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View Full Version : Space Hulk: Death Angel.. Who needs friends?!


Pigu
01-17-2011, 06:52 AM
Like 40K? Like non-CCG card games? Don't have regular gaming partners?

Space Hulk: Death Angel is here for you!

I just picked this up a couple days ago and have played 3 games solo and it is very good imo. Somehow really creates the panicked overwhelming feeling of Space Hulk in a quick card game. SRP is 25$ but I found it at a Borders for 20$ and so far totally worth it. If you do happen to have friends who game you can also play with up to 6 people and the game adjusts itself accordingly.

I really hope they make expansions for it as well at some point because the system has great potential for new enemies/marines and settings.

here is a link to Fantasy Flights page: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=118

nunix
01-19-2011, 02:27 PM
I gave up on Arkham Horror because it was just too damned long, so went ahead and grabbed this on Pigu's mention (from Borders) and skimming it at BGG.

1) With the rules as-written, it's probably better as a computer game; it's pretty easy to lose, and while that's fine when all you have to do is push a button to restart/generate a new level, it's a pain in the butt when you're doing it as a card game.

2) Easily tweakable rules to make it more/less deadly, which helps 1 a little. I think in the future I'll probably either change the support rules (to add a token to both marines, not just one), give named marines some kind of ablative armor setup, or both. I also really hate relying on die rolls but I'm not sure yet how I'd solve that; some kind of resource system, likely.

3) Lusciously set up to accept expansions and modifications. Whether we'll get any seems very up-in-the-air as apparently the sales have been lackluster.

4) Not sure how great it'd really be as a large-player game. It's cooperative so you don't get anything out of adding more players except more brains to strategise with.. but there aren't a tonne of options anyway, so it's only like a solo player is too likely to get overwhelmed.

Sarcasmorator
01-19-2011, 03:21 PM
Sales have been lackluster? I remember it selling out very quickly when it was first released.

Anyway, I got this for Christmas and will be setting up a solo game this week.

nunix
01-19-2011, 04:21 PM
Sales have been lackluster? I remember it selling out very quickly when it was first released.

Anyway, I got this for Christmas and will be setting up a solo game this week.

Dunno. Looking at the FFG board people've commented that it looks like it won't be getting a second print run, which seems to suggest it's not going to get more support? I remain hopeful.

Played a second game. I think my "easy mode" rules are going to include:

* every marine starts with a support token
* a support token can be spent for a success (not just a reroll)
* you can spend a token to defend another marine

And then take out the "Psychic Assault" or whatever cards from the event deck, which are total bullshit.

Falselogic
01-19-2011, 04:29 PM
Nunix: You losing is what is supposed to happen. The board game is a bitch to win as Space Marines. Not saying it is a good design choice but it does make sense.

sraymonds
01-19-2011, 04:38 PM
Dunno. Looking at the FFG board people've commented that it looks like it won't be getting a second print run, which seems to suggest it's not going to get more support? I remain hopeful.

Maybe I should keep my second copy sealed.

nunix
01-19-2011, 04:41 PM
Nunix: You losing is what is supposed to happen. The board game is a bitch to win as Space Marines. Not saying it is a good design choice but it does make sense.

That's fine when I'm playing a roguelike on a computer, but this card game is too simplistic, long, and gamble-y for that to be fun at the table for me. I also prefer a score to a simple pass/fail in games, so.. I'm changing it to suit me own preferences. =p I played it a couple of times their way, but I own the cards and am going to use them however I'd like, y'know? Others can play their way.

Sarcasmorator
01-19-2011, 04:42 PM
Dunno. Looking at the FFG board people've commented that it looks like it won't be getting a second print run, which seems to suggest it's not going to get more support? I remain hopeful.

Yeah, it would be nice to see an expansion, though I'm not sure what it would include the game is pretty much in line with third edition "Space Hulk."

Personally, I can't imagine a version of "Space Hulk" that isn't out to murder you with a dull scrap of rusty metal.

Falselogic
01-19-2011, 04:43 PM
That's fine when I'm playing a roguelike on a computer, but this card game is too simplistic, long, and gamble-y for that to be fun at the table. I also prefer a score to a simple pass/fail in games, so.. I'm changing it to suit me own preferences. =p I played it a couple of times their way, but I own the cards and am going to use them however I'd like, y'know? Others can play their way.

Im not judging. Just telling you how frustrating fun it can be to set up the boardgame con someone into playing and then have their newbie ass crush your Space Marines despite never having played the game. And then having to take it all down again.

nunix
01-19-2011, 04:54 PM
Im not judging.

I FEEL PERSECUTED~ *dakkas in defense*

Just telling you how frustrating fun it can be to set up the boardgame con someone into playing and then have their newbie ass crush your Space Marines despite never having played the game. And then having to take it all down again.

I've logged hundreds and hundreds of hours into Dwarf Fortress, and more than a few roguelikes, so I'm not disputing the "losing is fun!" style in general. I agree with it! But for some reason, something about this particular game, losing is not fun. Something's wrong in the design to really support that the couple of times I've played now. I'll sit and chew on it for a few days and see if I can come up with anything (I have suspicions I need to examine), but in the meantime it's easy-mode and a scorecard for me. ;D

Yeah, it would be nice to see an expansion, though I'm not sure what it would include the game is pretty much in line with third edition "Space Hulk."

Oh man, are you kidding? More terrain cards, more locations (especially more level 4 rooms), some more action cards (be particularly nice to have at least one card for each marine, rather than the single card for a single named marine as now), a couple more squads.. quite a lot of potential. Could also add rules for branching paths.

Sarcasmorator
01-19-2011, 04:56 PM
Oh man, are you kidding? More terrain cards, more locations (especially more level 4 rooms), some more action cards (be particularly nice to have at least one card for each marine, rather than the single card for a single named marine as now), a couple more squads.. quite a lot of potential. Could also add rules for branching paths.

All good points. I've only flipped through the cards, so I haven't seen for myself where it could use more. It just looks pretty complete at a glance.

Lucas
01-19-2011, 05:26 PM
I think the reasons that losing isn't fun in Death Angel boils down to this: failures snowball, but not entertainingly. Miss with your attack and there's much worse odds you'll survive the next genestealer attack; die from that and suddenly there's all those genestealers moving on and and threatening another marine combined with any that were already there, which makes it harder to reduce their numbers so he dies and the swarm goes on to another marine and gets bigger so it's harder... and so on.

This happens in roguelikes and Dwarf Fortress too, but the big differences there are:

(1) In the computer games, you feel like you have more control over the situation. The random effects of Death Angel's event deck, both the events and the spawns, combined with throws of the die have a much larger and much, much more visible effect than most random effects in, say, DF, which can be frustrating if it's not going your way (and with the game weighted against you like it is...).

(2) The second thing is that here the death of one unit does nothing but put more pressure on every other unit, purely creating more stress for the player(s). In a roguelike, death is followed by "Well, now I know better" and a reroll; in Dwarf Fortress death is often followed by "AHAHA! How did his arm fly that far?" One is learning and the other entertainment, both of which are more fun than "Shit, that was bad luck and now it's mathematically impossible for the other half of my team to survive."

Still, if you want to have an easier time without tweaking too many of the rules, you might consider simply picking and choosing your rooms. It's been a while so I can't remember all the possible rooms in each location, but for the final room at least Launch Control is probably the easiest (one in three chance of winning on your first action) and the Toxin Control room the most fun; the Hive is just a total bitch.

(I'm not just harshing on Death Angel out of spite or anything; this is all coming from someone who likes the game enough to have claimed it for a future LP. Unentertaining failure is a real problem of the game, especially considering how likely that failure is.)

Sarcasmorator
01-22-2011, 11:06 PM
I think the reasons that losing isn't fun in Death Angel boils down to this: failures snowball, but not entertainingly.

Yeah, I just finished my first solo game, and this is just what happened. Lost one guy, then a whole lot more in rapid succession.

nunix
01-23-2011, 09:43 AM
I played a third game, two player this time, and had finally sorted out all the rules. It was successful, and we only lost two marines (from different squads, and neither were named on cards), but it was a very near thing and was very much luck-based; quite a few times managed to roll a 4 where a 3 or less would've killed a marine.

Lucas' stuff is pretty much spot-on, I think. Now it's just a matter of figuring out how to fix it without getting too complicated.

Comb Stranger
01-24-2011, 09:38 PM
Well, it was designed to be an uphill battle. You're supposed to win 40% of the time, with 60% casualties. In the 40k universe, 60% casualties is a trip to the corner store.

Are you using purple team? With the auspex and flamer? They're my personal favorite, and have been clutch quite a few times. Being able to avoid double heavy spawns and flanking attacks makes a big difference.

Traumadore
01-25-2011, 08:24 AM
Just played a first game of this, it was really fun and we also won on our first try, which I didn't expect. It was a five player game. We lost 2 marines in the first location, so we thought we were boned, but then we pulled it together and didn't lose anyone except for 2 more in the fourth location.

We got some lucky draws on locations mainly. Our second had a prometheum tank, so we were able to destroy that terrain immediately (even though it only took one genestealer with it), which greatly slowed the enemy spawns down.

Our next location was the teleportarium, which we opted to activate on the first turn we were there since everyone had at least one support token, so we there was never even a spawn there.

Our final location was the control room, first turn there we won. You can activate the control panel terrain to put a token on the control room, or you can roll a dice trying for equal or under the number of tokens. One player put a token on the control room, the next player moved in and managed to roll a one. Success!

As for suggestions for an easier game, I think having the blue team and yellow team together is a big deal. Yellow can reorganize (move anywhere) and heroic charge (always kill 3), while blue can hand out extra support tokens for successful attacks. Having a support token on the lightning claw guy changes his chances of dying in a heroic charge from 1 in 6, to 1 in 36.

I also think just having support tokens on everyone will make it considerably easier without changing how they work. We stocked up on a lot of them (10 over our 8 guys) and didn't start losing guys until after we spent 6 of them for safe teleportation.

Lucas
01-25-2011, 11:58 AM
Our final location was the control room, first turn there we won. You can activate the control panel terrain to put a token on the control room, or you can roll a dice trying for equal or under the number of tokens. One player put a token on the control room, the next player moved in and managed to roll a one. Success!

Oh hey, that does say support token or roll. I could have sworn it was "and." That does make it a bit harder. On the other hand, you aren't allowed to activate the same terrain feature twice in one round, either.

Traumadore
01-25-2011, 04:22 PM
Oh hey, that does say support token or roll. I could have sworn it was "and." That does make it a bit harder. On the other hand, you aren't allowed to activate the same terrain feature twice in one round, either.

Ah, well we were aware of the first rule, we had two players near it move and activate the terrain one after the other, which means we broke the other rule. Oh well, we had things pretty much under control. 6 marines left, 5 support tokens between us. I'm confident we had it.

Lucas
01-25-2011, 04:38 PM
It's a pretty complicated little card game; no one's going to get all the rules right their first time (or second time ...or third) through. I still say Launch Control is so much easier than the Hive that it's unbalancing.

Traumadore
01-25-2011, 08:10 PM
It's a pretty complicated little card game; no one's going to get all the rules right their first time (or second time ...or third) through. I still say Launch Control is so much easier than the Hive that it's unbalancing.

I didn't get to take a look at the rest of the locations, but we got neutral/positive ones for the most part.

The only team we didn't play with was black team, I'll have to check them out. As for the rest of the locations and events I think we'll leave those as a mystery until they pop up. It seems you use half or less of the events in a typical game, which is nice to see.

Traumadore
01-26-2011, 08:51 PM
Played again and won again, only 2 player this time. We got the Launch Control again, but we won with only 3 marines left instead of 6 this time. We used the black team with the Librarian, and it's really fun. Once again we got some lucky breaks, like a few prometheum tanks, and the crowd control from the Power Shield, Intimidate, and Heroic Charge kept the enemy numbers down. Things just totally went to shit in the final location.

I also realised you wouldn't be able to use a support token to reroll Claudio's possible demise from the heroic charge action. I don't think we've ever rolled a zero for it, but it's good to know.

I'm finding green team to be the least offensive/effective. The sargeant with the thunder hammer is almost impossible to kill when you play Block, but the triple kill on a 4 has never happened, and the Run and Gun costs a support token.

Lucas
01-26-2011, 09:28 PM
I never leave home without a Librarian and usually the chaingun guy, for the double support tokens on activating a door as much as his triple attacks.

On the other hand, the thunder hammer guy has never landed a single attack for me, triple kill or otherwise. I know that's just dumb luck (very dumb) but it still makes me dislike using him.

Traumadore
01-27-2011, 08:40 AM
I played green team in our first game and while I hit consistently, I still didn't feel like I was contributing much compared to everyone else who had their flamers, rapid fire, heroic charge, and intimidate. I did hold off two swarms numbering 2 and 3 genestealers for a turn using Block. I think that was the high point for Green team that game. If I had taken the Librarian we would have done even better.

From now on I don't think we'll be using them unless we're playing 6 players.

nunix
01-27-2011, 06:52 PM
Green team is viewed as the weakest of the bunch, yeah. Interesting abilities, but outshone by the others.

Lucas
01-27-2011, 07:17 PM
I can't even remember what the green one does. Excuse me while I grab down my card game box....

Edit: Oh, he's the thunder hammer guy. I always think that's the blue one, for some reason.

sraymonds
03-11-2011, 01:11 PM
FFG announces print-on-demand expansions for Death Angel (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=2050)

Lucas
03-11-2011, 02:21 PM
FFG announces print-on-demand expansions for Death Angel (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=2050)

More terrain cards, more locations (especially more level 4 rooms)... a couple more squads.. quite a lot of potential.

Did nunix get a job at FFG?