Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game

I kept hearing really good things about the Death Angel card game, especially in terms of solitaire play. I finally got around to picking it up and thought I’d share my thoughts after having played roughly 10 games.

space-hulk-death-angelI Have Never Won

Yeah, interestingly enough this game is ridiculously difficult. The premise of the game is that a few squads of Space Marines are boarding a derelict Space Hulk which is overrun by genestealers. It’s set in the Warhammer 40k universe, just in case that wasn’t already clear. I’m not entirely sure but I think it is loosely based off the Space Hulk game which I hear is fantastic but is unfortunately out of print.

Anyway, the main goal of the game is to survive against waves of bad guys and keep traveling forward until you reach your final destination. You lay out your Space Marine cards in a long formation line and depending on your current area you place down location cards which mostly act as spawning grounds for genestealers. When the Marines take their turn each squad selects an action such as attack, move + activate, or support. Supporting other Marines will give them support tokens which can be used to re-roll dice. Each action card also has a special ability unique to that squad of Space Marines (Which consists of two marines). I don’t recall the specific names of characters but for example: You might have Brother CoolGuy and Brother SmartSauce in the orange squad and their attack card might have a special ability which lets brother SmartSauce roll multiple dice when attacking, etc. So you kind of have to play favorites since some of the Space Marines are less expendable than others.

space-hulk-death-angel-genestealersThe combat for both your guys and the enemy is handled with a single dice. It’s red and the sides are marked 0 – 5 and certain faces also show a skull mark. When attacking you roll for skulls and when defending you roll for a number higher than the amount of genestealers attacking. Things start to quickly ramp up and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the number of bad dudes down and to make matters worse they can be constantly shifting sides and positions every round. This is where positioning becomes very important since each marine has a specific attack range and you are unable to attack enemies that are behind you.

That was just a somewhat brief rundown of the the Death Angel Card Game and what you can expect from it, along with losing quite a bit. The game works very will for solitaire play but you can also play with several additional people. There are also several little expansion sets which can add more card options or different Space Marines to choose from. The slightly larger expansions let you swap out all of the genestealers and instead face Tyranids or use a different faction of Space Marines, which I think might be something like Deathwing or whatever. It’s a pretty inexpensive game compared to all of the board games we’ve talked about in the past, but there’s still loads of fun to be had. The difficulty is pretty high though but that’s how I like it.

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sleepy - August 11, 2014

FYI the Space Hulk computer game is essentially the Space Hulk board game, but automated. So maybe worth a try if you are interested in the board game.

Though to me, as someone who has every edition of space hulk, it’s not as much fun as being over a board staring at your friend who is playing the other side of the game.

Graev - August 11, 2014

I wish I had a copy of Space Hulk. I hear it’s usually many years between reprints though and the likelihood of a 4th edition is pretty low.

I have seen the game on Steam before but I keep missing it when it’s on sale. Still I would like to own a copy of the board game one day. That seems unlikely since I’m not really fond of buying used.

Chris - August 11, 2014

This is the game I take with me when I’m traveling on business and need something to do in the hotel room. Brutally difficult, but always engaging and fun. The strategy/approach changes based on the combo of teams you’re playing. I’d recommend the Deathwing expansion and Mission Pack #1 to increase replayability.

Fergor - August 11, 2014

I just wanted to say I appreciate your card and board game reviews. I’ve only bought the Pathfinder Card game so far (really fun) but I have a few games bookmarked based on your recommendations. Keep them coming!

Horrorshow - August 12, 2014

I thoroughly enjoy your boardgame reviews. I also can not wait until the next one.

Intruder313 - August 14, 2014

I still have a first edition Space Hulk and it’s still one of the best boargames ever with knife-edge balance on some missions (and outright nightmares on others).

The original computer game captured it well, the new one is OK now that it’s had a lot of updates and was on sale during Steam’s Summer event.

I had no idea there was a card game to add to my collection!

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