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Flashback Friday - Titan

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Flashback Friday - Space Hulk

U Updated
space hulk history

Game Information

Game Name
There Will Be Games

Love it or hate it? Do you still play it?

From the depths of space an ancient vessel drifts slowly towards the Imperium of Mankind - a space hulk. Within its confines, untold thousands of Genestealers slowly emerge from hibernation...

The first edition of Space Hulk was released by Games Workshop in 1989. A second edition, with new artwork amd minis, as well as more simplified rules, was released in 1996.

The release of the 3rd edition in 2009 was a momentous event, with the game selling out within a week of release despite its heftly, for the time, price tag of $100. This edition is probably best known for it's high production values, with unique, detailed minis specifically designed for Space Hulk and thick tiles. It's rule set were essentially the same as first edition with only one change regarding Terminators not losing overwatch status if they jam thier guns.  

In 2014 the 4th edition of Space Hulk, which was essentially a re-release of the 3rd edition, sold out in 24 hours after pre-orders opened on teh Games Workshop website.

 Were you able to get a copy of one of these editons? Do you still play it? Do you love it ot hate it? And is Space Hulk really responsible for introducing "Overwatch" into the board gamer's lexicon?


There Will Be Games space hulk history

space hulk history
Shellie "ubarose" Rose  (She/Her)
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Plays boardgames. Drinks bourbon. Writes code.

Articles by Shellie

space hulk history
Shellie "ubarose" Rose
Managing Editor & Web Admin

Articles by Shellie

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hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #300599 09 Aug 2019 08:36
My friend picked up Space Hulk 3rd edition at Gen Con one year, after saying he was going to buy it for years. We assembled the minis, and have since played it... 4 times? That was 2015 I think.

I enjoy the game, but I think I'd rather play Deathwatch Overkill.
Vysetron's Avatar
Vysetron replied the topic: #300601 09 Aug 2019 08:50
Everyone should play Suicide Mission at least once. It's so good.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #300602 09 Aug 2019 08:51
I'm a big fan of the game and how it evokes the feel of Aliens. However, I'd much rather play Claustrophobia at this time which is simply faster and more interesting.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300604 09 Aug 2019 09:41
It's still one of my absolute favorite games. Haven't played in a long while, but would do so in a heartbeat. Claustrophobia is also very good and abstracts things in some interesting ways, but it can't hit those moments of pure, visceral excitement that Space Hulk does.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #300605 09 Aug 2019 10:13
Space Hulk 3rd is good but not great, and I haven't really gotten my money's worth from it yet. The minis are great, the cardboard tiles are fantastic, and the overall production values are great. The gameplay is very solid, and it plays at a brisk pace in a reasonable time frame. However, there are only 12 scenarios, and they have limited replay value because each represents a tactical puzzle to be solved. Once solved, repeat plays offer modest variation strictly due to good or bad die rolls. The space marines are much more challenging to play than the genestealers, to the point where there might as well have been some solitaire rules included to automate genestealer movement. Dollar for dollar, Death Angel delivers the same theme and action at a much more reasonable price point, and with much greater replay value.
drewcula's Avatar
drewcula replied the topic: #300606 09 Aug 2019 10:15
I bought Space Hulk 3rd Edition when a FLGS had a 15% off the entire store sale. 85 bucks. Then, I spent 200 bucks on paints & 4 painting classes at a GW brick and mortar. And then some more money for the Battle Foam...

I've played it six times. I really dig it. I just can't get it anyone else to really dig it.

Then I read MB's review of Claustrophobia on NHS. So I bought it (along with Earth Reborn). The wife and I play Claustrophobia once in a blue moon.

I suspect I'll keep both in collection. The new Claustrophobia? Still on the fence. Earth Reborn? It's getting closer and closer to the sell pile.
fightcitymayor's Avatar
fightcitymayor replied the topic: #300611 09 Aug 2019 11:11
I thought Incursion came close to being an improvement (Nazi zombies over Genestealers) but Space Hulk is still a worthwhile game. Amusing that GW's subsequent crush of boxed game products might be the biggest factor in it being knocked down the "all-time greatest games" list. It gets lost in the crush of whatever skirmish game GW sells that week, but it deserves a better fate.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300616 09 Aug 2019 12:21
We have 3rd Edition. The Genestealers fall over a lot. I need to glue some pennies to their bases to fix that. I heard the problem was fixed in 4th edition.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #300618 09 Aug 2019 13:05

ubarose wrote: We have 3rd Edition. The Genestealers fall over a lot. I need to glue some pennies to their bases to fix that. I heard the problem was fixed in 4th edition.

We used goldfish and it worked well.
quozl's Avatar
quozl replied the topic: #300619 09 Aug 2019 13:07
I used to have 1st edition (I think). Played it a few times. It was pretty good but not great. Sold it off.

But I love that Flashback Fridays are back!
dysjunct's Avatar
dysjunct replied the topic: #300621 09 Aug 2019 13:27
It's a pretty good game, but 2-player games are almost impossible for me to fit into my nerd time these days -- my regular group is me plus three.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #300622 09 Aug 2019 13:44
One other problem with Space Hulk is that the setup time is lengthy compared to the play time. In theory, players are supposed to mitigate this and the imbalance between the sides by playing a scenario twice in a row, with players switching roles. But because each scenario is a tactical puzzle for the space marine player, it often feels like the space marine player in the second game has an unfair advantage.
Msample's Avatar
Msample replied the topic: #300629 10 Aug 2019 08:26
I only played the actual board game a couple times. But I played the hell out of the excellent iOS app ; alas it’s no longer current as of about 2-3 OS updates ago.
jason10mm's Avatar
jason10mm replied the topic: #300630 10 Aug 2019 09:25
I've yet to paint the minis but one day. I played the crap out of one of the digital versions. SH is a keeper. Now Dread Fleet on the other hand, that's going on the sell pile.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #300634 10 Aug 2019 11:12
Space Hulk is one of the ur-games. Countless games have come, gone, and are on Kickstarter that have tried to copy what it does to varying degrees of success. But none have bettered it. I played it just the other day with a friend and was once again blown away by its simplicity, atmosphere, and ingenuity. Why bother with most of the imitators.

Fun story. I had a girlfriend that left her previous boyfriend to be with me. This dude was a nightmare. One of those growly death metal dudes really into Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. He harassed the shit out of us, all day at school and afterwards. One day we were in the hall at school and he came up bothering us. He called me a “red haired f####t” so I turned to my girlfriend and kissed her full on. Guy just started hammering me, tearing up my brand new Dead Kennedys shirt. I threw my arms up to show that I was not fighting and I didn’t get in trouble. So, I actually called the police on him and had him arrested. His mom offered me $200 to not press charges so I took that money and blew it at Oxford Games and Comics. It was on that day in 1992 that I bought Space Hulk.
Erik Twice's Avatar
Erik Twice replied the topic: #300651 11 Aug 2019 05:42
Love it hahaha
Yugblad's Avatar
Yugblad replied the topic: #300716 13 Aug 2019 17:53
Showing my age to admit I bought it on the week of release in 1989.

I think it still holds up - the new GF9 ALIENS: Another Glorious Day in the Corps game certainly seems to think so - cloning it in many ways, but I doubt it'll better the old dog.

We didn't play the Deathwing expansion much, and the Genestealer box I detested. Kept the Campaigns expansion hardback for nostalgia, more than anything else.

Played the game again a few times in 2017 - the scenario where you have to defend a reactor room, and the marine player gets to set up his defenses before the aliens start. Terrific fun, and a thematic take on the colonial marines and Ripley defending the Hadley's Hope HQ and medlab.
Sevej's Avatar
Sevej replied the topic: #300721 13 Aug 2019 21:07
I enjoyed the single player iteration on the PC, but everytime I think about buying it, I decided I can't stand playing as the genestealers.
drewcula's Avatar
drewcula replied the topic: #300727 14 Aug 2019 09:40
Oddly, my wife is/was my primary Space Hulk opponent and she only wants the play the Genestealers.