This game was designed by Stephen Baker in 1990, and published by MB with Games Workshop’s figures. One year earlier, the same team had developed HeroQuest, and the game was so successful, that they simply redid the whole game with a few changes, for example the usage and range of weapons. The new game was re-themed in a futuristic spaceship were men fight against robots, cyborgs and aliens, instead of dungeons filled with monsters.
This second game is rarer to find, I think it simply had to share the market with HeroQuest that at the point was better known, and already had some expansions, and shortly before, a very similar game (both in type and theme) named “Space Hulk” had also been released. Personally, I don’t know which one do I like the most, they are both great.
As you can see from the pictures, the game is 100% complete, with all cards, accessories and tiles, and it looks amazing. The board is divided in four parts with cardboard walls, and this is probably the weakest point of the game, these walls sometimes move or fall down, when moving the figures or the table, despite of the plastic parts that fit them together and to the board. The game can be played by 2 to 4 players, one of which is always the “evil forces”, and the other three, Space Marine Squads.
The three men squads are “Blood Angels” (red), “Ultramarines” (blue) and “Imperial Fists” (yellow), although all of them are really the same. These names do not sound good in most European languages, so they were changed to more neutral names, for example in German, the teams are: “GSG-Musketeers”, “GSG-19” and “GSG-Tiger” while in Spanish, they’re simply “Red Detachment”, “Blue”, and “Yellow Detachment”. The teams are formed by 5 men/marines each, one of them is the commander (depicted in the picture in the middle).
|"Imperial Fists" Space Marines Squad|
|"Blood Angels" Space Marines Squad|
|"Ultramarines" Space Marines Squads|
|These are the commanders of the squads.|
The evil forces are a mixture of robots, aliens and other creatures maybe another weak point of the game is that some of these miniature figures do not “suit” very much in a spaceship, but in a dungeon. The game is so clearly a “modified” HeroQuest, that the creatures are very similar to the Skeletons, Orks, Chaos-Warriors and so on, just take a look yourself and compare them with the pictures in this entry.
|CHAOS ANDROIDS, similar to HeroQuest's Skeletons.|
|GRETCHINGS, similar to HeroQuest's Goblins|
|SPACE ORCS, similar to HeroQuest's Orcs|
|SPACE ORCS (detail)|
Please note that, although all Gretchings and Space Orcs look the same, there’re slight differences in the weapons they’re carrying.
|CHAOS COMMANDER (front) with CHAOS MARINES (back), similar to heroquest's Chaos Warriors, but here, they're a squad, just like Space Marines Squad (1 leader + 4 marines)|
|CHAOS COMMANDER (front) with CHAOS MARINES (back) (detail)|
|GENESTEALERS - Great concept, and great sculpt|
|DREADNOUGHT, the most dangerous enemy, also an amazing figure|
As in HeroQuest, we need doors. When one of the "heroes" opens a door, the master of the game places the monsters that are in that room, and they can then play their turn too.
|Different types of doors, gates, hatches.|
All the other elements of the game: cards, tiles, markers, are beautifully illustrated, the artwork for the box and cards is really amazing. Note that most cards are different! Even the rule and mission books include some great artwork inside.
|Complete set of cards for the yellow squad|
|...And these are the back of the cards in the previous picture|
|The cards for all three squads are almost exactly the same 12. Each team has "exclusive" equipment.|
|These are the "alien events". Open the picture in a new window (or d/l it) to see the artwork more in detail.|
The figures in the pictures are unpainted, but in the box, we can take a look (below this lines) at how do they figures should look like after their designers… I have also seem pictures of painted figures (painted by people who know what they’re doing), and they’re amazing! I won’t paint them, because I am quite sure I wouldn’t do it well.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: SPACE CRUSADE
- Alternate Names: STARQUEST (German, Italian), CRUZADA ESTELAR (Spanish) CRUSADE: DET AFGØRENDE MØDE (Danish), Σταυροφορία στο Διάστημα (Greek)
- Year: 1989
- Company: Milton Bradley (MB) (U.S.A.)