My Space Hulk OSR – Modern Space Hulk with simplified Genestealer Hybrid Rules
After I tried out the modern Space Hulk missions and rules I finally appreciated the depth and design of the original Space Hulk game even more. This is the second article to my personal Space Hulk Old School Renaissance (OSR). I guess I’ll have to design a logo soon ;) Enjoy the following Genestealer expansion rules streamlining.
Space Hulk 3e/4e is basically original Space Hulk with Deathwing expansion. What you don’t get is the Genestealer expansion (inventory list to really tease you). Now there are 78 missions for the original edition of Space Hulk, you can access them here at Space Hulk Barsoom. Even if you don’t have or don’t want to recreate the special corridor tiles, you can play many of those missions. Berthold Nuechter analysed the missions and kindly presented an overwiev, which missions you can play with which edition. Naturally, you can play more if you use the Genestealer expansion components and psychic rules. Fortunately there are some easy ways to use them with Space Hulk 3e/4e.
The following rules were developed primarily for usage with the rules of Space Hulk original 1st edition with the components of 3rd/4th edition. For example, the mean value of Stealers and Hybrids per blip stays nearly the same as with the original Extended Blip Set that came with the Genestealer expansion (with both sets it is averagely 1.97 Stealer + 0.27 Hybrids per Blip). You can use the rules with 3rd/4th edition rules (ignore references to Ambush Counters and Hybrid psykers then). You could use them for custom missions or when converting 1e missions to 3e/4e. If you had Space Hulk 1e, you even could use some of the following rules to simplify the Genestealer expansion rules a little bit (and thus follow GW’S trend since 1996).
Streamlined Extended Hybrid Blip Set
If you are playing with Genestealer Hybrids, you have new Blips, indicating the type of Hybrid. Conveniently, there are three types of Hybrids, as there are three types of Blips, so it is easily possible to use the rules for the extended blip set with your normal Stealer Blips.
Take 6 Blip Counters, 2 of each 1-, 2- and 3-Blips. Mark the Blips on the numbered side with some removable tape. Now these marked Blips count as Hybrid Blips. The number doesn’t indicate their quantity but which type of Hybrid it is. When unconverted, they have the same rules as Stealer Blips.
Also there are 4-, 5- and 6-Blips in the extended Blip Set, two of each type. Use the Blip Anomaly Rule to simulate the Extended Blip Set.
Upon converting a Hybrid Blip, the 1-Blips count as psykers with Heavy Weapons, the 2-Blips as non-psykers with Heavy Weapons and the 3-Blips as Psykers with Basic Weapons. Use the flipped Blip as a Hybrid model of the specified type.
Ignore the Hybrid psykers if you play without psychic rules or play with the basic psychic house rules, based on the Genestealer expansion. You can use them with Space Hulk 3e/4e.
If you have no Hybrid models, you can use the marked Blips as models. Bear in mind, it now follows the rules of a model. It has a direction as shown below:
Once a Hybrid Blip has been converted to the appropriate model, the Hybrid only receives 4 APs each turn. Hybrids have their own AP costs for movement – these are similar to a Purestrain Stealer’s, except it costs an extra I AP for a Hybrid with a heavy weapon to turn 90° or 180°.
Anomaly Blips to mimick 4-, 5- and 6-Blips of the Extended Blip Set
At the placement of a reinforcement Blip before looking at the Blip value, a Stealer player may declare one of the reinforcement Blips an anomaly Blip. They give a flat +3 bonus to the amount of Stealers. Discard the used anomaly counter, do not take it back into your reserve of usable anomaly counters. There are 4 Anomaly markers per blip stack in reserve (just use some custom tokens). As the Blip stack is reshuffled, used up Anomaly counters go to the reserve again. An anomaly counter may never be used with an ambush Blip.
If you play with Hybrid Blips and apply an anomaly counter to one of these, ignore the anomaly counter upon conversion and place it back into your reserve. Do not discard it.
Streamlined Hybrid Stats and Weapons
Hybrids are easier to kill than the Purestrain brethren – they do not have the thick carapace armour of a Purestrain to protect them. In the original rules there are separate scores for ranged weapons and psychic attacks to kill Purestrains and Hybrids, with the scores needed to kill Hybrids being lower. Playing with new models and various new weapons makes it necessary to use tables. With the houserule below for simplified stats you can omit them and speed up play. The effect is nearly same. (Storm Bolter: 75% kill rate at first shot vs. 76.7% with houserule, 88,9% with first sustained fire shot vs. 80% with houserule, AC: 96% kill rate with first shot vs. 91% with houserule, Flamer: autokill vs. 97% kill rate with houserule, Plasma Grenade Launcher: 83% kill rate (2+) vs. 75% with houserule (4+ with 2 dice).)
For each shot at a Hybrid roll as if you shoot at a Stealer but if you miss, you may simply roll all weapon dice a second time to see if the target is killed. You even have the second roll, if the first roll is a jam or malfunction. The only exception to this is the storm bolter: it has three rerolls per shot if firing at a Hybrid!
Additionally, use the following stats for hybrid weapons:
Heavy Weapon: kills on 2+ or non-lasting section effect and 6+. 2 AP to shoot. No move and fire.
Basic Weapon: kills on 3+ or 4+ on Overwatch. Shoots every second round (use a custom marker for with the sides marked for fired/recharging). Move and fire.
An exception to this is the Heavy Plasma Gun. If a mission states that a Hybrid has a Heavy Plasma Gun, treat it like the Heavy Weapon from above but if you shoot it as section effect weapon, it costs 3 APs to shoot and still kills everything on a 2+. It then must recharge a full round.
Extended Blip Set Lists
Many missions use different Hybrids. You can also emulate them. Originally, there were 10 Hybrid Blips, lettered A–J. The mission description then keyed each letter to a Hybrid type. If you play a Mission with special Hybrids, e.g. Hybrids with heavy plasma guns, roll a die upon conversion. On a 5–6 you can define the letter of the Blip, but it must lie in its letter range. The letter range for the three Blip types are as follows: 1-Blips: A–C, 2-Blips: D–F, 3-Blips: G–J. Alternatively you can map the whole range on a die roll: e.g. you draw a marked 1-Blip, it’s an A–C-Blip. Roll a die: on a 1–2 it’s A, 3–4 it’s B and on 5–6 it’s C.
Genestealer Psychic Rules
There is a point in using the Genestealer psychic rules. It is not hard to recreate the original Genestealer expansion psychic cards. If you need the Rulebook, make friends with the guys at boardgamegeek.com, but the reference sheets and errata are also available at spacehulk.barsoom (see above). To use Genestealer psychic rules with modern Space Hulk, you need 44 index cards. Write down on each the name of the psychic power and colorize it at the top left corner to indicate the psychic card’s color. Write down the close assault bonus on the bottom left side. Some cards then must be colorized at the bottom right corner to indicate if they can be used as force cards to enhance or nullify other psychic powers. Some cards are unstoppable, they have an icon at the bottom to indicate this. You don’t need the psychic effect counters, just use the cards on the section if needed. Then create a psychic color track or print out one like this here, but really, this is again a non-essential part of the psychic rules..
Try it, you get a really funny and rewarding, yes even relaxant game in which you have to just sit back and watch the psychic carnage unfold :) It’s perfectly when normal Space Hulk seems to be too stressing.