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Space Hulk (Board Game)

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Space Hulk board game. For other uses of Space Hulk, see Space Hulk (disambiguation).
Space Hulk
Space hulk box1.jpg
Box art
Manufacturer Games Workshop
Designer Dean Bass
Followed by Space Hulk (2nd Edition)
Released 1989
Scale 28mm
Players 2
Game time 60 mins

Space Hulk is a two player board game by Games Workshop which has been released in three editions, the most recent being the 3rd Edition released in 2009. Set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the game takes place on a Space Hulk and pits a boarding force of Space Marine Terminators against a brood of Genestealers.


The game is set on a board made up of various board sections which represent corridors and rooms and which can be freely arranged and locked together like a jigsaw puzzle to represent the interior of derelict space ships. One player controls the Space Marines, and the other player controls the Genestealers.

The game is notable for its hidden play mechanics, from which it derives much of its playability and tension. The actual number of Genestealers in play is hidden from the Marine player, because the Genestealers come into play as "blips" which can represent 1-3 creatures (or 0-6 in the Deathwing and Genestealer expansions and in second edition). On the other hand, the Marine player has a number of "action points" available each turn which are only revealed to the Genestealer player after they are used up. (In the second edition, the extra points are no longer hidden from the Genestealer player.)

Space Hulk won the Origins Award for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Boardgame of 1989. Its first expansion, Deathwing, won Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Boardgame of 1990.

In the basic versions of the game, playing the Genestealers is very straightforward; so simple, in fact, that Space Hulk is quite playable as a solo game.[1][2] Playing the marines on the other hand is engaging and tactically challenging - partly because the Space Marines player is constrained by a time limit for his turn. To overcome this shortfall, players are encouraged to play each game twice, swapping roles after the first play. The fairly fast play time (around half an hour per game), driven by the Space Marines time limitation, makes this a reasonable solution. The expansion packs for the First edition add human-genestealer hybrids, which can carry weapons and equipment, to the Genestealer player's forces, adding more depth for the Genestealer side.

1st Edition

Main article: Space Hulk (1st Edition)

The 1st edition of Space Hulk was released in 1989. it revolved around the blood angels chapter. it had: a selection of passageways, intersections, dead ends, rooms, doors and corners. it also had 8 genestealers and 4 terminator space marines.


2nd Edition

Space Hulk
Space Hulk Box 2.jpg
Box art
Manufacturer Games Workshop
Designer Dean Bass, Chris Colston
Preceded by Space Hulk (1st Edition)
Followed by Space Hulk (3rd Edition)
Released 1996
Scale 28mm
Players 2
Game time 90 mins
Main article: Space Hulk (2nd Edition)

In 1996, This incarnation of Space Hulk features better board artwork and figurines. It features two identical plastic five-man Terminator squads with standard weaponry (4 carry storm bolters while 1 has the heavy flamer, 4 have power gloves except the sergeant who has a powersword).

The 2nd edition is significantly simplified from the original rules and offers less opportunity for expansion, due to the specific dice used by the rules. A critical change was made to the Command Point system, no longer allowing them to be used in the enemy turn altering the game's strategic complexity. The flamer rules were also changed and the difference between the standard weapons and the area effect flamer was reduced.

The second edition has no expansion packs, although additional scenarios and board sections were released in White Dwarf magazine, such as "Fangs of Fenris" which involves Wolf Guard Terminators of the Space Wolves Space Marines Chapter.

3rd Edition

Space Hulk
Space hulk box.jpg
Box art by Dave Gallagher
Manufacturer Games Workshop
Designer Richard Halliwell
Preceded by Space Hulk (2nd Edition)
Released 2009
Scale 28mm
Players 2
Game time 60 mins
Main article: Space Hulk (3rd Edition)

The 3rd Edition was released in 2009 as a limited edition. There are no current plans to reprint the game.

4th Edition

The 4th Edition was released in 2014 as a limited release.


Electronic Arts adapted the game in 1993. A sequel is released in 1995 and 1996. The sequel also featured Chaos Space Marines as enemies, aside from Genestealers. A new version was released in 2018 developed by the studio Cyanide, also named Space Hulk: Tactics.

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