Space Hulk: Death Angel is a quick, cheap and fun co-operative card-based game where players control teams of Space Marines while they explore an abandoned space hulk and battle swarms of alien Gene-Stealers. With options to play with up to six players, as well as solo play rules,
Each player controls a number of paired Space Marines, depending upon how many players are playing. Advancing single file through the card created hulk, each turn, the Players can choose whether their teams attack, move or perform a ‘support’ action that grants a re-roll token. Each Space Marine fire team also has a customized special ability that can enhance each move.
As they advance Players need to combat every spawning swarms of Gene-Stealers (think Alien franchise critters). Should a marine be overwhelmed, he is killed and taken out of the game. In addition to this, each turn ends with a special event that can make the Players’ lives a lot easier or a lot harder.
Unsurprising to anyone who has ever purchased an FFG game, the components are gorgegous. More importantly, the game play is fast and easy to learn. The game successfully encourages team work and is a quick, light game to play to with a friend (or in my case spouse).
What’s Not So Great
Space Hulk: Death Angel is one of those games where good strategy is no guarantee for victory, but bad tactics can guarantee death. There is a fair bit of luck involved in playing the game, which is fine by me, but may rankle some players. Moreover, once your Marines start dying, the game gets more difficult in a hurry, so bad decisions early on can make for a pretty brutal loss.
Another issue is that you get a fairly limited number of sections of the ship to move through with the basic game. Although you can purchase expansions, I’m worried that the out-of-the-box options will get same-y pretty quickly.
My only actual complaint is that some of the illustrations in the rule book are less than helpful when figuring out things like how Gene-Stealers move.
I picked this up for just under $20 bucks and I think it was a steal. It’s a fast and fun little game for anyone who feels like wiping out some Xenos for about thirty minutes or so.