhumans are common. Variations range from the tiny strains known derisively as “25mm” bred for rapid reproduction and limited use of resources to Ogryn and four armed, legless deep space workers called Quaddies. For many years the Adeptus Mechanicus ruled the cluster with an iron grip, distributing the blessings of technology only to the worthy, leading to even greater variations in tech index than is common in the imperium as a whole. This has increased the already bewildering variety of human cultures dwelling within the cluster.

Now the stately order of the Machine God’s plan for the cluster is unravelling. For reasons known only to themselves, a faction within the Mechanicus rose in rebellion, and a brief but brutal civil war flared across the sector before the matter was settled. Who one is not entirely clear to outside observers. Many whisper that the powers of the Imperium are wroth with the Mechanicum, and that the old order will crumble and a new one arise. Many worlds were laid waste including the world of Pentegrad, where our story begins.

Your small band is stranded on Pentegrad, a world of vast oceans teaming with Krill preyed upon by vast factory ships. A few islands dot the world, some heavily industrialized. Your services were valuable during the war, but now, be you irregular imperial guard soldiers, xenos mercenaries, or even wandering spacemarines, you are surplus to requirements during the rebuilding. You urgently need a way off of Pentegrad for whatever reason, and it is at that point that your band receives an offer they cannot refuse....

Combat uses 6th ed 40K

Rules modifications: Concealment. A unit that begins the turn in cover may choose to conceal itself, “digging in” to the terrain instead of shooting moving or taking any other action. Once concealed, units count as “gone to ground” and in addition have a 2+ armor save vs. shooting from more than 12” away (and all shooting from fliers), unless that shooting ignores cover. In the event that they would not normally receive a cover save (for example concealed behind a wall and the enemy jumps over the wall) the 2+ save may not be taken. Terminator armor is nice, but a good rock to hide behind will do at a pinch. The 2+ save can be negated by AP 1/2 weapons normally. Concealed units may end their concealment at the start of any turn and act normally. They also lose concealment if they move for any reason or are assaulted.


Vehicles in Assault. A vehicle that is stunned or weaponless AND immobilized counts as WS 1 in assault. All other Vehicles use the predominant WS of their army, +2 per defensive weapon (ST 5 or less, able to fire at least 2 shots) they possess. A leman russ with 2 HB thus counts as WS 7, (3 + 2 + 2) with a storm bolter it would be WS 9. There is a -1 penalty to hit all skimmers or vehicles that moved more than 9”.

Close Protection. No model may assault a vehicle if there are any unengaged infantry models within 3” of the vehicle and in assault range. Only after all escorting models are engaged can additional assaulting models assault the vehicle.

Vehicles MAY fire overwatch UNLESS the assaulting models began their move in cover.

Armorbane is changed from Rolls 2d6 for armor penetration to “Rolls 2D6 for armor penetration and takes the highest roll”.

The Glory of Paint and The Shame of Proxies: Player controlled painted units may reroll any one group of dice - armor saves, shooting, wounding, Ld, difficult terrain, etc. per evening. NPCs do not get this benefit.

Points equal “Credits”.

All min/max unit sizes are halved, except that a unit may always be taken at 5 models if that would usually be allowed.

Players begin with 100 points to buy their own character and a small retinue if desired. With GM approval, they may purchase any character or unit from any codex as their starting force - a space marine character, an IG captain and command squad, a techmarine and servitors, a squad of sisters of battle, even a Xenos character, etc. Even out dated codexes may generally be used, and you may mix and match from different codex entries. Be aware that characters die very easily, and so it is likely that you will have switch to a back up character - part of your retinue, presumably, at some point. A character’s retinue is absolutely trustworthy and are generally controlled by the player at all times, but cannot number more than 12 models and cannot include models with a 2+ save.

Psykers may buy the “Minor Psychic Powers” from Chapter Approved. If they take major powers they must roll them each game.

Generic Units Available:

“Rogue Trader”.

WS BS S T I A W Ld Sv 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 7 5+ Laspistol, cc weapon, flak armor.

10 Points per Rogue Trader. Same options as Inquisitional Warrior Henchmen for equipment.

Conscript Crew (2 points each) WS BS S T I A W Ld Sv 2 2 3 3 3 1 1 6 ---- Single Close Combat Weapon. Any model can add a Musket (Heavy 1, S3) for +1 point. Upgrade to trained crew for +1 point per model, add +1 WS, +1 Ld.

Veteran Crew (5 Points Each) WS BS S T I A W Ld Sv 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 7 6+ Furious Charge. Any Model may take: Musket OR 2 cc weapon, OR laspistol, or Lasgun/autogun for +1 point. Las pistol and close combat weapon + 2 poitns. Any model may add breaching shield for +1 point each (+1 Armor save vs. shooting of str 4 or less). Whole unit may take Frag +1 point per model, Krak at +2 points per model. Upgrade to Mutant Scum (T4) for 2 points. Mutant scum cannot crew the ship and thus do not count as crew squads for space battles.

Any Character may also buy Skills at 5 points per level. Each player is allowed to have 25 points of purchased skills at any time, any skills beyond this must come from rolls on the advancement table.

To use a skill, a character rolls 1 D6 per level. If any roll is equal to or higher than the target number, the player has succeeded. In cases where a degree of success or failure is possible, rolls of 6 or 1 may have an additional effect at the GM’s discretion. Typical Target Number:

2+ Easy, routine task - repairing a Leman russ track with decent tools. 3+ Typical challenge, but not particularly difficult - Finding Lasguns to buy on an imperial world. 4+ Hard - Climbing a cliff. 5+ Very Hard - evading Tau sensors to land on an outpost. 6+ Insane - Convincing a Grey Knight to show mercy to a Heretic.

Skill List Navigation. Somebody with this skill is required to travel through the Warp. Piloting. Flying spaceships, fliers, even driving fast cars. Athletics. Running, jumping, climbing. Due to their super human physique, all space marines MUST buy 1 level of this skill and get another level for free. Procurement. Used to find equipment and vehicles. Commerce. Used to find cargos and sell them at a profit. Recruitment. Used to find crew, characters, and troops. Streetwise. All things Criminal. Lexmechanic. Computers and Data Tech. Repairing Machines. Stealth. Hiding and sneaking, and helping others do the same. Tactics. Perform unusual actions during battles. Also makes the model an independent character. Demolitions. Blow stuff up. Diplomacy Negotiation, get people to do stuff. Leadership. Drill, Training, etc. Imperial Culture. Laws, social occasions, etc. Xenos Lore. Alien Stuff. Forbidden Lore. Chaos Stuff. Imperial History. Human Stuff. Survival Tracking, finding water, etc. Medicine Patch People up. Faith Imperial Cult.

Characters in combat.

If a player character or retinue member takes their last wound or is removed from the table by an effect (as opposed to moving off), they must roll on the survival chart:

1 Dead and Gone. Their gear is lost on a 4+, otherwise someone else can take it. 2 Wounded. Roll Again:

1 Hideous injuries. The character cannot be used until 15 points are spent to give them a Cyber Body (which includes a 5+ invulnerable save).

2 Body Wound. - 1 T or -1 ST, (whichever is higher) curable with a cyber body. 3 Arm wound. Can only use a single, one handed weapon at a time. Curable with a Cyber Limb (6+ invulnerable, 5 points) 4 Leg Wound. Moves as though in rough terrain at all times. Curable with Cyber Limb. 5 Head Wound - 1 WS, or BS, or I - Which every is highest. 6 Lingering wound - misses next battle.

3 Complications. Roll Again:

1 Left Behind. If the players retain control of the local area at the end of the combat, the character is recovered. If not, the character’s fate is whatever the GM deems logical. They may be captured by the enemy, die of exposure on a hostile world, or the like. 2 Wounded and roll another complication, rerolling 2s. 3 Looted, or gear damaged. Lose most valuable item of Wargear. 4 Stripped - lose all Wargear. 5 Bitter Enmity. Hates the type of enemy who dealt the wound (“Orks”) 6 Mortal Fear. Enemy type who caused the wound causes fear for this model.

4+ Full Recovery. All is well.

Advancement Every character gains D6 XP per battle, + 1 per wound caused (saved or not) and begins at a number of XP equal to their points cost before upgrades. An advance is gained at each of the following XP totals

15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 90, 110, 130, 155 etc.

2 Super Human - Roll Again - 1-3 +1 ST 4-6 +1 T 3 Skilled fighter + 1 Attack.

4 New talent - Gain a Universal special rule of the GM’s choice.

5 All arounder - add +1 to the lowest of WS, BS, I, or if the model has only 1 attack, increase it to 2, or only 1 wound increase it to 2 (your choice if both are 1).

6 Looter - gain an item of wargear worth 10 points or more of the GM’s choice.

7 +1 WS

8 Improve an existing skill by 1 level, or choose a new one.

9 +1 BS

10 Hardened in the fires of battle +1 Ld.

11 +1 I

12 Will to Live +1 Wound.

Ship’s Compliment.

The players also control ship’s crew, and assorted mercenaries, vassals, vehicles, and so on. Though players generally get to control these models in battle, they are not entirely loyal and may occasionally mutiny, refuse to charge a carnifex, or otherwise act in their own interest. These are all referred to as “Ship’s Compliment.”

Allies may be available from time to time. These are even less reliable than ship’s compliment, as they often have their own agendas, but are generally treated the same.

Ship’s compliment do not roll on the table above when they take a wound - instead they use this one:

1-2 Dead 3 Left Behind. 4+ OK.

Vehicles that are wrecked can be repaired for 1/2 their cost if the players control the battlefield, those that explode or are left behind are lost.

Points, Credits, Upkeep and economics in general.

Players receive 50 credits / points each for every battle they win, and 25 points for every battle they lose, plus bonus points depending on the scenario.

It costs 10% of the total point value to “Activate” troops for a battle. Advancements do not increase a model’s points.

Players may purchase any units/normal upgrades from their codex desired. No rolls are required to do this.

Players may purchase any “loot” left over after a battle at half cost. Examples include enemy vehicles immobilized but not destroyed, artillery, etc. Such models are counted as full cost for upkeep.

Recruiting. Before a battle players may recruit temporary allies using the recruiting skill. These cost 10% of the cost of the model, but are only available for 1 battle. Up to 3 rolls may be made on the table for each character with the skill.

Recruitment: Generally the roll to find a squad of any given type is given below:

Conscript crew 2+ Trained crew 3+ Veteran crew 4+ Mutant Scum 3+ Xenos Mercenaries 5+ IG Conscripts 3+ IG Troops 4+ Other IG units and Vehicles 5+ Rhinos, trucks, civilian vehicles 3+ Rogue Trader, 1 skill 4+ Rogue Trader, 2 skills 5+ Rogue Trader, 3 skills 6+ Psykers 6+

Procurement. Procurement maybe used in 2 ways. Before the battle it may be used to find useful stuff needed for that particular battle. Such items are useful in only one battle. Up to 3 rolls may be made per character.

D6 doses Combat Drugs (+1 WS, +1 initiative) 5+ 1 point each D6 med packs (1 FNP roll for unit each) 5+ 2 point each Ammo Store (reroll to shooting to hit roll models within 6”) 4+ 7 points Maps (outflank 1 unit) 4+ 3 points Extra Fuel (Reroll 1 reserve roll for 1 vehicle) 3+ 3 points Fortifications (+1 cover save 1 terrain piece) 3+ 5 points Disguises 5+/6+ 5 points (if a 5+ roll is made, 1 unit gains scout. If a 6+ is made, 1 one unit may set up anywhere. However, there is a 1 in 6 chance the enemy notices the disguise and automatically gets first turn, rolled after deployment). Molitov Cocktails (Frag for 1 unit) 3+ 3 points Demo Charge (1) 4+ 5 points Magnetic mines (Krak for one unit) 5+ 4 points Minefield (36 square inches) 5+ 5 points

After a battle a single procurement roll may be made to try to aquire items not normally available in your codex. These must be reasonably represented on the model before it can be used (so if the model isn’t done, he’s considered be still learning to use the new toy). The point cost depends on the model and is up to the GM.

Grenades, Muskets, 6+ Armor, Hand Weapons 2+ Lasguns, Flak Armor 3+ Most heavy weapons 4+ Carapace, Hellguns, common xenos gear 5+ Plasma Guns, Melta Guns 5+ Cyborg Limb (D3) 4+ Cyborg Body (1) 6+ Power Armor, Power Weapons, etc. (single item) 6+ Refractor fields, Storm Shields (Single item) 6+


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