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This is part of a series of bloody matches to the death. Show support for your favorite game so it will do better in the fight. You can support it by writing why you think its the better game and more importantly by betting (i.e. voting for) it. Please make it clear for when I check the bets later. You have until Friday when I tally the bets and declare the winner. I will reserve my bet for any tie-breakers.
Although you should be familiar with both games, there is no rule that says you have to have played both of them. The only rule in Trashdome is this;
Two games enter! One game leaves!
Trashdome! Space Hulk vs. Gorechosen
cranberries wrote: If you could pick only one, which one would it be?
If you had to play one with wooden disks with pictures pasted on, which would you choose?
Answer to first query:
I believe it depends on what type of game you most enjoy. Both designs are sublime in what they were trying to accomplish, but they serve different ends of the spectrum. Space Hulk's core design is less succinct than Gorechosen, but the magic happens in a well written mission. Space Hulk nearly resembles a Knizia design in how mathy it is implemented. It's a simulation that borders on puzzle solving for each player to accomplish their goal, that is only shaken up by dice rolls for resolution.
Despite that, and because of that, Space Hulk oozes tension. To barely complete a successful mission as the marines despite the design of a mission being against you, can be a memorable thing.
Gorechosen's design is pretty straightforward, and the comparison of rule books proves it. But Gorechosen isn't dependent at all on scenario design as it is pure WWF brawler. The howl out loud at your own victories and defeats factor of Gorechosen is hard to surpass and Space Hulk rarely matches that level. But it lacks the same level of agency that Space Hulk has.
I play more Gorechosen nowadays, but if I had to choose between the two, Space Hulk would get the spot on the life raft. But only after a lot of rending of clothe/gnashing of teeth/lamentation first about the choice.
Answer to second query:
Gorechosen wins here. Gorechosen doesn't benefit as much from a lot of bling as Space Hulk does.
I have ABS plastic corridors for space hulk, and have done a lot of paint and conversion work to really set it apart from other corridor crawlers. Along with a massive reworking of what models are represented. All of this helps the immersion a lot.
And while you could build an arena for Gorechosen, it won't benefit from the aesthetic effort to the same degree.
Which is odd, since Gorechosen is obviously the more trashy game of the two.
Space Hulk is inspired by one of my all-time movies, and the 3rd edition has terrific minis and excellent map tiles. The rules are tight and the tactical choices for the space marine player are tough. Overwatch is a great mechanic, and crucial to the gameplay. However, the genestealers are somewhat less interesting to play, as their tactical choices are usually obvious. Each scenario feels like a tactical puzzle for the space marine player, and once a given player has solved that puzzle, the scenario is somewhat less challenging and interesting.
Gorechosen is just an nasty arena fight, so there is less sense of a compelling story. However, it has some interesting mechanics, and smoothly accommodates up to four players. I like the initiative system a lot, and the fluctuating wrath levels add another dimension to the tactics. The game does struggle with the issue of player elimination. Thematically, it is pointless to have a brutal arena fight game without player elimination, and thankfully Gorechosen combat is so violent that even a first-turn kill is quite possible. But then the game has the Fate of the Slain thing to give the eliminated player the chance to still participate in the game somewhat, though not win, and that feels like a cop-out. I feel that Gorechosen plays fast enough that player elimination isn't really a problem.
Comparing the two games, I would maybe rather play the Space Marines of Space Hulk than a Gorechosen warrior, but would rather play a Gorechosen over the Genestealers. Although I feel that the missions of Space Hulk may have somewhat limited replay value, a mission scenario tells a better story than an arena fight. But in the long run, I think that Gorechosen would offer more replay value, especially with the four bonus characters in the mix. Someday, I hope I get the chance to play in an 8-player game of Gorechosen, even if I get killed in the first turn again.