|Death Angel | Published 12 July 2010|
So far we have seen how Action Cards, combat, and Genestealers work in Death Angel. Now it’s time to explore the Space Hulk itself and learn about Locations and Event Cards. In the interest of learning about these firsthand, let us look at a report that was recently recovered from a previous mission...
Brother Noctis forced the heavy steel door closed, shutting out the hissing and clattering that echoed in the hallway beyond. His remaining battle brother secured the perimeter, which was shrouded in suspicious silence. He took this momentary respite to activate his voice log while he scanned his surroundings.
“The alien are too many. They have overpowered us. We are all that remains of Sergeant Lorenzo’s command.” After an adequate surveillance of his location, he continued. “I have arrived at the toxin pumping station, and there is no way out. We shall make make our stand here and eliminate as many of the alien as I can.”
“This may be my final report. See that the Imperium hears these words. I shall start at the beginning.”
During setup, find the appropriate Setup Location card with the correct number of players for the game (3 or 6 players in this case). Build the Location deck according to this card, dividing all Location cards into like piles and drawing one card from each pile as instructed by the Setup Location card: a random “4” location on the bottom, followed by a random “3”, “2”, and “1A”.
“We entered the Sin of Damnation through the void lock, assuming a long-line formation on account of the tight corridors. Sergeant Lorenzo led as Brother Deino assumed rearguard. Immediately we discovered the alien presence. In front of me and behind me, Lexicanium Callistarius and Brother Scipio each faced a swarm of the lurking aliens coming from the ventilation ducts and darkened corners.”
After setting up the Location deck during setup, draw an Event Card (ignoring all information on the card except for the spawning information) and spawn the indicated Genestealers. In the example here, “Quick Instincts” is drawn for this purpose. Players ignore everything but the two spawning rectangles highlighted at the bottom of the card. The two yellow arrows indicate a major spawn on both the red terrain card and the orange terrain card. Players would refer to the red number within the yellow arrow on Setup Location card and spawn that many Genestealer cards on those locations.
“We held against their advances while pushing forward toward the door. Brother Leon fought bravely to cover Brother Scipio, but the alien were too many. Scipio died valiantly, protecting his battle brothers. It was then that Brother Zael discovered a hidden passage.”
After players have resolved their Action Cards and after Genestealers have attacked, the player that played the Action Card with the lowest initiative draws and resolves an Event Card. If the card has Instinct on it (such as the “Quick Instincts” Event Card), the player does not read it aloud. Instead he secretly reads the card and carries out the event without discussing it with the other players. Otherwise, the player simply reads the Event Card aloud, resolves its ability, and then moves on to resolve Genstealer activation.
In the case of “Secret Route”, players would look to see if a “Door” Terrain card is in the formation. Since in Brother Noctis’ dire situation there is a “Door” in play, two Support Tokens are placed on that card. This will slay two Genestealers when the Space Marines move to a new location (as stated by the “Door” terrain activation ability).
During the Genestealer Activation Phase, players reference the bottom of the “Secret Route” Event Card. There are two major spawns (yellow arrows). 5 Genestealer cards would be spawned on both sides of the formation since the “Dark Corridor” (orange terrain) is on the left and the “Corridor” (green terrain) is on the right side of the formation. Afterward, if any swarms have a Genestealer card in it with the claw mark icon, they will move along the formation according to the arrows on the Space Marine cards. For more information on Genestealer spawning and moving, check out our earlier preview.
“After a merciless battle, the sounds of the alien advances died out. Many of my battle brothers still fought off the remaining swarms, but we were commanded to move forward. We reached the rear doors to the void lock and quickly moved through. Sergeant Gideon was the last Space Marine through and we quickly shut the doors behind us, locking out the pursuing alien. We came into a large corridor, which we quickly learned was no safe haven...”
Whenever there are no cards left in either the right or left Blip Pile at the end of any phase, players must travel to a new location. Traveling is done by the formation as a whole (while moving is done within the formation), taking Space Marines and engaged Genestealers to a new location.
When a Blip Pile runs out, players discard all old Terrain Cards then place the next Location Card (from the Location Deck that was created during setup) on top of the Setup Location Card, but do not cover the major and minor spawn numbers, as they will still be used. Next, place the new Terrain Cards according to the new Location Card.
If players draw the “Main Corridor” for their next Location Card, then they would refer to the two terrain icons on either side of the card art. On the left side of the formation, a “Ventilation Duct” is placed 2 positions from the top of the formation while the “Door” Terrain Card is placed 5 positions from the top. The other side shows a “Corridor” 7 positions from the bottom and a “Dark Corridor” three positions from the bottom.
After setting up terrain, players form the new Blip Piles (where Genestealers spawn from). These piles are made up of a number of Genestealer cards as indicated by the blip icons on the bottom left and right of the Location Card. In the example above, a Blip Pile of 7 Genestealer cards is placed on the left side of the Location Card while a Blip Pile of 8 Genestealer cards is placed on the right.
Finally, follow any “Upon Entering” ability on the Location Card. In this case, 2 Genestealers would be immediately spawned on the “Corridor” Terrain Card. Since the “Corridor” is on the right side of the formation, 2 cards are drawn from the right Blip Pile and placed in the same position of the “Corridor” Terrain Card.
“Brother Leon and Brother Zael fell in those dark passageways as the onslaught continued. It took us too long to reach the end of the corridor. When we did, we were surrounded and cornered. Brave Sergeant Lorenzo led us onward, pushing determinedly through the hordes. Brother Goriel met his end when a ventilation duct expelled nearly a dozen of the alien.”
“Our squad was reduced to nearly half its size as we reached the dark catacombs. But we pressed on. Those of us who remained continued into a ruined chapel. But we found no refuge there. The alien continued to come.”
A crash came from above, echoing throughout the pumping station. The sounds of claws on metal began to surround Brother Noctis.
“They are coming. There is no way out of here. This is the end of my report. Brother Noctis, out--”
When players reach the final Location in the Location Deck, they have reached their objective. However, they must first fulfill the winning conditions listed on the Location Card. Alternatively, players can also win by eliminating all Genestealers in the formation and the Blip Piles to win.
Check back next time for another look at Death Angel!
Space Hulk: Death Angel - The Card Game is a cooperative card game for 1-6 players. Set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, players take on the roles of Space Marines pitted against the increasing hordes of Genestealers.
Played it at Gen-Con it was great.
I love card games that are able to be played solo, you don't always have people around, and this one sounds like fun no mater who is playing
This looks like it is going to be a lot of fun. Perfect for those nights when one of our RPG players can't show up to play!