By Robert Florence on August 19th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Oh for fuck’s sake. Fantasy Flight Games basically just announced a Star Wars-themed Descent.
Oh boy, my bank account is in trouble.
Kaosball, at last? Cave Evil? Lots of reviews (and some videos) coming down the line. STAY TUNED and DICEY.