In today’s briefing, we’ll go over everything you need to know to play Space Hulk: Tactics, the new game from Cyanide Studios that faithfully adapts the cult classic Warhammer 40,000 board game while innovating on the formula with a new twist.
Whether you plan to destroy the alien menace as the mighty Space Marine Terminators or bring the Imperium to its knees as the Genestealers, you’ll be an expert by the end of this.
Space Hulk: Tactics is a turn-based tactics game that depicts small scale battles amid the claustrophobic environments of a Space Hulk – twisted amalgamations of starships, smashed together over eons, floating through the Warp and become a breeding ground for the hideous Genestealers. The Space Marine Terminators venture inside seeking glory, ancient relics, or wishing to protect whatever happens to be in the path of the Hulk.
Each turn sees you choosing how to spend action points to keep your units alive and destroy the enemy. Hitting is rarely guaranteed, but any successful strike is lethal. A single terminator can keep watch over a corridor and kill every Genestealer that comes at him without breaking a sweat – equally, if he is snuck up on from behind, he is almost certainly doomed.
This makes your decisions vital. Will you spend the points to guard a corridor, or get closer to your objective? Does your Sergeant need to protect himself from potential attacks, or can he take a few long-range shots in the hope of getting a larger advantage?
Do you have enough Genestealers to feed the Terminator guns until they jam and can be overwhelmed, or is there a smarter, flanking route that will bring you victory? If there is, do you have enough time remaining in the mission to take it?
Those decisions are rarely hindered by unknown information as both players can see every enemy and decision made, with one key exception – blips. Genestealer blips are how the aliens deploy new forces to the field throughout the fight and can contain 0-3 Genestealers.
They are deployed in specific zones and can have their contents revealed at any time by the Genestealer player – but will be forced to do so if they come within line of sight of the Terminators. Managing your blips through bluffing, or accounting for them on the Terminator side, is the heart of Space Hulk: Tactics.
Of course, every game is different. A huge variety of objectives and map types are available, including unique elements across Imperial, Eldar, and Ork ships. Locked doors, mysterious portals, deadly exploding barrels – you’ll need to play with and around all of them to master Space Hulk: Tactics.
With the in-game map editor you can even create your own missions and upload them to share with the community, making for near-infinite content variety.
The final twist is the cards system, which we have added to Space Hulk: Tactics as an extra feature on top of the original rules. These cards are determined by your faction, your units and their equipment, as well as which Chapter you are playing.
They can affect everything – giving you better chances to hit, guaranteed melee kills, extra action points, or even spawning deadly, more advanced Genestealers like the massive Broodlord or the insidious Reaperfex. Every card can also be converted into action points on the Terminator side, or more blips for Genestealers. This gives you many, many more tactical options in every fight. Cards are not a microtransaction system, and every one is unlocked in multiplayer from the start.
Space Hulk: Tactics releases in autumn this year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.