Saturday, 20 September 2014

Space Hulk Game Report

A couple of weeks ago there were only two of us available for a Thursday night game, Karl and I. An evening of Space Hulk was offered...

I hope I'm not alone in admitting that I've been grumpy with Games Workshop for more than half of my life (please, come on, it's not just me, right?) 1.  However they played a pretty big part in the start of my adventures into gaming.  I was at the Games Day where they launched WH40k back in 1987 (30 Space Marines for a tenner!  Go Beaky Marines!).  More pertinently I was at the 1989 Games Day where they launched Space Hulk,  a few demo games and I was hooked 2...

Over the next couple of years I played a lot of Space Hulk, it was enjoyable and tense.  I added the Death Watch and Genestealer sets to my collections and also the missions and extra bits from White Dwarf.

But then my grumpiness with Games Workshop increased and off I went to Uni, and that was the last of my encounters with Space Hulk.

Until last Thursday...

Game One
I took on the Genestealers and Karl had the Terminators.  It was a simple mission where he had to get through the Hulk and reach a target room with a Marine carrying a flamer.  It all came flooding back...  I tried to get at his Marines through the entry points near his start position but he had it too well guarded.  So I hung back near his target room and began to flood ("flood" might be an overstatement with only two reinforcement blips a turn) the area.  A Marine raced forward and blocked my access to two entry points, but he was breaking his Marines apart.  So I raced up the gap and just as he was about to reach his target a Genestealer leapt on the back of the flamer Marine and tore him apart.

Victory to the Genestealers, but it was close.

Game Two
A simpler proposition, Karl had to kill 30 Genestealers before I killed his entire squad.  I only had two reinforcement blips a turn but I had all the time in the world.

Karl broke his Marines into two main groups, one holding the left of the board and one the right.

I saw two options.

1) Attack the left and the right together, this would make Karl split his Command Points between a number of Marines.

2) The Marines on the left were in a good position, the Genestealers could only get at them via long corridors which provided plenty of opportunities for them to be mown down.  If I could crack the right hand side then the Marines remaining on the left hand side wouldn't be numerous enough to cover all the access routes, I could then get at them, and eat them, or something.

I went for option 2.

Things started well, a quick moving Genestealer managed to bag one Marine from the right hand side very early on, this was tremendously helpful.  I built up my forces and went for it...  Awesome rolling from the Space Marines cost me a lot of Genestealers but the right side collapsed...

On to the left...

More awesome rolling followed but, as hoped for, they couldn't cover all the access routes.  Queue more awesome rolling as the Marines retreated.

Then there was just one Marine and one Genestealer left, the alien (well Tyranid as I believe GW later retconned it) reached the Marine with two attacks left.  The Marine drew the fight!  One slow Space Marine vs. a sprinting intergalactic death octopus and the fleshy man thing drew!  Blimey!  I had one last attack before it would be the Marine's go, he would back away and blow the Genestealer into tiny chitinous pieces.  I rolled, I won!

Victory to the Genestealers!

Both games were very close, the last one incredibly so.  It always felt possible for either side to win even though, from my recollections, the Marine's had a generally harder time of it.  I'd be very happy to continue going through a few more missions of this.

The next day I had an email from Games Workshop saying that Space Hulk was being re-released.  I looked online and it was available, I dithered about (£75 is a lot for game and, as said above, I'm grumpy with Games Workshop) but after a bit of wifey persuation I decided to go for it.  On Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the games release, I went online but it had sold out.

*** Shakes first at Games Workshop ***

But, on the positive side, I now had another reason to be grump with them :)

[1] The grumpiness began almost immediately after my introduction to Games Workshop.  Back in the day White Dwarf covered games from other companies, they would review them and publish material for them.  That declined and then stopped from about issue 90 or so, they turned into an in house magazine that only dealt with Games Workshop products.  I also seem to remember Games Workshop stores selling products from other companies, I'm sure that my copy of Twilight 2000 came from the Beckenham store the day that it opened (my copy of Blood Bowl certainly did).

[2] I remember clutching the box on the coach back to London and feeling very excited about it, my friend was telling me how similar to the movie Aliens that it looked, but being a good boy who had a VCR under strict parental control I hadn't experienced the joys of that film.  My friend got a free set of some Games Workshop card game for some reason, but I had Space Hulk, I was winning!

1 comment:

Jay said...

Nice report.

Yeah the 2014 release is annoying, already loads of copies popping up for around twice retail price from people who bought tons of copies.