Thursday, 29 December 2016

Vampifan's Views 86 - Monthly Musings 60

My main Christmas present of 2016.
As 2016 draws to a close I want to take this opportunity to look back on the year and to tell you of my plans for 2017. I'll start off by telling you about some of the presents I received this Christmas. As is usual my mum gave me a big cheque so that I could buy whatever I wanted for myself. Each year I like to buy a large scale statue of Vampirella and so when I saw the statue pictured to the left of here being advertised about six months ago I immediately ordered it. Fortunately for me, I placed my order to America just before the referendum for the UK to stay in or leave the European Union took place. As a consequence I got a good deal with the exchange rate with the pound against the dollar. The statue cost $190 and I paid about £125 for it. If I'd ordered it today it would cost me £155 at the current exchange rate. It is produced by Dynamite, who are also the producers of the Vampirella monthly comic, as part of their series of statues honouring the Women of Dynamite. Here's what the blurb about the statue says, "Based on the work of comics sensation J. Scott Campbell and sculpted by the ever-talented Jason Smith, the debut statue in the brand-new "Women of Dynamite" line brings Vampirella, the iconic horror hostess and heroine, to life in all her glory! Hand-painted on cold-cast porcelain, the Vampirella statue stands approximately 12" in height with a 6" base, with each individually numbered as part of a Limited Edition run of 1969 statues (celebrating the year that Vampirella first appeared). The Women of Dynamite: Vampirella statue comes packaged in a four-colour box with a hand-numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The ravishing, raven-tressed vampire has never been so beautifully represented in three dimensions, the perfect addition to every hardcore fan's collection!" I received my statue in October but kept it boxed until Christmas day. Naturally, I'm delighted with it and it brings my number of Vampirella statues to six. Directly below are a lot more photos of my newest Vampirella statue.
That wasn't the only piece of Vampirella memorabilia I received. In mid-December a small parcel arrived for me containing a rather delightful Vampirella bottle opener. You can see it to the right of here. It is such an unusual item and I knew I wanted it as soon as I saw it. I keep it as a decorative ornament on my painting desk. Being teetotal, it is unlikely I will ever use it as a bottle opener - I only ever drink water. But as a fanatical Vampirella fanboy I am really thrilled with it. It brings a smile to my face whenever I look at it.

I also bought myself a new boardgame and its one expansion set. What, another boardgame? I hear you say. Yes, but this is very different to all of my other boardgames. For a start it does not include any miniature figures. First though, a bit of background history. From childhood I have always been fascinated with castles. This came from my father's love of castles. He was always photographing them whenever we went away on holiday. My brother and I followed in his footsteps and developed a passion for architecture. My brother actually works as an architect. I have visited many castles throughout the UK but my favourite castle of all time is situated in Bavaria, Germany. It is Neuschwanstein Castle, built by King Ludwig II in the late 19th century.
This impressive castle perched on a mountain top was the inspiration for Walt Disney's fairytale castle in Disney World. So, when  I saw the boardgame called Castles of Mad King Ludwig with a picture of Neuschwanstein on the front cover I became very interested. I read numerous reviews of it and watched a lot of reviews and how to play videos on YouTube and liked what I saw. It is a game for 1 to 4 players and each player takes on the role of the King's architect and must build a castle using tiles of various sizes and monetary value. Bonus points can be awarded by building certain types of tiles. The player who builds the most expensive castle after the deck of cards has run out is the winner. The rules are quite simple but there is a lot of strategy and decision making involved. I showed my brother the game and he was very enthusiastic about playing it. This was unusual as he is a computer gamer and he has never shown any interest in wanting to play any of my other boardgames. Finally, I have found a boardgame that he wants to play. Result! I mentioned that the game has rules for solo play, which was a big reason for me buying it. I've played a few solo games of it and found it a lot of fun. This is a game that really appeals to me but is unlikely to ever feature on my blog again.

I'd like to thank the following people for their kindness, for being such good friends and for sending me some amazing Christmas presents.
To Steve from The Gamers Cupboard for gifting me the Z Nation series 1 DVD boxed set. I know very little about this series but I am certain I will enjoy it, after all, it has zombies in it! 😊
To Roger from Rantings from under the Wargames Table for sending me an assortment of five very different comics and a copy of Ragnarok fanzine. I especially liked the GOMC1 scenario in the fanzine.
To Dave from Wargames Terrain Workshop for proving once again that you get the best customer service from the little companies. His enthusiasm for Judge Dredd matches my own and I truly value his friendship. He very kindly sent me a couple of unique gifts when I placed a big order with him early in December - a beautiful 28mm scale figure of Tweak the alien from the Judge Dredd The Cursed Earth Saga and an alternative version of Warlord Games' Oz Judge on Trike, which I consider far superior to the official version. I'll show both of these figures early next year. Indeed, you'll be seeing a lot of Dave's figures from WTW on my blog throughout 2017.
To Andy from Da Gobbos Grotto for making me a member of his illustrious "Nerd Herd" and for sending me my own personalised dice bag, as shown in the photo above. I will use it to store my Warlord Games 10-sided dice, which I'll be using for my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. Great timing, Andy!
To Christine, my next door neighbour, who is well aware of my love of Vampirella and all things Gothic horror. She bought me this wonderfully sculpted purple dragon perched atop a giant skull (see the photo above). I was totally gob-smacked when I unwrapped it. She knows me well and correctly surmised it would be right up my street, so to speak. It was such a surprise to receive it but I couldn't be happier. It has great gaming potential.
To my brother, Mikie, who bought me the Bones series 11 DVD boxed set. He was on safe ground as I did ask him to get it for me.
Finally, to my mum for the exceedingly generous cheque and also for the huge bar of Cadbury's chocolate, which I used as a backdrop in the photo above. Yes, that's an 850gm bar of chocolate. I didn't think it too much!

Looking back on 2016 there were lots of highs and very few lows. From a gaming perspective, for me, the best thing to happen was when I received my massive amount of Battle Systems Urban Apocalypse Terrain sets. These will feature very prominently in my zombie games such as All Things Zombie and The Walking Dead, as well as my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. I have yet to showcase them in a batrep but that will change very, very soon. These sets will have the biggest impact on how I game in the future. I have always loved making card buildings and scenery but the big drawback to making them is that they are very time consuming and labour intensive. Battle Systems has created terrain that can be assembled and disassembled in a matter of minutes. And best of all, it looks AMAZING!

This neatly brings me on to my plans for 2017. Followers of my blog will know that I have spent the past two months showcasing some of my extensive collection of Judge Dredd miniatures. These are just the prelude to what will be a huge ongoing campaign based on the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game rules by Mongoose Publishing. My first JDMG batrep will appear in early January 2017, so you won't have long to wait for it. I am thinking of presenting my JDMG batreps in a very different format to all of my previous batreps. As you all know, Judge Dredd is based on a long-running strip in the the 2000AD comic. I'm planning on doing my JDMG batreps as a comic strip as well. I recently bought and downloaded the Comic Life 3 program, which is perfect for creating your own online comics. I'm keen to see how it turns out and what kind of response it receives. I expect the JDMG campaign will tie up a lot of my time in the foreseeable future. However, I won't be neglecting my other games and projects but I'm not sure how many of them will receive coverage on my blog. For example, this past month I have been playing loads of games of The Walking Dead by Mantic Games, but because I've been playing with unpainted figures I don't want to show any of them on my blog.

2017 will see me taking delivery of a few Kickstarter projects I backed in 2016, with the Battle Systems Sci-Fi 2 terrain sets being the one I am most eagerly awaiting. That is due in August, which feels like a long way off.

I am not going to make any New Year's resolutions. As long as my health stays good and I carry on enjoying my painting, model making and gaming I'll be happy. To all of my friends and followers I'd like to wish you a very happy New Year. I hope it is all you want it be and more!

Monday, 26 December 2016

JDMG MC1 Perps - The Angel Gang

Probably the most infamous of the street gangs seen in the Judge Dredd series are the Angel Gang, who made their first appearance in Prog #160 (published in April 1980) when Judge Dredd was involved in the Judge Child Quest in the year 2102. Although four of them were killed in that story, (Fink did not appear in this story) three of them, Pa, Junior and Mean Machine were resurrected. To date, Mean Machine has fought Dredd more times than any other perp, such is his popularity with the strip's readers and writers.
Originally based in the Texas City Badlands, the Angel Gang were the terror of muties and norms alike, raiding settlements for fun and profit. Their exploits are legendary and it has taken the skills of Judge Dredd himself (more than once) to put an end to their reign of terror. Whether in the wilderness of the Cursed Earth or in Mega City One itself, the Angel Gang are downright the nastiest, orneriest and most sadistic family you are likely to find.
All of these 32mm scale figures shown below were produced by Wargames Foundry and are still available. From left to right are Pa Angel, Link Angel, Junior Angel, two Mean Machine Angels and Fink Angel with Ratty.
Hailing from Texas City, Elmer Angel (or "Pa" to his boys) was the leader of the infamous Angel Gang. He married and brought up four sons to form his criminal family, although his wife died while giving birth to the last Angel, Junior. He is the inventor of the "Pa Angel Mark One Super-Scream Torture Machine" - a unique torture device. He was ultimately captured by Dredd and confined in Iso-Block 666. In JDMG Pa is a Level:5 Punk Infantry Hero armed with a Handgun Pistol and Knife. He wears Leather Armour and has the following Talents - Brave, Close Combat Shooter, Crackshot, Drokk the Law, Fixer and Voice of Command. He is worth 205 Credits.
Link, the second eldest son, is fiercely loyal to his family. Though often eclipsed by the abilities, reputations and exploits of his brothers, Link is a solid member of the Angel Gang and can always be relied upon to continue the solid traditions of cruelty and brutal efficiency his Pa raised him to respect. Such are his rages and appetite for destruction that Pa is often forced to chain Link up to a pole outside the family home. He was killed in 2102 in an explosion accidentally caused by Mean Angel during the Judge Child quest. In JDMG Link is a Level:3 Punk Infantry Hero armed with a Handgun Pistol, Hand Bombs, Knife and Stump Gun Rifle. He wears Leather Armour and has the following Talents - Accurate, Below the Belt, Crackshot, Deadly Strike and Dirty Fighting. He is worth 195 Credits.
Junior is the youngest of the Angel Gang and some reckon, his Pa's favourite. Of all the Angels, it is Junior who tries to follow closely in his Pa's footsteps and he is ever eager to torture or maim any innocent who crosses his path. His Pa always looks on in fond glee, happy he has raised a near mirror image of his earlier self.  He was ultimately captured by Dredd and confined in Iso-Block 666. In JDMG Junior is a Level:2 Punk Infantry Hero armed with two Handgun Pistols, Hand Bombs and a Knife. He does not wear Armour and has the following Talents - Dual Shooter, Dual Pistol Master and Luck of Grud. He is worth 165 Credits.
I have two figures for Mean Machine Angel - one before he met Judge Dredd and one where he lost his left arm after unsuccessfully trying to ambush Dredd during the Judge Child Quest. As a boy, Mean was not bad at all, and he developed a love of flowers, birds and all the cute creatures found in the Badlands. Even when Link killed his pet rabbit, Mean could not find it in himself to hate anyone or anything, something which caused his Pa no end of consternation! In the end, Pa took his gang to Texas City to kidnap a doctor who performed radical surgery upon Mean in order to to make him the baddest, orneriest Angel of the whole family. His work was an unqualified success. Given an armoured body, a cybernetic claw and a "mood" dial, Mean was to forever be kept in a constant state of anger and aggression. He was ultimately killed in 2134-2135 while heroically assisting an uprising by slaves in the Cursed Earth, although it has been suggested that he may once again revive.
In JDMG Mean Machine is a Level:6 Punk Infantry Hero armed with a Cybernetic Claw, Handgun Pistol and Knife. He has Cyber Armour and has the following Talents - Below the Belt, Brave, Careless Charge, Deadly Strike, Dirty Fighting and Just Plain Lethal. Note, he appears to be missing a Talent as he only has 6 and he should have 7 for being at Level:6. I'll probably add an extra one to him when I do his Character Record Sheet. He is worth 325 Credits. His "mood" dial has four official settings - on 1 he is Surly, on 2 he is Mean, on 3 he is Vicious and on 4 he is Brutal. These settings affect his stats in different ways. If he is on 1 or 2 he may perform any action but on a 3+ he may only perform Move or Melee actions. If Mean suffers a Hit while on 4 or a Critical Hit any other time roll a die. On a 6+ he gets locked onto 4.5 and he'll stay there for the rest of the game. When mean is on 4.5, he is in an unstoppable rage, almost oblivious to his surroundings. On the start of each turn, roll a die. On a 1-3, the Angel Gang player's opponent will choose Mean's actions and move him, as he goes completely out of control. When Mean is on 4.5 he will automatically pass any Will to Fight checks. Mean starts each game on setting 1, but he, or another Angel gang member in base to base contact with him, can spend a Special Action to change his setting.
Fink is the eldest son of Pa Angel and probably the most intelligent by far. He wandered the Cursed Earth where he learnt his incredible skill with poisons, which allowed him to prey on any unfortunate he met on his travels. Despite his natural resilience, he soon succumbed to the constant background radiation of the wasteland and slowly transformed into a terrifying mutant - a downright Fink! Fink and Ratty were killed by Judge Dredd in the year 2104. In JDMG Fink is a Level:8 Punk Infantry Hero armed with a Pizzen Stick and Ratty. He wears no Armour and has the following Talents - Below the Belt, Deadly Strike, Dirty Fighting, Infiltrator, Just Plain Lethal, Martial Artist, Silent Action, Silent Killer and Stealthy. He is worth 285 Credits. Ratty, his pet mutant rat, grants him a +1D bonus to his Melee Dice. His Pizzen Stick is both a melee and ranged weapon with Range 12", 1D Shooting Dice, AP -1 and Damage D5.
It is doubtful if I'll use any of these characters in my JDMG campaign, but like the Dark Judges, they are such an integral part of Judge Dredd's history that any serious fan will want them in his collection.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

JDMG MC1 Perps - Ape Gang Gorillas and Orang-utans

In my last post I reviewed the chimps from a Mega City One ape gang. In this post I'll be showcasing the other two sentient simian types - gorillas and orang-utans. Physically the most powerful form of ape, gorillas take on a variety of roles, from leaders and lieutenants to grunt muscle. Either way, they form the backbone of an ape gang. Both agile and intelligent, orang-utans are sometimes leaders of ape gangs, but usually give way to larger and more powerful gorillas. More commonly, they take the role of specialists, such as stealthy burglars or snipers.
The three gorillas to the left were originally produced by Mongoose Publishing as part of an ape gang for the Gangs of Mega City One skirmish game. Later, Warlord Games sold them as part of their Judge Dredd Miniatures Game and added an orang-utan leader to the set (see below). At the far left is Cilla the Gorilla. She is armed with a Double-Barrelled Stump Gun Rifle. She has a bandoleer of Stump Gun shells strung across her back and chest. It is nice to see the sculptor adding a female to the range.
Standing next to her is Gus Grunt, who is aptly named. He rarely speaks and mostly grunts instead. Appropriately enough, he works as a lowly grunt enforcer. He is armed with a tyre iron, which is classed as a Club.
Second from the right is Brutus. He is every bit as brutal as his name suggests and is a gang leader of the Brutes ape gang. He is armed with a Spit Gun Machine Pistol and he wears Leather Armour. As with all of my apes, I have yet to work out his stats for use in my JDMG campaign.
At the far right is John Grillinger, who is a Gorilla Gangster and a Level:2 Infantry Hero. He is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle that has been designed to look like the old-style Thompson Sub-Machine Gun aka the "Tommy Gun" or "Chicago Piano." Having worked his way up through the ranks of an ape gang, the Gorilla Gangster has gone freelance and now hires his considerable skills and muscle to the highest bidder. Gorilla Gangsters are mercenaries who automatically have the following three Talents - Agile (may re-roll any non-combat Agility check), Light Foot (during a Move action, he can make an Agility check to jump over any obstacle up to 1" high without any Move penalty) and Dirty Fighting (if he hits an enemy in melee combat he does no damage. Instead, the target must make a Will check or else be Stunned). He was produced by Warlord Games. I can't help help thinking that he'd have made a great addition to Don Uggie Apelino's gang.
At the far left of my trio of orang-utans is Crazy Clyde. He pretends to be non-intelligent, which is why he isn't wearing any clothes, but he's actually a very sneaky burglar. His figure is an old Ral Partha fantasy were-ape. I decided I could just as easily use him in my JDMG campaign.
I should mention that all apes in JDMG (that's chimps, gorillas and orang-utans) have a special ability called Swinging Apes. This allows them to scale sheer surfaces or swing across wide gaps with ease. Any ape can treat any sheer surface as clear terrain, as long as it begins and ends its phase on a flat surface, and can move across any open gap up to its Move value without making an Agility check.
In the centre is the orang-utan leader that Warlord Games added to the ape gang boxed set of figures. I have named him Doctor Zechariah. He is armed with a Handgun Pistol. He is protecting a very young female chimp, which just begs the question, what's the story there? I have seen some folk commenting on how much he looks like Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor Who. Well, not with the face but certainly with the long red coat and huge multi-coloured scarf. That was one of the reasons I decided to make him a doctor.
Finally, is Li'l Louie, an orang-utan sniper. He was another figure originally produced by Mongoose Publishing as part of their GOMC1 boxed set of ape gang figures and then later sold by Warlord Games. He is armed with a Long Rifle with Scope Sight. Note the banana sticking out of the front pouch of his dungarees.
This is not the end of my reviews of my ape gangs. I still have to show you my ape gang bikers, none of which have been made or painted but I hope to rectify that soon. I am also seriously thinking of getting a load of Eureka apes, as they produce a large range of simian types and they'd be quite at home in Mega City One.

Seeing as this will be my last post before Christmas day, I'd just like to take this opportunity to wish all of my followers, their families and friends all the best on what I hope will be a joyous occasion for you all. Merry Christmas!

Monday, 19 December 2016

JDMG MC1 Perps - Ape Gang Chimps

Not all of the gangs who infest the streets of Mega City One are human. Experiments in the past vastly increased the intelligence of apes, with the intentions of using them as advanced slave labour. However, while such science has been outlawed for many years, its legacy remains, in the form of sentient apes. Often corralled into the less desirable parts of the city, it is not unusual for apes to form their own criminal gangs. Most sentient apes are either chimpanzees, gorillas or orang-utans. I'm looking at my chimps in this post. The gorillas and orang-utans will appear in my next post. Chimps form good all-rounders within in an ape gang, able to take on most tasks with success. I haven't yet created any stats for my apes to use in my JDMG campaign but I have given all of my apes names. Most of them will use the stats provided on p.56 of the JDMG rulebook.
The three chimps at the left of the two photos directly above and below were produced by Mongoose Publishing for their Gangs of Mega City One game and sold as part of an ape gang boxed set. At the far left is Chalo, who is armed with a Stump Gun Rifle. Next to him is Milo, who is armed with a Club. Pee-Gee completes this trio and he is armed with a Spit Pistol. These are all really well sculpted and quite small in stature. I love the expressions on their faces.
The female chimp is called Kim Kong. She is a really old figure, and I can't remember who made her but she was sold as a mutant civilian. I should point out that she does not have red eyes. She is wearing a pair of John Lennon style rose-tinted glasses. Oh, and that's a wig she's wearing as well. Most likely she is the girlfriend of one of the other apes. She could be a gang member or she could be an innocent civilian.
At the far right is Jocko, who is armed with a Spit Gun Rifle. This is another really old figure. He was made by Citadel Miniatures for the sci-fi role-playing game of Rogue Trader, which was first published in October 1987. The game was sub-titled Warhammer 40,000 to distinguish it from 2000AD's Rogue Trooper series. The gameplay of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader differed from its main modern-day descendant, Warhammer 40,000, in that it was heavily role-play-oriented, with great detail placed on weaponry and vehicles and the inclusion of a third player (the Games Master) in battles, a role not too different from the Dungeon Master of Dungeons and Dragons. Jocko was sold as a Rogue Trader mutant ganger but his ape-like features make him a perfect addition to my small collection of chimps.
Arguably the most famous ape gang in the Judge Dredd series was the one led by Don Uggie Apelino. Don Uggie encountered Judge Dredd several times - first during a gang war, and later after a foiled attempt to have Dredd assassinated. After the Apocalypse War, radiation regressed his intelligence to that of a normal ape, whereupon he led a group of insane and brutal apes in the Cursed Earth.  Dredd followed a regressed Fast Eeek, and executed the gang - including Apelino - as a danger to Mega City One residents. Don Uggie saw himself as a modern day Al Capone and he styled himself and his followers on 1920's style gangsters. These three figures, with Don Uggie at the far left, were produced by Citadel Miniatures for the old Games Workshop Judge Dredd Role Playing Game. Don Uggie is armed with a Handgun Pistol.
Don Uggie was often accompanied by his two most trusted lieutenants, Joe Bananas (in the centre) and Fast Eeek (at far right). They are armed with the equivalent of Spit Gun Rifles. These are three of my favourite figures from this range but I do have one criticism to make of them - they are way over-scale. Scale was a common problem with the Citadel Judge Dredd range of figures. Some were too small and some were too big. Given that these are just chimps, they are as tall as my ape gang gorillas. It is a shame because other than being too big their sculpts are perfect.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

JDMG MC1 Perps - Rainbow Raiders Street Gang

This is my fourth and final street gang that I created for my JDMG campaign using figures that were originally designed for use with the old Games Workshop sci-fi skirmish game, Confrontation. These 28mm scale Citadel figures came with metal bodies and separate plastic arms and weapons. Of all of the gangs in my collection these are far and away the most colourful. I present to you, the Rainbow Raiders.
The flamboyant and charismatic leader of the Rainbow Raiders is "Rubber Johnny" Rainbow, shown at the far left of the two photos directly above and below. He is the son of a very rich businessman who went off the rails in his late teens and turned to a life of carousing and crime. If left unchecked he could grow into a major crime-lord. Currently, he is a Level:4 Punk Infantry Hero. He has five Talents and they are Luck of Grud (he gains 1 free re-roll per game), Voice of Command (allies within 12" of him gain +1 to all Will rolls), Dual Shooter (he adds +1 to damage when firing both guns, but no critical hits are allowed and he only rolls for 1 gun), Fixer (he may add one Mercenary worth up to 400 Credits to his gang at the start of a game whether his gang is outmatched or not) and Wealthy (he can double the amount he can spend on starting armour, equipment and/or weapons). He wears Pad Armour and is armed with a Handgun Pistol and a Spit Pistol. The message on his T-shirt reads "Cum and Get It" and his codpiece proclaims "Pure Sex." Yes, he is a dickhead but he is also a very dangerous opponent.
Second from the left is Bryk Redd, the gang's second-in-command. He is a Level:2 Punk Infantry Hero with three Talents - Brave (he may re-roll any failed Will to Fight test), Skilled and Deadly (He may re-roll 1 Melee Die in every round of close combat) and This is my Club (he gains +1 Melee Die when using his Club in close combat). He is armed with a Laser Pistol and a Club. He, and indeed all of the Rainbow Raiders, wears Pad Armour.  All of the arms that came with the Confrontation figures were bare-skinned, so I either replaced them with plastic arms from a Warhammer 40,000 Imperial Guard set (as in this case) or made them out of Milliput. His Laser Pistol came from the Confrontation sprue of weapons, whilst his Club came from a boxed set of plastic Gangs of Mega City One street punks. I'll show the figures from that set in a later post.
The two gang members in the centre of this group have identical stats. They are Spuggy Spectrum and Limey Green, and are Level:1 Punk Infantry Heroes. They are armed with a Laser Pistol each and they both have the following two Talents - Brave (they may re-roll any failed Will to Fight test) and Accurate (may re-roll any Shooting attack that uses 1D).
Second from the right is Tru Blue, who is a Level:0 Punk Infantry Minion. He is armed with a Knife and a Laser Pistol.
At the far left is Terry Cotta. He is a Level:0 Juve Infantry Minion. He is armed with a Club and a Zip Gun Pistol. This figure was originally a Juve Scrawler produced by Citadel Miniatures for the old Games Workshop Judge Dredd Role-Playing Game. He got enlisted into the Rainbow Raiders as their newest recruit.
The four figures to the left of these two photos above and below have identical stats. They are from left to right, Forrest Green, Mellow Yellow, Pinky Pinkerton and Jaffer Orange. All are Level:0 Punk Infantry Minions. Each one is armed with a Handgun Pistol and a Long Rifle. I made the rifles out of Milliput and paper-clips as I wanted a futuristic looking Long Rifle and I had nothing appropriate in my bits box. I'm very pleased with how they came out.
The remaining two Rainbow Raiders at the far right are Royle Purple and Turk Turquoise. Both are Level:0 Juve Infantry Minions and they are also armed with a Handgun Pistol and a Long Rifle. I should note that Jaffer, Royle and Turk were part of a different Confrontation gang. They were originally bald-headed. I decided to make them part of the Rainbow Raiders and so I sculpted their huge hairstyles so they fit in with the others.
The Rainbow Raiders will be tough opposition for my Judges. They have a Credits score of 1,020 and can add a single Mercenary with a value up to 400 credits to their gang. It looks like I'll need my full team of Judges to take them out. However, the gang does lack any heavy weaponry and that could prove telling in a fight against the Judges.

Monday, 12 December 2016

JDMG MC1 Perps - Scabies Street Gang

I have another Mega City One street gang to show you that is mainly based on 28mm scale Citadel figures from the old Games Workshop sci-fi skirmish game, Confrontation, the forerunner for Necromunda. The Scabies street gang hide in the shadows and hang out in the slums and the Undercity. Essentially, they are scavengers, preying on the weak and unwary.
At the far left of the photos directly above and below is the leader of the Scabies gang, Scab Scabie. He was originally produced by Grenadier Miniatures but is now being sold by EM4 as part of their Future Skirmish Scavengers range. He and all of the Scabies wear Respirators. He is also equipped with Leather Armour, a Double-Barrelled Stump Gun Rifle and a Sword. The Scabies gang favour Stump Guns but Scab excels in close combat and is deadly with his sword, which is slung across his back. He is a Level:2 Punk Infantry Hero with three Talents - Luck of Grud (gives him one free re-roll per game), Voice of Command (all allies within 12" of him gain +1 to all Will rolls) and Skilled and Deadly (he can re-roll one of his Melee Dice in close combat). His straw hat makes him instantly identifiable.
The gang's heavy weapons specialist, Squama, is next in line. Squama also wears Leather Armour. He is armed with a Grenade Launcher. JDMG does not have stats for a Grenade Launcher so I used the stats for a Hand Bomb but doubled the range to 20" and doubled the price to 60 credits. He is a Level:1 Punk Infantry Hero with two Talents taken from the Blood on the Streets supplement - On Their Knees (every Infantry model hit by his Grenade Launcher must pass a Will test or suffer Knockdown) and Maximum Firepower (Add 1" to the Explosive distance, i.e. Grenades now have Explosive:3). His Grenade Launcher came from the Wargames Foundry Street Violence range. For him and the following five gang members, I sculpted their arms out of Milliput.
Moving on, are Scurf and Scatty. Each one is armed with two Sawed-Off Stump Guns and both are unarmoured. I made them both Level:1 Punk Infantry Heroes with identical Talents, namely, Brave (allows them to re-roll any failed Will to Fight test) and appropriately enough, Dual Shooter (they add +1 to damage when firing both guns, but no critical hits are allowed and they only roll for 1 gun). Their Sawed-Off Stump Guns came from the weapon sprues you got with the Confrontation figures.
The last three Scabies are from left to right, Flaky, Crusty and Branny. All three are armed with Stump Gun Rifles and are unarmoured. They are all Level:0 Punk Infantry Minions. They are nothing more than cannon fodder but they help bolster the gang's numbers. Their Stump Guns were made by Hero Miniatures who went out of business many years ago.
The Scabies gang has a Credits rating of 700, making them quite a powerful gang. In my JDMG campaign I'll be pitting Street Judges Crowe, Moore and Webb along with Med Judge Nash against them for their debut adventure. They have a combined Credits rating of 600. Look out for this batrep in early 2017.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

JDMG MC1 Perps - Bad Bones and Barko Brothers Street Gangs

Over the next few posts I'll be looking at some of the perps who'll be appearing in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. Some are individuals and some are street gangs. Perps come in all forms, shapes and sizes. They can be alien, ape, human, robot, supernatural or whatever you want them to be. For a campaign of the length I'm envisaging, I'll need lots of perps and lots of variety. Fortunately, I have these in abundance. Remember, I've been collecting figures since the late 1970's and I always preferred science fiction gaming to fantasy gaming so I really am spoiled for choice. The two official producers of figures for JDMG, Mongoose Publishing and Warlord Games, made a small selection of perp figures and perp gangs. I have them all but I also have many other miniatures that fit in just as perfectly.
Games Workshop's Necromunda skirmish game is a great source for Mega City One perps. Any of their under-hive gangs would make good choices as perp gangs and I plan on using most of them in my campaign. What many of you may not know is that Necromunda was spun off from a previous attempt of Games Workshop to popularize a set of rules for low-key skirmish battles in a hive world setting. White Dwarf magazine published such a rule-set between autumn and winter 1990–91 dubbing it Confrontation. It was set on the hive world of Necromunda but made no reference to houses and such, instead concentrating itself on the various types of gangs: clan warriors from the spires, brat 'poseurs' from the upper levels who went 'down' to experience the thrills of lowlife, under-city mutants, diseased scavengers from the toxic wastes and the Adeptus Arbites ever-ready to deal swift and summary "Judge Dredd"-like justice. It all sounds very much like Mega City One, doesn't it? Here are two of my current MC1 street gangs based on 28mm scale figures from the Confrontation game - the Bad Bones gang and the Barko Brothers gang.
The figures for the gangs in Confrontation usually consisted of a leader, who was a one-piece metal casting, and three metal gangers who came with a sprue of separate plastic arms and weapons. At the far left is the leader of the Bad Bones gang - Cranford Cranium. He is a Level:2 Punk Infantry Hero, equipped with Pad Armour and a Double-Barrelled Stump Gun. A Stump Gun is what we know as a Shotgun. I gave him three Talents - Brave, which allows him to re-roll all Will to Fight rolls, and Drokk the Law, which is used to inspire his gang. Any allies within 15" of him may re-roll any failed Will roll to resist arrest. Finally, I gave him Medic, which allows him to heal one Injury characteristic after a fight. 
Next in line is the gang's sniper, Phil Fibula. He is a Level:1 Punk Infantry Hero and is equipped with Leather Armour and a Long Rifle with Scope-sight. His rifle came from the Wargames Foundry Street Violence range. His two talents are Accurate, which allows him to re-roll any Shoot attack that uses 1 Dice and Crackshot which gives him a -1 bonus to any firearm's AP score.
Completing the gang are Tim Tibia, Stewart Sternum and Roddy Radius. Tim and Roddy are the same figure but with different arms and weapons. All three are Level:0 Punk Infantry Minions. Tim is equipped with Leather Armour and a Stump Gun. I sculpted his Stump Gun and it resembles a Franchi SPAS12 Shotgun. Roddy and Stewart also wear Leather Armour and carry a Hand Gun Pistol each. With a combined Credits rating of 330 a couple of level:1 Judges should be able to take them out. Oddly enough, I have never used them in a game, so I'm looking forward to using them in my JDMG campaign.
The Barko Brothers gang appears in the JDMG rulebook as the gang to be used for your first try out of the rules (see pages 18 and 19). I'll be replacing Judge Mackey with my own Judge Scott for my very first JDMG batrep. Look out for it in early January 2017. The rulebook suggest using four gang members for the Barko Brothers but I'll be using all five of my figures in my game. Seeing as they have a Credits rating of 215 and Judge Scott at Level:1 has a Credits rating of 150 the odds do favour the perps. The Credits rating is a device used to create equal forces in a game but it is not something I'll be sticking rigidly to. I don't go along with the philosophy that both sides in a fight should be equally matched. When does that ever happen in real life?
At the far left is the leader and eldest brother of the gang - Rex Barko. He is a Level:1 Punk Infantry Hero and is armed with two Sawed Off Stump Guns. He and his brothers are unarmoured. He has the same two Talents as Cranford Cranium, Brave and Drokk the Law. Moving right, is Butch Barko. He and his younger brothers are all Level:0 Punk Infantry Minions. Butch is armed with a Stump Gun and a Knife. In the centre of the group is Bob Barko. His figure is identical to Butch but with different arms and weapons. He is armed with a Handgun Pistol. Second from the right is Bailey Barko and he is also armed with a Handgun Pistol. Finally, at far right is the youngest brother, Benji Barko. He is armed with an Antique Pistol and a Knife. In actual fact the figure is holding a Crossbow Pistol, but I upgraded it to an Antique Pistol for this scenario. The Barko Brothers are members of the Howlin' Wolves street gang from Chester Burnett Block. The fact that the figures have been sculpted with wolf-skin head dresses made them perfect candidates for use as Howlin' Wolves gang members.

Monday, 5 December 2016

JDMG Illegal Aliens - The Dark Judges

Hailing from another dimension where life itself was deemed to be a crime, the Dark Judges are possibly the worst threat that has ever befallen Mega City One. They cannot be killed and have made the decision to bring their own brand of justice to the city. Despite being beaten back several times, they still represent utter peril for the city and each appearance is marked with massive death tolls that only seem to grow larger each time. Their greatest success was Necropolis, an event that saw the death of 60 million people in Mega City One as they held reign over the entire city. You can learn a lot more about them here -
The four Dark Judges are arranged in alphabetical order from left to right in my photos - Judge Death, Judge Fear, Judge Fire and Judge Mortis. Both Wizkids Indyclix and Warlord Games made versions of the four Dark Judges but the four that I'm showcasing here are all made by Wargames Foundry from their 2000AD range of figures. They are slightly taller than the Warlord Games figures and about the same size as the Indyclix figures.
A young sadist thrilled by inflicting pain, Sidney De'ath  would soon go on to murder three bullies from his school. He joined the Judges in order to be able to kill people legally, gaining the nickname "Judge Death" for his hard-line stance on executing all lawbreakers. The psychopathic and obsessive Judge shortly afterwards encountered the witches, Phobia and Nausea, aka the "Sisters of Death", who he saw as a means to achieve his vision of total justice - the complete extermination of all life. He reasoned that since all crime is committed by the living, life itself is a crime. Hence the monster's catchphrase: "The crime is life, the sentence is death!" Using their dark magic, he had himself transformed into the unstoppable undead Judge Death. Along with the "Sisters of Death" and his three fellow Dark Judges, Fear, Fire and Mortis, he wiped his world clean of all life.
In JDMG, all four Dark Judges are frighteningly powerful opponents and are classed as Level: Infinity Illegal Heroes. Judge Death has two Special Abilities - The Crime is Life means all of his Close Combat attacks ignore Armour (his hand phases through it) and are not Weak (quite the opposite!). Secondly, is The Sentence is Death, in which each successful close combat attack will remove a number of Hits equal to the roll of 1d10. Nasty!
When passing judgement on victims, Judge Fear opens his visor to reveal a sight of unspeakable terror that scares the living to death as they are forced to confront fear beyond their capacity to comprehend. In JDMG, Judge Fear has two Special Abilities. The first is Gaze into the Face of Fear. When he opens his visor, Judge Fear reveals a face of unspeakable terror that causes the hearts of those who view it to stop instantly. To do this, Judge Fear makes a normal close combat attack with one Melee Die, which automatically rolls a 10. If he succeeds in causing damage, both models must make opposed Will checks. If Judge Fear wins, his opponent is automatically reduced to 0 Hits. His second special ability is Mantrap. Judge Fear is fond of immobilising his enemies with thrown mantraps. Each mantrap is treated as a shooting weapon with Range 10", Shooting Dice 1, Damage 1 and AP -4. If a mantrap inflicts any Hits on an Infantry model, it will automatically immobilise it. The target may not take any Move actions and may not move at all during Melee actions. As a Special action, it may make an Agility check in order to attempt to free itself from the mantrap. A model may only be affected by one mantrap at a time.
Judge Fire is wreathed in flames from head to foot, from which leers a crisp, blackened skeleton. He wields a fiery trident and revels in burning his victims to death. In JDMG, Judge Fire has two special abilities. The first is Body of Fire. Any model involved in close combat with Judge Fire will automatically catch on fire, with the same effects as a flame-thrower. Judge Fire is himself immune to all effects of all forms of fire. Secondly, he has Flame Strike. His trident is a close combat weapon that has a Damage Score of 3, AP -3 and the Parry special rule. It may also launch a shooting attack with a Range of 18", Shooting Dice 1, Damage 3, AP -3 and the Blast and Explosive 1 special rules.
Often the Dark Judge tasked to prepare the physical bodies of the others, Judge Mortis has the bare skull of a sheep and causes everything he touches to instantly decay. He is the personification of entropy. In JDMG Judge Mortis only has one special ability - Decaying Touch. Entropy follows in the wake of Judge Mortis. At the start of every turn, every model within 4" of Judge Mortis will automatically lose 1 Hit. Each successful close combat attack by Judge Mortis will remove a number of hits equal to the roll of 1d10.
The Dark Judges can never be truly killed. In JDMG when any of them is reduced to 0 Hits, replace their models with their spirit form figures, shown directly above and below. These four figures were all produced by Warlord Games. The spirit form may only perform Move or Special actions and is a Flyer with a Move score of 6" and Hits 2. All other characteristics remain the same as for the Dark Judge the spirit form came from. The spirit form is immune to all forms of attack except Psi Talents. If the spirit form is reduced to 0 Hits, the Dark Judge will dissipate to rebuild its strength (and will be back another day!). Remove the figure as a casualty but do not make any injury roll.
A spirit form may attempt to possess any other model except a robot, within 1" with a Special action. Both models make opposed Will checks and, if the spirit form wins, the enemy is automatically killed and replaced with a model of the Dark Judge. The Dark Judge is restored to full Hits and from the next Turn onwards, may take actions normally.
At the time of writing I have no plans for using the Dark Judges in my JDMG campaign but I still wanted to show you them. The figures made by the three companies I mentioned are all very well sculpted. If you want to collect the Indyclix versions be aware that Judge Death is a Unique figure and is extremely hard to find. The Warlord Games versions were sold individually and as a boxed set with their spirit forms. I bought their spirit forms separately. Of the three versions that were available, I much preferred the Foundry figures. They are still available to buy.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

JDMG MC1 Civilians 01

Before I start a series of reviews of the perps that I have for my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game, I want to take a brief look at some of the civilians who populate Mega City One. I should point out that I have loads of 28mm scale sci-fi civilians that I have collected over the years, most of whom are very usable for my JDMG campaign.  These nine that I'm showing here are the ones I most wanted to highlight. There will be more posts to come in the future, showcasing the rest of my civilian collection.
I'll start with a trio of females, all of whom were produced by Warlord Games as official MC1 civilians. Rather unusually I have named all of the figures I'm reviewing here, which will help identify who's who. When naming MC1 citizens, it seems appropriate to go for more unusual names. So, at the far left is Caramel Maribel, a nice rhyming name. This dark skinned lady has something of a weight problem but not enough to put her into Fattie territory. (Fatties will be reviewed at a later date.) It looks Caramel has been on a shopping trip and is returning home with new clothes from "Miz Meg" a well-known upmarket clothes store. Note Caramel's orange lipstick and eyeliner and her turquoise hair. She likes to stand out in a crowd!
In the centre is long-haired blonde, Kylie Tchoryk. Just like Caramel, she is carrying an oversized handbag. Her lilac and brown outfit has been accessorised with that most ubiquitous and famous clothing item - the knee-pads. I don't know why, but knee-pads are extremely popular in the Judge Dredd series.
At the far right is Betty Umble, a young lady with flame red hair. Betty is wearing a short green dress with big pale green shoulder-pads. There is nothing remarkable about her - she is just a righteous upstanding citizen and an unemployed mother trying to make ends meet. Yes, they do exist. Not everyone is a criminal in Mega City One.
Next up, are three male civilians, and these were also produced by Warlord Games to go with the female Citizens. At the far left is Mitch Feig. He's wearing a bronze masked helmet, which could be deemed as suspicious. The one other thing that makes him stand out are the big fluffy bobbles on his shoes. What was he thinking when he bought them?
Wendell Sprot is the name of the dark-skinned gent in the centre of the group. He is an employee of the White Star Cruise Company, which caters for the more affluent citizens of Mega City One. He is lucky to have a job as unemployment stands at over 90% in Mega City One, which goes a long way to explaining why crime is so rampant.
At the far right of this trio is Erik Zumwalt. He works as a robotics engineer in a small company that manufactures service robots. He is carrying a large parcel under his right arm. What's inside is a mystery.
Moving on, these three figures were produced many years ago in the mid-1980's by Citadel Miniatures for the long gone Judge Dredd role-playing game by Games Workshop. They produced a huge range of figures and I bought almost all of them. Some of the Citadel figures look too small when compared to the likes of those produced by Warlord Games (their Judges especially look under-scaled). But many others do fit in well, like these three. These three civilians were part of the Citadel range of Uglies. The whole craze of looking ugly was created by Otto Sump, who built up a very lucrative empire selling products that made people look ugly. Sump was murdered by his mother in 2124 but his Ugly Clinic empire lives on.
This trio are all best friends and are all Juves (a term used to denote children and teenagers). At the far left is Ainsley Goit. He has huge buck-teeth and boils on his face and a mullet hair-do. In the centre is Jimi Gimboid. He has cadaverous green skin, dark rings around his eyes and a long protruding incisor tooth. His hair has been cut into three clumps. The leader of this small gang is Jools Smeghead, who has also opted for cadaverous green skin from the Ugly Clinic. In addition, his face sports pus-filled zits, he has a nose ring and a bright green Mohican haircut. None of them are particularly bright and although all have records for minor crimes, they are extremely small-time perps, barely worth bothering with. However, they will be appearing a lot in my campaign - mainly as bystanders, simply because they amuse me so much. By the way, Goit, Gimboid and Smeghead were all terms of mild abuse from the TV series, Red Dwarf, as I'm sure most of you knew.
When I play my campaign I want to populate my games with lots of innocent bystanders. Mega City One is huge and is filled with people despite numerous major disasters in its recent past. I do not want my games to be just about Judges verses Perps. Civilians have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and can pose a nuisance and distraction to either side of the Law. This is the kind of chaos and unpredictability I want to bring to my games. The Blood on the Streets supplement has a set of optional rules for creating random events in a game. I will definitely be using them in my own games and will most likely add some of my own.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Vampifan's Views 85 - Monthly Musings 59

As the dark, cold nights draw in, it is time for another one of my monthly musings. The painting to the left is another fine piece of art from Joe Jusko, showing Vampirella standing in a waterfall of blood... or should that be a bloodfall? Is there such a word?

October was a very busy month for me but November has been a very quiet month. However, I have managed to get a lot of painting done, which has pleased me immensely. I mentioned last time that both Mongoose Publishing and Warlord Games had lost their licences to sell the Judge Dredd range of figures. This was really bad timing as I am getting ready to start what I hope will be a long running Judge Dredd campaign using the rules from the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game and its supplement, Blood on the Streets. I made mention of the fact that I was missing just a few figures from the JDMG range. Well, thanks to a few very reasonable sellers on eBay and especially to one of my followers, Paul Smith, my collection is completed to my satisfaction. I am still missing a few sets but they are ones that are of no great interest to me (the Judda and Oz Judge on Trike). I'd like to offer a massive and heartfelt thanks to Paul for going above and beyond the call of duty for selling me the figure sets I most wanted (Assassinator Droid, Electro Cordon and Zombie Conversion pack) as well as throwing in some unexpected extras (a weapons pack, two Zombie Judges and six pre-made Mantic Zombies using the Zombie Conversion pack). He also totally surprised me by offering to sell me his Justice Department Pat Wagon, a model that I never expected to own, due to it being only available to a few people who made a pledge for it on the Judge Dredd Kickstarter project. I chose not to back this particular Kickstarter. Seeing as how badly it has been run, I suspect I made the right decision.
A Justice Department Pat Wagon in 28mm scale.
When the parcel arrived I was both surprised and impressed at how big the Pat Wagon was. I quickly made it and it is currently on my painting desk getting painted right now. However, whilst I am using a similar colour scheme of the photo above, I will not be adding all of the lettering on that model.

Speaking of parcels, a couple of weeks ago I received the Wave 1 parcel for backing Mantic Games'  The Walking Dead miniature skirmish game on Kickstarter. To the left of here is the box it came in, all very cleverly packaged so that all of the figures and components fitted into the box perfectly. I have played a fair few of the introductory scenarios from the Quick Start rules booklets. My verdict is that this is a very good little skirmish game. You can play solo, co-operatively with other players or competitively against other players. I took to it straight away and I certainly enjoyed playing it far more than Project Z by Warlord Games. One thing I must mention about the game is the figures. They are all one-piece castings made of hard plastic and are incredibly detailed and just gorgeous to look at. Yes, you do get a lot of zombies with this set, as you'd expect, but what really surprised me was that every one was a unique figure. No duplicates here, like in Zombicide. Massive respect to Mantic Games for making this decision. It is fair to say that being a big fan of The Walking Dead, I backed this project heavily. One of the add-ons I was very happy to get was this scenery booster set.
Ignore the fact that it says "Shipping Wave 02". It shipped with Wave 01, albeit without the two Neoprene Mats (they are coming with Wave 02). These plastic 3D scenery items replace the card counters that represented them and will be usable in many other games. Those vehicles are not solid castings but have hollowed out shells to keep the weight and cost down. Unless you turn them over you'd never know.
A game in progress with unpainted figures and scenery.
I should point out that this game is based on the comic series of The Walking Dead and not the TV series. So, the likes of Daryl will not be appearing as an official figure but there's nothing from stopping you adding him if you so wanted to, as there are rules for creating your own survivors. You could well ask, do I need another zombie apocalypse game? Well, only you can answer that one. For me, however, this is a very welcome addition to both my collection of games and figures. Highly recommended!

Finally, if any of you scored a bargain on Black Friday then well done to you. If not, well done for not succumbing to the hype. Personally, I hate it and I spent precisely nothing on the day.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

JDMG Allies 01

I'm taking a short break from reviewing my figures for the Mega City One Justice Department. There will be more to come later, specifically Heavy Armour Judges, Mechanismo Robots, Judges on Lawmaster Bikes and an assortment of vehicles used by the Justice Department. For now I'm reviewing three well-known allies of the Justice Department - Max Normal, Galen DeMarco and Travis Perkins.
At the far left is Max Normal, who was, for a while, Judge Dredd's best informant. In a city teeming with citizens dressed in unusual, eccentric or downright bizarre fashions, Max stood out for dressing conservatively in clothes which in the mid-20th century would have been perfectly normal: a pinstripe suit and a bowler hat, an umbrella, and a carnation in his buttonhole. In contrast to his looks, Max spoke in futuristic 'streetwise' slang and had many bizarre habits and affections. In Max's first appearance, Dredd expresses disgust at Max not dressing in "decent wild clothes" like everyone else and asks "why do you young people always have to be different?"
He had refined tastes, eschewing water and only ever drinking "shampagne" (real champagne being illegal): this saved him from being affected by the Block Mania contagion which infected the city's water supply in 2104. His one concession to 22nd-century living was his fondness for playing shuggy, an advanced version of billiards played on an uneven surface of hills and valleys. He stopped working for Dredd after criminals held him hostage in an attempt on Dredd's life.Years later, he was used again as a hostage in an attempt on Dredd's life, this time by the Fighting Heart Kwoon.
Although Warlord Games made a perfectly acceptable figure of Max, I preferred this version from Wargames Foundry - AD54 Max Normal. In JDMG, Max is a Level:4 Infantry Hero with the following Special Ability - Nark. If Max Normal is within 12" of a Judge, he may perform a Special action to finger a suspect. The Judge gains a +1 bonus to all Arrest checks he attempts in the same Turn.
Next up is private investigator, Galen DeMarco. She is the daughter of a billionaire, who had her inducted into the Academy of Law as a Cadet Judge. When her father died, she inherited his immense wealth, but chose to forgo it in order to pursue her career. Her fortune was held for her in a trust.
Considered one of the most capable Judges of her generation, at age 23, she was in line to rise to the rank of Senior Judge, when she instead refused promotion and requested a transfer to – of all places – Sector 301, also known as "The Pit", a notorious crime black spot and dumping ground for Judges who fouled up. She served with distinction and was part of the small cadre of completely honest officers at the largely corrupt Sector House. In 2117 the then Sector Chief was killed in suspicious circumstances. In response Chief Judge Volt ordered the legendary Joe Dredd to take over as Sector Chief with orders to clean up the place. Dredd's hatred for the administrative side of the job was well known (he had personally turned down the Chief Judge's chair many times to avoid it), but he went to work in his usual style. Dredd took the sector by storm and worked regularly with DeMarco until the reason she had come to 301 was revealed: she was having an affair with another Judge, Judge Warren. When this was revealed, Dredd reprimanded her and dismissed her lover from the force for dereliction of duty. DeMarco escaped that fate because she had responded to an emergency call even though it meant revealing her misconduct, while Warren had not. During the massive battle between the Judges and crime syndicate the Frendz Mob that ended the storyline, Warren kidnapped DeMarco with the intent of using her money to set up a new life for himself. Instead she ended up killing him.
Sometime later, Dredd led a Hot-dog Run (training mission) into the Cursed Earth and requested DeMarco to assist him. The two worked well together. Later still she rose to Sector Chief of Sector 303 and found Dredd reporting to her. To his astonishment he discovered that in the interim she had fallen in love with him. Dredd uncharacteristically let this breach of regulations slide and the two parted company once more.
However Judge Edgar of the Public Surveillance Unit, who vehemently disliked Dredd, uncovered the incident and attempted to use it to prove that Dredd and DeMarco had had an non-judicial liaison. Dredd was reprimanded by the Chief Judge, and DeMarco chose to resign from the Justice Department rather than undergo demotion and compulsory re-education. However, Galen was heir to the DeMarco fortune which, once she left the Judges, was turned over to her: a fortune that ran to about 17 billion credits. Dredd also arranged for Galen to have a gun permit and work as a private detective so she could continue to have something to do. During the Second Robot Wars of 2121, DeMarco fought bravely even though she was now a civilian. Meeting Dredd again, her love for him finally died when he again spurned her advances.
This beautifully sculpted figure of DeMarco was produced by Warlord Games. I have always liked DeMarco. The Dredd series has certainly created many very strong and noteworthy females, which I applaud. In JDMG, she is a Level:8 Infantry Hero. She can arrest enemies as if she was a Judge, but she is not required to.

Known as the Simian Sam Spade, Travis Perkins is a partner and bodyguard to Galen DeMarco. Despite being a gorilla with full sentience, Travis was once a Judge, working in the Wally Squad during one of the Justice Department's more lax recruiting periods. This is another figure that was produced by Warlord Games. In JDMG, Travis is a Level:5 Infantry Hero. He has two Special Abilities. First is For DeMarco, in which he may be taken by any force that has selected Galen DeMarco PI as a Mercenary. He may not be used without her. Secondly, he has Swinging Apes, in which he can treat any sheer surface as clear terrain, so long as he begins and ends his Phase on a flat surface, and he can move across any open gap up to his Move without making an Agility check.

Monday, 21 November 2016

JDMG MC1 Cadet Judges and Long Walk Judges

I could have called this post "The New and the Old" because I am looking at the two opposite ends of the Justice Department - Cadet Judges, who are are training to become fully-fledged Judges, and Long Walk Judges, who have come to the end of their career.
Though spending most of their time concealed within  the Academy of Law, Cadets are occasionally allowed into the city, under the strict watch of a Judge. Despite being barely in their teens, a well-trained Cadet has been the ultimate nemesis for more than one perp. A Cadet is inducted into the Academy either as a cloned infant (as Judge Dredd did), or as a child aged five (although older children have been recruited). After this, unsupervised contact with the city outside is forbidden, in order to maintain the strictest discipline and mental conditioning. Training usually lasts for 15 years, although in some exceptional cases, this is shortened by a few years. Cadet Judges must leave both the Academy and the city itself during their "Hot-dog Run" - a training mission into the Cursed Earth, to test the Cadets under combat conditions; fatalities are not unknown. A senior Judge will command and assess the Cadets during the Hot-dog Run. On graduating from the Academy, Cadets are known as Rookie Judges.
After a career on the streets of Mega City One, retiring Judges usually become Academy of Law Tutors or take the Long Walk, choosing to bring the Law to Lawless regions such as the Cursed Earth or the Undercity. Many die quickly to the hazards they encounter but a select few will survive, even thrive, on the adversity, becoming a dangerous force for those who choose to hide beyond the walls of Mega City One.
The four Cadet Judges to the left of my two photos directly above and below were produced by Mongoose Publishing. I have not yet named any of them. All four of them are the same sculpt but three have been converted. The one at the far left is the original sculpt. The Cadet second from the left has had his arms repositioned and his feet re-sculpted in different positions to the original. I also painted him as an African/American to further distinguish him from the others. For the Cadet third from the left, I added Milliput breasts to the figure to make her female and I repositioned her arms. For the other one, third from the right, I cut off his Lawgiver Pistol and glued it on his right hand. His arms have also been repositioned. I'm still not sure why I bought four of them but there was no way I could leave four looking the same.
The two Cadet Judges at the right were produced by Warlord Games and are, in my opinion, much better sculpts. Second from the right is Cadet Judge Aurens and at the far right is Cadet Judge Vincent, who is female. Will any of them see action in my JDMG campaign? Very possibly.
Moving on, these are to date, my only two Long Walk Judges. At the left is Judge William Minty, who was a very minor character in the comic series. He appeared in a one-off strip in 1980. In the story, Judge Dredd is assigned to assist an older Judge in the routine arrest of a gang of criminals. During the tracking down and apprehension of the 'perps' Dredd remarks on a number of flaws in Minty's methods. Eventually Minty is wounded when he hesitates to shoot one of the gang. As Minty recovers in hospital, Dredd informs him that he had to file an adverse report and that Minty is going to be retired from the streets. Minty gives a poignant response, "It had to come... I -I always knew you were on this case just to watch me... When you get old, you start gettin' strange notions... like maybe people aren't so bad. Maybe if we treat 'em with kindness, the good in them will come out! I guess that's when it's time to quit." Dredd explains that due to his excellent record Minty is eligible to become a Tutor at the Academy of Law. However Minty declines the offer "I've been on the streets too long, there's only one way for me... The Long Walk!" 
This excellent figure was sculpted by Hasslefree's Kevin White. It was designed as a limited edition figure for the Cancer Research and Multiple Sclerosis charities. When I ordered my figure, I also received a signed photo of Edmund Dehn, who plays Judge Minty in the fan film (see below). It is much treasured.

The other Long Walk Judge, whom I have not named yet, was produced by Warlord Games. He looks like he has been surviving outside for quite a while. He has either lost his Lawgiver Pistol or perhaps it ran out of ammo, and he has replaced it with a Sawed-Off Stump Gun. Note that he is using his left shoulder pad as knee pad, which is a nice touch.
I mentioned earlier that the actor, Edmund Dehn, played Judge Minty in a fan film. Here he is above in a scene from the film. You can watch it on YouTube here -
You can also find more information about the film here-
I don't want to say too much about it in case you haven't seen it but I can highly recommend it. For a fan film, the production values are very high. Note how accurate his uniform and Lawgiver Pistol are.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

JDMG MC1 Med Judges, Tek Judges and Psi Judges

Continuing my reviews of the Mega City One Justice Department, I am going to concentrate on three of their important divisions this time - Med Division, Tek Division and Psi Division. Med Division formulates medical policy for the entire Justice Department. It is sub-divided into several critical units - Personnel Unit, Med-Lab, Psych Unit, Dream Police and Genetic Control. Med Division's brief is to protect the Justice Department from any agent threatening the health of its personnel.
The main body of the Tek judges is rarely seen on the streets of Mega City One. They exist to devise cutting-edge technologies to augment Justice Department operations. Tek-Div provides equipment, vehicles and weaponry to specifications demanded by the relevant divisions. Every Sector House will have a Tek Judge contingent. The principle Tek Division departments are Tek Labs, Engineer Corps, Fleet Services and the Forensics Squad.
One of the last Justice Department  divisions to be formed, Psi Division took advantage of the massive increase in psychic potential apparently generated by the Great Atomic War of 2070 to provide the Justice Department with a small, but indispensable organisation. Psi Judges are not unique to Mega City One, though whereas most other city-states train their psychics to the exclusion of all else, Psi Division produces operatives who are not only highly disciplined in the use of their strange powers, but are also fully-fledged Street Judges, able to outgun and out-think enemies of the Justice Department. Psi-Division is based at Omar House in Sector 44, within sight of the Grand Hall of Justice. It comprises three departments - Psi-School, Psi-Lab and Psi-Operations.
Of the two Med Judges shown above and below, the one at the far left, Med Judge Nash, has been detailed previously (see here ) as a member of Judge Scott's task force. Med Judge Nash will be a major player in my JDMG campaign. The female standing next to him is Med Judge Stallard. Med Judges are instantly identifiable by their red and white helmets and shoulder pads. Both figures were produced by Warlord Games. In JDMG, all Med Judges have the special rule, Healthy Hands. So long as the Med Judge survives the battle, he may use his Medic Talent on a force afterwards. Note that says "force" not "figure" so a single surviving Med Judge can heal a lot of wounded patients.
The first of my three Tek Judges is produced by Wargames Foundry as AD46 Tek Judge Deex. I saw no reason to change his name. I have said before that the Foundry figures are slightly taller than the Mongoose and Warlord Games figures but bear in mind that the Foundry figures come with integral metal bases and not slottatabs. So by sticking a Foundry figure onto a slottabase will automatically make him appear taller. Moving on, the remaining two figures were both produced by Warlord Games and they are Tek Judge Nielsson (second from right) and Tek Judge Forrester (at far right). In JDMG all Tek Judges have the special rule, Can We Fix It? The Tek Judge may attempt to repair any vehicle he is on board. Alternatively, he can also attempt to repair any vehicle he is in contact with, so long as the vehicle did not move last time its driver took his actions. The Tek Judge can attempt to restore a lost Hit or repair an existing critical hit by performing a Special Action and making a successful Will check.
These three famous Psi Judges have all appeared in the Judge Dredd comic series and are all made by Wargames Foundry. From left to right are AD17 Chief Psi Judge Omar, AD18 Psi Judge Anderson and AD42 Psi Judge Karyn. Psi Judge Omar became head of Psi Division after his predecessor, Judge Ecks was killed in the Apocalypse War. He personally assisted Judge Dredd in his investigation into the haunting of a Sector House, and later he exonerated Judge Anderson when she was accused of negligently permitting the Dark Judges to escape and threaten the city. When psi-criminal, Shojun the Warlord, unleashed the demonic Seven Samurai on the city, Omar volunteered to sacrifice his own life in a suicide attack to destroy them using a psionic amplifier. He was succeeded as head of Psi-Division by Psi Judge Shenker, the current holder of this office. Note that the Psi Division headquarters, Omar House, was named after Psi Judge Omar in honour of his sacrifice.
In the centre of this renowned trio is Psi Judge Anderson. The most famous of all Judges within Psi Division, Cassandra Anderson has fought against the enemies of, and made great sacrifices for, Mega City One. She is one of the premier psychics of her generation and has earned the utmost respect from Judge Dredd. In JDMG, she is a Level:17 Infantry Hero with numerous street skills and telepathic talents. It was a tough decision for me whether to choose this figure to represent Psi Judge Anderson in my campaign or use the Warlord Games version shown below. By a narrow margin, this version got my vote. In the Karl Urban Dredd movie, when Dredd asked Anderson why she didn't wear her helmet, she replied that the helmet interfered with her telepathic powers. I thought this was a good explanation of why Psi Judges are so often portrayed without their helmets on.
Psi Judge Karyn first worked with Dredd in the initial Raptaur invasion and would work alongside him several times afterwards. She primarily handled supernatural threats. Her career met an ignoble end in 2127. When she and Dredd led a rescue mission into the Undercity, they discovered the Shadow King had escaped there and spent the last four years building up an army of vampiric Troggies. After the creature possessed Dredd, she tried to emulate Anderson again by drawing its spirit into her mind to be imprisoned - the attempt went wrong and she was completely possessed. She is currently locked in a Psi-Division cell, and it is considered unlikely her mind can ever be retrieved.
These four Psi Judges were produced by Warlord Games, although the middle two were originally made by Mongoose Publishing. I have named all four them. At the far left is Psi Judge Devereux. She was originally meant to represent Psi Judge Anderson and was part of the Heroes of Mega City One boxed set. So that there could be no mistaking her for Anderson, I gave her black hair. She is one of my favourite Warlord Games figures. The other two female Psi Judges are the same figure but were bought and painted many years apart. Second from the left is Psi Judge Lister. Note that like Anderson above, her Lawgiver Pistol is in its boot holster. Second from the right is Psi Judge Gibson and she has been slightly converted with her arms being repositioned and I added a Lawgiver Mk.1 Pistol to her left hand. She was painted with Foundry paints whilst Lister was painted with Citadel paints, hence the slight difference in colours.
At the far right of this group is Exorcist Judge Sheady. Hailing from a sub-department of Psi Division, the Exorcist Judges are trained to tackle supernatural entities, such as demons, ghosts and spectres. In addition to their standard equipment, Exorcist Judges are armed with silver-coated boot knives.
Like most other specialist Judges (i.e. Tek and Med), Psi-Judges do not wear badges with their surnames imprinted on them. Instead their badges simply read 'PSI'. This has been apparent in several comic strips featuring the Psi-Judges (although not in all of them, with some artists simply depicting the Judge's surname instead). However, their badges do have their surname imprinted in very small letters on the reverse.