Space Hulk – Hands On First Impressions


I went to the Post Office yesterday to get what I anticipated was my copy of Space Hulk that I had pre-ordered when Games Workshop sent out the email announcing its availability. From the email I got this morning telling everyone that it hits stores this Saturday they let on that all the webstore copies have already been sold. I’m also aware that our local independent stockist had his order cut from 40 copies down to 35, of those there are only 2 that were not prebooked for his customers. Looks like GW judged the market right on this one as I can imagine that this weekend the game will not be available as the copies will sell out quickly.

I remember queuing outside of a Games Workshop store one weekend in the 90s when they were releasing the first Sisters of Battle Codex for 40k, I wasn’t the only one there, we were grabbing stuff left right and centre (I think I nabbed the book and a Battle Sisters squad box). Space Hulk is something else though and there hasn’t been a GW boxed game like this in quite some time.

When I grabbed the box the thing is quite hefty, I don’t have any photos yet but am hoping to get some “action” shots over the weekend when we see how it plays. The card stock for the boards and tokens is amazingly thick and I suspect it will stand up to substantial punishment. There are quite a few sheets of stuff for all the rooms and the corridors and the detailing on them is superb throughout. A debossing technique has been used so it lends more of a 3D air to the boards and it works really well. The dice are larger than the standard size and have a nice marbled effect.

The miniatures are fantastic, the plastic is good quality and on inspection I couldn’t find much in the way of mould lines and I’m sure no-one has actually been able to miss the previews of them on the web or via White Dwarf and other forums. I am already planning the paint jobs and colour schemes for the Terminators as a start. The box art is good and the bottom shows each individual model to assist with painting. I’m hoping to get some friends round over the weekend so that I can then report on how the game plays both from the Marines standpoint with their 3 minute time a turn time limit and the gribbly Genestealers.

My only reservations are that the egg timer is pretty basic (imagine a melta bomb with digital count down for example, would have been way cooler) and in the books there are about 12 pages on Space Marines and only a two page spread on the Tyranids to add background for the Genestealers. Anyone that has followed Games Workshop over the past 10 years will be aware of the increasing prevalence of pushing Space Marines and seeing the contrast in flavour added to the game made me chuckle.

Overall I’d say this is well worth the cash, even if you’re only looking to convert the models for use in a 40k game. Two squads of individually sculpted Terminators are worth the price of admission alone when you consider how much the normal Termie box costs.

Watch this space for another review once we’ve taken things for a spin.