The autogun. The lasgun. The bolter. All weapons that the Imperium of Man uses to wipe the influence of the heretic from the face of the galaxy. With frightening efficiency. If you want to become the wall of gunfire that meets your enemies in their final days, then the Soldier Archetype is the class for you. In this guide, I’ll be going over the best way to build your Soldier and take on the threats of the Imperium.
During character creation, we want to make sure we make choices that benefit the ranged playstyle the Soldier archetype focuses on. The first choice we’re going to make is which homeworld our character is from. The best option here is Fortress World. Not only does it give us a +5 to Perception, which is used to lower an enemy’s dodge from our shots, but it also gives us the feature Never Stop Shooting. This feature gives us a stacking percentage that the first attack in the round will be completely free.
Our next choice in character creation is our origin. This will help define how our character fits into the world of 40K. This option helps define how we want to build our character as well as provide some roleplay options in the game. While the Soldier can shine with almost every origin, the Astra Militarum Commander gives us stat modifiers that will help our shooting.
Since we’re building a Soldier, we want to grab the Soldier Archetype for our starting class. What you’ll notice, however, is that each Archetype is given access to specific advanced classes that can be chosen once we hit level 16. The Soldier has access to Bounty Hunter, Master Tactician, and Arch-Militant. Each advanced class will help define what role you want your character to fill on the team.
The Bounty Hunter is focused on single-target damaging, debuffing, and boss killing. The Master Tactician is focused on working with their team to provide buffs to themselves and others. The Arch-Militant focuses on being versatile in combat, switching from melee and range, and taking out groups of enemies.
Finally, we get to the meat of our character; their stats. As a soldier, we want to ensure we are our deadliest at range. This means focusing on Characteristics like Ballistic Skill, Agility, and Perception. Ballistic Skill will increase our hit chance with ranged weapons. Agility will determine our dodge chance as well as our initiative in combat. Perception will lower our enemy’s ability to dodge our attacks. Leveling importance should be placed on Ballistic Skill at the top, Agility after that, and finally Perception.
Here’s a characteristic breakdown with the Fortress World homeworld and Astra-Militarum Commander origin:
As you level up through Soldier you’ll be able to choose Archetype-specific talents to use during combat until you hit your Advanced Archetype. Whenever given the chance, you should always choose an archetype talent over a common talent since your chances to grab them are limited.
Here’s the breakdown of the best Soldier talents to grab as you level up:
- Level 4: Rapid Reload
- Level 5: Swift Slaughter
- Level 8: Fired Up
- Level10: Rack and Ruin
- Level 13: Second Skin
These talents are all about making sure you can shoot often and hit hard when you do. I grab Second Skin as well to give our Rogue Trader a little more survivability as well since we are focusing on our Dodge to avoid attacks.
Soldier Abilities and Special Abilities
While leveling up you’re also given access to different abilities and special abilities specific to the Soldier. Like talents, you can’t grab all of the available abilities so you want to ensure you grab the best ones for your playstyle.
Here’s a breakdown of my choices for the abilities:
- Level 6: Dash
- Level 9: Firearm Mastery Upgrade 3
- Level 11: Concentrated Fire
- Level 15: Firearm Mastery Upgrade 2
These abilities focus on making it harder for enemies to dodge your shots while also giving you maneuverability in case you get surrounded. We’ll be mostly focusing on range, so getting out of melee is paramount so we can keep being effective.
As I mentioned earlier, the Soldier gets access to three Archetypes once you hit level 16. This decision is entirely up to what your team composition is and what your party needs, as each Advanced Archetype fills a specific role. If you need a boss killer, grab Bounty Hunter. If you need a party buffer, grab Master Tactician. If you need a crowd controller, grab Arch-Militant.
Your companions share all these Archetypes as well, so you’ll find some overlap between Archetypes in your party. Each option is powerful and you shouldn’t find trouble being effective in later stages of the game with any choice you make.
For this guide, I’ll be going over a possible level route through the Arch-militant Archetype. This Archetype focuses on being versatile on the battlefield and wiping out groups of enemies with ease. Their unique ability Versatility buffs the Arch-Militant’s damage for switching up how they deal damage.
Since the Arch-Militants abilities use mainly Ballistic Skill or Weapon Skill, we don’t need to switch up how we raise our Rogue Traders characteristics. We can keep pumping our Ballistic Skill and Agility to keep our attack and defenses up in the later parts of the game. Since these stats are already going to be pretty high, we can also put some points in Toughness to raise our health or Weapon Skill if you find yourself in melee more than you want.
Below I’ll go over a breakdown of the Arch-Militant’s talents, abilities, and special abilities to grab while you level. And just like when leveling through Soldier, you should prioritize Arch-Militant talents over common talents whenever possible.
- Level 18: Critical Versatility
- Level 21: Dependable
- Level 23: Always Ready
- Level 25: Survivor
- Level 28: Flashfire
- Level 31: Calm and Steady
- Level 33: Exploit Weakness
These talents help boost our already high killing potential. Critical Versatility gives us stacking critical damage for every stack of Versatility we gain. Which, if we are playing correctly, should be gained every round in abundance. Talents like Survivor and Dependable also increase our survivability in the later stages of the game.
Arch-Militant Abilities and Special Abilities
- Level 17: Wildfire
- Level 22: Cautious Approach
- Level 27: Steady Superiority Upgrade 2
- Level 30: Confident Approach
- Level 35: Steady Superiority Upgrade 4
The majority of the abilities chosen are meant to give our Arch-Militant different ways to utilize their stacks of Versatility. Cautious Approach can be used to increase our survivability when we’re in trouble by increasing our Dodge and Parry per stacks of Versatility. Confident Approach does something similar but instead increases Dodge Reduction, Parry Reduction, and ignores enemy cover.
Our upgrades for Steady Superiority increase our damage output significantly. Stacking critical chance and the ability to use the Soldier’s Heroic Action at the same time as the Arch-Militants is devastating.
The Exemplar is the third tier and last Archetype you’ll unlock while leveling up in Rogue Trader. While technically every class gains access to the Exemplar, it is unique in that this Archetype is somewhat made up of your previous two Archetypes.
Use the Exemplar to fine-tune what you want your character to be. Pick up any archetype talents you couldn’t grab while leveling, and round out whatever weakness your character may have while moving into the end-game.