Vehicle Handbook Development Diary – August 26th

The development of the new Traveller has been a fairly long road, but a most enjoyable one – tinkering with interstellar mechanics for your day job never has a dull moment!

The Core Rulebook came out earlier this year, and High Guard has just been released in ebook format, while we are just awaiting on the Central Supply Catalogue to come back from print.

Right now, we are putting the final touches to the Vehicle Handbook, the tome that will not only allow you to build just about any vehicle you can think of but also comes packed with loads of already-created vehicles that can be inserted straight into your campaign.

Many of these will be obvious – we need a high TL tank for the armies of the universe, for example, just as we need a TL5 tank for players to use when they are on more backward worlds. However, there is always the desire to push things alittle bit further and see just what the design system is capable of.

So, I have been doing just that!

Here is one example. I decided it would be whizz-o-whizz if we had a hypersonic transport in the book – basically, a Concorde II. This is what I came up with as a first pass:


Concordia II Hypersonic Airliner

Before the advent of grav technology, supersonic airliners like the Concordia II provide the fastest form of air travel though high ticket prices tend to place them beyond the reach of the common man. However, those who can afford it are in for royal treatment and a transportation system that can get them to anywhere on the planet in a matter of a few short hours. The Concordia II is capable of speeds in excess of Mach 5, though it normally supercruises at around Mach 4.


TL 8 Armour  
Skill Flyer (wing) Front 2
Agility -1 Sides 2
Speed (cruise) Hypersonic (Supersonic) Rear 2
Range (cruise) 8000 (12000)  
Crew 5 Traits
Passengers 80
Cargo 2 tons Equipment Autopilot (improved), Bunks x 2, Communication System (basic, increased range x 2, satellite uplink), Computer/1, Control System (improved), Entertainment Systems x 80, Fire Extinguishers, Fresher x 8, Galley (seats 10), Navigation System (basic), Sensor System (basic, increased range x 2)
Hull 150
Shipping 300 tons
Cost MCr165


The trouble with doing this kind of aircraft at TL8 is, of course, ubiquitous grav technology is just around the corner (not to mention spacecraft), so the Concordia II very much represents the last gasp of traditional passenger aircraft. It carries a mere 80 passengers and will struggle to get across the Atlantic (massive range was never really a thing for the real Concorde). However, it is fast. Very fast. Mach 5 in perfect first class comfort. We even have a decent bar in there where passengers can stretch their legs and get a drink (and maybe some peanuts).

The downside?

Well, take a look at the cost. How many passengers are you going to have to fly to pay that back, eh? (Again, the real Concorde had a similar issue).

This aircraft could be made a lot cheaper under the Vehicle Handbook system, but I managed to create a ‘perfect storm’ of requirements – the increased speed was a big spend (there was no way I was going to settle for a mere supersonic transport!), as was range. You want a small super-fast fighter, it is not a problem, but if you want to get a bunch of passengers across an ocean in an aircraft like this, you need to spend the Credits. And as far as those passengers go? Just squeezing in 80 of them was tough enough. The seats might be comfy, but you will be wanting to use that bar to get some space.

Then again, at the speed this thing goes, you won’t be sitting down for long.

It does beg the question though: Aside from being an exercise in what the Vehicle Handbook is capable of creating, who in their right mind would actually purchase and try to run one of these?

Well, we have had some ideas…

  • A world that has yet to discover grav technology (or decent space travel, for that matter) simply has no choice if they want to go far and fast. That grav tech breakthrough might be just around the corner, TL-wise, but they may not know that.
  • A world of the super-rich might find it simply more convenient to fly like this rather than use some sort of sub-orbital shuttle. It may be that check-in for the Concordia II takes minutes whereas any type of spacecraft requires you sit in the spaceport lounge for two hours while they repeatedly scan your luggage (they won’t scan you, you are going first class – and terrorists never go first class).
  • Money might not be an object. Dictators spring to mind here.
  • It might appear on a world that has a no-space-travel-zone imposed upon it. Atmospheric flight is just fine, but your oppressors might well shoot down anything that comes anywhere close to orbiting.

So, given that, the Concordia II will be making an appearance in the Vehicle Handbook, however impractical it might actually be in the ‘real’ world.

What do you think? Take a trip to our Traveller forums, and let us know! And swing back here from time to time – we want to make these Development Diaries a permanent (and regular) feature of Planet Mongoose, and you never know when we might accidentally drop a hint of projects that are in the works but have not been announced!






Brit-Cit Sneak Peek

With the arrival of a new range of Brit-Cit Judges (and more on the way!), we are currently preparing a brand new force list PDF – however, we know you will want to dive in immediately, so here are the draft rules!


Brit-Cit Justice Department

This force list is an official update and replaces the Brit-Cit Justice Department force list in the Judge Dredd rulebook.

The Brit-Cit Justice Department, officially referred to as Her Majesty’s Justice Department (HMJD), maintains Law and order in and around Brit-Cit. It is led by the Chief Judiciary and answerable to Parliament. The Judges of Brit-Cit share much in common with their counterparts in Mega-City One, having similar uniforms and close diplomatic ties. However, the two have many differences in operational procedure and administration. Brit-Cit Judges are more lenient in their approach to crime and spend as much time buried in paperwork as they do patrolling the streets of their sector. The largest difference between the Judges of Brit-Cit and Mega-City one is their salary – Brit-Cit Judges are paid to uphold the Law. When their shifts are over, the Judges return to their flats and families, and may even take annual holidays. The Brit-Cit Justice Department is not immune to the privileges that come with wealth and ancestry and, with enough money, a Judge can buy himself any promotion short of a seat on the Chief Judiciary.

A force of Brit-Cit Judges will be very well equipped and able to handle most situations. They are ideal if you like the Judges of Mega-City One, but are looking for something with a slightly different ‘flavour.’

Distinctly Non-Standard: Brit-Cit Judges have their own code of conduct and while many Laws govern their equipment and appearance, for a Judge in an elevated position, these can be more like guidelines. A Beat Judge, Cal-Hab Judge and Para Squad Judge of level 5 or higher may be purchased up to 50 Credits of weapons and equipment. This increases to 100 Credits once they reach level 10.

Justice Department: As Judges, the models in this force must follow the Arrest rules.


Brit-Cit Equipment

Cal-Hab Issue Armour: Akin to the lightweight armour used by auxiliaries, the standard issue armour used by Cal-Hab Judges offers less protection but greater freedom of movement. This is due less to the style of Law enforcement Cal-Hab Judges employ, and more to a lack of adequate funding.


Armour Type Armour
Cal-Hab Standard Issue +4


Iron Lion Mk 1

The original Iron Lion motorcycle employed by the Brit-Cit Justice Department and, to some veteran Judges, still the best. It can still be found in service, primarily in the Cal-Hab zone and the poorer areas of Brit-Cit, and it remains perfectly serviceable.


Vehicle Move Agility Ramming Dice Armour Hits
Iron Lion Mk 1 18” +2 3D +6 5

Type: Medium Bike

Equipment: None

Crew: 1 Driver


Iron Lion Mk 2

An improvement on the original Iron Lion, the Mk 2 is now in service across Brit-Cit and within the Black Atlantic tunnel. It has more sophisticated on-board computers, a more powerful engine and is greatly appreciated by the Judges who ride it. As with its predecessor, it remains unarmed, relying on the weapons of the rider.


Vehicle Move Agility Ramming Dice Armour Hits
Iron Lion Mk 2 22” +2 3D +7 6

Type: Medium Bike

Equipment: Autopilot

Crew: 1 Driver


Beat Judge                                                                             140 Credits

The beat Judges are at the forefront of the Brit-Cit Justice Department, cruising the streets on their Iron Lion motorcycles and Avenger patrol cars. Beat Judges are respected by the city’s citizens and feared by the criminals who dare oppose them. They spend eleven years training to become a Judge and then work the rest of their careers in a number of Sector Stations.


  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Beat Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 2D +1 +5 2

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Boot knife, PC 101 handgun, standard issue armour, truncheon


  • Swap PC 101 handgun with bumf gun for +0 Credits.
  • If the Beat Judge is given the Dual Shooter Talent, he may purchase a second PC 101 handgun for +10 Credits.
  • Ride a Mk 1 Iron Lion for +70 Credits or a Mk 2 Iron Lion for +90 Credits.


Cal-Hab Judge                                                                       140 Credits

The keeper of Law in the Cal-Hab wilderness, these Judges are known to be fiercely independent and capable. Honed and tempered by the lawless region they police, Cal-Hab Judges are instantly recognisable by their kilts, swords and Skean-dDhu blaster.


  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Cal-Hab Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 3D +1 +4 2

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Boot knife, Broadsword, Cal-Hab issue armour, Skean-dDhu blaster


  • Swap broadsword with claymore for +15 Credits.
  • If the Cal-Hab Judge is given the Dual Shooter Talent, he may purchase a second Skean-dDhu blaster for +10 Credits.
  • Ride a Mk 1 Iron Lion for +70 Credits.


Para Squad Judge                                                                  165 Credits

The psi-Judges of Brit-Cit, these specialists are highly valued and to call upon their services frivolously is considered a breach of conduct. Like their counterparts of Mega-City One, para squad Judges are often highly-strung, flippant individuals.


  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Psi Armour Hits
Para Squad Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 2D +1 4 +5 2

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Boot knife, PC 101 handgun, standard issue armour, truncheon


  • Ride a Mk 1 Iron Lion for +70 Credits or a Mk 2 Iron Lion for +90 Credits.


Detective Judge                                                                     160 Credits

The detective Judge has proven himself capable of leading investigations and acting on his own intuition. Once installed in CID, the detective Judge swaps his beat uniform for the trademark blue suit and trench coat of the department.


  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Detective Judge 5” +1 +1 +1 2D +2 +4 3

Type: Infantry Hero

Equipment: Armoured trench coat, PC 101 handgun


Judges of the World

The Beat Judge, Cal-Hab Judge and Detective Judge may be used as Judges of the World (see page 190 of the main rulebook), replacing the Beat Judge and Cal-Hab Judge on page 191.


Brit-Cit Justice Department Mercenary List

The following may be used as Mercenaries (call them reinforcements…) by a Brit-Cit Justice Department force.

Agent (main rulebook, page XX)

Brit-Cit Beat Judge (see above)

Combat Droid (page XX)

Senior Brit-Cit Judge (main rulebook, page XX)

Street Judge (main rulebook, page XX)

Wally Squad Judge (main rulebook, page XX)


Detective Judge Armitage                                                    300 Credits

Armitage works hard against the system of privilege that riddles the upper echelons of the Brit-Cit Justice Department. This, in turn, has made him extremely unpopular among his superiors but his sheer competence at crime-fighting ensures his continued career. Unusual among detective Judges, Armitage also refuses to carry a gun, though his time fighting in the Brit-Cit Civil War means he knows how to handle a weapon – he simply chooses not to.


  Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Detective Judge Armitage 5” +3 +1 +2 2D +4 +4 11

Type: Level 8 Infantry Hero

Equipment: Armoured trench coat

Talents: Brave, Dirty Fighting, I am the Law!, Intimidation, Luck of Grud, Shoulder Down, Stealthy, Voice of Command, Voice of Justice

Veteran Judge: Despite his refusal to carry a gun, Armitage knows how to take care of himself. He may re-roll any Agility check (including those made to dodge shooting attacks).

Available To: Justice Department, Brit-Cit Justice Department


Traveller – A New Edition in Development

The new Traveller has appeared, the product of many years tweaking, adjusting and listening to the thousands of players who have travelled the universe of the far future. Here, we will take you through the entire design process; what we have done with the game, what we have been aiming for, and our plans for the next ten years of Traveller.

So, grab yourself a coffee, and settle in for a good read! Alternatively, dive right in by picking up your own copy here!

First off, you can dive into the new Traveller right now with the Beta Rulebook PDF. It is a mere $20 on DrivethruRPG and we’ll return that $20 to you in the form of a voucher when the final Core Rulebook is released in early 2016.

So, what do you get in return?

Well, aside from the chance to directly influence the longest running sci-fi RPG of all time, you will be getting the following;

  • The Beta Playtest Core Rulebook, laid out and ready to go! After many, many moons of writing and internal playtesting, this book is now ready to be seen (and commented upon!) by dedicated Traveller players. All that is missing from this PDF is a few pieces of artwork!
  • A free copy of the adventure High and Dry, a revised edition of the original Type-S scenario, fully updated to the new Traveller in both rules and format. This will allow you to jump right in and start playing Traveller immediately with a cracking adventure written by fan favourite Martin Dougherty.
  • Access to draft (Word format) documents of the ‘core set’ of Traveller rule books – High Guard, Central Supply Catalogue, Vehicle Handbook, and the Traveller Companion, plus the chance to comment upon them and thus influence Traveller at a fundamental level.
  • A $20 voucher to be redeemed against the final Core Rulebook, meaning the Beta Core Rulebook will end up not costing you a penny!
  • If all goes well, some other goodies will be turning up in your Drivethru folders during the playtest period. We have some projects currently on the go that are set for release with the new addition, but if we can complete them according to schedule, they will be offered for free to all registered playtesters.


A New Traveller

When we released the last version of Traveller, it proved immensely popular – the Core Rulebook retained the feel and atmosphere of Classic Traveller but brought instantly accessible rules to the fore that could easily translate across multiple universes.

With such a solid base, there was no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater but there were always changes we wanted to make.

Graphics and Art

The first was the approach to graphical design. The last edition rested heavily on the minimalist approach of Classic Traveller – the new edition has all the bells and whistles you expect from a modern RPG. From isometric deck plans to flow charts that walk you throw character creation and ship design, from subsector maps to equipment pages that look as though they come straight from a space-based mail order catalogue, we have spent months striving to make the new Traveller not only look the best it can, but also to use these graphics to help it play better on the table top.

The goal has been not only to bring the Far Future to life through art and design, but to do so in a way that makes logical sense and aids gameplay.

It is our intention to make every Traveller book a full colour hardback – but more on those plans a bit later.


The Rules

Before we dived headlong into the design of the new Traveller, we created a long (very long!) Master Wish List of everything we thought might be good, interesting, or just plain cool to include. It was at this point that we decided (with some degree of insanity involved…) to work on not just the Core Rulebook in isolation, but to develop the Core Rulebook alongside what we started calling the ‘core set’ of supplements, those books that would become integral to the campaigns of many players, such as High Guard and the Central Supply Catalogue.

The idea here was that all these titles would be integrated at a very fundamental level so consistency was maintained across all of them. To give an example, in the past edition of Traveller, the ship design rules were written for the Core Rulebook and then High Guard was written on top of those to expand options. With this edition, High Guard was written first and then all ship-based material in the Core Rulebook was drawn from that.

This ensures there are no clashes or incompatibilities between the core set books. One follows on naturally from the others.


Traveller Creation

One of the absolute hits of the last edition was the career system and the events that tied into it, allowing players to create fully-fledged individuals who were ready to explore the universe. With a foundation that solid, we were understandably not going to change a huge amount!

Instead, guided by our internal playtesters, we have made clarifications to eliminate areas of confusion, tweaks to balance out any discrepancies and a few humble additions we hope will greatly enhance the creation process. These include;

  • Ship shares – these no longer provide a few measly percentage points on a ship. They will either get you a ship (with varying stages of mortgage paid off – and there are now rules that only one ship will be present in the party during creation) or are considered an investment, adding to your pension.
  • The pre-career education that appeared in past supplements such as Mercenary II has been refined and is now part of the core rules.
  • The Prisoner career has been added to the core book and yes, there are several Events and Mishaps that will send you straight there.
  • Proper rules have (finally!) been added to handle the changing of assignments within a career. So, if you are an Agent you might start off in Law Enforcement, but you now have a path to the world of corporate espionage!


Skills and Tasks

This is a very important area of the core rules and while we have not made substantial changes in the way the rules work, we have tweaked how they flow.

The skill list itself has been revised to make more sense and create characters who will be a little more capable. For example, Computers, Comms, Sensors and Remote Ops are no longer separate skills but have become specialities of Electronics. This means that anyone with the Electronics skill has at least some chance of being able to use an electronic device – not an unreasonable assumption in a technological society that has interstellar travel.

We also took a good, long look at that old standby, the 2D task resolution system.

Now, with just 2D controlling the fates of characters, you have to be very, very careful about what modifiers can be included or you can easily end up with automatic successes and failure – not very exciting during a tense situation in a game. We recognised this and wanted to lay down a foundation that not only flowed well for the Core Rules, but on which future supplements could be based.

To this end, there are three factors involved in every task check in Traveller.

First, the referee or adventure sets the Difficulty of the check. This is done in exactly the same way as the last Traveller, except that instead of imposing a modifier, it directly affects the target number – so, an Average check needs 8+, Difficult needs 10+, and so on. The maths are exactly the same as before but doing it this way round allows the referee to keep the target number (and thus difficulty) hidden from the players.

Next, Dice Modifiers are imposed. The change in this addition is that (referee fiat aside), DMs are always hard-wired into the rules, never imposed by circumstance. So, being strong might grant you DM+1 to lift something heavy, but being able to do so accurately in a howling gale does not affect this. That would be covered by…

…Boon and Bane dice. These are extra dice the players roll alongside their normal 2D under the direction of the referee. In a nutshell, the referee no longer has to determine Dice Modifiers on the fly, simply whether the circumstances are beneficial (have a Boon dice) or adverse (use a Bane dice). This has the dual effect of making the game flow faster and removing the reliance on DMs placed upon a 2D roll.



The use of skills and checks has a knock-on effect with attack rolls, and you will find everything maintains compatibility throughout; if you know how to perform a skill check, you know how to fight in combat.

The big change here is the integration of Travellers, vehicles and starships into one combat system that flows effortlessly between all three, always a muddy area in the last edition. You can now fly your Corsair through a system, destroy the orbiting defence stations, then descend into the atmosphere to dogfight the aerospace fighters. A critical hit system for ships and vehicles allows you knock out vital systems in your opponent’s craft, while an expanded action system will give everyone on board something to do in battle.

And yes, starship captains will now be worrying about the amount of Power available to them. In most situations, it will not be a factor (and this will not intrude on gameplay) but if you overload a trader with high-powered weaponry or take damage to your power plant, you’ll be screaming down the comms to your engineer to give you more power!


Encounter and Dangers

A lot of the rules in this chapter will seem very familiar to players of the past edition but, again, we have made additions and tweaks that integrates everything into a much more cohesive framework that will translate into smoother play. For example, proper rules have been added for adverse gravitational effects and the quick character creation system pioneered by 2300AD has been brought into the Core Rulebook.

We have also made changes to the way animals are handled, making their creation a thing of simplicity for referees; come up with a concept for your creature, assign Hits and Attacks, then add Traits and you are done. The Traits for animals handle special abilities such as heightened senses or psionic capability and we will be adding to them in future supplements – especially useful as they are also used for alien species, forming another common bond within the mechanics of the game.


Internal Playtesting

A great deal of playtesting has gone into Traveller, long before we could look at releasing a beta version. Our playtesters were recruited from across the Traveller community and were divided into four separate and distinct categories, with communication between the categories limited throughout the initial playtest stages to allow us to make ‘blind’ tests. These categories were;

  1. The PTB, Marc Miller’s own Inner Circle with notables such as Colin ‘2300AD’ Dunn. These were the gatekeepers, so to speak, the Powers that control the canon of the Traveller Universe.
  2. The crew from Digital Arc Systems. These are the chaps working on the Traveller Suite Software package (check out which integrates the use of tablets and laptops with the table top game. This ensured there would be no hiccups in translating the rules to the screen.
  3. Third party publishers. Early on, we brought on board the leading publishers who had produced third party products for Traveller. We felt that the input of people who had a financial stake in Traveller would be invaluable (far less likely to hand wave anything) and, in return, they would have a front row seat in developing products for the new edition.
  4. For the final group, we trawled the Traveller forums (both our own and other sites) for the most passionate, dedicated, opinionated and yes, pugnacious Traveller players – those we believed could be relied upon to tell us exactly what was wrong with any proposed rule and not to be soft about it! As I told them from the start, we were not looking for Yes-Men, we wanted players who genuinely wanted Traveller to be the best game it could possibly be.

We are now ready to receive comments and suggestions from the wider Traveller player base through the Beta Playtest Core Rulebook, and we have already set up forums to handle your comments (you will find them here). We will read every comment made and, where possible, either integrate your suggestions or at least try to explain why certain things will not work. All we ask is that you keep things civil!


A New Sector

Creating new worlds and universes has always been a staple of Traveller, and you will find planet creation in this Core Rulebook with a few minor tweaks. However, we also wanted to provide a complete subsector (with patrons!) to give starting players an area to immediately explore and start adventuring in with their newly created Travellers.

Enter the Sindal subsector.

Traditionally, Traveller books have always gravitated towards one of two areas within the Third Imperium – either the Solomani Rim or, far more commonly, the Spinward Marches.

Now, both will be represented in the new Traveller but, to kick things off, we fancied it was time for a change so we are heading Rimward – to the Trojan Reach.

This will be an area of space instantly familiar to anyone who has been playing the epic (and free!) Pirates of Drinax campaign, and it lies directly next to the Spinward Marches, making it easy to bring existing Travellers down into it or send new Travellers up to use your existing Marches sourcebooks.

As one-time Traveller writer Gareth Hanrahan once said, if the Spinward Marches are the frontier, then the Trojan Reach is the Badlands.

That just seems a more exciting place to be, and we hope veteran Traveller players will take the journey with us to this sector where men are real men, women are real women and furry Aslan are… well, you get the idea. This is a sector where danger rules, the machinations of huge empires are present but not cloying, and adept or lucky Travellers can carve out their own future without having massive implications for the setting as a whole (well, unless you want them to have that effect…).

We will getting behind the Trojan Reach in a big way over the next few years, so strap yourselves in, check your lasers, and hit the jump controls.

What is Next?

As well as the Core Rulebook we have, as mentioned earlier, also been developing High Guard, Central Supply Catalogue, the Vehicle Handbook and the Traveller Companion. All of these will be available as drafts for playtesting to those of you who dive into the Beta Core Rulebook.

Of these, most will be familiar to veteran Travellers, but one bears a closer look.

The Traveller Companion is our ‘odd bits’ book, the ‘toolkit’ book. Basically, it contains all the rules and additions that did not quite fit in the Core Rulebook and is intended for referees wanting to create their own universes or put a spin on an existing one. These would include, to give just the briefest of examples, varying character creation systems, new approaches to various skills and their specialities, introducing new characteristics, using an abstract wealth system rather than counting credits, variant technologies, alternate planet creation rules, and a host of new ways of creating aliens and animals.

It is a dip in/dip out book, a toolkit that will allow referees to fine tune their own Traveller games to avoid being locked in by one play style or another.

It is our intention to complete the playtest period around Christmas, with the Core Rulebook released in printed form around March 2016.

For the next six months, we will be releasing one Traveller hardback every month, culminating with a brand new Traveller starter set aimed for Gen Con next year. This ensures dedicated Traveller players will be able to get their hands on the ‘core set’ of books as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

Beyond that, we are adopting a very different path for Traveller, with one hardback book appearing every 3-4 months. It is our intention to ramp up the quality of this line, in terms of both presentation and mechanics, and that takes time. This will likely be supplemented by smaller ebook-only releases, but the core range will remain full colour hardback.

The other change we are making as part of the Traveller line up; we are removing hard deadlines and replacing them with strong guidelines. Basically, books will be coming out when we deem them ready and not before.

We believe that with the combination of these approaches, the bar for quality will be raised to the highest point on Traveller, with each book becoming a solid ‘must-have’ for the dedicated Traveller player.

The Far Future is looking bright!


Future of Traveller

Beyond the new edition, we have lots of exciting projects in the works for Traveller. I have already mentioned the RPG suite from Digital Arc Systems which will integrate all supplements into a seamless digital aid – but I will let those chaps cover what they are doing in far finer detail.

The Trojan Reach will be a focus for us as a setting within the Third Imperium, and the Pirates of Drinax campaign will be getting the luxury hardback/full colour treatment next year as befits this truly marvellous epic. The sector will also be the base for any PC or console games that may or may not be in the works.

Beyond that, we have a brand new setting waiting in the wings that has been dubbed Walking-Dead-meets-Firefly, and our journey through the Third Imperium will continue, starting with a Tour of major worlds in several sectors, penned by Traveller-fan-favourite, Martin Dougherty.

The Far Future begins to look even brighter!

You can pick up your copy of the beta playtest pack here.

Bringer of War 2015

On May 23rd of this year, Mongoose is throwing open its doors to host Bringer of War ’15, a one-day tournament for Warhammer 40,000.

Why Warhammer 40,000? Because here at Mongoose we love all games, not just our own, and we have been Warhammer fanatics for years!

You can download the full tournament pack HERE.


Players will take part in 3 games over the course of the day. We shall be using 7th edition rules, with 2 missions to be revealed on the day, and a chance to use an Altar of War mission of your choice.


How Do I Sign Up?

There are 24 places available on a first come, first served basis. The minimum age for players is 18 years, and the ticket price is £12. Payment can be made via PayPal to

Unfortunately we can only confirm your place once we have received your entry fee and tickets are non-refundable, so please make sure you can make it before committing to buying a ticket.

Where Is It?

This tournament will be located at Mongoose’s HQ, on the first floor of 52-54 Cricklade Road in Swindon.

The full address is:

Mongoose Publishing
52-54 Cricklade Road

You can find a map HERE.

Snacks and drinks are available on site, and there are several restaurants, cafes and fast food places within walking distance.


Are There Prizes?

Indeed there are. There will be a cup for the winner and Games Workshop have kindly donated prizes.


Cut to the Chase – What Armies can we use?

The following rules must be obeyed when creating an army for this tournament.

  • Armies must be chosen to a maximum of 1,500pts.
  • All current Codexes are permitted, including electronic-only editions such as Codex: Adepta Sorotitas and Imperial Armour army lists such as Ork Dread Mobs.
  • All armies must be Battle-Forged. Codex-specific detachments (such as the Nemesis Strike Force from Codex: Grey Knights) are permitted.
  • Allied detachments are permitted but no Come the Apocalypse allies may be taken.
  • Formations and Dataslate units are permitted.
  • An army may have a maximum of one Super Heavy or Gargantuan unit.
  • Forge World units found in Imperial Armour books are permitted. Forge World units with only experimental rules are not.

Armies MUST be fully painted and based, which means a minimum of three base colours (not including undercoat), and at least sand or flock on the base.

There are rewards and penalties for painting. WYSIWYG is required, even for free upgrades.

If you have any questions about what is permitted and not, please feel free to drop us a line at and we’ll get right back to you!


We look forward to seeing you on the day!

State of the Mongoose 2014

The State of the Mongoose is our yearly review of what has been happening behind the scenes at Mongoose, and a look ahead for our plans for the next twelve months. We have always tried to be as open with our fans as possible, and we know some of you are keen readers of this address!

You are welcome to make any comments or ask any questions regarding this address here on our forums.


Review of 2014

After the issues of 2013, we had a major change in the way we did business, and we started implementing a new approach to manufacturing games. This was instigated by the closure of our US-based facilities where miniatures were manufactured and our main warehouse was located.

From this point, miniatures games would effectively be designed for production by other companies, such as Judge Dredd produced by our friends at Warlord Games. Roleplaying games, for the greater part of this transition, would be ebook only but we were always looking for a partner who would be willing to print, sell and distribute our RPGs in a similar fashion to the arrangements we had for our miniatures games.

This would be a big change from the ‘do it all ourselves’ approach but it led to two main structural differences; first, it greatly reduced our monthly expenditure by an order of magnitude (at least) which in turn made Mongoose a far more stable company, able to weather the worst the global economy could throw at it. Second, these reduced infrastructure costs now meant the greater part of our expenditure could now be applied directly to the games we were producing – this meant more time could be spent on books, the best sculptors hired and production values (including artwork) could be placed front and centre.

A third difference was lower in priority but we knew it would leverage great benefits – in the past, we have traditionally gone to other companies (be they other games companies or big film studios) and paid them to produce games based on their material. Where possible, we would reverse this and engineer deals where other companies would come to us and pay for the privilege to use our material.

In all, it took us about 18 months to enact all these changes and the final pieces are still falling into place. However, it is all looking very good thus far.

As an aside, a variety of staff changes mean that, aside from myself, in 2014 Mongoose became an all female company. Which is nice for me.


Roleplaying Games 2014

We found a suitable partner to pass the production and distribution of our RPGs to in the latter half of 2014 – Studio 2 Publishing, under the leadership of Jim Searcy. Jim is very much one of the good guys in the RPG industry, as all the recommendations we received about him attested to. By going through Studio 2, we completely cut out any aspect of distribution and trade sales, greatly reducing our costs and administration overheads.

It also meant an end to our ebook only approach to RPGs – while ebooks are becoming ever more popular in this part of the hobby, we always knew revenue was being left on the table while we were not in the full printed market. Studio 2 fulfilled this completely and our books can now be found on the shelves of all good games stores, including many of those that were originally available only as ebooks.

The other big event for RPGs in 2014 was, of course, the Paranoia Kickstarter. It took us over a year to get the wheels turning on this one as all our ducks slowly waddled into a line, but it was clearly worth it – blowing way past the expectations of everyone involved. Well over 4,000 of you rallied to support this project which was somewhat humbling! More on Paranoia a little later but the success of this project meant we could take an approach to Paranoia that will ensure this is the best edition of the game yet.


Miniatures Games 2014

We continued with the release of new models for the Judge Dredd miniatures game (via Warlord Games) throughout 2014, culminating in the first supplement for the game, Blood on the Streets.

It was our intention to polish off the last models promised during the Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper Kickstarters, and came so very, very close to accomplishing that. We now have only a handful of sets to do for each range, and are looking to complete them around March-ish.

And yes, if we ever do another miniatures-based Kickstarter we will indeed be taking a very different approach…

Beyond that, all our work on miniatures games was behind the scenes as we worked on the development of new titles for Warlord and other companies.


Mongoose 2014

Compared to 2012, where things looked a little bleak and 2013, where we started to rally, the end of 2014 sees Mongoose roaring out of the gate and much, much more confident. This will translate into better games, better books and better miniatures, with more support for all of them.

So, what will this mean for 2015 and beyond?



Via Studio 2, we are still in the process of releasing books in print that were previously only available as ebooks, with titles such as Cosmopolite, the career book covering Citizens and Scholars, being among the big hitters. However, we have not been idle during this period and we already have a number of new books waiting in the wings or just reaching completion.

For example, two new career books are currently being worked on, which was a nice surprise for us – after all, Cosmopolite marked the end of expansion for the careers in the core rulebook. Where could we go from there?

Well, first up is Pirate, a book that takes the core mechanics of the Pirates of Drinax campaign and opens them right up to any campaign. A full campaign system is included in this book allowing players to legitimately (?) do what many Traveller players really want to do during games anyway! This time round, though, the mechanics are there to support them, allowing players to create safe ports and build up contacts that will point the way to nice, fat traders, while the referee has all the tools he will need to set bounty hunters and Navy squadrons on their tails…

The next ‘career’ book that will appear is Alien, a title that allows players (and referees!) to create minor alien races from scratch as part of the character creation process. Whether you are after Narn or Klingon variants or want to create your own bizarre furry creatures from Alpha Centuri, Alien will be the book for you.

Speaking of the Pirates of Drinax, we have made an agreement with the writer, Gareth Hanrahan, to complete the entire campaign within the next few months. If you have not yet taken a look at the Pirates of Drinax, I implore you to now – as a gamer, I would say this is turning out to possibly be the very best campaign written for any RPG. It is an open sandbox campaign with a nicely defined main story arc that could be completed in maybe 6 months – or go on for years. We know of some groups that have played for a year and only gone through the first two adventures.

Best of all, Pirates of Drinax (like Secrets of the Ancients) is completely free for download, though once complete we will go back through it, do some revisions, and release it as a bona fide hardback.

You can also look forward to a brand new ‘ships’ book in the first quarter of 2015 and yes, we believe Droyne will appear in 2015!

Beyond all of this, there are some major projects being worked on for Traveller which, we hope, will prove to be major hammer blows for the game. Those of you who keep an eye on our Facebook page will have seen some experiments we have been doing in the presentation of deck plans (full 3D) but this is the merest tip of the iceberg in our plans. The overall aim is to vastly improve both the presentation and playability of Traveller, switching from doing 2-3 ebooks every month to producing one printed book every 2-3 months. This will be accompanied by a major change (and improvement!) to the artwork and graphical design of Traveller, the area we have received the most calls for change.

This will take most 2015 to accomplish, but you will see the first fruits of our endeavours in the summer – for many years we have had calls from Traveller fans to do an ‘intro to the Third Imperium’ book and this summer will see that book finally appear, presented as a tour across the Imperium, featuring many different worlds in a variety of sectors. Each stopover will allow us to burrow down into the way the Imperium functions, from the most vicious of smugglers to the highest of nobility (you will have a chance to attend a function in the Imperial Palace!)

The key development will be the presentation of this book, and we are aiming to make it truly special, whatever flavour of Traveller you currently enjoy. Written by Traveller-favourite Martin Dougherty, this (so far unnamed) Third Imperium introduction will be a full colour hardback, with gorgeous subsector and planetary maps, Imperial uniforms, merchant company ship colours and oodles of other material never yet seen – we are very much aiming for this book to be the best looking Traveller book released so far. We will then be aiming to beat it with every subsequent Traveller release.



The 2300AD setting is almost as popular as the Third Imperium and its fans are every bit as passionate about their space adventures as those who like to dwell in the Marches.

In 2014 we finally did what we should have done long before, and appointed Colin Dunn as the official Line Developer for 2300AD. This puts all the creative development for the setting under one hat and ensures continuity will remain firm.

You will have already seen the fruits of this as other writers started working directly with Colin, with the release of titles such as Libreville and the recently appeared Liberty, and a completely revised Bayern coming very soon now. We also finally got Ships of the French Arm out of the door which we believe is the very best Traveller ‘ships’ book we have released for any setting and is a glorious hardback full of 3D generated ships and their deck plans.

The final touches are being done to the Atlas of the French Arm, whereupon work will switch to the Chinese Arm with books appearing for that later in the year. Before they appear though, expect to see the Aerospace Engineer’s Handbook, a rules-based book that is jam-packed with all sorts of space ship design mechanics that really get into the detail of craft design in 2300AD.


New Settings

In the 2013 State of the Mongoose, we mentioned three new settings for Traveller – the Wild West, In Articulo Mortis and an as yet unnamed Steampunk/Mechs/Bioshock/Darkest Africa blend. These are still all very much in the works but looking at what else is happening with Traveller it will be the bottom end of 2015 at best before you see any of them and a 2016 release is not out of the question. We’ll keep you up to speed with them, however, and release previews (likely on Facebook) as we go.



Traveller continues to suck a great deal of our RPG design time away from Legend, but we recognise how popular this system has become and are rallying the troops to support it properly.

To our great joy, a lot of the titles that had been ebook only for Legend have now appeared in print, including Elementalism and Citadel Beyond the North Wind. As I type this, Deus Vult is having the rulebooks and all major supplements printed, and Sheoloth has just appeared in print.

In 2015, Sheoloth will be getting more printed support, as will Deus Vult, a favourite setting of ours. I had intended to do the Witch Hunter’s Training Guide in 2014, opening the setting up to a new style of play, but with everything else going on I may have to hand this to another writer. Beyond that, I would very much like to see an Inquisitor’s Training Guide, but one thing at a time.

For the core line, we have a number of titles in the works, including Arms of Legend II, providing more equipment choices for campaigns which will, of course, be released as completely Open Content. A similar book suited to Deus Vult is also planned.



In the last State of the Mongoose, I mentioned that something big was on the horizon for Paranoia, and now it is fairly obvious that was the new edition, spearheaded by games design supreme, James Wallis.

From the start, we wanted to take a new approach to Paranoia, focussing on what makes Paranoia great rather than bending the ‘normal’ RPG design process to the setting – and the first reports we are getting from the playtest pack received by the Kickstarter backers all point to us getting it right!

The new game cuts through the rules bloat that developed in previous editions and presents a core that is aimed at getting to play quickly, with the emphasis on fun, relegating a lot of what was previously presented as long tables by card decks. Need a funky new item from R&D? Draw from the equipment deck. Want to quickly dish out mutant powers to the players? Got a card deck for that. And so on.

However, the cards themselves are only used as play aids, either presenting rules in a quick to reference fashion or allowing players to keep certain things hidden (by keeping cards face down) during play. The original RPG style of play is still very much there, just quicker, easier and with more doubleplus mandatory fun!

All of our efforts for Paranoia are now going into getting the box set designed and produced, with James and his team handling the rules design while here at Mongoose we are busy beavering away on the art and graphical design. We project the Kickstarter backers will be getting their box sets and additional materials around June-ish (if not before, all going well), with a retail release in the summer.

This will be quickly followed by the first supplements, of which the lucky Kickstarter backers will already have in their hands, starting with the GM’s screen (with its very special – and no doubt ‘helpful’ – players side) and the Mutant Explosion expansion deck. The Kickstarter also funded other card decks and new adventures, which will all eventually find their place on retail shelves, and talk has already begun on a brand new Paranoia expansion box set which, if the green light is given, will give many, many new ways to tease, tickle and torment players.

More on that at a later date…

The big news, however, is that after the summer retail release, Paranoia will be grown into a fully supported line. Should be easy on your wallet too!


Judge Dredd Miniatures Game

The recent release of Blood on the Streets introduced some brand new forces to the game, including the Judda and Klegg Invasion Force (a personal favourite!) which have also been released. The ABC Warriors will be joining them in the first quarter of next year, followed by the biker gangs (a street gang, apes, zombies and robots, all on bikes!), and a Brit-Cit Justice Department set which will be accompanied with a separate Brit-Cit Judge on bike release.

Beyond that, you will also see a Hondo-Cit Judge force, Eldsters and proper Mobster and Zombie Horde sets. There are also a slew of new single miniatures on the way, such as Max Normal (already previewed on Facebook), Dog Vultures, Med and Tek Judges on modified Lawmasters, Troggies, Treasure Steel and oodles more!

A great deal of focus, however, will be put upon the vehicles of Mega-City One. The Manta has just started full production at Warlord and in the first two quarters will be joined by the Pat Wagons (four variants – standard, riot, fire and grav), the Ground Car and the (frankly massive!) Mo-Pad. These, with the four biker gangs, will really get the Judge Dredd miniatures game on the road. And yes, we are looking into ways of providing you with real MC-1 roads for your tabletop! All going well, this will culminate with Death on the Megway, the second supplement for the game, which is slated to be released at the bottom end of 2015. This will include really funky rules for using vehicles at 200+ mph, as well as tying up all the rules for the models released in 2015.

Also expect to see the Rogue Trooper range formerly released in 2015, soon after the Kickstarter backers have received their armies.


Victory at Sea

We have been saying for a couple of years now that big things are in the pipeline for Victory at Sea – 2015 is the year all those plans finally become reality!

The current edition of Victory at Sea went out of print just before Christmas. It will not be coming back.

Instead, September of 2015 will see the release of the full colour hardback Victory at Sea 2.0, in conjunction with Warlord Games. This book and its range of miniatures have been at every stage designed to be the best possible World War II naval wargaming experience. The rules themselves have been in continual playtest for more than three years now and have been rigorously reviewed by our team of Official Naval Boffins, headed by one David Manley, a name that should be very familiar in naval wargaming circles.

The rulebook itself will contain all variants and refits of all warships of all the major naval powers (for reasons of space we have had to drop, for example, the Soviet fleet list, but it will reappear in the future), along with all the rules needed to cover night fighting, bad weather, the use of radar, sub-hunting and coastal invasions (the latter two of which are effectively sub-games using the Victory at Sea mechanics).

This magnificent rulebook will be accompanied by a full and diverse miniatures range. If you have been watching the Victory at Sea range develop, you have already seen the exquisite detail we have put into these 3D-designed 1/1800 scale ships, with vessels such as the Tirpitz and Nelson being some of the finest.

Our intention is to release 1/1800 miniatures of just about everything that ever floated or flew in World War II, and we have already produced aircraft, submarines and motor torpedo boats. These will be joined by every warship we can get hold of deck plans for (we import deck plans directly into our 3D software and build up the models from there to ensure the greatest level of accuracy possible) as well as landing craft, coastal batteries, coast invasion targets, harbour pieces and much, much more.

That will all take time – several years, we are projecting! However, right from the release of the core book there will be complete fleet sets available, allowing you to get straight into the action.

This release of Victory at Sea is a very, very big deal for us. A lot of man (and woman!) years have already been put into its development and our partnership with Warlord Games to bring this new edition to you probably makes this the largest miniatures project we have done yet, bar none.

However, it does not stop there…


Video Games

Last year saw the release of the Victory at Sea video game on the PC, courtesy of our friends at Evil Twin Artworks. It took about two years to get this particular ball rolling and everyone involved thought it would be an interesting game for a niche market with some potential. The game ended up being far more popular than any of us guessed!

While not exactly Call of Duty (though for a short while it beat sales of Skyrim on Steam!), Victory at Sea began to garner a lot of interest and a retail released is set for early this year, the artwork for which we previewed on our Facebook page, along with release on mobile platforms (both Android and iOS). Then it went and won the Tiga Award for its category!

All of this means you can expect to see a lot more of Victory at Sea on your computer (and phone/tablet!) screen. The WWII version is undergoing continual development, with a whole bunch of new features already added since launch. Meanwhile, we are already discussing new games covering different periods.


New Eras for Victory at Sea

We are now in a funny situation where computer games are driving tabletop games, rather than merely being developed from them. Simply put, before a computerised version of Victory at Sea can be released, we have to do the tabletop version.

The first to appear are likely Victory at Sea: Ironclad (covering the American Civil War and, likely, related eras) and Victory at Sea: Age of Dreadnoughts (WWI, updated to the new Victory at Sea 2.0 mechanics). And for those of you familiar with David Manley’s works there is a chance, no promises, of Victory at Sea: Cod Wars appearing!

In each of these cases, Mongoose will produce the rulebook which will likely first appear as an ebook edition. The computer game will be based on this and, as time and production allows, Warlord Games will later release an updated hardback edition with a full range of ships.

That is the plan, at any rate; Mongoose, Warlord and Evil Twin are all dedicated to make Victory at Sea a comprehensive platform that will cover all eras of naval wargaming, from Ancients to Modern and everything in between. This is not a plan for 2015 by any means – it is a plan for the next decade and beyond.

However, we are well on the way. The World War II edition of Victory at Sea is paving the way, and we are already at an advanced state with Ironclad (the core rules are all done and playtested, as has at least half the Union fleet), and we even have 3D models of the Monitor and Virginia complete.

If you have any interest in naval wargaming, keep an eye on this space – big things are happening. If you have not tried naval wargaming yet, then we would beg you to take a look and allow us to prove that rolling dice and watching the Bismarck disappear beneath the waves is at least as cool as blowing away space marines with plasma fire!


Partnership with Victrix

We mentioned in the last State of the Mongoose that we had been talking to several other companies with regards to designing new miniatures games. Principal among these was Victrix, a company whose miniatures I have personally been collecting and painting for a few years now.

What caught our eye was their announcement of a new range of 1/100 scale WWII aircraft with adjustable flight stands.

This was just what we had been waiting for someone to do.

Way, way back in Mongoose’s past, we had pre-painted ultramodern miniatures game called Battlefield Evolution (which has since been developed into, among other things, the Judge Dredd miniatures game). What we never told anyone was that we had also developed Battlefield Evolution 3D, a WWII game that used plastic aircraft on, yes you have guessed it, adjustable flight stands.

A confession first. I am a complete prophead. As a child, I drooled over every book on aircraft I could get my hands on. I played just about every flight simulator ever released for hour upon hour. When I was older, I took flying lessons on real aircraft. When I could not fly for real, I was heavily into radio-controlled aircraft (recently picked up a twin-engine A-26 Invader!). And my Airfix collection could sink a full-size carrier.

In short, I know more about aviation than I do about Star Wars. And that is saying something.

When it came to the tabletop, however, despite playing just about everything released, I never found anything that properly represented dogfights. The mechanics had to be simple and, most importantly, fast. You had to be able to move and attack with a plane in seconds, and anyone passing the table should be able to see the aircraft climbing and turning, watching the dogfight unfold between them.

Now, for all sorts of reasons, we had issues with production and, especially, the design of the flight stands. To hear someone had cracked that side of the problem was interesting to say the release…

So, we dropped a quick line to Victrix to see if they had any desire to see a well-produced full colour hardback rulebook to support these new models. And that is where the avalanche started.

It turned out that the guys at Victrix were interested in producing games for all their miniatures lines…


Warriors of Antiquity

By this time, the Victrix aircraft, while announced, were still some ways from actual release (the first have just come out!). However, they had plenty of other miniatures lines that needed supporting.

So, planned for a grand launch at Salute in 2015 is Warriors of Antiquity: Warbands of the Ancient World.

The original design brief for this game was to take the current Judge Dredd rules (themselves a development of Starship Troopers and Battlefield Evolution) and turn them into a set of rules based in the Ancient world.

As it turns out, the saying that a plan never survives contact with the enemy was apt here.

Victrix was not after a set of mass battle rules for Ancients line. Rather, they wanted a focus on small scale skirmishes – the countless battles that took place throughout history but were never reported. All those fights along the border, the cattle raids, ambushes and sneak attacks.

However, as we worked on Warriors of Antiquity, pretty much throughout 2014, the setting started having an impact on the mechanics (as it always does) to the extent that while its roots in the Battlefield Evolution rules are still recognisable (four action system, traits and Talents, for example) it plays very differently, with more of an emphasis on heroes leading small units (5-30 models in size).

The real joy for me is that we have succeeded in having more models on the table than in Judge Dredd (a starting warband has about 40-50 models, depending on what you take) but an average game between players who know the rules still takes about 20-30 minutes. With the full campaign system included in the rulebook, this means you can get several games done during an evening and watch your warband grow and your heroes develop!

If you have any interest in the Ancient world, this is one to watch our for. The rulebook is a glorious full colour hardback which contains more than 30 different scenarios (many designed for specific warbands, so they will fight on the tabletop as they did in history) and a wide choice of warbands, from the Athenians, Spartans and Thebans, to Republican Rome, Carthage and the ‘barbarian tribes’ (separate warband lists are provided for Britons, Gauls, the Germanic tribes and Iberians).

Warriors of Antiquity will continue to be supported as Victrix release more of their miniatures, and we hope to have a free PDF available bringing an entirely new (but very familiar!) warband to the game soon after launch!


More Games From Victrix

I mentioned that WWII dogfighting game earlier – this is Fight for the Skies, currently scheduled for a summer release when a few more aircraft have appeared. We have already taken the old Battlefield Evolution 3D rules and updated them to be a more modern design that utilises the specific design of Victrix’s flight stands and have been engaging in some furious dogfights in the office! We are now working on rules for bombers, ground attack, aces and campaigns to make this a fully-fledged game.

With a release date yet to be set, we are also due to start work on March of Eagles, a Napoleonics-based battle level game that will get you playing with potentially huge armies yet doing so with very quick and easy to learn rules. More news on this as it develops.

There are also several long-ranged projects that we have been discussing with Victrix but they are not realistic for 2015 and, as it stands, we have enough to be getting on with on this front!


Other Stuff

It is the nature of the beast, but there are some things that have been left out of this State of the Mongoose, mostly due to a lack of firm ground or the need to get several ducks properly in line before we can move ahead. There is much that has been left unsaid about Traveller, certainly, and we could fill an entire address with all the plans, large and small, we have for this game. Traveller remains very firmly as one of our most favourite of games, and you can be sure we will be ploughing much of our time, energy and (above all) passion into this one.

Beyond that, we have the manuscript of a novel based on one of our properties on the desk of a major US publisher right now – maybe something will come of that, maybe it won’t. Last year we produced a TV pilot script based on one of our games. I really don’t think anything will come of that, but you never know!

We are also courting a proposal for a new computer game that is not based on Victory at Sea, one that has some serious names behind it, a seven-figure development budget and a direct targeting of both PC and consoles. Putting my finger in the air, I do think something will come of this, but I also believe it will be a couple of years at best before anything solid can be presented. It is in the nature of these things to take time.


2015 and Beyond

The past couple of years have not been the most awesome in Mongoose’s history, it has to be admitted, but 2014 saw a real turnaround and we are fairly exploding into 2015, eager, willing, and full of energy to produce the best games we can. Everyone at Mongoose has rededicated themselves to raising the bar in terms of both development and production quality for all our games, across the board.

As always seems to be the case, some of these new directions will take a year or more to bear fruit. Others you will see fairly quickly. However, we have a new development and scheduling system in place and will be in a position to provide you with a lot more feedback on what is happening and when behind the scenes.

So, as we head into a new year, it just remains for me to thank each and every one of our fans. Your faith and support has sustained us through the years of global recession, and we are looking forward to providing you with some of the best gaming experiences possible in 2015, both in roleplaying and miniatures games.

See you all at the gaming table!


Blood on the Streets

This December the first supplement for the Judge Dredd miniatures game will be arriving in your local games store – Blood on the Streets!

This supplement is jam-packed with lots of new rules, forces, Mercenaries, Talents, Heroes – and a brand new way of playing scenarios in your campaigns!

There are some great new Talent trees with which you can continue to customise the Heroes in your force. Some are serious additions while others are a bit more… fun! This new Futsie tree is a great example, allowing you to make your Hero absolutely mad – many citizens of Mega-City One cannot stand the fast-paced life of the city and with no employment to keep them occupied, some just snap and completely lose it. As you start on this Talent tree, you will find your Hero does not always do what you expect but as you continue to pick up Futsie Talents, he will gradually start to perform (a little) more reliably and gain the benefits of madness to boot!

Other Talent tress in Blood on the Streets make Heroes more effective when they lead Mobs, allow the customisation of Lawgivers, permit you to field Judge snipers, and control heavy vehicles more competently. There is even one that reflects long term exposure to the Cursed Earth to add some useful mutations, including latent psychic abilities meaning almost any force can now have a psyker on their side. Speaking of psykers, the new Living Weapon Psi-Talent tree now allows them to shape their bodies into something extremely lethal…

There have been lots of new miniatures released since the main rulebook, and Blood on the Streets provides rules for them all, from single models such as the Acc-Div Judge and Max normal, to full blown forces.

The Judda are here (the Judda box set will be released very soon and are on pre-order now!), twisted Judges created by genetics-master Morton Judd as his weapon against Mega-City One, along with the Mechanismo Strike Force (originally available as a playtest force here on Planet Mongoose!), the Klegg Invasion Force (Klegg-hai!), and the ABC Warriors…

However, the real gem of Blood on the Streets are all the new scenarios – 75 of them!

When playing a campaign with the main rulebook, you choose a scenario and then challenge one of the other players to a fight. Not any more!

With Blood on the Streets you challenge any player in the campaign (so you can still have a drop-in/drop-out campaign without requiring every player to be present every night), but you now roll on the Standard Scenario table to decide what kind of battle you will be having. There are 9 different scenarios on this table, covering demolition jobs, turf grabs, and the like.


Either player (or both!) can announce that they want to roll on their own force’s unique scenario table. The players dice off and the winner gets to choose which scenario table is used. Every force now has its own special scenario table, with scenarios that reflect its own background in 2000AD, its place in Mega-City One and its ‘personality’. So, you force wil lnow be doing the kind of things that it would really be doing in the comic strips.

So, for example, if you are an East Meg Invasion Force player, you can expect to play scenarios that reflect the full on Apocalypse War, marching through the streets of Mega-City One while taking important objectives, hammering the capitalist resistance as you go!

This is a favourite of ours, Not One Step Back, an order given by Kazan as things began to look shaky for the East Meg forces.

By comparison, the Apocalypse War Resistance Unit scenarios are a little more desperate, holding the line against a powerful enemy, or taking a cache of Bat Gliders to launch a silent airborne assault…

Of course, while every force (including the new ones, such as the Judda and Kleggs!) has its own scenarios, there is nothing to stop us (or you!) adding more. For example, in the future we might look at variant Justice Department scenario tables, each one focussing on a different aspect of what the Judges do and how they patrol the streets of Mega-City One. We already have in mind new scenario tables that can be used by any force that has a lot of bikes or heavy vehicles. And what about scenario tables that depict battles taking place on alien worlds? The possibilities are endless and will really open up the Judge Dredd miniatures game to a whole new range of games!

Blood on the Streets will be available before Christmas as a glorious full-colour hardback book and you can pre-order your copy here.

If you want to find out more about Blood on the Streets, we have prepared two preview downloads for you, including a full Contents list so you can see exactly what is in the book! You can grab these previews here and here.

The Judda box set has also just gone up for pre-order and will also be available before Christmas – you can grab your own force of twisted Judges here!

The Battle Scooter

With the imminent release of German Vehicles of World War II and the forthcoming Mercenary Second Edition, it seems like the perfect time to do this, the Battle Scooter. This is a real world vehicle used by the French in the 50’s (though I oh so wanted it to be true that the French Resistance used them during the Second World War!), and it is just brilliant. A scooter with a bazooka. Just doesn’t get better than that. This scooter looks really great that some manufacturers even produced electric versions of this look. Check out ScooterAdviser‘s review  on it.

In terms of Traveller, this is a very cheap vehicle with which to equip mercenary forces – and given how expensive mercenary forces can be to run (as you will soon see in the new book), a low-priced attack vehicle is just the ticket. Its handy size also means it will not take up much room in the cargo bay of a scout or trader who needs an escort for the ATV…

And yes, we are choosing to ignore the fact that, in real life, the recoilless rifle was removed from the scooter before shooting. We want your characters to be bombing round the combat zone, letting rip with these rounds!

Battle Scooter

Designed by the French after the Second World War, a scooter (a Vespa 150 TAP) was married to a three inch recoilless rifle capable of destroying light armoured vehicles. It was used by airborne troops who could be dropped into a combat zone and have not only immediate mobility but could also engage enemy vehicles. The battle scooter also had the advantage of being very cheap.

Vehicle TL Skill Agility Speed Range Crew/ Passengers Cargo Open Hull Structure Cost (Cr) Shipping size
Battle Scooter 5 Drive (wheeled) +1 70 100 1/1 Yes 1 1 4,860 1


Front 0
Right 0
Left 0
Rear 0
Top 0
Bottom 0


Weapon Location Damage Range Auto Ammo
Recoilless Rifle Fixed Forward 7D AP7


Long No 6

Other Equipment/Modifications: Decreased Range, Decreased Speed

Weapon TL Cost (Cr) Damage Auto Spaces Range Ammo/Space
Recoilless Rifle 5 500 7D AP7


No 1 Long 3

Recoilless Rifle: The forerunner of the RPG, the recoilless rifle is typically mounted on vehicles or used upon a tripod to defeat enemy armour. It comes with a choice of AP or HE rounds.

Turf Grab – A Judge Dredd Battle Report

A street gang of punks and juves known as the Dusty Rainmakers have been terrorising the citizens living on City Bottom of Sector 27 for several weeks – this was not something the Justice Department could tolerate, and a patrol of Judges was sent in to neutralise the problem.

Must be time for a battle report!


Turf Grab

This is a battle report featuring a typical first game in an ongoing campaign, using forces built according to the standard rules in the Core Rulebook, to a maximum value of 500 Credits. The Turf Grab itself is a simple scenario, with forces either trying to capture as much territory on the table as possible or, failing that, wiping the opposing force out completely!


The Justice Department

The Justice Department player (a nice chap called James) has gone for a nicely balanced force. The Street Judges may be the ‘standard’ Judge, but they pack a real wallop with their standard issue armour and Lawgiver sidearms. The Riot Judge is a solid close combat model, but players should not forget they also come with the same Lawgiver as Street Judges!

Judge Smith

Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Judge Smith 5” +1 +2 +2 2D +1 +5 2

Type: Level 1 Infantry Hero

Talents: Aim, Leg Shot

Equipment: Boot Knife, Day Stick, Lawgiver, Standard Issue Armour, Stumm Gas Grenades


Judge Wessen

Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Judge Wessen 5” +1 +1 +1 2D +1 +5 3

Type: Level 1 Infantry Hero

Talents: Judicial Prodigy, Skilled and Deadly

Equipment: Boot Knife, Day Stick, Lawgiver, Standard Issue Armour, Stumm Gas Grenades


Riot Judge Grant

Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Riot Judge Grant 5” +1 +1 +2 2D +2 +7 2

Type: Level 1 Infantry Hero

Talents: Headbreaking, Shield Bash

Equipment: Boot Knife, Day Stick, Lawgiver, Riot Armour, Riot Shield, Stumm Gas Grenades


The Dusty Rainmakers

The street gang player (Alan, a long-time playtester for Mongoose) has chosen an interesting combination of models, and it seems his plan is clear. There is a great variety of tactics possible for street gangs but Alan has opted to go with two hard punk heroes leading a number of lesser juves, no doubt thinking to swamp the Judges with juves while his leader, Dead Eye Bron, picks them off at long range as a sniper. Meanwhile, his lieutenant, Indian Jo, will be using a combination of pyrokinetic psychic powers and a spit pistol, a weapon known in the game for being a Judge Killer.

Dead Eye Bron

Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Dead Eye Bron 5” +1 +1 +0 2D +0 +6 2

Type: Level 1 Infantry Hero

Talents: Accurate, Crackshot

Equipment: Long Rifle, Sports Armour


Indian Jo

Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Psi Armour Hits
Indian Jo 5” +1 +0 +0 2D +1 4 +4 2

Type: Level 1 Infantry Hero

Talents: Incinerating Finger, Resist Flames

Equipment: Concussion Grenades, Pad Armour, Spit Pistol



Move Agility Shoot Melee Melee Dice Will Armour Hits
Juve 5” +1 -1 -1 2D +0 +3 1

Type: Infantry Minion

Equipment: Leathers, Handgun and either a Knife or Club


As any good player should, Alan has named his seven Juves; Jim Gint, Phil ‘the Hacker’ Jones, Geoff ‘Cookie’ Smith, Fred White, Andy ‘Loud’ McCarthy, Lady Death, and Simeon Down.

The Juves are all classed as Minions, which means they do not get any Talents and do not accrue experience during a campaign. Then again, they are cheap and easily replaced!


Turn One

With the forces prepared, it was time for the battle! In Judge Dredd, turns are divided into Phases, with each player taking a Phase and performing actions with all of his models before his opponent does the same. Most models have two actions in each Phase, choosing between Shoot, Move, Melee, and Special each time.

Judges: James got the initiative for his Judges, and so they took the first Phase of the first turn! The Dusty Rainmakers were clearly expecting a judicial response and, wary of the number of opponents they faced, the Judges advanced cautiously, with only Judge Wessen left in the open as he moved below the walkway.

Street Gang: The gang moved to meet the Judges, ever conscious their handguns were somewhat out-ranged by the Judges’ Lawgivers. All except Dead Eye Bron, of course, who obviously prefers to ‘supervise’ from the rear! On top of a factory, Bron lined up the advancing Judge Wessen. He opened fire but, despite trying twice and having the Accurate talent (which allows Alan to re-roll misses with Bron), he missed!


Turn Two

Judges: As keepers of the Law, Judges cannot just go around shooting anyone they wish – instead, they have to try to arrest Lawbreakers before opening fire. With this in mind, Judge Grant ran round the corner of a Munce Burger Bar to order Indian Joe to lay down her weapons and get on the ground, and got two fingers in return (as a Hero, Indian Joe can ignore Arrest checks, but a Judge must still attempt them – it is the Law, after all).

Meanwhile, in the centre of the battlefield, Judge Smith ordered the juve Fred White to surrender. Obviously terrified at having met a Judge for the first time, Fred threw up his arms and is removed from the table, no longer in the fight. First casualty to the Judges, and they did not even need to fire a shot!

On the Judges’ right flank, Wessen considered his position in the open and ducked back under the walkway to take cover behind an abandoned truck.

Street Gang: Reassessing her situation, Indian Jo retreated from the Riot Judge to re-deploy nearer the centre of the battle, while Jim Gint tried to shoot Judge Smith with his handgun. His inexperience showed, and Judge Smith nimbly took cover from the fire.

Judge Wessen hunkered down behind the vehicle as both Down and the Hacker opened fire on his position. Down missed wildly but Hacker managed to get a rare critical hit – in Judge Dredd, critical hits cause double damage which will kill most starting Judges outright. Fortunately, Wessen was behind the abandoned truck (cover grants a bonus to Armour rolls) and the shot ricocheted down the street!

Dead Eye Bron Relocates

Dead Eye Bron found he had no targets, as the Judges had become wise to his sniping position, and was forced to relocate behind a barricade across a nearby road, in the hope he would have a better angle later on.


Turn Three

Judges: Riot Judge Grant advanced to cut off Indian Jo’s retreat, while Judge Smith opened up on the Hacker (he had already opened fire on Judge Wessen, and so an Arrest check was not required – though James still had the option of trying if he wished) with a full salvo of Standard Execution rounds. A common juve is no match for these rounds and so the Hacker would be leaving in a Meat Wagon.

Judge Wessen also used Standard Execution rounds, this time on Down, and he removed the juve with a practised shot.

Street Gang: Getting a little distressed that three of their number have now fallen to the Judges (one way or another), the juves scramble for cover and do not get any shots off at the Judges, though two try to flank Judge Wessen. Meanwhile Dead Eye Bron, heedless of the losses his Minions have taken, waits for the perfect shot…


Turn Four

Judges: Both time and space were running out for Indian Jo, as Judges Grant and Smith closed in on her from two different directions.

On the other side of the battlefield, noting the moves the juves are making to deprive him of cover, Judge Wessen retreated further under the walkway. In doing so, he caught sight of the Cookie, who had gone on Alert Status the turn before (this allows a model to react to anything that happens close to him in the enemy’s Phase – unfortunately, the Cookie got arrested before he could perform his action!) and promptly arrested him.

Street Gang: It seemed as though only a spirited counterattack could save the Dusty Rainmakers, so they rallied their (now flagging) morale and took action!

Riot Judge Grant Goes Down!

Jim Gint switched his target to Riot Judge Grant and fired – and, despite all expectations, the tiny round found a chink in the riot armour and scored a hit! Seeing the Riot Judge wounded, Indian Jo seized her chance and moved in for the kill. Summoning the power of her mind, she pointed at Grant and a stream of flame erupted from her finger to immolate the Judge (Incinerating Finger is a short-ranged and low-powered Psi Talent, but as it automatically removes one Hit on an enemy model, it is good for finishing off wounded Heroes – Alan used it perfectly here).

Lady Death Flanks Judge Wessen

Meanwhile, Lady Death had succeeded in flanking Judge Wessen and, deprived of cover again, he lost a Hit to her handgun. A second shot from Andy McCarthy, however, bounced off his armour.


Turn Five

Judges: The battle has turned quickly, with one Judge as a casualty and another already wounded. In response, Judge Smith opened up on Indian Jo and scored a critical hit, taking the punk out for good.

Judge Wessen nursed his wound and returned fire upon Lady Death, but his Standard Execution rounds just gouged the walkway support she had taken cover behind. He then switched to Heatseeker rounds (the Lawgiver has a choice of seven ammunition types, from Armour Piercing to Rubber Ricochet, which makes it really fun to play with – the Heatseeker round is less powerful than Standard Execution but it ignores cover). The round whistled through the air, found its target and homed in on Lady Death, ending her otherwise promising criminal career.

Street Gang: With another juve down and lieutenant Indian Jo gone, the Dusty Rainmakers are on shaky ground – one more casualty and they will all be making Will to Fight checks to see if they stay in the fight. One juve gets a shot off at Judge Wessen but misses…


Turn Six

Judges: Their confidence restored, the Judges advance. Judge Smith flushed out Gint, who retreated (he was on Alert Status from the last turn, and opted to perform a Move action to get away from the advancing Judge, possibly hoping to draw her out into the line of fire of Bron).

Enjoying the effectiveness of Heatseeker rounds, Judge Wessen opened fire on McCarthy, and the Lawgiver worked as advertised once again, downing the juve.

Street Gang: All that was left of the Dusty Rainmakers was the leader, Dead Eye Bron, and his remaining juve Minion, Jim Gint. As their force had been reduced so severely, both were forced to take Will to Fight checks, and both failed!

The (few remaining) Dusty Rainmakers spat curses at the Judges and ran, determined to return one day and get the revenge on the Law. As for the Judges, one of their number was down but, overall, it had been a successful operation.


After Action

As this was a campaign game, we had to see what had happened to the fallen. Would they have been simply scratched in battle, or were they dead? And would the arrested juves be able to escape from their iso-cubes?

In Judge Dredd, Heroes removed as casualties roll on a table to see what their injuries are, modified by the effectiveness of the weapon that got them.

Riot Judge Grant, immolated by Indian Joe, received only light burns as it turned out, and would be back on the street patrolling with Smith and Wessen soon enough.

For her part, Indian Jo received a full burst of Standard Execution rounds into the chest which killed her,  a loss the Dusty Rainmakers will struggle to recover from.

But what of the juves? Well, Minions do not get injured as such in Judge Dredd. After all, they are only Minions, and there are loads of juves just waiting to sign up with the Rainmakers, despite their very public loss against the Judges. Instead, a simple die roll is made for each Minion who was removed as a casualty. On a 7 or more, they are returned to the force with no ill effects, but on a 6 or less, they are lost permanently.

After rolling, Alan finds that the Hacker and Down lost their lives to the Judges, but McCarthy and Lady Death both return to his force, ready to fight again.

That just leaves Fred White and the Cookie, who were both arrested. Rolling on the last chart for these two, we find that Fred White is locked securely away for the rest of his life, while the Cookie actually made an escape attempt! He will miss the next battle but will later return with just a few scratches – a lucky juve!



This was pretty typical of a battle in Judge Dredd – varied forces, very fast action, and no one really knowing who was going to win until the very last turn! James and Alan both know the rules fairly well, and managed to complete this game (including interruptions from me as I took notes for this report) in just over 20 minutes. The game really is that fast, allowing you to get several blood-filled matches in a campaign completed in a single evening.

Both the Judges and the Dusty Rainmakers have retreated and are counting the cost of the battle. Both have received Credits with which they can recruit new members to their force or upgrade the equipment of existing members. All Heroes gain XP after every battle, and Judges Smith and Wessen have both earned enough to get to Level 2, meaning they get another Hit, a characteristic of their choice will increase, and both get a new Talent too!

Then they will be ready for the next battle…

Return to the Undercity

Like many habitats in the 22nd Century, the Undercity is a sealed environment. However, unlike the strictly controlled and regulated life support systems in the domes of Luna-1 or Viking City on Mars, the Undercity is an example of a closed environment that has been allowed to run out of control, with no monitoring whatsoever to keep the various life forms and habitats in a stable condition. The dark caverns have become the epitome of ‘survival of the fittest’ – only the strongest, adaptable or most numerous creatures are capable of surviving for any length of time. Isolation from normal sunlight has also had a dramatic effect on most plant-life – few species have survived the burial of the cities. Only a few mutant species of trees and flowers have survived in isolated patches. However, many new species of fungus and mosses have become common, thriving in the decayed darkness of the streets and buildings.


There is a huge diversity of man-made structures to be found in the Undercity. When the cities were buried, homes, offices and factories were evacuated and left empty. Lack of maintenance eventually took its toll and many ancient and historic buildings have collapsed. However, some have been appropriated by Undercity dwellers who have adapted them to suit their needs. Some have been reinforced into fortresses; others have been torn to pieces and used to make new buildings.

The Concrete Sky: The great rockcrete dome that covers most of the Undercity is almost universally known, incorrectly, as ‘The Concrete Sky’. In many areas of New York, the enormous structure is so far above the ground that it is almost impossible to see, giving the impression the old city is cloaked in a particularly dark night. In other areas, the roof is only a few feet above the ground to form claustrophobic caverns that constantly drip with freezing condensation. Huge stalagmites and stalactites are beginning to form in some areas – great, teeth-like growths that block large areas of the Undercity. The concrete sky possesses terrific tensile strength as it has to support the entire Mega-City, but individual segments are actually quite brittle. Many tribes have developed the ability to tunnel through the rockcrete walls, instinctively ensuring that the stability of the structure as a whole is maintained. The concrete sky is reinforced with hundreds of plasti-steel girders, which makes it far tougher than regular rockcrete.

Philadelphian Tunnels: Philadelphia was only the second United States city to be buried beneath the Mega-City, and the designers chose to use a radically different method. Colossal vaulted chambers were built over many important buildings and every street was converted into a tunnel to form a massive labyrinth before millions of tons of rockcrete smothered the entire city. Philadelphia became a claustrophobic nightmare of a city, regularly flooded by the stinking, fetid waters of the old Delaware River and overflow from the Mega-City sewer system. The tunnel and chamber walls are rather stronger than the concrete sky that covers the rest of the Undercity but is little more than a thin covering of reinforced vaulting. The rockcrete that covers Philadelphia is considerably thicker than the most of the rest of the Undercity – in some places over a mile. Some tribes of the stunted Philadelphia trogs are nevertheless capable of excavating their own passageways through the thick walls. Some areas have become a twisting, confusing labyrinth of low burrows interconnecting with the ‘official’ tunnels.

Sewer Tunnels: Sandwiched between the Mega-City and the Undercity is the vast sewer network, a convoluted warren of interconnecting tunnels and vaulted chambers. Some have speculated that the sewer system can be used to reach all areas of the Mega-City, but only a perp with an extremely strong stomach would actually use the tunnels as a method of moving from one place to another. The design and layout of the tunnels themselves tend to vary enormously from ancient, brick built three-foot high passageways to enormous reinforced tunnels and chambers to futuristic, plasti-metal clad shafts. However, before long every tunnel begins to look the same – dark, claustrophobic and extremely smelly. There are further dangers to investigating the tunnels – it has developed its own micro-ecology of savage life forms, from the giant white gators to millions of huge, vicious rats. There is further danger – explosive methane gas, an unavoidable side effect of the decay of sewage. Many Mega-City companies make a profit mining this gas as a valuable resource but pockets tend to quickly build up in hard to reach places. If exposed to fire or an explosion (such as a gunshot) a gas pocket will detonate as if it were a hand bomb (see page 98 of the Judge Dredd Core Rulebook)  Sealed manholes are placed on City Bottom and beneath cityblocks at regular intervals to allow city maintenance teams access to the sewers – ordinary citizens must keep out of them at all times. Anyone found attempting to access the sewers without a valid permit will earn themselves a minimum of six months in the Iso Cubes should they be caught by the judges. Manhole covers are usually constructed from a durasteel alloy, firmly locked and sealed against any tampering.

Pre-Atom War Building: Much to the horror and bemusement of the citizens of Mega-City One, the majority of the shops and houses found in the old cities consist of squat, boxlike buildings a mere two or three storeys tall. Once, these were sturdy homes and places of business but the decades buried beneath the City has left little more than shattered, worn out ruins. Over the years, time has taken its toll and many old buildings have collapsed into ruin, leaving nothing but a hollow shells or broken rubble. Some buildings have survived more or less intact – these have usually been taken as homes by some of the smaller tribes. Broken masonry and scavenged materials are often used to shore up collapsing or damaged buildings, making even serviceable abodes appear to be little more than piles of rubble. A typical low-level building has two storeys, plus a basement or cellar area. The ground floor is divided into four to six rooms including a kitchen and a living room; the first floor is usually subdivided into bedrooms. The basement area most often consists of a single, large area. However, the function of any occupied building has long since been forgotten. Houses in Philadelphia suffered an even stranger fate – many were smothered in rockcrete when the tunnels were built, leaving only a single façade with only the occasional accessible room.

Pre-Atom War Sky-Rise Tower: The majestic skyscrapers that once dominated the skylines of many cities in pre-Atom War America would be regarded as quaint, low level con-apts by the residents of the giant Mega-City. Even the tallest surviving building in the Undercity – the Chrysler Building in New York – is less than a quarter of the height of an average sized cityblock. Nevertheless, these structures are still regarded as valuable resources and their ownership is usually hotly contested by many of the Undercity factions. Even collapsed or ruined skyscrapers are regarded as a valuable commodity – bricks, girders and rubble are always needed to shore-up the slowly decaying habitats occupied by the Undercity dwellers. A typical sky-rise tower stands fifty storeys tall, although only the mighty New York dome is capable of housing such a large structure. Many tall buildings are cut off by the concrete sky, their top few storeys embedded in the great mass of rockcrete.

Troggie Hut: Most varieties of troggies have become adept at constructing themselves primitive shelters. As there are no natural weather patterns in the Undercity, these huts are generally used as protection against the other residents of the underworld and are therefore reasonably tough. Troggie huts usually consist of a single room, about ten feet square with walls made from salvaged junk or the remains of an ancient building, torn apart and reassembled in typical ramshackle troggie style.

Philadelphian Trog Roundhouse: The Philadelphian trogs are rather more sophisticated than their cousins that occupy other areas of the Undercity, constructing their own, individual style of buildings that, strangely, resembles an ancient Celtic roundhouse. Philadelphian trog roundhouses are large, circular buildings constructed using ancient methods but with more modern materials – salvaged metal and brick rather than wood and leather. As they are nomadic, the Philadelphian trogs ensure that their homes can be quickly dismantled to allow them to move with ease – this is typically to escape from the floods from the black water of the Delaware river that wash through their tunnel homes on a regular basis. Naturally, these temporary and prefabricated structures are rather more fragile than a permanent structure.


Isolated from natural sunlight, very few plants thrive in the Undercity. Most forms of vegetation have withered and died in the shadows, but, like their human and animal equivalents, a few mutant species have adapted to live without ultraviolet light and heat.

Fungus: Unlike most plant life, fungus thrives in the cold, damp darkness that forms most of the Undercity. Edible forms of fungus form a staple diet of many of the less aggressive species such as the great albino pigs known as hawgs, and many areas have been cultivated into huge ‘fungus farms’ by tribes of humans and the more docile troggies. Other forms of fungus are less beneficial. Some are deadly poisonous, bringing a slow and lingering death to any foolish enough to consume it. Other species bring decay, consuming and corrupting any substance that it can gain a foothold.

Moss: Moss is probably the most common plant to be found in the Undercity. Moss requires little water and can grow almost anywhere. It tends to cover vast areas of the desolate streets and buildings of the old cities. Unfortunately, this plant has very little nutritional value, although many species – such as the pathetic sub humes known as wretches – are forced to eke a miserable existence grazing on it. Another form of moss is far more valuable – the so-called ‘glowmoss’ is a mutant species of luminescent moss, often cultivated on walls and ceilings in order to provide dim lighting.

Mutant Vegetation: Many mutant plant species have appeared since the burial of New York, although, as yet, none have become particularly common. Most tend to be weak and feeble, capable of surviving in the darkness or in the toxin saturated slime of the Big Smelly. Others are more robust – a few trees have managed to survive, and clusters of pale grass exist in isolated places. Others have developed along more sinister lines, such as the deadly Boston Strangler Vine and the parasitic Hoxton Creeper.

Dead Vegetation: Dead and decaying plants are by far the most common sight in most of the Undercity. The majority of the dark underworld was at one time rural fields and wastelands that were simply covered by the great rockcrete foundations of the Mega-City, leaving the unfortunate vegetation cut-off from vital life giving heat and light. Most of the Undercity is cluttered with dense mats of stinking mulch.


Humanity is not the only species to make a home in the Undercity, although as always they regard themselves as the most important inhabitants. Many creatures and monsters endure life in the darkness. However, there are several other forms of creatures native to the Undercity.

Rats: Rats are by far the most common inhabitants of the Undercity – some have estimated that there are over a thousand rats for every human resident. The ruins of the Undercity make an ideal home for these tiny scavengers, with thousands of nooks and crannies where they can make nests and warrens. The rats’ prolific breeding rate ensure that the Undercity dwellers never go hungry – in fact, rat has become the staple diet of nearly every creature that calls the Undercity home. However, the rats are not merely defenceless victims. The creatures posses a high level of natural cunning, and occasionally ‘gang up’ on isolated individuals, gathering together in groups of dozens or even hundreds to form a deadly tide of squirming bodies. Usually, though, they will only prey on the weak and defenceless – babies and infants are their favourite target. Many a time an un-attentive Undercity mother will leave a cradle for a few moments only to find nothing but gnawed bones and a few pitiful scraps of flesh on her return. In some areas, the rats have grown to colossal proportions – some have spoken of savage monsters the size of large dogs, or ultra-intelligent, two headed monstrosities somehow guiding the others.

Gators: No one seems sure how alligators, usually only found wild in tropical areas, came to live in the sewers of many American cities, but their existence is undeniable. Although the larger specimens have emigrated to the cleaner waters found in the Mega-City sewer system, the old sewer networks beneath most of the old cities still harbour a healthy population of gators, and the swamp-like tunnels of Philadelphia make an ideal home for the fierce beasts. Naturally, the lethal, armour plated reptiles are greatly feared by humans and troggies alike.

Werewolves: Lycanthropy actually originated in the Undercity. No one knows the whole story, but a strange pool in central park was found to contain mutagenic bacteria that could transform a human into a savage, wolf-like hybrid. Before long, many areas of New York had become overrun with the terrifying, savage monsters. Fortunately, Judge Dredd was able to eliminate the mutagenic pool and most of the werewolves, but a few managed to escape. Although far less of a threat than in previous years, werewolves are terrible opponents. Many tribes will put a great deal of effort into wiping out a werewolf nest should they discover one. Werewolves kill anything that moves, but nothing can eat the flesh of a werewolf without risking transforming into a similar creature. However, at least one tribe – the savage Grid Iron Union – take advantage of this phenomenon. Gridiron grunts have been known to deliberately eat werewolf meat in order to spark the transmogrification, so that they can become the elite ‘dogfaces’, fearsome monsters that are loosened at rival tribes before a battle. The Undercity dwellers have never had access to the cure for lycanthropy, so the transformation is permanent.

State of the Mongoose 2013

We have been crazy, crazy busy over the past few months, and this State of the Mongoose is much delayed. For that I apologise – I was considering skipping it altogether, but I seem to get an email or Facebook message every other day asking for it. Always happy to oblige, this is going to be a somewhat cut-down State of the Mongoose, rather than the usual 10,000+ word epic, but it will at least give you all a sense of what we have been doing and where we are going.


2013 Review (Abbreviated Version)

We had a number of issues in 2013, the biggest of which was that our warehouse and casting facility in Ohio had developed a number of systemic problems that resisted solution over the years. The sheer weight of the Judge Dredd Kickstarter, though managed in the initial months, ended up breaking the processes in place completely. In the end, we were faced with the choice of pouring (more) money in to solve the problem, or closing the place down.

This decision was aided by a change in the way we went about producing miniatures. We had already reached an agreement with the good chaps at Amarillo Design Bureau to pass manufacturing and sale of the A Call to Arms: Star Fleet game and models on to them, leaving us with the design of the miniatures. This, added to a very similar arrangement with Warlord Games for the Judge Dredd range whereby we designed game and miniatures while they handle manufacture and distribution, meant the only miniatures line we had left to produce ourselves was the barely started Victory at Sea range – and that simply was not enough to justify keeping an entire warehouse open.

Not that this did not create problems. The first and most powerful impact was upon the two Kickstarters we had run just a little earlier, for Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper. Moving to third parties for manufacture meant an increase in production costs that blew past the ‘buffer’ zone we had factored in for issues and emergencies, which in turn had an impact on the rest of the company as a proportion of the Kickstarter production now had to be funded from other areas.

Added to that, we had to include the truly monumental task of shipping the manufacture of a large and growing range of Dredd models from the US to the UK – in this, I cannot thank the chaps at Warlord enough, who went way beyond the call of duty to get everything ready as quickly as possible, under conditions and deadlines that were less than ideal.

All of this meant heavy delays on the Kickstarters, especially on Rogue Trooper. We apologise profusely to the backers for that – we did not foresee the circumstances that arose within production after the Kickstarters were complete, and it has taken us quite some time to get everything back under control. We are now just about there, with a great deal of Dredd models flowing out of Warlord’s production facility (as I type, another batch has just arrived), and Rogue Trooper now beginning to follow.

Then there were our RPGs, Traveller and Legend. Without a permanent base in the US, full distribution became more difficult and, for a while, we pulled out of general distribution altogether. That is why, in the US especially, you may have seen less of our books in your local stores of late.

However, we are working with another third party who already have an extensive distribution network set up, and hope to have some good news for you in the next couple of months or so.

With a concentration on design rather than production and, for a few months, digital rather than printed books, we were able to make a great many changes within Mongoose and the way we do things. Sadly, this meant the loss of some staff as our requirements for administration disappeared almost overnight (it seemed), and I made the decision to come back fully into game development, rather than just maintaining oversight of it.

As a company, we are now lean, mean and hungry – it feels like a return to the ‘old’ days!

Anyway, that was 2013. You will all now be wanting to know what is happening in 2014 for your favourite games…



Here at Mongoose, we have a real passion for Traveller. In our regular office games, we normally take pains to play games from other publishers but since Traveller was released, this has been exceedingly difficult as it often gets the vote for a new campaign!

Regrettably, the issues with the US operations did divert our attention away from Traveller a little, but we are just going through a round of commissions for new title, and I made the decision to weigh in with a new book myself, the first RPG book I have designed from start to finish for a good few years – and I am rather enjoying it!

There are actually all sorts of exciting things happening in the wider Traveller universe, but we’ll be letting Mr Miller make those announcements as they become ready. For our part, you can expect to see the following this year and early next, but we are still in the process of commissioning so expect a few surprises along the way!

Alien Modules: Droyne is still in the process of being written, so don’t panic – it has not been forgotten! While we have not yet commissioned Hivers or K’kree, we have a fairly definite plan of how to handle/portray the latter and we are going to make the herbivores seriously cool to play…

Minor Alien Modules: Suerrat is being written right now and while others have not been commissioned yet, we are always on the look out to expand this PDF series. Once we get a few in our pocket, it is likely we will release a printed compilation.

Mercenary Second Edition: About two-thirds written thus far, this is a complete re-write of the previous book. I was never really happy with the first edition and the general consensus from Traveller fans is that it is the weakest of the core books. The new edition is going to change that, with a more focussed approach to mercenaries and mercenary campaigns, rather than a general ‘military’ supplement. We have been previewing this on Planet Mongoose, so please dive in and make comments!

Space Stations: Though we skipped the numbering on this supplement with subsequent releases, we have not forgotten it! Space Stations is going through final design and layout right now, and will be appearing first as a PDF release later in April or May.

Citizen/Scholar: Likely not the final title of this book, but towards the bottom end of the year citizens and scholars will finally get their career book. It has taken us a while to get to them, but we believe we have finally got a premise for players to get the most out of these characters.

Pirates: A cross between a campaign and career book, this does for pirates what Mercenary Second edition will do for mercs – allow players to create pirate characters (or go pirate with existing characters) and give the referee enough tools to run an extended campaign quickly and easily.

Wild West: We have for some time been looking at ways to expand Traveller to other eras and settings. We experimented with the PDF-only release of Cowboys vs. Xenomorphs, and have finally commissioned a full Wild West book. Expect to see familiar Traveller character creation, patrons and ‘trading’ rules, all adapted for exploring the frontier…

Steampunk/Mechs/Bioshock/Darkest Africa: As you may have worked out, this one has not got a name yet, but writing has already started on a Steampunk-style setting for Traveller, with a few other added components for good measure. We’ll be previewing this one throughout the year.

In Articulo Mortis: Another new setting, this one is slightly more traditional in that it is set among the stars and uses many of the ‘standard’ Traveller tropes. However, it does have an awful lot of zombies in it, plenty of dead worlds and a bunch of religious nutters who currently hold the balance of power over many systems. The players will be stuck between all three. We were planning for this to be a release fairly early this year, but the new Mercenary has grabbed my attention for now. Hope to get back to this very soon, as I think it will be a cracker.

2300AD: We are starting to ramp up proper support on this line, with Ships of the French Arm in art and layout right now, with more French Arm material already being written – and then we will be taking a trip to the Chinese Arm! We have also recently commissioned a brand new re-visiting of Bayern, so long-term 2300AD fans will be keeping an eye out for that.

Epic Campaigns: Albeit slower than originally planned, the Pirates of Drinax (by Gareth Hanrahan, for my money one of the best campaigns written for any RPG, ever – and it is free to download!) continues and we are already looking at the next epic campaign, a possible prequel to Secrets of the Ancients. We are also looking at a campaign, released in quarterly episodes, designed specifically for conventions and demo teams. More news on that a little later this year. Finally, to join the Adventure books, and very much in the style of Beltstrike, we have a campaign based around the recently released Rescue Ops Special Supplement, so if you ever fancied playing a Thunderbirds-style set of games, we will have you covered!

We have oodles more in the pipeline for Traveller (I have not even mentioned the Caribbean Pirates setting book…) so sit back, and enjoy your travels among the stars.

Here is to many, many more years of Traveller-goodness!


Judge Dredd

Given how many years the comic strip has been going, we have enough source material for new models and ways of playing the Judge Dredd miniatures game for eternity! We still need to polish off deliveries for the Kickstarter backers (the end is in sight though – with the packages going out this month, we will just have the ABC Warriors, biker gangs, Judda and Nero/Assassinator Droids to do for the full sets), and we need to get the vehicles into proper, full production. The latter include the Manta Prowl Tank, which will finally go on general release this Summer, the Pat Wagon (and its variants), Banshee Interceptor, ground car and Mopad (complete with open-top swimming pool!). We also need to gather some more regular sculptors together for the range, as our current sculptors are now splitting their time between Dredd and Rogue Trooper.

That said, we have managed to squeeze in the odd new model and already sculpted and hitting the moulds, among other things, are the Long Walk Judge, Acc-Div Judge, Cadet on a Lawmaster and a new Combat Droid. For full sets, aside from the Kickstarter models listed above, expect to see this year a full Brit-Cit force, Hondo City Judges and, a personal wish of mine, Crocks/Eldsters, ready to teach the young punks of their block a good lesson!

We are also continuing to work on famous characters from the comic strip (all of which will be useable in your games, as usual), such as PJ Maybe, Call-Me-Kenneth, Red Razors, Treasure Steel, Devlin Waugh and many others!

Rogue Trooper has taken the brunt of the delays involved in closing down our US operations, but we have finally started working properly on the models. Already done (and just going through a few tweaks as I type) are the three new Rogues, which should be shipping out to backers in just a few weeks. Work has already started on the Nort and Souther squads, and we look to be on course to tie up the Kickstarter range by Autumn.



Traveller has sucked a great deal of our RPG design time away from Legend, but we are striving to bring continual new releases to the many, many fans this game has. Recently we released a new ‘magic book’ in the form of Elementalism, and this is a line I would like to see greatly extended, with GMs and players using the ‘plug and play’ mature of these books to introduce variant magic systems into their game.

We also re-released the Dark Elf setting of Sheoloth for Legend, and made it a much grimmer and darker place than before (as a city, it is thoroughly nasty…). Darren Pearce has already written the first Cults book for this setting, and he is beavering away on more supplements right now.

Deus Vult is another setting close to my heart, and the new ‘digest’ format fits it perfectly. It has had a veritable salvo of adventures added to it, and you can expect to see not only a full sourcebook on the city of Rouen this year (likely around June), but also a new direction to take campaigns, with the Witch Hunter Training Guide…


We have been saying for a while now that Paranoia is on a temporary rest and that something big and new and exciting is about to appear. We are currently running a few months behind on this, our apologies, but we are carefully getting all the right people and components into position.

Please continue to be patient, I promise it will be worth it. This is going to be a good ‘un…


Victory at Sea

We have some big, big plans for Victory at Sea, but are also very much aware we are in a chicken and egg situation with the line in many ways. Everyone knows about the Victory at Sea 2.0 rulebook that is currently in development, and everybody tells us they want to see both that and a large range of models released before they start taking it to heart.

We can appreciate that. We’re gamers too.

First the rulebook. The core rules are all done. A decent majority of the fleet lists are complete. Playtesting has been going on, continuously, every week, for more than two years now. Our Official Naval Boffins have been scrutinising every word for historical accuracy. We have even started laying the book out.

And it currently looks like it will be a 400+ page tome. Hardback, full colour throughout, something you would be happy to have on your coffee table as much as your gaming table.

As things stand, we have not made the final decision yet as to whether it will be kept in one volume or, indeed, whether we will publish it or if it will pass to another company, perhaps with the ship models too. All rather academic anyway, as the book still ain’t finished. We need to fill out the fleet lists (and playtest the new entries), add more historical background material, and add way more scenarios.

As we have been telling everyone at shows, this book will be done when it is ready!

The new range of 1/1800 scale ship models we have been releasing, on the other hand, is going strong on the design front – we now have more than 150 different ships modelled in 3D, just waiting for rapid prototyping and production.

Up to now, we have been trickling these models out, and they have only been available at shows or via our own web site’s mail order. At some point, we are going to throw the switch on this range and put it into full distribution – but, of course, we cannot do that until the rulebook is ready and, well, I think you see the problem.

So, the good news is that Victory at Sea is coming on very nicely. The bad news is that we don’t have a schedule set yet. Expect to see more solid news for this line in a few months.

Oh, there is one more thing – Mr David Manley (all you nautical coves should already know this gentleman!) sent us his rules for Ironclads, a set of Victory at Sea-based rules for the American Civil War and related eras. We have found time to update these rules to 2.0 spec, and have started laying out and playtesting this book as well. It may only be a PDF release (again, no decision made there yet), but there is a rumour going round the office that Sandrine has already designed a 1/600 scale Monitor and Virginia…


New Games

As a company, I am rather taken with the idea of Mongoose dropping much of the sales and manufacturing it has done in the past (a hard truth is that neither have been our strengths), and concentrating on design, be it miniatures or games (they may or may not be to your own tastes, but we rarely get complaints about the actual games we do – doing good games is very much our strength). Recently, we have been working hard at raising the bar in the rulebooks we produce both in terms of graphical quality (we would quite happily stand the new Judge Dredd rulebook alongside anything else in the market at the moment) and games design (some of the new Traveller books in the works really are very, very good).

This is all in the early stages at the moment, and we still have to gauge how our working relationships with Amarillo Design Bureau (Star Fleet) and Warlord (Dredd) develop. It is possible that we will get to the end of 2014 and discover this is not the road for the future. But, as things stand, things are looking optimistic. We keep an open mind.

To this end, we have been reaching out to several manufacturers with the line ‘hey, you do great stuff – let us do a game for you.’ Again, the response thus far has been positive and we hope to make some agreements over the next few months that we hope will get many of you excited (we certainly are!). Some of these projects may seem a little leftfield for us, such as games rooted solidly in the historical sector – but many of these games are things we have been dying to do over the years; Mongoose just never seemed to have time to attend to their manufacture and, in any case, we tended to shy away from them because Company X had already started producing a range of models we thought were first class anyway.

This method sees the best of both worlds, with us getting to play with other people’s models while getting to write books about them.

I might fairly describe that as heaven, but you might think me rather strange.

We have also taken on some miniatures 3D design work for other manufacturers, starting with a few new designs for 15mm Hammers Slammers, allowing our 3D Designer (Sandrine) to stretch her legs on more than just robots for Dredd and battleships for Victory at Sea.


2014 and Beyond

2013 was a fairly rough year for us in more ways than one but, as a wise man once said, what is important to remember the most is that we are still here! Not being a manufacturer proper is a fundamental shift for us but, at the same time, Mongoose has reinvented itself over the years as the market shifts and changes, and I would hope we can continue to keep up.

Personally, I am looking forward to getting our teeth into lines both old and new, and producing the best games we have released yet.

Exciting times are ahead.

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