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  1. #1

    Arrow Advanced Space Crusade

    Advanced Space Crusade was a game designed by Jervis Johnson to be played as an open-ended series within the greater 40K universe, as a recreation of the First or Second Tyrannic War in which Tyranid Hive Fleets beset upon humanity.

    The first documented attack was upon the outpost of Tyran in 745.M41 [4]. Hive Fleet Behemoth overran the isolated Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator Base with overwhelming force, and stripped the world of all life. A data-codex recording the invasion was stored deep below the base's command bunker and was recovered almost a year later by Inquisitor Kryptman, a far-sighted Inquisitor who had been dispatched to investigate the reports of unexplained dead worlds. Analyzing the codex, Kryptman realised the grave threat that was entering the galaxy and became determined to warn the Imperium. Being the first time the Imperium had encountered this new alien race, they were named after the planet Tyran.

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    As Tyranid player you choose a range of Tyranids and bio-constructs to defend the hive-ship (including mind-slaves from other races), and as the Space Marines you can assault the ship with a force that includes everything from scouts, power armored space marines, terminator marines, and more.

    White Dwarf released rules for Orks and Imperial Guardsmen, and Eldar rules are also available.

    On top of it all, the board sections are completely compatible with Space Hulk corridor and room sections, so you can really create some interesting scenarios for stand-alone battles if you don't want to run the ASC mission campaign. However, the campaign is the beauty, watching with anticipation as the marines explore the ship running into many types of encounters - from ancient artifacts, deadly traps & ambushes, mysterious strangers, and objectives to battle over.

    Additionally, the rules give suggestions for incorporating any new models which you want to try out which were not included in the core manual.

    What really sets ASC apart from Hulk is that in ASC both sides units can 'react' to each other in a game mechanic that does not involve command points. This allows for lots of interesting back-and-forth play and doesn't see one side dominating because of a high CP draw, or losing because of a low one. There are many other differences, but also many similarities that make learning the new system easy.

    Some rules such as putting models in 'cover' gives them a better armor rating, and hero models may have 'Fate Points' which gives them an ability to tilt the battle a little. Another great feature is that lightly-armed and armored units may pass thru each other, unless they are 'Unmaneuverable' like a Terminator, heavy weapon, or massive Tyranid warrior.

    White Dwarf 132 is here (Imperial Guard ASC):
    and 134 (Orks ASC):

    Once you have some experience with the game, you may wish to try Eldar available here:

    Bottom line, get yourself a copy if possible. They do still exist, and it will breathe a lot of life into both Hulk and ASC games if they are able to compliment each other.

    I'll continue this thread another time with some ASC errors and misprints, and some great fixes for minor problems left in game mechanics when GW abandoned the game-board for the table-top.
    It's really too bad they let the genre go like that, because small squad battles in close quarters is not only a lot of fun, but potentially more affordable since you only need infantry, and maybe dreadnought or two for the option rules. But therein the answer lies perhaps. Hard to sell vehicles with a game-board format right? Oh well.

    Talk at ya guys later! -
    Last edited by Commander Dante; 06-13-2017 at 03:51 PM.

  2. #2


    Where can I get a copy of the board? Sounds interesting.

  3. #3


    I wanted to draw attention to this game again, because I have been having so much fun playing it with various people who all have expressed appreciation for this mostly forgotten title. Even though it's out of print, I was able to contact GW to get a rules clarification from none other than the game designer himself, the famous Jervis Johnson. The question was regarding the 'Ambush' scenario, and whether the Marines may begin in 'Cover', and 'Overwatch' stance despite being "surprised". Considering a scout unit may be overwhelmed with 3:1 odds under 'Ambush', the ruling makes sense even though at first read it's counter-intuitive.

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    For those wondering what ASC even looks like in play, here's a quick example shot of the board layout in 'Ambush' scenario.

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    There are still random copies available such as one currently on Ebay that's listed as complete (looks in great shape!) and an absolute STEAL at $76. I would pick it up but I currently have 3 copies which is more than enough for my needs. DATED 3/29/17

    I'm looking forward to other people being able to share their ASC game experiences!

    - - - Updated - - -
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    Last edited by Commander Dante; 04-03-2017 at 11:57 AM.

  4. #4


    I wanted to show another side of Advanced Space Crusade, something that you can add in to the gaming mix from time to time.

    ASC has the story mode as previously described in brief, where you use a set of small tile 'cards' to work out exploration of the ship and encounters such as battles or other things.

    However, if you want to just lay out a massive battle assault upon the Hive Ship and the organ systems that keep it alive, you can do that as well. It's especially nice if you have 2 or 3 sets of the game for a larger Hive Ship.

    You don't need a whole army of anything to have a great ASC setup either, just a few squads of Marines with various gear, and a handful of Tyranids. Plus, just like Space Hulk, setting up the modular sections makes the game infinitely playable as you can completely change the map setup by swapping around a few of the panels, and even adding your Space Hulk tiles to create a sort of half/half setup since they all fit together perfectly.

    Mostly, it's a great game for those who love old 'nids and enjoy a setup that doesn't need a 12x12 table and 1000's of D6's to play in the 40K universe.

    Here's one sort of layout that you could do, using 2 games sets (12 map boards).

    The Space Marine Blood Angels Chapter assaults a Hive Ship that threatens their solar system.
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    Space Marines in Power Armor gain a beach-head into the right flank of the ship using Plasma and Bolter weapons, which is defended by expendable Chaos Marine Mind Slaves. An Imperial Inquisitor directs the attack.
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    A Terminator squad supports a breach on the left flank, confronting a rampaging Carnifex Screamer-Killer. Purify with hate and flame!
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    Space Marine Scouts advance up the left flank towards one of the chambers where a Hive Ship organ, but it's protected by a fierce ancient Tyranid Warrior and a handful of Hunter-Slayer Termagaunts. The veteran sergeant lobs a frag grenade into the room!
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    A Space Marine scout has been hunted by the deadly Lictor!
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    Another Space Marine scout, probing deeper into the Hive Ship, has been distracted with the Spore Mines that are drifting towards him and fails to see he has been ambushed by a viscous Grabber-Slasher squig while a Genestealer lurks in the shadows awaiting new prey.
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    A Terminator armed with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield advances slowly, as a Zoat and a Genestealer bear down on the intruder. A Space Marine Captain in Terminator Armor offers fire support.
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    I'm hoping to see some activity on this post besides my own, letting me know that SOMEONE hopefully has gotten themselves a copy and had a great time with it! Show me what you've got community!

  5. #5


    Hi - i thought I posted here but apparently not.

    I concur that Advanced Space Crusade is awesome! I re-bought a copy recently and love all aspects of the game play

    I was hoping for a little help with a couple of rules if you don't mind.

    I see the range of grenades is clarified in white dwarf 134 (8), but am I right in thinking that blind grenades do not remain in play at all - effects are only for the friendly player turn in which they were thrown?

    I'm struggling to understand how the grabber-slasher attacks please could you step-by-step explain this?

    Also, if you have any tips for using the tyranids well they would be welcome - I'm still working out how to best used them.


  6. #6


    Yes, you are right that grenade range is 8, which was clarified in a subsequent white dwarf containing rules for Orks in ASC. Unlike Space Hulk, all area effect are 'instantaneous' and do not persist into the next player's turn. So indeed, blind grenades are only good for the turn in which they were thrown. Remember to choose your target square, choose to 'bounce' 1 square, then roll for scatter using the template.

    Grabber-Slasher was a bit of a head-scratcher at first for me as well.
    After several readings of the rules plus some playtesting, we play it as such. According to the game rules, the G-S has a base move of 4 (or a 'Charge' of 6), but it can't make normal close combat attacks. It has a 'special' attack Leap Into Combat, requiring what is described indirectly as a 'Ready Weapon Action', in which it takes 1 square of movement, then can launch up to 6 squares 'as a projectile', landing in the target model's square, and conducting close combat until just one of the models survives.
    For some reason, G-S is given 2D+4 close combat score, but then the 'special action' rule says that the projectile attack only uses 1D. This made zero sense to us (even considering that the G-S would only get the higher roll if it was defending itself), because seriously, why spend the 40 points on 2 Grabber-Slashers that can't do anything except sit around hoping to be engaged in close combat to use their higher roll, when they are so squishy (exposed armor 6). Also nothing was said about this attack as a Reaction.
    Thus our house rules: we allow the G-S to roll 2D+4 on its leap attack, (because even a scout gets 2D+2), and also allow it to Leap Attack as a Reaction (reaction 7, if it makes the roll, it leaps provided the model is reacting to is within LOS, fire arc, and squares).

    {{For example, a scout opens a door which has a blip on the other side representing 2 Grabber-Slashers. One G-S model is placed on center square of blip, and the Marine player places the other since it was Involuntary Conversion (Tyranid player chooses facing). Now, whichever (or both) G-S ends up being closest to the scout, and having LOS, may make a reaction roll. The G-S rolls a 5, under its Reaction score of 7 so now it can take an action. Since the scout is 4 squares away, it can choose to Leap as its reaction, ending up in the Scout's square and doing close combat until 1 model survives.}}

    This makes the model more formidable and playable, and worth choosing as part of your Tyranid force. Without this modification, a G-S was absolutely worthless since even as a Reaction it could not make regular close combat attacks.

    As far as playing the 'nids in ASC, depends how you are playing the game. If you are going with traditional story mode (exploration cards), then you will want to make sure you have enough units in 1st and 2nd Wave boxes to protect your Hive Ship organ objectives, but don't neglect (or over-invest) Ambush either, as it can be a valuable tool for slowing down the Space Marines (and causing negative victory points if the squad in Recon gets wiped out).

    Remember, the Marine squad in Recon that gets Ambushed MAY start the models in both Overwatch AND Cover (remember Cover means the model straddles 2 squares, considered to be occupying both - remember to factor this in when the models are initially placed as they need to be at least 1 square away from each other, so models in cover need an extra square of space around them). This is because if the Tyranid Player has potentially 3 squads of Chaos Marine or Ork Mind Slaves in Ambush, the scouts would be outnumbered 3:1! Marines place models first, Tyranids place second but get the first turn in Ambush only.

    If you are playing a straight up even-point battle using just the Hive Ship map and/or Space Hulk board sets (still using ASC rules for battle), then it's up to you how you want that to play out. You can set objectives like the organ systems which the Marines will have to destroy, or you can play last-man-standing or other game variants as you like.

    One of the best things about ASC, is that in the back of the book where it describes other variants, it tells you to house-rule and expand the game any way you see fit to accommodate any new models you have, and other options as well. Be sure to read the section on Heroes (such as automatically taking two actions), and the other stuff, like Charging Zoat rule.

    If you like, I can provide the stats we use for expanded Tyranid army models such as Biovore, Lictor, Gargoyle, Hive Tyrant, Carnifex (Screamer-Killer) etc....that were not part of the core rule-set, but play well on the ASC board or campaigns with a little thoughtful adaptation.

    Hope this helps for now. I'm looking forward to seeing your games in action, and sharing more of mine along the way!

  7. #7


    Thanks that's really appreciated.

    I'll run these rules by my opponent they sound good. Like you said it's just not a good option otherwise. Also Yes please I'd like to see your expanded tyranid stats.

    So far we play the campaign style game - I'm a sucker for the narrative and love the interludes between battles.

    I'm starting a new game in a few weeks and I'll take some pics n make a few notes to report back. My armies a sadly sparsely painted and so the pics won't be as pretty as yours. But I am working on that (in between various other projects).

    I have found a few links to elecronic sources of all the game parts (save models) so you can print them off - tried to post them here but for some reason it didn't let me... will try again later.
    Many thanks again

  8. #8

  9. #9


    Cool thanks for posting that info!

    Part of what I have done also is bought a cheap $20 3M laminator and a few packs of generic brand lam sheets to make handy flip books for both my ASC and SH games.

    For ASC, I started with nice color prints into medium weight stock 8 1/2" x 11" of the Universal Head game aid for ASC

    Then I scanned and printed in b&w some select pages from the game manual, such as weapons descriptions and relevant parts for each player (one book for Marines, one for 'nids). Then I added in my own color unit pages for the units I had that, and adapted rules from the early 'nid codexes pretty much straight. Lastly I added in some of the old b&w catalog ads for the models I use.

    Every page laminated and put together with a simple 2 ring loose binder.

    Here are the unit and catalog pages:

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  10. #10



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    Another rule tweak: Close Combat from the side. If you check the game manual, the only penalty of getting attacked from the side is being limited to 2 die max. The issue here is there are only 2 creatures out of the whole force list between both sides that even use 3D, that this would affect: Tyranid with bonesword, and Genestealer. It didn't make sense that no other model would even notice getting attacked from the side. So, we have adapted a +1 to the die roll from side attacks (manual says rear attacks are +2). This provides some reward for flanking, even if it isn't a rear strike.
    Last edited by Commander Dante; 06-10-2017 at 12:30 PM.


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