Category Archives: Space Hulk

Space Hulk – Mission 2 Review


After many weeks of waiting the day finally arrived that we broke out the boards and setup the rather enormous map for Space Hulk’s second mission, the adequately named “Exterminate”. It took Servitob and myself around twenty minutes in order to actually set the board up as it uses most of the pieces from the set and it’s lucky that our dining table extends as we needed the space to accommodate all the floor plan. In this mission, like the first one, you have a single squad of Marines, however, this time you get a Chainfist, an Assault Cannon and the Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield rather than a third Power Fist, the Heavy Flamer and the Power Sword Sergeant. Although there are  a lot of corridors there are also a number of rooms and the players take it in turns placing one of the Terminators in any of the rooms (unless previously occupied) facing in any direction. This inevitably leads to the Marine player putting his dudes down in the most advantageous positions while the Genestealer player tries to fux with them.

In terms of the Genestealer menace all the “2” blips are removed and you make a shuffled stack of all the “1” and “3” blips, you get two a turn but nothing to start the game with. We did our usual of one player is Marines and then switch sides and refight the battle. This can mean that the person playing the Genestealers second may be granted a better insight into how to win, but I will not excuse myself like that, I had the dice curse where the vast majority of my rolls were a 3 or less and that is never good.

First time through I was the ‘Stealers, the Marines have to get within 6 squares of each of the 2 areas that the Genestealers can enter (thereby splitting the squad up) or wipe out everything that comes at them. Genestealers simply need to kill all Humans. So, first time we play through and I stand off the Assault Cannon for most of the game. I manage to dispatch the Space Marine Sergeant who is hovering at the top of the board supported by a Storm Bolter armed squadmate. I tried to move a massive swarm this way and then catch the others from behind while amassing another force to their front. Let’s just say it didn’t work, or it could have done if Servitob wasn’t rolling 5’s or 6’s all the time with alarming regularity. I lost wave after wave of aliens without even getting close. Every time I managed to jam the overwatching Storm Bolters he’d always managed to pull out the counter that would allow him to unjam it before blasting more Genestealer to redecorate the walls. I lost by virtue of the fact all the Stealers were wiped out. My mistake was not throwing bodies at the Assault Cannon, if I had done this then it would have depleted its ammo faster and I’d have had a change to get in there and cause some damage.

When we switched roles things went very different. My own Sergeant saw off some aliens in close combat before getting whooped while Servitob learnt from my mistakes and threw bodies at the Assault Cannon, it ran out of ammo and my very first shot after reloading was 3 2’s which caused the thing to explode killing the Marine… pretty much summed up my day. After that it was a war of attrition that I was destined to lose. I jammed, had no Command Points to unjam, or threw dice so low things walked through a hail of fire and straight into combat. These things happen but it was still getting tense towards the end as a single Terminator remained gunning down Genestealers before finally being overwhelmed.

Bring on Mission 3…

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Space Hulk – Your Levis are Mine!


So, played some more Space Hulk versus ZombiePirateXXX today, Mission II – Exterminate.  It was the first time the ‘stealers have won in our multiple games and I think I learned a thing or two about how to get your claws and teeth into the meaty goodness underneath that terminator armour.

1)  Don’t allow your boys in blue to stroll towards a marine with a storm bolter on overwatch.  Duh.

2)  Pile on any close combat marines.  Yeah, they have loads of bonuses and those thunder hammers can give you a right headache, but eventually the marine will become distracted, flunk out and roll a one.

3)  Given the choice of rushing banzai style towards a storm bolter or assault cannon, go for the assault cannon.  They are prime gribbly mulchers, but there’s a good chance they won’t kill you all, run out of ammo, reload, then explode for your amusement.  Especially if you are playing against ZombiePirateXXX.

Space Hulk – Mission 1 Review


Due to the fact that I have misplaced the cable that connects my camera to my PC I couldn’t take any photos of the Space Hulk board with its completely unpainted miniatures last night. As Servitob has already mentioned we finally managed to give the thing a go. I’d almost forgotten that I had the game considering it arrived, got the stuff punched out of the card stock and the minis assembled within a couple days and the with the chaos of my wife going back to work after the school holidays it got “tidied” away onto a seat under the dining table. Malifaux then dropped through the letterbox and I’ve spent the past week reading through those rules and enjoying the world come to life as I’ve done so. But I digress, this is another Space Hulk post.

The mission book is composed of twelve missions that make up the campaign, it was obvious therefore that we’d start with mission 1 in order to ease us into the game. The map is mainly corridors with only a few rooms at intersections, the mission is affectionately called “Suicide Mission”. You get one squad of the Blood Angels Terminators against the ravening horde of Genestealers, the aim being that you need to use the limited ammo Heavy Flamer to torch the room that is furthest away on the map. You’ve only got 6 shots with the thing so conserving it until that optimal time is just one of the things you’re balancing. You get the Heavy Flamer dude, a Sergeant with Power Sword and 3 dudes armed with Storm Bolters and Power Fists. We played the mission through twice with Servitob commanding the Emperor’s Finest first and then swapping over.

The first time we played (me commanding the alien menace) was a victory to the Marines, i was afflicted with more than a fair share of 1 “blips” (when Genestealers enter play they are represented by a blip token which can be between 1 and 3 actual Genestealers). Being only the second game ever of Space Hulk I also ended up learning respect for Overwatch as my horde of single ‘Stealers got picked off as they were forced to march into a hail of fire to get anywhere near their quarry. I only managed to off one Terminator, it was, however, the Sergeant which meant that Servitob could not repick his Command Point token at the beginning of his turn anymore, although it didn’t seem to really hinder him. After I had collected what I thought was a solid force I marched into combat and got wasted, the Blood Angels then walked through opened the door to the objective room and bathed it in the flames from the Heavy Flamer. Good game and I reckon that I should have held off my attack for another turn or two in order to get more numbers, hindsight is wonderful after all.

We switched sides and I deployed the Marines different to Servitob and likewise he did with his blips. Playing from the other side was interesting as you watch those blips slowly encroach upon your limited forces not knowing what quantity of horrors they contain. Having learnt the value of Overwatch I used it on a couple of guys per turn, usually using my Command Point allocation in order to do so. I lost a Marine early on (protecting the entry room from a Genestealer entryway and another covering the chap who bought it. However, the single most impressive guy was my Sergeant, he gunned down numerous aliens as he led the charge through the Hulk then he sat himself on Guard (the melee version of Overwatch introduced in this new addition) and saw off every single beast that tried to kill him.

Considering that you kill a Genestealer in shooting on a 6 you’d be surprised how often that number appears when you’re rolling two dice. It does remind you of the evac scene in Aliens when Vasquez yells out “Let’s ROCK!” and all hell breaks loose. Eventually as I was getting very worried that I was going to fail I pulled a 6 out of the cup for my turns command points and then checked the required movements I’d need. My Sergeant gunned down the first Genestealer in his way and used the rest of his moves to charge into the oncoming horde, I then spent all my Heavy Flamer guys action points and then all the Command Points by turning up the final corridor, opening the last door and then razing the objective room. It was an all or nothing move for me and it paid off, the tension was palpable at this point, at least one of my Marines was going to get it in the face if I took another turn and the numbers were escalating while mine were quickly dwindling. Luckily the superstar Sergeant showed why he’s the leader with impressive combats all the way. We managed to play through that mission twice in just over an hour and it was a blast.

The second mission’s map is a lot bigger and I think we may be cracking it open tonight to carry on from where we left off yesterday. As I’ve already given a quick overview and review of the rules, now that I’ve played it I can give it a heartfelt 10/10 in terms of gameplay. As the Marines player you really feel up against it, managing your limited resources in order to do something which when you do, feels suitably heroic, especially when you can see the odds stacking against you. The fact that everything you need to play comes in the box is a bonus considering what you need for all other GW games and I am very happy I spent the money and pre-ordered, this is going to be taken out and used at every available opportunity. There were no rules issues or points of contention. We looked up things as and when needed but really, I don’t think (other than the specific weapons rules) we’ll be diving into the rulebook very often. It plays smooth and fast and if anyone can find a copy and is wondering whether to take the plunge, go for it, you won’t regret it!

(For some reason this post was sitting in my Drafts when it should have been published Monday morning).

Great Gaming Conversions – Space Hulk


Life is a game, there are winners and losers. Right, that’s enough philosophical rambling… onto the dairy goodness, my friends. I thought I’d try and delight your reading lobes with a few pieces on some great game to computer conversions. Seeing as we are become Space Hulk obsessives (or Spulkobs to use the correct psychiatric term), it seemed as gooder place to begin as any.

Now then, if you are sitting comfortably I will begin. Waaay back when curtain hairdos were cool (that’s just my observation, obviously being a gamer I was NEVER cool) the first Space Hulk conversion was released on 16-bit computers across the land. It was a tepid success given the limited power of the computers of the day, and is far from the best conversion.

Soon enough Sony treated us to the Playstation. Nowadays it is looked upon as mere pocket-calculator stuff, but at the time it was considered breathtakingly advanced. It could also be operated by your mum, your baby sister and the school boneheads who enjoyed beating up the nerds for their lunch money. So it seemed an ideal platform to release a conversion of an incredibly niche tactical board game.

Space Hulk: Vengence of The Blood Angels came out to great applaud from people like us, and great disappointment from people who wanted more headshots, crashes and stuff to blow up. The concept was very good though. You played the part of a terminator mainly played in first person perspective. You started as a grunt, generally being bossed around. Find this, find that, open this door, tie my shoe laces, give me your dinner money etc. Eventually though you became the boss and got to tactically plan your missions. It played much like the board game, but in real time. You got to shoot the gribblies and fight them in close combat. Close combat deserves a mention, the ‘stealers got right in your face with their many limbs, slow motion style and you fend them off. Most of the time you got panned and were left screaming a slow motion movie style ‘noooooooooooo!’ at the screen but it was fun nontheless. Probably the best bit though was the speech. The terminators actually spoke to each other, and whether it was strictly canon for them to do fart jokes and generally mess about over the radios is unknown, but it greatly incresed the enjoyment of the game.

To be honest though, this game was great at the time. I reckon if it were to be played now it would seem so dated and archaic it would probably be a bit of a let down. Some things, like dayglow orange Reebok Pumps, are just best left in the past.

Nostalgia is a Dish Best Served Cold


Back in 1989 I was living in a small provincial german town called Berlin. These were exciting times indeed for us ‘Berliners’ (which, incidentally means ‘donut’ in german). It was exciting mainly because there was this game called ‘Space Hulk’, and my friend had a copy.

We would play into the small hours, terminating and genestealing to our hearts content, and life was good. Time moves on, and twenty years later I am sat at ZombiePirateXXX’x dining room table with the very same game, albeit the new edition.

It is stunning. That’s it, really. The original was awesome, very tense, very exciting yet very simple. Space Hulk always was one of GW’s greatest games. The new edition brings this out superbly. A few minor rule tweaks, but the original fun is all there straight out of the box. The quality of the models and boards is very good. They are well crafted and excellently detailed, making the game even more atmospheric. Yes, thats right, atmospheric. The tension during play can be cut with a knife, and a game that has that is very rare indeed.