Fantasy Flight can always be counted on for solid components and this Silver
Line game is no exception. The cards are a nice, sturdy stock, and the art is
very crisp and fresh while capturing the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000
setting. The rulebook is another story and is definitely a step back for FFG in
terms of layout and comprehension. It's worth noting that the twoPrint on Demandexpansions available for the the game
use a lighter, more flimsy card stock that just does not match up with what
comes in the base game. This however, does not affect play.
The poor layout of the rulebook only adds to the confusion of a ruleset that
requiresat leastone step by step turn sequence. After
stumbling through a few turns (both solo and with friends) I finally got
comfortable with how a turn is supposed to play. Once the ball gets rolling,
though, SH:DA does a good job of capturing the feel of an elite team of Space Marines
beset on all sides by horrifying alien creatures.
My experience with the game varies. As a solo game (once I got the hang of the
rules) it plays quick and easy. With a group, things tend to run a little
longer due to the small space the game occupies and the fact that players
generally gravitate towards discussing the best courses of action. In both
cases, SH:DA succeeds in delivering tense moments where success or failure
hinges upon a die roll. The luck factor is mitigated some by the ability to
gain re-rolls, but sometimes you’ll lose a team member in the blink of an eye.
If a player losesboth of
their team members, then they are eliminated from the game completely - a huge
black mark for me.
This game is well worth the price of entry for something to pack up and play
either with a few people or by oneself – especially if you’re a 40k fan.
However, there are several other games that will scratch the same itch with
less frustration at the rules and without the possibility of player
elimination.The aforementioned Print on Demand expansions (Marine
Pack 1 and Mission
Pack 1) add some nice new options to the game and are well worth picking
up, but do little to mitigate the luck/elimination factors.