Warhammer 40,000 returns to Xbox One with Space Hulk: Tactics, an enhanced adaption of the classic turn-based strategy board game, coming October 9, and now available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store. In Space Hulk: Tactics, Marine Terminators face off against merciless alien Genestealers in the tight confines of a space hulk, an ancient amalgamation of starships, smashed together over eons to form a deadly maze and function as a breeding ground for aliens and worse. Traps, locked doors, malfunctioning turrets, and more bar the way.
It was vitally important to us to give you equal options on both sides of the fight in Space Hulk: Tactics. For example, both Terminators and Genestealers have unique, interconnected but separate single-player campaigns that take place on the Forsaken Doom space hulk which has been floating between the stars for years. Both allow you to decide the progress of your squad or swarm, customizing their capabilities and picking their path through the hulk, choosing which missions to undertake.
This was important too for gameplay. The baseline rules of the Space Hulk board game, beloved by us and you since the original release in 1989, were kept in place. Every successful attack is lethal, Terminators keeping Genestealers at bay with their ranged weapons, often doomed if they end up in close combat. We wanted to build upon these rules and see if we could add a few wrinkles to the formula.
We did this with the card system. You start each game with a deck based on which units you have chosen to field, and what you’ve equipped them with. Some elements are unlocked in the campaign as you progress, but everything is available in your first skirmish and multiplayer games. These cards can be played for their effect or converted for unique benefits depending on your side. Terminators get more Action Points, allowing them to move further and do more, while Genestealers can get extra units to spawn onto the field.
In this way, combat is completely asymmetrical. Terminators start with five units and a variety of possible objectives, from simply escaping to activating specific consoles or destroying whole rooms with a flame weapon. The Genestealers are an endless swarm, using their cards to create radar blips that contain as many as three (or as few as zero) individual units, able to emerge whenever you like. Your strategies, tactics, and plans will have to be completely different depending on which side you choose to take on.
Jammed weapons and uncovered angles are deadly to the Terminators, but they are almost unstoppable when working as a full, cooperative squad. Units like the Librarian can use special powers to guarantee kills or make deadly area attacks, while heavy weapon bearers bring extreme firepower – which may explode if pushed too hard.
Cards gave us another opportunity to expand this and give the Genestealers their own special units, not present in the original board game. They have far different powers than the Terminators, to keep their unique identity intact as the more melee and swarm-focused of the two sides. Targeting blips of certain sizes will allow you replace their payload of normal Genestealers with one of these divergent strains – slower and hardier, or capable of passing through vents at frightening speeds, or even the mighty Broodlord which can spawn new Genestealers around it.
We’re very excited to see what players, those who have a history with Space Hulk and new fans, think of both sides when Space Hulk: Tactics arrives on Xbox One. Pre-order today to get ready to fight on October 9, 2018.