I actually initially bought this game to play solo only, so I wasn’t planning on doing a Space Hulk: Death Angel review. After playing it a few times, though, I had a pretty good feeling that it would be a lot of fun (and possibly better) as a co-op game. Was it? Let’s see…
What is Space Hulk: Death Angel?
Space Hulk: Death Angel is a cooperative card game designed by Corey Konieczka (Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars: Rebellion) and published by Fantasy Flight Games. In this game, players are attempting to ward off a horde of aliens called Genestealers. Your job is to strategically move from location to location taking out those Genestealers and hope that at least one Space Marine survives the onslaught.
Each player will have one or more combat teams that they will be controlling throughout the game. Each combat team is made up of two Space Marines. All of the Space Marines are shuffled and laid out vertically, then terrain cards are put beside some of those Space Marines; this is the “board” that will be manipulated throughout the game.
Each combat team has three action cards: Attack, Support, and Move + Activate. The Attack cards attack, the Support cards allow players to give support (reroll) tokens to other players, and the Move + Activate cards allow players to swap positions in the formation and activate different terrain cards. Each combat team activates a unique skill when they use their action cards.
After the players have taken their turns, the Genestealers will attack, then an event card will be drawn. Event cards tell you where to spawn more Genestealers and will have some text for you to follow. After the event card is resolved, the next attack phase begins.
Throughout the game, players will need to move from location to location. Each location card will tell you what terrain cards to put out, how many Genestealers will spawn in that location, and a bit more information. Your job is to get through each location by depleting the Genestealer/blip decks and complete the objective on the final location card.
If all of the Space Marines are killed before they get through the final location, everyone loses. If at least one player completes that final objective, everyone wins!
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- The truth is that most cooperative games don’t scale well across all player counts, but that is not a problem with Space Hulk: Death Angel. There are different starting location cards for each player count, which definitely helps to balance things out from the get-go. I have played the game with all player counts now, and it has offered the same intense and fun experience every time it’s hit the table.
- If you don’t have good teamwork in this game, good luck beating it! You do keep your action cards hidden throughout the game, but you have to talk to each other about what your plans are and the best course of action for taking down the horde. This is a truly cooperative game, which is always a good thing!
- Something that I often appreciate with good card games is how quick they are to set up and put away. That is certainly the case with Space Hulk. There is a ton of game in the box, but I can have it completely set up in a few minutes.
- The only problem that anyone in my group could come up with for Space Hulk is that it is VERY hard to beat. It’s possibly just as tough as Ghost Stories ,which is still considered one of the toughest board games to beat. This is the type of game that some people might quit playing after not even coming close to beating it their first few playthroughs. It really is beatable, though, so those who are patient with the game will find it quite rewarding when they finally get that first win.
- Oh, and the rulebook definitely could have been written a bit better.
Space Hulk: Death Angel is a very solid co-op card game that I will definitely be keeping in my collection. I can’t say that everyone in my group loved it (too tough for a couple of them), but I don’t see any of them turning it down if someone wants to play.
If you’re a fan of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, or intense cooperative games, or are just looking for a new co-op game to buy, definitely check out Space Hulk. It’s a unique game (the only game I can think of that is kind of similar is Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game) with plenty of replayability that most people will enjoy.
Space Hulk: Death Angel Links
BoardGameGeek | Amazon | CoolStuffInc | eBay
Thanks for taking the time to read our Space Hulk: Death Angel review!