Friday, June 22, 2012

Designer Diary 6: Armour in Space Hulk: XT

On Wednesday, I broached the topic of Melee in Space Hulk, breaking down published materiel for analysis. Later today I will be posting further musings on this matter, including how new models will be incorporated in Space Hulk: XT. First though, one other very important factor must be addressed: Armour.
In Space Hulk, armor is not applied in any way to melee. Instead, it applies to ranged combat, affects movement and AP, and in some cases will confer other special abilities (for example, Terminators may move and fire with an Assault Cannon or similar weapons too cumbersome for other infantry to do so).

There are only 3 existing armor classes in published Space Hulk material. In terms of Space Hulk: XT, these are classified as Toughness. Firstly, Genestealer Hybrids and Brood Brothers have a Toughness of 4, representing that they are either unarmoured or lightly armoured. Next, Power-armoured Space Marines have a toughness of 5, representing their greater than human resilience and highly advanced armor. Finally, Terminators are toughness 6, as they are not only tough, but encased in some of the most advanced armour in the known galaxy. Purestrain Genestealers are also toughness 6 models, due not just to their armour or toughness, but also to their incredible speed in the confines of a Space Hulk.

Within the existing rules structure of Space Hulk, these models are all equivalent in melee (assuming equivalent weaponry). Models wearing less armor are assumed to have increased mobility in melee and a greater chance to bring a weapon to bear, balancing out their effectiveness. The primary difference here is weaponry. For example, a regular Terminator \ equipped with a Storm Bolter and Power Glove has high toughness, a good ranged attack and 1d6 for melee. An Assault Marine with a standard loadout would have a Chainsword and Bolt Pistol. This means he would have lower Toughness from his armor (albeit slightly improved maneuverability) and a much weaker, shorter-ranged shooting attack, though he would still roll 1d6 in melee.

Space Hulk is not only a very different type of battlefield than you will find in Warhammer 40K: it is also a very different, and much more brutally realistic, viewpoint of combat. In 40K, a Space Marine Captain might have invulnerable saves and multiple wounds sufficient to take a pounding from an anti-tank weapon squad and keep on kicking ass. That same Captain in Space Hulk, while still nasty and hardcore, must now worry about a single lucky shot from a Laspistol taking him out of action.

Both 40K and Space Hulk have many similar models, and as I am attempting to show through this blog even more elements from the 40K universe can fully work within Space Hulk. While linked, however, they both remain entirely unique, separate games.


Special Edition Double Blog Post Day! Come back later today for more on Melee.

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