**Space Hulk:® Death Angel** Rewritten Instructions by [CasualEffects](http://casual-effects.com) [_Space Hulk: Death Angel_](http://amzn.to/2qr6ytq) is a cooperative card game for 1-6 players ages 8 and up. It is best for 1-3 players. It takes 10-20 minutes to play, once you understand the setup. The theme is extremely dark. The player characters are brutal crusaders and the enemies are aliens from your nightmares. Games are typically short because you'll lose long before the end. I wrote this rule book because the one provided with the game is widely regarded as convoluted and confusing, even though the rules themselves are straightforward. "Space Hulk: Death Angel -- The Card Game" and "Space Hulk" are trademarks of The Games Workshop Limited 2010. The game and artwork are copyright The Games Workshop Limited 2010. These player-made instructions are provided under US Fair Use copyright provisions describing the game for nonprofit, educational and review purposes. All images in this document are low-resolution versions of materials from the game. Rules Overview =============================================================================== _From [BoardGameGeek](https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/71721/space-hulk-death-angel-card-game)_: "Players choose from six different combat teams, each consisting of two Space Marines with different abilities. Each player receives three Action cards for each of his combat teams. After all of the Space Marines have fallen into formation, prepare for the first wave of Genestealers. Each game is played over a series of rounds, broken up into phases. During the Choose Actions Phase, each player must secretly determine which of the following Action cards they wish to play on their Space Marines: Support, Attack, or Move + Activate. You can't pick the same Action card next round, so choose wisely. Action resolution keeps all players involved while the overwhelming odds inspire them to work together to survive. The Action Resolution Phase consists of each player revealing and carrying out their chosen Action. The lowest number card goes first, which means Attacks are resolved after Supports. Support tokens enable Space Marines to re-roll, so make sure to cover your fellow Blood Angels. The Genestealer Attack Phase happens after all the Actions have been resolved, so hopefully you thinned out the swarms since you have to roll higher than the number of Genestealers in the swarm to successfully defend. Finally, an Event card is drawn to spawn more alien adversaries. Once all the Genestealers have emerged from the darkness, its time to move forward, drawing a new location card. And then it's back into the fight!" ----------------- For a great visual example of setup and playthrough, watch the [DadsGaming video walkthrough](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ7ujaj3oKo) of Death Angel. Beware that it has some small rule errors. It incorrectly says that *Support Tokens* can be used to make extra attacks and misses the rule that *Swarms* flank when they cannot move. Components =============================================================================== If you want to protect your cards from handling, use Mayday Premium USA Chimera Card Sleeves. You need three packs for the 128 cards, but can buy the [four pack](http://amzn.to/2rv9cmq) less expensively than three singles and still have some sleeves left over for the expansions. Space Marines ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![A *Space Marine* card.](space-marine.jpg width=160) There six coloured sets of two *Space Marines*, for a total of 12 *Space Marine* cards. The *Space Marine* cards contain flavor text and picture, an attack range, and a facing direction (arrow). The icon underneath the picture redundantly indicates the colour of the card. Each pair of *Space Marines* with the same colour forms a *Combat Team*. Each *Combat Team* is controled by a single player. Each player will control between one and three *Combat Teams*, depending on the total number of players Use the *Combat Team Marker* disk of the matching colour to keep track. The *Formation* is the vertical line of *Space Marines* that forms the play board. Action Cards ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![An *Action* card.](action.jpg width=120) Each *Combat Team* has three *Action Cards* in the same colour. The player controlling that *Combat Team* will choose one of the cards to play each turn. All *Combat Teams* have *Move + Activate*, *Support*, and *Attack* roles on their *Action Cards*. Each contains a special ability specific to that *Combat Team*, and sometimes to a particular *Space Marine*. Genestealers ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![*Genestealer* cards.](genestealer.jpg height=100) ![A *Brood Lord*.](brood-lord.jpg height=100) There are 36 *Genestealer* cards depicting aliens. Each contains an icon in the lower-right indicating its class. These are spawned by *Event* cards. The *Genestealers* are initially in a face-down reserve deck and two face-down *Blip Piles*, one on each side of the *Location*. There are also 2 *Brood Lord* cards used only as indicated by special *Event* cards during the game. The group of all *Genestealers* including *Brood Lords* on one side of a *Space Marine* (at his "position" on either the left or right) is called a *Swarm* and moves and attacks as a single unit. Locations ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![*Location* cards.](location.jpg width=160) There are 22 *Location* cards. Each describes one room through which the *Space Marines* will pass towards their goal. Only a small subset of these cards will be used in each game. Each *Location* contains four red icons describing the *Terrain* types and initial placement in the room, two green numbers indicating the initial size of the left and right *Blip Piles* of *Genestealers*, and some exception text describing what happens when the *Location* is first entered or how to win the game. ![A *Void Lock* *Location* card.](void-lock.jpg width=160) *Location* cards are separated into decks according to the numbers on their backs. The *Void Lock* is always the first *Location*. There are multiple *Void Lock* cards, designed for different numbers of players. Terrain ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![A *Terrain* card.](terrain.jpg width=160) The features within a *Location* are described by the 8 *Terrain* cards. At most four will be in play at any time. *Terrains* are *Genestealers* spawn points as well as allowing special actions when activated. The active *Location* card specifies which *Terrain* cards to use and which side of the *Formation* to place them on. Events ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![An *Event* card.](event.jpg width=160) The 30 *Event* cards describe an exceptional event (which is usually bad, but not always), how many *Genestealers* spawn and where, and how the *Genestealer* swarms move. During the *Event* phase of a turn, the exception text applies first and then the icons on the bottom are read from left to right on the card. Combat Die ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![The *Combat Die*.](combat-die.jpg width=100) The red *Combat Die* is rolled for attacks from both *Space Marines* and *Genestealers*, and for some special situations. When a *Space Marine* attacks, any of the three faces marked with a skull (💀) denotes a successful hit (and kill). Therefore, attacks have a 50% base hit rate. When a *Genestealer Swarm* attacks, the *Space Marine* target is killed if the die roll is less than or equal to the number of *Genestealers* in the *Swarm*. Support Tokens ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![A *Support Token*.](support-token.jpg width=80) The cardboard *Support Tokens*, which are shaped like guns, maintain count of bonuses. They are awarded to a *Space Marine* when taking the *Support* action and placed on the door *Terrain* when it is *Activated*. Setup =============================================================================== ![Sample 4-player setup](setup.jpg width=240) 1. Set the 2 *Brood Lord* cards aside for later use. 2. Shuffle the 36 *Genestealer* cards and put them face-down at the top of the play area in a reserve pile. 3. Select the appropriate number of *Combat Teams* per player, and then give each player their corresponding colour-coded *Combat Team Token*(s), *Space Marine* cards, and *Action* cards. Put away the remaining *Space Marine* and *Action* cards. - 1 Player: 3 Combat Teams (6 Space Marines total) - 2 Players: 2 Combat Teams each (8) - 3 Players: 2 Combat Teams each (12) - 4 Players: 1 Combat Team each (8) - 5 Players: 1 Combat Team each (10) - 6 Players: 1 Combat Team each (12) 4. Select the *Void Lock* card for the number of *Space Marines* (6, 8, 10, or 12) and put it in the current *Location* slot. Put the other *Void Lock* cards back in the box. 5. Separate the other *Location* cards into piles based on the numbers on their backs. Shuffle each of those piles. Create an ordered, face down deck from them drawing from each small deck as described on the bottom of the *Void Lock* card, and then put the remaining *Locations* away: - 6 Space Marines: (top) 2 ==> 3 ==> 4 (bottom) - 8 Space Marines: 1C ==> 2 ==> 3 ==> 4 - 10 Space Marines: 1B ==> 2 ==> 3 ==> 4 - 12 Space Marines: 1A ==> 2 ==> 3 ==> 4 6. Collect all *Space Marine* cards that are in the game and shuffle them. Place them in a vertical line down from the *Void Lock*, creating the *Formation* (this represents a top view of the marines in a room/corridor). Make the top half of the *Formation* face left and the bottom half face right. 8. Stock the *Blip Piles* and place the *Terrains* following the Travelling section rules, applied as if travelling _to_ the *Void Lock* *Location*. 7. Draw the top *Event* card and spawn two swarms of *Genestealers* as specified on that card according to the rules in the Event Phase section, but ignore any other text or motion on that card. Discard that *Event*. 8. Begin with the rules from the Turns section. If you wish to give yourself an advantage, deploy some initial *Support Tokens* on your *Space Marines* at the start of the game. If you don't enjoy losing, then I recommend giving each *Space Marine* one for your first few games. ![A two-player game after setup is complete. The *Combat Teams* were chosen by the players and the *Genestealer* locations are random. Everything else should be the same for any two-player game.](setup2.jpg) Travelling =============================================================================== When travelling to a new location: 1. If this is not the start of the game (i.e., you aren't travelling to the *Void Lock*): 1. Kill one *Genestealer* in the *Formation* for each *Support Token* on the door, and then remove those *Support Tokens*. 2. Remove all *Terrains*. 3. Draw the next *Location* from pre-prepared deck and apply any "when entering" rules printed on the *Location* card. 2. Draw face down a number of *Genestealer* cards from the reserve equal to the green number on the lower-left of the *Location* card. Place these (still face down) as the *Blip Pile* to the left of the *Location*. 3. Repeat the previous step for the number on the right side of the *Location* card to form the right *Blip Pile*. 4. Place 4 of the 8 *Terrain* cards as specified by the red numbers and icons on the *Location* card. Put the other 4 *Terrain* cards aside. - The icon indicates which *Terrain* card to place. - *Terrains* specified on the left (with down arrows) are placed at those locations on the left of the *Formation*, counting from the top of the *Formation*. The first *Space Marine* is at position 1. - *Terrains* specified on the right (with up arrows) are placed at those locations on the right of the *Formation*, counting from the _bottom_. - When the number exceeds the length of the formation, place the *Terrain* at the last position on the specified side. *Genestealers* currently active on the *Formation* stay in place when *Travelling* unless killed by the door *Terrain* card or some other exception rule. Turns =============================================================================== Each turn has four phases, described in the sections below. However, *Travelling* or *Death* of a *Space Marine* can occur during any phase and temporarily interrupt the normal flow. If either *Blip Pile* is empty _at the end_ of any phase, follow the rules from the Travelling section to move to the next *Location*. This usually occurs at the end of the *Event* phase, but through special abilities can occasionally happen at other times. Death of a *Space Marine* usually happens when the *Genestealers* attack, but can happen through *Events* or side effects of special abilities. A marine's death leaves a gap in the *Formation*. Fill it by moving the smaller side of the *Formation* into the gap. The *Genestealers* and *Terrain* cards move with the *Space Marines*. Action Selection Phase ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For each of their *Combat Teams* (colors), each player selects one *Action* card from that *Combat Team*'s deck. This selection is private and without discussion between players. You may not choose the same *Action* card for *Combat Team* two turns in a row. Place the selected cards face down in front of the players until everyone has selected, and then flip them over simultaneously. The remaining *Action* cards that were not selected will not be used for the remainder of the turn. Action Resolution Phase ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Resolve the selected *Actions* in increasing order of the initiative numbers on the upper-right corner of the *Action* cards. Each card only applies to the *Space Marines* in the *Combat Team* of the corresponding color. The rules depend on the type of card selected. In addition, each card has an exception rule printed on it. ### Support Action Gain a single *Support Token* from the supply and place it on _any_ *Space Marine*, including ones controlled by other players. ### Move + Activate Action Perform the following steps in order: 1. Optionally swap zero, one, or both *Space Marines* in the *Combat Team* with an adjacent *Space Marine* from any *Combat Team*, controller by any player. Maintain the left-right facing directions of both cards during a swap. A *Space Marine* may be moved twice during the action so long as only one is due to his own swap. 2. Optionally change the facing (left-right) direction of zero, one, or both *Space Marines* in the *Combat Team*. 3. For at most one *Space Marine*, activate at most one *Terrain* card at his position that he is facing, following the instructions on that card. Each *Terrain* card may only be activated once per round, across all players and *Combat Teams*. Per their special ability, the orange *Combat Team* may make an additional move (including changing facing) but not an additional activation. ### Attack Action Both *Space Marines* in the *Combat Team* attack, in any order. A *Space Marine* can target any swarm that is within range on the side that he is facing. Range 0 is directly in front of the *Space Marine*, range 1 is adjacent, and so on. For each attack, roll the *Combat Die*. Any face with a skull (💀) icon results in a kill. In that case, choose any *Genestealer* from the selected swarm and discard it from play. Any other roll is a miss and nothing happens. Special ability exception rules on the *Action* card or *Space Marine* may override these rules. A *Space Marine* may re-roll any normal attack by spending (returning to the supply) *Support Token* that is on that *Space Marine*. You cannot use *Support Tokens* from other *Space Marines*. Genestealer Attack Phase ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Starting with the swarm at the top left and moving down, each swarm attacks. (*Genestealers* on the left and right of a position are different swarms.) Roll the *Combat Die* for each attack. If the number is less than or equal to the number of *Genestealers*, then the *Space Marine* is killed and removed from play immediately. However, a *Space Marine* may spend a *Support Token* that is on him to re-roll any normal defense roll against the side that he is facing. *Support Tokens* may not be spent to defend against flanking swarms behind the marine. When a *Space Marine* is killed, a gap is left in the *Formation*. Fill it by moving the smaller side of the *Formation* into the gap. The *Genestealers* and *Terrain* cards move with the *Space Marines*. When this merges swarms, swarms that have already attacked do not participate in their new swarm's attack this turn. Event Phase ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ![Two *Event* cards: major + minor spawn + move,
and minor + minor + flank.
](event2.jpg width=200) The player who had the lowest number in the action phase is the active player. The active player draws the top *Event* card and performs the action specified on its text without any discussion with the other players. Next, spawn *Genestealers* as specified by the two spawn icons on the bottom of the *Event* card, reading from left to right: - The colour on each *Event* card spawn icon box indicates the *Terrain* at which the *Genestealers* spawn. - If there are multiple *Terrains* with the same colour in the *Formation*, then _all_ of those *Terrains* experience spawns. - Draw cards for each spawn event from the *Blip Pile* on the side corresponding to the *Terrain*. If there are not enough cards remaining in the pile, spawn only as many as possible. - The colour and shape of the triangle on each spawn icon describes how many *Genestealers* spawn due to that icon. White with a smooth border is a minor spawn and corresponds to the small number shown in the matching icon on the *Void Lock* card from the start of the game. Yelow with a spikey border is a major spawn and corresponds to the large number shown on the matching icon on the *Location* card. Finally, move the *Genestealers* according to the third icon if it is present: - The symbol (claw, brain, etc.) denotes which *Swarms* move. If _any_ *Genestealer* in a *Swarm* has that icon, then the entire swarm moves. - If the icon contains a curved arrow, then each specified *Swarm* moves to flank the marine at their position by moving behind him. If the *Swarm* is already behind the marine, it does not move. - If the icon contains up and down chevrons, then the *Swarm* moves down if on the left side of the *Formation* and up if on the right side. If the *Swarm* would move off the top or the bottom, then it instead flanks. If either Blip pile is empty at the _end_ of this phase and the *Location* deck is not empty (that is, you are not at the end of the game), then apply the rules from the *Travelling* section. Game End =============================================================================== The game ends in a loss when all *Space Marines* are eliminated. If you are not on the last *Location* and all of one player's *Combat Teams* are eliminated, consider forfeiting the game. You are unlikely to win when many *Space Marines* have been eliminated early and it is not much fun for the eliminated players to watch others drag out the act of losing. The game ends in a win when the victory condition on the last *Location* card is met. This card has the number 4 on its back. There are three possible conditions. You won't know which one is active until you reach the final room. They are: Launch Control Room : Countdown. When activating the Control Panel *Terrain*, either place a *Support Token* on the Launch Control Room *Location* card _or_ roll the *Combat Die*. If you roll equal to or less than the number of *Support Tokens* on the card, then you win. Genestealer Lair : Boss battle. Upon entering, move all swarms to the red *Terrain* card on their side of the formation. Then spawn 1 *Brood Lord* on each red *Terrain* card. If both *Brood Lords* are slain, then you win. Toxin Pumping Station : Kill everything. You win when there are no *Genestealers* in the *Formation* and both *Blip Piles* are empty. When activating the Control Panel *Terrain*, roll a die and discard that many cards from the *Blip Pile* of your choice. Strategy =============================================================================== (Based on [Rob Robinson's amazing 120-page guide](https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/101153/death-angel-complete-guide):) If you're finding the game impossibly hard, first check that you haven't made a mistake on one of the rules. For example, it is common to forget that: - *Swarms* move as a group if they contain _any_ activating movement symbol. - Both *Space Marines* in a *Combat Team* can attack or move when that *Action* is chosen. - *Travel* at the end of any phase where a *Blip Pile* is empty. Make sure that you are choosing *Actions* based on the special abilities of *Combat Teams* and individual *Space Marines*, not generically. Certain characters are much better at specific actions than others. At least two *Genestealers* spawn every turn, and up to eight can spawn depending on the number of players. If you aren't slaying the average number of new *Genestealers* each turn then you are guaranteed to fail. Don't waste actions picking off only one...you need to use multi-kill special abilities and door activation to increase your kill-to-spawn ratio above default attacks. The balance of the game and optimal strategy shifts based on the number of *Combat Teams* in play (as determined by the number of players). Adapt accordingly. Move and flip *Space Marines* so that their attack ranges cover as many positions as possible from both sides. *Support Tokens* are very important. Deploy them early and seek to have two or three on your most valuable *Space Marines*, and even up to five on Zael in a multiplayer game. In a single-player game, instead seek one support token per *Space Marine*. Be aware of the special abilities of your individual *Space Marines* and move them to take advantage of them. For example, move Valencio to the door so that he can activate it and position Gideon so that you can leverage his "block" ability. *Genestealers* always move counter-clockwise, so plan your attack coverage and support token placement based on where they are headed. *Genestealers* generally spawn at *Terrains*, so place the *Space Marines* best able to attack or at least block at the *Terrains* and invest your *Support Tokens* there first. Considering the *Space Marines* individually, their value is roughly (in decreasing order) is: Rank | Space Marine | Team | Reason ----:|-------------------|:----:|-------- 1 | Zael |purple| flamethrower multi-kill up to 5 with Flamer Attack 2 | Lexicanium |gray | chained unlimited multi-kill with Psionic Attack, freeze enemy swarm 3 | Lorenzo |blue| kill up to 1 Genestealer during defense with Counter Attack 4 | Claudio |yellow| multi-kill 3 with Heroic Charge, move anywhere 5 | Gideon |green| increased defense with Block, multi-kill up to 3 with Dead Aim 6 | Leon |red| multi-kill up to 3 with Full Auto 7 | Goriel |yellow| move anywhere 8 | Noctis |green | multi-kill up to 3 with Dead Aim 9 | Deino |blue | 10 | Omino |purple | 11 | Scipio |gray | freeze enemy swarm 12 | Valencio |red | extra door activation When forced to sacrifice a *Space Marine*, generally prefer to sacrifice a weaker one. In general, the green team is considered the weakest (because both *Space Marines* are average, not because they are bad). Purple is considered the strongest because of Zael.