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Play Matt: Judge Dredd Helter Skelter and The Dark Judges Review

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31 May 2020 20:00 #310830 by Matt Thrower
On lifting the lid, though, that’s not what I found....

Judge Dredd is too iconic to stay away from gaming tables for long. So it was exciting enough to get a box with ol’ stony face glowering out from the box. But it was doubly so to see, above his helmet, the Wildlands logo that belongs on one of the best titles from 2018. That game’s mix of close-quarters skirmish combat should be a great fit for a Block War or some perp busting action on some of Mega-City One’s cramped plazas.

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01 Jun 2020 14:54 #310847 by southernman
This turned into a bit of a luke warm fizzer for both my mainly euro group (who don't mind killing each other) and my AT group, neither group particularly like the severe hand management (luck) mechanic that would often just leave your units sitting around smiling while getting beaten up. I'm sure there's a large number of fans of this game but not me, I regret buying it.

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01 Jun 2020 15:04 #310849 by Msample
I think a game using something akin to the IMPERIAL ASSAULT mechanics would work great if ported into the DREDD universe as seem in the most recent movie. You could throw in a hidden traitor too to represent corrupt judges.
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01 Jun 2020 15:19 #310851 by n815e
I think I saw someone using Judges in Core Space.

I have a huge collection of Dredd minis that I’ve been painting over the last few years.

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02 Jun 2020 00:37 #310864 by Andi Lennon
As an avid childhood devourer of 2000AD this sounds right up my street. Give me Slaine, give me Nemesis the Warlock and the ABC Warriors, hell, (pleeeease) give me D.R. and Quinch! It does sound cooler with the expansion though, but is that a solo only affair or can it played with a full contingent?

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02 Jun 2020 03:48 #310866 by Matt Thrower

southernman wrote: This turned into a bit of a luke warm fizzer for both my mainly euro group (who don't mind killing each other) and my AT group, neither group particularly like the severe hand management (luck) mechanic that would often just leave your units sitting around smiling while getting beaten up.


I think Wildlands is a bit of a marmite game. It's one of those crossover titles that has the risk of leaving both fan groups cold, instead of enthusing both, for the reasons you mention. But I'm right in the bottom of the valley it creates: I love it.

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02 Jun 2020 03:49 #310867 by Matt Thrower

Andi Lennon wrote: As an avid childhood devourer of 2000AD this sounds right up my street. Give me Slaine, give me Nemesis the Warlock and the ABC Warriors, hell, (pleeeease) give me D.R. and Quinch! It does sound cooler with the expansion though, but is that a solo only affair or can it played with a full contingent?


The Dark Judges can also be run as a team in the multiplayer game. They just also come with a deck of "AI" cards for solo play.

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02 Jun 2020 07:38 #310870 by Andi Lennon
Oh man, you might have forced my hand to further crowd my shelf.

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02 Jun 2020 13:42 #310879 by southernman

Andi Lennon wrote: As an avid childhood devourer of 2000AD this sounds right up my street. Give me Slaine, give me Nemesis the Warlock and the ABC Warriors, hell, (pleeeease) give me D.R. and Quinch! It does sound cooler with the expansion though, but is that a solo only affair or can it played with a full contingent?


I was too, I currently have dozens of various 2000AD graphic novels on my shelves, but if the game mechanic isn't your flavour then it doesn't matter how much lovely theme you throw at it ... as is repeatedly mentioned on this site when a game using a popular IP turns out to be a dud (for those fans of the IP) :laugh:

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02 Jun 2020 20:44 #310900 by Andi Lennon
Very true, but the gameplay sounds pretty appealing for a lighter romp actually. And a licensed IP isn't the guaranteed indicator of shit it once was. The Big Trouble in Little China game is surprisingly fantastic, my pleasant surprise of the year so far. I've heard good things about Ravensburger's take on Jaws too.
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03 Jun 2020 14:07 #310911 by southernman

Andi Lennon wrote: Very true, but the gameplay sounds pretty appealing for a lighter romp actually. And a licensed IP isn't the guaranteed indicator of shit it once was. The Big Trouble in Little China game is surprisingly fantastic, my pleasant surprise of the year so far. I've heard good things about Ravensburger's take on Jaws too.


Well I'll have to disagree with you on both counts - as mentioned neither of my euro or AT group was terribly enamoured with the mechanic in the Dredd game, and while the theme was good in BTiLC there is a quite a large feeling (including on this site) that the all game mechanics were not put together that well (the main reason I on-sold it only after a few plays and similar comments by my group). But boardgames are just as subjective as art and music ;)

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03 Jun 2020 19:26 #310916 by Andi Lennon
My group and my partner in particular really enjoyed the dice placement mechanics in BTiLC. She isn't a particularly avid gamer so getting a lightweight romp like this in rotation was a winner for us. Plus as a package the whole thing was super tilted towards fans of the film (which we are). I guess low expectations breed pleasant results. Plus it has a Kurt Russell mini. I've recently ordered the expansion. Dredd might occupy a similar low barrier entry to pull down at short notice when the whim strikes.

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04 Jun 2020 14:35 #310926 by southernman
Yes the dice placement is fun but most everything else is out of sync - you have cool quests to do in phase 1 but the Threat tracks moves so fast and the enemies swarm in large numbers quickly that it's usually just a race to get one Hero quest done, with maybe a couple of side quests, before the phase ends, then phase 2 is nerfed for the AI with the minions not being about to cross levels and as long as you got a Hero weapon then it should be a walkover.
It's great with theme for fans but it's really an averagely put together game for other gamers. I probably would have persevered in getting some house rules created to make it more enjoyable, we played around with a couple for the Threat track, but I have tons of great games so it was best it went to someone who wanted it (especially since it is hard to find here).

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