Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's for real; it's big; and it's incoming!

The GW company blog yesterday confirmed the rumours that've been floating round the net for some 6 months now: there is to be a new edition of the classic boardgame Space Hulk; and it will be about as spectacular as some were predicting. That this much is true can be seen from the pictures below, which I culled from the GW site. First, a look at the promotional video clip.

Next, a selection of the pictures (you'll find the rest on GW's site, naturally enough).

The box and its contents
The game will be released on September 5th, in what GW is calling "strictly limited numbers". I confess find myself wondering how GW might choose to define the term "strictly limited", if only for the simple reason that I can easily imagine a print run of several tens of thousands selling out via internet preorders in the scant 3 weeks before the new Space Hulk 'hits the shelves' (I preordered 2 myself thanks to Andy's kind offices; I know from the B&C that I'm not the only person in Glasgow to do so; and I'd even think about turning up and queueing on the day to get a 3rd set- yep, it's one of those games dear readers!).

In any event, months of rumour and anticipation coupled with some last minute stoking of the fires with talk of a 40K 'mystery box' means that however large a print run GW have prepared (and the company must've figured on having at least a day or two's stock available for their stores and their distribution chain, surely?), it will sell out in no time at all as fans old and new clamber over each other to get their hands on copies. Assuming this is what happens, will we I wonder see GW resort to this marketing strategy again?

Meanwhile, what about the contents of the box? I won't repeat the list of goodies which you can find on GW's site. Sufficeth to say that 40K fans are only too aware that the samples here are very high quality pieces even by GW's standards. The posing on that Terminator is extremely dynamic and I imagine modellers the world over will be setting to work in the weeks and months to come to make their regular Terminator minis look similiar. This all looks very promising.

Key questions right now for this ardent fan of the previous editions are:
  • Will the board pieces be backward compatible with those from the previous editions? There is no reason why they shouldn't be, but you don't have to have been a GW customer all that long to be only too familiar with the built-in obsolescence at the heart of their marketing model. I guess we just have to hope that the design team will have proved every bit as keen to expand on their own existing Space Hulk layouts as are the rest of us.
  • What will the heavy flamer rules be like with the obvious return to the larger flame templates as used in 1st edition? I confess I'll need something special to persuade me that these rules will be better than the 2nd edition flamer rules, which were one of the better features of the new edition.
  • How will the extra wargear and characters work? There'll always be the option, as with the flamer rules, of returning to older rules or bringing using homebrews, but your silver tongue might fail you in the face of opponents who prefer the current official version.
But this is mere speculation right now. All these and other mysteries will be revealed very soon. ;)

Addendum, 19/08/09
One of Andy's comments referred to more pictures over at the Warseer forum. For those who are interested, they can be found here. It's also worth keeping a regular check on GW's Space Hulk product page, because it's being updated daily with new pictures until the end of this week.

Related @RD/KA!
- Part 1. In the beginning was the hulk
- Part 2. The timer rule and player point-of-view
- Part 3. Tactics, tactics, tactics!
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