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  1. #1
    Marine Brother.Gabriel's Avatar
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    Space Hulk Review

    Righty-o.

    I thought that I would open up a review thread for the updated Space Hulk game. I hoping people will find this informative and honest. I have been collecting for about 15 years now and just missed the original release properly – I got it to wargaming via Space Crusade – though I have played Space Hulk at friends. So please don’t shout back if you don’t like what you hear this is all my personal opinion and is neither right nor wrong. Please note that I am not going to talk about it Limited release aspect, for I have not the knowledge to say either way it this has been a “sensible” or “good” move by the powers that make those choices GW. So he we go.


    Straight of the bat I am going to give my honest overall scored – which in Space Hulk case is a mighty 10/10. I gave it this score for a number of reasons. Firstly this set has to be the best produced set that I have seen from GW in my time playing. Secondly, the finish on all aspects of it is top notch and warrants the price. Thirdly the game is hideously fun to play and simple enough to pick up quickly. Forthly, this is just not a straight up redo. It is more of a redux and there are enough new rules for older players to get something completely new from it. Fithly, as stupid as this may sound is that the contents of the game is all boxed up in a really heavy duty box with a beautiful high gloss finish. Which will go a long way to it not falling apart in less than a minute. With five reasons racked up I can't help but to try and think of another five, however I am trying to be concise. So, finally, the shear hours of play I can see being enjoyed from the game really pushes it up into the 10 mark. Right now I feel about 10 years old at Christmas and boy, has it come early!

    So, on to the in-depth bits. I am going to split this into the following sections: Models; Tiles & Counters and Rules.


    The Models:
    From the out set, what strikes me about these models is the overall finish. For simple clip together models they are incredible and put things like Assault on Black Reach set to shame. One the set I handeled the lines on the mini's were all crisp and clean with little to no of the usual mould defects you see on kits. Even with all the under cutting there are next to no details that blend into another detail. Every mm of the sculpts have some sort of detail or texture that really adds to the character and feel of the game. Even the door stands have floor detail on them! All the models are to the normal 28mm heroic scale that GW utilises and are moulded out of what is defiantly a harder plastic type than they normally use – possibly part of the reason the detail is so much better. To me this is a sensible choice as they should last a long time and are a little harder to break. The coloured plastic takes me right back to my youth and when played with on the board still look awesome - it gives it that lovely retro nostalgic aspect. One of the few things from the 80's or 90's which deserves to come back - unlike electro music (Laroux) or Neon clothes. Will I paint mine? More than likley but I am not going to be in a rush to get it done They are honestly the best plastics I have ever seen – If I did not know better I would happily have guessed they where resin. With 11 terminator models, a Librarian, 22 Genstealer, a brood lord and the objective markers you have literally got the start to two armies in the box. Yes they are on scenic bases, but with a bit of work you can easily either remove them or just mount them on the appropriate bases if you wanted too. What I really love about the minis is that each and everyone tells it’s own story with just its pose. Whether, it is the Terminator using his aspect scanner (hidden inside his power fist glove!) or the Stealer bursting from the floor everyone of the sculpts oozes Space Marine or gribble alien - you have to see the size of the Brood Lord to believe it – he takes his metal counterpart and makes him look like a grot to a Ork. In my mind the set is worth is just for these alone. Yes the terminators are all "Blood Angeled" up. Does that bother me? Well yes a little. Can I get over it? Yes I can. That does not change my opion of the quilaty. The consistant astounding quailty of these sculpts, if anything, in this set begs the question why are not all the kit released like this?


    Tiles & Counters:
    Now, I know that a lot of the rumours were about plastic corridor and room sections and I know that a lot of people are upset that they are not. For me, I thought that plastic corridors would great but when I sat back and thought about it I came to the conclusion that actually for Space Hulk to be the Space Hulk I had enjoyed previously then I would have to have the card board finish as well, just to make it complete. And what a finished the studio has gone for. The sections are thick, very thick – about 5mm thick, now that’s chunky and really why the box weight in at almost 4kg as highlighted on the GW website. They are certainly not going wear out quickly, like the originals could do nor are they going to be bent and warp out of shape. The finish for the tops playing side has also seen a proper update. The pieces are all Photoshop finished and have great dark gritty computer game style look to them. The sections are all beautifully uplit with lighting effects all over the place in addition there are many details that point towards the hulk being a mess of many ships - such as Tau style bulk head. Not only that but each section has some 3d relief pressed into them which greatly adds both to the feel of the tiles are the overall look of a set up mission when you gaze down on the maze of corridors. This for me is just a really novel update to what are “just card board” sections and again what adds to the extremely high level of quality inside this set. What I can not stress enough is the amount of sections you seem to get and what size map you can make – I could not help but think “what if I get two......” as I was playing about. I am not sure if you get more that the original but you certainly don’t get any less. Unfortunately, I cannot safely say if they are the same size are the original and therefore be combined. If I was to guess though, they seem bigger but that might be because they are just chunkier. As for the counters there is not much to say apart from they are cool and made in the same vain as the corridor and room sections. One thing I was worried with the set was removing the card pieces from their card frames. As in the pass with any board game I often found that sections can rip or the top layer can peel off if you are not careful. However with the set I helped push out this was certainly not the case each section once poked almost dropped out by itself, not a single section had to be forced out. The counters where just as easy, thought we found we had to be a little more careful with these. When it came to build a mission map the sections just slotted together like a jigsaw and no problems where had. All in all the card board sections are what I would term, if you excuse the phrase, “manly” I can’t help but imagine the original board sections as Rocky Balboa training montage and magically turning into the new better, stronger and faster sections. They will most defiantly “Eat lightning and crap thunder” – or this case knock your socks off.


    The Rules:
    This is the area I have least to say about. Mainly due to the fact studio has not changed very much. The phase “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” comes to mind. Terminators are at thier best when round blowing up dozens of stealers with Bolt shells and the Stealers mince every Terminator that they showed the backside of their claws too. The game I played was fast paced and had that all important claustrophobic feel that Space Hulk is loved for - the return of the timer (now an hour glass) contributing much to this. Having not played for a good 10 years or so I found the rules easy to pick up. Within two turns I was killing and annoyingly dying left right and centre. By the end of the game, which lasted about 30 minutes I can certainly say I would be able to teach someone else a basic game – which goes to show how simple the rules are. As ever the devil is in the details and the tactical element of Space Hulk is alive a kicking and this is where, as a system it has always shone for me. In essence the rules remain the 1st edition set but elements from the 2nd and supplemental editions stolen and reworked to make this Space Hulk an “all in one” set truly all in one. Of course like the miniature and the tiles the rules have been given that twist, that makes the set not just a spit and polish redo. The addition of the Brood Lord gives the Stealer and big nasty left hook – he can only be hurt from shooting attacks that wound on both dice (i.e. a storm bolter would need double 6 on it first shot) and therefore cannot be hurt by the mighty flame thrower. Plus in combat he always adds together the highest dice and lowest dice he rolled to determined his score, giving it a roll of anywhere between 2 and 12 and a average of at least 6 or 7! Beat that with only 1D6 with most Terminators, I think not. Though all is not lost for the Terminators can now "Guard" which is a bit like Overwatch, but for combat. With 12 missions in the set I can see myself being entertained for hours. All the oldies are in there and of course being a campaign driven tells a great story for the boarding Marines. As ever both the rule and the mission book is crammed with background fluff. It was really nice to see a nod to the original game with the story continuing what had been started in the original. However, what I genuinely liked was the fact that each Terminator got his own name and back story really adding to the depth and feel of the game – you really feel like you let the side down when they die! What really let me down was that although the books are full colour they have been printed on fairly regular paper, I was expecting the same quality of paper we see for codex and the like. It kind of drags down the high quality studio has achieved for everything else. But, hey you can’t have everything.


    So that is my review. I hope it has help some of you guys out there. If anyone has in questions I will try to answer them from what I remember. I will leave this with one last thing – the new box smell is well...............mind blowing.
    Last edited by Brother.Gabriel; 22-08-2009 at 06:37. Reason: some presentation edits and more thoughts added. Gramatical and errors corrected. It was a late night!

  2. #2
    Brother Sergeant
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    thanks for the detailed review! It makes me even more excited to get my hands on this!

  3. #3
    Commander Cane's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Yea, I placed my order just a few minutes ago - can't wait; thanks for the review.
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  4. #4
    Chapter Master
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    So you got the game already? Or just going by what you see in the store?
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    HIC HOMO NESCIENS. QUAE FUTURA EST ?

    EST PLANE VANUM? MAGNIFICANDUM?
    ERROR AUT SANUM? O FORTUNA EST!

    QUA?

  5. #5
    Marine Brother.Gabriel's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    I was in my local store for a good 4 hours oglying the set. Anyone that pre-order it could essencially play about with and try the first mission early before anyone gets a demo of on saturday. Surffice to say I very much enjoyed it. Re-reading my review I realised how much stuff I forgot to talk about. Such as the a new rule called Guard which is like Overwatch but for combat - really makes your sgt tough for the stealer to take down. Oh and just how much the the detail is debossed on some tiles -such as the throne room tile. I could go on but would really just be commenting on the little things that make it such a top notch set and I was trying to be fairly consise and be more overviewy (is that a word?) I was also trying to be critcal with the review, but have to say from my viewpoint could not find much to critic - though I am sure some gamers will. As a slight aside, my mind is already wondering what they might do with other "older" games if the update of Space Hulk goes well for them - I mean how cool would a update of Heroquest/warhammer quest be? (prob better discussed in another thread though)

    Glad people have found it usefull.
    Last edited by Brother.Gabriel; 22-08-2009 at 06:10.

  6. #6
    Brother Sergeant Dakkabom's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Great read, but I might've missed something: Are the models more or less the same durability/thickness? Sounds like a lame joke but I'm serious. The ballsoutterminatorsoawesome objective comes to mind, it would pain me to see something crack.

  7. #7
    Marine Brother.Gabriel's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    The models are certinally more durable. The plastic was just harder in the hand and when held with another terminator felt heavier. I sure if your not carfully bits could break, just not as easily as the usually plastic kits - the terminators certinally have a few "thin" details that could snap easily - snap being the word here. As since it is harder, like resin is (thats why is can hold more detail) the plastic will snap clean rather that bend and stretch. The best example of similar plastic would be the plastic used on coloured childrens rules.

  8. #8
    Brother Sergeant LordWhiteWolf's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    nice review :P I've never played space hulk before but i have known of its existence for a long time, i can't wait to try and pull some friends into having some regular games

  9. #9

    Re: Space Hulk Review

    I too had a play about with the game in my local GW and have to agree with everything Brother gabriel said, but also to mention the models again, they truly are awesome especially the marines. 12 different Terminator sculpts all very detailed and characterful especially the assault cannon and the kneeling marine. i can see a lot of Blood Angel armies starting just on the strength of these alone.
    best
    Rob
    PS he's right about the Broodlord it's Frickin Huge
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  10. #10
    Chaplain Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    For the size of the Broodlord, does it still have the same movement rules as the normal genestealers? That is, is it still as fast and agile despite its size?

  11. #11
    Chapter Master Souleater's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Great review, thank you.

    (More paragraphs to break up the huge blocks of text would be good though. Some of us are getting on.)

  12. #12
    Marine Brother.Gabriel's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Yep, the Brood Lord is still as fast and agile as the normal stealers - it has a AP6 (ap = action point). It is extreamly nasty and rightly so. From reading down my neck of the wood we reckon you will need either the Storm Shield sgt or the Librarain to nail it in close combat or an assualt cannon to shoot it - it can't be hurt by the flamer!

  13. #13
    Chapter Master Lord_Squinty's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother.Gabriel View Post
    Yep, the Brood Lord is still as fast and agile as the normal stealers - it has a AP6 (ap = action point). It is extreamly nasty and rightly so. From reading down my neck of the wood we reckon you will need either the Storm Shield sgt or the Librarain to nail it in close combat or an assualt cannon to shoot it - it can't be hurt by the flamer!
    Its also immune to the Librarian Psychic storm - I think thats what the power was called (and is very nasty in itself). Also the broodlord attacks as a genestealer (3dice) but ADDS the highest and lowest 2 together
    As Gabriel says - it is near impossible to kill with storm bolter fire also - BOTH dice must be a 6 to kill it (or at least a pair of 5's on sustained fire)
    Last edited by Lord_Squinty; 24-08-2009 at 22:41.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Is there a optional point system for designing your own missions?

  15. #15
    Chapter Master neXus6's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    While there are a few other factors that finally helped change my mind Brother.Gabriel your review was the last thing I read before finally deciding I was going to give in and buy the game.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    Is there a optional point system for designing your own missions?
    Ben you don't need one. That's the wonder of wargaming. As long as you and your opponent have fun who cares if it's 100% balanced, infact sometimes it is more fun if things aren't balanced.
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  16. #16

    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    Is there a optional point system for designing your own missions?
    Not that I know of. But you could always invent one.

    When the game arrives, examine the mission book. Gather data for each mission like:
    - How many squads of Terminators are there?
    - Do the Terminators get a Librarian?
    - How many Genestealer entry points are there?
    - How many blips can the genestealer player introduce per round?
    - How many blips does the genestealer player start with?
    - Type of mission?

    With that data you could generate some "rules of thumb" for generating missions. You could even try to create a formal set of rules by assigning points to those things. But you would need to be prepared to argue with people.

  17. #17
    Chapter Master
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Quote Originally Posted by CRasterImage View Post
    Not that I know of. But you could always invent one.

    When the game arrives, examine the mission book. Gather data for each mission like:
    - How many squads of Terminators are there?
    - Do the Terminators get a Librarian?
    - How many Genestealer entry points are there?
    - How many blips can the genestealer player introduce per round?
    - How many blips does the genestealer player start with?
    - Type of mission?

    With that data you could generate some "rules of thumb" for generating missions. You could even try to create a formal set of rules by assigning points to those things. But you would need to be prepared to argue with people.
    Just changing the maps for the same mission can generate variation also. If one side keeps winning a mission try a different layout that makes it hard on that team. Less door/shorter entry to objective for marines or more twists and turns more entry points for the stealers.

  18. #18
    Marine Brother.Gabriel's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    As mentioned there is no need for a points system. However saying that in the september WD it mentions that there will be a PDF going up for Space Hulk called Mission 13, which is going to be a how to make mission article - looking forward to that.

  19. #19
    Chapter Master Cpt. Drill's Avatar
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Great review! Sadly you didnt sway my decision wether to buy it or not as I already am!

    Thanks for the write up though, while im waiting for something I like to read as much about it as possible and this certainly provides some un biased views.
    Last edited by Cpt. Drill; 23-08-2009 at 02:27.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Space Hulk Review

    Great review. I'm salivating at the thought of the new Space Hulk. I may even change my mind and buy a copy.
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