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Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Brief Death Angel Review from Gencon rss

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Mathias
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Howdy BGG Folks. Long time lurker de-lurking for my first review.

I picked up Death Angel at the FFG booth on Thursday afternoon after a quick demo that morning. Four of us from the Mind's Eye Secret Gaming Society were at the Con for the weekend and played eight games of it over the weekend. Here's my thoughts:

Components: Death Angel comes in a small box in the same vein as most of the rest of the FFG Silver Line Games. The game consists of a rulebook, 18 action cards, 30 event cards, 8 terrain cards, 22 locations, 36 genestealers, 2 broodlords, and 12 space marines. It also has one unique die used to resolve combats, 12 support tokens, and 6 combat team markers. Although I've seen other silver line games with more components included, the cards are of good quality and should stand up well to lots of play. (They also fit FFG sleeves #3)

Gameplay: Games for us ran about an hour, but trended downward toward about 45 minutes after picking up the rules. All of our games included 4 players, although the game supports 1-6. I'd be interested to see some different numbers try it.

As for the basic gameplay, Death Angel consists of a squad of space marines moving through locations in an ancient, long abandoned derelict spaceship (a Space Hulk) while defending themselves from swarms of ravenous genestealers. Each player generally chooses a fire team of two marines, one of whom has a special ability, and receives a set of three action cards specific to his fire team. The action cards include a attack action, a support action, and a move and activate action. Setup is accomplished by placing a location deck at the top of the play area, with genestealer blip card to each side, with the chosen marines laid out in a random marching order beneath the location deck. Each turn, as the marines move through the Hulk, the players each choose the action for their 2 marines. (Or one marine after the carnage ensues) You can't choose the same action on two turns in a row.

The attack action allows your two marines to attack genestealers within their range (Usually 1 or 2, 0 for close assault and 3 for autocannons). Support actions are used to place support tokens, which are used to roll additional dice for defense if your marine is facing the onslaught. Facing is critical for Death Angel...marines are much more vulnerable if ambushed from a vent behind them! The third action card is move/activate, which allows marines to change facing, move up or down in the marching order, and sometimes activate special terrain cards.

As found in several other cooperative games, after players take their actions, one player draws an event card and basically unleashes the ambushes by placing genestealers on the indicated locations. Once one of the blip piles is exhausted, a new destination is revealed and the instructions on the new card instructs players how to place new terrain, simulating the marines journey through the space hulk. The marines are victorious if they complete the goals on the last destination card. The players lose if all marines are slain, which seems to happen with frequency.

Thoughts:

I picked up a number of games at GenCon, but Death Angel really was a hit with my group. It is a perfect game for a Con....playable in less than an hour, small box, easy to learn but not easily won.(I believe we went 2-6) The game succeeds in capturing the feel of the desperate journey through the hulk, mainly because the destination and terrain cards include classic 40k type locations. Second, the various space marines are all well themed with unique special abilities. Choosing a different fire team led to differing levels of success and different play experiences. I'd love to see expansions, as it would be fantastic to integrate different marines, different chapters, or even different opponents. If your group enjoys co-op games or are big fans of the 40k universe (Or the Aliens movies!), I'd get Death Angel out on the table in the next few weeks.

Thanks for listening!




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Anselmo Diaz
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What other games did you get?
 
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Mathias
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I also picked up Dungeonquest, Cadwallon: City of Thieves, and the Deathwatch RPG. Had the chance to Demo the Castle Ravenloft board game as well.
 
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Mike
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I am glad you liked SHDA. For my group, it was a bust. We had a discussion about the feel of the game compared to the board game and the pros and cons between the two.

We all decided that the game would only see the light of day in an environment where you were travelling (like the OP mentioned at a convention). The unfortunate thing for SHDA is that there are a lot of other games that fill that niche and in our opinions much better. Conclusion, we would most likely never play the game if there were other options available. It just did not have "great time" feel to it for my group and I.

Like Space Hulk, this may be one of those games that people either love or dislike with little middle ground.
 
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Mathias
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MindseyeGamer wrote:
I also picked up Dungeonquest, Cadwallon: City of Thieves, and the Deathwatch RPG. Had the chance to Demo the Castle Ravenloft board game as well.


I forgot...also picked up Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements.
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H J

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I believe there's a rule about not being able to say what you'll be doing in your turn. If that's so, how did it feel? I imagine it would get annoying since it's an out-of-game mechanic. (Or rather effect.)
 
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HatchetJob wrote:
I believe there's a rule about not being able to say what you'll be doing in your turn. If that's so, how did it feel? I imagine it would get annoying since it's an out-of-game mechanic. (Or rather effect.)


I actually like how they handled that. When the Marine players choose their events each turn, they may discuss their actions but may not show their cards.

During the Event phase, certain events are marked "Instinct." If one is drawn, the Player drawing it has to make a decision without showing, revealing, or discussing the event. He then reveals what he chose.
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Mr Husso
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Thanks for the review. I'll be waiting to get this game somewhere ... as soon as it's released
 
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Paul Adkins
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Just had to write a review for my shops website. I have to say that Death Angel is a great little game.

I haven't had so much fun for a long time.
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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I think this also fits the niche for those who missed out on Space Hulks reprint and don't have 100 bucks to drop on ebay/amazon.
 
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K.Y. Wong
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mythreal wrote:
Just had to write a review for my shops website. I have to say that Death Angel is a great little game.

I haven't had so much fun for a long time.


Paul, please do post your review on BGG as well. Thanks!
 
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Radim Jurda
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Hi, does this game has player elimination ascept, or does everybody play till the end of the game? Thanks!
 
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K.Y. Wong
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From the early reports, each player control a team of 2 space marines. Once both are dead, you are eliminated. However, the game appears to be very tense and short so it would be interesting to see how far your friends can go and you wouldn't have to wait long for the next game to start.

 
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Robert Rossney
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The odds are pretty good that if one player gets eliminated the rest are going to follow in short order.
 
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