Thursday, 3 September 2009

Space Hulk 3rd Edition

Yesterday, I opened the new Space Hulk box and I almost jizzed in my pants! I've seen lots of pictures of the contents, but none do it proper justice. If you're one of those people who've been whining about the price tag, I'm gonna come to your house and give you a slap across the face and a kick in the ass! This game is so worth every penny! Games Workshop could easily have charged more and it would still be worth it.

The Board Sections and other Cardboard Components
The cardboard components are the best I've ever seen, and felt! Everything about the game is oozing quality. Games Workshop may be a$$es sometimes (and I'm a retailer, so I know!) but they generally make awesome products, and for this they've pulled out all the stops. All the board sections and counters and stuff easily came out of their frames without any tearing. Time will tell, but I don't expect much wear and tear if the stuff is handled with care. The board sections connect nicely, without much effort. The Mission Status Display is a great addition!

The Miniatures
The miniatures are some of the best GW have ever done. Period. Ok, so I'm not overly positive about every single Genestealer, but the Space Marine Terminators are better than anything I've seen in plastic previously. It's basically a box of 12 special characters. They are all individual and shock full of details.

The Books
Nothing much to say here. The books look great, with full color photos. Almost all artwork is b/w, but all the examples and maps are color. I can't really comment on typos, as I haven't read everything yet, but I haven't found any so far, at least.

The Rules
Now here is where it gets really interesting for those of us that have played this fantastic game before. All the above is awesome, but it's just aesthetics, after all. If the rules suck, the game sucks, no matter how good it looks.

As I'm sure most of you know already, the rules in this edition are heavily based on the 1st Edition rules. There are actually a whole heap of changes, though. Most of them are small, but changes the game dynamics a lot. Basically, small changes but sometimes with large consequences. I'll list some of them below. I won't say all, because I'm bound to miss some, but I'll try to cover most of them. If you're not familiar with the 1st Ed. rules, this information may be completely worthless to you, but if you are, I hope you'll find it interesting.

  • The Timer
    A sand timer is included in the box. I must confess, I haven't timed it, but it should be three minutes. The marine player always have this time. You don't loose any time when loosing Sergeants. But...

  • Command Points
    When you draw Command Points, as long as you have at least one Sergeant on the board, you may throw your CP counter back in the bowl and try again.

  • Genestealers Turn 90° for Free
    Genestealers still get to turn 90° for free, but only before or after a move action. Not a huge difference (although I can think of at least one situation where it makes all the difference), but makes a big difference in wording, so the 3rd Ed. rules feels shorter and clearer.

  • Line of Sight
    Here are a couple of changes with huge consequences! The LOS and Fire Arc are now one and the same, and it's tighter than before. The LOS is now the same as the Fire Arc in 1st Ed. i.e. no LOS to the sides, only forwards in an expanding wedge. You can now only see the side walls of a room if you're stood in the doorway of the room. If you stand one or more squares back in the corridor, you only see a straight line through the room.

  • Sustained Fire
    Sustained fire now only goes down to 5+, except for the Assault Cannon, that goes down to 4+, starting at 5+. But...

  • Overwatch
    You now get the sustained fire bonus while in overwatch!

  • Clearing Jams
    You now stay on overwatch if you use a CP to clear a jammed storm bolter in the Genestealer's action phase! In addition to this, if there is a Jammed counter on the board at the end of a turn, it is removed, so there is no need to begin your next action phase with spending an AP to clear the jam.

  • Guard
    Basically, a sort of overwatch for close combat. When on guard, a marine gets to re-roll one dice after he have seen the Genestealer's dice.

  • Involuntary Blip Conversion
    The marine player now places the models, and the 'stealer player chooses facing.

  • The Heavy Flamer
    No more self detonating the heavy flamer...

  • The Assault Cannon
    No more full auto... :( It can still malfunction and blow up, killing everything on the same board section on 4+, if you roll a triple, but only after it has been reloaded. The first 10 shots are safe.

  • Storm Shield
    Now makes your opponent roll one less dice.

  • Lightning Claws
    2d6 + 1

  • Force Axe
    Psi points may now be used to boost a dice roll after the dice have been rolled and re-rolled.

  • Librarian Psychic Powers
    The Librarian has three psychic powers. One restores CP's. One blocks a square within range 12. One kills 'stealers and blips.

  • The Broodlord
    Danger! Avoid at all costs! Requires TWO hits to kill. Not one after the other, no, no... Two together. That means it's immune to flamer hits. Also deadly in close combat. Adds its highest and lowest dice together. I.e. a roll of 5,3,2 gives it 7!

  • Ladders
    Simplified to the extreme. Ladder squares are considered to be adjacent. That's it. Stand on one and you can see, shoot and fight a model that is on the other. You can climb up and down, and may loose your footing and fall, killing any model standing below. Nothing else happens.

I'm sure I've missed some changes and additions, but it's now 2:30 in the morning and time for bed! :)

I've only played a couple of games with the new rules at the time of writing this, but so far I think I can live with the changes. If I decide I don't like the new rules, I'll just use the old rules.

On the whole, I love the new edition. I've not been this excited about a game since I bought the original at auction several years ago. I'd recommend it to anyone!

Hope you enjoyed reading this. I love comments, so please tell me what you think. Did I forget something important? Am I wrong about something? What do you think of the new edition?

Now, then... Time for bed...

See ya later!



Juice said...

I have bought it through Amazon in Germany as it was the only copy left in the entire WORLD but I cant read german that well...can you scan the rule book in for me and send it to me at

I will pay!

Stitch said...

I'm sorry, but I can't do that as it would be illegal.

Juice said...

Listen, paying you maybe illegal but I called the Games Shop in Copenhagen, Denmark where I live and asked what I should do to get an english copy and they suggested a I contact a person with the english game and ask them to copy/scan it for me.

So if you want to do it as a favour and then I then maybe we can find something I can do for you.


Patrick Kitchell