As we get ever closer to the release of the new rulebook for the Judge Dredd miniatures game, we are getting very excited here at Mongoose! This really is a gorgeous book, a fitting starting point for fast-paced and thrilling firefights that take place in Mega-City One every day!
We have managed to sneak in lots of little additions that will nonetheless have a powerful effect on play. For example, Renegade Robot forces will have access to a brand new troop type – the Mini Bot.
Mini Bots represent all the millions of small druids that toil endlessly in Mega-City One, servicing vehicles, keep pedways clean, hunting vermin, and all the other jobs that citizens take for granted. Once they break their programming and go renegade, however, they prove to be extremely cheap units that can overwhelm enemies. While Renegade Robot players will not be able to tool them up to the same degree as a Servo or Combat Droid, they have a sufficient equipment allowance to make them good at one thing, be it a close combat nuisance (and quite deadly when used in number or to support robodogs!), a cheap, short-ranged stump gun blaster – or, equipped with more expensive weaponry, a fair terror for Heroes on the other side!
One of the unique features of the Judge Dredd miniatures game is how you can start with a fairly basic Hero in your force, and endlessly customise him (or her, or it!) with not only weapon and equipment options but Talents as well.
Talents are special abilities that allow Heroes to do really cool things on the battlefield. They are arranged in ‘trees’ so while the first few Talents a Hero picks up are fairly modest, if he specialises he will quickly become a real master. Take these two trees, for example, Alleyway Fighter and Gunslinger.
Alleyway Fighter represents a real ‘street’ style of close combat – the very first Talent in the tree is Dirty Fighting, which allows a Hero to kick an enemy somewhere it really hurts, leaving them vulnerable to a follow up attack.
As a Hero gets better at becoming an Alleyway Fighter, he can progress down the tree to gain Talents such as Below the Belt and Deadly Strike, right up to Mighty Blow, which can take out even strong opponents in just, well, one might blow!
Alternatively, the tree allows a Hero to ‘branch off’ to take Careless and Thundering Charge, two talents that will give any close combat Hero a real advantage if he manages to get the drop on a foe.
Gunslinger is the Talent tree Heroes will take if they want to pursue flashy, show-off shooting techniques. However, this has its own specialisation too, making pistol weapons more fearsome in close combat with Close Combat Shooter and Pistol Whip.
Psi Talents are a variation on all of this, and are only available to Heroes with a Psi score, such as Juve Psykers and Psi-Judges.
Here we can see three Psi Talent trees, covering Pre-Cogs (seeing them before they see you!), Necromancers (call up the dead!), and Pyrokine (set fire to your enemies, or cause flames to rain down from the skies!).
Again, psychic Heroes are able to specialise or spread their Talents about, either choosing just one or two Talents from each tree to be able to handle most situations, or concentrate on just one or two and become really good at what they do…
Next week, we will take a look at how Campaigns are played in the Judge Dredd miniatures game, and how Mercenaries work to become a unique balancing factor in games so even a starting force can play against an enemy like the entire Angel Gang on a level playing field.
The Judge Dredd miniatures game rulebook is set for release on October 18th and can be pre-ordered here.