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So, I played my first game of Space Hulk this morning.
Impressions? Well, it's good. Balanced, tense, difficult for both sides. But playing as terminators is a lot of more fun that playing as genestealers. The broodlord is only used in 2 out of 12 missions, so you're stuck using boring, boring fragile genestealers for most of the time.
The solution? Well, genestealers are as customisable as hell in 40k, so why not Space Hulk?
How genestealer mutations in 40k could be brought over to Space Hulk:
(all mutations would be counted as 2 genestealers for purposes of blips, and a genestealer could only have one mutation)
Acid maw: may re-roll any dice when attacking.
Extended carapace: can only ever be killed on a roll of a 6 by shooting, and flamers affect him on a 4+.
Feeder tendrils: the genestealer, and any genestealers within a radius of 6 squares, can re-roll one dice in an assault if the model with feeder tendrils is in base contact with a terminator.
Flesh hooks: the genestealer may perform a shooting attack with a range of 12 squares. On a 4,5 or 6, the genestealer may drag the terminator up to 3 squares directly towards itself. It may not perform another action. This shooting attack can be set to overwatch. This would break the overwatch of a terminator.
Implant attack/toxin sacs: the genestealer adds +1 to its highest roll when attacking in combat.
Scything talons: the genestealer rolls 4 dice instead of 3.
Scuttlers: the genestealer can move up to 8 squares but may not attack using these final two squares of movement
And why stop at genestealers?
The following would use 3 genestealers worth of blip to be brought on, but would only be killed by flamers on a 4+.
Lictor: cannot be fired at by overwatching terminators. Armed with flesh hooks and scything talons.
Warriors: Can only move 4 squares. Armed with scything talons and devourers (treat as storm bolters which fire 3 shots but only affect a terminator on a roll of a 6)
Ripper swarms: have 2 wounds each, and are only affected on rolls of 6 by shooting to represent their small size; only roll 1 dice in assaults; automatically killed by flamer
And hormagaunts as well as stealers, for the same cost?
Hormagaunts: can move 10 squares, but only roll 2 dice in assaults and subtract 1 from their highest score.
Obviously in some missions some of these would be somewhat overpowered, but they remain just as fragile and add some interesting new tactics... pull a terminator out of formation and swarm him with genestealers? Bypass that pesky overwatching terminator covering 10 squares of hallway with a lictor? Block that passageway with ripper swarms that just won't die to shooting?
(note that whatever models you take you couldn't exceed 22 models equivalent if a lictor counts as 3 and mutable genestealers as 2, not including a broodlord, so spamming them would lead to severely depleted numbers on the hulk for you to use)
This could be used to develop terminators further, so if someone wants to come up with rules for cyclone missile launchers and frag grenades, grey knights and chaplains, why not? This game is just begging to have new content added to it... piping which stealers can use but not terminators... dangerous scenery... moving terrain... areas with poor lighting or auspex interference... the list goes on.
I haven't had so much fun with a games workshop product in years. I love new systems. (well, new to me)
You could even add rules for orks, dark eldar, or any one of a dozen races that might infect space hulks... that would lead to possible 3 or more player games!
Last edited by Fenrix; September 4th, 2009 at 20:00.
i think you would be taking the simplicity out of the board game form factor of this version of warhammer 40k
you enthusiasm and ideas are all in the right place
if i decide to buy spacehulk i'll definitely try this out
I fail to see how this complicates things much. Genestealers are still killy in combat, only with more potential; they have a bit of shoddy shooting now; and they have disruption tactics, which is the only major change. The mutations are no more complicated than the various terminator weapons. Looking at it again flesh hooks seem a tad too powerful; maybe a 5 or 6 instead of 4,5 or 6, or making it unable to affect overwatching terminators. But it wouldn't affect the space marine player hugely; it might be an added danger, but it wouldn't break the game; the space marine can easily backtrack the next turn. It's discouraging space marines to hang around too long in case the mutables start stacking up; as a genestealer player there is little more frustrating than the marine player moving 2 squares a turn and going into overwatch and simply waiting for you to make a mistake or pick some bad blips.
So, it might add a few more complex tactics, but I think that fits into space hulk beautifully; easy to learn, hard to master.
I don't know how much like the old system this game is, but back then, a terminator was dead if a genestealer came into hand to hand combat. Is it anything like that, would maybe a Lictor be alittle too hard?
I like the creativity though. The mutations look like they would work quiet well. Myself I wouldn't mind to see the old scenarie where Chaos terminators showed up for the first time. Try to find the old rules for that and see if it could me made into the new rules.
To be honest, Your heart is in the right place. BUT some your ideas... dont make much sense.
for example, although all your genestealer ideas are fine, there would be NO other tyranid organisms on board the space hulk. if you read the background on both the Tyranids and Space Hulk, they say that genestealers are the vanguard organisms of the hive fleets and infiltrate spacehulks to reach worlds rich in life for them to lead the main hive fleets towards. You would not find any other tyranid creatures outside of a prey planet or a hive ship.
The main reason for this is because the creatures you have stated have VERY specific battlefield roles, each playing a key part in a tyranid assault, also they wouldn't survive without the influence of the Hive Mind.
Another thing. You could possibly find orks in the space hulk as well as 'Stealers, but definitly not dark eldar. They only make raids on planets to slaughter innocents and take slaves back to their realm and lets face it... your not going to find either of those on a space hulk!
Sorry for being a total fluff nazi...
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense... Wait, what?
The whole point of Spacehulk is that it is simple to learn, takes about an hour for a game but has varied tactics to try. Adding mutations etc into the mix is only going to make games longer, and more complex for no real gain.
Want to play tyranids in space hulk? dig out advanced space crusade. I can't say it worked as a game for me though. I thing the genestealer expansion in ed1 would have made you happy but i found it destroyed gameplay. I don't want to play 40k in corridors, I want a game mechanic that works better for the environment and atmosphere that I can play fast paced in a short time.
I was a big fan of first edition but found it was never totally balanced seesawing between expansions. I have ordered my copy of third and from what I have read have high expectations. Part of those expectations are that it is kept simple enough to enjoy a quick and easy game.
This is however only how i like to play. Please write your own rule book, but I recommend putting aside the timer.
I think your heart is definitely in the right place, but I don't think extended rules like these are suitable for Space Hulk. Like fluffysamurai said, "I don't want to play 40k in corridors" which is just what it is in danger of becoming with additions like these. Space Hulk is a very balanced game as it is. Just like the old edition, once the expansions started coming out it very quickly became hugely unbalanced.
Genestealer mutations: I like the idea. I've thought about implementing some myself, but they have the be very restrained and disadvantages have to be clear. Something like Scything Talons: Roll 4D6 when attacking but at -1 to final result. These small and balanced additions, with disadvantages to counter the advantages, would allow you to retain current the use of blip counters.
Something I am all for though, is house rules for some extra races - but again, you have to be careful and not create '40k in a corridor'. Something like Orks would be very fitting as they are known to inhabit Space Hulks. Imperial Guardsmen could be added for a very Starship Trooper-esque game. But these are single models, not a whole selection from a Codex.
The golden rule is to Keep it Simple. The tried and tested Terminators vs Lots of 1 Thing mechanic works, let's not mess with it too much.
That said, here are some of my ideas
Any Genestealer that enters play may have Scything Talons if the player chooses. This must be clearly marked on the model and decided before the relevant blip is placed. Scything Talons allow the Genestealer to roll 4D6 for close combat attacks but suffer a -1 penalty to their roll.
Cyclone Missile Launcher
Ammo Limit: 4
Functions identically to a Heavy Flamer but at Unlimited range. Once Ammo limit has been reached, the CML may not be reloaded. May be used on Overwatch. A Terminator equipped with a Cyclone Missile Launcher may choose to fire either the CML or the Storm Bolter that turn, but not both.
Any number of single Terminators may be replaced with 2 Imperial Stormtroopers each. Stormtroopers function identically to Terminators with the following differences:
- Stormtroopers lack the sophisticated neural interface of Terminator armour. They may not spend Command Points.
- Hellguns are reliable laser based weapons but lack the hitting power of a Storm Bolter. Hellguns do not get the sustained fire bonus (5+ kill), but Hellguns do not Jam.
- Stormtroopers are not equipped with heavy armour and are more vulnerable to the sharp claws of Genestealers. They get a -1 penalty on their close combat attack roll.