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Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: My Brief Demo Experience at Gencon rss

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Nate Parkes
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I got a chance to play a brief demo of this game at Gencon yesterday. Now before I share my experiences and thoughts, I'll let you know my biases:

-I've never cared for either Warhammer or Warhammer 40K

-I'm not really a fan of pure co-ops

The Recap:

This was the last new game I played at Gencon. My friend and I were just looking for something to do, and one of the Death Angel tables was open. We were paired up with another two people: a gentleman and his very disinterested girlfried. We were each given control of two marines (one generic and one elite with a special ability) moving down the corridor of a derelick spacecraft infested by vicious, hive-like aliens called Genestealers. It's marines vs. aliens, so the theme should be familiar territory to anyone who has ever played Starcraft.

We played roughly 3-4 turns. On the first turn, We all had a choice of three action cards: attack, move + activate, or support. There was a pack of genestealers flanking my generic marine, and several more facing another marine at the head of our group.

The two players who weren't in immediate peril played "support" cards to help the two of us who were playing "attack" actions. The marine up front was an elite with a special melee attack that automatically wiped out every genestealer, but at a risk to himself. My elite (Brother Leon?) could fire 3 times instead of once. We managed to take out 5 of the 6 genestealers.

The the genestealers attacked, but didn't do any serious damage. We drew an event card, which put more genestealers on the board and moved the one that was already there.

The second turn didn't go so well. I was in the right position to attack, but I had played my attack card last turn, and you can't play the same action twice in a row. The same went for the elite in front. We talked about it at the table, and agreed that I would move, swapping place with one of my friend's marines, putting him in the position to attack. The others would play an attack card and a support card. The attack went well, and we used support tokens to reroll attacks, but only generic marines were attacking, and there were still several genestealers left on the board. When it game their turn to attack, my generic marine was killed (there are no hit points in the game: there are only two states, alive and dead).

By the end of the next turn, we had emptied out one of the "radar blip" genestealer piles, meaning we got to move on to the next location, but it didn't go to well there. My friend was able to set off one of the features of the location to kill a pack of genestealers (it was an explosive panel or something), but more got behind him, meaning that he couldn't use his support tokens to force attack rerolls. He died in quick order, and our group pulled closer.

Shortly after that, we all had to leave, and thus ended my experience with Death Angel.

Relfections:

As I mentioned above, I'm not a fan of the Warhammer 40K theme, and I'm not a fan of pure co-opts.

That having been said, this game had me completely sold, almost from the getgo. If it hadn't been sold out at that point, I would have immediately bought it, and I plan to get a copy as soon as I can.

I've never played Space Hulk, but I've heard other people say this game creates a Space Hulk experience in miniature (no pun intended). I can't speak to that, but I can say what it felt like: Aliens (the movie), when the marines are initially moving through the corridors of the Terraforming station, moving in formation, covering each other, and shouting things like "check those corners!"

In short: awesome.

Because you can't play the same action card twice in a row, it means you really have to work together. You can't just attack every time. You have to move your marines to get other marines into position, or support marines who are exposed to attack. At our best, we felt like a fluid unit, covering each other's backs and moving as one. At our worst, we left ignored marines exposed to flank attacks, and they died quickly.

The reason I don't generally like co-opts is because they feel more like puzzles than games to me. This holds true for Death Angel: you're not playing an intelligent opponent, who will adjust and adapt to your strategy. Each turn, the game will throw some threats at you in a semi-random arrangement, and you have to figure out the best solution. But the theme is so rich, and the sense of cooperation ("check those corners!") is so fun, that I had a blast.

So there you have it. I don't like Warhammer 40K, and I don't like co-ops, and I really like this game. So if you like Warhammer 40K, and you enjoy co-ops... well, you've just got to try this out.
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Michael Melbourne
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Thanks for the review... I am looking forward to getting my hands on this one.
 
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Pete Fell
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Great review! I have it preordered. Can't wait!
 
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Jason Horton
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I can't agree more with this review. I was blown away within the first five minutes of the demo and, like you, the game was already sold out or I would have bought it on the spot.

I had pretty much written this one off before GenCon as I just could not see how Space Hulk could translate well to a card game. Luckily, I happened to be strolling past the demo tables at the right time and a group needed one more warm body so I gave it a shot.

Not being able to purchase a copy, I am curious to hear the opinions of those who have the game about how it holds up playing with just two people or as a solo game.
 
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Chris Hahn
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See your plan of attack was all wrong.

I bought the game 1st thing Thursday, then played a demo immediately after I had it in hand.

They knocked this one out of the park. It feels like "hulk" the action card limitations and powers are awesome and I like the co-op aspect.

Great job Corey!

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Tristan Hall
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hahnarama wrote:
Great job Corey!


The guy desperately needs a shave though...
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Nate Parkes
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I actually met Corey at Gencon. My friends and I had played Middle-Earth Quest the night before, and I thanked him for designing it. Very nice guy.

I didn't realize he had designed this game. No wonder I like it.

Between him and Eric Lang, I might as well make a preorder for Blood Bowl: the Card Game right now.
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Chris Hahn
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Eldil wrote:
I might as well make a preorder for Blood Bowl: the Card Game right now.


Word.

If they did this well with Death Angel Blood Bowl CG is a sure winner.
 
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Derek VDG
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ChildeRoland wrote:
I can't agree more with this review. I was blown away within the first five minutes of the demo and, like you, the game was already sold out or I would have bought it on the spot.

I had pretty much written this one off before GenCon as I just could not see how Space Hulk could translate well to a card game. Luckily, I happened to be strolling past the demo tables at the right time and a group needed one more warm body so I gave it a shot.

Not being able to purchase a copy, I am curious to hear the opinions of those who have the game about how it holds up playing with just two people or as a solo game.


I bought the game and have played it a couple times, as well as playing a demo at the table.

The demo at the table was 4 players, while all my other times were 2-player.

The game works just fine with 2 players. The only real difference is in the amount of interaction and decision-making. With 4 players it took a bit longer to decide what everyone was doing, than it did with only 2 of us. It wasn't exceedingly long, though. I would be curious how a 6-player game would work, just because of the sheer amount of discussion on strategy and action choices.

Great game, though. I'm 0/4, twice having lost on the final location, after only losing 1 of 8 Marines before then. Despite losing, it's still a blast to play.
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Jess Boling
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Eldil wrote:
It's marines vs. aliens, so the theme should be familiar territory to anyone who has ever played Starcraft.


That is just complete blasphemy. Space Marines have been fighting Genestealers since before Starcraft was even an idea.

It should read:

"Starcraft is is marines vs. aliens, so the theme should be familiar territory to anyone who has ever played Space Hulk.
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Nate Parkes
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peekitup wrote:
Eldil wrote:
It's marines vs. aliens, so the theme should be familiar territory to anyone who has ever played Starcraft.


That is just complete blasphemy. Space Marines have been fighting Genestealers since before Starcraft was even an idea.

It should read:

"Starcraft is is marines vs. aliens, so the theme should be familiar territory to anyone who has ever played Space Hulk.


This is true. I used the Starcraft analogy because I think Starcraft is more widely recognized than Space Hulk. And if you've played Space Hulk, then I don't need to explain the theme of Death Angel to you.

But I completely cede your point on seniority.
 
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Sean Dooley
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Eldil wrote:
peekitup wrote:
Eldil wrote:
It's marines vs. aliens, so the theme should be familiar territory to anyone who has ever played Starcraft.


That is just complete blasphemy. Space Marines have been fighting Genestealers since before Starcraft was even an idea.

It should read:

"Starcraft is is marines vs. aliens, so the theme should be familiar territory to anyone who has ever played Space Hulk.


This is true. I used the Starcraft analogy because I think Starcraft is more widely recognized than Space Hulk. And if you've played Space Hulk, then I don't need to explain the theme of Death Angel to you.

But I completely cede your point on seniority.


I was gonna make that remark, too, but realized it was just silly. I'm just envious that you found an open demo table. Every time I came by the FFG booth, they were all filled up, with all different walks of people.

Can't wait to get a copy.
 
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Nick Szegedi
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Thank You for the NICE review... I'm so glad I pre ordered it now!
 
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Guido Gloor
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Can't wait for my preorder, too
 
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Matthew Goddard
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You just further justified this bing high on my current wish list. Thanks!
 
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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Eldil wrote:
I'll let you know my biases:

-I've never cared for either Warhammer or Warhammer 40K

-I'm not really a fan of pure co-ops

Very precious information: it's good to know where you're coming from… especially when this matches so well my situation.
 
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