05 November 2020
We take a look at the next expansion
With the Dark Judges expansion, we get to see Judge Dredd's deadliest, deathliest foes in ink-washed miniature action, unleashed to wreak apocalyptic havoc on Helter Skelter's double-sided skirmish board. And they really are deadly, each extra-dimensional nasty getting an armour token which blocks damage from the first attack each round, and special powers which might well have other players screaming "OP!" Judge Mortis, for instance, deals one damage to whichever characters share his space at the start of their turn.Although, for each one you kill you earn double points, so their presence will encourage some understandable ganking.
The most exciting aspect of this handsome add-on (which brims with 2000AD art-bot Brian Bolland's awesome work) is it finally brings solo play to Martin Wallace's Wildlands series. The Dark Judges come with a "Ssolo Game" deck which determines their actions for you, and offer a very tough solitaire skirmish experience. On the upside, it works well as an intense, quick challenge for Wildlands veterans (who can set Judge Death and pals against teams from Wallace's fantasy-set original if they so wish). On the downside, it denies you the core-game strategic elements of assigning map cards to your opponent during set up, and the joys of surprise character deployment, meaning you can't set up ambushes.
It remains hugely satisfying, though, further proving the cogency and flexibility of Wallace's ingeniously slick card-driven skirmish system.
Words by Dan Jolin
Designer: Martin Wallace
Publisher: Osprey Games
Time: 30-60 minutes
This review originally appeared in Issue 43 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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