News for March 2011
Nerves of Steel 17
A look at Battlefleet Koronus, an upcoming Rogue Trader supplement
Rogue Trader | Published 02 March 2011

Hello Rogue Traders,

This week to help preview the upcoming Battlefleet Koronus, we asked writer Andy Chambers to pass on a few thoughts about his work on the book. For Andy, Battlefleet Koronus was an interesting opportunity to revisit topics he had touched on in some of his earlier games, including Games Workshop’s Battlefleet Gothic. Take it away, Andy!

Battlefleet Koronus was a welcome opportunity to expand on some of the ideas in Battlefleet Gothic, mainly long talks with Gav Thorpe and Jes Goodwin back in the day. We talked about how creepy it would actually be if you were on an Imperial ship—some thousand year old flying fortress/monastery/cathedral/mausoleum powered by leaky plasma reactors and hurtling through the daemon-infested void. You'd have to have a lot of faith, that's for sure.

Chain of Command

That's about when ships getting corrupted by Chaos all the time really starts to make sense. How long would it take being adrift in the warp with daemons clawing at the hull before you'd sacrifice someone just to be left alone? How long before you start making deals with the devil to bring you home from the void?

One of the discussions I had with Sam Stewart on Battlefleet Koronus was whether to term the crew of Imperial Navy 'shipmen' or 'voidmen.’ I wanted to mention an older name for the common voidman, a shipman: man of the ship. After all, the ship is their world and the void is something outside it, always predatory and hungering. As part of the background for Battlefleet Koronus we created a rank list from the lowliest Rating to the Lord High Admiral, a pleasingly arcane and bureaucratic mess with overlapping ranks, temporary elevations and weird asides to cover strike craft crews that feels like just the kind of thing you'd expect in the ten thousand year old Imperium.

We also got into digging around about naval ship design, specifically 17th/18th Century when the broadside was king. Extrapolating how that might apply to adamantium plated starships was particularly facinating, since Warhammer 40,000 starships have strong ties to the wooden warships of yester-year. Taking a more in-depth look at the different kinds of decks aboard a ship offers great opportunities for planning adventures, from fine dining in the Nobilite towers to hunting xenos vermin in the bilges. Ships in the 41st millennium make fantastic adventure settings, each one is a mobile city with its own collection of characters, problems and plot hooks.

The whole thing was lots of fun to write, I hope you enjoy reading it. For those of you interested in such things, much of my inspiration came courtesy of C S Forester, Patrick O'Brian and Dudley Pope which all make my recommended reading list, and from the hefty and exhaustive 'The Fighting Ships of The Royal Navy 897-1984' by E.H.H Archibald (which is, you'll have to admit, one hell of a name).

Rogue Trader is a roleplaying game set in dark gothic far future of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe. Players take on the roles of explorers aboard a Rogue Trader's ship, searching for profit and adventure while discovering new alien cultures and threats in the uncharted regions of space.

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Comments (17)

Published: 3/6/2011 3:24:12 PM

Wow. This sounds like its going to be one epic book.

Published: 3/3/2011 8:39:02 PM

This looks really interesting - I already enjoyed the void vessel descriptions in DH and RT, but adding even more detail and the Imperial military machinery to it makes this a must-have for me. I also very much liked Andy's short story "Ancient History" which deals with exactly this kind of setting - it's part of the Dark Imperium anthology, in case anyone wants to give it a read; I certainly recommend doing so!

Very good artwork there, too! Kudos to the artist.

Published: 3/3/2011 3:15:52 PM

Now if Andy would only come back and salvage the Skaven! I want my S4 Stormvermin back!

Again, I have to agree, not much of a look at, just more of a discussion on what could be in a look at. Give me a date or a time frame please! LOL. That way, when you miss it wa can complain about that LOL.

Published: 3/3/2011 7:42:44 AM

It is a very ....bad look. I have been waiting a month since the last preview (ground combat) and this is very short.....

Published: 3/3/2011 4:39:56 AM

This looks set to be very cool. Hope that rank list is in there tangles and all! Nice to see one of the original architects of 40k space combat on deck too. Looking forward to this book

Published: 3/3/2011 3:31:14 AM

Claiming something to be invaluable -before- reading it seems a little reckless to me.

@This article
It is a pitty that no sample page is provided. And no information about which topic is dealt with in which quantitiy. If (for examples) the matter of decks is covered the same way as the basic tenements of Imperial faith was covered in BloodOfMartyrs it might not be that an invaluable resource.

Never the less, I am happy to hear that we might get a little some detail on that.

Published: 3/2/2011 10:16:08 PM

Andy Chambers created Battlefleet Gothic so he is cool*. And he wrote cool things in Battlefleet Koronus. :)


* (as a side he note he did warrant the gruesome Eldar rules in BFG so he isn't flawless, heh heh)

Published: 3/2/2011 7:38:24 PM

Agreed! I was a fan of Chambers' work when he was at GW, and I'm looking foward to seeing his output for FFG.

Published: 3/2/2011 5:23:58 PM

 I always liked the stuff Andy did at GW, so it's great to hear he's working with FFG.

Man, I so want that Rank list. Is it actually in the book?

Mr. Grimace
Published: 3/2/2011 4:47:01 PM

 This sourcebook is invaluable. I can't wait to get a chance to read it.

Published: 3/2/2011 4:45:41 PM

I really looking forward to this one! Hopefully it will deal with the small hiccups I have with void-travelling in the 40k-Universe! ;) So, when we will get it?

Alpharius Omegon
Published: 3/2/2011 4:33:43 PM

I can't wait for this to come out!  As the old saying goes, getting there is half the fun!  Now we'll have more in-depth rules on how to get there!

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