Tag Archives: Genestealer

6InchMove Reviews – Space Hulk Death Angel


As mentioned in Servitob’s post recently, after availing ourself of some gaming at everyone’s new favourite venue, we tried out a new offering from Fantasy Flight Games. These are the same guys responsible for making the “need a bank loan to afford it” Horus Heresy board game. Death Angel comes a little more wallet friendly and a little more space friendly too as it’s a card game that fits into quite a tidy hand-sized box.

The basic premise of this game is that it is Space Hulk with cards. Trying to imagine how you get the razor edged tension of a Genestealer infested derelict with its cramped and confined spaces may be a little difficult but rest assured that FFG have managed to pull this off. Every player is on the side of the Space Marines and you control at least one Combat Team of Space Marine Terminators, the game can be played with anywhere from 1 to 6 players and the number of players defines how many combat teams there are. Each combat team is composed of two terminators, a normal Storm Bolter and Power fist chap and another special weapon one.

Each game starts with a location and this will define the starting locations (a deck of cards are provided that bring various locations, some of these have active components that you can use) as well as telling you how many Genestealers are likely to be coming to eat your face at any particular moment. You assemble a mission from a small selection of cards, picking them in accordance with instructions given on the starting location for your size of game. You will not know what you have to do to complete the mission until you move to the final location, from the games that we have played so far, the chances are you will not reach that final location.

The game turn is split into a number of phases, every turn starts off with the Space Marines deciding which one of their 3 different actions they are going to take. Each Combat Team has a set of 3 cards, there is a “Move & Activate” action, an “Attack” action and a “Support” action. Each combat team gets to play one, you can discuss with the team what you want to do but cannot specify which card you are going to play, also, you cannot play the same action two turns in a row. This means you need to think ahead as well as thinking of what the rest of the team are really going to do with their actions. Each action card has a number on it and when they are revealed you resolve them in order. This then plays out as to whether the Terminators swap places, activate terrain items, attack any Genestealers that are around or lie in wait for something.

After this the Genestealers attack if there are any on the board engaged with a Terminator, this is probably around 95% of the time, the more Genestealers fighting a Marine the greater the chance he will be chopped into kibble. After this the player who use the lowest number action pulls an event card and plays it. This spawns more Genestealers and generally screws at least one of the Terminators in some way, this event also gives directions as to where any existing Genestealers move to as they may try to get behind the Marines.

Each spawning of Genestealers comes from a blip pile on either side of the formation of Terminators, once a blip pile is emptied the players move to a new location which shifts the terrain cards around and spawns a new set of blips, some of the terrain also has an “Upon Entering” effect which comes into play. There are 4 locations per mission and as they are randomly pulled from decks you are not always guaranteed to get the same terrain or the same final mission. Once you get to the final location victory conditions are presented to the team, complete those and you win. Out of the three games the 6 Inch Move team have played so far we have completed the mission only once, when my Assault Cannon Terminator used his attack card to unleash three shots into a swarm of Genestealers, shredding the two regular guys and then popping a Broodlord. Servitob then clubbed the final Broodlord and we won, another turn and we probably would have been red paste on the decking.

The game does play quite quickly, you are trying to cut through the Genestealers as fast as possible in order to get to the next location, all the while every event card is spawning more gribblies that can tear you limb from limb. What takes the time is the individual players deciding which actions they need to take, but as you win and lose as a team you want to try to co-ordinate what you are doing. That doesn’t stop someone who is surrounded by Genestealers from playing his “Move & Activate” and then swapping places with a “mate” who is all of a sudden plucked from a position of safety into the clutches of almost certain death. In any given game you can guarantee that a lot of the Marines are going to die, the one game we won we were reduced to only three Terminator when we started with 6, the majority being eaten by massive swarms, but on occasion even a lone ‘Stealer can be a lethal adversary.

I picked up this game after reading a review from a forum I frequent, it recommended picking it up on sight as it was very good. I was lucky enough to get the last copy from our local game store and I’m glad I did. The box is small and transport friendly so if you don’t fancy carting models and terrain about this gives a great game that can be played in around an hour, depending on how many players you have. There is only one criticism I would make and that is that the rules aren’t always clear and we made a large number of mistakes in our first game, a few more illustrations of the layout wouldn’t go amiss, but overall I think this is a really great release.

It may be hard to get hold of now as I understand that it sold really well and there is no certainty that there will be another run, but if you can find a copy it is well worth the price of admission and in the few games that we have played so far it has been a lot of fun.

ZombiePirate gives it a solid 4.5 Alien Gribblies out of 5.

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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…

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.

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.

Space Hulk – Rules Review


While not managing to get in a game over the weekend I did manage to have a read through the rulebook. It really is quite short but then again it’s not a complicated game to play, at least in terms of the rules, strategy is another matter. The accompanying campaign book is a lot thicker and I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into it over the next few days. I’ve also cut out all the models and pushed them together and am impressed by how snugly they fit.

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As with Space Hulk of old all actions cost action points. The Space Marine player restricted to 3 minutes a turn while the Genestealers enjoy a much more leisurely pace. In terms of action points a Terminator (if they die they certainly won’t be back) they get 4 a piece, whereas Genestealers get 6. Moving and turning cost differing amounts depending on which side you are playing but most things cost 1ap to perform. You can combine things like moving and shooting which costs 1ap thus allowing you to save action points. However, just like chess you’re going to want to have your moves planned out if you’re the Marine player as you are up against it time wise. Also, even though the ‘Stealer player is allowed to spend as much time as they want in their turn, you’ll also want to get done pretty sharpish in order to cut down on the thinking time your opponent gets. If you can make decisive decisions quickly when you’re playing the gribbly aliens then you are going to put even more pressure on the time sensitive warriors of Humanity and that can lead to unexpected mistakes which give you the openings to cram four limbs worth of armour piercing talons down their collective throats.

That’s not all as every turn the Marine commander gets to pick a token out of a cup which gives him a number of Command Points. These can be used as additional action points and, more importantly, can be used in the Genestealer turn. Ran out of time to put your dudes on Overwatch? Well, spend Command Points to lay down a suppressing fire with the Incinerators and fall back by squads to the APC….. ah-hem. Just be sure you remembered what was on that token though, you get to see it at the start of the turn but then it’s placed on the mission board and your opponent moves it according to your spend, at the end of the turn it’s turned over again and if you spent more Command Points than you were entitled to you lose the game immediately!

Overwatch allows you to basically stare down the corridor you are in and shoot anything that moves within range. Genestealer bursts out of a bulkhead in front of you? No problem, now you can gun it down, every step they take closing you down allows you to have another shot. However, if you roll any double on your dice, your gun jams and you have to spend time clearing it and with the speed of the Genestealers a jam at close range will probably result in Marine kibble.

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Guard is effectively the melee equivalent of Overwatch, helping you out when a horde of aliens are determined of ripping you a new one. Definitely worth it if you’re staring down some of these guys and you have one of the more melee oriented Marines out front.

Some of the missions cause you to find an artifact or relic, while others want you to torch certain sections of the map (it’s nice to know that in the far flung reaches of the future mankind still resorts to chucking in gouts of smouldering napalm in order to complete missions). I’m lo0king forward to working my way through this as there are some maps that are played over more than one level (with the chance of falling down the stairs and breaking their neck in the cases of the Terminators) and some of the maps look like they use every single tile that comes in the box. I have yet to go through the whole book but they look varied enough on the face of it to keep things interesting. I want to play through it all and document the campaign here on the blog for you all to enjoy.

Rules wise therefore I give the game a whopping 9/10 Zombies. I’ll give a fuller rating once I’ve actually been able to play it.

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Space Hulk – Hands On First Impressions


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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.