Space Hulk, Eh?

After the success of DreadFleet, I heard various “never again” rumours from GW. Then we had the Blood Bowl new edition rumours that came to nothing. To me, that sounded like a far better idea than Dreadfleet ever was (even though they missed the BB anniversary year). Still, that didn’t happen either.

Today we can pre-order GW’s latest “Limited Release” boxed game: Space HulkDéjà vu anyone?

Space Hulk 3bI’ve heard a couple of dark mutterings about this not really being an LE because it’s basically the same as the previous release. Well, yes and no. I’m not sure how much you have to change to count as something different, and it’s got extra missions and (I think) extra tiles even if the models are the same. Everyone liked the models when they came out the first time, so they certainly didn’t need fixing. Most importantly though, they seem to have changed the font for the title.

Sure, it’s GW looking for an easy way to make a lot of cash for minimal investment, and why not? Doesn’t that sound like good business? It does to me.

Personally, I’ve always said that after they released Space Hulk 3rd ed as the first of this latest set of LE games, I’d have gone back every 2 years with a revised version. New set of scenarios, new frame of Space Marines from a different chapter, and you’ve got a really sellable product for not much work. Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Ultramarines, Dark Angels as a start, before you even need to think very hard. That’s 8 years of product, and I’m pretty sure they would sell. Blood Bowl would be the best after that, then I think you could do a neat Epic version (sort of Titan Legions) as a stand-alone. Redoing Man o’ War was always a weird, rank outsider option.

Anyway, I’m sure Space Hulk 3rd redux will sell well. Certainly better than DF ever did. I might even buy a set myself. It’s one of Richard Halliwell’s best games, and it’s something I  would likely get on the table, if only because I know so many ex-GW gamers.

How many more of you are tempted by this reissue?

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68 Responses to Space Hulk, Eh?

  1. redfox4242 says:

    I looked at pictures of Space Hulk on the GW web site. I was inspired and I thought it looked pretty cool. Naturally I went bought a copy of Project Pandora as a reaction to this experience. That is about how I do my hobby. I regularly get psyched by Games Workshop marketing and then go and purchase a product counter part from Mantic Games. That is how I like to do it. Those terminators wouldn’t have looked right in my Warpath Corporation army but the Corporation Marines of Project Pandora on the other hand will be right at home.

  2. Sami Mahmoud says:

    As someone who bought the previous re-issue I’m more than a little irritated by this re-issue. If I knew there was a way for me to get the additional content to upgrade my current set it would be a different matter.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      It does seem like a bit of a slap in the face to veteran customers. Not that this is anything new for GW…

      • eriochrome says:

        This is pretty much my opinion. They have enough updated content that they could take the probably 1 or 2 new cardstock sheets, missions and all the ipad releases and bundle them into like a 50 dollar pack. Reissue the last edition at say 115 with new fonts and dice or something. Then they could get money from people who want the whole game and more money from people who have the last set but are not willing to pay 125 dollars for like 1 or 2 rooms, 4 missions, and some counters or 16 dollars for an ipad “expansion” with like 2 rules and maybe 2-3 missions.

        GW has been way to short term mindset for the past few years and it has started to catch up with them. Now the Hardcore Space Hulk people will be buying these sets just to get the few new things which will prevent the more casual customers from getting one in a month or two like for christmas. While GW probably only looks at this is a wash since they still sold the game but having 2 players with 1 copy of the game each is way better for GW than 1 player with 2 copies. GWs lack of clarity on these type of issues is why it cannot change until the upper management is gone. The stock holders can really only hope that Wells is not involved in picking his replacement given how much his Preamble this year looked like a internet rant.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          My expectation is that the new boss won’t have any experience in the figure games world.

        • eriochrome says:

          You are probably correct. Ofcourse the last guy they brought in from what the retail drugstore world worked out great. GW remains so stuck on their retail operations that it has undermined the company. In the past they were valuable since they allowed the company to dominate UK gaming which gave them an economy of scale that no other gaming company could match.

          The retail has never really been the profit center though. It only appears profitable since they hide a bunch of the costs in the corporate side (250 design/prodcution employees need a whole lot less corporate overhead than 1500 sales employees). The profit center has always been production with sales there to move the as many kits as possible through all channels. GWs alienation of their trade partners is why their profits fell so much since trade sales appeared to be off like 25% based on the comparison between production internal revenue and sales revenue over the past few years.

          GW has boutique-ified themselves claiming to serve a niche but they are the mass market of the niche and already had a boutique brand in forge world. There methods of production and the network affects in gaming are aligned for them to have reasonably costed plastic products that people can buy without even thinking about it. Every sale lost because of a price rise eats into the economy of scale and undermines what was the dominance of GW games in the market place.

  3. sideofiron says:

    I’ve already started drafting my complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

    I don’t really care that new material may be included. The contents of my 3rd edition were sold to me after a GW employee pushed the fact that it would be a limited edition. That any of those components are being reprinted/cast and sold makes the original advertising false and misleading.

    And no. I will not be purchasing new Space Hulk.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I don’t want to stop you complaining. A question though: how much would have to be changed for them to not be infringing the LE status. All of it?

      • sideofiron says:

        Unfortunately yes. New rules, new art, new models… the whole lot. The error is theirs, for originally marketing it as limited.

        The physical product was promoted as a rare item – in doing so, they were able to artificially inflate the price.

        In Australia, if they waited two years, there would be a statutory limitation on any consumer complaint. However, GW have flirted with consumer law here gouging the Australian market for years.

        I think they have made a mistake this time. It is about time someone held them to account for their dodgy commercial practices.

  4. G says:

    Heading into town to pre-order today. Though I already have the 2009 edition, the new bits and bobs are just too tempting to miss, plus you can never have too many tiles and the fact that there is an extra mission in WD this week plus three iPad mission supplements for Ultras, Deathwing and Wolves suggests that they might actually support the system this time around.

    All in all, happy days I think.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’d not heard about the iPad missions. That’s interesting in the light of what I wrote about the other chapters above.

      I wouldn’t hold your breath on support for this beyond what you see now.

  5. Its great they’re rereleasing the game for all those who yet to play it or missed it last time round. What I am not happy about is not providing an upgrade pack (booklet with the new scenarios and the new tiles and counters) for those who bought the original 3rd edition. With all the new missions from the (over priced ibook only download packs) making use of the new components it forces you to either buy the set again or try to get the bits on ebay or obtain illegal scanned files.
    Anyway, lets hope they release some more expansions (other alien races) and make it a gateway into their other games.

  6. Danny says:

    Space Hulk holds a very special place in my heart, right next to Warhammer Quest. I have so many fond memories of playing this game over so many years. I own every version as well as the two expansion for the 1st edition, and every WD piece of content as well. So I’m a big fan.

    Of course, I bought the 2009 3rd edition and am very happy with it. I actually think it is the best edition.

    I’m also very happy to see the 3rd edition being re-released, although there is no actual mention of “Limited” Edition” this time around…just “While Stocks Last”. If it sells out like it did in 2009, expect to see another release in maybe 2020.

    Have any of you seen the 3 x Mission Books they are releasing along side this, downloadable from iTunes for your iPad? One book each, with mission and new weapons, for Space Wolves, Dark Angels and Ultramarines. The missions have actually been around for a long time (unless they are revamped and/or tweaked) but some of the weapons have never been seen before in Space Hulk, officially (a couple have though).

  7. Andrew says:

    I’m not buying it. I bought it when it came out in 2009, and $125 US is too much for a handful of new content and models I already have. Besides, they’re already plenty of my money in exchange for angry, metal nuns.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The first time I read that I assumed it was Sisters of Battle. Then I wondered if there is a cloistered robot nun army I’ve missed. I don’t pay much attention to GW these days…

  8. Skolo says:

    to be honest I`m just pissed. I have bought my Limited Edition OOP copy on ebay last year for 200+eur. As I mentioned on BGG forum already, I think its a piss in gamers faces, collectors faces, our faces. GW lost its gaming-friendly approach long time ago. Their profit is slashed by 50%. Good, cause they deserve it, sorry.

  9. BrianDyer says:

    Not tempted at all. I got the 2009 release and I would have preferred them to release an expansion pack with the new tiles and missions for those of us who already invested (making them more money in the process). Instead, as has been the case with GW over the last few years, they are seeking to alienate the player base that is already there in favour of grabbing some new people. Why can’t they please both?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The bluntly realist view is that GW long since ceased to care about its veteran customers, as evidenced by the marginalisation and then dropping of Specialist games. Instead, they focus on their core business, which is finding new customers and getting their hobby spend for a year or two if they’re lucky. Beyond that, any appeal is incidental bonus. A core business focus is not an unusual thing, and you see the same done in any trade when people want to cut costs and maximise profits.

      As far as GW is concerned, it’s selling this Space Hulk to a completely new customer base, compared to last time. That being the case, why would they bother with an expansion pack? If you really want it you’ll buy the whole thing again.

      Personally, I think it’s a short-termist and ultimately poor business plan. I do, however, think I understand why they do this, and see their reasoning even if I don’t agree with it. I spent enough years working there 🙂

      • Sami Mahmoud says:

        I disagree with most of that. GW are behaving exactly like established customers are the the ones they’re catering to if you look at what they’ve released over the last 18 months and the sales figures that the court accidentally failed to redact at the CHS case.

        • eriochrome says:

          There is a difference between veteran and hard core. GW has certainly not be courting the veteran customers with things like annual price rises, hidden repackaging price rises, limited release models, books, mission cards, and a new 40K edition in like 23 months. GW has essentially been doing everything they can to push people to their webstore which comes at the expense of the local gaming stores which used to be where new players were found.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          @Sami – I spent a decade working for them and have been told pretty much exactly that by several different members of senior management on multiple occasions. If you stick about playing their games for years on end they don’t feel they need to do anything to retain you. You’re self-selecting. They’re all about new customers who spend the big bucks getting into the games and building their armies. I don’t think it’s a good policy nor was I the only one in the company to think so at the time. However, we were all told the same thing. That’s the company song.

          Of course, it could all have changed since I was made redundant (when they closed the Fanatic Studio). I wouldn’t bet any money on that though.

        • Sami Mahmoud says:

          I get that, and that was my training when I was a redshirt back in the day, I don’t believe it’s true any more because the evidence we can see doesn’t support that over the last few years.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          If by “established” you mean the ones they’ve recruited in the shops and are in for their year’s shelf life, then we agree. If you mean the old soaks I know who’ve played 40K for a decade or more then I am not convinced.

          Still, with an imminent change at the top, what’s more interesting is where they will go next.

        • Sami Mahmoud says:

          I was using “established” simply as the opposite of “new” in this instance.

        • eriochrome says:

          I think GW sort of missed the transition point from when the majority of possible customers were actually new or the majority of possible customers where experienced. There are now way more former GW players than possible new people coming into the age group each year. By neglicting either in exchange for the other you are hurting yourself. Having proper offerings for both would yield both sales and profits but might affect margins some what but that is always a lesser concern than total profit.

      • Danny says:

        They’ve certainly been focusing on their core products in recent years, no doubt.

        I’m sure they can’t wait to drop the LoTR/Hobbit line and focus even more on WHFB and 40K, which is a shame because both The Hobbit and War of the Ring are great rules systems with great models, certainly better than both WHFB and 40K in my opinion, although obviously not as big of a cash cow. Business-wise, I can understand them wanting to drop it, as they are very restricted in where they can take it and hence are restricted in the cash flow they can derive from it in years to come. I believe if it had the continual marketing support that the other two main lines had, it would still be going strong.

        In regards to the 40K and WHFB line of models, although technically high quality, I’ve been less and less interested in the weird directions they’ve taken over recent years, more so 40K, and I haven’t played those games for a great number of years and there’s nothing that would get me back into it. There are so many other rules sets out there that are much better with solid model lines that appeal to me much more to support them.

        In fact, I’m so disinterested in the weird creep of 40K, when I bought my Space Hulk in 2009, I sold the Marine and Genestealer sprues and used older Terminators and Genestealers. The models in the 2009/2014 Space Hulk, although technically of a very high standard and very cleverly designed, were just too over the top for my aesthetic tastes.

        The only GW games that I play now are Space Hulk and Warhammer Quest, and occasionally WoTR/Hobbit. For me, Epic and BFG, both of which I loved at one time, have been superseded by better rules sets with better models.

  10. Laffe says:

    I’m a bit irritated by these limited or splash releases. I have the first edition, wonderful game with perfect rules, but a bit naff figures.

    So I would love to upgrade the game, but I missed the last release. And I can’t afford the new edition right now. Ironically, had GW announced it earlier, I could have saved some hobby money, maybe not backed as many kickstarters. So their effort to create hype has actually backfired in my case.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      They have very short run ups to releases these days after traders repeatedly leaked stuff they shouldn’t have and mess up GW’s promo campaigns. The current option allows them to control the information, but it does make saving up the pennies more challenging.

      • eriochrome says:

        GW Promo campaigns are a joke and have been for years. When you promo campaign is just your webstore with weak details and nothing extra and less information than you can find on any number of blogs. You might claim that White Dwarf is there marketing campaign but given that those are no longer available by subscription and have zero non dedicated hobby store circulation it falls pretty flat as well. The reason GW does not want an informed customers is that people who have an idea that something they really want is coming out next month will not buy something this month that they only sort of want.

  11. Quirkworthy says:

    Oh, and having gone back to the GW site to read the various chapter upgrades, I see that Space Hulk is now marked as no longer available. Sold out already 🙂

  12. MJames70 says:

    Frankly, while I understand some of the complaining about business practices, anything about , ‘molds destroyed’ ‘never again’, etc. is all utter nonsense. They were never how GW described the 2009 release officially. Perhaps some on the internet or in a store people or employees said those things. September 2009 White Dwarf – ‘While stocks last’. None of the other stuff.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I don’t have the issues to comment. What I heard was that was how it was sold in stores and on the net. We had a comment to that effect above.

    • Daniel says:

      The White Dwarf that accompanied the 2009 release does state “there is only ever going to be one print of this great game, so when stocks run out they wont be replenished”. Don’t know if that would count as a “never again” statement. Although with the addition of a couple of extra pieces, i suppose technically this could count as a different print run?

      Personally I’m very annoyed at the fact that its a limited edition. I’m never in the situation where I’m able to spend money on the spot when something gets released, usually takes me a month or two to save the cash. I don’t play 40k anymore, although i still love the setting and the stories that accompany it, and Space Hulk would be a great way to “stay in touch” with that universe. Also i would love to get those terminators, convert them and add them to my Dark Angels collection,but it seems I’m never going to be able to get a copy…..until in about another 5 years when they release it with an extra corridor tile……

      • Danny says:

        Daniel. why don’t you start saving now and pick up a 2009 Space Hulk Edition in a couple of months on Ebay. I’d imagine that their prices will drop (they have been a little already), once people start on-selling the extra 2014 Editions they bought to on-sell for a profit.

  13. Andrew says:

    To be honest, I’m happy they’re making this available again. Space Hulk is a solid game, and one that should never have been LE in the first place. It’s something they could have sold in toy stores for even more sales. It really seems a bit short sighted.

    What really gets me is the ‘promo’ my local GW store is running. Everyone who pre-orders the game (or purchases a starter box, or $200 worth of product) goes into a competition. The winner gets to purchase a Space Hulk poster for $75. Yep, not free. You have to pay for the poster. Aside from being illegal under New Zealand law, that’s just ridiculous. They claimed it was so the poster didn’t just go to the first person through the door, but that ignored the fact that they’re charging for the ‘prize’ in the first place. Madness.

  14. PikaRapH says:

    I never had the chance buying it (the right price I mean) or playing it… so I took one 😀
    One week to wait, but I’ll get my Deadzone wave 2 tuesday, big week incoming !

  15. It is definitely a release to shore up profits until the next quarterly report and keep the share holders happy especially in the light of the last crappy ROI they had last yr. it’ll make them short term profits, but in the next year or two they will have to come up with (a) new bauble(s) as DZ, FFGs SW:Assault, DS et al will eat into the dungeon/sci-fi hallway crawl game space and negate their profits for the long haul… I think that eventually new management will choose to license their IP out to other companies to keep some cash coming in, but the big money days of 2nd ed are over…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Maybe. Their imminent demise has been predicted before, yet here they are, still the biggest dog in the pound. It will be very interesting to see if their upcoming change in management has a change of direction that we can see down at ground level. In product, I mean.

  16. Mario says:

    I think rules wise Space Hulk needs to evolve. There are so many games that have done better since S.H.: Project: Pandora, Claustrophobia, Legions of Steel, Deadzone, etc.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      It’s a classic, as they say. Reinventing classics is always fraught with difficulty, whether you’re talking about songs, fizzy drinks or cars. Or games, even 😉

      • Joe K. says:

        So I have been thinking of getting the new edition of Space Hulk, but what I really want is a revamp/expansion of Project Pandora in the form of what transpired for Dwarf Kings Hold. Any chance of that ever happening? Alternatively, give me a robust indoor variant of Deadzone that can satiate the same cravings. If one of these were to come to fruition, then I wont waste my time (or money) on Space Hulk. 🙂

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Interesting…

          Well the revamp of PP is definitely on the cards, and along those lines. Don’t have a date for that though.

          DZ has issues with being indoors as the line of sight rules mean you need to be able to get in and see what’s going on. That makes indoor settings fiddly to play. That said, you can always have a go at building your own indoor environment. The scenery is designed to be flexible to give you exactly these options.

        • Teemu Hemminki says:

          This!

          If/When PP gets it’s own KS and it includes three different alien races as antagonists and different settings I’m all in.

          Really Would love to see a new take on the tiles of Advanced Space Crusade (with less candy of course).

  17. Mario says:

    Meant to include Incursion

  18. Ben says:

    I always assumed the reason it was released the first time (this version that is) was to get former players to come back. You don’t need it to bring in new players as they aren’t any more likely to come in for Space Hulk than 40K. Nor would you want them coming in for Space Hulk instead of 40K which is why it serves GW’s purpose to make it a limited run and keep it off the shelves. Many former players have very fond memories of Space Hulk, however, and dangling out a new edition got them to re-engage. Case in point, you bought Dreadfleet 😉

    This time round it seems more like printing free money. The costs are minimal but the income, even adjusting the price for inflation, looks like it’ll be higher. It’s guaranteed to sell out and it can still catch the former player and bring some of them back for the new edition of 40K.

    I don’t recall GW ever promoting the 2009 release as a one-off never-to-be-repeated or claiming that only X copies would ever be made. It was called a limited run and a limited run is what it remains. If there is any official promotional material from 2009 that contradicts that then it passed me by.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You mistake my reasons for buying DF 🙂

      I would also be extremely surprised if getting former players to re-engage was a primary reason for either version. It might just be mentioned as a side benefit (though I think even that unlikely). It’ll be about two things: filling a release slot and cash. Mostly the latter.

      If they seriously wanted to engage with former players then making a limited run of a game they then fail to support at all does not sound like a convincing plan.

  19. Ben says:

    Why devote all those man hours and resources to make Space Hulk, then limit the amount you’re willing to sell to way lower than the actual interest in the product if your primary goal is to make money? Limited runs grab attention more than they grab cash. They send everyone rushing to your stores to get one before they sell out. Come for the Space Hulk, stay for the Assault on Black Reach. Unless of course they badly underestimated demand and figured the print run would pretty much fill the demand so they used “limited run” as marketing tool to make it sell quickly.

    This time round there’s no doubt it’s about the cash. They know the market is there, pretty much everything is already done, particularly the expensive tooling. They can just bang it out and make a quick buck.

  20. mastertugunegb says:

    And they made the LE Space Hulk even harder consecutive fire wise by dropping it to 5+ to hit max on storm bolters and 4+ on Assault Cannon. I understand the reasons for simplifying the Librarian psyker power rules, but still feels lame. Project Pandora seems like a much more human-winning-the-scenario friendly game, even with Dark and Toxic penalties lumped on the poor Marines, than Space Hulk ever was for Terminators (Terminators!) succeeding versus Genestealers. Feels like the game should have been more or less the same rules for Terminators, but with regular Power Armour Space Marines instead or even Imperial Guard types. Though then it’d be too similar to the Aliens movies no doubt.

    • Teemu Hemminki says:

      If I’m correct, Genestealers have been nerfed since Rogue Trader.
      Haven’t played, but I assume that during the first edition of Space Hulk, it was more believable that Terminators get slaughtered like weed in CC.

  21. darkson01 says:

    Final straw for me – I’m no longer buying from GW, regardless of how “pretty” the stuff is they make. I had to phone around 5 local-ish stores and drive 50 miles to get my hands on a copy in 2009 because I was told this was my only chance to get it, and now this. They’d already gouged me a few years earlier over a “limited edition” Dark Angels Sargeant that was “store only” and limited that later appeared on their webstore.

    Have written to GW’s customer services about it, and if I can find my WDs from the time I’m considering writing to the Trade Description department (or whoever it is I should be writing to).

  22. Pikaraph says:

    I was digging through old White Dwarf issues to find scenarios for Space Hulk… there are some interesting pictures in editorials 😀

  23. Bomster says:

    I would probably be tempted if I hadn’t already bought the 2009 edition. Not really dazzled by any of their limited-while-stock-lasts business – I wanted to have a nice-looking game to actually play not some sort of status symbol. And frankly, I’ve really, really gotten some mileage out of it, having played the campaign twice (we changed roles after each mission) and played it again), as well as a couple of additional missions. To be honest ~30 games in 3 years is the most I’ve played *any* single game these past few years, so I’d consider it a good investment (in addition to the models which were a joy to paint)
    And I still really like the game as it is – it really successfully represents its theme ( far better than 40k itself does) and offers lots of suspense – no rules overhaul needed there. The biggest problem I have with it is its focus on a two-player game; which is pretty much normal for GW games, though.

    Those ebook addons sound pretty interesting though. And mightily expensive – I’ll wait for some reviews before charging in.

    As a final note, while I like Space Hulk a lot and would like to see it in stores continually, I don’t really see it as that good of a gateway game, though – it’s a rather closed setting, which is very much its strength. A good skirmish game with a great variety of factions would work much better as an entry-level game – but that seems to be an element of the hobby GW has left for others to pick up… and those others did so, beautifully, I’d say.

  24. Paboook says:

    Seeing Dreadfleet mentioned several times in this discussion, is there any chance you finish your house-ruling Dreadfleet project, Jake? It would be really appreciated 🙂

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