THE boundary between video games and board games has blurred over recent years, with the two mediums crossing over more and more.

There are a number of decent iPad and video game versions of classic board games and some table-top games are making use of phone apps too.

I went to a video game bar recently that also had a pile of board games for customers to play, while my local board game café has a couple of arcade missions in place. The Venn diagram cross section between the two hobbies is large.

So there should be a fair few people out there interested in the upcoming Space Hulk: Tactics game due out in autumn on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Space Hulk was released as a board game by Games Workshop all the way back in 1989 and is currently on its fourth print edition.

The game was a mash-up of Warhammer 40k and the film Aliens, with Terminator Space Marines armed with bolter guns and flamethrowers taking on an army of Genestealers aboard a derelict spaceship.

Its ability to take geeky sci-fi miniatures and blend them into an action-packed game with simple rules helped transfer war gaming into a slightly more socially acceptable hobby.

And it is testament to the game’s last-ability that those rules have changed very little over the years, which is a blessing and a curse for Cyanide Studios, who are bringing Space Hulk to computers and consoles.
On the one hand, it should be a simple enough task to replicate the board game’s mechanics with the added bonus of great graphics and sound.

But, conversely, simply recreating a table-top game as a video game often leaves the latter feeling flat. Change too much and the legion of purist fans are frothing at the mouth.

Be too faithful and you aren’t giving people enough reason to add the video game to their collection. Half the fun of playing Space Hulk was laughing at your opponent’s distress as his dice rolls all come up short.

That’s a hard quality to transfer to online gaming – someone once described it as getting drunk with your friends over Skype. Something feels missing.

French developers Cyanide have had some success in moving another Games Workshop classic, Blood Bowl (orcs and elves meet American football) to video game form, so hopes are high that they will have similar joy with Space Hulk: Tactics.

The game is set to finish a two-pronged single-player campaign, which will allow gamers to play as the Blood Angels Space Marines or the Genestealers, as well as online multiplayer and skirmish mode.

Until the game’s release later this year, though, you’ll just have to drag your old Space Hulk board game out of storage and start rolling those dice.

THIS year’s E3 starts in a couple of weeks and the rumour mills are already working overtime with hints at what the big gaming companies are going to announce and reveal at the conference in California.

Much like football fans getting excited about stories they know in their heart not to be true, gamers will believe any old story in the run up to the event, which will run from June 12-14 in the Los Angeles Convention Centre.

There have been faint whispers of a new Halo 6 game being announced for Xbox One.

And even though developers 343 Industries have categorically said there won’t be any Halo games announced this year, I’m starting to believe.

But the big question is if there is to be another chapter in the Master Chief story, will 343 be the latest to jump on the bandwagon and add a Battle Royale ‘last-man-standing’ mode?

I, for one, hope not. Halo 5 multiplayer is my favourite of all-time because of its commitment to being a finely-tuned 4v4 arena shooter. It doesn’t need novelty, flash-in-the-pan modes to succeed.

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