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#1 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:46 AM

So my group is starting Rogue Trader again with me as a GM. One of the dangling plot threads from our last arc that was never explored is finally being looked at. I'm jotting things down here as much to get my own mind in order but would love any inputs people have.

 

Brief History: In the course of getting their first ship, the players  found out that their houses Administrator assigned to Port Wander had been siphoning vast sums of thrones off the books and then co-mingling them with funds from other parties to fund something going on out in the expanse. Digging a little deeper they found it appeared to be some form of pocket empire of renegades, heretics, and other free thinkers. From the sums of money their seneshal was able to track through the now deceased subordinates ledgers they determined that the pocket empire was likely a bit more then they could chew at the moment. But under Imperial Law anything funded with stolen money is their property, under expanse law though they'd need more 'daka in order to take it. Plus there was the potential for lots of chaos types and other unsavories that they'd need to cleanse.

 

Well when we last took a break from RT in part due to GM burnout and some player turnover they'd amassed themselves a decent portions of ships. Two well appointed light cruises, a modified merchantman troop transport and a couple of refitted pirate raiders. They've decided it's the perfect time to go kick over that ant hill.

 

So now I'm looking at both setting up the pocket empire as well as some endeavors related to it.

 

So Endeavors, I've divided this into seperate phases of the operation with individual endeavors as part of their accomplishment:

Preparation:

Anything worth taking in the bubble empire is presumably defended. The explorer's will need to prepare themselves for anything and everything in order to be successful. There are little better preparations for this sort of endeavor then lots and lots of fighting men and women. The group recently won a planet in a game with other rogue traders and while it produces exceptional soldiers currently it isn't capable of the numbers they need. The options i'm going to suggest to them for filling out their troop levy are as follows. I'm also open to other schemes they might come up with. Almost all of these are going to come with varying levels of either aquisitions tests or if those fail favors owed or promises made to people.

1) Fraternis Militia - There's always a plethora of these guys hanging out at footfall waiting for a good opportunity to die in the name of the Emperor. They even come "war ready" although they don't have anything beyond basic infantry tech. Still they are cheap and plentiful. Of course the players might have their own reasons for not wanting a bunch of zealots crawling around their ship.

2) Imperial Guard/PDF/Mercs - Find someone with an already formed fighting force pay/negotiate for them to turn that force over to you. Impossible for most, but these are Rogue Trader's we're talking about, they buy planets on occasion, guard regiments should be well within their scope. It's just a matter of dealing with people powerful enough to have regiments just sitting around idle and then coming to an agreeable price.

3) Pressment and armament: Manpower is cheap in 40k and the house has a core of mercs to call upon to act as cadre for any follow-on forces. Using their authority as Rogue Traders they can recrurit or press at any Human Hive world or place like Port Wander and begin the training process. Of course they will need to outfit these units for combat which will mean a trip to a major trade hub or forge world. These buying expeditions could also be used to plus up forces aquired in other ways, providing better armaments for Militia or Heavy Tank forces to Augment IG or PDF forces.

Siegebreakers: Planetary Invasions sucks from a Rogue Traders standpoint, a long grinding affair that can take months if not years for a single planet. The Tactica Imperialis is pretty clear that if you actually want to take a planet rather then blow it in mounds of rubble or free floating balls of rock your going to have to spend some time doing it. Siege breaker forces could dramatically speed things up. The problem is you can't just go down to your local forge world and requisition a group of Astartes or a Titan detachment. Your going to have to deal with these people not only at a peer level, but with people who arn't directly motivated by wealth. I'm going to need to come up with what forces might be available, what it would take to even get an audience/consideration from them, and what they'd want in return.

 

Recon and Intel:

This is a chance for my more intelligence and intrigue focused players and characters to shine. First off they have massive stacks of data held by their former traitor under lock and key at their holdings on Port Wander waiting for a detailed examination. Secondly given the size of this operation there has got to be someone whose heard of it in the various transit hubs and hives of villiany like Port Wander and Footflall. Skulking around dives or reading through tomes checking for intel could save a lot of annoyance later.

Another possibility is taking a ship out, presumably one of the raiders and jumping to the target system to do as stealthy a flyby as possible of the planets and other interesting phenomenon within.

 

Upon Arrival:

Establish Space Superiority - Simply put it's presumably kind of hard to bring 5 or more ships into a system completely unnoticed especially if said system is off the beaten path and kind of insular. Presumably soon after their arrival in system the PC's flottila will find themselves involved in a space battle with whatever ships their enemies can muster.

Deliver Terms/Undermine the Opposition - At some point the Explorer's will want to reach out to the opposition and offer terms for surrender of their choosing. If they've discovered intel on any factions within the system they may want to tailor their approach to those factions.

 

Invasion!:

The final stage fo the operaton and meta-endeavor. The explorer's enemies will not go quietly into that good night and will need to be cleansed by force of arms. The players will have to decide what planets to invade and with what and will presumably participate in some of the battles either in tip of the spear perspective or accompanying and leading small groups of special operators on lightning strikes.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read the whole yarn, any inputs are welcome.

 

 

 

 



#2 crisaron

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:55 AM

lurkeroutthere said:

Siegebreakers: Planetary Invasions sucks from a Rogue Traders standpoint, a long grinding affair that can take months if not years for a single planet.

 

 

 

It took 400 years and a bunch of chapters to "free" Vrack. So it could be very long to break a pocket Empire if they have ships.



#3 SomVone

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:30 AM

 Are you talking about Vraks? 'Cause that took 17 years, and it was against a world which probably had about the same amount of war material as all of the Reach.



#4 Cultadium

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:45 PM

I would definitely setup a multiple star system as the main system and the system the players fall into.

Lot's of planets but only four important ones. Two Feral and Two mining/forge moons.

I'd personally make make one feral world mostly covered by water and the other a swampy jungle.

Freethinkers- Want to revive the Emperor and have him walk among us again, lot's of overly optimistic nobles and probably a few psychics/heretical missionaries. Control one of the farming planets and an orbital space station around it.

Calaxian Combine-Wants to mine and sell material for profit,-Trades with pirates,aliens, and chaos, may make players tempting offers. Controls two mining planets and one of the two planets in the system upon which farming can take place. Both worlds are still feral.

Tech Priest Hereteks- Exploring research the mainstream mechanus has banned. Live on one of the Calaxian Combine mining planets and trade industrial products for the research materials they need.

You probably already have ideas for others.

 

Siege groups that now are potentially interested

Navy

Inquisition

Mechanus



#5 RobOut

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:53 AM

Hey,

Read this thread with interest - I have a work in progress set of homebrew rules (which I won't try to force on anyone…). Part of what I have done so far includes a random unit generator. The idea was that when a group is looking for military help, the GM could select whats available or if your mean (like me) randomly roll it up.

 

docs.google.com/document/d/1v2FJsFGMUEhXqdJHgNG8jiy3DeWxYjZ1Fy4uZoJl__s/edit

 

I've included modifiers and such for purchasing stuff as well.

 

 



#6 crisaron

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:23 AM

oups I was sure but your right must have been another one…

 



#7 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:58 AM

I want to thank everyone for their inputs and help. I'm going to start typing up what i'm going to go with and will post it here for inputs. Does anyone know a cheap or free program that will draw star clusters/planetary systems. I remember having one a long time ago but can't even remember the name now.



#8 Cornwallis

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:09 AM

lurkeroutthere said:

Does anyone know a cheap or free program that will draw star clusters/planetary systems. I remember having one a long time ago but can't even remember the name now.

mspaint. I know, its been forever since I've used it too 



#9 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

Here's what I came up with, this is pretty rambling as it's mostly meant for my notes, and it's a smidge sparse in case my players wander by here. But if anyone else gets anything useful out of this, have at.

 

Pocket Empire System Notes

Three Primary Star systems in a cluster configuration.

Pathis is the most heavily settled system. It has four planets of note although there are smaller bodies of some interest.

Wormwood – Is a small harsh planet too close to the sun to support any real life as most of the arable land is located in polar zones. It does have exploitable deposits of minerals and promethium in the equatorial area which are being exploited by both prospectors from Rand and independents who smuggle the materials out of the system or even out of the cluster. Massive roadways crisscross the planets surface and there are even a few pre-imperial ruins that might bear investigation but have lingering background counts from a war that was likely over sometime during the dark age of technology. Just a little over a hundred years ago a Black Ship came into the sector blown wildly off course. For reasons unknown the ship crashed on Wormwood. The more stable survivors emerging from the crash vastly redefined the power structures of the nomadic gangs and tribes focusing many around psyker leaders of various power and quality. Since the gangs got organized they have actually cut down on their raids of the mining facilities instead extracting protection and occasionally skilled psykers will barter their way off planet for a trip to Rand or elsewhere. In turn citizens of Rand tired of the crowds or hoping to make their fortunes have come to the planet.

GM's Summary: Thinking Sons of Anarchy plus psykers on a planetary scale. Many of the larger psykerbiker gangs actually have their acts together enough to train new psykers with some hints of imperial doctrine but without the mandatory relegation to second class citizens. They will not be pacified easily.

Rand is a temperate world in the habitable range for the systems sun. It has a size and mass of roughly 1.5 that of Holy Terra and boasts a population of somewhere in the excess of 10 billion. This high land area and relatively low population (by hive world standards) accompanied by the wealth of the Planets Denziens lead to a high standard of living. Rand was founded and is still populated to this day by wealthy imperial expatriates, rebels, and other free thinkers who have fled Imperial Rule. With youthful skills or the right amount of cash to buy passage those who were well connected could buy passage to Rand.The planet is superficially still following a modified version of the Imperial Faith and worship of the ruinous powers is one of the few absolutely forbidden measures. However their distrust of legislation and strong central government means that all sorts of deviant behavior goes on behind closed doors and several Chaos cults are active on the planet and using it for their own purposes. Only the fact that the cults leaders are mostly playing the long game has prevented them from rising up. There is also a strongly Imperial faction on the planet that every year pushes for greater contact with the outside world. But so far has been repeatedly and brutally supressed.

The planet has a high tech level and many of the artful gothic architecture hides a suprising array of defensive capabilities. The planets continents while not normally organized have protocols in place for outside interlopers whether they be xenos and imperial and would band together against outside threats. Still they are not fanatical and as long as some accord can be reached that preserves their way of life they would likely enter into it rather then face annihilation. The chaos cults on the planet might feel differently. Basically I want the whole planet to show off what mankind can do with a reasonably high tech level and not having to tithe exactly to the Imperium every year. Paradoxically I want to show exactly why the Imperium's methods are as harsh and as justified as they are.

Rand has two smaller moons in orbit. One is an agriworld that suppliments Rand's own food growing capabilities. This world is very important to Rand and is guarded appropriately by it's naval forces. However loss of this planet won't lead to instant capitulation but will be cause serious shortfalls within a generation or less. One is an outpost for a more heretikal CoM offshoot that is responsible for much of Rand's technological advancement in exchange for foodstuffs and other resources for the planet. They are actually engaged in advancing the quest for knowledge through dreaded research and have actually managed to rediscover several interesting pieces of technology that they knew the ancient humans have. They are no fools and will attempt to buy the Rogue Traders off with advanced technology rather then fight, but they know sooner or later the CoM is going to send a fleet if their existance is found out so they will be one of the RT's more implacable enemies to start wanting to destroy them rather then see their secrets comprimised.

Muck is a swampy deathworld populated mostly by lizards of various sizes and many species of exotic and dangerous fauna as well. While expeditions are occasionally mounted to the planet for exploration or hunting the locals mostly leave it alone as the denzins are nasty. A small outpost is maintained and is ringed by a group of more feral humanoid abhuman or xenos settlement who's presence on the planet is a mystery but they trade with the humans readily enough for hides and beast trade.

Thanatos is a dead world that has become the rest of the systems cemetary world. A small CoM outpost exists in orbit to both administer final rights to the dead (as well as reclaim any useful resources) and study the planet.

The Mash – The mash is a haphazard debries field surrounding a weak and dying star. Mixtures of multiple planetary bodies both solid and gasseus in a convoluted debries field make navigating this sector extremely perilous. However those same factor also makes this area a resource treasure trove of epic proportions. An enterprising miner's guild funded by emisaries from Rand and dealing ores and materials to a variety of concerns in the expanse both Xenos and Imperial. They will deal with anyone as long as the credit is good. The miners feel very safe in their home enviroment both because it's dangerous and because to some extent they can control it. Somewhere in the system the miners have control of some technology whether Archeotech or Xenos that allows them to manipulate gravity and thefore masses on a colossal although unrefined scale. Who needs macrocannons when you can fling ship sized asteroids at people you don't like.

The Fobidden Zone: A binary system of multiple planets. Troublingly many of the planets show signs of previous YuVath habitation. Even more troubling they have a current Rak'Gol infestation. Why the Rak'gol havn't spread out and wiped out the local human planets would be of great interest to a number of parties especially the Inquisition as normally you can't deal or even communicate with the Rak'gol in any fashion that mankind has found. Not that the Imperium really wants to communicate with them, but what you can communicate with you can better understand, what you can better understand you can better destroy.

 



#10 Radwraith

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:31 PM

This is a facinating scenario! I wish I was there to play it!

If I was the Captain (RT) I might suggest the following:

Since this endeavor would probably be too large for even my sizable fleet to tackle it will be necessary to find allies. One way to do this would be to essentially "rejoin" mainstream Imperial society. Since ostensibly only myself (and my navigator) know where these resource rich worlds are we have one of the greatest powers in the Imperium: Information! (Guard it well!) If I pitch my crusade to the Lords of Terra I could quite potentially be named as it's Lord General. This would give me access to the full Panoply of imperial recources (Thus temporarily converting my profit factor to influence)and give me  standing to petition the Astartes and the AdMech for their direct assistance. The Dark Angels, Space wolves and Storm Wardens are all within potential striking distance and may be convinced to Aid this Crusade Either directly or through successor chapters. As a Lord General I would be granted a sizable Imp. Navy Battlefleet and IG regiments with which to pursue the Crusade! Note that all of this is a tall order but would probably be the best chance at success! At the end of the crusade (Assuming it's success) I could either retire to govern my newfound realms or cash in my newfound influence and continue on my way as a now much richer RT. (this last option is actually more appealing as it allows us to become 'legends' of the Imperium without devolving into the everyday politicks of the Administratum,) I might even be allowed to keep my flagship (Hopefully a Battlecruiser or better!) as a reward for service!



#11 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:31 PM

It's possible I may have overbuilt the scenario I didn't really intend for this to be full on crusade worthy. Rather what I want my players to do is to rely on military force when necissary but as much as possible divide and conquer. I also wanted to build a scenario where once they've established space superiority they can't just dictate terms from orbit if they want to keep their prize intact.



#12 Radwraith

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:40 PM

lurkeroutthere said:

It's possible I may have overbuilt the scenario I didn't really intend for this to be full on crusade worthy. Rather what I want my players to do is to rely on military force when necissary but as much as possible divide and conquer. I also wanted to build a scenario where once they've established space superiority they can't just dictate terms from orbit if they want to keep their prize intact.

As Crusades go this one would be an admittedly small one. None the less; Since the Koronus expanse is not part of the Calixis (Or any other) Sector you are still "Reclaiming worlds for the glory of the Emperor". The method I suggest would still be valid and would still use the methods you describe. Additionally; It allows for Your game to have ongoing subplots where players could take on the roles from other game systems. For example: As Astartes assaulting key positions (Deathwatch); As Guardsmen thrust into the Crux of the ongoing war (Only war) or even as a group of Heretics desperately trying to escape your inexorable advance (Black crusade). Perhaps an Inquisitor lends a cell of Acolytes to help you pursue and find said Heretics (Dark Heresy).

My point is that this is a potentially facinating story Arc that could easily evolve into a fully fleshed out and interesting campaign!



#13 Nameless2all

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:32 AM

lurkeroutthere said:

It's possible I may have overbuilt the scenario I didn't really intend for this to be full on crusade worthy. Rather what I want my players to do is to rely on military force when necissary but as much as possible divide and conquer. I also wanted to build a scenario where once they've established space superiority they can't just dictate terms from orbit if they want to keep their prize intact.

It doesn't have to be a "!!Crusade!!" per say.  They could probably hire some Free Captains and their vessels to assist them in this endeavor, is so desired.  Free Captains are, I'd say, an easily acquired commodity with the right amount of funds.  Because who sometimes transports mundane supplies from one port to another?  Free Captains.  Who sometimes escorts transport ships through known pirate areas when the Imperial Navy is busy?  Free captains.  Who sometimes does minor tasking's detailed out by Adeptus Ministorum, Administratum, Imperial Navy, other governmental organizations?  Free Captains.  So, with the right amount of negotiations, your PC's Dynasty could probably hire another couple or three ships to augment their own (nothing bigger than a Frigate, IMHO).  Not to mention, as Radwraith mentioned, you could probably get the Imperial Navy involved by them sending a small 3-4 group of ships (light cruiser and say 3 destroyers) to escort / assist your Imperial forces in routing out a known heretic zone.  The ADMech might send a recon ship with you if you, for example, offer them first dibs on any archeotech you find (mind you, they probably don't want Xeno tech so you could keep that, but with heretech devices they'd probably destroy them).  The Aministratum couldn't lend you ships, but that could assist you in getting those Imperial Navy escorts you wanted, or ground forces that are sitting around not doing anything, supplies/equipment you may need, etc etc.  And you already have great ideas with the Adeptus Ministorum, who could also assist you in finding colonists.

Just food for thought.  In your players Dynasties eyes, this could be considered a Crusade (which would go great with your players getting more favors out of people working with your Dynasty), but for everyone else, it's probably just an excursion.  I wouldn't see SM's getting involved unless they owed your Dynasty (or the PCs) a favor, and/or you were actually attacking a place like "Iniquity."


For a collection of fan created material, please refer to the link below. Some of it was edited/created by myself and friends, while most is other fan material. Happy gaming people.https://drive.google.com<p>-"May your endeavors always be prosperous, though they may not always be profitable."


#14 Radwraith

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:44 PM

Nameless2all said:

lurkeroutthere said:

 

It's possible I may have overbuilt the scenario I didn't really intend for this to be full on crusade worthy. Rather what I want my players to do is to rely on military force when necissary but as much as possible divide and conquer. I also wanted to build a scenario where once they've established space superiority they can't just dictate terms from orbit if they want to keep their prize intact.

 

 

It doesn't have to be a "!!Crusade!!" per say.  They could probably hire some Free Captains and their vessels to assist them in this endeavor, is so desired.  Free Captains are, I'd say, an easily acquired commodity with the right amount of funds.  Because who sometimes transports mundane supplies from one port to another?  Free Captains.  Who sometimes escorts transport ships through known pirate areas when the Imperial Navy is busy?  Free captains.  Who sometimes does minor tasking's detailed out by Adeptus Ministorum, Administratum, Imperial Navy, other governmental organizations?  Free Captains.  So, with the right amount of negotiations, your PC's Dynasty could probably hire another couple or three ships to augment their own (nothing bigger than a Frigate, IMHO).  Not to mention, as Radwraith mentioned, you could probably get the Imperial Navy involved by them sending a small 3-4 group of ships (light cruiser and say 3 destroyers) to escort / assist your Imperial forces in routing out a known heretic zone.  The ADMech might send a recon ship with you if you, for example, offer them first dibs on any archeotech you find (mind you, they probably don't want Xeno tech so you could keep that, but with heretech devices they'd probably destroy them).  The Aministratum couldn't lend you ships, but that could assist you in getting those Imperial Navy escorts you wanted, or ground forces that are sitting around not doing anything, supplies/equipment you may need, etc etc.  And you already have great ideas with the Adeptus Ministorum, who could also assist you in finding colonists.

Just food for thought.  In your players Dynasties eyes, this could be considered a Crusade (which would go great with your players getting more favors out of people working with your Dynasty), but for everyone else, it's probably just an excursion.  I wouldn't see SM's getting involved unless they owed your Dynasty (or the PCs) a favor, and/or you were actually attacking a place like "Iniquity."

I don't see why the Astartes would not get involved. Perhaps not at full chapter strength but it is certainly possible that they might dispatch a strike cruiser (And thus a battle company onboard) to your endeavor. The interesting Role playing point then becomes convincing them to take on any particular mission. After all; Your Lord General RT is still "only human" and is not going to directly "order" a Space Marine captain to do anything! It also becomes a Foil against the players commiting anything too atrocius on your campaign! After all, It's not terribly wise to commit Heresy with that Srike cruiser sitting right in the middle of your battlefleet!



#15 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:36 AM

Atrocious is perhaps a funny term in 40k. Most space marine chapters wouldn't even blink at anything short of xenos collusion or worship of the ruinous powers. There are extremists and exceptions but short of murdering compliant hives en mass for sport here's really not much that could be done in war that would upset a Space Marine it seems like.



#16 Nameless2all

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

Radwraith said:

 

I don't see why the Astartes would not get involved. Perhaps not at full chapter strength but it is certainly possible that they might dispatch a strike cruiser (And thus a battle company onboard) to your endeavor. The interesting Role playing point then becomes convincing them to take on any particular mission. After all; Your Lord General RT is still "only human" and is not going to directly "order" a Space Marine captain to do anything! It also becomes a Foil against the players commiting anything too atrocius on your campaign! After all, It's not terribly wise to commit Heresy with that Srike cruiser sitting right in the middle of your battlefleet!

I love SM's, and I think it would be great for them to get involved, but for me, as a GM, I don't see it happening unless they were convinced there was a great threat there, a lost treasure worth finding, owing someone a favor, or they have their own personal reason for going there.  In all the 40k novels I've read (like Dan Abnett, Sandy Mitchell, etc), and in all the fluff, SM's are rare, and the common man can go his whole lifetime without ever seeing one in person.  Millions and millions of soldiers die on planets, ever before a SM finally arrives in orbit.  Not to mention, anything you can do the SM can do better, so why would I want them stealing the spot from my PC's?  I would send maybe a squad of SM's and a Destroyer/Frigate, but not a Battle Company and a Strike Cruiser.  Are they assaulting a Rak'Kol homeworld or something?  Maybe I miss read his intentions with this Endeavor.  But anyhoot, everyone has their own opinion / interpretation on the fluff, and this is just my opinion.  So how ever you interpret the fluff, is how you perceive the 40k universe.  Happy gaming everyone. 


For a collection of fan created material, please refer to the link below. Some of it was edited/created by myself and friends, while most is other fan material. Happy gaming people.https://drive.google.com<p>-"May your endeavors always be prosperous, though they may not always be profitable."


#17 lurkeroutthere

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 05:15 AM

Whether and how often the common men sees space marines is kind of irrelevant. Rogue Trader is not a game about common men.

Further I guess I'd like to think my players ego's are not so fragile that if there are bigger and badder individuals out there in the universe their fun is not instantly ruined. My Rogue Trader has a pretty proven track record seeing leadership as more about getting the right people on task on a situation then about personally micromanaging every interaction. Likewise my Arch Militant is more interested in his role as the RT's bodyguard/enforcer (and his own libertine hobbies) then leading the grand army in battle. They already have an NPC as their defacto military forces advisor.

 

The reason I really like Space Marines is if the players can get them involved they will help tie up any ground conflicts of this scale much more quickly then they would be otherwise. Space Marines are siege breakers, pure and simple, and if the RT gets involved in a military action on the primary planet it will be a siege situation.

 

The other reason i do like Space Marines is they are one of the few organizations that the RT's have to treat at a purely interaction level. They want nothing that's readily available for sale. Instead the RT has to go interact with them peer to peer and work a deal somehow. That appeals to me.






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