With the Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader beta out for players to get their hands on before the full release, we’ve been playing through the chapters and seeing how powerful we can get our Rogue Trader. Despite not having as many classes as Owlcat’s previous games, Rogue Trader’s Doctrines have some in-depth progression. 

The Doctrine we’ll be going over in this guide is the Leader. This support-focused class will make you feel like you’re playing a chess match, moving your pieces expertly to wipe out the enemies of the Imperium. If that interests you then keep reading as we go over the best Leader build in the Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader beta.


Before we get started it’s important to preface this build with the fact that the game is still in beta. That means that all this information is subject to change. This also means that some aspects of the build may not function as intended. This is especially true with the Leader Doctrine which is not finished and provided a warning by the developers. 

Regardless, I have used this build in some of my playthroughs of the beta and have been able to get through the content without issue. In fact, I find the support abilities of the Leader to be incredibly powerful despite not being a finished class. With that said, let’s get on with the build.

The Leader Build

This build is going to be a little less straightforward than a typical Fighter or Marksman build. While Leader’s only advanced class option Vanguard forces our character into a more frontline, melee-focused role, I wanted to aim for a type of switch-hitter role. This would allow our character to dispense buffs and support from both far away and in the thick of it. This also allows them more flexibility during combat.

Homeworld: Imperial World – Military Traditions

Image: Owlcat Games via HGG / Justin Moniquette

Our first option in character creation is our Homeworld. We’re choosing Imperial World – Military Traditions for the bonus to Ballistic Skill and Perception to help with our ranged combat early on.

Origin: Noble

Image: Owlcat Games via HGG / Justin Moniquette

For our Origin, we’ll be choosing the noble. While a strong argument can be made for the Commissar Origin, I decided on the Noble to maximize our “face” options. There will be very few dialogue checks that you don’t pass which is fitting for a class called Leader. If you want a more aggressive character early on then I would recommend taking the Commissar Origin instead.


Image: Owlcat Games via HGG / Justin Moniquette

Before we go over the stats we should go over how stat bonuses work. From my understanding when the game speaks about a stat bonus, it’s talking about the tens place in that stat. For example, if you have a Strength score of 30, then your Strength bonus will be 3. If you have a Willpower score of 45, then your Willpower bonus will be 4.

With that out of the way, we can talk about the stats we’re going to focus on. While the stats can be tweaked depending on your playstyle, you want to ensure that your Fellowship is as high as possible since Fellowship will play into a lot of the Leader’s abilities. You’ll also want a decently high Ballistic Skill if you plan to use range as when we switch to Vanguard we won’t have options to level it up.

You can look at my stat breakdown below:

Weapon Skill30
Ballistic Skill45

Leader Leveling

And now the build. As we go through the Doctrine we’ll continue to boost our Fellowship to make our support abilities more effective. We’ll also be focusing on skills like Persuasion, Coercion, and Commerce since our Fellowship will be so high. You can upgrade them in any order you want since they’ll all be pretty high by the end of the game, but I would recommend focusing on either Persuasion or Coercion first.

When we can’t upgrade Fellowship we’ll upgrade Ballistic Skill. As I said earlier, Vanguard will give us all the opportunities we need to boost our Weapon Skill. Until our advanced Doctrine, we’ll be acting primarily at range. We’ll be the puppet master that leads our squad to victory.

Here is the level breakdown for Leader:

LevelWhat To Take
1Voice of Command/Bring It Down
2Persuasion/Air of Authority
3Fellowship/Commanding Voice
6Lead By Example/Ballistic Skill
7Get Back in the Fight/Persuasion
8Lasting Impression/Commerce
9It’s Your Time Upgrade IV
11Break Their Ranks
12Move, Move, Move/Commerce
13Wounds are not an excuse
15It’s Your Time Upgrade I

We mostly take abilities that allow us to buff and direct our teammates. We also take options that help us keep our team alive so they can keep fighting.

Advanced Doctrine: Vanguard

Once we finish leveling our basic Doctrine we’re given access to an advanced one. We don’t have any other choice for an advanced class other than Vanguard for Leader at this point so that’s what we’re taking. The Vanguard Doctrine is going to make us into frontline support. With a bunch of abilities that make us tankier and punish enemies for attacking us, we’ll have a bunch of flexibility when it comes to combat.

At this point, we’ll have two weapon loadouts: one for long-range and one for melee. Our long-range weapon will likely be a sniper or Bolter if you want. Our melee loadout will be a sword to give us some parry and a sidearm so we can benefit from the Vanguard’s punishing abilities.

We’ll also be choosing our weapon proficiency while leveling this Doctrine. This choice is entirely up to you and will be based on what weapon you gravitate to. My suggestion is to not overthink it too much and choose whatever weapon you enjoy using the most.

With that said here is the breakdown for Vanguard:

LevelWhat To Take
1Unyielding Beacon
2Follow my Lead/Athletics
3Athletics/Help of the Protector
6Weapon Skill/Distracting Beacon
7Fight Me/Lore Imperium
8It Will Not Die/Athletics
9Weapon Skill/Athletics
10Tough Beacon/Athletics
11Lore Imperium/Weapon Skill
12Unyielding Guard Upgrade IV
13Dueling Mastery/Lore Imperium
14Lore Imperium/Weapon Skill
15Carouse/Wall of Rockrete
16Weapon Proficiency*/Carouse
18Fellowship/Taunting Defence
20Unyielding Beacon Upgrade III

With the Vanguard we cast off our armchair general status and take the fight to the frontline. If we want. We take a lot of abilities to boost our defenses as well as more buffs for our teammates. We also take some tank abilities to help us activate some of our features and, if need be, save our team.

Join the High Ground

And that’s our guide for the best Leader build in Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader beta. Have you played the beta yet? Have you tried the Leader class despite it not being finished? Tell us in the comments below and subscribe for more content like this in the future. 


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