Basic ‚Old School‘ Psychic Rules for Space Hulk – a subset of the Genestealer extension psychic rules

As I strongly, strongly recommend to play Space Hulk with the original first edition rules (I would like to see a Old School Renaissance for Space Hulk too) here are some rules which miraculously presented to myself while I was analyzing the original rules. Behold the ‚Basic Psychic Rules‘ for Space Hulk 1st Edition.

The following houserules are are a fully compatible subset of the Genestealer extension psychic rules and are easily extendable to the original Genestealer rules. They are mainly a modified presentation of the original Genestealer psychic rules. There are no additions to the Genestealer rules. The part mostly changed besides the different presentation is an adaptation of the card system into a dice roll (and thus the renaming of ‚psychic cards‘ to ‚psychic powers‘), which still fully preserves the probabilities of the Genestealer psychic rules. They are in short the whole psychic rules from the Genestealer extension except of psychic attack cards and the associated rules of psychic effect marker decay and dispersing, psychic level mastery, targeting, dispelling and enhancing psychic attacks (force battles). They consist of the remaining ‚basic‘ psychic rules: managing the hand of psychic cards, enhancing close assault rolls and playing Aura cards. Thus they mainly allow psychic rules which are mimicking the rules as in the Deathwing extension and allow a hard-to-hit-rule like the Patriarch/Broodlord has in the 3rd and 4th edition of Space Hulk (don’t forget that the Patriarch rolls 4d+3 in close combat in the 1E rules).

All you need to play with these rules is some additional cups to covertly roll for psychic powers and some differently colored dice. They are completely usable with the components from 3rd and 4th edition of Space Hulk. Have fun.


The aforementioned Genestealer extension to Space Hulk 1E.

In many missions the presence of a psychic Genestealer hivemind restricts the psychic powers of the Marine Librarians („the hivemind has blinded our sensors! Again!“), sometimes warp anomalies near the space hulk hinder Genestealer psykers in the same way.

If you want a fast game with restricted psychic power levels, basic rules for psychic powers are recommended. With these rules Psykers can use psychic powers to enhance their close assault bonus if they wield a force weapon or to establish a psychic Aura to avoid death.

The Hand of Psychic Powers

To use a psychic power, a psyker must be in play. But you can get psychic powers even if none of your psykers is currently in play. It’s sufficient to just have psykers in your force. This way the Stealer player gets powers even before he’s got any Blips representing psykers.

The Marine player has a limit of three psychic powers for his hand. This limit increases by one for each additional psyker in his force.

If he loses all of his psykers, he cannot replenish his hand and must discard any remaining psychic powers. Psykers in sections effected by miasma or stasis do not count as lost for this purpose.

The Stealer player has a limit of 4 psychic powers regardless of the number of hybrid psykers available to him or in play – his hand stays the same size throughout the game. The exception to this are Hybrid Magi and the Genestealer Patriarch. The Magus increases the psychic power limit to 5, the Patriarch to 6.

At the start of your turn, you can get new powers, discard others and replenish your hand:

The Marine player may get 1 power for each psyker in play and can temporarily have 2 powers above his normal hand limit. Then he has to discard any powers of his choice to reduce the hand to its normal size.

The Stealer player may first discard one power. Then he may replenish his hand to its maximum.

The psychic Power Roll

Instead of drawing a psychic power card as with the extended rules for psychic powers, in these basic rules each power is represented by the result of a hidden psychic power roll. You hide the result under a cup as you hide your hand of psychic cards in the extended psychic rules. To simulate the drawing of three cards, roll three times for psychic powers, each roll under a different cup.

A psychic power roll is a d66, i.e. two dice which are distinguishable from each other by colour. One die, e.g. the darker die, represents the tens digit, and the other die the ones digit. For example, a roll of 1 with the darker die and a roll of 5 with the other die will give a total of 15.

Look under the cup and consult the following table to find out which power the roll confers. If you have a reroll result, show the result to the other player to prove it and reroll the psychic power roll. The basic psychic powers rules mostly grant a close assault bonus and sometimes the Aura power. Space Marine Librarians can use the close assault bonus with their force weapon. Genestealer Psykers and Magi usually don’t field a force weapon. As with the Patriarchs they can usually just use the Aura effect. However an unconverted blip doesn’t count as a psyker even if he represents a psyker. A blip thus can’t use psychic powers.

Basic Psychic Rules – Psychic Power roll (d66)

Result Close Assault Bonus/ Psychic Power

11–13 reroll
14–16 1
21–23 2
24–26 3
31–33 4
34–36 4
41–43 5
44–46 5
51–54 6
55–56 6
61–63 Aura Psychic Power
64–66 Aura Psychic Power

Activating Psychic Auras with Aura Psychic Power

A Psyker can play an Aura psychic power to activate a psychic Aura. Playing an Aura power to activate an Aura doesn’t count as an action and cost no APs. He can use an Aura card whenever he suffers a kill, at any time, in either player’s turn. Playing an Aura power also doesn’t lose overwatch.

Enhancing the Close Assault Bonus

Each psychic power roll result, apart from Auras, yield a close assault bonus. (In extended psychic power rules this bonus is marked on each psychic power card apart from Aura power cards). If your psyker uses a force weapon and in close combat against an opponent directly to the front you can simply uncover psychic power roll results (in extended psychic power rules you can play the psychic power cards) before you make a close assault roll and add the close assault bonus to your die score.

Using a close assault bonus from the psychic power roll (or a card) doesn’t count as an action and cost no additional APs except for the normal amount of APs for the close assault itself (i.e. 1 AP if attacking, free if defending).


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