Tuesday 12 February 2019

The Path to Damnation - Starting a Chaos Renegade Warband

This year as part of the annual Bring Out Your Lead (BOYL) event hosted by Wargames Foundry, myself and a group of friends are going to be playing some Rogue Trader using the Chaos Renegades rules as presented on pages 231-239 of Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (StD). Note there is a little fettling and fudging to cover available figures and wargear.

The set-up is pretty straightforward. Each participant generates their renegade and four groups of followers. Over the course of a day, we will play multiple games in a campaign type system.

Generating my Chaos Renegade

The Renegade's Profile and Abilities

Step one in the creating the warband is to generate the chaos renegade. On p233 of StD is the Renegade Starting Profile table. A D100 roll of 35 sees me generate a human renegade. A second roll of 51 means that he's a human champion with middling stats. After generating the renegade, it's back to p35 in StD to generate his abilities as a champion of chaos.

The next step is determining which god he will follow. I decided that I wanted my warband to be devotees of Khorne. As champion of Khorne, my renegade automatically gets a suit of chaos armour, and receives a single roll on the Rewards of Khorne table. I roll a D100 result of 8 (how auspicious!) and he is bestowed with a face of a bloodletter (which gives him a poisonous bite and the ability to spit acid among other things)!

Next, my renegade receives a chaos attribute, rolling a D1000 result of 469 on the Personal Attributes table to receive horns (+1 attack and +1 fear point).

Finally I receive a roll on the Chaos Rewards table. A D100 result of 24 means it's a second chaos attribute roll. This time I rolled 392 to become fast (+3 to his move).

The Renegade's Wargear and Equipment

I know I have a fast and potentially fearsome fighter (although he'll struggle if he has to go up against a Marine or Zoat major hero! Wargear is generated "according to his starting profile". This means cross-referencing against the weapon generation charts in the Rogue Trader rulebook. There's no specific chart for humans that are not members of the Arbites, Custodes or whatever, so rolled a D6 to determine which of the equipment charts for humans on p141-2 I would get access to. A result of 3 gives my renegade access to the equipment of a low-level Adeptus Arbites. He automatically receives a sword, and a D100 roll of 12 means he also gets a bolt pistol. There is also a 50% chance of getting some more exotic weaponry, which I failed!

So the leader of my warband is an imposing champion of Khorne - a fast and competent if not deadly fighter, having been rewarded with chaos armour, horns and an acid-spitting daemon face! His weaponry of a sword and bolt pistol is basic, but I assume effective enough!

Gaining Followers

We have pre-agreed that each champion of chaos will receive four D100 rolls on the Renegade Follower table (p236-7 of StD).

Roll 1: D3 Halflings (result of 47)

I'm delighted by this result. Even though the entry states that halflings "rarely choose to follow the Blood God, and Chaos Renegades of Khorne may roll again", the thought of little chaotic halflings amuses me. Oh, I'm also going to call them ratlings from now on. From my D3 result I gain the full unit of three. I choose to equip them with flak armour, and fudge the roll on the standard weapons and close combat weapons charts to give them needlers and laspistols. Finally, these little fellows receive a dominant attribute. Over to p138 in StD I go and receive fangs (extra bite attacks in combat!).

Roll 2: 2D6 Beastmen (result of 15)

Beastmen are the iconic chaos troops in some ways, so having a squad of braying goatmen is great. I gain six from my D6 roll, meaning that in addition to their standard weapons, I gain a roll on the heavy weapons chart. As with the ratlings, I fudge the standard weapons and close combat weapons rolls to give them all autoguns and combat accessories. The unit gains a heavy bolter with targeter and suspensors from the heavy weapons chart. For their dominant attribute, the beastmen are Strong - an increase of +1 to their strength characteristic. Excellent!

Roll 3: 1 Inquisitor (result of 70)

This is fun! Why would an Inquisitor go rogue and throw in his lot with the forbidden powers? There's lots of potential to make a fun character who is clearly second in command and could even be the power behind the throne. Individual characters get personal attribute, weapons and equipment rolls: my Inquisitor gains a bolt gun and chainsword, mesh armour, frag and tanglefoot grenades and finally a useful conversion field. For his single Personal Attribute roll he gained Irrational Hatred of Goblins (gretchin I guess!).

Roll 4: 2D6 Squats (result of 94) 1 Traitor Legionnaires Squad (substituted)

Whilst I do have squats, they're earmarked for another project, and to be honest, I wanted to include some World Eater traitor legionnaires. So I swapped the squats for the renegade marines. To avoid over-powering the games, we receive D6 legionnaires as opposed to a full squad of five. I rolled up three tactical marines with bolters, meaning my warband will have a solid core of fighters to act as a suitable bodyguard to my champion. For their dominant attribute, they received poisonous bites - again additional bite attacks in combat!

My Blood-Soaked Renegades

So after all the rolling and generation, I have a mid-sized warband containing some varied and interesting followers:

  • Human champion with chaos armour, face of a bloodletter, horns, fast, equipped with a sword and bolt pistol.
  • 3 ratlings with flak armour, needlers and laspistols. They also have fangs
  • 6 beastmen with mesh armour, autoguns and autopistols and +1 strength. One beastman has a heavy bolter with targeter and suspensors
  • Inqusitor with bolt gun, chainsword, mesh armour, conversion field, frag and tanglefoot grenades. He has an irrational hatred of gretchin.
  • 3 Traitor Legionnaires with power armour, bolt pistols, bolt guns, frag and krak grenades, knives, chainswords, respirators and autosenses. The Legionnaires have poisonous bites.

Whilst I don't have any muscle in the form of ogryns or zoats, or some of the large numbers that can be rolled up, I have some competent troops backed up with two decent characters. There's also some scope to make some unique, fearsome Khornate figures. This should be fun!


  1. Sounds like a great team, and they should turn out nicely given that you are doing them. Loads of conversions though!

    1. I'll be converting about 2/3 of the team, and using some classics for the rest :)

    2. Sweet!

      Also, congratulations on the WarCom publication!

    3. Thanks! It's nice to share the fun we've been having!

  2. Great idea to record your warband creation Jon. I might do the same......not sure yet.

    I agree with your comment about not having enough muscle, but that you have some pretty competent guys. I think as long as all of the other forces are pretty well balanced then it should be fine. But once the game starts, well? That's when the handicapping of our warband will begin :DDD

    I look forward to seeing your crew come together over the coming weeks/months :)

    1. I just wanted to get everything squared up and down in black and white before I started on the models. I'm pretty sure there will be some nastier warbands rolled, but as you say, I've got some competent guys and I'm not too low on numbers. It's going to be great to get to the point where they're all out on the tables!

  3. This sounds so fuuuuuunnn. I'm not jealous at all.

    1. That's the joy of getting a group of guys who like this stuff all in one room. You can actually make the things happen that you always wished had.

  4. I need to dig those tables out and have a roll on them myself, just for the hell of it.

    1. It's an equally fun and frustrating process. Just working out which table you should be rolling on is part of the experience!

  5. My friends and I played a lot of the fantasy warbands when we were young. But never 40k. I'd love to try this. Even if I can't get anyone else to play it might just make a fun modeling & painting project.

    1. I'm the same - my very first ever army was a chaos fantasy army built using Slaves to Darkness, but I've never used the 40k rules before. It would be a great project, even if you just do it for the opportunity to create fun new models.

  6. This band looks fun. I have done most of the rolls, but see where I missed doing some others. I think logging all this in a blog post is a good idea to nail down ones thoughts on the project.

    1. I think it's safe to say 6 different people could attempt to roll up a warband and would end up doing it 6 different ways! Slaves to Darkness is dripping with ideas and atmosphere, but logical and straightforward it is not!