Along with Blood Bowl, Space Hulk is one of the classic Games Workshop board games that nailed their rules about 30 years go. Though neither of these two are the pillars that support Games Workshop they have been steady workhorses that have yet to be bettered by modern game designs. Jervis Johnson and Richard Halliwell created two foundational titles that I still enjoy tremendously. The trick with Space Hulk for me though is…I never really liked the Terminators or the Imperium. In fact, the 40K gothic aesthetic as a whole doesn’t really do it for me. Enter…The T’au.
I mainly play Space Hulk with my son, and he’s big into Anime, Manga, and Gunpla, so the T’au Empire is his favorite collection of GW models. Not having the time to create a whole new set of rules for this new faction, I’ve decided to simply lean on the tried and tested rules of the past three decades. We don’t have unique rules for T’au…they’re just stand-ins for the standard Terminator models. This allows us to simply enjoy the fantastic ride that is the Space Hulk experience without all the tedious matches of play-testing and striving to achieve balance.
So…that’s basically it. A selection of models that are essentially re-skins (or ‘counts as’) of Terminators. Oh, The oddity may be that Kroot Tracker. He is the only character I modified for our play. He has a single d6 shot with that rifle. Not strong, but doesn’t Jam. With that Bladed Rifle, and hunter’s instincts, he is the other hand-to-hand option using the rifle for strong frontal melee attacks and having the Block ability. This game is stacked against the Terminators as is, so we haven’t had an issue with this slight change. A small tweak to set our games up how we want.
Here’s a pdf of the rules we use. Again, this is really all just a re-skin. It’s almost a copy of the reference guide that comes with Space Hulk 4th Edition with name changes.
We now have a complete set of 11 models to explore floating hulks with any of the scenarios in the book (and some we have from White Dwarf). We’ve also got a large collection of genestealers painted so we’re good to play games. I do have two other directions I want to take our copy in though. One, I have Genestealer Cult models assembled that I want paint. Two, I want to do another re-skin Terminator group. I like T’au better than Terminators and my son loves them, but for me…Necromunda models is the place to get 40k kicks. It’s going to be awhile before I get to those projects though.