As I move house, my paints and miniatures disappeared in boxes. Deprived of „proper“ hobby time, I took to playing on my iPhone. Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion is a really cool retro game with shiny modern graphics
Playing Deathwatch feels a lot like playing Space Hulk or Imperial Assault (if set in Games Workshop’s grimy 40k-universe, not Star Wars).
What is Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion?
Deathwatch plays as a turn-based strategy game. You command a „kill team“ of 5 Space Marine to battle hordes of the insect-like Tyranids.
You select one of your Deathwatch Space Marines and order him to move, shoot, attack in close combat or use one of many special abilities (like setting a Space Marine, Space-Hulk-style, on overwatch) with a limited number of action points.
After that, it is the Tyranid’s turn. And more than once I found myself nervously fidgeting, hoping a Space Marine of mine would make it to my next turn alive.
As I said, very retro. And a lot of fun.
Choosing & Equipping the Space Marines
A big part of why Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion is great fun is the ability to train, personalise and equip the various Space Marines serving in your kill team.
At first glance, Space Marines would appear to be fairly uniform. It is also worth mentioning that the game (currently?) only comes with Space Marines from three chapters, the Ultramarines, the Blood Angels and Space Wolves and in four variants: Tactical Marines, Assault Marines, Devastators and Apothecaries.
Though this might seem limited, the game more than makes up for this in the various skill-trees, equipment options and variants it offers within this selection.
Surprisingly, the developers truly managed to bring „personality“ to the Space Marines. Playing the game, I really became attached to my band of grimdark heroes.
Rodeo Games even added a bit of banter between the Space Marines of different chapters, which sometimes plays during a mission. A cool touch!
Accomplish Different Missions!
Rodeo Games also added variety to the game by giving you different missions: Break through and reach a base, secure vital information, defend a position for a number of rounds or take down a particularly tough opponents like a Carnifex or Hive Tyrant.
Give Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion a try!
Does Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion replace the tangible gameplay of a board game with miniatures? No, not for me. Probably not for you, if you are coming from the miniature-games side of the hobby as well.
But if you’re plastic soldiers are packed away, as mine currently are, Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion is a great game to scratch that particular itch.
It truly plays like a miniatures board game on a touch screen and very different from most smart phone games. And it really makes you work hard to achieve those missions (on Veteran and Heroic difficulty) with some nail-biting challenges.
Give it a try. Highly recommended!