Wednesday, 23 September 2009


So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I have bought a copy of the third edition of Space Hulk. Doubtless, as you fail to read this you are desperate to learn of my thoughts on it. Well, having played a few games over the weekend, I can tell you this: Space Hulk is awesome.

If you are cool enough never to have even heard of Space Hulk, then here is a brief introduction. The game, set in my beloved Warhammer 40000 universe, centres around a small force of Space Marine Terminators, the elite of humanity's elite, as they board an ancient interstellar vessal/wreck, the titular Space Hulk, in search of relics or technology thought lost. Inside the hulk, they must do battle with the alien Genestealers, vile, six-limbed creatures as numerous as they are ferocious. The game is one of turn based strategy, with one player assuming command of the Marines and the other the Genestealers. It is also one of GW's oldest products, first released in 1989 (the new, third edition was released for the 20th anniversary), and one of the nerdiest things ever.

So, when the giant box arrived on, well, my neighbour's doorstep since I wasn't in, I tore it open with all the relish of a genestealer butchering a hapless terminator. The box was not merely large, but dense, containing two playing manuals (a rulebook and a mission book), several miniature frames, and the veritable flood of cardboard, for the playing area as well as legions of tokens representing the status of marines, the position of aliens currently out of direct sight, flamer effects and reserves of ammuntion (for the monstrous assault cannon) or psychic might for the powerful marine Librarian.

As I have mentioned, players control either marines or xenos in a series of missions outlined in the mission book, included in the (vast) box. These have objectives ranging from simple, team deathmatch style showdowns to complex scenarios requiring marines starting at point A to retrieve an objective at point B before making their escape at point C. I have attempted only two of the twelve, but both proved entertaining from both sides. Unfortunately, both I and the only person I could convince to play with me are massive Imperial fanboys, so we fought violently over sides prior to any actual combat. Perhaps this is that fanboy speaking, but I genuinely felt the marines were the more enjoyable side; since there are so few and they each have names displayed on the side of the box, there is a real narrative feel to the gameplay from the marine side, in addition to the murderous joy of an assault cannon holding overwatch a 'stealer infested corridor. That's not to say play on the home team is dull; shifting blips and attempting to flank the marines is a tricky game of hide and seek- the marines will annihilate you at range, so you have to get close enough to bring the razor claws of your brood to bear. Asymmetrical gameplay is always interesting in a strategy game, and I feel it has been implemented well here. As far as balance goes, the marines won two of the three games we played, but I feel the genestealers may have an advantage in the hands of more experienced players.

A "review", as I suppose this is, is worthless, firstly as nobody reads this, and secondly for it has been so long since release that anyone who cared about it has already bought at least one copy of the strictly limited editions. However! I like writing, but, as my post history shows, I am lazy. I resolved to complete this post in an attempt to counter this fact. With a bit of luck, I will seriously actually totally begin posting with renewed vigour having done this. Wish me luck, you psychopaths!

1 comment:

  1. Still waiting for the renewed vigour! How many months has it been now?