Thursday, 15 August 2013

Rogue Trader: Random Eldar Mercenary Squad!

While reading through my copy of Rogue Trader, I happened to rediscover the random unit generation rules for squads of various troops. Despite owning the book for nearly twenty years, I'd never once used these systems for generating any units! So I gave it a go.

I'm not going to copy and paste the various charts from the book, so if you want to follow along, it's time to break out your own copy of RT or find a pdf of it online! One other thing to point out, RT random generation uses many different types of dice rolls, depending on what chart or table you're rolling on. Many of these are percentage chance of something, or otherwise a D100 roll on a chart. Where this is the case, I've included the numbers I rolled (in brackets) next to the items I generated. I've also tried to explain briefly what else I might not have got, but this is where following along with your own copy of RT helps.

Anyway, I chose a unit of Eldar Mercenaries to generate (RT: pg 183!), and this is what I got:

Eldar Mercenary Squad - 5 Warriors

Firstly, whether they are pirates or mercs, Eldar warriors get a number of special weapon warriors, a D6 roll for either 0, 1 or 2 special weapons. I rolled a 5, which meant my squad gets 1 special weapon.

Basic weapons:
All weapons are generated randomly. It says you can assume all other troops are armed identically if you want, but I decided to generate weapons separately for each, mainly to see what they might get!
All have knives automatically, and there's a 50% chance of a laspistol too. I managed to get laspistols for all. After knives and laspistols, they all get one basic weapon as well, a selection of autoguns, bolt guns (yes, Eldar can get boltguns!), lasguns or shuriken catapults. The greatest chance is of a shuriken catapult though (60% likelihood).

Trooper 1; laspistol(57), shuriken catapult(59)
Trooper 2; laspistol(90), lasgun(36)
Trooper 3; laspistol(71), shuriken catapult(66)
Trooper 4; laspistol(66), +special weapon

The leader gets the same chances of weapons as his troops, plus some other
bonus stuff:
Leader; laspistol(91), Autogun(9)
I managed to roll up an autogun for him! Oh well, at least they have a 32"
range in RT! Leaders also have a special table full of pistols and close
combat weapons, of which Merc leaders get one extra pistol and one close
combat weapon.
Leader additional gear: Bolt pistol(28), Power sword(77). Not bad!

The squad also gets a chance of carrying a random grenade type (25% chance),
but mine didn't get anything.
Grenades (25% chance), rolled a 37 (no grenades).

You also have to determine whether the special weapon trooper will be carrying a heavy or special weapon, and what that weapon will be. It's a D6 roll, with a 50/50 split between the two; he ends up with a special weapon. The special weapon table has five weapons on it; flamer, graviton, melta, needler and plasma guns.
I get a... plasma gun(78).

This is a roll for the whole squad, it could be flak, mesh, carapace or even
power armour. The greatest chance though is of mesh (60%):
Then there's a 90% chance of Refractor fields, which unsurprisingly, I got:
Refractor Fields(19)

Additional Equipment:
This is a short list of random extra equipment that the squad might get. There's a separate chance of each item, so you could get everything or nothing:
Bio-scanner x1, 90% chance (11) - yes
Cameleoline 20% chance (65) - no
Energy-scanner 90% chance (93) - no
Flight pack 10% chance (5) - yes!
Power board (pirate squads only) - no
Rad Counter x1 75% chance (42) - yes
Targeters (only with heavy weapon) - no
Teleport homer- '1 per squad if teleported down'. I think this is one of those instances where the squad only gets it if the mission narrative calls for it.

Finally, the squad can have a transport if you want. This could be a hoverer, a road-wheeler, tracked or a walker. The greatest chance of course, being a hoverer (75%).
Transport: Hoverer(51).

So, that's it! Random Eldar Merc squad generated! Here's a summary of the squad as it stands after generation:
Leader; Knife, Power sword, laspistol, bolt pistol, autogun.
Trooper 1; Knife, laspistol, shuriken catapult
Trooper 2; Knife, laspistol, lasgun
Trooper 3; Knife, laspistol, shuriken catapult
Trooper 4; Knife, laspistol, Plasma gun

Squad; Mesh Armour, Refractor Fields.
Squad; Bio-scanner, Flight packs, Rad counter.

Transport; Hoverer

The only real oddities there are the bolt pistol and autogun on the leader. Otherwise it looks like a fairly typical Eldar unit. Although of course, this is Rogue Trader, and there's not really any such thing as 'typical'!

Only thing left to do now, find some retro Eldar models at a sensible!


  1. I love this kind of stuff, the times when you were the creator of your characters and games, the freedom you got... Simply lovely!

    1. Yeah, it was fun to do actually. Back when I got this book, i probably thought that the tables would be far too wacky to make anything useful, but it turned out to generate a surprisingly sensible unit! Either that, or I was just too lazy in my youth to bother!

  2. Hi!

    Excellent stuff!

    Oddly, classic elder guardian types are just about the only old school figures on ebay which aren't extortionate! I've seen them sell on average for between 99p and £1.99 for most of the basic troop types. It's only the older models and some of the rarer stuff that seems to go for bigger bucks at the moment!

    All the best!

    1. True, I did go and have a quick check of ebay after I did this (obviously!) and found a few for a (currently) reasonable price. Although they did have a few days to go, so they may well go up. But if one is patient enough, I guess enough models could be picked up without spending too much.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. Great read! Might have to go and generate my own units from the holy book now :)