Johannes Battenberg
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It's been a while since I last played SH: DA, at least two years. Times were pretty bleak boardgame-wise. The Space Marine Pack has been lying around for at least one of those years. A few days ago I finally got around to try it. I almost always play the game solo and so was this time around. I didn't mix it with any other of the print on demand expansions to get the "vanilla" feel.

I assume you are already familiar with the base game, if not, check out my review.

Oh, one thing up front: Right now I played a single game with the new marines, I selected both new team and randomly drew the purple team.


The expansion consists of two teams of space marines, eight cards for random team selection to replace the tokens from the base games and a few cards with the new rules. This is definitely the smallest of the PoD expansions considering that half of the cards don't add any new content.
The quality of the cards is good, consistent with the other expansions, but worse than the base game. Back in the day I used to play SH: DA quite often with expansions but without sleeves and they still look almost like new.

The Teams
The two new teams are pretty strong, in fact a bit too strong for my taste.

Black Team (Chaplain Raziel)

The black team can be seen as an impenetrable fortress of defense. They lack a bit in terms of damage but their defensive capabilities are insane: If Raziel attacks a swarm at range 0, the swarm won't attack this turn. He doesn't even need to hit the swarm, just attacking is enough. The support ability allows your marines to add the number of their support tokens to their dice rolls. Place a few tokens on both your marines and you get automatic successes. I didn't really use the black teams move, since alternating between attack and support was pretty effective. Their move allows you to switch facing of two marines of your choice after completing your move. This is also pretty powerful when your teams change facing via event card or all stealers move behind your teams, as you can turn around two entire teams with a single move action.

Orange Team (Brother Adron)

Who said it's a bad idea to bring a guy carrying a giant missile launcher on his back into the cramped corridors of a space hulk? Well, that guy is an idiot; It rocks. The orange team is pretty solid as well. On their attack, instead of attacking with Adron, you can roll the die instead to fire the Cyclone Missile Launcher and kill up to three stealers from a single swarm, the range is determined by the die roll. On a "0" he misses. I own the german version and I'm not sure if it's a translation error or some kind of errata, but in that version the Cyclone has a fixed range of 3. You can basically use Adron as Claudio light. You can only kill from one swarm and can miss, but at least he doesn't kill himself. Since the range depends on your die roll, it's a good idea to plan on targeting swarms within range 1 or 2, so you can be pretty sure to hit. As it is one of the "instead of attacking" abilities, you can't use a support token to reroll.
On their move, the orange marines may move again, which is not too shabby and on support they place an additional support token on a swarm. Any marine interacting with that swarm (attacking or defending) can use this token. This ability is incredibly useful. Not only can you place two support tokens, but one of these support tokens will follow the big-ass swarm you're trying to defend against.

The Verdict
Both teams included are pretty powerful and for my taste a bit too much so. The combination I used in my one play made it very easy to win. I was rarely attacked by stealers (being dead or neutralized by Raziel) and just lost one marine to bad luck. A single of the new teams paired with one of the weaker teams (green) or splashed into the Deathwing pack (although you're not supposed to do that) could be more interesting. The additional power might also come in handy when fighting Tyranids. But no matter how you look at it, these guys lower the difficulty of the game with a few quite powerful and straight-forward abilities. If you want to add more variety to the game and/or want to ramp up the difficulty, I suggest you pick up the Deathwing marine pack instead, which adds a full squad of marines that play quite differently from the Blood Angels.


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Sergei Chavo
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Iā€™m agree, that teams from SMP1 is very strong and suitted more for new players.
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