Friday, June 25, 2010

Judge Dredd Playtest Battle Report.

Well, I read through the Judge Dredd Miniature Roleplaying rules a couple times, then progressed to the "Play a Game" phase. So, I set up some orks from 40k as "Muties" and some Halo Minis as "Judges" and got to work. I did not take any pics, because I figure you all have had enough of pics using my Orks and Halobloks, right?

In any case, down to the goods. My daughter took up her role as the Muties (they are her Orks, after all), while I played the mighty Judges. I didn't bother going into the points balancing TOO much, because this was just a quick run through to get familiar with the rules. In any case, I had 4 Judges with the usual setup: Boot Knife, Lawgiver Pistol (mkI because I love grenade rounds), Day Stick, and Standard Issue armor. Sammi's band of 12 Muties had a mix of Stump guns, handguns, and spit pistols, as well as a bunch of cleavers.

We were using a variation of the Muncestain Farm Scenario that is in the book, with the roles reversed. I did not want to play homesteaders, so I figured that the muties won, and were ripping anything of value from the place, when a patrol of Judges came by to sort out the riffraff.

In turn one, winning initiative, I used a single move, then each judge issued an order to surrender. This is a neat rule that allows Judges to neutralize a model that has not fired at them yet, if they win an opposed will test. A bit of inspired rolling and I had knocked 4 models out in the first turn, and not a shot had been fired! Things were going my way...

In Sammi's phase, she opened fire with all of her remaining models, so that I cannot use my surrender rule (clever girl). The mutie leader, a Hero with a stump gun, smoked one of my judges with blast and power shot both taking effect. Essentially, there was a smoking pair of Judge Boots where once I had a functional model. Ouch. One of her Spit Gunners also took a wound off of another judge. Odds went from 12/4 to 8/3.

Knowing that now was the time to throw down, the Judges take a move action to get better firing positions, and give it to the muties with grenade rounds. Some decent rolling on my part takes another 3 muties out. Looks like melee next round for me...

In Sammi's phase, she decides to have half her force shoot, and half her force assault. This is where the rules can be abused a little, but she forgot she could do it. I will list that in the 'lessons learned' segment at the end. She resolves her charge models first. This is where Judges really shine, in my opinion. The Justice Department wins all around. 2 more muties are out of action. Next Sammi resolves her shooting. Mostly handguns and spit pistols left, so not outstanding shooting, but she manages to take out the already wounded Judge with a good role with a handgun. 6/2, and since it is now Bedtime for Sami, I call this a Mutie Victory. In reality, it was 50/50 model wise, plus, my Killin' Machine Judges were in H2H range, I think I could have cleaned house in my next phase.

Lessons Learned
  1. Judges are Rock 'Ard! Never underestimate their ability to remove models through 'Surrender,' especially if the Judges phase first!
  2. The order in which you use your actions is very important. If enemy models are within range of a single melee action (that is, you don't need to Move, Melee Move, then Resolve Melee), you should Always have your model take a Shoot Action first. I think this was Sammi's only mistake in the whole game, when she assaulted with half her gang in Turn 2.

Now that I have played this, I can tell you for sure what I thought would probably be the case...

I love it!

It's a good, robust, streamlined system, and it works well enough that I could play a quick game against my daughter between bath time and bed time. It feels a lot like Necromunda, except that most roles are opposed, and there are several layers of complexity removed. Also, because it uses a d10, there is more room for variations on characters than a system that only uses d6. That was the biggest failing of Necromunda, in my opinion, and the difference between a well trained, armored Enforcer and a Ratskin Brave was 1 stat point in a lot of cases. In Judge Dredd, the Justice Department personnel are different. They are faster, stronger, bet-ter.

I say play it. It is a free Download for crying out loud. In addition to JD, I could see it working well for a 'Weird West' type setting with very minor tweaks (Buffalo Rifle instead of Laser Rifle, for instance..).

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