Report by: Jerry Maus
Space Hulk is the game of man versus alien. The burden is usually on the space marines to achieve some objective in a specified time-frame. The gene-stealers (aliens) main goal is to prevent the space marines from accomplishing their objective.
The 1st and 2nd editions of the game contained only three basic marine types (sergeant, flame-thrower and bolt rifle), while the gene-stealers had one type of unit. The expansions (Deathwing and Genestealer) added new marines (captain, lightning claws, thunder, hammer, assault cannon, chain fist, etc.). The aliens also acquired “hybrids” – genetic mutations which are physically weaker than the pure-strains, but are able to utilize weapons. Psychics are also able to use psychic attacks. Powerful foes, to be sure!
The number of missions and campaign games are numerous. We played the first two sections of the “Wolf Lair” campaign. Mission 1 is a holding action by the space marines as they await the arrival of the relief force. Ashton was the commander of two marine squads, while Steven Maus controlled the horde of aliens. Mission 2 witnesses the arrival of the relief force, whose task is to reach the marine defenders from Mission 1. Darren was the commander of the relief force, while Chris led the gene-stealer force attempting to annihilate the marines.
Mission 1 began successfully with a marine toting an assault cannon decimating twelve aliens. The aliens proved relentless, however, and with the assistance of hybrids continued to press forward. Would the marines be able to hold until turn 15 and the arrival of the relief force? Alas, no. Turn 14 saw the last two defenders overwhelmed by the alien hordes.
Mission 2. The relief force’s efforts began disastrously with the flame-thrower marine going down without firing a shot. The lightning claw marine was dispatched shortly afterwards. This marine rolls two dice and adds +2 to both dice in close combat. The gene-stealer rolls three dice. The very first marine roll was snake-eyes! Things were looking bleak.
The marines pressed on, however, with the assault cannon and grenade marines leading the way. Unfortunately, the assault cannon exploded, killing its wielder. Two more marines went down before the portal was found. Two marines managed to escape and it appeared that three more would make a safe getaway. However, a hybrid with a laser pistol managed to fire-off two shots. He needed a ‘6’ on a single die to hit. The result? Two sixes. Only two marines escaped, which is not bad considering the untimely demise of the lightning claws and flame unit, explosion of the assault cannon and two lucky shots by a hybrid.
Ratings: All 8’s and 9’s
This is a game that must be played several times to fully understand and best utilize the marine’s capabilities.