Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review - Judge Dredd Miniature Game

With the Judge Dredd Miniature Game Kickstarter coming down to the last 3 days, I have decided to do an initial review of the FREE miniature rulebook.

Judge Dredd

The rules are quite simple, consisting of 4 pages for the basic rules. It's a d10 based system instead of the d6 system that most miniature games use. I like that the game includes a campaign system similar to that of Necromunda, but with 25 levels of advancement for heroes! It's not as a robust of system as Necromunda, but it's close, I wish there were underdog rules, instead of having forces be equal cred values. I do like the minion rules, simple, survive 5 games, and they become heroes.

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.

Play switches from Player to Player, One side moving all of their models, then the other.Actions in the basic game are also simple. 2 actions per turn for each figure. A figure must use both actions before moving to the next model. Actions are as follows, Move, Shoot, Melee (including a Move & Attack action), or Special.

Shooting is interesting, because Rate of Fire is figured in with the Shooting Dice on the weapon so a Zip Gun has 3d Shooting dice, and Damage 1, with a 0 AP (3d/1/0). Lawgivers that Judges use are the most versatile weapon, as they should be, with a selection of 7 different rounds, Standard (2d/2/-1), Armor Piercing (1d/1/-4), Gas(1d/1/- explosive 2/gas), Heatseeker(1d/1/-1 ignores cover), Hi Explosive(1d/3/-2 explosive 1), Incendiary(1d/1/0 flames), Rubber Ricochet(1d/1/0 weak, but 5d/1/0 inside a building. This variety completely encompasses Judge Dredd.

The variety of forces continues the trend, by representing the extensive universe of Judge Dredd, from Robots to Mutants & Zombies from the Cursed Earth. Forces can also draw on Mercs (though, for the Justice Department, these are mostly forces also drawn from the Justice department, just not Street Judges.

Other Force Lists in JDMG, include, Street Gang, Mobsters, Ape Gang, Fattie Stampede, Cursed Earth Desperadoes, Sky Surfer Gangs, The Lone Vigilante, The Angel Gang, Cheif Judge Caligula's Personal Retinue, Zombie Horde, and Renegade Robots. (Additional forces are available in the Block Wars expansion.)

Heroes in JDMG gain Talents, these really make the game feel like Judge Dredd. An example of a Judge Dredd feeling talent, would be the Bike Wheelie...This,  judge only,  talent lets the Judge ride down perps while pulling a wheelie for defense. The bike does 3 dmg but also grants the Judge a +2 armour bonus. These talents are very much like feats in OGL games, many having prerequisites.

I'm really looking forward to playing this game, with it's talent system, psi powers, and overall Judge Dredd-iness, the game really captures the atmosphere of the world of Mega-City One. The best part is you can check it out for FREE, read through the rules, see if it's something you want to play, if it is, maybe jump in and support the Kickstarter, Some sweet Block Wars vehicles up for the next Stretch Goal of $66,666, 4 grand and 3 days to go.

Note: I haven't had a chance to play the system, so this is an overview of the rules, the feel of the rules, based upon 2 decades of experience with wargames.