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Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

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Project Blog by m3kman

Recommendations: 19

About the Project

As a Space Hulk Die Hard – playing from the first edition – as soon as it was released – I just loved playing Space Hulk. Was it the crawling around darkened and claustrophobic gantries of derelict starships? Was it the huge suit of (almost) indestructible armour? Was it the big guns – and lots of them? Was it watching the little grains of sand count away your precious 120 seconds as you rushed to move your troops? Was it the simplicity and flexibility of the game? To be honest... I think it was actually all of the above! And then there were the miniatures.. they were a joy to behold... and to paint... and then to play. And the years have been verrrry kind to the minis. Each iteration of Space Hulk brought better and better figures whilst retaining the core beauty of the game. And for a few years we played it religiously, a few friends locally and once or twice a year old school friends at their club. And then I volunteered to run a game at Q-Con in Belfast and thought this could do with something ...extra. The one thing I loved in the game was the mission that had a little bit of the map set out to one side as a lower deck and I thought – what about actually giving a tabletop game of Space Hulk another deck. And so it began.

This Project is Completed

Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

Tutoring 1
Skill 2
Idea 2
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This is the last part of my project.

 

D6 Genestealer A.I.

I wanted a (semi) intelligent system that would let me use commonly available items to produce a reactive AI.

I sat and wracked my brains – how to get something that develops with the game.

So I came up with using a D6 to determine the behaviour of an angered Tyranid adversary.

And considered all the things that I (as a stealer player) would have my troops do in order to wipe out the non tyranid player.

 

When a Blip is to be placed on the board…Roll a D6.

Place the creature/blip according to the D6 result table below.

Place the DIE beside the BLIP/creature that has just come on.

Leave it with them until destroyed or joined with another unit.

The number on the D6 should be decremented each turn unless otherwise stated – or unless you want to !!!

Note when D6AI brings two or more units together always drop to lowest DICE number for orders.

 

6 – PROTECT

NEW– Blips come on closest to most important asset and move towards it and remain within 3 SQs.

EXISTING –When Enemy forces come within 6 SQs move to 1(ATTACK)

If more than 4 blips/creatures then PROTECT next most important friendly asset or asset about to be attacked.

If no more friendly assets then drop to 5(REINFORCE)

 

5 -REINFORCE

NEW -Place Blip closest to friendly troops and join.

EXISTING -Remain at (5)REINFORCE until joined with other unit.

Unit being reinforced will go to 4(LURK) until reinforced

 

4  – LURK

NEW – Place blip closest to Enemy players and move towards or lurk (if less than 6SQs)

EXISTING – Move as close as possible to enemy players without attacking – aim to end move in cover

If this blip is being REINFORCEd then keep lurking

 

3 – HARASS

NEW – place blip  BEHIND enemy advance

EXISTING-remain out of line of fire if possible but move towards enemy troops

If no spawn points behind then goto 2-PINCER

If within 6 SQs- goto 1 (ATTACK)

 

2 – PINCER  –

NEW –  Place blip at least 6 squares away from enemy troops in front of or to side of direction of advance

EXISTING -Move towards enemy troops.

If within 6 SQs at start of turn switch to 1(ATTACK)

 

1 – ATTACK

NEW Place blip as close as possible to enemy troops so that it can come on this turn & move towards at every possible opportunity.

EXISTING – Move towards nearest enemy troops choosing heavy weapons troops first.

Attack when possible.

 

If a Genestealer or other tyranid has no dice beside it – assume in ATTACK mode.

 

It’s not definitive by any stretch of the imagination and you could just as easily go to a D8 or D10 but as I have a LOT of D6s I thought I’d get seom use from them. It helps if they’re all the one colour too – just for playability purposes.

If you can think of other circumstances for ‘stealers and their 6 armed brethren.

 

 

Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

Tutoring 0
Skill 0
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Always wanted Space Dwarves - in power Armour - Thank you Mantic!!! - Flash cleaned, washed and primedAlways wanted Space Dwarves - in power Armour - Thank you Mantic!!! - Flash cleaned, washed and primed
Colour choice made - earth style colours - seem to suit lore the best.Colour choice made - earth style colours - seem to suit lore the best.
Nuln oil and colour retouchingNuln oil and colour retouching
More Touching up.More Touching up.
Power Hammers finished and silver drybrush on weapons Space Hulk Bases and ready to go!!! + close up of Boarding torpedo!Power Hammers finished and silver drybrush on weapons Space Hulk Bases and ready to go!!! + close up of Boarding torpedo!

Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

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Sliding Torpedo 'corridor' section - reaches into board... quite a bit.Sliding Torpedo 'corridor' section - reaches into board... quite a bit.
Glued to foamboardGlued to foamboard
Robert's your mother's brother - the finished article - now to see if it works.Robert's your mother's brother - the finished article - now to see if it works.
Space Dwarves fit!!Space Dwarves fit!!
Tau Stealth suits fit.Tau Stealth suits fit.
Underside - long lower 'jaw' of boarding torp gives plenty of support - phew!!!Underside - long lower 'jaw' of boarding torp gives plenty of support - phew!!!

Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

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Skill 0
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Only three more outstanding pieces to go.

For a long time I had been wondering how to allow boarding torpedoes to enter the 4 tiered game board on any level.  The Space Hulk ‘Official’ torpedoes are a neat addition to the tile set but I needed something more – something 3D.

Based upon my original (decades ago) finding that the foamboard was light enough and strong enough to support the three tiers and the minis I decided to go ahead with something that had been percolating in the back of my mind.

The following will show you the few – arts and crafts steps that it took to get me three, 3D boarding torpedoes.

 

Single piece of foamboard - already marked out for the sides of the boarding torpedoesSingle piece of foamboard - already marked out for the sides of the boarding torpedoes
Pieces cut - note the inserts for sliding into the raised floors.Pieces cut - note the inserts for sliding into the raised floors.
Hole cutting in the torp. sidesHole cutting in the torp. sides
Torp. tray with supports hot glued into place.Torp. tray with supports hot glued into place.
More pieces hot glued into placeMore pieces hot glued into place
Basic Torpedo assembled - missing something though!Basic Torpedo assembled - missing something though!
Teeth!! - helps torpedo cut into enemy ships - and strengthen the top 'jaws' of the torp.Teeth!! - helps torpedo cut into enemy ships - and strengthen the top 'jaws' of the torp.
Grey and black Spray paint - they help.Grey and black Spray paint - they help.
Danger Tape -  always makes things more ...... dangerous (LOL)! Put on cutting board and then cut to fit.Danger Tape - always makes things more ...... dangerous (LOL)! Put on cutting board and then cut to fit.
First piece of tape applied - do it six times and.......First piece of tape applied - do it six times and.......
Viola.Viola.

Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

Tutoring 0
Skill 3
Idea 2
2 Comments
Top tier - First Entry level for players - through the tentaclesTop tier - First Entry level for players - through the tentacles
Second Tier - Second entry point for players - again through the tentaclesSecond Tier - Second entry point for players - again through the tentacles
Third Tier - Who knows what this level does - but there's lots of genestealers to be blastedThird Tier - Who knows what this level does - but there's lots of genestealers to be blasted
Fourth Tier - Final level - The Last stand  ...... for someone Fourth Tier - Final level - The Last stand ...... for someone
The Hive Ship 'legs' which also double as access to lower tiers.The Hive Ship 'legs' which also double as access to lower tiers.

I have the greatest admiration for the modellers and artists that spend fortunes and hours? days? weeks? months? building and painting those beautiful corridors, rooms, and objectives.

I always found the game to be the thing.  The simplicity of the early board layouts – the flat jigsaw pieces to be the most attractive aspect of the Space Hulk Terrain.  It’s easier to see the troops – and the ‘stealers’ and it works for this style of Real 3D game board – and most importantly evokes for me (and the many players who have ventured through the depths or should I say actual bowels of the Space Hulks and Hive ships ) the style/feeling/thrill/joy of the original Space Hulk that I played on a Sunday afternoon after scoffing a Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner at my friends house.

It is all that is required to fire up the imagination of the players; to draw them into the world of Hugely armoured, genetically enhanced supersoldiers pounding through derelict Starships and living Tyranid vessels. On their way to faithfully execute the Emperors’ will (and as many ‘stealers as they can).

Space Hulk 3D (Competition Version)

Tutoring 0
Skill 2
Idea 3
1 Comment

It was also a huge playing area and it lent itself to playing competition Space hulk.

Up to six players at a time were welcomed and encouraged to test their mettle against the cunning of the Hivemind and it was a hit.

I had to tweak the rules a little –work out a scoring system – balance the genestealer reinforcements to give all the squads something of a challenge.  I gave each player a command token and they needed them to get around the huge play area in only 2 hours.

There were new missions, new tyranids added and there was even a bit of friendly fire from time to time (please note that the emperor does not condone this sort of behaviour!

The aim of the genestealer player was to balance the Hivemind so that novices didn’t get wiped out in the first few turns and the experienced player didn’t get to run all over the hulk unopposed. To give everyone a good time and still present a challenge – to give them ‘Disney’ moments or in some cases ‘20th Century Fox’ moments.

Top tier - first 4 players enter Hive Ship Here - note searchable items and starter enemies.Top tier - first 4 players enter Hive Ship Here - note searchable items and starter enemies.
Second Tier - Last two players enter Hive Ship here.Second Tier - Last two players enter Hive Ship here.
Third Tier the action is heating up by the time players get to here - note tyranid mission objectives (ship organs)Third Tier the action is heating up by the time players get to here - note tyranid mission objectives (ship organs)
Fourth Tier - It's the end of the game now - for someone anyway.Fourth Tier - It's the end of the game now - for someone anyway.
Deathwing Terminator about to switch his Assault cannon to full Auto and let loose.Deathwing Terminator about to switch his Assault cannon to full Auto and let loose.

The last of a Deathwing squad about to go full auto on a Hive Tyrant and his tyrant guards.

Unfortunately behind the tyranids, the remnants of a squad of Ultramarine Terminators is in the line of fire.

” THE EMPEROR WILL HONOUR YOUR SACRIFICE BROTHER ULTRAMARINES” was the last thing Terminator Captain Kai Chen Sync heard before a hail of assault cannon shells turned him into a red and blue smear on the far wall.

Terminator Squad Roster with Neodymium magnets for indicatorsTerminator Squad Roster with Neodymium magnets for indicators

In order to keep track of points a scoresheet was generated for each squad.

At last I had the excuse I needed to paint a squad of terminators in all the different chapters that I had always admired (and wanted running around my Space Hulks).

I found that an initial loadout was required for each squad – it is dangerous out there and you’re going to need more than an elastoplast from time to time.

A first Aid kit – would bring a recently ‘killed’ trooper back to life.  It wasnt too long before there was a market for unused First Aid kits in the game.

A Melta Bomb to kill bigger targets like Carnifexes (yes the little ones still fit down those corridors) or hive tyrants.  Or to burn through a floor and gain access to a lower level.

A Reload always comes in handy if you’re fielding a Heavy Flamer or Assault cannon.

A servo Skull could be commanded to range ahead of the squad and reveal any blips that were staying annoyingly out of reach,

Wreckage could be searched, and equipment or other personnel could be added to the roster for help during the game.

On a D6.. after paying 1AP to sift through the debris

6 – damaged Dreadnought – a little one of course – they fit too!  Only one per board. 4APs to reactivate. Moves Same Turn. Close Combat bonus +3 – Storm Bolter and 7 Wounds.

5 – Unconscious Terminator – 4 APs to revive – loadout as Standard Power Fist and Storm Bolter – Keep him alive and he’s worth 10pts at the end of the game.

4 – First Aid kit – always handy in case of a cut knee …. or elbow … or a massive claw through your chest.

3- Reload – get extra ammo for your heavy weapons.

2,1 – Nothing – sometimes debris … is just debris!!

This leads to some interesting ‘trading’ when players get into tight spots and adds yet another fun dimension to the game.

 

Three levels of Terminator vs Genestealer mayhem ensued  – followed a few years later by a much more robust version with pylons for support struts.

And then after years of playing against the genestealers on abandoned spacehulks I wondered what it would be like to face them on their own turf.

The blurb read like a revenge movie…

“For too long we have fought these creatures on our worlds and in our ships…. Now it is time to take the fight to them.”

The Adventure begins after a devastating Space Battle with heavy casualties on both sides. But a Hive Vessel that has sustained heavy damage and appears to be inert has been discovered.

“The squads board a troop carrier, and as stealthily as they can, enter the Hive ship through the very tentacles that the Tyranid menace used to deliver it’s lethal cargo of genestealers to enemy ships ”

And the Tyranid vessel layout was born.

The only problem was – there was never a Tyranid vessel ….. and then I remembered good old Space Crusade – Tyranid Attack.

I searched Ebay and found a set of tiles –scanned them and printed a few copies and then set about making them fit on the huge foamboard  pieces that would form the Tyranid ship.

You can see for yourself how it turned out and again everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

This time the entry points are on the first two levels – via the tentacles.

The first creatures encountered are the spore mines that would normally be hurled from the hive ship’s tentacles.

Then ripper swarms – 3+ to Hit with  a Storm Bolter and have 3 Wounds. Close Assault at -2 – they are easy to kill

Then the genestealers appear and sometimes things that are …. bigger.

I needed a mechanism to allow some of the bigger creatures to play in the hulk and resolved to give them more wounds than the standard genestealer.

This would allow them to be injured and still continue fighting until a concerted effort was made by the Terminator player to destroy them.

Carnifex – 10 wounds – Close Assault 4x D6  at +3.  Make sure you’ve plenty of ammo or your Librarians are WELLLLLLL rested and have Psi points to burn.

Hive Tyrant – 5 Wounds – Close Combat 3 xD6 at +2

Tyrant Guard – 7 Wounds – Close Combat 3xD6 – when in the same room or board section as a tyrant – all damamge to the tyrant will come off the guard first – simulating the guard creature throwing itself between the tyrant and ANY harm coming it’s way.

Warriors – 3 Wounds – Close Combat 3xD6 at +1

 

Psychic rules needed to be simplified and so Psykers had their own pool of psi points.

Move faster – this would allow that player to warp time and move faster(by adding them as command points).

Fight harder causing more damage by focusing their psychic might through their force weapons (by adding them to their Close Combat skill)

Mind war with Psychic Tyranids by declaring the number of psi points to be spent and then adding this to a rolled dice. The Tyranid player would roll two dice for the psi points to be used against the Terminator player and the difference being the number of wounds caused to the losing side.  Unused Action points or Command points could be converted back into PSI points to signify a meditating Librarian/grey knight regathering his psychic strength. Close combat bonuses would be used as  modifiers in the same way as close combat. – sounds complicated but is really quite easy.

 

And some ideas for New troops –

I always fancied the idea of a terminator with twin Storm Bolters and combat blades – took the place of a heavy weapons choice.

I always wanted squats in power armour and have managed to cobble a squad together – the Arkanauts are proving to be a great model for this.

The rules for a squad of Tau stealth suits (I really like those models) with their own blip mechanic to use against the Tyranid player.

Standard Squad costs of  21 (give or take) points

Terminators

1x Heavy Weapon or Command choice – 6 points

1x Heavy Weapon  – 6 Points

3 x Standard Terminator or close assault variant 3pts each – 9pts in all.

Squats in Heavy armour 

3 x Standard Squats – Ranged weapon and Power Hammer 2 Points-  6 pts ttl

1 x Squat Command Choice 5pts. +3 Close Assault bonus

2x Squat Heavy Weapons choices 4 pts each.

Total  19 pts total.

Movement much the same as Terminators.

Weapons – like standard bolter – NOT Storm Bolter.

Close assault at -1 because of their stature + 2 because of their skill with the power Hammers – +1 overall.

Heavy weapon choices – Plasma Cannon and Laser cannon – (converted mining tools) – stats available in Space Hulk rules

Hope you get the idea..it’s not about being completely and technically accurate but about giving players the opportunity to have a good time – and wander about the Space Hulk with something a little … different.

I also set about selling my metals figures on and replacing them with the newer, better sculpted and much lighter plastic figures. The foamboard is amazingly rigid but a few minis have been ‘ejected into space’ over the years and all without exception  came in second place against gravity. There’s that and the new minis are so neat!!!!

Finally the thought of allowing a Terminator Squad to progress in ability during the course of a particular Space hulk occurred to me. Signifying that they had become familiar with this particular layout or tyrand tactics. After a certain number of points was achieved through tyranid hits or kill would bring the following rewards.

With every 35 pts in kills or mission objectives mission critical skills would in crease

+1 AP for each member in the squad OR

-1 to the base to hit figure for ranged combat ie lower to hit rolls OR

+1 added to the close combat ability each member of the squad.

 

All this may seem to make the game slightly more complicated but guaranteed to give ALL players a really good time.

At the end of the game (approx 2hrs) each players tallies their score.

No of Kills.

No of mission objectives x 2

No of troops left alive (if any!?!) x 10

First aid kits given to other players x 10

 

And the person with the Highest score wins – and get bragging rights and a hearty handshake from me for taking part and the other players for the lesson in how to play Real 3D Space Hulk ( Competition Version)

 

 

Command counters, melta bomb token , first aid token, servo skull and turret - Standard equipment of course.Command counters, melta bomb token , first aid token, servo skull and turret - Standard equipment of course.

The physical construction of the hive ship was quite straightforward.

My original brief of keeping it in the same style of layout, portable and fun was still paramount.

The prints of the Tyranid attack were positioned and then PVA’d to the foamboard.

Then in order to make them all join – a few extra squares from leftover prints were glued on – covering any gaps.

After this I used a Sharpie black marker to draw around the printed tiles to bring them together into a single mass. To make it look more like the organs of a Hive Ship surrounded in a chitinous carapace.

The pylons from the previous Hulk became hive ship legs – in order to give them a more organic look I used a foamboard cutter to cut ‘burn’ wounds in them.  Then using another sharpie I drew on veins and arteries.  A quick burst of grey primer lent a freshly burned look to the ‘wounds’.

Finally I went over all the grid lines – making sure the players can see where to position their troops.

To top it all off – if you only have time for a short game – pull out one of the decks and play it, put two of them side by side for a larger playing area.

Cost of construction…

6 x sheets of foamboard at £4 each – £24.

Some time and a little imagination – free!

Hobby knife and hot glue gun and sharpies – who doesn’t have those lying about?

Players – always ready and willing to participate!!!

 

3d Space Hulk ( Competition Version)

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Skill 2
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The first one I created over twenty years ago had a small gantry/corridor running around the edge of the board, one level up and it did indeed add quite literally a new dimension to the game.

This one I passed on to the games club when I left the scene for a few years.

The passing of an old friend drew me back in again when I went to a GW store to purchase a squad of Metal Grey Knights that I painted up in his memory.  It also put me back in touch with the members of my old gaming club and it wasn’t too long before I volunteered to run a Space Hulk again.

The next iteration was inspired by the first and a couple of boxes of used foamboard that work colleagues no longer needed.

It was light and strong and ended up being perfect for creating an easy to work with, portable and strong playing area in real 3D.

But how to hold the multiple floors up?

Simple; four pylons with slots for the floors – one in each corner.

First ones I made were too short and players kept knocking over minis when they were moving them on internal floors – so it was back to the drawing board.

It was only a matter of making them longer – using the length of the foamboard instead of the breadth.

Annnd I was able to use these as a mechanism to allow the players to move from floor to floor – well and me too  – the genestealer player.

Space Hulk - original styleSpace Hulk - original style
Ready Player One... and two and three and four and five and sixReady Player One... and two and three and four and five and six
Command DeckCommand Deck
Crew Quarters and Training DeckCrew Quarters and Training Deck
Research Deck and specimen StorageResearch Deck and specimen Storage
Engine and Propulsion DeckEngine and Propulsion Deck
Support Pylons - including grav chutes to other floorsSupport Pylons - including grav chutes to other floors

Originally the supports were flat and I though simply slotting them into the tiers would be sufficient to support the ship.  I soon found out after a few ‘Hulk Quakes’ that they wouldn’t!!

The Fully 3D pylons with actual slots for the foamboard to go into were born and have been working nicely ever since.

As you can see there is space on the pylons grav chute to accomodate a number of minis – many a life and death struggle have taken place on here!

The Caution tape was just a fortunate addon that I thought would lend some more  atmosphere to the Hulk – after  my workplace began to institute Health and Safety procedures.

It hasn’t made the actual Space Hulk any healthier and certainly no safer for the many denizens of its’ corridors.

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