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…