Heyo! What’s kicking my friends and fellow gamers. We’re back for part of this beast of a miniatures game Judgement by Gunmiester Games. It’s up on kickstarter as we speak and getting closer to ‘funded’ every day. The models are all damn fine and 54mm at that sure to be great pieces to paint. The unique respawn mechanic means they’ll be on the table throughout the fight. If ya’ll are MOBA people then you’ll find even more reasons to dig this game even more. Last time in part 1 we reviewed Hero Stats and Effigies the ‘bases’ of the game. Today we’ll start with monsters another type of model in the game and see just how far we get. As always I’ll be rambling my way through the book and typing along. I do want to add a quick correction to my last post. I was thinking actions with an ‘S’ cost meant that they cost souls but it turns out the game has an innovative dice mechanic with symbols and such (we’ll get to it soon I think) and the ‘S’ stands for symbol.
When you play a game of judgement different maps are selected and some of them have Monster camps. Monsters are enemies to every player and have their own in game stats and associated cards. Gloom above is an example of the Monsters within the game. We’ve got a similar state line to begin with a Bite attack and a Health track down below. (note that monsters themselves don’t level up). One major difference between monsters and Heroes is the small circle to the bottom left of the portrait. Where heroes have a soul harvest value Monsters have a Fate Bounty value. This is the reward a Hero receives for killing the Monster. When slain the Hero who dealt the killing blow gains a level and that hero and any ally within two inches collects the number of Fate Points equal to the Fate Bounty of the monster. These points are added to the teams Fate Pool A mechanic we’ll get to along the line here. Monsters gain grant other benefits too which will be detailed on their card.
The two other common abilities that we’ve yet to cover on the back of Gloom’s card are Forest Walker which gives all monsters the Wayfinder ability (more on that later) and Hunter which allows the monster to advance its MOV stat towards the nearest Hero during step 2 of the communion phase on every turn after the first. (Turn structure incoming!) In the game Heroes can purchase magical artefacts from their effigies, once a monsters’ bounty is given a hero from warband within two inches of the monster can purchase a magical artefact as if they were buying from their effigy. Heroes can trade, upgrade or buy a new one. The last common ability to touch on is Respawn during Step 4 of each communion phase after the monsters death it’ll spawn at the camp again. The respawn may be altered by the monsters card. Let’s continue drilling into the Monster mechanics next.
Basically Monsters attack hero’s anytime they end activations engaged and when they become engaged via pushes and other in game mechanics. The opposing player rolls the dice for the monster’s attacks. The three dice that inflict the maximum damage are always chosen for monster attacks, and the roll may never be re-rolled. There are some specifics for combats with monsters involved in combat with both sides of the match. This provides gang up bonuses and the like. Monsters can be targeted when in melee without the penalty normally imposed by firing into melee. If a monster slays a hero the soul value of the slain hero vanish to the in-between and cannot be harvested to effect effigy health. There are occasions where a monster’s attack will happen at the same time as other game effects if this is the case then the monster’s attack is resolved last.
Shrines are another aspect of the game and are controlled by a player if 1 or more models are within two inches of it and no enemies are within two inches. When you control a shrine at the beginning of the turn you add the shrine’s fate points to your pool. These are detailed on the specific battlefield maps. Souls are also actual counters on the table that move d3 inches towards the nearest hero during the communion phase. Souls can move through other models and impassable terrain with no penalties. They cannot be damaged nor end their turn within a models base. If a soul is spawned under a hero’s base the token is placed touching the base.
Souls can be Unbound, Bound and Banked. Unbound souls like those we mentioned moving d3 inches can be bound to a hero that takes a harvest action. Bound souls on slain heroes are lost to the in-between and removed from the table. If a hero has souls bound to it and ends it’s activation within their own deployment zone the souls are removed, not sure if they vanish or count towards effigy health in this instance. It’s also worth pointing out that Souls don’t move on the turn they are spawned. The soul harvesting action has been mentioned already let’s detail it a bit. If you recall you can gather souls by killing an enemy hero this results in an ‘auto harvest of that slain heroes souls’ Souls not bound to a hero can be harvested on a soul harvest skill check. The check requires 2 actions and has you rolling 2d6 + mods. If the total is 12 or more the soul has been harvested. The mods come from a heroes soul harvest ability, and +1 for friendly heroes within two inches of the soul, while a -1 is applied for enemies within two inches of it. Place the counter on the heroes’ stat card to denote ownership. Magic is a thing. Many models rely on it and it’s potent effects to take care of business on the table. Magic is represented in the game by Fate and Magical artefacts (australian spelling perhaps?). We’ll start with Fate.
The fate pool alas, thanks for sticking with me, is shared across your entire warband. At the beginning of each communion phase (we should be getting to that soon I’d think) 1 Fate is added in the first 2 turns, 1 fate per soul bound to your heroes or bank in the effigy are added as well. If a warband controls a shrine they get fate for that too. Fate can be spent in game to do cool things and stuff like performing the Fate cost actions on hero cards, re-rolling dice (1 fate point can have the model re-rolling all dice in the roll, like most games only one reroll is allowed). Fate can also be spent to heal 5 health (costs an action) to reduce enemy’s attack dice pool by 1 when charged and to remove conditions currently on your models as well as buy magical artefacts if you are within two inches of your effigy or a slain monster.
Magical Artefacts have been mentioned quite a bit thus far, we’ll cover them next. (The presentation of the game mechanics could have been introduced in different order as we’re pretty deep in and haven’t covered the basic dice mechanic or turn structure, but I’m just a guy and the rules are only 30 pages. They’re meant to be digested in single sitting rather than a verbose blog series but that’s neither here nor there.) The only method of magical artefact acquisition that we’ve yet to cover is the ‘pass’ allies may spend an action to give another hero a magical artefact in their possession. The artefacts themselves provide buffs to the hero and/or its allies. A model’s artefacts remain with it through death unless it passes them to an ally. Each hero can have a max of two artefacts but they must be from different categories of which there are offensive and defensive. I mentioned earlier that artefacts can be traded. The fate cost must be equivalent or the extra fate must be paid to trade for a more expensive one. To pass artefacts to allies you’ve got to be in base-to-base and spend one action. Now, to the battlefield!
Judgement is played on a circular battlefield which is quite unique for a miniature game. The 3v3 version uses a 24 inch diameter field and the 5v5 edition uses 36 inches in diameter. The map setups are predefined with terrain, effigy, soul spawn, monster and shrine locations detailed. There are 2 for 3v3 and 6 for 5v5 in the book.
That’s all we’ll cover for part 2, next time we’ll continue on defining game terms and various counters used for in game purposes then much anticipated turn structure and dice mechanics. I’m really enjoying my read through of these rules and excited to give it all a try when I finish up. The game is very intriguing and different from most if not all of the games I’ve been reading, reviewing and playing. Head to the Kickstarter and follow the game @playjudgement and myself @vorgames. I’m churning out a few articles a week these days so hit the subscribe button for more Learnin’!
What are you waiting for? Make haste to the battlefield and protect your effigy!