Solo/Co-op Space Crusade

A way of playing Space Crusade solo, or with 2 or 3 Marine players and no Alien Player. "Blip Cards" allow random placement of Aliens so that you know how many are in the room, but not what kind they are until the card is turned over. Blips in a room may randomly lurk or go on the offensive. That's about it. You can play 1, 2 or 3 marine teams.

Set up Blip Cards:
A Blip Card has the number of blips on the back (5, 4, or 3) and a list of 5, 4 or 3 aliens on the front.
The list is called a "Blip Group", and they act as a team. Try to keep them together as a distinct team.
You can use 3x5 index cards cut in half, or print something fancy. Translucent green bingo chips with a sticker on 1 side are a possibility, they would be "blip-like".
If you say that each of the 4 boards has its own corridor, then there 24 rooms and corridors.
Take the 16 blip cards detailed below, and place 8 with 16 blank cards (total 24), shuffle and place 1 in each room/corridor, whenever that board is initially scanned. The Blip cards are placed with the Alien list face down and the 3/4/5 showing. The blank cards are blank on both sides, so you know which rooms are empty.

5-Blip Cards:
  1. 5 Gretchen
  2. 5 Gretchen
  3. 5 Ork
  4. 5 Ork
  5. Chaos Commander, 3 Chaos Bolters, 1 Chaos Missile Launcher
  6. 4 Gretchen, 1 Android

4-Blip Cards:
  1. 3 Gretchen, 1 Dreadnought
  2. 4 Ork
  3. 4 Android
  4. 3 Chaos Bolters, 1 Chaos Missile Launcher
3-Blip Cards:
  • 3 Gretchen
  • 3 Gretchen
  • 3 Gretchen
  • 1 Gretchen, 2 Orks
  • 1 Gretchkin, 1 Android, 1 Chaos Commander
  • 2 Androids, 1 Dreadnought
(Notice that every miniature occurs twice above, so you use half the cards at the start, the other half are the reinforcement pool).

When the board is scanned, all the rooms/corridors have cards, some blank, some Blip cards with 3/4/5 on the backs. So you know where the enemy are, but not what they are.

Revealing Blips:
When the Marines enter a gameboard the scan occurs, and the blip cards are randomly placed on that gameboard. When a Marine miniature can see any square of the room or corridor containing a face-down blip card, the blip card is turned over, and all the miniatures of the Blip Group placed immediately. In a corridor, place the Aliens out of sight of the scanning marine, but otherwise as close as possible. In a room, the Aliens go in the corners and center.
At the start of the Alien Player's turn, roll a D6 for every blip card. On a 6, the blip is revealed, place the miniatures pseudo-randomly in the room or corridor (They heard you coming) and open the door if in a room. If the scenario says "except Chaos Marine Commander", then that miniature does not get placed when revealed.

Artificial Intelligence:
If one Alien from a Blip Group can see a Marine, all members of the Blip Group will attack.
All Orks, Bolter Chaos Marines, and Genestealers will attempt to engage in Hand-to-Hand combat, shooting on the way. All others will shoot at the enemy, moving if the line of sight to the enemy is blocked by miniatures.
If none of the Blip group members can see a Marine, they will all move towards the nearest Marine.

Alien target priority when there there is more than 1 target that can be attacked this turn: 
  1. Nearest Heavy Weapon
  2. Nearest Bolter
  3. Nearest Commander
The alien miniatures are either moving to contact, shooting, engaging in Hand-to-Hand combat, or "Lurking" around a corner.

At any time, if no member of a Blip Group can see an enemy, but one Blip group member is about to move into a square that can be seen by a Marine, the Alien player rolls a red die. If the result is zero, the Alien stops moving, and the other member of the Blip group will move as close as possible to the enemy without being seen. They are all "Lurking".

If the result is 1, 2 or 3 all members of the Blip group will move to attack.
This procedure may be repeated each turn until a Marine moves into sight of one of the Blip group members, or a 1, 2, or 3 is rolled causing the Aliens to move into sight of the Marines.

If it is possible that a Blip Group may be attacked by a Missile Launcher or Plasma Gun, Lurking Aliens should stay one square apart.

Lurking allows the Blip Group to concentrate for the attack, but the Marine player approaching the corner knows they may charge at any moment.

False Blips (Optional):
Write "3" on one side of the blank cards. There are 3 blank blips in Space Crusade, it isn't clear if they are used in the game, but the element of "false alarm" is thematic.

Alien Event Cards:
If there is a choice on which miniatures are affected (such as "Booby Trap"), the Marine Player gets to chose who gets it. The "Mothership Scan" event card lets the Marine Player inspect all the Blip Cards on 1 gameboard, although they are not "Revealed". "Alien Task Force" is placed on the reinforcement blip deck and replaced by a revealed Blip card chosen at random as soon as one becomes available. "Redeploy" switches two Blip cards randomly.

Reinforcements are the 8 blip cards not played. When a blip card list of Aliens is completely killed, place a reinforcement blip card in a room or corridor with an "R" next to it on the map. You can place a reinforcement Blip card on top of any other Blip card. If there are 2 Blip cards in a room/corridor they are revealed independently of each other.
No Reinforcements: No reinforcement Blip cards.
All Green Reinforcements: All 8 blip cards not originally placed, but when revealed only Orks and Grechkin are placed.
All Blue and Green Reinforcements: All 8 blip cards not originally placed.
All Blue and Green Reinforcements, except Dreadnought: All 8 blip cards not originally placed, but if a Dreadnought is revealed it is not placed.
My Homemade Foamboard Copy

Campaign Handicap:
For 1 marine team, the Marine player may turn 2 Alien Event cards against the Alien per game. See Librarian.
For 3 Marine Teams, the Alien points are split 3 ways, so it is harder for an individual team to win. If that doesn't satisfy you, let the the "Auto Defence" card read "any 3" instead of "any 1".
The Solo AI here isn't smart, it needs a little help against 3 Marine teams.

Alien Rank: (See Page 8 Mission Manual)
If the Alien Player has extra Event cards conferred by rank, deal that number of cards into a separate stack. When if a blip was revealed during the Marine Players, play the top card from the stack if there is one, in addition to the top card on the main stack.

Marks of Chaos: (See Page 8 Mission Manual)
Marks of Chaos
Extra Reinforcement Blip Cards
D6 1-2  gets One 3-Blip, 3-6 nothing.
D6 1-3 gets One 4-Blip, 4-6 nothing.
One 3-Blip
4 or more
One 4-Blip

Different Aliens:
You may want to use different Alien miniatures, an all-Necron ship for example. Make up a Necron force of similar strength to the original, arrange them into Blip Groups and write them on the Blip cards in a green pen. So now your Blip cards can be used for Necrons or the Ork/Gretchin/Android/Chaos ship. You still have genestealers.
More simply, you could substitute one species on the Blip cards with another in a different color pen. Perhaps substitute Nobz for Chaos.

Alternative to Blip Cards and Reinforcement cards:
32 blips, 24 rooms & corridors, 1.33 blips each.
For each room and corridor on the board to be scanned:
Roll a D10: 0-6 no blips, 7: 3 blips, 8: 4 blips, 9: 5 blips (1.4 per room/corridor, close enough).

To reveal a blip, roll a d100 (2xD10 dice, multiply one die by 10), remove the blip marker and replace it with a miniature according to this table:
Normal Ship:
Number Miniature D100

1 Dreadnought 00 - 02
4 Android 03 - 14
1 Chaos Commander 16 - 18
1 Chaos Hvy Wpn 19 - 21
3 Chaos Marine 22 - 30
8 Ork 31 - 54
14 Gretchen 55 - 96
1 Special 97 - 99
If you roll "45", you get an Ork, for example.
"Special" is reroll, or maybe an extra Alien, a Marine Prisoner, a teleporter to any other square on the board or whatever.
You can change the table to use different miniatures, for your Necrons or whatever you have.
If the Mission requires a Dreadnought, and you are down to 5 blips, the next blip is the Dreadnought.

Chaos Ship:
Number Miniature D100

1 Dreadnought 00 - 4
4 Android 05 - 24
2 Chaos Commander 26 - 35
2 Chaos Hvy Wpn 36 - 45
10 Chaos Marine 46 - 95
1 Special 96 - 99
The Chaos Ship dispenses with the goofy greenskins, you are fighting Chaos, with the odd Genestealer. Any event cards referring to Grechkin or Orks now apply to Chaos Marines. You need 7 extra Chaos Marines, plus a Chaos Commander and a Heavy weapon. 15 bucks plus shipping on EBay.

Ork Ship:
You can substitute Nobz for Chaos Commander and Orks for Chaos Marines to create an Ork Hulk. Or Eldar to create an Eldar Hulk. The Orks and Eldar would have similar stats to their Chaos Marine counterparts to keep it balanced.

Super Dungeon Explore:
Optionally, some otherwise blank cards denote a Found Item, such as:

  • Disposable Missile Launcher, can be used by any of your miniatures once only.
  • Force Field + 1 Armor Value for all miniatures of a color you chose on your next turn only.
  • One extra Melta Bomb
  • One extra Blind Grenade
  • Medi-Kit, one of your miniatures in play now has 2 lives. Place a marker on the miniature.
  • Alarm! Any cards on this board with numbers are turned over and the Aliens become active.
If you enter the room with a blank card, you get to turn over the card and if there is a Found Item mentioned on the card, you get it. The card is immediately removed from play. Let's search for treasure!
SpaceHammer HulkQuest:
Make a set of cards corresponding to Space Hulk tiles (or whatever modular tile system you like), and generate a random dungeon as you go along, like Warhammer Quest or Wrath of Ashardlon. Each new section has a blip card applied to it, and a chance of a treasure card when the enemies are killed. Optionally a 1 in 6 chance of a new extra Blip card every turn to create time pressure. One Terrain card is the Quest Room, shuffled into the last 5 rooms.