I AM THE LAW

The last blog I wrote was a quick recap of the state of affairs after a period of absence. Now it is time for some product reviews that I received at Crisis. Now it is time to bring order to the chaos. Now it is time for the Law.

Apart from my interest for Vikings, I am an avid comic book collector. So you can imagine my excitement when the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game came to my attention.  So when I had some time to spare, I was able to have a chat with Andrew from Warlord Games.  First of all I asked about Warlord’s involvement with the Dredd miniature game as it is initially a Mongoose publishing product. Andrew explained that Warlord’s main role was in production: Warlord helps out with the development of the hardcopy of the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game rulebook, the production of the miniatures and packaging. Andrew also elaborated on the future of the game; the miniature range will be expanded, including vehicles and the possibility of anything else from the Dredd universe. The most important thing I took with me from my little chat is that the Judge Dredd source material is very important, so fans can rest easy. Additionally, we can look forward to some community participation projects that will get players more involved.

I walked away with a good feeling about the Dredd game and, lucky me, some review material. First of all I want to talk about the Rulebook. Visually it is a real treat; it is filled to the brim with Judge Dredd by various comic book artists. The layout of the book also has some room for lovely little snippets called ‘case files’, these small fragments provide some lovely fluff on characters, places, and organisations of the Judge Dredd world. 

The rulebook eases you into the basic rules and then gives you a small scenario on which to test your new-found skills. After this the advanced rules are explained in detail. I thought this was a clever way to get new players involved, because the basic rules cover just about ten pages. The advanced rules that follow add an extra dimension to combat and also introduce the use of vehicles and the use of mobs (a collection of ‘minion’ type units that can be led by a ‘hero’ type unit). The bulk of the book next explains how you can create your own squad or gang and introduces all the different factions and units. It takes up a big part of the book, however, it does make up for that with beautifully painted miniatures and you do not need to buy all sorts of supplements right away.

The next chapters of the book focus even more on personalising your game. You get a run-down of all the equipment, weapons, and armour you can provide your gang with. There is a lot to choose from, so you can truly create your all-star squad. The next thing the Judge Dredd Miniatures game rulebook introduces is a Hero system. When you are playing a campaign style game, you can choose a Hero unit, which, over time, can level up and can acquire all sorts of special abilities that can also be upgraded with a skill tree system.

The final chapters of the book provide the player with a quite a few scenarios to play, including a number of ‘Famous Firefights’. These are scenarios straight from the Judge Dredd comics, so that you can play out your favourite battle or create an alternate ending. This is followed by my own favourite chapters of the book, almost 40 pages filled with fluff on the world of Judge Dredd. It describes Megacity One and its gangs and lawmen, but also other cities in the Dredd world like Atlantis and BritCit.

In all, it is a wonderful rulebook and the gaming system seems easy to pick up on. I really like the RPG aspects of the game; they give you the chance to really develop your own specific gang with a truly unique Hero leader. However, it might be less enjoyable for historical wargamers because Judge Dredd is pure scifi. But if you liked the recent Dredd film and don’t mind a bit of futuristic violence, the Judge Dredd Miniatures game might be just the thing for you.

Now it is time to collect my Lawgiver sidearm and step on my Lawmaster and show some perps that I AM THE LAW!

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