Warhammer – The Beginners Guide to Rogue Trader and Collecting Warhammer

The Rogue Trader early years:

The rule book written by Rick Priestley for the Warhammer 40000 game, Rogue Trader was published in 1987, this first issue is massively different to any of the future issues. It is mainly a cross between RPG’s and classic Table Top Games, rather than a pure Table Top Battle Game. Rogue Trader had more in depth information and background on the wider reaches of the 40K universe, its races and their technologies, unlike later editions of the game, for me this is why it is considered a prized collectors’ piece and holds a special place in my collection.

This Rulebook is considered much less rigid in the rules of 40K than later editions, as it employed a much broader set of views within the narration than was common in future versions and readily encouraged mixed faction forces.

Jokero, Slann, Squats, Zoats are examples of races that were not included in the first edition of RT.

Rogue Trader had six sections:

  • Rules of combat,
  • Scenario for Crimson Fist Space Marines fighting Orks on Rynn’s World,
  • An Equipment section.
  • Background Section
  • Special rules for advanced gamers,
  • A summary including all of the charts in the book.

A few elements of the setting (bolters, Dreadnought armour) can be seen in a set of wargaming rules called Laserburn written by Bryan Ansell and produced by Tabletop Games in 1980. The influence of these can also be seen in the prototype Necromunda game mechanics

My Interest in Rogue Trader

When I got onto Games Workshop products back in the late eighties it was the Rogue Trader miniatures that grabbed my attention. Rick Priestley really done a number on my life! When I first started modeling I used to build and paint my own lead models, typically British Red Coats, Prussians, and Napoleonic forces etc.

Then one day I bought a pack of Ral Partha fantasy figures and started veering down the Fantasy route but it wasn’t until 1987 with the coming of Rogue Trader that I found something that would take up a lot of my time, effort and of course money and that was the good old Imperium of Man – (Rick Priestley wrote Rogue Traders as being freelance explorers employed by the Imperium to search for planets outside of the established borders) and all the ghastly creatures you had to fight. Though at first there was no sign of Chaos, well not like there exists today – sure Preistley hints about the forces of the warp (Chaos) but it wasn’t until some expansions came out that we saw the full might of the Chaos forces come through.

The pride of my collection was a complete Imperial Space Marine army, lovingly built and painted over a number of years. Then again I also had a fantastic collection of Zoats, Space Slann, Imperial Guard, ah the list is endless really!

After a few years I had moved in with my wife to be and had our first son, the gaming all of a sudden became less and less of a thing, working and paying the bills seemed to take up every moment of my life (even when I was going through Uni I had managed to balance gaming with real life but having children really is a whole different ball game:)

So over the next decade my beloved collections got lost or broken as we bought our homes and moved around due to careers, and sadly I eventually stopped gaming!

Then skip forward to 2001 and a football injury saw me house ridden for 6 months and low and behold I started to buy 40K models from the local GW shop. In the years following that I began to really appreciate the workmanship of the Rouge Trader models (Today’s models are definitely more sculptured/ornate and are really nice on the eye) I missed the simplicity of those early models – maybe in was with rosy eyes and bags of nostalgia that I remembered them but all of a sudden I wanted to regain my lost collections!

Boy!!! Was that easier said than done, since Games Workshop put all the RT stuff out of production and broke most of the molds I was finding it hard to find them BUT thankfully the web was really starting to hit it’s potential and I could start finding clubs and websites where I could speak to other like minded people and of course EBAY:)) Now I know it has it’s knockers and it’s downsides but it was the number 1 stop for me to finding a lot of my lost minis BUT it was a nightmare of shill bidding, sniping, buyers pulling out of sales as the auction didn’t hit what they wanted, figures being lost or broken in the post etc.

Alas there is now a multitude of places to find your old miniatures:)

The full Games Workshop Rogue Trader armies list and codes:

The codes where changed in the 1991 edition but I have listed the codes for the first releases.

Earliest Codes:

RTO1 – Space Marines (wd93)

RTO2 – Space Orks (wd93)

RTO3 – Space Dwarfs (wd94)

RTO4 – Space Elfs (wd94)

RTO5 – Imperial Army (wd96)

RTO6 – Marine Heavy Weapon (Multi-Melta)

RT7 – Mercenaries (wd95)

RT7 – Dreadnought Armour (wd95)

Space Marines

RTO1 – Space Marines (wd93)

RT101 – Imperial Space Marines (wd99)

RT101 – Imperial Space Marines (wd100)

RT103 – Marine Heavy Weapons (wd102)

RT105 – Imperial Commander (wd98)

RT106 – Vincent Black Shadow (wd99)

RT106 – Medic on Bike (wd102)

RT107 – Rhino Crew Marines (wd103)

RT108 – Imperial Robots (wd104)

4106 – Space Marine Chaplains (wd108)

Space Orks

RTO2 – Space Orks

RT202 – Ork Command Group (wd97)

RT204 – Ork Dreadnought (wd99)

RT205 – Ork Battle Buggy (wd98)

RT206 – Ork Dreadnought Expansion (wd99)

RT207 – Ork Heavy Weapons (wd100)

RT – Space Orks (wd106)

Space Dwarfs

RTO3 – Space Dwarfs (wd94)

RT302 – Space Dwarf Command (wd97)

RT303 – Space Dwarf Heavy Weapons (wd97)

RT304 – Squat Thudd Gun (wd101)

RT305 – Squat Bikes (wd103)

Space Elfs

RTO4 – Space Elfs (wd94)

RT401 – Space Elfs (BotA)

RT402 – Space Elf Command (wd99)

RT403 – Eldar Dreadnought (wd100)

RT403 – Eldar War Robot (wd101)

RT403 – Eldar War Walker (wd102)

RT404 – Eldar D-Cannon (wd99)

RT404 – Eldar Artillery (wd103)

4306 – Eldar Jet Bike (wd106)

4306 – Harlequin Jet Bike (wd107)

4306 – Harlequins (wd107)

Imperial Army

RTO5 – Imperial Army (wd96)

RT501 – Imperial Army 1 (wd98)

RT501 – Imperial Army 2 (wd98)

RT502 – Imperial Heavy Weapons (wd102)

RT502 – Mercenaries (wd95)

RT503 – Imperial Landspeeder (wd101)

RT505 – Imperial Rapier (wd100)

RT509 – Guards on Motorbikes

4010 – Imperial Guard Commisars (wd109)

4010 – Imperial Guard (wd109)

Miscellaneous

RT601 – Adventurers (wd99)

RT601 – Pirates (wd103)

RT602 – Ambull (wd99)

RT701 – Medics

IC301 – Iron Claw Space Pirates (wd99)

IC501 – Iron Claw Squats (wd100)

IC2003 – Jump Troopers

Boxed sets:

RTB01 – Space Marines

RTB02 – Space Ork Raiders

RTB03 – Devastators

RTB04 – Rhinos

RTB05 – Land Raiders

RTB06 – Harlequins

RTB07 – Imperial Guard (Plastic Kit)

RTB08 – Predator (Plastic Vehicle Kit)

RTB09 – Terminators

RTB10 – Space Dwarfs (Plastic Kit)

RTB11 – Land Raider (Single Kit)

RTB12 – Rhino (Single Kit)

RTB13 – Space Orks (Plastic Kit)

RTB14 – Ork Battlewagon(Kit)

RTB15 – Space Marine Strike Force

RTB16 – Terminators & Tyranids

TSF (Blisters)

TSF16 – Jet Cycle

TSF18 – Space Slann

TSF18 – Space Zoats

Imperial Ogyrn Hero

Ogryns (and Ogres)

Limited Edition Rogue Trader

Grav Attack Vehicle

RTLE – Christmas Marines

SFD Giant Robots

LE1 – Space Orc

LE2 – Imperial Space Marine

LE6 – Space Santa

LE9 – Space Skeleton

LE10 – Power Armoured Marine

LE22 – Orc Bazookas

LE101 – Chaos Renegade Marine

LE102 – Traitor Legionnaire

Space Crusade Dreadnoughts

Source by Richie Byrne

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