Travel Space Hulk

(A.K.A. Space Saver Hulk)

Some years ago I set about creating a Travel Space Hulk game.  I’d seen some people had made versions using Epic (6mm) models, magnets of some variety, and scaled down the boards that came with the original game.  This does reduce the size of the game but, as I know from experience, the individual 6mm figures are very fiddly and are realistically too small for game pieces, and the downsized boards still require a fair amount of space to set up – and that space needs to be level and stable.

I was planning to take my version of this to a friend’s stag do at the other end of a long train trip with other friends so my design brief necessitated something that was not only portable but also had a small footprint in play. As Space Hulk is fundamentally a square grid based game I looked at commercially available travel versions of other grid based games and Scrabble seemed like a good candidate. I initially bought a magnetic version but it was pretty clear as soon as I set it up that it wasn’t going to fly.  However, whilst killing time in the shops at an airport departure lounge I found a different set that used more substantial plastic tiles that clipped into the square grid.

Travel Space Hulk' Travel Scrabble box

(I don’t seem to have any photos of the set before I modified it.)

The added advantage of this set is that the board is clear plastic with the Scrabble board as a printed underlay so it can be sold in different language versions.  This was easy to remove and replace with a printed board with a Space Hulk style map.

Next up was the choice of figures.  I knew from Epic that 6mm was too small and it was pretty obvious that 28mm figures weren’t going to fit on the tiles.  15mm seemed like a reasonable compromise – with the added bonus that there are a wide selection of really good 15mm sci-fi figures out there.  After some casting around (no pun intended) I found Khurasan Miniatures who had some “Space Demon Assault Warriors” (TTC-901) and a multi-part “Federal Marine Special Assault Brigade in Power Armour” (TTC-1004). (Personally, I think these look better than James Workshop’s figures.)

Khurasan Miniatures TTC-1004: 15mm Federal Marine Special Assault Brigade in Power Armour

These figures proved to be an ideal size and, combined with some plasticard rectangles for doors, this gave me everything needed for the game.  Assembly was fairly straightforward and some roughly painted tokens for blips (with numbers written on the underside) and flame markers rounded things out for a playable game.

Space Saver Hulk, unpainted

This is where I got to as an MVP for the stag do trip:  we played it on the train on the way down and it worked really well.

Then, after the trip, it got put away into the games’ cupboard and that was it for nearly a decade.


With a trip to a French campsite situated in the middle of a race track coming up I dug it out of storage with a view to tidying it up and taking it to play whilst drinking pastis and eating barbecued ringpiece sausage – the set’s form factor being ideal for playing in that kind of situation.  It was still in the MVP state so I decided to spend a long weekend in getting it into a better shape.

Complete set of Travel Space Hulk

I went with classic Blood Angels and Genestealer colours, at the smaller scale the colours do more work than the sculpts so it really makes the game feel like classic Space Hulk. Travel Space Hulk Marines Travel Space Hulk

The blips have the number of Genestealers on the reverse as you would expect.
Travel Space Hulk blip reveal

The nature of this particular Travel Scrabble set really makes this work.  The map isn’t ideal for the original rule set, it lacks the long corridors that help the Marine player but that’s a minor issue – it’s better to be able to play some Space Hulk when travelling than none at all…

Marine player's view of Travel Space Hulk game in progress Genestealer player's view of Travel Space Hulk game in progress

The way the tiles clip into the board is perfect for game play as it stops things moving about when you’re playing on a train, in a pub or at a campsite, and the small size of the board means it doesn’t need a very big space to set up in the aforementioned locations.

Close up view of Travel Space Hulk game in progress

The counters fit inside the box but I need to come up with a storage solution for the figures, when they were unpainted it was fine to have them loose but, despite a heavy coat of varnish, they need some more protection now.
Travel Space Hulk counter storage

When it comes to rules we have a good enough understanding of the mechanics and what’s fun so freestyle things, that’s the joy of playing games with good friends.

Cyber Altered Task unit

And of course, what Space Hulk game would be complete without a C.A.T.
Travel Space Hulk C.A.T.



Trooper 4 APs per Activation Phase
Bugs and Blips 6 APs per Activation Phase

The humans also get 1D6 CP at the beginning of their turn. These may be spent at any time during either side’s turn. Unused points do not carry over.


Action Trooper Bug Blip
Move Forward 1 square 1 1 1
Move Backwards 1 square 2 2 1
Move Sideways 1 square 2 1
Turn 90° 1 0*
Turn 180° 2 1
Fire Blaster/Gatling 1
Fire Gatling Sustained 2
Fire Inferno Cannon 2
Fire Missile 4
Set Overwatch Fire 2
Clear Jammed Blaster 1
Clear Jammed Gatling 4
Reload Gatling/Inferno 4
Reload Missile Launcher 5
Move Forwards & Fire 1
Move Backwards & Fire 2
Close Assault Attack 1 1
Open/Close Door 1 1 1
  • If a bug makes two 90° turns in a row, they’re really making one 180° turn, and must pay 1 AP to do so.

BLASTER CARBINES (Unlimited ammo)
Trooper’s blaster carbines have unlimited range and require a 6 from 2D6 to kill. For each sequential action spent firing at the same target without the firer moving the score required to hit goes down by 1.

GATLING CANNONS (10 rounds/reload)
Gatling cannons have unlimited range and require a 5+ from 3D6 to kill. The cannon will jam on any tripple, after making any kills rolled. If fired in sustained mode, and providing they have enough ammo, the trooper may fire up to five shots at any available target(s).

INFERNO CANNONS (12 rounds/reload)
An inferno marker can be placed in any square within 12 squares and LOS. Up to five more markers may be placed in a chain from this marker (but still within 12 squares of the firer, LOS not required). If a square contains a bug or a blip it will kill it on a 2+ from 1D6, troopers are killed on a 4+ and doors cannot be affected. Inferno markers are removed at the beginning of the human player’s turn.

BUG HUNTER MISSILES (4 rounds/reload)
Can be fired at bugs or blips up to 18 squares away with no line of sight required. The missile takes the shortest route to the target and and will impact on the first door, bug, blip or trooper in the way. Score required to kill: Bug/blip – 4+; Door/Trooper – 5+;

If more than one kill is rolled then surplus kills may be used to kill targets in adjacent squares (subject to LOS and range).

Troopers with blasters or gatling cannons can be placed on overwatch. When on overwatch any movement within LOS and 12 squares will allow a ‘free’ shot at the moving target. Blasters will jam on any double (double 6 kills the target before jamming – see also overkill).

Bugs roll 3D6 and select the highest, humans roll 1D6. Whoever has the highest score kills their opponent. If the result is tied then neither combatant dies. Doors can be destroyed on a 6.

If attacked from the side or rear the defender cannot kill the attacker, if they win or draw they may turn to face their attacker. Bugs attacked from the side or rear roll 2D6.

9 x 3 count, 4 x 2 count, 8 x 1 count.

Blips are placed outside an entry point at the start of the bug’s turn. All blips must be placed before bugs start their movement. If a trooper is within 6 squares of an entry point freshly placed blips cannot enter and must remain off board untill the next turn. Once on the board, blips and bugs may not move off the board.

Blips may be voluntarily converted at any time during the bug turn. Blips must be converted when they move into the line of sight of a trooper or adjacent to his square. A bug must be placed in the square the blip was in and any other bugs must be placed in adjacent squares.

Any similarities between these rules and any previously published game are as co-incidental as any similarities between that game and the film Aliens.