Space Hulk was originally released to the public in 1989 by Games Workshop and is based on a world from their War hammer series. It was re-released in 2009 drawing a lot of ideas from the series of Alien movies. The game does not have a playing board as such but it is mapped out with a series of cards and doorways making every game different each time that you play.
The Space Hulk drifts between two worlds, real space and a warp world which is pure fantasy, dealing with aggressive aliens and boarding several space craft on various missions.
A mission book is supplied with each set and players will decide which mission they are going to play, each mission will involve a different initial set up of the playing pieces.
When you first open the box you will find a vast array of pieces that includes corridors, rooms, doorways, a timer and five dice. There is of course a large number of playing figures which include 12 marine terminators, 22 gene stealers, there is even 1 dead marine that becomes part of the play. There are several counters included, these are used for different purposes during the game.
As expected each set will include a full rule book, a mission book and there is also a mission status display so that you can see how the game is developing.
The space marine terminators are the good guys, they have armour and weapons to deal with any rogue aliens and each of the 12 figures are unique in their design and powers.
The gene stealers are the bad guys, they are aggressive aliens with fast speeds and can inflict a lot of damage to the terminators, even piercing the armour. They have no fear and the strongest of this clan is the Broodlord, this is the guy to beat!
As mentioned above the maps are created with the separate corridor pieces, rooms and doorways, these are all covered with exciting graphic details to add some atmosphere to the game. In the mission book there are several missions to play but after a period of time you can invent your own if you wish making the game even more versatile.
Both players decide on a mission to play, once this is done the playing are is set up using the pieces provided. With each mission there can be several objectives to achieve, these include destroying certain members of the enemy, collecting items such as relics or even rescuing certain pieces of important data.
Each player will decide if they are to be the marine terminators or the gene stealers.
Each of the figures have their own unique characteristics and strengths, these are referred to in the game, the action points decides how far a piece can move with each turn so it is important to use the correct tactics with each piece to get the best effect from them. The terminators will also have their own weapons that are used against the enemy, the effectiveness of these are determined by rolling the dice, a good roll can even destroy your foe immediately whereas a bad roll can mean that your weapon has missed its target completely.
The gene stealers are masters when it comes to close combat so the player controlling these will often try to lure the marine terminators into this situation, when close combat is being fought both players will use the dice to determine the outcome of the conflict.
If you wish to find more missions to play they are featured in the White Dwarf magazine, often this publication will print extra missions for you as well as keeping you updated on new expansion packs or new figures available for the game.
There have been 2-3 computer games released, Play stationn, Sega and Amiga have released versions over the years but these are based on an action game and follow a storyline not dealing with the pieces that you get in the boxed version, these have still proven popular so much so that you can now also get the application for downloading to your mobile phone.
Whichever version you prefer, this game offers you hours of fun so give it a go and see what you think!