Start of a new(reborn) love for me Judge Dredd the miniature game. Now if you follow me over on twitter @Fallen_Princes, you would have seen me mass buying Games Workshop Judge Dredd figures (link). Why I hear you ask. The reason is one I love 2000ad and the old man, secondly there is a new easy to play game on the block. Mongooses Judge Dredd miniature game. This game has been getting a lot of coverage recently due to the highly successful kickstarter campaign. But today I will be taking a quick look at the rules and gangs. Hopefully convincing some of you to give it a go.
Warning lots of pics and wordy goodness. You have been warned.
First item you notice is no D6! I know shocking right? This game uses D10 dice, which tho uncommon most of us have a few kicking around. The game plays like most wargames out there player A moves, shoots, attacks etc, then player B goes. The stats for your models are slightly different to the norm and instead of a set stat they are in fact a modifier to your D10 dice roll, either making it easier or harder to pass.
Characteristics are pretty simple:
Move: Simple movement in inches.
Agility: Used for dodging shooting attacks and also for jumping gaps.
Shoot: This is the shooting and throwing skill modifier
Melee: Melee skill modifier
Melee Dice: Number of dice that you roll in melee combat.
Will: This is the mental toughness, for resisting arrest checks, psychic powers and other will related checks.
Armour: Ranging from 0 to as high as +7 for Heavy Holocaust Suits this value is added to the d10 armour roll, minus Armour Piercing, if the total is greater than 10, the armour saves. Pretty simple
Hits: Pretty simple, these are effectively hit points, most models have one, Judge Dredd, being a Level 20 Merc, has 22 points!! A Fattie has 6 hits, which is a lot for a minion.
This may look a little strange to some experienced gamers but once you have given it a go it is real simple. And once you have a few games under your belt you don't even need to look at the rulebook any more.
The Campaign system looks well thought out (I haven't used it let), but is not as in depth as necromunda. There is some interesting abilities, which can be gained by following the simple skill trees and even psi powers.
Now like all games the rules are only half the game. Now on to the miniatures and the forces you can run:
Each force/gang is built to a starting size of 500 credits and gain more as they play more games. Credits are used to buy more members or equipment. If for example one gang is worth 600 credits and is versus a 500 credit gang the underdog gets 100 credits to spend on their merc list, to even the difference.
There is a good selection of crews but some of them are best left until you have a lot more experience under your belt.
The first group is 'The Justice Dept' home to heroes like Dredd and Anderson (both mercs in the game). The Justice Dept list gives you access to the common street judge along with the more specialised riot, SJS, psi and Holocaust judges. You can also purchase the stylist Lawmaster motorbike, which improves your judges abilities and gives them some awesome shooting power. Downside to this is a basic street judge and lawmaster comes in at a staggering 250 credits! That's half of your starting credits. Plus side in the lawgiver weapon which comes with all the fancy ammo types we have come to love from the comics. Another nice touch to the judges is that they can't fire at preps, until they have either a) attempted to arrest them or b) been fired at. Now due to the elite status of judges you will often find your out numbered. But with every judge a hero (apart from rookies) they soon will gain skills and level up into powerful heroes.
Then there is the street gang. These represent the most common type of prep encountered in the comic. These guys are your horde option and will always outnumber the other gangs. Most of the models come in at a starting cost of between 10 to 20 credits, very cheap compared to judges. You do of course have to still pay for their gear like spit guns and pistols. Also to give you an edge you can upgrade preps into heroes (so they gain experience) or even psi talents. If you like expendable troops this is the group for you.
Mobsters are the elite version of the above street gang. But their list is limited to Gangsters, who can be upgraded to heroes and Blitzers, who have the 'brain bombs' that explode if they get arrested. They have the ability to buy a lot of equipment and have better stats that your common prep. Currently not a huge choice on the model front, hopefully this will be fixed soon.
The Classic Ape Gang. These guys have a huge amount of options from chimps to gorillas to orang-utan snipers. Sadly though no psi talents (now that would be too crazy even for Dredd). They also have the benefit that every model can scale sheer surfaces, during their move. Meaning you can never truly trap an ape in the corner. The Apes have one of the smallest merc lists in the game, but who cares? They have the most variety in their list (they seem to be the second most favoured gang after the judges).
The Fattie gang. These are a specialist gang, needing someone with experience to pull of their Fattie Stampede! If you manage it then they do really hit hard. They start the game quite slow but as they continue to move they build up momentum. As most of the time your actions are used on movement, there is no real point on range weapons. This list also has no real options as you can only buy fatties, but the models are pure genius.
Cursed Earth Desperadoes key strength comes from their vast array of options, when building a gang. They have access to a large range of equipment, mutations and psi talents and could be considered the all rounders force. Being able to have models that can specialise at shooting, combat or psi. I can see this gang being really fun to play and having a huge modelling opportunities. They have a good merc list and a strong starting force.
This gang holds the least interest for me sadly. The sky surfers are expensive force to start off with and are quite inexperienced. But they do other you a high speed element to the game. They suffer from a short merc list as it's hard to find guys who can keep pace. But hopefully they might get Chopper as merc in the near future??
The Lone Vigilante gang is as it says on the can, a one man force! So you get 500 credits to suit up and gear up your hero. You could make batman and play a crazy cross over game? He comes with a warning tho, recommended for veteran players only as one wrong error and your finished. As he gains experience he can also gain a cheeky sidekick. This force offers huge gaming and modelling freedom.
The infamous Angel Gang! This is a one stop gang coming in over 500 credits you'll either find yourself giving away merc points or not using your full gang. You can't customize their equipment, you just horde the creds. But they do gain experience and new talents. As an example of cost mean machine alone costs 325 credits. They also have a short choice in mercs but it takes a special kind of crazy to want to work with the Angel Gang. Plus sides are the models, they really capture the feel of these iconic foes.
Where to begin Judge Caligula is insane. In his short time as chief judge of mega city one, he made his Goldfish deputy judge and wanted the citizens to kill themselves! He also managed to brainwash 99% of the Judges into obeying him without question and also hired the alien Kleggs! A group of biped crocs armed with guns form outer space (have I mention 2000ad is so crazy). Cal's force runs similarly to the Justice Dept apart from the Kleggs. And as a nice special touch they can arrest other Judges!
The Zombie Horde consists of a single powerful psychic mistress/master and a horde of zombies who are very hard to put down and can even be equipped with armour to represent undead judges. That's a bout it for these. Fun if your into zombies or horde forces.
The robots are rather unique. They have a natural high armour value on many of their models, can repair damage gained over the course of a campaign and are all immune to being arrested. The force choices are rather expensive but when you get to choose from junk robots and robo-dogs, who cares? Some of the models just ooze retro sci-fi about them.
All forces have mercenary options (some more than others) and there are some truly strange characters to be hired. Robot doctors, werewolves and even the legend that is Judge Dredd himself!
The book is finished off with a good selection of entertaining scenarios and an expansive fluff section that gives you the general history of Mega City One and even goes into detail about common mental disorders of this futuristic city.
This is a great first step into the Judge Dredd miniature game but best of all it is totally free! The rule book can be down loaded here http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/miniatures/judge-dredd/rulebook.html
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the very successful kickstarter campaign earlier this year there are many more forces set to be released such as the city defence force, judges from other mega cities (British and soviet style forces to begin with) and even the vile Dark Judges!
So that's it for the first instalment of Dredd. I hope it has pricked some interest in some off you. And if not thanks for reading. If your already collecting/playing or think you might give it a go, drop me a comment below. Would love to hear your thoughts.