Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Word had reached the heroic liberators of East Meg One that a small force of recalcitrant so-called judges from the imperialist forces were daring to resist the inevitable victory of scientific socialism. Accordingly, a detachment was sent to squash these capitalist-roaders and impress upon the remaining enemy the futility of further resistance. Meanwhile, a of Mega City One’s finest, banded together with whatever equipment they could scavenge to strike a blow against the hated invaders and reclaim the sector for its rightful owners.

The stage was set for a brutal fight where no quarter would be asked - or given.

Each side had approximately 1000 credits to outfit their force.


Above: Justice Department Force

The Justice Department fielded a smaller force with three street judges, a street judge on a Lawmaster and a senior judge to command.


Above: East Meg Invasion Force

The East Meg Invasion Force had four ‘normal’ judges, a senior judge, an officer and a Sentenoid.

We played using standard JDMG rules but trialled a different command and control system based on Bolt Action. That is, for each miniature on the board a die of a certain colour (in our case, white for Justice Department &, of course, red for East Meg) was placed in a bag along with two black dice. One at a time a die would be drawn and, depending on the colour, one miniature in the corresponding force (of the player’s choice) that had not already been activated was activated. If the die was black, then the first die was a ‘warning’ and the second die would end the round. The intention behind this was to move away from the IgoUgo structure in the game and add a bit of unpredictability by having turns of variable length where it is likely that not all miniatures would be activated.

The game started well enough with both sides deploying close to their baselines. In the first turn or two each pushed ahead with standard judges, almost acting as scouts. The scouts quickly sought high ground or hard cover and engaged their opposite number with long-range fire as soon as they came into the proximity of the enemy.


Above: Sov judge quickly occupies the high ground. The red die behind the miniature denotes that it has been activated this turn.


Above: Scouts engage at long range

As the game progressed, players were challenged where to prioritise their efforts. Should one concentrate on getting in ‘pot shots’ against enemy scouts or was it preferable to move up the miniatures in reserve?
The JD elected to push around to their left flank with their Lawmaster while the Sentenoid ambled up the middle of the table with the intention of attacking the enemy scouts. This move caught the attention of the Lawmaster which turned and used its superior speed to bring the devastating bike cannons into range, with good effect. As soon as this activation was resolved a second black die was drawn, ending the turn. At the beginning of the next turn the Sentenoid was looking for a red die to take the fight to the biker. Luck was with the Lawmaster as a white die was drawn and the bike cannon fired again punching holes in the Sentenoid’s armour. Then a black die, then a white die causing more desultory skirmishing from the scouts and then the next black die. The East Meggers didn’t get an activation that turn and, of course, white was the first colour draw the next round. That was enough for the Lawmaster to destroy the Sentenoid (easy to hit when your target has -1 agility). This was the second time I’d lost one of these lumbering beasts without ever getting into attack range.


Above: The Lawmaster begins to ride around the left flank

Still, the Sentenoid was effective in drawing my opponent’s attention and the East Meg one senior judge was using his superior marksmanship to dispose of the JD street judges one by one. The Lawmaster was left in an exposed position and three consecutive East Meg activations allowed some damage to be done and the EM senior judge managed a lucky move-and-shoot activation which was enough to deliver two critical hits to the Lawmaster’s rider which removed the model from the game.

As the game progressed fortune oscillated one way and then the other. Both with shooting dice as well as activations. The game ended up boiling down to a rooftop confrontation between the two senior men. Both elected to shoot rather than engage in close combat and after some intense pistolry the East Meg One senior judge emerged the survivor and made short work of the remaining street judge.


Above: East Meg senior judge identifies his target

Overall we both liked the way that the way that the random activation worked. It seemed to feel true to the source material where leader types do a lot and minions tend to watch the action as much as participate. It helped that the game itself was a hoot and looked good on the table top – thanks to some Infinity terrain borrowed from our venue, Jolt Games in Mitchell. Both players enjoyed the game and resolved to play again soon.

By way of a post-script, the next game we played pitted 1500 credits worth of Angel Gang with mutie allies against the same size force from the Justice Department. We decided to try a scenario from the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Blood on the Streets book and played out in the Cursed Earth where both sides were vying for the contents of a crashed ship in the centre of the table.

I was the Justice Department and fully expected to have the worst of it in activations so I took along a couple of cadets just the get the extra dice. This was really a case of quality triumphing over quality and the three shots from a lawgiver would almost always see the mutie target (used as a ‘meat shield’ by the Angels to get to the objective) going down in a hail of lead. This rapidly evened and then skewed the odds in favour of the much more resilient Justice Department. By the game’s end, the Justice Department outnumbered the Angels and were simply bringing so much fire to bear that the much-feared gang didn’t stand a chance.

Not sure if this was down to the activation system or if the Angels are just a bit underpowered.

After two games suing this alternative activation system I think it’s fair to say we both prefer the activation system to the rules-as-written. We intend to keep on trying this with various scenarios – our next foray will be having Judge Dredd himself and a few friends up against a street gang which will outnumber them enormously. Should be an interesting test for this different command and control system.


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Jacky Blue
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Great report! Really interested to see how the system turns out for the street gang.
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Peter Cobcroft
Australia
Canberra
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Jacky Blue Note wrote:
Great report! Really interested to see how the system turns out for the street gang.

Ditto. We quickly found the campaign system became unbalanced.

On the plus side - I have the same terrain! Good stuff there
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Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Thanks for the kind words.

The Infinity MDF terrain is great, isn't it? This was all borrowed from Jolt (the FLGS at which we played) but I have picked up more than a few sets of my own of one sort or another which I will assemble and paint ... one day.

We don't play campaigns at this stage as one game a month is about right for us and we're still jiggering around with the rules and getting to know the various troop types.

Actually, my opponent is interested in trying Rogue Stars: Skirmish Wargaming in a Science Fiction Underworld while I have a few ideas about tweaking command and control from This Is Not a Test (KickStarter arrived last week).

Plenty of scope for creativity here.
 
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Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Nice work! I think you mean 'variable' rather than 'durable' game turn length though.

I like this mechanism - it's one that worked particularly well in Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back, in which there is a deck of cards containing movement and fire (and other actions/events) for each unit. Faster units get more cards in the deck, however you don't know what order they will come out in. It might work in this kind of scenario e.g. senior judge gets 2 fire or move cards, 1 move and fire, 1 move; street judge gets 1 move/fire and 1 move. etc. Add in a shuffle the deck card and you get an unpredictable order of things happening but a fairly predictable overall balance between the units.
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Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Thanks, Eddy. Mistake fixed. blush

The mechanisms for Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back sounds pretty interesting.
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Eddy Richards
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Allanton
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muzfish4 wrote:

The mechanisms for Assault on Hoth: The Empire Strikes Back sounds pretty interesting.


They give a very cinematic feel - heroes rushing around busily, the inexorable march of the walkers, infantry sitting around not doing much except getting blown up, random events at innopportune moments, transports escaping at intervals. Well worth a look (the game is excellent too - I've played it numerous times).
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Peter Cobcroft
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muzfish4 wrote:
Thanks for the kind words.

The Infinity MDF terrain is great, isn't it? This was all borrowed from Jolt (the FLGS at which we played) but I have picked up more than a few sets of my own of one sort or another which I will assemble and paint ... one day.


Ah yes, forgot your online nickname - forgot you're a local

I've got nearly all the kickstarter, so let me know if you need to borrow minis sometime...
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Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Curufea wrote:
muzfish4 wrote:
Thanks for the kind words.

The Infinity MDF terrain is great, isn't it? This was all borrowed from Jolt (the FLGS at which we played) but I have picked up more than a few sets of my own of one sort or another which I will assemble and paint ... one day.


Ah yes, forgot your online nickname - forgot you're a local

I've got nearly all the kickstarter, so let me know if you need to borrow minis sometime...


Thanks for the offer. I too have nearly received all my KS miniatures (one bike gang and Nero Narcos are pending). Just have to paint 'em up. Getting there slowly....
 
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Brett Davis
Australia
Emu Plains
New South Wales
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Great report still love this game glad that Warlord picked it up, hope they do something with it. Fingers crossed.
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