If you're not familiar with names like Orks, Gretchins, Dreadnoughts, Blips and Genestealers, then chances are you haven't been living for the past few years.
As any decent role-laying games fan will know, these names are all to do with Games Workshop Ltd. Now if you cast your minds back a year or so ago, you will remember that Gremlin converted Heroquest - The Board Game into Heroquest - The Computer Game (fanfare please).
This obviously delighted thousands of RPG fans who owned Amigas. Now they've converted Space Crusade - a much loved RPG - to our computer screens too (hurrah!)
Anyone who's not a fan of RPGs will probably think that they're a little boring and involve lots of old, hairy heavy metal fans who move painted metal figures all around a board while throwing a 75-sided dice.
Well you're wrong! I've played a few RPGs in my time, I can tell you, and they are actually quite fun. The only thing tha bothered me were the hundreds and hundreds of rules that came with the game as standard.
You know the sort: "You can only kill an Ork if its kill points are below seven and its defence factor is above two, but if you own a Heavy Bolter you must throw three times to see if any shrimps have eaten your fridge".
Well it's sort of like that. Whatever it was, it was very confusing. So if you didn't know all the rules you consequently got beaten to a pulp by all your chums.
Well, now Space Crusade is on your home computer and things are a little easier. I'll tell you why shortly - first it's time for a bit of a story.
More than 25 milennia ago, mankind took his first tentative steps to the stars. The discovery of the warp drive was a major advancement for space travel. What was once a journey of several centuries became a journey of several days.
Warp space is the parallel universe through which starships may jump, but unfortunately it's also the domain of Chaos. In warp space nothing may be taken for granted. It is a universe with all manner of evil powers.
Ships have disappeared without reason and emerged from the warp centuries after they entered it, millions of light years from their destinations. These derelict starships, distorted beyond all recognition are known as space hulks.
By entering warp space, man had awoken an ancient evil - the minions of Chaos had escaped from warp. The first great war, known as the Age of Strife, had begun.
For over five thousand years, warfare wrecked mankind - nation battle nation, planet battle planet, race destroyed race. Colonies died out, while aliens plundered and few fat on the wreck of humanity.
Then came a saviour, the man who would be known as the Emperor of Human Space. A shrewd diplomat, he gathered what was left of human society and formed it into the Empire.
A brilliant soldier, he conquered and reclaimed the planets lost to Chaos. For this task he crested the Space Marines, the greatest warriors of all.
Its members are acknowledged as the most powerful and feared fighting men in the Imperium. Space Marines are organised into chapters, each with its own fleet. The fleets roam through the galaxy in pursuit of Chaos. End of story.
Now this is where you come in. You get to control a squad of space marines - one commander and four marines - and you have to rid the space hulks of Chaos. The computer version allows for three players, each commanding one marine chapter - either the Blood Angels, the Imperial Fists or the Ultramarines. Chaos is played by the computer.
At the start of a game, the marine players choose the marine chapter they wish to represent. They then choose weapons for their marine teams. There are plenty to choose from - assault cannons, missile launchers, plasma guns and heavy bolters are just some of those available.
The marines must then choose which missions they wish to undertake. This can range from blowing a hole in the side of a space hulk to taking on one of the deadly dreadnoughts. There are 12 missions to choose from, so it'll keep you busy for a while, plus there will be mission disks on the way soon. Once you've done all this, it's time to start the game. The marine players take their turn first. After the marine team(s) have had their turns), it's time for the computer to strike back.
The marine players must attempt to accomplish the mission they have selected from the mission list. During their turn the marines may move, fire or fight using hand-to-
As the marines explore the game map they will encounter loads of the deadly members of Chaos. Marine players score points for eliminating their opponents and the player who scores the most points wins the game.
That's basically how you play Space Crusade - move in, kill the aliens, achieve mission objectives, move out and be home in time for tea.
Space Crusade is one of those games where the reviewer tells you to buy the game and read the manual because there are so many little things to talk about that he/she hasn't got enough space to write them all down.
Guess what? "What?" I hear you all cry. "Go and buy the game and read the manual because there isn't enough space to explain all the twiddly bits."
There you have it. I've hardly space to tell you about the fantastic graphics and how you can switch views from 2D to 3D, or about the fab sound FX and how, errr, fab it sounds.
See, there just isn't enough space to tell you about the playability and how it's easy to play because it uses a really good icon system and there are no hard rules to learn.
I can't believe I won't be able to tell you about how you'll be addicted to it for months and months on end. I don't know, computer game mags these days. Tut tut.
Space Crusade is one hell of a game. RPG fan or not, you'll love it to bits. Go out and buy it today. You will not regret it, I promise.