Monday, 5 December 2016

JDMG Illegal Aliens - The Dark Judges

Hailing from another dimension where life itself was deemed to be a crime, the Dark Judges are possibly the worst threat that has ever befallen Mega City One. They cannot be killed and have made the decision to bring their own brand of justice to the city. Despite being beaten back several times, they still represent utter peril for the city and each appearance is marked with massive death tolls that only seem to grow larger each time. Their greatest success was Necropolis, an event that saw the death of 60 million people in Mega City One as they held reign over the entire city. You can learn a lot more about them here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Judges
The four Dark Judges are arranged in alphabetical order from left to right in my photos - Judge Death, Judge Fear, Judge Fire and Judge Mortis. Both Wizkids Indyclix and Warlord Games made versions of the four Dark Judges but the four that I'm showcasing here are all made by Wargames Foundry from their 2000AD range of figures. They are slightly taller than the Warlord Games figures and about the same size as the Indyclix figures.
A young sadist thrilled by inflicting pain, Sidney De'ath  would soon go on to murder three bullies from his school. He joined the Judges in order to be able to kill people legally, gaining the nickname "Judge Death" for his hard-line stance on executing all lawbreakers. The psychopathic and obsessive Judge shortly afterwards encountered the witches, Phobia and Nausea, aka the "Sisters of Death", who he saw as a means to achieve his vision of total justice - the complete extermination of all life. He reasoned that since all crime is committed by the living, life itself is a crime. Hence the monster's catchphrase: "The crime is life, the sentence is death!" Using their dark magic, he had himself transformed into the unstoppable undead Judge Death. Along with the "Sisters of Death" and his three fellow Dark Judges, Fear, Fire and Mortis, he wiped his world clean of all life.
In JDMG, all four Dark Judges are frighteningly powerful opponents and are classed as Level: Infinity Illegal Heroes. Judge Death has two Special Abilities - The Crime is Life means all of his Close Combat attacks ignore Armour (his hand phases through it) and are not Weak (quite the opposite!). Secondly, is The Sentence is Death, in which each successful close combat attack will remove a number of Hits equal to the roll of 1d10. Nasty!
When passing judgement on victims, Judge Fear opens his visor to reveal a sight of unspeakable terror that scares the living to death as they are forced to confront fear beyond their capacity to comprehend. In JDMG, Judge Fear has two Special Abilities. The first is Gaze into the Face of Fear. When he opens his visor, Judge Fear reveals a face of unspeakable terror that causes the hearts of those who view it to stop instantly. To do this, Judge Fear makes a normal close combat attack with one Melee Die, which automatically rolls a 10. If he succeeds in causing damage, both models must make opposed Will checks. If Judge Fear wins, his opponent is automatically reduced to 0 Hits. His second special ability is Mantrap. Judge Fear is fond of immobilising his enemies with thrown mantraps. Each mantrap is treated as a shooting weapon with Range 10", Shooting Dice 1, Damage 1 and AP -4. If a mantrap inflicts any Hits on an Infantry model, it will automatically immobilise it. The target may not take any Move actions and may not move at all during Melee actions. As a Special action, it may make an Agility check in order to attempt to free itself from the mantrap. A model may only be affected by one mantrap at a time.
Judge Fire is wreathed in flames from head to foot, from which leers a crisp, blackened skeleton. He wields a fiery trident and revels in burning his victims to death. In JDMG, Judge Fire has two special abilities. The first is Body of Fire. Any model involved in close combat with Judge Fire will automatically catch on fire, with the same effects as a flame-thrower. Judge Fire is himself immune to all effects of all forms of fire. Secondly, he has Flame Strike. His trident is a close combat weapon that has a Damage Score of 3, AP -3 and the Parry special rule. It may also launch a shooting attack with a Range of 18", Shooting Dice 1, Damage 3, AP -3 and the Blast and Explosive 1 special rules.
Often the Dark Judge tasked to prepare the physical bodies of the others, Judge Mortis has the bare skull of a sheep and causes everything he touches to instantly decay. He is the personification of entropy. In JDMG Judge Mortis only has one special ability - Decaying Touch. Entropy follows in the wake of Judge Mortis. At the start of every turn, every model within 4" of Judge Mortis will automatically lose 1 Hit. Each successful close combat attack by Judge Mortis will remove a number of hits equal to the roll of 1d10.
The Dark Judges can never be truly killed. In JDMG when any of them is reduced to 0 Hits, replace their models with their spirit form figures, shown directly above and below. These four figures were all produced by Warlord Games. The spirit form may only perform Move or Special actions and is a Flyer with a Move score of 6" and Hits 2. All other characteristics remain the same as for the Dark Judge the spirit form came from. The spirit form is immune to all forms of attack except Psi Talents. If the spirit form is reduced to 0 Hits, the Dark Judge will dissipate to rebuild its strength (and will be back another day!). Remove the figure as a casualty but do not make any injury roll.
A spirit form may attempt to possess any other model except a robot, within 1" with a Special action. Both models make opposed Will checks and, if the spirit form wins, the enemy is automatically killed and replaced with a model of the Dark Judge. The Dark Judge is restored to full Hits and from the next Turn onwards, may take actions normally.
At the time of writing I have no plans for using the Dark Judges in my JDMG campaign but I still wanted to show you them. The figures made by the three companies I mentioned are all very well sculpted. If you want to collect the Indyclix versions be aware that Judge Death is a Unique figure and is extremely hard to find. The Warlord Games versions were sold individually and as a boxed set with their spirit forms. I bought their spirit forms separately. Of the three versions that were available, I much preferred the Foundry figures. They are still available to buy.

42 comments:

  1. While they are well painted, and I am NOT disputing that. I have never been a fan of the Dark Judges. For me the story has always been a bit blah! Mega city one is such a huge and wonderful place the Dark Judges story seemed like a distraction to me even in my youth.

    I am NOT criticising anyone who like the Dark judges and that story it is all personal taste. but for me usually it was a case of the bigger the story the less interest.

    But like I said good job on painting them, they do look very good, just not really my cuppa! (Yes I know I own one Dark Judge... that was peer pressure when I was young)

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    1. No worries, Clint. I have no problems with the Dark Judges as a group but not all of the Judge Death stories came up to scratch. At times he was more a figure of fun (for example, see the Batman crossover - "Judgement on Gotham" to see what I mean) but when done right, he can be one very scary villain.
      I guess you'll be pleased that the Dark Judges are unlikely to appear in my JDMG campaign.

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  2. hmmm, intriguing. Based on my utter lack of knowledge, I would have to say these are not my favourite I`ve seen, to date. However, I would say (from a gaming perspective) if I had the entire range of my chosen collection (like I do with my Colonial Zulus and my British Americans and Indians for my Revolution wars) I don`t think I would e-v-e-r say I wont use such and such in my future games. I don't especially love my Zulu InDuna and ritual dress `lesser` chiefs (way too feathery and over dressed) but I wouldn't not use them in at least SOME of my future planned games. For me also, my Warlord Games AWI Deleware Indians look wrongly out of place to me, but I will still use them. Otherwise you are, surely, delegating an entire section of your hobby to table top redundancy? In my case, like yours, I have SO MUCH that I could afford never to use whole sections of my collection if I wanted to, but I will endeavour to `get it all in` at some point or other hehe. Variety is the spice of life they say :)

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    1. Fair comment, Steve. However, just because I have no plans to use my Dark Judges at present, does not mean that they will NEVER appear. I just can't think of a rational reason for including them... but in the future... who knows? Narrative campaigns have a habit of going off in directions you could never envisage. So all things are possible.

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    2. {{Narrative campaigns have a habit of going off in directions you could never envisage}}

      haha this is true :))

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    3. Don't I know only too well. I still have nightmares over how Sunny and his Killer Klowns ended my ATZ-FFO campaign. That was NOT in the script I had planned out!

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  3. I`m sooooo lucky. I got me a unique clix Judge Death and a judge Hershey... she alone sells for £35 quid on Amazon, and Death... wow, you really don't wanna know his value hehe. Does make me appreciate my few Clix Judges all the more (I only have a handful) and makes me determined to buy this cool JD graphic novel anthology I got my eye on (actually sitting in my Amazon wish list) and do a small Dredd/Gotham Dark Knight crossover... to add to our games at some point in the not too distant future. Actually, now my new clix Redux rules are almost ready to go to print, doing this sooner (rather than later) is has never been a more possible imminent likelihood.

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    1. Hmm, interesting. Hershey is currently on sale for £3.99 on eBay, so whoever is charging £35 on Amazon is grossly overcharging. I paid just under a tenner for my Indyclix Judge Death on eBay - an absolute bargain!

      I hope you get the JD anthology you're after. Would it be the "Batman/Judge Dredd Collection"? If so, I have it and I can highly recommend it.

      Looking forward to seeing your Dredd/Dark Knight crossover.

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  4. wow big price difference there. There is the one I was talking about:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heroclix-Judge-Hershey-Experienced-HeroClix/dp/B01LW1TPC8/ref=sr_1_1?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1480941796&sr=1-1&keywords=heroclix+hershey

    YES, that's the same one: "Batman/Judge Dredd Collection"

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    1. Unbelievable price for Hershey! That's just crazy!

      The graphic novel is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and if you want to do a Batman/Dredd crossover, you'll find it very inspirational.

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    2. eeeeeexcellent, its gone on my Christmas Wish list lol.


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    3. It'll be an excellent Christmas present for you, Steve.

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  5. I still aint got me an actual Judge Dredd figure though :(

    Looks like I`ll have to make my own.

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    1. Or you could order any one of three versions from Wargames Foundry. Only £4.00 each and two of them are the best two Dredds I have seen in 28mm scale
      http://www.wargamesfoundry.com/our-ranges/2000ad/2000ad-collection-1-bc2000ad001/
      http://www.wargamesfoundry.com/our-ranges/2000ad/more-2000ad-models-bc2000ad010/
      Dredd 1 and 2 are the two I'm talking about. Dredd 3 is just mediocre.

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    2. Yeeeeey!!!! I got me a Judge D. In the end I hunted down and bought an Indy unique... as the model is much more in keeping with the rest of our clix collections. I DO love the Foundry ones you showed Stevie, but (a) you know his liking for plastics, and (b) we all here do so adore those chunky clix sculpts. Can`t wait for him to arrive in the post so I can give him to Stevie as an early pressie *shhhhh don't tell him*

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    3. OMG T.... wow girl, THANK you so much. You have no idea how utterly delighted that makes me, and means I am one big step closer to revealing my huge new campaign (well, it will be our joint campaign really).

      *tries to forget he knows its coming in the post, and hums a small tune to himself instead, but the happy secret little smile remains*

      Slowly catching you up Bryan, will soon have as many judges as you lol... I don't think hahahaa.

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    4. Tarot, it is posts like yours that really make me happy. Even though I'm not the recipient, I don't care because I love to see gamers being kind to one another. It's very heart-warming!

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    5. Steve, all I can say to you is go for it, my friend. I'm happy to see anyone collecting Judge Dredd figures. And I am very keen to see what you do with them.

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    6. awwww thanks Bryan. Well, I saw him looking at your collection of Dredd with salivation, and he has seen others follow you into it lately, and I over heard him telling Hil just how much he wishes he could get into this too: but I know as much as he does, just how impossible this I would be (we are all far too committed in other expensive projects to be able to pick up what would invariably be another MAJOR subject) So at least friends can help in small ways - so he at least gets the odd small taste of Dredd, every now and again :)

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    7. The good thing about bringing a bit of JD into my Gotham, via other reality crossover plotlines is.... I don't HAVE to have the whole kit-and-caboodle, thank goodness. I don`t need DJ`s bike, or vehicles, or all the Judges, or all the essential personalities, all of whom (normally) would be vital in a straight Mega C 1 world. By bringing `De Man` into Gotham (perhaps as he chases down an arch nemesis) I basically only need himself and a few perps to add to my main Gotham game.

      The ones I absolutely MUST try chase down are the gorilla gang and as many punks as I can possibly find.... in an ideal world, these would all be plastic clix ones.

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    8. @Tarot. You are so right. It is a start but a significant one. Who knows what the future might hold?

      @Steve. For a Dredd/Batman crossover set in Gotham City you certainly don't need loads of Judges or their vehicles. I'd say Judges Dredd and Anderson are the only two Judges you'd need. Psi Judge Anderson is a must have, in my opinion.

      There are currently quite a few sellers on eBay selling the ape gang at very reasonable prices (less than the RRP). As for punks, you can never have too many of them.

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  6. Ooooh thanks for that cool heads up :))

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  7. Very nice Bryan, the dark judges were always a favourite of mine although I admit I didn't read all of the stories

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    1. Many thanks, Dave. When they work together, the Dark Judges are both formidable and scary. Their stories have always been well written and illustrated. But the Judge Death stories can be hit or miss. Personally, I love reading about them.

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  8. Awesome stuff Bryan, and, as usual, an excellent bit of background to one of Joe Dredd's most iconic baddies. i especially like the bone work you've done on Mortis - his chasing of Judge Giant and a group of cadets being one of the highlights of "Necropolis" imho!!

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    1. Cheers, Simon. The whole Necropolis story was epic and what a staggering loss of life in it. 60 million deaths is just horrific!

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  9. Nice stuff as always Bryan, really nice figures, though I like the "intact" versions better than the spirit forms as figures, though I can see why you would have both in your collection.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks, Roger. I agree that the intact models are far better than the spirit forms, but even so, I'm very glad that Warlord Games sculpted the spirit forms. From a gaming perspective it helps enormously having them.

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  10. Great timing on the post mate, I've literally just finished painting mine! I just need to do some rebasing work and they're good to be posted. I'm not able to post on Wednesday as Im on a hospital placement learning how to cannulate patients so maybe Friday?

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    1. Sorry I forgot to mention how much I like the painting of your minis. I blame the training, how do those A&E guys do it? I'm knackered!!

      Nice brushwork dude :-)

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    2. Many thanks, Andy. I was half expecting to see your own painted Dark Judges on your blog this morning. But hey, it was just as good to see your ape gang.

      I know you've just about blown your gaming budget on Bushido (and why not?) but I might be able to help you out with Judge Dredd as there are still some great bargains to be had on eBay. Santa Vampi may be sending some more presents your way.

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    3. I'm gonna try get them up on Friday, I just ran out of time because of work :-(

      Santa vampi has already been very generous and I'm very grateful ;-)

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    4. I know but it doesn't mean I'm not going to stop looking for cheap bargains for you to help bulk out your collection. I know that eBay gets a lot of flak from some people but you can still find some absolute bargains there.

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  11. Nice job on the Dark Judges, Bryan. That's three different styles of doing Judge Fire I've seen now and i'm not sure which one i prefer. As all Heroclix figures are cast in transparent plastic (or so i've been told) i'm wondering whether if you stripped the paint from the 'flames' on a Heroclix Judge Fire, you could then wash them with ink to give a translucent flame effect...
    Anyway, stand-out for me is Judge Mortis. He was always my favourite, because the style of his uniform (especially the shoulder pads) indicated that he was undead. And your paint-job is wonderful. All that painting of skellies has paid off!

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    1. Thanks, Jez. I have never tried stripping the paint from a Heroclix figure so I couldn't possibly comment on your suggestion other than to say it sounds fine in theory.

      Ha, ha, yes, painting lots of skeletons certainly did help me paint Judge Mortis so well. Good observation! :-)

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    2. All you need is some cotton buds and a cheap nail polish remover. Wotks a treat and is also good for reducing some of the thicker paint jobs that 'clix sometimes come with. I'd test it out on 'spare' figure first, so you get the hang of it.
      I have now added Judge Mortis (along with Nemesis) to my list of 'must have' 2000AD figures.

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    3. Thanks for the tip, Jez. Most useful.

      If you can't find Judge Mortis and Nemesis as Heroclix figures your best bet is Wargames Foundry who have both for sale.

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    4. I tried the dip 'n strip on Fire and all in did was melt the base! Found it easier to use thin paint layers over the top.

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    5. That's because you 'dipped', Andy. If you use a non-Acetone nail polish remover and either cotton buds or cotton pads (the advantage of having women about the place) it comes off quite easily. As the hard plastic bases are a different kind of plastic, they will deform and melt. However, if you want some radiation addled zombies/skeletons, applying this to the hard plastic ones will produce a suitably melted look.

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  12. These are awesome! I didn't realise they came with spirit forms as well what a cool rule!

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    1. Thanks, Simon. I was very pleased to get the spirit forms as well as the normal forms of the Dark Judges.

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