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Pirate Game

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My group is doing a pirate RT game (more BC for the PCs), the problem is, we can't really decide on a ship (and the background or complications/machine spirit as well).

We have 74 SP, access to one piece of archeotech. We are all "heretics" but we need a good powerful ship so we can be fast, raid, board, steal and fight.The problem is what kind of ship? The GM says we shouldn't get a raider (otherwise I would be looking at the Meritech Shrike) and to decently equip the ship, anything over a light cruiser seems like it will cost too much to be beneficial to us (and speed issue). Which really puts it between Frigate and Light Cruiser. I looked over the books and the best three (so far) seem to be the Endeavour LC (Fairly fast/tough with torpedoes and good turret rating), the Secutor LC (can mount the heavy shields) or the Falchion frigate (one of the better armed ones, has 2 slots AND torpedoes). Are there any other ships I am overlooking? Any suggestions for Pirate/Heretical gear to take? (I was thinking Empyrean Mantle for one)

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He wants to do bigger battles, (some with heavy navy ships) and with anything smaller than a frigate, he would feel constrained in that regard. I was really looking forward to using a small and quick raider, jumping in, firing torpedoes, hitting weak spots, be boarding, etc. But oh well, he still wants us to have a quick ship, just a well armed/armored one (relatively).

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Make good use of good and best quality components to put useful things on smaller hulls, and to lower space and power requirements.


Also, for your archeotech, a Best Quality Modified Lathe-Pattern 2b Escort Drive gives 48 power, takes up 9 space, increases speed by 2, and maneuverability by 3, and can fit in a Raider or Frigate hull… Just saying. ;)

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If you want to get raiders or small ships capable to play alongside big ships, then…


a.) Give a bounty of SP's

b.) Give access to Archeotech and Xenostech

c.) Give access to good and best quality items to get more cool stuff in less space and less power.

d.) Allow minor homebrewing/houseruling minor tweaks and modifications to existing tech, as long as the changes are _small_

e.) Allow access to all the books which give you gear and modification to ship-based gear: RT Core, Explorer's Handbook, Hostile Acquistions, Lure of the Expanse, and Battlefleet Koronus


Here's an example:


A custom warrant, built to be: age of rebirth / rising star / reward / halo artifacts / adeptus mechanicus / famous gives 68 ship points, 40 starting profit factor, one archeotech, and one xenostech component.

Houserules required:
-You can make a custom version of a basic hull, if you are making the whole ship new
-It is possible to make a transport hull into a carrier, without getting the jury-rigged issues, if you are making a very very new ship designed to do this. Just lower the amount of 'bulk' the cargo hold can actually hold, and the associated profit from that, and reduce the strength of the jury-rigged bay by 1 to 1, from 2
-A best quality crew reclamation bay, if it is on a ship with at least a good quality medicae bay, is capable of making servitors from 'the vat', from raw materials, allowing you to slowly replace crew (or make crew to start with), without needing people to do so; perhaps even good or best quality servitors-- if they are custom designed to do this (hence the cost for best/good)
-A good quality (ie, custom) 'hold with landing and lighter bay', custom designed for the ship, can get the requirements of that component down to 2 power, at the cost of adding 2 SP to the base of the ship, and perhaps down to 1 strength, and still be able to get (say) 50 points on a Trade objective
-With the above, if you get the crew 'creation' bay and medicae bay built first, you can start building the vat-grown crew while you build the ship, starting the ship with it's own-built servitor crew, as it is being laid down in the ship yard.
-If you are making a new ship, you can custom-design the particulars of the machine spirit or ship background package, as long as you take things that are thematic to the ship design and price them appropriate to an SP cost.
-You have to choose a name for the new hull type, and it has to be appropriate to what has gone before (thematically linked in names to variant ships)
-You can choose a custom warrant as you design your character, thus allowing you to start with (for this example), 68 ship points, 40 profit factor, and an archeotech and xenostech component
-You can make any engine into an archeotech 'modified' version by adding 2 SP to it, not just only use the list of modified engines, if you are allowed an archeotech component, that is.
-You can, if you use a very small non-servitor crew, use the luxury passenger quarters into crew quarters for your 'normal' crew of a few hundred
-If you make those passenger, now crew quarters best quality, you can gain some of the benefits of xenos quarters (ie, extra environmental controls), and some of the benefits of pilot's chambers (ie, bonus to the skill of the pilots); however, these bonuses are halved, and the xenos crew benefits only is relevant if some xenos are in your crew or taking up the space this provides.
-You can design a landing and launch bay to work with gunboats/guncutters, as an option different than bombers or fighters, and these are 'jack of all trades, masters of none', capable of being okay at space superiority, inserting small amounts of squads onto ships, utility tasks, and disabling components with precision strikes (think how gunships worked in Nexus - The Jupiter Incident)


Artemis Class Scout Transport/Light Carrier (Based off of Orion hull, design counts as a Transport; same mass and size and crew requirements)

Resolute & Self Reliant: 1 SP
Artemis: SP 27 (includes a the aforementioned hold) (+44 space)
Archeotech 'best quality, modified, mezoa-pattern theta7: -13 space, +45 power), 5 SP
best quality markov 1: 3 sp -11 power, -11 space
combat bridge: 0 sp -1 power, -1 space
warpsbane hull: 2 sp -1 power
best vitae: 2 sp, -3 power, -1 space
good bilge: 1 sp, -1 power, -1 space
good m201b augur array: 1 sp, -4 power
best single repulsor shield: 3 sp, -5 power, -1 space
best (range, space) sunsear: 3 sp, -6 power, -3 space
best (range, space) sunsear: 3 sp, -6 power, -3 space
hold: -2 power, sp in base ship, -4 space (must be chosen)
best quality servitor facility: 3 sp, -1 power, -1 space
custom best high end crew quarters: 3 sp, -1 power, -1 space
best arboretum: 3 sp, -1 power, -1 space
Xenostech runecaster: -1 space, 2 sp
good quality medicae deck (-1 power, -1 space) 2 sp
Good quality laboratorium (-1 power, -1 space) 4 sp

Total SPENT:
SPACE: 44/44
POWER: 44/45
Xenotech Component: 1/1
Archeotech Component 1/1

the idea is that this ship is CRAZY FAST, can launch gunships/guncutters in combat (which are really versatile), is REALLY REALLY easy to repair, can carry a small amount of bulk cargo, and can stay out in the void for a really long time. And the weapons are very, very long range. And it can replace its crew with only raw materials (well the servitor portion of the crew at least).

Also, part of the idea extreme expenditure of resources initially, especially for such a small hull, but little to no carrying cost, and easy repairs (what with a combat bridge, resolute, self reliant, and an arboretum), be able to do things that no ship its size should be able to do, and be able to do things that no ship anywhere else should be able to do, really. Further, the focus on lasers (basically every weapon on the ship could be a laser; gunboat weapons, turrets, the batteries, the weapons for the servitors and crew to repel boarders, etc. etc.) means you can save money (and space!) on munitions and just have specialized, laser-centric repair and maintenance apparatus. Also, did I mention it's easy to repair? Resolute + Self Reliant + Combat bridge = very easy to repair, with high hull integrity. And it's fast, even with the penalty from Resolute to speed; a modified mezoa pattern theta7 is fast… That's Base Speed 10, -1 from Resolute, +2 from Theta-7, +1 from Modified Drive, for a net speed of 12. And the Markov drive reduces the time in warp by 1d5 weeks, and the runecaster halves warp transit time, and the Warpsbane hull improves navigation and reduces the severity of warp travel encounters as well. So very, very fast. What do you think?

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Those are in Battlefleet Koronus.  +1 SP for good, +2 sp for best.


There is one set of rules for any component that isn't a lance or macrobattery, and one set of rules for components that are lances and macrobatteries.  Page 18.

Also, be sure to read the Rogue Trader unified errata, it modifies several components


Also, this ship is more for the 'brazen pirate' than the sneaky or stealthy pirate'.


Less options for sneaking around or being stealthy or smuggling cargo or whatever, more for running down ships and battering them into submission from extreme range.  The Medicae and Laboratorum were added due to themes relevant to the character concept I was going with, those could be replaced.


I also liked the idea of only a few hundred crew you really cared about, like the Enterprise; you could really conceivably get to know EVERYONE on your ship!

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I don't want to get into an argument with him, he can be pretty lenient/flexible almost all the time, but when he makes up his mind on something, you have to go with it.

So it is between a Frigate and Light Cruiser hull, which one?

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On Planetbound, he will only allow ONE piece of archeotech (or xenotech) and as we have one from the Ship and Warrant Path, all that background does is lower hull integrity

Only ONE past history or background allowed, no matter how well something may mesh

Frigate or Light Cruiser, no other options (unless we go for a heavier class, but then we dont have the points to properly outfit one)

I didn't see anything about GQ/BQ on ship parts increasing speed and even if it did, he would go "You are Pirates, that is not allowed"

So pretty strict right now and most of my plans/ideas are useless

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I'd suggest that he build the ship the way he wants, since he has such rigid ideas for what will work in his game. Not a snide remark, just serious.

It sounds like he has something specific for what he wants to run in mind, why should the players be guessing what sort of ship he wants them to build?

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 think outside the box. the gm wants a combat effective group. you want a raider. you have 72 points. lets look at the options:

1.  a raider that has been ruled out.

2. a frigate that you could upgrade pretty decently.

3. a LC that IMO has the worst of both frigs and cruisers. a glass jaw and slow, also have problems concentrating fire. the up side is more room leaves you with less points for upgrades but still you can do that later. 

4. a cruiser it doesn't leave you with many upgrade points but it's still a cruiser. they are made to suck up hits and keep fighting. 

now here's where it gets tricky.

5 a transport upgraded for speed and stealth. i would suggest the orion. 

6. 2 raiders. you run into the same problem as with a single cruiser, but you retain the speed, get the advantage of squadron tactics, can be in 2 places at once, and have plenty of room for both cargo and upgrades later. also each ship has a background. 

2 cobra's both with the same components. modified jovian pat 2 drive, miloslav warp engine, mezoa geller void intergrent, combat bridge, m1 life sustainer, pressed crew quarters, m201 auger array, grapple cannon, gryphonne pat. torp tubes, barracks. space and power left over. 36 sp each. 

or 7. a raider and a transport. same advantages as 2 raiders with a few more points to work with. 

personally i would go with 4, but i like getting the biggest ship possible eairly on and upgrading it as i go. barring that i'd go with 6.

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Austin: I will ask if we can use 2 ships, but I doubt it. And if we go a cruiser, frigate or light cruiser, which hull?

Crisaron: Yeah, that is the one I am leaning towards, a bit slow, but that can be upgraded (space hulk + modified drive)

Seeten: *shrugs*


So far I think it would be:

Falchion or some other heavy one

Secutor > Endeavor

Tyrant seems the best cruiser

Which battle cruiser would be best with a space hulk BG and probably a modified drive? The GM keeps saying Chalice-class and with a second look it does seem better, still not sure though.

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72 ship points… only one archeotech.  Let's see…


USE THE ARCHEOTECH ON THE DRIVE.  But don't use the default list of modified drives -- apply modified drive to other, better drives elsewhere.  For example, use the Lathe-Pattern 2b Escort Drive on a Frigate or Raider (more power, less speed), or a Mezoa-Pattern Theta-7 (more speed, less power) drive on a Transport.  Then make it both Modified and Best Quality.  After all, a Best quality modified drive is nothing to sneeze at!

Also, see if you can use ship points on those 'ship upgrades' that are normally obtained only with Acquisition tests.

I'd suggest Reaver of the Unbeholden Reaches as the option, based on your requirements.


Use Best and Good quality components to fit things on a smaller hull.


The fastest Transport with a good amount of space is the Orion.

The fastest Raider with a good amount of space is the Havoc.

The fastest Frigate with a good amount of space is the Tempest.

The only Light Cruiser with any amount of speed is the Dauntless.  And the only way to improve that speed with Archeotech or Xenostech is a standard modified drive, or Gravity Sails.


If you get a Transport or a Light Cruiser, I would suggest getting bombers.  Cause, really.  What merchant uses, you know, fighters or has a decent amount of turret cover??


Also, remember: even on a smaller ship, a Best Quality Castellan Shield with Best Craftsmanship Overload Shield Capacitors, with an Enginseer Prime with high Tech-Use, is a VERY VERY tough nut to crack.

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I don't see how BQ makes such a difference on the drive, or am I just reading this wrong?

Also, we are taking chalice class now it seems like. Do Chaos worshippers have problems with warp perils?


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It increases the power output by 1 and reduces the size by 1.  And increases Morale of the crew.  Less size and more power from the drive component = better stuff in your ship.

I think Chaos ships use Runic fields, and maybe sorcerous spells, to warn off denizens of the warp, and maybe a different tune of gellar field (after all, biological entities still have problems when exposed to raw warp; the idea is the runes warn off demons, the tweaked field just protects from raw warp).

Also, there are plenty of unaligned or demons who would gladly rip chaos entities of opposing alignments.

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Cymbel said:

SP is the problem with a big hull though, I tried putting the gearin there, it cost a fortune of SP to just put the basics in and some weapons


Which is why you DON'T want a big hull, of course.

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I decided to go all out, getting a grand cruiser

Repulsive Class Hull (69 SP)
BG: Space Hulk
MS: Wrothful
Saturine Pattern Class 5 (modified drive 3 SP)
Miloslav H-616.b Warp
Warpsbane Hull (2 SP)
Triple Void Shield Array
Ship Master's Bridge
Vitae Life Sustainer (PQ -1 SP)
Voidsmen Quarters (PQ -1 SP)
M-201.b Augur
Gryphonne-Pattern Torpedoes (1 SP)
Sunsear Laser Battery (1 SP)

Total? 74 SP spent, archeotech used and a whole lot of excess power and space

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