Cardboard Children – Incursion

By Robert Florence on August 19th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

Hello youse,

All y’all know that I’m a big fan of Space Hulk, right? Well, I wanted to tell you about a game called INCURSION. I have the first edition of the game, and a new edition had a successful Kickstarter last year. The game hasn’t gone out to backers yet, but I kinda like what I’ve seen of that Kickstarter campaign. Only the backers will receive the game, and the creators aren’t making much money from it at all. They’re just shipping a beautiful version of their game to people who supported it. They’re shipping later than expected, but they’ve been keeping people updated with everything that’s happening. It all just seems pretty decent between backer and creator, which is good going in the Kickstarter world, to be honest.

It’s a game that seems to be heavily inspired by Space Hulk, but it’s like… far cheaper. It’s not as good, I’ll say that right up front. But it’s VERY solid, a lot of fun, and much cheaper to track down than old Space Hulk is. You will be able to find the first edition of Incursion for a reasonable price. So read on.

INCURSION

Oh, it’s WEIRD WAR time.

You know what WEIRD WAR is, right? It’s like World War II except instead of surreal villains from your worst nightmares it’s surreal villains from your worst nightmares wearing suspender belts and being zombies and shit. It’s like… It’s like a genre of fiction where a creator looked at the Nazis and said “Hey, y’know, these maniacs aren’t quite scary enough. How about we throw some undead things in the mix?”

So you have two factions. I can’t remember what they’re called. Let’s call them the “goodies” and the “baddies”. The goodies have these big power suits and stuff. They’re not very mobile at all. It’s almost like the Terminator suits the guys in Space Hulk wear. It’s almost like that. They spend action points to move, and it’s all FORWARD, FORWARD, TURN A BIT, TURN A BIT. They spend points to open doors too. The main grunts on the baddies side are these zombies that can move really quickly. They are much more mobile than the goodies, and there are a lot more of them. They’re almost kinda sorta like the Genestealers in Space Hulk, in a way.

The first mission in the game is a simple “walk the goodies out of the door” mission. The goodies, slow as they are, need to plod on through to the other side of the board. They are walking into a horde of these baddie zombies. As they shoot the zombies down, more keep coming. It’s got a little bit of the feel of something like Space Hulk, the way you have to just hammer your way through the enemies while you try not to be flanked. You spend your action points, fling your units at each other, lean on some overwatch abilities and decide how to spend your command points.

Command points. Yeah. It’s kinda like those bonus command points you get to spend in Space Hulk. Kinda like that.

Except that in Incursion, both teams have these points. And a lot of the time you’ll be using them to kill cards. Wait, what?

CARDS

Here is where Incursion moves away from the Space Hulk design space. Inside the box you’ll find a big old deck of cards. Each player will have a hand of cards, and they’ll allow players to change the flow of the game in some way. Maybe a card will let you kill the lights so that ranged fire is less useful. Maybe a card will pump your zombies full of some crazy Nazi Red Bull that amps them up to SUPERZOMBIE levels. Another card might allow you to aim better to guarantee a hit. They’re cool things, these cards. It’s exciting to draw a card into your hand and see that it will be IDEAL for the situation you’re in. That’s exciting, right?

Until they get killed. See, these Command Points that can be used for additional action points (and for bidding for initiative at the start of a turn) can also be used to kill cards. Every card has a value, and if your opponent spends Command Points equal to that value, the card gets killed. Do you spend your CP for initiative? Or save those points for additional actions? Or hang on to them in the hope that they can kill a particularly nasty card your opponent might drop on you at a crucial moment? It’s some nice heat-of-the-moment decision stuff, and the card/CP dilemma is the main reason why I still have Incursion in my collection.

See, here’s the thing. It’s VERY close to Space Hulk. But, for me, the card and CP stuff (and that little bit of unit variety – werewolves, bro) make it an interesting little game of its own. And hey – I got it back when it was all indie and pre-Kickstarter and little cardboard standees and stuff. It’s a game that doesn’t need all that fancy stuff. It’s solid on its own.

FOR YOU?

Many of you tell me that you don’t have Space Hulk. And it’s expensive these days, wherever you find it, whatever edition it is that you find. So, for those of you who are Hulkless, I think that Incursion might be a nice thing to try out. Hunt down the first edition. There was even a print and play version available at one time – it might still be out there (in fact, here’s a link to the cards and counters). If you don’t mind the zombie-nazi dominatrix stylings of the setting, you’ll find a lot to like about this game. And then, after trying it out, you can think about whether you want to shell out for the daddy of them all.

I do love Space Hulk. No Nazis. No stockings and suspenders. Only War.

EXTRA!

Oh for fuck’s sake. Fantasy Flight Games basically just announced a Star Wars-themed Descent.

Look at this.

Oh boy, my bank account is in trouble.

NEXT TIME

Kaosball, at last? Cave Evil? Lots of reviews (and some videos) coming down the line. STAY TUNED and DICEY.

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10 Comments »

  1. YogSo says:

    Hmm, sounds interesting, but I can’t quite grasp how it plays out. Maybe if you could compare it to some other game that may be a bit similar to it, Rab? ;-p

  2. rexx.sabotage says:

    Nice, Rab doing his part to aid the hulkless of the world!

    Ya know, if you didn’t care for the NAZI zombie strippers but, managed to track down the print and play version–you’d only be a photoshop job away from theming the game however ya wanted.

  3. Wounder says:

    Fantasy Flight has been on a serious Star Wars tear lately. Imperial Assault, the Star Wars-ish Descent (paintable SW figs!). Scum and Villiany, the new faction for X-Wing Minatures. Armada, the smaller scale version of X-Wing with a Victory-class Star Destroyer. I mean, I know it was GenCon, but this seems brutal for geek & gamer wallets.

    • Palindrome says:

      Incursion is made by Grindhouse games, who make, or at least design, the Secrets of the Third Reich wargame.

      Never mind :p

  4. toxic avenger says:

    HMMM! While the theme of this game makes me kind of nauseous, and I do not have Space Hulk meself, I’m wary if this is going to be worth the money, with all the board-games I have yet to buy on me list. HMMM indeed. Oh yeah, great article, Rab!

  5. The First Door says:

    Ah, I bought this for a friend a few years ago and we really enjoyed it! The only slight downside to me (apart from the silly theme( is that the map isn’t as variable as Space Hulk. Having said that, I can get over that by virtue of the fact that I can play with more varied characters. The Blitzhund really are crazy powerful, especially when you amp up their speed!

  6. Hensler says:

    “Only the backers will receive the game, and the creators aren’t making much money from it at all. They’re just shipping a beautiful version of their game to people who supported it. ”

    - So if I missed the Kickstarter, I’m not going to be able to buy this 2nd Edition unless a backer sells it off somewhere? Sounds like it could end up being as hard to find as Space Hulk. Disappointing, unless I can use the 2nd Edition updated rules with a 1st edition copy?

  7. Palehorse says:

    I apologize for this shameless bragpost but I can’t conceal my glee.

    Like many of you I was Hulkless and figured I would be that way for all time. Until I spotted a post on a local used stuff site for a 1st edition of Space Hulk for $65(CAN).

    I could hardly believe my eyes and jumped on it at once. Everything is in decent shape for being in this guy’s house for 25 years. It’s probably 95% complete, perfectly playable and good enough for me, a former hulkless.

    I only post this because it’s got to be one of the only places in the world anyone would appreciate my luck.

    For the Emperor!

  8. bill says:

    So, is the zombie nazi stripper the goodies or the baddies?

    Is this nazi terminators vs nazi zombies?