In my high school days, when free time was more plentiful and friends didn’t have jobs or families yet, it was common for us to spend all afternoon on a game of Games Workshop’s Space Hulk. Well, as common as I could make it – after a while, some of my friends grew tired of sending squad after squad of space marines to near-certain doom in genestealer-infested derelict ships. I usually got to play the genestealers, and as such, often ended up winning, which I didn’t grow tired of at all. In any case, years later, the end result has been that we all have less time to game together, and I seem to be the only one always down for some Space Hulk.
Fantasy Flight’s upcoming Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game, due out this summer, may help me get my fix, and convince my buddies to give it another try as well. Playable in 30 minutes to an hour, Death Angel lets each player control a set of two space marines as they try to destroy the alien threat. Location cards will determine how many critters the squad will face, Action cards will determine what marines are doing, and troopers’ facing will still be important. Since cooperative games are the growing trend lately, that’s exactly what Death Angel players will get – if even one marine completes the mission, everyone wins; if not, everyone loses. Up to six players can join in, and even if I can’t find anyone to help me quell the xeno threat, the game can be played solitaire (in which case, I’d control three sets of marines).
It occurs to me that cooperative is what Space Hulk always should have been. Yeah, we could make teams, but it’s not quite the same – if we had all played against the game, against the inscrutable, automatic advance of the game’s genestealers instead of against the genestealer player, it might have been even more exciting and memorable. This iteration of the the Space Hulk theme could be just what I need to entice a few volunteers to go into Overwatch and blast some ‘stealer scum.