Let’s review the new Judge Dredd Miniatures Game with Uncle Mike

I love Judge Dredd. There, I’ve said it.

I fell in love when I was a young punk kid in the ’80s, and though my tastes have changed over the years I have never lost my love of Dredd. The characters, the world, and the writing are at once charming, hard-boiled, ridiculous, violent, prescient and loaded with black humour. Imagine my excitement when I learned of a new Judge Dredd Miniatures Game coming from Warlord Games, the folks who recently provided the world with the amazing Strontium Dog Miniatures Game (read my series of reviews here…LINKY). My hopes are high as I dig into the Judge Dredd: I Am the Law, Starter Set.

As a superfan from boyhood, I obviously played the excellent (and long OOP…) Gangs of Mega-City One, by Mongoose Games and have a vast collection of those figures, as well as quite a few of the old, old Citadel and Foundry Dredd figures of yesteryear and some Heroclix as well…all places the Dredd miniature license has been over time, and all ready for comparison to the new stuff. But let’s waste no time and get into what exactly is in this big box!

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Nestled on a bed of classic Progs, the Starter Box was ready for opening…

Inside are the same proprietary 2000AD markers and dice from the Strontium Dog game although these markers are coloured gold and blue, suitably Dreddy (and also, great for players of both games…now there are four different colours, allowing for multi-player games!). A deck of game cards, themed for the mean streets of the Big Meg and some stat cards for the models in the box…these are smaller than the SD ones but that seems fine as I would guess bigger games of Judge Dredd will be the eventual goal of most players, so table space will be in demand.

A very large play mat, double-sided and detailed as environs of the Big Meg is a nice addition to the box…if a bit generically space city-ish… It is a shame that the ‘scenery’ provided is nothing more than a page of punch-out card stuff: two cars, some jersey barricades, and two very small (and flat…) shops along with a few assorted scatter items. Compared to the excellent scenery from the Strontium Dog game this was a big let down. Warlord could have done so much more with this component. Now begins a vague worry that the game designers have totally missed all the humour of the setting and decided to ‘dark it up a bit…like Batman!’…hopefully I will be wrong. Checking through time, it was done better in the ’80s…

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The Bro-hugs were large between Dredd and the Space Marines…and the floor tiles were less grimdark and more awesome.

My favourite part of this release, strangely, is the decal sheet of Mega-City One graffiti. This is a fan dream come true! All futuristic scenery looks better with graffiti and this page is so full you can hardly get a knife blade between scrawls. Your gaming table will look amazing and who doesn’t love Judge Dredd ‘in-jokes’ plastered all over the playing area? If, like me, you need another sheet of these, pick up the November 2019 issue of Wargames Illustrated, which comes with a free sheet.

The rule book and quick play handout will get a proper going over in the next part of this review, once I’ve had a chance to read through them…I always like to get at the models first, and this time is no exception.

The figures are cast in Warlord’s new resin/plastic/stuff. Let me just say that I don’t like it, at all. The material is quite hard to work with; it has a softness that makes trimming difficult, yet is brittle enough to break at low temperature. I paint in my shop, in Canadian winter, huddled over a space heater. My first Judge, while pliable out of the box, quickly became hard and shattered when dropped…just before this photo. Also, the detail seems soft, although I’m not sure if that is the material the models are cast in, or the sculpt. The box contains two Judges: this guy below and a Rookie as well as eight Block Gangers.

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Left to right: New (he’s ‘armless…) Warlord, Heroclix, and Mongoose. Sorry for the missing arm…it’s on my shop floor somewhere…that resin also bounces…

The models are very two dimensional and some are in quite strange poses. The Block Gangers do supply the player with some diverse weapons options and are dressed generically enough to be useful in all you science fiction gaming, so that’s kinda nice, I guess… Not going to say these are great but they are passable, and you do get eight of them, so there’s that.

Bases are provided as the figures come on an integral lozenge-shaped base, which needs bulking out so the thugs aren’t so tippy. I hate to be ‘that guy’ but I dislike this fiddly detail. The low profile bases that require trimming and putty work are a bit high maintenance for what, on the first impression, seems like an entry-level miniature game for teenagers.

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Four of those guys…on those bases.  Sure, they don’t look tough, but they took my Brian Eno tapes!

Well, time to get reading this rulebook…spoiler alert: already not a fan. Another review soonish…hopefully with some nice things to say about all the Thrill Power that I’m just not noticing yet…

-Uncle Mike

Reviewing Strontium Dog – Part 1 The Setting

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Imagine my delight in finding that a reputable company had made a game about a beloved, if a bit obscure, comic character of my youth, and further, that it was written by a couple of heroes from my childhood.
Sound too good to be true?
Come have a closer look at Strontium Dog The Miniatures Game and see if it can live up to the nostalgia of a youth misspent…

Continue reading

Painting Test of Honour: Ninjas!

Today, Chris has a guide for his technique for painting ninjas for Warlord Game’s Test of Honour. You can check out his finished miniatures here in the store, where you can also find a wide assortment of products for Test of Honour. Perhaps you’ll discover the beginning of your own ninja enclave or samurai clan…

Taking a look at Test of Honour, I knew I wanted to do something a little different than the usual samurai. Something… stealthy. Sneaky. Unexpected.

Oh hey, a box of ninjas.

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The metal sculpts here are quite nice – lots of evocative detail, plenty of different weapons and well-cast with little flash. Assembly for each figure typically requires attaching one of the arms and goes together smoothly, with well-fitting parts.

My first thought was to go with classic black all over, but I concluded that it wouldn’t be that interesting to paint or to look at on the tabletop. I quite liked the dark blue tone used on the box art so I decided to emulate that style. First off, each figure was primed with Citadel Chaos Black spray.

The large areas of cloth received a basecoat of P3 Coal Black to form my main color. Areas like the socks, wrist guards and sandals were based with Vallejo German Grey. This is a favorite trick of mine – German Grey is almost-but-not-quite black and, once shaded with a black wash, will look black while still showing some depth and lighter tones on the raised areas.

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I chose Vallejo Burnt Red for the weapon grips to contrast with the Coal Black. Metallic areas of the weapons were painted with Vallejo Gun Metal (there are a lot of little shuriken poking out of belts and folds to look out for). The final base color was the cords holding the saya (sword scabbard), which were picked out with Vallejo Medium Grey. It’s easier to not bother being especially neat when painting the thin cord, compared to simply tidying up the Coal Black underneath afterward.

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The next step was to give the figures an overall wash of Army Painter Dark Tone, thinned 2:1 with water.

I chose Citadel Ungor Flesh for the areas of skin. There’s not too much to paint since you can only see the hands and the areas around the eyes on these figures. I first put down a layer of Citadel Bugman’s Glow so that the Ungor Flesh would cover more easily over the dark blue base.

After a coat (or two where needed) of Ungor Flesh I shaded the skin with Citadel Reikland Fleshshade. This added some warmth to the yellow tone of the Ungor Flesh. More Ungor Flesh was used to highlight the skin, paying closest attention to areas like the nose ridge and fingers.

The edges of the weapons received a thin line of Citadel Stormhost Silver to suggest the sharpness of the blades.

Lastly, highlighting the clothing. This was done in two steps: first, a broad highlight using Coal Black mixed 2:1 with Vallejo Field Blue. To bring out the folds and texture of the cloth, I added another finer highlight by mixing in another measure of Field Blue to the previous highlight color.

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The bases (and accompanying unit trays) were textured with Citadel Stirland Mud. A couple coats left the bases nicely textured and served to hide the metal base linking the legs of each figure. The bases got a wash of Dark Tone just as the figures had. The final touch (after a protective layer of Testors Dullcote) was patches of Army Painter Steppe Static Grass, and a few Mountain Tufts. Done!

My opponents will never know what hit them…

Sayonara!

Beyond the Gates of Antares demo

GoA Big Battle

The Sentry Box will be hosting a Beyond the Gates of Antares demo on Saturday November 21st at 12:00 noon. Miniatures and terrain will be provided so come down and check out this new sci-fi miniature game.

Please note that the date for this event has changed.

The store already has stock of the game so you can check out some of the other miniatures, the rules as well as the starter set before coming to the demo.

Beyond the Gates of Antares is the new science-fiction skirmish wargame written by Rick Priestley (the creator of Warhammer 40,000) that pitches technologically advanced human civilizations into a conflict that no one can afford to lose.

Beyond the Gates of Antares game play makes use of the successful and exciting dice activation system first pioneered in Warlord’s popular Bolt Action WW2 wargame – ensuring that both sides remain active and engaged throughout every game. Resolution is by ten-sided dice offering considerable expansion and great range of detail compared to traditional six-sided dice.