Talked my friend Fred into giving Space Hulk a try (I won't be down the club for a few weeks and was itching to give it a go) He's never been into the hobby but decided to give it a try. I did warn him that it was Space Hilks cousin, Space Crusade, that started me off 15 or so years ago, but he risked his wallet and gave it a go anyway.
We only played the first mission, and didn't bother with the timer. he was playing marines first and I felt it best if we just got used to the game dynamics before we tried to play it properly. But we got in two goes each with each team, and fun was had by all.
The first mission I wiped him out. He had two marines holding his rear but he made the mistake of advancing on my lurking genestealers trying to root them out. They were easy pickings. This left the advanced party getting attacked from all angles and eventually wiped out. They couldn't get in sight of the control room.
My turn as the marine. I held just one marine at the rear, constantly on overwatch, held back with a good long field of fire. The rest of the team pushed forward. My sergeant got a bit ahead of himself and was cut down. My flamer immediately torched the intersection in front of him to keep hte genestealers at bay. My other two marines started to track round the other corridor to clear a path towards the control room. My rearguard got picked off, and the scuttling claws were a constant worry for my flamer, as was his rapidly emptying fuel tank. But a suicide run from one marine down the corridor to the control room was not spotted by Fred. With the other marine covering his back he was safe for a turn. In my next turn, he dashed for the control room. He threw open the door, dove into the room, and yelled to his colleague. He then stepped out into the corridor and used his last gout of flame to neutralize the target. Suicide mission indeed.
Game three saw me with the marines again. Similar plan this time, but I was a bit more foolhardy this time. I raced for the intersection before his numbers could really build up. I had my sergeant holding the south passage, a marine overwatching the north, and the flamer tucked away while two marines further back covered the avenues of approach. Except I hadn't spotted my marine on overwatch was within range for a side attack. He survived it, but that took him off overwatch. This allowed another big nasty to advance from the front, cut him down, then gut my flamer too. Oops.
Game 4 saw the roles reversed again, and this time Fred followed my tactic of leaving a single straggler, holding back and waiting for the genestealers. I had my genestealers playing peek-a-boo withthe door controls, trying to get him to jam his gun shooting at shadows. Fred imitated my tactic of using fire to keep the coast clear while his other men tried to clear apath. But having already used this tactic, I covered all sorts of angles. never bunching together for lots of kills, always having plenty just out of reach that can race in to block line of sight to the all important control room. I was trying to run his ammo down from threats alone, but eventually weight of numbers brought down his sergeant. With fuel running low, claws scuttling all aorund (having eventually got past his rearguard) and a curios Orion home and wanting to play too, Fred conceded defeat.
Have barely got into this, only done the first mission, haven't even used the dreaded timer. But this looks like a really good fun game. It also appears to be a good one to introduce people to the 40k universe with, and the quality is top notch. A really good buy I'd say.
Incidentally, Orion and I then played Hungry Hungry Hippos. Admittedly not the same kind of tactical challenge. But it's nice playing against someone who hasn't quite grasped the concept of winning yet. "Orion, you got 13 and I only got 7. You win" "Yay! And you win TOO Uncle Ginge" "Er... ok, if you say so..." :oP
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