Space Hulk again


I got the Space Hulk box down from the top of our wardrobe and got my wife to play another game of it with me. Space Hulk is a version of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 game, but designed to be played fast: rather than spending hours setting up regiments of soldiers, you should be able to do an entire game in an hour, then reverse sides and play from the other end. Which of course meant we played through one game in two hours, and then it was time for bed.
Space Hulk pits seven-foot tall supersoldiers in massive suits of armour with machine guns firing exploding rockets against Genstealers, a copyright-avoiding rip-off of Ridley Scott’s Alien(s). The supersoldiers aren’t crack shots (they hit the aliens on average slightly less than one third of the time) and lumber slowly through the corridors of the spaceship they’re fighting on, and their incredible armour is apparently fabricated from tissue paper and string, because they die in hand to hand combat with unerring reliability. It’s lucky the Genestealers don’t have guns.

My wife spent the first half of the game bemoaning how the rules are far too complicated, and the second half wiping out my Space Marines. I had two outstanding chaps: Derek Hammer, who has a big hammer and was quite reliably smashing Genestealers’ heads in until I rolled a 1 on a die, and Derek Gatling Gun, who didn’t get to shoot anyone until all the other Marines were dead, and then proved himself incredible both as a crack shot and in hand to hand fighting, until the weight of numbers brought him down.

And then I sulked for a bit, partly because I lost, but also because I stink and my legs hurt from crouching over the floor (Space Hulk requires an enormous amount of space to set out the board). Still, at least we played again. We’re now 5 rounds into the 15 round campaign; give it another decade and we’ll have played the entire game. That’s pretty good value for money, I think.


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