On Saturday 23rd of November, we threw open the doors of Mongoose HQ to run a complete Judge Dredd campaign day – One Night in Mega-City One.
We kept the rules simple (always a good idea in an event like this!), using the core campaign rules as written in the main rulebook, with players bringing any basic force. The forces themselves were representative of the streets of Mega-City One (and beyond), with Judges from Mega-City One, Brit-Cit and East Meg 2 present, along with apes, zombies and a squad of the Citi-Def, so carnage was guaranteed!
Scenarios were random, rolled for at the start of each round for each table, with a choice of Demolition, Scrawl War and Turf Grab – again, all fairly simple scenarios so players could concentrate on their own forces rather than wrestle with complex scenario rules.
Early on, Richard’s force of Mega-City One Judges took a lead, but they were hotly pursued by Carl’s East Meg counterparts. Both were able to keep their Heroes alive, which steadily increased the overall value of their forces, despite Carl’s absolutely rotten luck with dice rolling – every time I passed his table, he seemed to be rolling a string of ones and twos!
Judge Dredd’s balancing mechanism for forces that have a large gap in their values is to introduce Mercenaries for the weaker gang, temporarily bringing it up to strength. For the Justice Department, this means specialist Judges, such as the Exorcists or Heavy Weapons Judges. However, other forces have access to all the delightful Mercenaries seen in the comic strips. Andy’s Citi-Def quickly picked up a Vid Reporter, hoping to sell exploits of their valiant firefights to the highest paying network!
Andy also picked up a Sky Surfer, knowing he would be facing a scrawl war at some point. Just the right model to get to those hard-to-reach places.
Robert’s Zombie Horde was a frightening prospect for the other players, as he insisted on buying nothing new for it except more zombies. By the end of the day, he had amassed more than 60 in his force, making it a difficult opponent to fight. However, more practical players quickly realised that the zombies provided a ‘target rich environment’ which fast moving Heroes could take the opportunity to earn a decent haul of XP, even if it meant retreating and losing a battle.
In a campaign, it can sometimes pay to lose a fight and keep your force intact rather than earn a victory and more Credits, if it means your valuable Heroes take less of a risk. Players need to keep their eye on the campaign as a whole, not individual battles!
As always, we had the latest Judge Dredd models on display so players could see what they could add to their forces in the weeks and months ahead. This time round, we included a new pose for Chief Judge Cal, available in the forthcoming box set.
In the end, though there has to be a winner and on this day it was based on how many Credits had been accrued throughout the day. Right to the end, Richard’s Mega-City One Judges and Carl’s East Meg Invasion force were battling for the top slot, but the Communists finally clinched it in the final round, though there was less than 60 Credits in it – a very tight margin, considering both forces had scored more than 2,400 Credits each!
At the other end of the scale, we have a tradition at Mongoose events that no one truly loses, and the bottom placed player ‘gets the monkey.’ This time, it was Trish who received a very fine looking Gorilla in a Dress, which fitted in well with her force of Apes!.
It was a fun and exciting day, with Heroes rising and falling across all seven rounds. Many tactics and ploys were attempted, and some were even successful. No nasty rules disputes erupted and all the players seem to have enjoyed their time – we will certainly be doing this event again in the New Year.
So, if you fancy pulling together a small force (you really don’t need that many miniatures – well, unless you go for a massive zombie horde!) and having a fun day out battling with friendly gamers, keep you eyes peeled for the next Judge Dredd campaign day!