Another bug hunt
released OUT NOW! Two players
Publisher Games Workshop
Gamers of a certain age have fond memories of classic Games Workshop boardgame Space Hulk; that saw a squad of heavily armed but wildly outnumbered Space Marines taking on hordes of Genestealers. It was great – a Warhammer 40,000 riff on Aliens, and faster and more accessible than its parent game.
On the surface, Deathwatch: Overkill looks like an update. The Deathwatch ( essentially, a Space Marine All- Stars, with each member boasting a different speciality) must do battle with an insidious Genestealer cult. But this is a subtly different and far more violent game than Space Hulk.
Quick and easy to pick up ( though not to assemble – seriously, you’ll need to set aside a week just to glue everything together), the game follows a phase- based structure. The Genestealers set traps, and then both sides move and shoot. The Marines will initially slaughter their enemies, but the tide can quickly turn, with the cult only needing to take out a couple of Marines to win. It’s actually fairly well- balanced, if rather slight. It’s also missing Space Hulk’s sense of claustrophobia, and the rules occasionally lack nuance. And while expansion packs will no doubt follow, nine scenarios feels a little measly for £ 100.
But then most won’t be buying this for the game – they’ll be buying it for the 50 astonishingly beautiful figures. There are 11 Deathwatch Marines, ranging from a bulky Terminator to a guy on a motorbike with accompanying cyber- eagle, while the Cult gets some mutants, a couple of purestrain Genestealers, two characters and the massive Patriarch – essentially the Alien Queen except, presumably, with a willy. They’re all compatible with Warhammer 40,000 and the Deathwatch Kill- Team especially makes an impressive addition to a Marine army. That’s what most fans will be buying this set for. The game itself is almost an added bonus.
Genestealers were originally going to be of unknown origin, but were retconned into being a scouting force for the Tyranids.
Here’s one we prepared earlier.