So tonight four games of Judge Dredd were run at NAGA. Most if not all of the players were new to the game but not the theme/setting or the idea of gang based games.
I was playing the Fatties, a group of gluttonous greedy fat-boys who’s main strength seemed to lie in their toughness, their charge and their close combat skills. My gang was led by a Fattie Leader.
I was playing against James’ Demonic Cabal, who were all about summoning demons to do their bidding or possessing enemy models, they were led by a Grand Warlock.
The scenario set out for us (and every other table) was about escaping the table from a central 12″ square area. One model from each force must setup within that 12″ so both James and I deployed our gang leaders in that area. All the other models start off the table and must traverse through that area before escaping off the opposite table edge.
here was no justice in our game although the scenario dictated that should one of us break the law the model would be removed from play and would not score for the purposes of winning the scenario. Every model MUST pass through the central area and spend an action inside it. With all that in our minds we tentatively set about the game under the watchful eyes of Scott and Brent.
First turn begins and I deployed a second Fattie on my table edge and used his two actions to run him under the scenery then charge into the centre zone to support my Fattie Leader. Fatties have a special ability that means when you perform two move actions or two melee actions the second move is at an additional D10+2″. So my normally slow 3″ Fatties can barrel into combat gaining huge bonuses from a minimum of 6″ but a maximum of 15″. The downside is that the whole move MUST be in a direct straight line……
James deploys a second Demonic Caballist to the table and advances him forward in preparation to join his Grand Warlock in the centre of the table to prepare for the great summoning. Each Caballist spending an action to to support the Grand Warlock adds to the summoning roll for his Demon so James is planning to summon once all his Caballists are near his Warlock.
My second Ordinary Fattie is deployed to the table on the opposite side and sprints across the table under scenery (to avoid the Demonic Caballists with pistols) and enters the middle of the table. Now my three Fatties are positioned on the far side of the centre area patrolling whilst James continues to deploy Caballists. At this point I realise that James wants to summon Demons and to do so he needs his Grand Warlock so screw the scenario Im going to learn the close combat/melee mechanics the old fashioned way by giving some jerk in a pointy hat waving his arms around a good wellying with an angry Fattie Leader weilding a cleaver.
Each turn you can either deploy a miniature or activate all your miniatures currently deployed. Now all my Fatties are deloyed it seems prudent to activate them all, starting with my Fattie Leader. I activate my Fattie Leader and move him into charge range of the Grand Warlock, as my second action I charge into him (a minimum of 4″ to ensure I get a bonus dice). Totalling up the dice my Leader Fattie rolls 4 d10 attack dice (2 base + 1 for charging +1 for a special ability). His attack goes through armour because he charged (Its called Bellywheeling I think) and so my four attack dice (9,9,7,5) beat James (9,7). I use an ability to force James to reroll his two dice resulting in a worse result for me a 10 and a 9. oh well. I also use another ability to reroll one of my dice changing the 5 to a 4. I then add my melee bonus on (+4) which ensures I defeat the Grand Warlock with two hits. Each of my hits deals 2 damage ignoring armour (due to my bellywheeling charge) so a total of 4 wounds are caused on the Demonic Caballist. Being a weedy demon botherer in robes compared to hungry tough angry fattie the Warlock folds like a bad poker player and dies in a bloody explosion of gore to some deft cleaver work. Sadly now according to the scenario my Leader Fattie should be removed from play and he’s hiding from the fuzz, the 5-0, the po-po, the rozzers and therefore cannot score. We determine that for the purposes of “having a laugh” and “dicking about” he stays in play but when he escapes the table he cannot score.
Also being rather unfair on James we also determine that in order to see a demonic summoning the Demonic Caballist that just died was an ordinary Caballist in disguise and not the Grand Warlock. Rather pleased with his work my Leader Fattie pulls a bacon sarnie from his folds of blubberous skin and eats it in celebration.
My other two Fatties start running for the table edge and go into hiding under towers to escape being shot at.
James deploys the rest of his gang at once, including the recently un-deceased Grand Warlock and beings a rite to summon a Demon. With four Caballists contributing James achieves his goal and summons a rather lacklustre mini demon within 10″ of his Cabal. Each turn we must wrestle for command of the Imp and whoever wins controls the Imp on their phase. James wins the roll off and gains control of the Imp for his turn. This places the now angry Imp rather close to one of my Ordinary Fatties so he gets charged from behind. Being a rather slow and lumbering beast of chubberiness my Fattie spins around and clobbers the poor sneaky Imp square in the face killing it outright in one blow.
James Grand Warlock attempts to summon a Demon again as the little dead Imp isn’t considered a successful summoning. Each Caballist spends its turn and actions supporting the rite and the Warlock begins his rite. In total James manages to attempt a possession of the nearest enemy minion, which happens to be the Imp swatting Fattie hiding behind a bulkhead. In a contested will roll the possession fails to take affect as the thought of a celebratory Bacon buttie is too much for the Fattie who has his mind on other things. No successful possession.
Now its time for Team Chubbster, the Fatties again. Both of my ordinary Fatties make double move actions and sprint off the opposition table edge scoring me a point each.
Fatties 2 – Demonic Cabal 0
My remaining Fattie, the Leader Fattie cannot score as he brutally murdered the false Grand Warlock earlier. In an attempt to stop James simply walking his five remaining Caballists off the table and beating me 5 – 2 I begin to move the bulbous hulk up towards his Cabal.
James starts a new turn and again attempts to summon a Demon. This time the dice are in his favour. he scores a total of 13 on a table that goes upto 14. That to both of us would seem a great success. Upon reading the result, which is a successful summoning it appears that a medium level Demon has been summoned. Just one problem, hes angry at being summoned against his will and sides with my remaining Leader Fattie.
In reality we should have continued but after some number crunching it was determined that even rolling badly it was likely that the movement 10″ flying demon and the Belly wheeling Fattie can easily catch and murder enough Caballists to leave James with not enough living Caballists to escape the table.
The game is called and despite ignoring the scenario the Fattie Stampede are winners!
Reviewing the game I would say it fulfils the criteria of a 28mm skirmish game. It has a very dieselpunk feel to it. Im not a massive Judge Dredd fan but I am aware of the setting and the miniatures do that setting justice if you pardon the pun! Even accounting for the fact we used Necromunda terrain the game has a very Necromunda in Megacity One feel to it and I liked that!
The campaign settings seem a little over complicated compared to similar games and the scenarios have an element of roleplay to them which means even the less combat orientated gangs and mobs can compete. However, in my opinion these types of games want to degenerate into pitched battles with cleavers and clubs and machine guns. Maybe it was the scenario we played or maybe the gangs we had to use but something felt wrong. I will definitely give it another chance with other gangs.
The rules are simple and it works very similarly to other turn based games such as Malifaux and Necromunda. Phases are broken into turns, each team/gang going one after another in each phase. The game is controlled by dice rolls, and only uses D10 dice. So a 4D roll is rolling 4 D10. Some rolls are contested such as Willpower checks and combat is a very simple. The attacking minion rolls attack and compares results against an agility roll of a defending minion. If you achieve more successes then you score wounds. Wounds are removed from the minion and once reduced to zero the minion is removed from play.
Each model gets 2 actions per turn, this includes Move, Melee, Shoot, and Special Actions. Want your model to run? Move twice. Want him to stand still and blast away? Shoot twice. If you win a round of combat, you can push the enemy away up to 2″, which means if you win combat with your first action, you can push the enemy away then blast them in the face with a shotgun. Special actions vary from gang to gang and are fitting to the theme and flavour of each gang.
The starter sets of each gang/mob are competitively priced when compared to other similar styled games and a starting gang can be purchased for around £30-£35. There is a similarity between the type of terrain required for this game and other similar games meaning those already invested in other games can easily get involved in this game.
The models are of a nice quality and the style of them invokes a nice sense of the setting. The supporting documents such as campaign books and rules are finished well and reflect the cartoony style of the originating setting.
PROs – feel, theme, quality of miniatures, simplicity of combat, range of gangs/mobs, costs to get involved.
CONs – scenarios, campaign setting, difficulty of understanding certain elements of the ruleset.
OVERALL – 7/10