Review & Unboxing: Space Hulk Death Angel
Warhammer Flavor, Card Game Price
This “Silver Line” game by Fantasy Flight is known for being on the “cheaper” side of their games, or as I like to call it – “affordable”. Granted their best sellers are often not part of these series for whatever reasons, not that they are of lower quality but perhaps because they are just not as full of fiddly bits or necessarily a flagship title. Make no mistake though because I honestly think this is one of the best in the silver series of their games, right up there with Elder Sign which I’ll also be reviewing soon.
Anyway, do any of you guys remember the Space Hulk board game?! You know, the one us war gamers bought back in the day because it was way cheaper than actually buying blisters of Tyranids and Space Marine Teminators? I sure do, I also remember playing the board game only once or twice because I was too young to appreciate such things and just wanted to paint the genestealers and add them to my 40k army. Ah, youth. Anyway, Space Hulk: Death Angel does a pretty great job of replicating that Space Hulk board game experience with cards.
The game can be played solo, or with up to 6 players, it works equally well no matter how people you play it with. Unlike other games that have solo and group play, this one actually feels like the multiplayer adds several more elements (sorry Thunderstone), which is great because it changes the feel of the whole game.
With Extreme Prejudice
This game is hard, unforgiving, overwhelming at times and also ultimately rewarding. I’ve actually only beat it once after a total of 4 play throughs with varying group sizes and I’m really stoked about that ratio. Admittedly the first two games we were making the game harder than it was actually meant to be, (resolving genestealer attacks more times than needed) but it doesn’t really detract from the fact that this game is challenging.
With that said, I should note that that the rules for setting up the first play through can be a little bit confusing, you should definitely read through the rulebook for this one cover to cover before jumping in. Even then you’ll probably have a question or two but they should get ironed out quickly enough, and then you can pass on your game knowledge to others in a much less painful manner. Fantasy Flight makes great games but sometimes I feel like the rule books are a bit scattered.
Slugging It Out
Combat is resolved via a single die roll in SHDA, a single 6 sided die numbered 0-5, 3 sides of the die contain skulls next to the numbers as well. When you attack if you roll a side with a skull you succeed, if not then you don’t, it’s as simple as that. When the genestealers attack you, you make a roll and have to get higher than the number of genestealers in the swarm that’s attacking you – which ranges from ‘kinda tough’ to ‘impossible’ at times so you’ll have to play smart and plan ahead whenever possible.
For being a card game it is pretty tactical, and it simulates the formation and movement of your marines very well. Though gameplay you actually feel as if you’re advancing through narrow corridors and attempting to purge these abominations by fire, blade, and bullet. Remember how I said playing with others furthers the dynamic of the game? One of the big examples of this are the event cards, drawn each round and sometimes force one player to make crucial decision without allowing them to consult the rest of their squadmates which makes for split second decisions and ramps up the tension a bit.
There are environment cards that change dynamically as you progress through the ship, as well as some unique opportunities to take gambles in order to wipe out hordes of genestealers. There is a great sense of co-op in this game but each player will also individually have their time to shine as well – it’s a really good mix.
Shiny Like A New Suit of Power Armour
The artwork on the cards is nothing short of amazing and faithfully true to the visceral, overdone, and somewhat ridiculous nature in which Warhammer 40k prides itself on. The production values on all the components is top notch just like any other Fantasy Flight game, and it all fits conveniently back within the box even after you’ve popped out all the little cardboard tokens that come with it. There’s not much else to say about this, the cards are pretty resilient to damage and moisture too so it makes for a good beer & pretzels game in my opinion! Check out the full unboxing video & how-to at the bottom if you want even more details.
Purge the Xenos Battle Brothers (And Sisters)!
I’ve had a blast with this game and I’m definitely keeping it in my arsenal of game night go-to’s. Not only that but it’s a pretty small setup so that makes it a good mobile game to tote around with you to a friend’s house or to conventions – I’ll definitely have this one in my man purse at gencon. If you’re a fan of Warhammer 40k or even just some good solid tactical gameplay and you enjoy slaying aliens I’d definitely say to pick this one up. There’s a bunch of expansion packs too, this is the first game I’ve played that has made me legitimately consider getting expansions for too. You can score it for 18$ on amazon and if you use my link to purchase it, I’ll even refrain from report you to the inquisition for being a heretic (aka “You’ll have my gratitude and be contributing toward more game reviews”). Thanks for reading, see you next time!