A couple of weeks ago at Beyond Monopoly I was introduced to Dave briefly, but I was supposed to be starting a game of Leonardo da Vinci, for which I needed the rules explaining, and he too was having a game explained to him. Afterwards I looked him up on BoardGameGeek, and found out he was interested in Space Hulk an old Games Workshop game with a very similar theme to the film Aliens. As a kid I'd really enjoyed this, so I was quite up for a game for nostalgia's sake. Dave emailed to apologise for the brief introduction, and I replied offering a game of Space Hulk.
Last night Dave came round for Space Hulk. In the game, players take the side of either the Space Marines, an elite genetically-engineered human fighting force, or the Genestealers, a multitudinous horde of ravenous alien killing machines. We played the first mission in the missions book, each playing both side once, and then the second mission (but only from one end - it was a much longer scenario). The Genestealers come in waves, and have no long range attacks, but are deadly in close combat. The Space Marines have good long range weapons, but are weak in close combat and have only a few pieces (five marines in the two games we played). I was worried that the game would fail to live up to my fond memories, and turn out to be a complete let down, but instead it was really good fun. Sure it has a plethora of dice rolls, but it still has some nice strategic descisions, and the oppressive feel you get when playing as the Space Marines as wave after wave of Genestealers surround you cutting you off from your objective really puts the pressure on. I won all three games in the end (I think my memories of good tactics to employ were fresher than Dave's), but I really enjoyed it, even when it was looking very bleak for me. Good stuff. I'd definitely be up for more of that in the future.
Afterwards, we play a couple of games of Carcassonne, as we didn't really have time to play the second scenario the other way round - both Dave and I had to be up early. Dave had never played before (although he had played Carcassonne - The Castle). The Wife joined us so we played a couple of quick 3-player games. As ever Carcassonne was a great game - quick, simple to play and explain and yet with interesting strategic decisions to make every turn. I won the first game and Lou the second, our many games-worth of experience teaching us the value of farming.
It was a great night's gaming, and I'm really glad that Space Hulk lived up to my rose-tinted memories. Plus, Dave is a really nice bloke (hi, Dave!), and you can never have too many gaming friends.