Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Robotech RPG Tactics

UEDF Valkyrie Assembly Part 2

Sadly I couldn't find a decent Valkyrie picture. :(

I finished assembling my first squadron of UEDF Valkyries Veritechs bringing me to a total of four  assembled. These will be the start of my bulk UEDF miniatures to protect mankind and fight the onslaught of my mighty Zentreadi Armada miniatures which are massing at the same time. What follows is a explanation of how I went about assembling them to bring them to there current state. I will also discuss what is next up for the Valkyries as I am far from finished with them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

STRAIGHT OUTTA MICRONIA | Zentraedi Regults Part 4

Robotech RPG Tactics

Painting Zentraedi Regults Part 1

Regult Tactical Battlepod

I finished painting  my first batch of  twelve rank and file Zentraedi Regult Battlepods from the Robotech RPG Tactics miniatures game. In this post I'll discuss in detail the painted miniatures, how I painted the miniatures, what I learned, and how I will apply this to painting going forward.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Father's Day 52 Battlemech Haul

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Prior to Father's Day my wife asked me for some gift ideas. I did some searching and remembered I have been wanting a few more BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Lance Packs to add to my collection of battlemech miniatures. The reason I like the lance packs is each lance pack contains four battlemech miniatures for a reasonable price expanding upon the miniatures contained in the 25th Anniversary Introductory Box Set. The four battlemech miniatures consist or two new battlemech miniatures not featured in the Battletech 25th Anniversary Box Set along with two battlemech miniatures featured in the Battletech 25th Anniversary Box Set.  The new featured battlemechs are BlackJack, Cataphract, Centurion, Charger, Firestarter, Flea, Hatchetman, Orion, Raven, Shogun, Stalker, Victor, Wolfhound, and Vulcan.I found a store online who sold them at a remarkable 35% off retail price. In additonal I already own three lance packs, Assault and Pursuit when they first came available and Fire lance as a gift from a friend. Taking into account what I already owned, I sent her a list of I what I wanted.

Wish List

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Assault Lance Pack  x 1

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Battle Lance Pack x 2

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Fire Lance Pack x 1

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Pursuit Lance Pack x 1

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Recon Lance Pack x 2

If can swing

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Command Lance Pack x 2

If can really swing

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Support Lance Pack x 2

Father's Day Gift Reveal

I kind of left my ideas at this for awhile. Before I could give her some other ideas she had taken the list I gave her and made an order. She told me she ordered everything I wanted on the list except some things might only have one. I was more than happy to hear this as my collection of battlemech miniatures was about to be bolstered further. My future games and campaign games would now have access to a host of new battlemechs.

Soon enough a good sized package arrived at my doorstep. Inside I found way more than I expected. I received everything I asked for minus one copy of the Battle lance pack and she told me they only had one in inventory. I can get another Battle lance pack at another time. I think I did quite well with this gift haul.

If you noticed I don't own and didn't ask for the Striker lance pack because currently I don't want it. It is the only one of the lance packs which has only one new battlemech miniature not featured in the 25th Anniversary Box Set being the Guillotine along with three battlemech miniatures featured in the 25th Anniversary Box Set being the, Panther, Dragon, and Quickdraw. I don't use Quickdraws all to often, I despise Dragons and dislike using them besides cannon fodder, Panthers I suppose I could use for future campaigns/games featuring Draconis Combine forces. To obtain the Guillotine I may have trade or purchase a pair somehow.

BattleTech: Alpha Strike: Striker Lance

The Grand Scheme

My grand scheme of things is to obtain four copies of each lance pack, four copies of the 25th Anniversary Box Set and four copies of the Third Edition Box Set. I have since passed on the idea of obtaining a copy the City Tech boxed set as it's miniatures are much less than desirable. The battlemechs within these box sets and lance packs blend perfectly together with each other giving me many opportunities in my various Battletech games. However, four copies is a bit unrealistic and possibly overboard especially when it comes to the Third Edition Box Set. Third Edition miniatures are tough to purchase in a full set, people complain about the quality and still sell them at high prices because they are unseen. Two copies is more realistic without going overboard. Two copies will suffice mainly because I like to use battlemechs in pairs using the same or different variant. On top of this idea, I recently purchased a PDF copy of the new First Succession War source book and there are rules for playing games with multiples of the same battlemech.

All these battlemech miniatures are plastic miniatures ready to play right out of the box, no assembly required minus the Third Edition miniatures. Buying plastic miniatures is the best way to expand a battlemech miniature collection extremely fast. Trying to purchase all of the miniatures contained in the Alpha Strike lance packs alone is a lot. There is constant sway on whether the Alpha Strike lance pack miniatures are good or not, but they are good. They are of the same quality of the miniatures contained in the 25th Anniversary Box Set and far better than the quality of the Classic Box Set. The Third Edition miniatures are fine by to me as they were the first Battletech miniatures I owned and played with so they will forever be in high favor, this makes them far valuable to me past reasons of quality and unseen.

I own one Third Edition Boxed Set and luckily I was able to purchase a full set of the Third Edition miniatures in excellent condition. This second set has already made a mark in campaign games. I also own one copy of the Classic Boxed Set and one copy of the 25th Anniversary Boxed Set. Honestly I would like to replace my copy of the Classic Boxed Set with another copy of the 25th Anniversary boxed set. Honestly I would like to replace the copy of the formal with a copy of the latter as the latter has better quality miniatures. Nonetheless, both box sets see heavy use in my Battlemech games.

My Plastic Battlemech Collection So Far

Since this recent haul of plastic miniatures is pretty significant to me I wonder how many plastic battlemech miniatures I now own in my collection. I like numbers so lets see some numbers and lets do some math.

Lets see some numbers!

I have thirteen 13 BattleTech: Alpha Strike: lance packs with each lance pack containing four miniatures for a total of 52 miniatures. I have one copy of the 25th Anniversary Box Set containing 24 miniatures. I have one copy of the Classic Boxed Set containing 24 miniatures. I have one copy of the Third Edition boxed set containing 14 miniatures plus one extra full set of  14 Third Edition miniatures for a total of 28 miniatures. I am not counting the exclusive miniatures which came with the Classic Box Set or the 25th Anniversary Box Set. I consider those exclusives like collectibles which never see any use.

Lets do some math!

Alpha Stike Lance packs x 13 = 52 miniatures
25th Anniversary Box Sett = 24 miniatures
Classic Box Set  = 24 miniatures
Third Edtion Box Set  = 13 miniatures
Third Edition Box Set  = 13 miniatures

52 + 24 + 24 +28 = 128 Plastic Battletech battlemech miniatures!


I think anyone can conclude I love Battletech, the new lance packs, and plastic battlemech miniatures. I use every plastic battlemech miniature I own as much as I can and look forward to using my new plastic battemech miniatures. I already have plans to use a lot of these new battlemechs in my ongoing Battletech ATOW RPG campaign and hopefully I can play out some generic games suing these new battlemechs as well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Along Came a Gundam

While out browsing around various locales I came across a shop were I noticed a sealed Gundam kit sitting on a shelf in a corner. I have recently been intrigued about one of these kits through the remarks of a friend who builds them for recreation. I have never watched any Gundam episode or movies and I can't say I am a fan, but I am a fan of mecha and robotics in general. The kit I found was new with good starting price point and looked cool so I bought it.

This is what I bought.

When I opened the box I found a large amount of different colored plastic sprues as well as some clear plastic sprues. Every sprue and part was labeled and easy to identify. Examining the instructions, I felt they were easy to follow and understand. I noticed there was no need for glue and a friend confirmed this. I did a lot of research into building these types of models and discovered there is a huge amount of science on how to go about building them. Even more there is a massive amount of different kits and sizes.

To make things easy I am going to just assemble this gundam kit as is adding panel lining as well. I am in no rush to build this in one sitting. I plan to take my time enjoying building different sections at a time.

I have all of the necessary tools minus some recommended high grade sand paper. Speaking of high grade sand paper it is some expensive stuff and not the easiest to find. I purchased a pack of different high grade sand papers from Hobby Lobby. I recall these kits are were I was introduced to the idea of adding panel lining to my Robotech RPG Tactics miniatures. For the panel lining I have micron pens to do the job, but I really wanted to try using the branded Gundam markers. There is a Gundam marker basic set which has five markers plus one fine tip for panel lining. After some questions and considerations I skipped on the marker set in favor of more fine tip panel lining options.

I found a store online where I was able to purchase all three different colored fine tip Gundam markers consisting of a black, dark grey, and brown colors. I also found a useful Gundam Marker eraser as well. I actually ordered two of each marker as one set was destine to be a return gift for a friend. I found out by chance he did not poses any of these markers and they turned out to be a great gift for him.

I have started working on the kit and currently I have the body, left leg, and left foot built. I am truly amazed on the plastic grade and articulation of the models which only drive my interest in gundam kits further.

If I were to build another Gundam kit I kind of have an interest in the MS-06R-1A ZAKU II HIGH MOBILITY TYPE. Even though I have no idea if it connected in anyway to the first one I am building. Their are a ton of kits so I bet the majority say who cares it is another kit to build.

I know I have been slow on updates lately, but I do have plans for some much needed battletech posts coming soon.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Battletech Battle Report | Draconis Combine versus Word of Blake

Here I bring another Battletech Battle Report for your reading pleasure. This battle report is for a Battletech game consisting of a small non-campaign lance on lance engagement in the Word of Blake designated Draconis Theater. I added a small narrative in the beginning followed a battlefield analysis at the end.  The battle report itself is a review of the engagement discovered on a damaged battle feed recorded long after. Please read and enjoy.

Monday, May 23, 2016

STRAIGHT OUTTA MICRONIA | Paint Test Subject Interrogation

Robotech RPG Tactics

Paint Test Subject Interrogation

I finished painting two basic rank and file miniatures from the Robotech RPG Tactics miniatures game. I painted a UEDF Veritech in Battloid mode and a Zentraedi Regult. In this post I'll discuss in detail for each painted miniature, how I painted the miniature, what I learned, and how I will apply this to painting going forward.

Friday, May 6, 2016

ATOW Battletech Campaign Update Part 4

ATOW Battletech Campaign

This post details information concerning my ongoing ATOW Battletech RPG game I currently run. This post will help catch up readers and bring them up to speed on what events have unfolded revealing further story line since the last update was posted. If you are a current reader or by chance a new reader please follow along and check back for the next update.

Bonus LARGE 20 turn Battletech Battle Report inside.

Monday, May 2, 2016

STRAIGHT OUTTA MICRONIA | Zentraedi Regults Part 3

Robotech RPG Tactics

Zentraedi Regult Assembly Part 3

Regult Tactical Battlepod

I finished assembling all of my Regult Tactical Battlepods bring me to a total of 48 Regults. What follows is the meaning of life is cheap being the mass expendable bulk force of the Zentraedi armada. I will also discuss what is next up for the Regults as I am far from finished with them.

Monday, April 11, 2016

STRAIGHT OUTTA MICRONIA | Zentraedi Regults Part 2

Robotech RPG Tactics

Zentraedi Regult Assembly Part 2

Regult Tactical Battlepod

I started working on assembling my next round of 24 Regult Tactical Battlepods. What follows is the first part of a simple yet effective plan for mass assembly of more of these multi-part miniatures.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Painting Reaper Bones II - Dungeon Decor

Reaper Miniatures Bones II Kickstarter - The Return of Mr. Bones!

Missing the first Reaper Bones Kickstarter, I bought into the second Reaper Bones Kickstarter by purchasing the core set. I didn't feel the need to buy anything more at the time, although some of the expansions were quite cool with possible future use. Some of the miniatures didn't mold so nicely and few were missing parts, but otherwise I feel I got my money's worth in the purchase. When I made my initial pledge I didn't have any idea where to use them and to this day I still don't. One thought was to use them to try painting fantasy miniatures for a change. I have had some with them acting as stand ins for player characters and npcs during RPG sessions in my ATOW campaign. I eventually found time to start painting these miniatures and I feel I am going to be using a lot of imagination and creativity compared to following an established paint schemes.

Putting Words to Brush

When it came time to start painting I figured I should start with something small and easy so I chose Dungeon Decor. Dungeon Decor in the core set was grouped with two pillars; Pillar of Good and Pillar of Evil. I set both pillars aside for the time being for an OSL idea further in time. Dungeon Decor gave me a few textures I rarely paint as of late; cloth, glass, and wood. I paint cloth and glass sometimes on my Blood Angels, but wood I never paint so this will be a good chance to experiment.

Dungeon Decor consisted of one small and one large barrel, one small and one large crate, one pile of loot bags, one set of mystery pots and vile.

I cleaned the miniatures the best I could along with trimming what I could. Imperfections on these miniatures do not file down well and trimming off excess mold leaves flat portions void of detail. I primed all the miniatures with Krylon Flat Black spray paint. I used Army Painter Warpaint colors where noted.

Dungeon Decor

Small barrel and Large barrel

A study of wood.

Both barrels were painted in the exact same manner. Starting with a solid layer or Oak Brown following up with an Dark Tone ink wash to fill in the cracks. I then applied a dry brush layer or Fur Brown and Leather Brown. I reapplied more ink wash to each large wood plank separation. The large barrel has highlights of Desert Yellow around the edges to give a wear and tear look as if the barrel has been pushed and shoved around. The metal securing bands around the barrel were painting with Plat Mail Metal with a Strong Tone ink wash. Since there is wear and tear on the wood the should reflect this look and appear old and not shiny.  Looking at the metal now it never occurred to me to apply some weathering powder for a bit of rust adding to the wear and tear look.


Side view of large barrel

Small crate and Large crate

A study of wood.

The small crate was the last of the crates and barrels to be painted using an idea I saw previously used online. I painted the wood with a lighter tone of wood in mind with Necrotic Flesh so it would give the impression of being assembled from scraps of driftwood. Necrotic Flesh is a bone color with a mix of green in it. This idea actually makes sense with the miniature so badly molded. The lighting in the picture gives off way too much yellow also.

The large crate was the first of the crates and barrels to be painted. It was painted using the exact same method as the barrels except it doesn't have the Leather Brown or the Desert Yellow dry brush layers applied. I still applied ink wash to each large wood plank separation. I wanted this crate to look newer in comparison to the barrels.


Side view of large crate

Loot bags

A study of cloth.

When I painted this pile of loot bags I was more concerned in focusing on identifying and painting the raised areas of the bags. I picked out tie straps as best I could as well. Painting cloth is a weakness so this is a start of some sorts.

Mystery pots and viles

A study glass, but rather clay.

Examining previous painting examples of this miniature online I saw most painted everything in similar colors along with the open pot with the look of holding gold. I chose to paint everything in different colors again focusing on the raised portions and changed the open pot to some kind of herbal colored ingredient.

I used Leather Brown for the base of the far left pot and the small pot. I wanted a more clay look for the second pot and Fur Brown did the trick. The tall vase I wanted a look as if it was holding some sort of fluid so I used Deep Blue. Everything got a Soft Tone ink wash then a reapplication of the original color on the raised edges. I think these painted well and are somewhat of a favorite of the bunch.


I feel I got a good chance to experiment and paint several types of wood grains. This is very important and something I can better myself at because a large portion of the miniatures I have to paint have various wood objects. Cloth and leather I need practice and finding easy to follow and adapt examples has not been fruitful. Painting glass turned more into painting clay and it turned out well.

For pictures I am using my Droid camera phone. It can get great focus, but low light causes bands to show in the pictures. I had a small lamp and a tall lamp with multiple light bulbs to help light everything, but one or two of the light bulbs where not natural bulbs. This may have been part of the problem. Google Photos auto fix helps somewhat.

One of the last things I need to do is purchase and apply a protective coal. I have often heard the use of Testor's line of coating sprays so I may start there.

I am almost finish with a pair of Barrow Rats so they should be featured soon enough.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Space Hulk Death Angel

This is a long post, but it is a good one with no rants included. Recently I had the chance to play a game and I have come to enjoy playing. This post contains my thoughts on the game and it's mechanics based on the few encounters playing against it. Yes, I did say play against it, SpaceHulk:Death Angel is a different beast altogether. The box is the space hulk, it's players become terminators, they either lose and die in the game or win and survive to face the space hulk again.

A new Space Hulk arrives in system, just as deadly as the first.

I remember purchasing this card game back in 2010 stemming off the coolness factor from my previous purchase of Space Hulk the board game. I purchased Space Hulk when it was re-released in it's third edition glory. Space Hulk is a great Games Workshop branded board game and to have a similar more condensed car game based version just as challenging is a bonus. Finally the wait was over, I was able to play the game and the wait was well worth it.

I imagine this happens to lots of GMs out there and that is sometimes life catches up to a GM and a GM is not ready for the next RPG session. When this happens and I need more time to prepare I either cancel the session or offer a game of normal Battletech. The last week of September was one of those times I had an ace up my sleeve.

I initially offered a game of Battletech, however time constraints would severely limit the amount of needed play time. Instead of Battletech I offered various board games including Space Hulk and Space Hulk Death Angel. Through common voting, all the other board games were ousted leaving a decision between Space Hulk and Space Hulk Death Angel. Having never played Space Hulk Death Angel it was selected to be played, finally.

Approaching the Space Hulk

When it came time to start playing the game I thought the slightly confusing setup rules would be a major speed hump. I remember watching an excellent YouTube video series where someone played the game solo from setup to end game round by round. I read the setup rules aloud as well as Dan read the setup rules aloud until we both got them to a point of understanding. This is a common approach to reading rules as it helps considerably in experiences when explaining or teaching new rules. The rulebook is real small, but only the setup portion is the most confusing.

When it came down to picking the combat teams I asked aloud jokingly who wants to be the sorcerer and Mark spoke up quickly to claim the Librarian combat team. Mark also gained the combat team with the lightning claw terminator. I wanted to use the combat team with the assault cannon and also ended up with the combat team with the sergeant with power sword. Dan received the combat teams with the thunder hammer and the flamer. Overall we had a good mix of combat teams to use. Initial observations we felt Mark was the tactician and close combat, Dan and I were crowd control and close combat. The rules state to randomize the formation, but for the first game to be a bit more interesting and less random I chose not to add this random portion. Rules wise, the rest of the game proceeded as it was intended. Everyone had regular ranged units mixed in and regardless everyone was equally disoriented by the random starting formation.

The first part of the description on the back of the box tells of the epic adventure we are about to commence.

"Space Hulk: Death Angel - the Card Game is a cooperative game in which one to six players control a squad of Terminator Space Marines venturing into a massive Space Hulk." 

The word squad is a bit misleading as squads are considered combat teams due to the terminators being in pairs. Starting the game with pre-spawned genestealer swarms sets the stage of a dangerous adversary between the players and their final objective. The act of continuously moving the formation from beginning to end provides the immersion of being on a massive space hulk.

In the beginning game, any player would be like Hudson, just as riled up and ready during the drop to LV-426.

Hudson: "I'm ready, man, check it out. I am the ultimate badass! State of the badass art! You do NOT wanna fuck with me. Check it out! Hey Ripley, don't worry. Me and my squad of ultimate badasses will protect you! Check it out! Independently targeting particle beam phalanx. Vwap! Fry half a city with this puppy. We got tactical smart missiles, phase-plasma pulse rifles, RPGs, we got sonic electronic ball breakers! We got nukes, we got knives, sharp sticks..."
 * Portions of quote edited slightly.

Entering the Space Hulk

We played through the first turn with ease ending with me having to kill one terminator due to a random event. I went for one of the terminators at either end of the formation and chose one at the bottom to avoid the entire formation shifting. We quickly learned random events can easily mess up any best laid plan as well dissolve team and formation combos setup.

We kept the formation much like it was originally placed. We shifted terminators as needed. I believe Lexicanium Calistariust the terminator librarian and Brother Leon the assault cannon terminator moved the most. Lexicanium Calistariust became the final objective handler while Brother Leon needed to be in a better position to use his overall range advantage. Once an event caused the entire formation to reverse which resulted in a huge panic the following turn.

A random formation shift right when you think you have all of the terrain points covered can be extremely detrimental and greatly effect the outcome of a game. Sometimes it can be helpful and other times awful such as having a terminator shifted with a genestealer swarm directly behind him.

In a similar situation Hudson said it right at the right time after his dropship crashed.

Hudson: "That's great, this is really fuckin' great, man. Now, what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some pretty shit now, man!"

Traversing the Space Hulk

Moving the formation towards the final objective wasn't as bad as I expected as we moved past the first two locations quite easily. However the second to last location was when the amount of genestealer swarms really picked up. The swarms easily took down individual terminators with ease and in some cases entire combat teams. Much like genestealers in Space Hulk the boardgame, genestealer swarms in Space Hulk: Death Angel are equally as agile and deadly with ruthless efficiency. Terminators defending themselves without support options die very easily.

We eventually reached the final location with a few precious rounds to build up the objective enough to try and make a roll to win in this case. In the final rounds more terminators were lost to the ever consuming genestealer hordes leaving only a handful of terminators alive. Some swarms were so large no matter of firepower would oppose them which led to the sacrificing of lives to meet the objective.

Carnage Report

What follows below is a breakdown of our first game with who had which combat teams, their members and of those combat teams, who survived. I also provided brief notes of each pair of combat teams usefulness to eventual demise.

Combat Team Grey
Lexicanium Calistarius - Status: Alive
Brother Scipio - Status: Dead
Combat Team Yellow
Brother Claudio - Status: Dead
Brother Goriel - Status: Dead

Librarian Calistarius did most of the leg work during the game. Mark picked up on the synergy of  combat team powers quickly. I believe his team mate was the first killed off courteous of myself. Brother Goriel was killed off mid point leading the lone marine of his team so be a sacrificial lamb to the oncoming genestealer hordes.

Combat Team Green
Brother Noctis - Status: Dead
Sergeant Gideon - Status: Dead x 2
Combat Team Purple
Brother Zael - Status: Dead
Brother Omnio - Status: Dead

Both of Dan's combat teams were continuously pummeled to oblivion throughout the game. Sergeant Gideon got a lucky break returning from death and quickly returning to death. Brother Zael did a good job burning many genestealers to a crisp near the edge of the formation providing necessary defense till hi turn with the claw of death.

Combat Team  Blue
Sergeant Lorenzo - Status: Alive
Brother Deino - Status: Alive
Combat Team Red
Brother Leon - Status: Alive
Brother Valencio - Status: Dead

Sergeant Lorenzo and his team mate was fortunate enough to remain in mid formation the entire game thereby being close to the objective in the end for maximum survival rating. I believe Brother Deino may have bit the dust, but I am unsure. I am sure I had at least one member of both of my combat teams alive. Brother Leon started way at the bottom moving his way up the formation for better range support and his teammate was lost somewhere in between.

Since our first game we have played several more games and never managed to win another game. This game is brutal and I enjoy the brutality.

Space Hulk:Death Angel Game Setup Overview

Setup is easy like many card games as the majority of cards are organized into separate shuffled piles. The location cards are a bit confusing, but some careful reading will overcome the confusion and once you understand it will be easier going forward. One detail to note is almost everything in this game is random except certain static details. I understand many games work like this, but this game sure does a good deal of making it's players fret over what will happen next. The die itself it most unforgivable and it doesn't follow the normal sides of a die for corresponding numbers. The die is modified for the game, but it feels like it heavily in favor of the genestealers. One refreshing aspect is there is no 6 face on the die so the game is not all rolling getting a 6.

Examining setup process

The starting location is static based on the number of players. Then there are four location (1, 2, 3, 4) cards added to the location deck. There are a few cards available for each location (1 x3, 2 x3, 3 x3, 4 x3). Location cards always go in the order stated and are randomly chosen from the few cards provided for each location. I have noticed of the few games we have played I have only seen the same final location card.

Similar to the starting location, combat teams are chosen at random based on the number of players. Combat teams are comprised of two terminators, each one having their own strengths and weaknesses. Interesting is the terminators characters staring in SpaceHulk:Death Angel  are the same terminator characters who stared in the Space Hulk board game. Once combat teams are assigned all terminators are shuffled together to be randomly assigned to the initial formation. Combat teams can find themselves together, a few members away, or even on opposite sides of the formation.

Setup has a static starting location followed by randomized locations, randomized assigned combat teams randomized in a randomized formation. No game plays the same and you start the game feeling all of the available terminators are lost and disoriented in a massive space hulk moving and fighting their way to an objective.

There is more, the last part of the setup process is the initial spawning of genestealers, which is still random.

With the setup process complete, all players will know their combat teams are in a chaotic mess with packs of viscous genestealers already present ready to rip them to shreds. Truly chaotic and I love it.

Space Hulk:Death Angel Game Play Overview

Round by round and phase by phase ...

Game play is fairly simple played over a series of rounds as the formation of combat teams move from the starting location to the fourth and final location. Each game round is divided into four separate phases, a choose actions phase, a resolve actions phase, a genestealer attack phase, and finally an event phase.

The choose actions phase consists of choosing one of three action cards for each combat team. No action card can be chosen twice in a row, so choice is key. Players are instructed not to show each other their chosen cards, but they can talk about what they will do help coordinate the outcome of the next phases somewhat. With a low number of action cards it is easy to remember the abilities of combat teams and their individual members.

Action cards come in several flavors: Support, Move and Activate, and Attack. Support cards help combat teams in defense and also can effect genestealer swarms. In the case of Sergeant Lorenzo and Sergeant Gideon, they has special defense moves which enable them to block genestealer swarms by slashing or slamming them in numbers or in the same turn make heroic last stands. The Support cards are the only way to generate support tokens which are invaluable for attacks, defense, and objectives. Move and activate cards help combat teams avoid genestealer swarms and are the main method to move between the formation and change facing as well as activate terrain cards and objective cards. Attack cards are simple and they are the main way for combat teams to make direct attacks against genstealers swarms. When able terminators attack, they do so in pairs by their combat team organization limited to the range of their weapons and abilities.

Towards the end of our second game together I used Sergeant Lorenzo again where his support card allowed him to single handily slay eight genestealers. It was an impressive feat despite Sergeant Lorenzo was lost and the final objective went with him. In further games we witnessed Lexicanium Calistarius go on a storm bolter spree and Sergeant Gideon go on a hammer spree.

Sergeant Lorenzo with eight genestealer swarm kills while defending himself.

The resolve actions phase consists of resolving the previously chosen action cards in the order of a number on each action card. Coordination during the choose action card phase directly effects the resolving actions phase. A simple way to explain is a terminator who moved a previous round, cannot move again in the next round. This can easily spell death for a terminator or a complete pass up on manipulating an objective. This phase may be the only phase players can try to avoid random results as it was by their own choosing, however the die roll can still mess up the best laid plans. A player making a rogue decision can be costly as well. Looking out for one's own terminators can spell doom for the rest.

The genestealer attack phase is the only phase where genestealer swarms directly attack the combat teams. Unless a genestealer swarm is touching a member of a combat team member they have no option to attack. Combat teams have a chance to defend and have tricks up their sleeves. Similar to the boardgame, a genestealer behind a terminator has the upper hand. Genestealer swarms in large swarms are near unstoppable. This game like the boardgame also has a Broodlord which is slightly tougher to slay compared to the normal genestealer swarm. Sadly in either game I have not had the chance to face or be killed by a Broodlord.

Any player can turn Full Hudson after the game conducts a successful genestealer attack phase.

Hudson: "That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we supposed to now, huh, what are we gonna do?"

I anyone at the table were to be crowned Hudson, it would be Mark. He will abandon all hope faster than I can guess, lol. Amusing as it is and after he has blamed and cursed the die properly, Mark can recover if my rally skill doesn't fail. Everyone has plenty of examples of this situation I imagine. Mark just holds up better in a game where the dice are natural dice.

Defending against genestealer attacks is something of a gamble all the way till late game where almost certain death is expected. Every player tries to defend their fellow terminator brothers against a genestealer swarm from moving up the formation.

A common misconception concerning terminator heroic actions.

In short always remember these tips when dealing with genestealer swarms. One genestealer swarm is too many. Four genestealer swarms is the limit at which a natural terminator can defend himself. Five or more genestealer swarms are mobile terminator slaying machines. Kill every genestealer swarm that spawns or it will kill you.

Kup said it right in the episode Dark Awakening

Ultra Magnus: "There are too many Decepticons!"
Kup: "One Decepticon is one too many!"

The event phase can be just as brutal as the genestealer attack phase. The end phase is also completely random. The event can be good or bad and can easily mess up your plans for the next round. One terminator has a bit of foresight and the power to pass a potential bad event phase, but his foresight ends there. Whether it is a good event or a bad event additional genestealer swarms will attempt to spawn. Unlike the boardgame genestealer swarms have spawn limits. It is possible for terminators to purge the alien and exterminate every last genestealer. The boardgame is permanently infested with genestealers. Genestealer swarms will move through the formation if able to chasing the formation endlessly from starting location to final location. Genestealer swarms are smart, they can flank behind terminators and even combine individual swarms into larger swarms.

Bravery faltering

Player focus and will to fight on wains rather quickly once an entire combat teams has been lost. When a combat teams is lost, you lose the player strategy, the individual terminators, as well as their abilities. Once a good combination of combat teams and or players have been lost players can easily begin abandoning all hope.

Seldom rallying players back into finishing the fight and attempt to push through to the objective till the last terminator is rather difficult. Especially when more than half of the terminator formation has been decimated.
Hudson: "Maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!"

Be honest I feel Dan is sometimes the strongest in these desperate situations. Terminator deaths don't phase him, not even the loss of a full combat team, losing certain units in other games doesn't phase him either, hell losing doesn't seem to phase him. Dan has an amazing self rally ability in any game I have played with him which is quite powerful and tough to overcome. I think Dan, like myself has found the magic this game brings and appreciates the randomness and pure challenge it requires. Mark still has a bit more to go, but he will forever hate the die. I think Dan just plays the game for the fun of it and not necessarily to win as he knows death is coming. Well as long as Dan doesn't shift the formation anyway

Mission objective in sight

At the end of every event phase their is a series of small checks to see if the formation is ready to move to the next location. Once the formation has moved to the final location they remain at that location to either win or die trying. The box cover art is a perfect picture of the end times when you have a small amount of surviving terminators hopelessly surrounded by genestealers selling their lives to accomplish their mission.

The second part of the description on the back of the box tells of the horrors the players must face throughout playing Space Hulk:Death Angel.

"Through teamwork, bravery and raw firepower, players must survive against overwhelming odds to eliminate the Genestealer threat."

This game requires player strategy along with combat team synergy to keep the formation as whole as possible while moving towards the final destination. Team work is another important factor as one rogue team member can easily start chaos. In short, everything in this game is out to kill it's players and it does it very efficiently. Locations can kill, events can kill, mistakes can kill, and of course genstealer swarms can kill.

Final Thoughts

I plain and simple enjoy playing Space Hulk:Death Angel. I know this game has an expansion or two, but I passed on them until I had a chance to play the game a good amount. Now this game is favored for small time gaps or off nights I may purchase them. The expansions would be a good start to finding more challenge in this game plus prolong the lifespan of the game. Perhaps I can show my players Space Hulk the boardgame one day and witness many terminators fall to the every spawning genestealer hordes. I tend to not switch games often as I like to play a game more often to get a better feel for it and in a sense come close to mastering it if possible. These games are really filler material when RPG sessions are backed up, but they seem to be a winner.

The thing I enjoy most about this game is it challenges and outright forces it's players to work together in order to even come close to winning the game. This game is not a guaranteed win and this game seems a bit unfair due to its randomness, but the randomness allows for a different game every time. I feel this game is fair, but favors the genestealer swarms unless players work together. As of late I have been highly attracted to games of this nature. There are a few other games of this nature which I have played and I have begun searching for more of these types of high challenge no guaranteed win games.