The Sin of Damnation has been infiltrated by an alien menace, swarming through its ruined interior. These horrid creatures crawl through vents, lurk in shadows, and silently stalk their prey. Any visitors would do well to watch their backs, and the backs of their companions...

In our last preview of Death Angel , we looked at Action cards and how they interact with Space Marines. Today we’ll take a look further into the darkened recesses of the Space Hulk and explore the viciousness of the Genestealers and how they prowl the darkness surrounding your battle brothers.

Sergeant Lorenzo led his squad forward through the tight corridor, shadows dancing in their wake. His sensors picked up movement from several directions, but they were faint signals. “Stay alert,” he commanded, his Blood Angels following in a long line behind him. “They can come from anywhere.”

Suddenly, multiple scanners went off. Lorenzo couldn’t see anything in the shadows, but his equipment told him his prey were now closing in, becoming the hunters. “They are in the vents.” The sounds of his squad preparing for the coming attack filled the cramped hall. He held his sword tightly as he felt the entire Space Hulk swell with the anticipation of bloodshed. “Hold your ground!”

Given the cooperative nature of Death Angel , Genestealers are not controlled by opposing players. Instead, they act unpredictably in accordance to a central event deck. Every turn, the event deck will spawn Genestealers from certain terrain cards. In addition to spawning Genestealers, Event cards designate which swarms (groups of Genestealers) will move and in what manner they move. While you can be sure that the enemy will attack each turn, you cannot be sure who will be on the receiving end, creating a cramped and chaotic battlefield for your Space Marines.

To get a better idea of how Genestealers spawn and move, here is a step-by-step example of how Genestealer activation is resolved during the Event phase.

In this example, the current player drew an Event card with a yellow terrain card symbol featuring a major spawn icon, a red terrain card symbol featuring a minor spawn icon, and a “tail” icon for Genestealer movement. After resolving the special abilities of the Event card, the current player resolves each of these icons from left to right.

  1. First, the current player resolves the major spawn that is triggered. To do so, a number of Genestealer cards indicated by the Setup Location card are taken from the blip pile and placed on the position containing the yellow Terrain card (in this case, the “Control Panel”).
  2. The next spawn (a minor spawn on red Terrain cards) is not triggered since there are no red Terrain cards on this side of the formation. No additional Genestealers are spawned.
  3. Now movement is resolved. Each swarm containing a Genestealer card with the “tail” icon moves to the adjacent space (following the arrows on the Space Marine card). In this example, the player first moves the swarm on Brother Claudio up to Brother Noctis’s position.
  4. Finally, the newly spawned Genestealer cards move to Brother Claudio’s position (moving all Genestealer cards in this swarm). Any swarms not containing a Genestealer with this Event card’s movement icon are not moved.

If the Genestealers are at the last Space Marine in the formation when they are instructed to move again, they will instead flank. This represents the danger involved in leading or brining up the rear of your formation.

Sometimes, Event cards will directly result in Genestealer swarms flanking the Space Marine, even if they aren’t at the end of the formation. Unless that unfortunate Space Marine can reposition himself soon by playing a Move + Activate Action card, he will be vulnerable to an attack. In our previous article we discussed the versatility of Space Marine movement. With a Move + Activate Action card, Space Marines can trade places with the Space Marine above or below him, as well as change their facing. It’s important to have both sides of the formation covered, because flanking can happen at any time.

If Space Marines happen to be in range of (and facing) a swarm of Genestealers, they might be able to thin out the swarms with an Attack Action card, giving up their chance to reposition themselves that turn. However, don’t forget to prepare for oncoming waves, as they are sure to come.

Positioning is important for attacking and defending. Genestealers will attack every turn after all Space Marines have been activated and before an Event card is drawn. Normally, players may discard a Support token from their Space Marine to reroll against an attack that would have slain them. However, if attacked from behind, the Space Marine cannot benefit from Support tokens. So watch your back!

Check back next time when we look at combat in 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.

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