For my opening post I'm going to start with a quick look at the now out of print Judge Dredd Miniature Game Rulebook. Personally I have the hardback rulebook but there are still pdf versions which are free to download out there.
JDMG has been around now for a couple of years. It was written by the guys of Mongoose Publishing, who originally funded the project via Kickstarter, they mostly specialise in RPG's like Traveller so much to my excitement, Mongoose decided to make this game more accessible and up with Warlord Games, to help out with production. This merger meant a new, better produced to order range of models and of course a high quality rule book. Since then Mongoose lost the rights completely to Warlord Games who are now currently redesigning the range and bringing out something different from the 2000ad verse.
First thing you'll notice is the quality of the book. It's a full colour, weighty, hardback book (unless your looking at the pdf) containing 240 pages, full of photographs, artwork and bright shiny colours (always impressed by bright colours). Included alongside the easy to pick up rules, are pages of gang details, scenarios and fluff to introduce new players to the world of Dredd. Unlike a lot of games where you need to buy faction books, this game comes with Eighteen ready to go gang forces. This great selection of starting forces allows for any play style. Here is a list of gangs available:
Justice Department - A small elite gang with access to some of the best equipment. Also the heroes/villains of the game.
Brit-Cit Justice Department - Similar to the above, but cheaper and slightly less elite.
Citi-Def - Average gang with great weapon options, but not the most competent.
Street Gang - Cheap, fun, low tech weapons and will always outnumber your enemy.
Ape Gang - Chimps, Gorillas and orangutans need I say more?
Mobsters - Very flexible force of specialists. Also can access some great weapons.
Fattie Stampede - One of the strangest forces, looks great but hard to master.
Cursed Earth Desperadoes - Character heavy gang, lacks high tech gear but loads of modelling options.
East Meg Invasion Force - Well equipped force, super elite force with droid options.
Apocalypse War Resistance Unit - Made from Judges and punks and low on ammo. Prefect force if your looking for a challenge and a mixture of models. Best used against the East Meggers.
Sky Surfer Gang - Small, low tech weapon gang. But super fast and exciting to play. Hit and run is your friend with these guys.
Lone Vigilante - Easy to collect (only model), but one wrong move and your hero is dead!
The Angel Gang - No customising at all, but you get to play as one of Dredd's most iconic family.
The Dark Judges - Can't upgrade or gain skills. You can rarely use all 4 in a single game. But what you do have is a super villain who can take down whole gangs on there own. Recommended for experienced gamers and one off battles that are story driven.
Chief Judge Cal's Personal Retinue - Think justice department with Alien Crocodiles. Brutal at close range combat and fun to paint.
Zombie Horde - Always outnumber your enemy. Highly resilient, cheap and lacking in tactics.
Demonic Cabal - An unpredictable gang, if the dice favour you, you can win in style. If not you will become your own worse enemy.
Renegade Robots - Expensive to recruit but can be tailored to suit any style of player. Very mod-able and a unique looking force.
Now to the important bit the game itself. First thing I personally noticed is that it plays fast. This is important for me as I would rather play 2/3 games in the space of 3 hours rather than just one large battle (looking at you 40k). The rules are pretty simple and are based around a D10 dice system. The core mechanics is roll a D10 and add the characteristic whilst your opponent also rolls a D10 and adds their opposing characteristic. The one who rolls highest wins.
A Judge is shooting at a perp. So the Judge rolls D10 and adds their Shoot Characteristic to the score. At the same time the perp rolls a D10 and adds their Agility. The highest roll made by both players are then compared. If the perp's roll is higher, then the Judge missed. If the Judge's roll was higher then he's scored a hit.
You then use the Damage stat and deduct the amount from the perp's hit points. If the the perp happened to be wearing armour, then an armour save is made on (...drum roll...) a D10 and add the Armour value to the result, the aim being to get a roll above 10 to save.
And that is the basic mechanics of the game. Movement like most games now is measured in inches and the usual line of sight rules are present. The rules for the basic game are simple and easy to learn, which is great for new players or causal gamers. With a lot of links easily drawn to GW's old Necromunda game or Shadow War. The game plays faster than these with a lot less charts and rules to remember. Each figure in your gang can take 2 actions a turn. Actions include moving, shooting, melee and special. These actions can be performed in any order and even twice if you want to run or just keep firing and there you have it, the game rules. Pretty simple, quick and fun.
The second half of the book is full of campaign rules, missions and most important of all the lore (nearly 40 pages of goodies and artwork). The lore is great, it goes over futuristic city blocks and of course Mega City-1 and even the far flung Hondo-Cit and Brit-Cit (my personal favourite).
This is a truly beautiful book, that is well made for the fans and so far I have enjoyed every game I've played. Just give it a chance and grab the free rules whilst you can. A lot of my Judge Dredd miniature will show stats for this game along with the RPG from the 80's so you have been warned. I don't see any harm in showing off of sharing rules on this game as it is no longer in print. If you do foresee there being issues let me know.
Please drop a comment below if you've got any thoughts on this great game. Or just say hi and thank you for reading this lengthy post.