Solo - A Rogue Trader Story

The other day the new Trailer for the Han Solo film dropped and I have to say that I watched it 3 or 4 times in a row. It looks cool. The same way that the Rogue One trailer looked cool. It hooked me in. It made me (and my wife) decide that we wanted to go see it. We even started to discuss how to convince the in-laws to agree to baby sitting.

But, as always with these sorts of things, it got my to pondering.

Originally it got me pondering about the amount of negativity that self appointed internet critics heap upon any effort to extend the Star Wars franchise past the first trilogy. It was a big long meandering wall of text.

But I deleted it. You don't need to read that.

Then I pondered about the current phenomenon of the trailer. How any 'nerd' film will have it's trailers pulled apart forensically, with every tiny moment and image examined and analysed in an attempt to remove all the surprises out of the film and suck out all of the joy. The race to spot the easter eggs and clues in a Nerd-spotting sprint.

But I deleted that as well.

Cos if we took the 'Star Wars' part out of the equation then we've got a situation where we have a big budget Sci-fi film about a Space Smuggler and his dodgy friends featuring the mother of dragons due out in less than a couple of months.

Whats not to like about that?

And at this point we can forget about the electronic super critics and transport ourselves back to the late 80's and our days of being shit(er) at painting and playing Rogue Trader for 2 days in your mates garage.

How cool would it have been to have been able to go out and see a big budget sci-fi about a space smuggler? How many games of RT would that have inspired in the last 30 odd years? All of us may have seen the trailer once when we went to see Innerspace or Masters of the Universe. It might have been featured in a White Dwarf or one of the Computer magazines as a review of some sort but we certainly wouldn't have had unfettered access to information about it. We would have trooped along with our mates (or our Mums if you were really unlucky) and been blown away by it, cos it was cool and it had space ships, and blasters and all kinds of weirdos and aliens.

That's what got me into this whole sprawling diatribe. The trailer has me wanting to play games of Rogue Trader. And that's the way all good sci-fi should be. I hope when Consider Phlebas gets made that the shoot out in the Temple of Light has us all running about getting excited about writing scenarios including fully armed monks and reflecting shots.

So where does the trailer for Solo take us in our Rogue Trader Imagination?

If this image doesn't have you thinking 'I could build a board that looks like that' then you need to be examining yourself in the mirror. This is ideal terrain. Scattered, scabby, semi-industrial. Whats hiding in those buildings? Orks having a siesta? Abdul Goldberg and his gang waiting on a dodgy contact to arrive? Who's flying in to the landing pad? The dodgy contact with a plan to double-cross? An imperial inquisitor come to hunt down a Sensei and his gang? How long ago have we lost contact with the marines in this forward base? What could have happened to them?
A board like this would brilliant to play on, the pieces could easily moved around giving you loads of options. Oh the  plans!!

The massive industrial city is ideal for Necromunda. I might not be a Hive city but there seems to be streets and Harbours, multiple levels, places to hide. Running gun battles against local security through factory floors. Knocking innocent civilians over in the street as you and your gang rob precious minerals from an Admech facility. The idea that a big Admech facility board might appear at BOYL this year has me thinking that if it doesn't look like this I'll be disappointed.

A while back I talked about how the vehicle rules form GorkaMorka could be used to expand your games of Shadowwar Armageddon. Obviously Necromunda has been released since and superseded it's aging 2nd edition based system but this doesn't mean that the vehicle rules wouldn't work still. A racing pursuit on a varity of shonky vehicles, blasting each other on the move. Maybe you've been tracked down by the Arbites and you are trying to do a runner. Maybe it's a rival gang of space smugglers that want to take your loot. Are you getting from A-B? Is someone trying to stop you? Whats the other player trying to do? What is the GM trying to do ruin both of yours day?

If you don't want to have a Rogueish space gambler as cool as Lando in your gang of intergalactic ne'erdowells then I'm afraid I can help you no longer. But what if everybody wanted to play a cool gang of smugglers? Well then you are just going have to play a game based on a meet up gone bad. aka teh plot from 'The Warriors'. Cos....why the hell not. Lando escapes from the Furies!

I big stupid train that needs robbing.

Need I say more?
If you build a big enough train, where you have each 'carriage' as it's own room (or rooms) with small connecting corridor. At either end you have a control room/engine where you can cause dramatic stuff to happen. Models can get out of the carriage to climb on the roof but occasionally stuff will happen that might knock them off. The trains security are trying to knock you off. The rival gang have appeared at the other end of the train. The space gold is in the middle and there is a bomb somewhere on the train. The clock is ticking. FIGHT!

Space Gang.
Hey inq28!
This is how it's done!

So there you go.
A 2 minute trailer of a film I haven't seen yet has me slavering over a load of ideas for games, scenery, characters and plots. It has me thinking about how to expand the new Necromunda into newer broader games. It had wanting to play Rogue Trader style games with either old rules of brand new rules.
That's what big budget films about space smugglers should be all about.


  1. Well you got me wanting to play RT now too. :)

  2. Rogue Trader was just before my time, I came into this crazy game(s) at 40k 2nd edition. But yeah, I feel you. Nothing made me want to play Necromunda (well a Necromunda version of Star Wars really) as watching Rogue One. All those different groups on Jedha, the rebel extremists, the Jedi religious fanatics, Imperial sympathizers and Imperial troops stationed there all fighting it out on the scummy streets ...

  3. I just got off of watching the trailer for the first time and I'm looking forward to seeing it for many of the same reasons that you mention, the fact that it looks well made, the setting is inspiring and even just for the sheer joy of seeing story-telling unfold in the SW setting whilst unfettered by the need to be chained to the original trilogy and its prequel/sequel films.

    I had a train-robbery scenario in mind even before seeing that magnificent beast at the end there, and I was thinking of the possibility of using Space Hulk board sections to represent the interior of the train itself.

  4. Ok, so before responding, I immediately watched the trailer again. It's been awhile since I've been this excited about a movie, and everything you wrote is spot on.

    I have half a dozen scenarios rolling through my head, and it almost doesn't matter if the movie itself is any good. The worlds, the characters, the ships. Holy Crap it's a beautiful 2 and half minutes.

    Nice post. It articulates a lot of great points that I wish the decision makers in Hollywood remotely understood.

  5. I just want to pay Rogue Trader now I’ve read this!


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