Thursday, 19 December 2019

Judge Dredd - The Cursed Earth

Whilst the brand new Judge Dredd: I Am The Law skirmish game was my birthday present for myself this new supplement, The Cursed Earth for the Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD role-playing game by EN Publishing is my Christmas present for myself. Written by John White, this supplement runs to 160 pages.

The Cursed Earth is a vast, radioactive wasteland filled with mutants, outlaws, and more. Whether you're undertaking a desperate raid outside the borders of Mega-City One, or you're a Mutant trying to eke out a life in the blasted wasteland, the Cursed Earth provides endless opportunities for adventure.
Within you'll find 10 new mutant species including the Alabammy Blimp, Brotherhood of Darkness, Dog Soldier, Gila Munja, Kentucky Trog and more, plus expanded mutation tables which include animal mutations, corporeal mutations, and metaphysical mutations. You'll also find a wide range of new mutant careers, equipment, a gazetteer, and a full adventure which takes you on an epic trek across the Cursed Earth as you desperately try to deliver a vital antidote to Mega-City Two!
An essential book for those playing mutant characters or those venturing out into The Cursed Earth!

The supplement contains the following eight chapters.
Chapter 1. Outside the Norm. Examining the background of the tragic survivors and their warped offspring, who somehow still survive in the irradiated wilderness, this chapter expands the rules presented in Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD rulebook to provide a wider variety of mutations that offer new and unique twists to mutant characters.
Chapter 2. Taking the Long Walk. Players can choose from a wide range of origins, careers and exploits associated with this deadly environment, allowing them to characterise how they have somehow lived through their experiences of Cursed Earth life.
Chapter 3. Equipment and Vehicles. From camouflage netting to flare guns, las-saws to long guns, radcloaks to shock slicks and cerebral links to spinal taps, this equipment is essential to survive the Cursed Earth. Vehicle enthusiasts can choose from rad wagons, vintage tanks and more!
Chapter 4. Cursed Earth Gazetteer. The interior of the former United States has been transformed into a nightmare landscape where bizarre creatures and the mutated remnants of humanity struggle to survive. In this chapter, find the details on various locations within the redundant state boundaries, along with a scattering of scenario suggestions.
Chapter 5. Beyond the Mega-City. This chapter examines a variety of adventures and campaign types for wilderness adventures, along with different types of character groups to undertake them. Comprehensive tables give Games Masters the tools to improvise adventures involving extreme weather, wilderness locations, NPCs and hideous diseases.
Chapter 6. Diverse Dangers. A chapter dedicated to scenario seeds that can be used entirely on their own, or woven into a campaign set within the post-apocalyptic interior of the former United States.
Chapter 7. The Cursed Earth Saga. An interlinked campaign that relates the original Cursed Earth odyssey to save Mega-City Two allows players to take on the roles of Judges risking their lives across the entire continent, or provides options for actions as perps seeking to stop them in their tracks, Games Masters will also find suggestions for further adventures to the locations from the original comic strip.
Chapter 8. Denizens and Menagerie. Life still exists in the Cursed Earth, but its flora and fauna are mutated and dangerous. The creatures presented here are all potential threats to player characters, ranging from crawling swarms of biting insects to huge carboniferous dinosaurs that are once again at the top of the food chain. Alongside details for running the Cursed Earth NPCs contained within the campaign sections of this book, this chapter can also be used to provide Games Masters with unique adversaries for a wide variety of adventures.
This was an essential purchase for myself and is highly recommended for any fan of the Judge Dredd role-playing game. If you want stats for example, the Angel Gang or other infamous foes encountered out in the Cursed Earth, the likelihood is  they'll be somewhere in here. Whilst I am not interested in replaying Judge Dredd's Cursed Earth Saga, there are enough scenario ideas and hooks to use separately in new and unique scenarios. Even if you set your Judge Dredd campaign wholly within the confines of Mega City One, there are still enough ideas and rules to use anyway. The expanded rules for creating mutants are particularly useful. In short, this is a veritable treasure trove for GMs and players alike to dip their toes into.
This supplement costs £24.99 and is available direct from EN Publishing, Amazon UK and even Warlord Games, who now stock all of the Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD role-playing products.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Judge Dredd: I Am The Law Size Comparison Photos

In this post I want to take a look at some of the 35mm scale figures by Warlord Games for their brand new Judge Dredd: I Am The Law skirmish wargame based on the most iconic character from the weekly 2000 AD comic. If you want to see the majority of the range as painted on the Warlord Games website you can check out my post here -
These new figures have shot to the front of my painting queue and I'm busy painting the new Street Judges now. Bolt Action is taking a bit of a back seat for the moment but not for too long. I will  show my painted figures once I finish them but for now I thought I'd do something a bit different for this review post.
There has been some criticism over Warlord Games' decision to make this range in 35mm heroic scale and not the slightly smaller 32mm scale they used for the companion Strontium Dog game. I must admit that at first I was slightly disappointed at this decision but now that I am painting the figures and had time to take a closer look at them I can see why Warlord Games  made this decision. One of the reasons they gave for this decision was so that their sculptors could include more detail. On  this point they certainly succeeded. The figures are incredibly well detailed and sculpted. The figures are made of Warlord Games' new resin compound, which I have no problem with.  A limited amount of figures (the Block Gang and Block Gang Reinforcements) were made of metal due to the high demand of this range. They were included in my Mega package that I received. Being a massive fan of Judge Dredd, I wanted one of everything that Warlord Games produced for the first wave.
So, what I have decided to do for this post is to produce a series of size comparison photos to show that this new range isn't as bad as first may seem.
The League of Fatties is represented by three figures, all of a similar size . From left to right are the old huge Warlord Games Fatty, who dwarves the others. In the centre is one of the new Warlord Games Fatty figures. He is only slightly larger and fatter than the old Citadel Fatty at the far right.
Next up are the Wargames Foundry Judge Death figure alongside the new Warlord Games Judge Death figure. The new Judge Death and the new Nero Narcos figures are the two tallest figures from this range, standing roughly 42mm tall. I'm not sure why, unless it's because they're larger than life - tenuous, I know! New Death is beautifully sculpted and will certainly stand out on any gaming table.
Looking at the new and old Warlord Games figures of Oola Blint, the Angel of Death, there is no difference in size or quality of sculpting. Both are really nice figures and I don't know which one I like best.
Oddly enough, the new Warlord Games Mean Machine Angel appears smaller than two previous sculpts by Wargames Foundry but that could be because he is leaning forward to headbutt an opponent. He is not a bad sculpt but I much prefer the one-armed Wargames Foundry version in the centre of this group.
Finally, are the Street Judges. From left to right are figures by Wargames Foundry, Mongoose Miniatures, old Warlord Games and new Warlord Games. There is not a lot of difference between them and I'm perfectly happy to mix the new with the old. One thing to bear in mind with this new range is that I have glued many of them to the standard Warlord Games 25mm diameter thin plastic circular bases rather than the much thicker old slottabases, so when you mix the two that extra height of the new figures is negated.
Expect a whole load of Judge Dredd content on this blog. My WOIN campaign is ready to go and I am very keen to show some I Am The Law batreps to complement them and to show off the new rule set. This is a golden age for both 2000 AD fans and Judge Dredd fans. I couldn't be happier and I feel that the franchise is in good hands with WOIN for the role-playing game supplements and Warlord Games for the figures. Long may they rule!

Monday, 2 December 2019

Judge Dredd: I Am The Law Starter Set Review

For me, the most eagerly awaited game of the year arrived a few days ago, just after my birthday, so it was an ideal present. It is of course, the Judge Dredd:I Am The Law sci-fi skirmish game by Warlord Games. Above is a photo of all of the contents of the starter boxed set, which I want to review here. A full review of the figures will appear in my next post. The box is the same size as the starter box for the companion Strontium Dog game by Warlord Games and indeed the Judge Dredd game shares much in common with it - rules, dice, counters, etc.
Inside the box is the rulebook, which at 160 pages is a fairly hefty tome. It expands on the rules of the Strontium Dog game with additional rules for vehicles and robots plus campaign play both as a Judge or a perp. You have the option of playing either Judges or perps. There are numerous scenarios to play along with stats for a host of Judges, perps, robots, vehicles and weapons. The rulebook is in full colour and is beautifully produced.
A limited edition hardback version of the rulebook was made available to early bird backers. I got one and mine was number 60 of 200. The hardback was signed by the games three authors Andy Chambers, Gav Thorpe and Roger Gerrish. To my surprise, they also signed the softback rulebook - see above.
Also in the boxed set are a quick play set of three scenarios, a large double sided map measuring 3 feet by 3 feet, a sheet of 2D scenery items made of thick card, a sheet of water slide graffiti transfers, 3 sprues of assorted counters (gold for the Judges and dark blue for the perps), six combat dice, two standard six-sided dice, stat cards for Judges and basic perps, a deck of armoury cards with which to arm your Judges or perps, a deck of Big Meg special events cards and finally two 35mm scale resin cast Judges plus eight 35mm scale resin cast perps. A special Judge Dredd vs Judge Death pewter diorama set is available if you order the starter set direct from Warlord Games. All in all, great value for money for £50.00.
I ordered the Mega deal package from Warlord Games, which netted me all of the above plus all of the figure sets made available for wave 1 of this range. Incidentally, the wave 2 range of figures which should be released in January 2020 are Citi-Def squad, Citi-Def reinforcements, Cursed Earth Raiders, Mutie Sky Surfers, Psi Judge Anderson, a grav pod and a hover van.
The game does not rely on the IGOUGO system but is much more unpredictable but in common with a lot of games produced by Warlord Games, especially Strontium Dog. Every figure in the game is assigned an activation chip and these are placed in a bag to be drawn out one at a time until they have all been drawn, thus completing that turn. Rinse and repeat. You can never be sure who gets drawn first, which makes gameplay more of a challenge. I like this mechanic. Games are designed to be played with just a few figures per side. Figures are permitted two actions per turn, either two simple actions such as move or snap-fire, or one double action such as sprint or aimed fire. Play continues until one side defeats the other. It is simple, fast and fun and works very well.
I do intend to run games of I Am The Law alongside my Judge Dredd WOIN campaign using the same Judges in both games and setting both games in and around Sector 13. With a fairly large cast of named Judges this will give everyone a chance to shine in the spotlight and hopefully, not fail too badly, if at all.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Sector 13 SJS Judges

The Special Judicial Squad, the SJS, are an elite within Justice Department. They have to be for the perps they have to deal with are the most dangerous of all – rogue Judges! Those who  have been recruited into the SJS gain the responsibility for keeping tabs on their fellow Judges. No one is safe from scrutiny, not even Joe Dredd. They might help administer Random Physical Abuse Tests and try to break a Judge in a variety of ways. If there is evidence of a bad apple in the ranks it is almost always the SJS who perform any investigation. They will gather the evidence and if the suspect is guilty they will be sent to the most isolated and harsh prison available – the Titan penal colony.
These are my SJS Judges who are either assigned to Sector House 13 or who will have an impact on my campaign.
At the far left is Terence D'Spatch, an alert human SJS Judge who wears a Hitler moustache to provoke a response, good or bad. A long term SJS Judge, Terence D'Spatch has recently been summoned by Sector Chief John Barker of Sector 190 to investigate the mysterious disappearance of three Street Judges over the past two months. Their bodies have not been found, suggesting they may have "flipped" (turned renegade). D'Spatch has found no direct evidence of judicial malpractice in the missing Judge's personal logs and he is certain that the disappearances are linked to the perp-running operations over the West Wall, though he is not sure exactly how they are related. D'Spatch suspects at least one other Judge knows the details behind the disappearances, but he is not talking - for now. Aged 41, he is rank grade 10 with a 7d6 dice pool.

Next up is Daniel Fincher an alert human SJS Judge who does not have a sense of humour. Having passed as a rookie specialising in Applied Violence and Combat Range, Daniel Fincher was accepted as a Street Judge. He enjoyed his three years on patrol very much but felt he could serve the Justice Department much better elsewhere. He applied for a move to the Special Justice Squad and was accepted. Rooting out corruption within the Justice Department gave him a true sense of purpose. He certainly lives up to the standard view of an SJS Judge - dogged, implacable, intimidating and with no sense of humour. He was assigned to Sector 13, where he works under the direct command of SJS Judge Paula Patton. He is 35 years old and rank grade 8 with a 7d6 dice pool.
Third in line is Paula Patton an alert human SJS Judge who despises corruption in all its forms. Paula Patton is a highly successful Judge in the Special Judicial Squad.  When she first joined the Academy of Law she believed that a long career as a Street Judge awaited her. She spent seven years pounding the mean streets of Mega City One as a highly effective Street Judge before specialising as an Interrogator Judge. Despite being very proficient in this role she preferred life on the streets, investigating crimes. However, her life turned around after three years in this role when she was head-hunted by the SJS. They offered her a new role as one of the Judges who investigate potentially corrupt Judges. She has excelled in this new posting and is a rising star in the SJS. She was assigned to Sector 13 and was duly promoted to command the SJS team stationed there after just one tour of duty. Aged 44, Paula is rank grade 11 with an 8d6 dice pool.

Last in line is Arlo Sharp, an empathic human SJS Judge who always looks for the worst in people. When Arlo Sharp enrolled as a Rookie Judge he developed a knack for pistol shooting and honed his skills with two years in the Combat Range school. Inevitably, he was accepted as a Street Judge and was assigned to Sector 99. It was here that his skill at interrogating perps had such a high success rate he was assigned as a specialist Interrogator Judge . The Special Justice Squad noted his performance and offered him a posting in their department. He happily accepted and has not once regretted his decision. He was reassigned to Sector 13 in Central Mega City One working under the command of SJS Judge Paula Patton, whom he has the utmost respect for. They have much in common and work well common and work well together. He is aged 40 and rank grade 9 with a 7d6 dice pool.

Each Sector House usually have two or three SJS Judges assigned to them to ensure any investigation can have local assistance. Others form task forces to root out the most cunning of the rogues.  One thing uniting most SJS Judges is their belief that the worst criminal offenders are those who disgrace the badge. There is no obstacle they will not overcome to bring the worst of the worst down. Who watches the watchers? They do!
SJS Judge D'Spatch was produced by Wargames Foundry and the other three figures by Warlord Games. All are no longer in production. Hopefully they will not see much use in my campaign but further in the future I have big plans for them.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Ogron Marines

I bought this batch of Games Workshop Ogryns many years ago and once I got into N.E.W. I thought that they'd fit in perfectly for the Ogron race. Ogrons are a very militaristic and aggressive race so these figures are perfect for Ogron Marines.
Here we have the leader with his banner pole flanked by his two lieutenants. I have not named any of these figures. I do think that the banner pole is an unnecessary accessory that will cause more problems than it's worth. For example, he'll struggle to get through many doors. Bear in mind that Ogrons average 7 feet in height. Banner poles are a bad idea in my opinion.
These figures were sculpted by Bob Olley and have a very distinctive style. I do like them a lot and I like that they are so varied whilst keeping a unified look. The leader came with separate head, arms and banner pole. The Ogron to the left is a one-piece casting whilst the Ogron to the right came with separate head and arms.
These three figures are standard Marines. They have all been glued to 40mm diameter bases due to their large size. The two to the left are one-piece castings, The chap at the right came with a separate head and arms.
They are all armed with the same weapons known as Ripper Guns. I use the stats for a Railgun from the N.E.W. rulebook for them.
 Here we have four more standard Marines. These all came with separate heads and arms
These would make very tough opposition for the crew of The Ace of Spades if I decided to pit them against my heroes. I can well imagine I'm going to have a lot of fun creating their stats and backgrounds. They really are excellent figures full of character and extremely well sculpted.