So when Fantasy Flight Games first announced Space Hulk:
Death Angel, I was pretty excited. Another cooperative game from Fantasy Flight Games? Excellent I thought. And mostly, now that I’ve played it, I’m pretty happy with it, but not for quite the reasons I originally thought I'd be.
My wife will pretty much only play cooperative games, and Fantasy Flight Games puts out some of the best games in my opinion, so this had a lot of potential. I bought the game with the hope that I would be able to get my wife into playing the game. Sadly, while the fact that its cooperative is good, I didn’t think about how she would take to a game with a bunch of massive space marines. She didn’t. She is not totally unwilling to play the game, its just low on her priorities. Oh well, the game still turned out fun.
The box is very compact, sort of long, made out of that sturdy textured cardstock that FFG uses. Its high quality, as visible in the photos. Its very compact and has a lot of contents in a very small area, its kinda cool to pull more and more out of the little thing. Unfortunately, it also proved to be a bit intimidating, with one player outright saying it looked too complicated for him at the time.
Ok, fair enough. The game has a lot of different cards, and at first glance, its hard to tell what they’re all for. BUT, that’s ok, if you resist trying to understand everything, and just follow the instructions described in the rulebook, you’ll find that you can easily play, and the extra cards become relevant as needed.
I’ve played 3 games. We lost the first game, won the second, and lost the third. I’ve noticed that things tend to go pretty well, your space marines cutting down genestealers left and right, maybe losing a marine here and there. Then suddenly, about halfway through the ship, people will tend to die quick, and its then that you’ll realize you might not make it It gets harrowing, everyone starts pulling together, constantly grasping for straws, coordinating their actions. You aren’t playing a game, you’re a space marine, trying to get through a really tough ship. Its tough, its cool, its warhammer 40k.
This is how the game plays. You randomly setup the interior of the ship for starters. Then each player chooses a team of two space marines. Each set has a different set of 3 action cards, a move & activate action, a support action, and an attack action. The 3 actions do different things for each team or even a specific space marines. One marine's attack action might involve a triple attack auto-fire, while another might be a kami-kaze charge. You decide the actions without showing each other your cards, which forces you to collaborate verbally, then you each turn your chosen actions face up. At that point, you go through based on the initiative of the actions, seeing what happens. Then the genestealers attack, then you turn over an event card. You're essentially travelling single file through a large ship, with genestealers attacking from your left or right, and you win if you get to the core of the ship and accomplish whatever random goal you drew in the beginning.
Its a simple premise, but the number of different factors combine together to create a fun game with more and more genestealers attacking you as you head deeper into the ship and your adrenalin correspondingly go up as you see marines start falling left and right.
The game is easy to setup, taking only a few minutes to setup, and only a few minutes to put back in the box.
The game is cooperative, truly cooperative, if you want to win. I think it’d make a great teambuilding exercise.
The game has a cool premise with a lot of history, it doesn’t delve very deeply into it, but its there, and that makes it more fun.
The instructions are a bit difficult to understand at first.
The contents of the game, once spread out, are a bit intimidating.
Whats up with the name? Space Hulk: Death Angel the Card Game. I get it, the history, but its long, and no one knows what to call it. Guess there are worse cons.
My recommendation? Buy it, if you didn’t win it here already. It’s a lot of fun, easy to play, and really gets you working together.