DEATHWATCH: OVERKILL

An­other bug hunt

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Will Salmon

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.

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