Sunday, 15 April 2018

Judge Dredd - Campaign Part One




A Day in the Life of a Mega City Judge

Somewhere in a quieter part of Sector 4 a small gathering of orange robe wearing figures start to assemble.  By day normal everyday citizens of Mega City One, but as the day turns slowly to night these strange figures are anything but normal.
You see Perry Pipkin is the Grand Warlock of the Order of the Carrot.

Bored with day to day life Perry has embarked on a dark and dangerous path.  With a few simple minded accomplices, Perry intents to summon forth the power of a ferocious beast from a dark dimesion.  A creature so foul and powerful that he will bind to his will to wreak havoc upon those that have shunned him throughout his life.  Mwahahahahaha !


Judge Allen is conducting routine traffic patrols  and spots a sky surfer breaching a speed limit.  Unbeknown to Allen that just around the corner a huge beast of immense power is about to be drawn into this dimension. 

It turns out that our hapless Mr Pipkin is not quite the Grand Warlock he has lead the rest of the Cabal to believe he is.  Rather than a mighty Demon a small irritated Imp is summoned.  "erm, well, the greater demon is currently busy doing horrible things elsewhere." Perry tells his followers.

In a bid to get away from the pursuing Judge our lone Skysurfer decides to go contraflow to traffic.  This simple traffic breach draws are unsuspecting Judge ever closer to the Order of the Carrot Cabal.


Seeing one of MC-1's finest so close, one of the Cabal loses his nerve and lets loose at shot at Judge Allen.  The shot bounces harmlessly off his trusty Lawmaster but draws Allen's attention to the pedestrian area above him.  
With a simple voice command he orders his bike to continue the pursuit of the surfer whilst he dismounts to face this new threat.

In   a state of panic the Cabal attempts to circle Allen.  Surely one man is no match for so many armed crazies, not to mention one rather short and irritated imp.

From above the street one of the Cabal gets a good vantage point to use his laser rifle.

Barking his orders to surrender, Judge Allen informs the Cabal that they are all under arrest for attempted murder of a Judge, unlawful gathering, discharging  a firearm without a permit and summoning an entity from a third dimension.  There are probably many other charges to be had but our hero is interrupted as he is assaulted by three members of the Order of the Carrot.

Having slightly more common sense than the rest of the Cabal, Perry decides that it's better to flee whilst the Judge is tied up.

Laying down the hurt with the full force of the law, backed up by a few well placed nightstick smacks, Judge Allen easily subdues the armed Cabal members.  One armed with a chainsaw puts up a bit of a fight but is no match for the well trained Judge.


The remaining members of the Order of the Carrot make a dash for freedom.  Their hasty retreat covered by one angry imp gnawing on the Judges boot.
It wont take long for Perry to recruit more followers.  With such a massive city filled with bored and depressed civilians just waiting for a little excitement the Cabal will be back up to full strength in no time.

With the Order of the Carrot now on the Judges radar there will no doubt be more engagements as Perry Pipkin attempts to unleash hell on earth, but for now Judge Allen has to turn his attention to a protesting mob of fatties.  Angry at food shortages in sector 4.


Just another day on the beat.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Judge Dredd - Life in the Big City



Life in the Big City

Our little campaign set in the amazing world of 2000AD is based in and around Mega City One.

I have always been a fan of the 2000AD comics and of course Judge Dredd.  When Mongoose publishing launched its kickstarter campaign for 28mm metal figures I was of course duty bound to jump on board.  In fairness the kickstarter took a very very long time to deliver, in fact as I type this the remaining bits from the campaign have only just arrived and Mongoose Publishing no longer hold the licence to produce models for the range.  I believe that role will be taken over by Warlord Games at some point in the future, something that I am very excited about.

I think one of the best parts of the Judge Dredd setting is that you can pretty much use anything you want.  Want to field a Dinasaur, no problem, want WW1 Germans attacking Mega City One.  Why not.  With so many crazy cults and fads going on in this massive city nothing would seem out of place.

I also really like that you can use lots of nice bright colours.  I like the comic book feel on the figures and it suits my preferred painting style.

Finally I can use the same terrain as I use for Infinity for street fighting, or can use desert ruins for fighting in the harsh cursed earth.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings and onto some figures.


Fatties

Fatties form a formidable meatwall as they rumble across the city on their belliwheels.
Fatties are bored citizens who have turned to gluttony as a means to pass the time. They are so gigantically fat that they need a belliwheel to prop up their prodigious gut.

In the future, fatties can count as athletes: competitive eating is an international sport, ranging from the Olympics to criminal back-street eating games. Some contests even have fatties eat items like bedspreads and car parts. Mega-City One has fat camps where parents send juves to gain weight and poor citizens may try to bulk up in the hope that eating games might be their ticket for prosperity.


City-Def

City Def prepare to attack a rival city block.
Citizen Defence Groups (or Citi-Def) are formal militias in Mega-City One and Texas City, with a different group for each city block. The idea is that they will defend their blocks from disaster or attack and assist the Judges.

In practice, the Citi-Def's are often badly trained, full of bored and belligerent citizens, and are often the cause of problems: Citi-Def's have been involved in block wars, disastrous training exercises, or secession. The Chief Judge only places them on active alert during emergencies, for fear of what they might do otherwise.


The Dark Judges

Hailing from a dark dimension called Deadworld, the Dark Judges are a dark and twisted parody of the Judges as we know them. To them, all crime is committed by the living and therefore life itself is a crime. They originated as a cabal of human Judges based around the sociopathic Judge Sidney De'ath and used their position to murder thousands 'legally' before gaining supernatural power.

After many years of genocide, they finally wiped out every living being in their homeworld and turned their attention to Mega-City One.


Judge Death - The first and their leader. Wears a helmet similar to that of a traditional Judge, with a modified visor resembling a portcullis. His mouth is pulled into a permanent rictus. In place of the Judges' eagle-shaped shoulder pauldrons, Death sports a pterodactyl on his right shoulder; his left shoulder and elbow pads are festooned with bones. His jacket is fastened with crude stitches rather than a zipper, and his badge and belt buckle are each shaped like a human skull with extended fangs, the latter is also adorned with bat wings. Death most often kills his victims by reaching directly into their chests (in an intangible state) and squeezing their hearts until they burst, without ever breaking the skin. Among the Dark Judges, Death and Fear wear a helmet of any kind.

Judge Fear - An imposing figure who wears a black great helm accented with large, bat-like wings. When passing judgement, he opens his helmet's faceplate and frightens the accused to death with whatever lies within, whilst reciting his catch phrase, "Gaze into the face of Fear!" The actual face under the helmet has only been revealed twice: once as a mass of eyeballs, and on another occasion as several grotesque mandibles.No explanation has been given as to whether these monstrosities are indicative of Fear's physical face, or if they are simply manifestations of his victims' fears. Fear sports an assortment of tools on his belt, notably miniature bear traps, which he is known to throw at his enemies in order to immobilise them; and an enormous padlock which he uses to secure his victims' potential exit routes. His belt buckle is a shrunken head. He wears a heavy black cape with large, bear trap shoulder pauldrons.  Judge Fear is seen to exhibit powers similar to Judge Death's "phasing" ability, thrusting his hands through victims' bodies.

Judge Fire - Immersed head-to-toe in ethereal flame. He wears no helmet, and instead has a human skull for a head. He wields a flame-spewing trident. As a human, Fire was an undercover Judge named Fuego who had infiltrated a resistance group, which he eventually led to sacrifice at the hands of the newly-created Judge Death. He earned the name "Judge Fire" when he was still alive, after he burned down a school for violating noise regulations.

Judge Mortis - In a perpetual state of disintegration, and his touch causes his victims to spontaneously decay at a rapid rate. His head is a sheep skull and he has a bony tail. His uniform's right shoulder pauldron is a bird skeleton, and his left shoulder is protected by a perforated mantle. His badge is a stylised sheep skull with his name emblazoned in wood. Like Fire and Fear, Mortis spent his early years as a rookie Judge at Law School, Deadworld's equivalent to Mega-City One's Academy of Law, and graduated after Death. He developed an admiration for Sidney's methods and beliefs, and shares his comrades' zeal for passing arbitrary death sentences. He is sometimes employed by Judge Death to prepare the Dark Judges' host bodies.


Civilians - Vigilantes

The citizens are shown to be a mixed bag. 98% are unemployed (due to advances in robotics) and range from lazy and sloth-like to highly rebellious violent criminals, bent on destroying and killing as much as they can for whatever reason they can think of at that time, if any. Most of the Judges seem to view them like a well-loved dim cat, stupid, greedy but with an unseen value that's worth protecting with everything they have. Although at times they've shown a huge lack of empathy towards them, such as when Chief Judge Francisco asked them if a large number that were on welfare could commit suicide in his Christmas message in order to help balance the budget for the following year.  Some Judges openly view them as a nuisance to be removed, or like Judge Manners, as a sub-human race to be used and abused as the Judges see fit.
The citizens occupy their time with many strange and outright bizarre hobbies, such as simping (recreational stupidity), bat gliding, sky surfing and peeping (spying on people at home and in public), which is illegal when done for sexual purposes, but legal when done under the authority of a Judge. If any of these ever get out of hand, and there is no legal justification for banning, the Judges simply impose a heavy tax on them, restricting them to only the few very wealthy citizens.
Most are poorly educated and many can barely read or write, some sectors are said to be entirely illiterate, but Judges aren't that concerned, as it makes it easier for them to control and they can weed out the more intelligent simply when major crimes occur.  Those that can read though are not much better, for example, when a book that detailed how to commit suicide was released, thousands of previously non suicidal citizens (including the book's author) killed themselves since they had read how to do it in the book.  At one point in some of the more dangerous blocks, the Judges took to putting sedative drugs into the air systems to help keep the citizens more docile and easier to control.
Some though do show huge promise, intelligence, and have extremely useful skills, many top scientists and engineers are not Judges. Most of the cities biggest advancements in areas such as food, new materials, non weapon or military technology, medicine and architecture and construction design (including the Halls of Justice) came from ordinary citizens. All the major businesses and entertainment (apart from Justice Department propaganda channels) figures are citizens as are a lot of the city's diplomats, but they always report to a Judge before making any decisions. But not all valued skills are the same as the real world ones, examples of this are human taxidermy and professional gluttony. Most of the highly intelligent citizens end up in crime such as PJ Maybe, and Nero Narcos, as they are very limited in the wealth or power they can attain (the amount of real power a citizen can gain though is very limited) legally.



Soviet Judges

Sov Judge law is harsher than even Mega-City One, with the Sovs sending their athletes to gulags for being caught cheating (even though they'd been ordered to cheat).


Justice Department

The Mega City Justice Department is in control of all law and justice in a mega-city.

The role of Street Judges combines those of judge and police officer, thus avoiding long legal wrangles by allowing for criminals to be tried and sentenced on the spot.

The Judges themselves are not above the law -- a violation that would earn a citizen a few months in an Iso-Cube would get a Judge a twenty-year sentence, to be served at hard labor on Saturn's moon, Titan , after modification to enable the convict to survive outside there without needing an expensive space suit.


Judge Cal's Retinue

Judge Cal, a one time Chief Judge who went insane and abused his power. 
A group of Kleggs are hired by the insane Judge Cal to help enforce his mad teachings; since Kleggs have little use for money, Cal pays them in meat. After the death of Deputy Chief Judge Fish, their leader Grampus was made the new Deputy Chief Judge and they became Cal's brute force and slaughtered hundreds of citizens in Mega City One. 

The Special Judicial Squad (SJS) is the Internal Affairs unit of the Justice Department. They are the Judges that judge the Judges.  SJS investigates allegations of corruption, unjudicial conduct and criminal activity within the ranks of the Mega-City Judges.


Brit-Cit Judges

The Brit-Cit Justice Department is based in the New Old Bailey. It is very similar in structure and effect to the Mega City One justice system, with uniforms that appear based on their American counterparts. Compared to the modern day, the Judges are highly fascistic. Compared to Mega-City One though, they're quite lenient: Detective-Judges are allowed to marry, tea and sugar is legal, crime blitzes and lie detectors are not yet legalised.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Judge Dredd - Getting into the Iso Cubes





Crime


Crime is endemic in Mega-City One, known as the Most Dangerous City in the World, with a serious crime occurring somewhere in Mega-City One every second of every day. Many have become desensitised to it and see it as a spectator sport. It doesn't take much for the masses to join in when they see a good riot. There are also numerous minor crimes, with even things like spitting likely to get you a visit from the Judges. Crime blitzes, where teams of Judges raid a home for any sign of lawbreaking, and the less violent crime swoops, are a major part of the Judge's arsenal - they almost always find something and get suspicious if there's nothing.

Juve crime is especially rampant, with block gangs being an unstoppable law among themselves. The sheer lack of future for most juves makes it near-impossible to stop them reoffending and adults can look fondly back on their violent juve days.

Organised crime in Mega-City One is a constant war between mobs, many run by flamboyant and bizarre leaders, who have to constantly battle each other, the Judges, and the sheer madness of the world they live in. For big hits, they send in blitzers: hitmen with bombs implanted who will self-destruct if arrested so their employer can't be implicated. Some mobs have psis to give them an edge. From 2112 to 2121, the mysterious supervillain Tempest was the secret overlord of all the crime bosses - his empire crumbled when Nero Narcos declared war on the city for a whim. 

Sedition is a crime and many have been arrested for defaming the Judges or possessing banned material.

Block-wars have been a steady problem for the Judges, often resulting in casualties in the hundreds of thousands of citizens. Block-wars are a form of riot in which two or more neighboring City Blocks (large apartment blocks capable of housing upwards of 50,000 residents each) literally go to war with each other, often initiated by bored Citi-Def units of rival blocks.


Some of the more common organised crimes include:

Body-sharking: loaning money to people willing to put a loved one into cryonic storage for collateral.

Chump-dumping: conning aliens into believing Earth is a paradise, taking their money, and then dumping them into space.

Organleggers: cutting up people to sell their parts on the black market.

Stookie glanding: butchering Stookies, an intelligent alien race, for the anti-aging drug they produce.

Vi-zines: torturing people to death and filming it for sickos

Drug dealing: this not only includes dangerous substances like zzizz, it includes sugar, coffee and tea, all of them banned in the city. Umpty candy is also flogged ("umpy baggers"), addictive due to its incredible taste.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Judge Dredd - Setting the Scene




Mega City One


A sprawling conurbation had sprung up in the 2020's, stretching from New York City to Washington and growing. Crime had skyrocketed in the overcrowded sprawl, leading to the roll-out of the Judges in 2031. The American government would turn this into Mega-City One: the first Mega-City. The perceived success of MC-1 would lead to the construction of Mega-City Two and Texas City. The population continued to grow as people moved to the city.

Justice Department would split into three autonomous branches, with one covering Mega-City One, and in 2052 the city was given sweeping powers under the Autonomy Act. Now, only foreign affairs and the military were outside of the city's remit. It flexed its muscles in 2055 when it imposed harsh immigration laws on American citizens that wanted to move to the city.

The problems with housing, infrastructure, and crime only became worse after the Atomic Wars. Mega-City One was spared total destruction due to experimental laser defence screens but most of the rest of America was in ruins. The Judges took control of the city, citing the Declaration of Independence to turf out President Robert L. Booth to public approval.

Millions streamed into the city and it ramped up its immigration laws: mutants were forced out under the genetic apartheid laws. Mega-City One was going it alone.




The 2070's saw harsh rationing and drinking water had to be checked for radiation. 
Mega-City One had more fully covered by 2080 and tried flexing its foreign policy muscles. An attempt to secure Texas City's resources led to war between MC-1 & MC-2 and their southern neighbour, ending in a truce by 2086; to improve relations, Luna City One was constructed by the "United Cities of North America" in 2088. More successful, Mega-City One installed a friendly Judge regime in war-torn Brit-Cit and was able to dominate the surviving European Union and resulting Euro-City into following its lead.

Mega-City scientists were able to engineer apes (or "uplifts") to be human-level intelligent. Having achieved this, humans promptly stuffed them in the Apetown ghetto and ignored them until they began forming crime syndicates.

By the 2090's, robot slave labour meant that most of the city was on welfare instead of having to work. People were often desperate to have work and extreme crazes sprung up to deal with boredom, starting with the laz-knife craze in 2089.  The Judges, however, believed that the citizens would balk at having to work more than ten hours a week. 
A decadent youth culture arose around drugs, the pinstripe sound, and illegal comics.

Mega-City One had grown to the height of its size and power, with 800 million inhabitants and stretching down the east coast to Miami & east to annex Canada's Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.


In 2095, Chief Judge Clarence Goodman announces a policy of mass interstellar colonisation to give Mega-City One the resources it needed. This would bring the city great wealth over time but also embroil it in constant wars against alien empires, indigenous alien races fighting conquest, and insurgents on the colonies. The Space Corps constantly saw action.

Another regime change took place in 2100 when the insane Cal, head of the Special Judicial Service, assassinated Chief Judge Goodman and seized control. Only a few Judges had escaped his brainwashing program and under Dredd, they formed a dedicated rebel force that eventually brought him down. Chief Judge Griffin and a new Council of Five took control. A sharp increase in the cold war with the Sov Block began under Griffin, as East Meg One began to test the city for weaknesses.

The brutal Apocalypse War with East Meg One saw the population slashed by half, the entire south destroyed, all but one of the Council killed, and all of the north-west and upper north lost except for a small North West Hab Zone. The city had to renumber its surviving sectors to make sense of the new setup.  (The isolated Hab Zone would descend into crime and corruption, and become known as "the Pit") A few years of hardship - starvation, disease, homelessness, and the segregation of fatties - was endured before the city was able to recover.

A democracy revival movement had grown in strength in the mid-2100's and by 2109, tens of millions were peacefully demanding a return to an elected government. Chief Judge Silver called this "the greatest threat to the city since the Apocalypse War" and authorised a horde of dirty tricks to stop and discredit the movement.



From 2104 to 2133, the city's population remained roughly at 400 million. Part of the reason for this was recurring emergencies that could kill millions of citizens: the Dark Judge takeover of "Necropolis" in 2112, the zombie invasion "Judgement Day" of 2114, the meat virus in 2115, "The Doomsday Scenario" robot war in 2121, and the nuclear bombings of Total War in 2126. Sixty million citizens died in Necropolis and the population was counted as 350 million the year after, but this swiftly climbed back to 400m.

The twin hits of Necropolis and Judgement Day in two years left the city weakened.  The Judges were weak for several years and its space policy shaky. It recovered and, during the early 2110's, entered a short period of glasnost with the Sov Block. The Justice Department briefly fell into chaos as Chief Judge Hilda McGruder suffered from increased dementia, with no legal way to remove her.

So its about here that our little campaign is set.   

An unfortunate side-effect of the technological advances that have been made is soaring unemployment, which has lead to extreme boredom, crime, and general disgruntlement and despair. The citizens have invented a wide variety of pastimes, both good and bad. Some of the big ones include the fatties who overeat to fill their time, which turned competitive eating into a sport; the ugly craze, where people deliberately try to look like hideous freaks; and simps, who try to look and act as bizarre as possible (no mean trick in Mega-City One).

"Crazes" also regularly and briefly sweep the city, often changing by the day. Crazes known to have swept the city in the past have included Synchronized Leaping, PowerBoarding, and Boinging. These are often disruptive and dangerous but are also necessary to distract the citizens from the boredom and horrors of Mega-City One - in the case of atrocities like Necropolis, necessary so people can bury the mental scars.

Transportation systems exist in Mega-City One that accommodate every way of travel, from pedestrian to public transit to hover vehicles. Baffling though these different systems may be, each is surprisingly efficient a vast majority of the time, typically becoming troubled only during large-scale emergencies.

A side effect of the intensity of megacity life is Future Shock Syndrome, or "futsie", where a stressed citizen will experience something that causes their mind to finally snap: reality seems too absurd to exist. The first case was Michael Kerrigan in 2089 after he saw a las-knife. 

Once dead, all citizens become the property of the city. It's possible to be buried but this is an expensive process: it costs a 950 credit release fee just to get the corpse back.  Most citizens will be sent to Resyk and turned into a variety of useful products (some available from Resyk's giftshop).

Mega-City citizens are often very, very stupid.


Friday, 16 March 2018

VSF - Prussian Army




Forces of Prussia on Mars.

Just a few pictures of my Prussian expeditionary force for our VSF setting.


This is a combined Human / Martian army for our campaign.  

Large forces of Termigon serve under the Prussian banner.  The promise of spoils and injured allied troops for both food and slaves are all this cowardly despicable race need to be motivated to fight.  Although poorly trained and undisciplined the cannibalistic Termigon can prove terrifying in large numbers.  They attack smaller weaker enemies with a savagery not seen elsewhere on Mars.


Prussian special forces come in many forms.  The Elite Prussian Guard specialise in the extraction of important hostages.

Units of Prussian Grenadiers are tasked with assaulting hard to penetrate defences.  With satchel bombs capable of breaking apart the toughest of bunkers these troops lead any assault against a dug in foe.


Clockwork Cranks excel in tight confines where their armour is almost impervious to regular rifles.  Armed with devastating and gruesome close combat circular saws, mechanical pincers, light mortars, meat grinders and light machine guns these constructs are sights to behold on the battlefield.  
Leading them is the Command Clank that plays propaganda from the gramophone sealed withing its armoured chest. 

 But the Clanks are far from perfect.  Bavarian Wind-Up merchants keep the automatons moving with their giant brass keys.

Elite Prussian Mars Shock Troupen leap across the battlefield in semi-controlled flight.  Sporting rapid firing machine guns these fast attack troops can give a punch at almost the exact spot when needed.

Armoured Penny farthings with both light machine gun and light cannon are excellent troops for running dispatches between officers.  Their armour saving them from rifle shot as they manoeuvre quickly around the battlefield. 

Just like on Earth cavalry have an important role in the blitzkrieg across the red planet.
Although becoming rarer every year the war rages they still feature prominently within the ground forces of Prussia.

Hundreds of squads of infantry form the backbone of every Prussian army. 


Of course there are also a multitude of characters that have in one way or another contributed to the rapid expansion of Prussian influence on the red planet.


Artillery is also used in strength.  Essential for breaching defensive positions and for taking out enemy landships from afar.

Sea Battalion troops work alongside the regular Prussian infantry when they are not aboard their floating Aeronefs.

Following every army is an almost countless number of noncombatants, Chefs, Servants and Doctors are just a few of the professions on offer for those able and willing to make the long trip from Earth.

A sample Prussian Expeditionary force.




Cheers.