|The Deathwatch advances while Ron lays an Ambush card.|
|The Librarian. I guess he likes to read!|
|Biker marine. Its really satisfying when he's killed, cuz|
he is a PAIN.
|The heavy weapon marine was my personal favorite!|
|Moving forward while watching your back!|
The Deathwatch side gives you 11 marines to choose from, with the marine player being able to use only 4 to 6 of them in each mission. Each marine has a pretty distinct feel with different weapon load outs and special rules - and they are AWESOME fun to play. Having two shooting phases per turn, as opposed to the Genestealers one, the marines really put the Overkill subtitle to the test. The Deathwatch team will mow down hordes of Genestealers during a game, striding like near-untouchable gods of war towards their objectives. I felt their gameplay finally reflected the 30 years of Space Marine fluff where handfuls of these super-soldiers conquered entire enemy bases, cities or space ships. Engaging in a running murderfest of Genestealers is wicked fun, only balanced by the gut punch when something inevitably goes horribly, horribly wrong.
|That moment before shit gets REAL.|
The Genestealer player has an inexhaustible supply of troops that swarm onto the board and are blasted into oblivion only to reappear again to the Deathwatch player's dismay. Through the use of an interesting card mechanic, the Genestealer side's play isn't just a rehash of Space Hulk. During each turn, the Genestealer player is dealt a hand of cards (the size of which is dependent upon the mission rules) from which they place models on the board and play special rules that can boost their attacks, protect them from shooting, slow down marines, ect. Only a handful of special strategies can be played per turn, so the Genestealer player needs to really choose what rules they will use or what models they will deploy. Cards with great troops on them tend to also have great special rules, so there is a lot of decisions to be made each turn. This leads to a greater involvement on the Genestealer player's end and really gets both sides invested in the game.
|Not every plan is perfect. I was just about to launch an attack when|
my Genestealer killed himself by fumbling his jump roll across
The simplicity of gameplay - while still feeling familiar to WH40K - allows most missions to played in about an hour which has a lot of appeal to me. Missions didn't feel as though they dragged on for eternity and we were able to advance in the mission story quickly. By the second game, we were more immersed in the scenario than having to remember individual rules and I was really into the developing story of the game.
I really enjoyed my chance to play Deathwatch: Overkill and I'm looking forward to more. A few points to note that may concern people:
- This is strictly a two player game. I really can't see multiple players coordinating on either side. Not a big deal to me, but a total no-go for some.
- Due to some sloppy editing, the Genestealer character cards refer to the "Ambush Phase" which technically doesn't exist. It was easy to figure out the card meant the "Broodmind Phase" during which you place Ambushes, though.
- The first mission is very difficult for the Genestealer player. The scenario is basically a training mission where the marines commit genocide and have all the fun. Ron was very on the fence with the game until the second mission where he saw that the Marines could actually be killed and that it wasn't going to be a one-sided affair.
|Adding resin bases to my models!|
|These first 6 were just a test. I think they turned out pretty well.|