Space Marine is a fast-paced skirmish game based on the hit video game of the same name. Each game can take between 30-60 minutes and requires two players. One player takes control of Lieutenant Titus while the other controls a swarm of Tyranid.
Space Marine: The Board Game is a two-player skirmish game published by Games Workshop that takes about 30-60 minutes to play.
During each mission players will set up the board with objectives (if needed) as well as starting models and any other markers. In the two missions included in the book, players will either need to slay all enemy models or control all objectives on the board. Each mission gives specific instructions on how to set up the board.
Once the game begins players will take turns activating their models to move and shoot or move and melee attack their opponent.
Each model has a datasheet in the back of the rule book to provide the stats for each type of model and the weapons they carry such as their ranged attacks and melee weapons.
Two missions included in this book are “Objective Secured” and “Hold the Line”.
During “Objective Secured” the goal is to utilize the supply boxes on the battlefield to either buff Titus or spawn more Tyranid. Victory is achieved once one side has eliminated all models from the other.
The second mission “Hold the Line” requires players to try to stop enemy models from ending near objectives and has different abilities that can be chosen each turn to help buff your units to overwhelm your opponent.
Each scenario is played with alternating activations until one side emerges victorious.
I must start my experience by saying that the models you get within the box are of solid value and are of the quality anyone could expect from Games Workshop. I found myself running out of things to do while playing the actual game though. I was able to play through the entire Space Marine book in an evening and really wished that it had been a little longer. I understand that the models were limited in the box and that this is an intro game, but having a little mini-campaign to play with Titus against the Tyranid would not go amiss. At least I can say that set up was super easy and the datasheet and the rules themselves are light and clear.
During the game, my opponent and I found ourselves stopping to shoot at each other quite a bit. During my mission with Titus, I was a little more melee heavy in my strategy and found myself healing off a lot of damage from the swarming Tyranid as I cut them down with the chainsword. You do have limited resources as a Tyranid player though and need to position yourself a little bit more carefully. I found that the Tyranid excelled on the “Hold the Line” scenario as long as you kept your footprint as large as possible and danced in and out of bolter range. This mission does allow for almost unlimited reinforcements for the Tyranid as well so you could feel the desperation as I swarmed all over the board to the point I was out of models.
I think this is a great intro game to the 40k universe. You get some awesome minis to get you hooked and some quick learning scenarios that you can play a handful of times. The special rules for the missions feel thematic and fun as well.
My biggest critique is that the number of missions is too limited. The minis are where you get the bang for your buck. My opponent and I agreed that there are a lot of other two player games that were going to come off the shelf again before we grabbed Space Marine. Sometimes we felt like we were at the mercy of the random dice rolls to see who would get the 5s and 6s first with little to no action in between.
Overall, it is a fun little game that you get alongside your value of miniatures.
Final Score: 3 Stars – A small-scale skirmish game with limited replay ability.
• Limited replay value.
• Only two missions outside of the training scenarios.
• Game can stall out due to dice rolls.