Tau traders too.
They'll definitely be mentioned in the fluff - I may not bother jumping through all the hoops to make specific options for them.
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Lion in the Stars:
Oh, what about some 'alternate' light tanks: Chimera with autocannon or HK missiles, or some sort of light-attack dune buggy?
The trick is, since the list has to represent a wide variety of possible 'sources' of units (such as the Space Marines, the Imperial Guard, Eldar pirates, Ork mercenaries, etc), having specific strange units limits the possibilities somewhat.
As far as the balance issue goes, about all I can think of is to have a defined role for each unit (like the Tau or Eldar lists). Then you end up picking the roles you want to fill instead of the units. In the case of the Tau, FW are the line infantry unit, Pathfinders are a support infantry unit, Crisis suits are the jack-of-all shooting, and Broadsides are AT death incarnate.
And the problem with that is that you run the risk of ending up with armies that look very much the same, as well as with armies that don't make much sense in regard to background (if you can simply choose the best/most useful units, then there's technically nothing stopping you from just using particular units from each army for what they're good at, while ignoring the elements of that army that aren't quite as good as elements of other
Any force needs a scouting element, a main infantry force, AT abilities, and something fast to exploit holes. Since you already own orbit, you can use aircraft as your artillery concept.
What I'm going to (more or less) try to do is allow most factions to have something of that available to them.
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I've thought some more about the whole "tier" system, and while I kind of like it, I think it might be simpler to just go with something of this nature.
Every Rogue Trader army needs a "sponsor". This is the military group from which the Rogue Trader draws most of his force's strength. The obvious choices for sponsors are Space Marines and Imperial Guard. If anyone can think of some others, don't hesitate to mention them. 1/3 of the army's points must
be selected from the available "sponsor" choices. You may also opt to have no sponsor.
There will also be "trustworthy" choices. Rogue Trader retinue units, sponsor units and one
other unit choice (chosen at list creation) are "trustworthy". At least 2/3 of the army's points must be spent on trustworthy units. There may be some bonus for units being trustworthy (or penalty for them not).
Here's what I'm thinking for setup. Rogue Trader Retinue
Rogue Trader with Retinue (Basically the Rogue Trader with some stormtroopers)
Rogue Trader Bondsmen (slightly better than standard Guard infantry)
Rogue Trader Bondsman Armor (light tanks)
Rogue Trader Fleet (mandatory. Possibly upgradable)
Sponsors: Space Marines
Tactical Detachment (upgradable with Devastators and Assault Marines)
Fast Attack Detachment (Bikes and/or Land Speeders)
Vehicle Detachment (Predators and/or Vindicators)
Thunderhawk Gunship (limited to a certain number in total)
0-1 Terminator Detachment
0-1 Land Raider DetachmentImperial Guard
Infantry Company (with option to mechanize)
Heavy Weapons Platoon
0-2 Stormtrooper Detachment (with Valkyrie option)Mercenaries
Blood Axe Kommandoz
Eldar Pirate Jetbikes
Tarellian Dog Soldiers
Other options for mercenaries? The Cardochians? The Cimmeriacs? Donarathi? Loxatl? Vassalia? Fra'al? Chuffians? Anyone know anything about any of them?
Thoughts in general?