Every wargamer I talk to has a different opinion on Kickstarter being used to fund new games, and I have backed some and not others. So when an Australian company (unknown to me) released its Kickstarter asking for $34k (ish) USD to start a new game, I made a mistake and didn’t back it.
The game in question was Judgement, a game inspired by multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). The reason I didn’t back it is because, even though I am a computer gamer, my first experience with a MOBA was bad, and it can be summarized as being yelled at by teenagers for 35 min with no idea of what was going on. So when I saw it on Kickstarter, the PTSD came back to my mind. However, after seeing the final rules of the game… It looks fantastic!
The guys that run Judgement have done an amazing job at designing the game model. In a MOBA environment, there are not more than half-a-dozen models per side, so one of the things that they did to set them apart from other skirmish sized games (Guildball, Company of Iron, Malifaux, etc. ) is to make them at a larger scale (54 mm) and make them astonishing.
Even when I was making the choice of not backing the game, I knew that I was going to be interested in the models because the renderings looked beautiful. Then, Judgement got them into the hands of amazing painters:
Official studio pieces of Judgement models painted by Trent Denison.
Probably one of my favorite models and studio paint jobs is by Gavin Clarke:
Also, the models come with a fantastic 50mm scenic base:
The fantastic paint job of Thrommel by Griffon’s Roost Painting.
Now the game is out, the rules are free and available online in a PDF format (link), this is important for me. I do believe that rules are a product, and I’m happy to pay for them but it is hard for me to decide to buy a game if I have no idea of how it’s played. They also have YouTube videos with a lot of games, the first ones explaining the rules in detail and on every video it’s always clear what’s going on.
The rules are extremely simple, but it gives a tactical depth to the game that it’s brutal! I will not explain how the game is played, just go check the rules, but I will give you 8 points that sold it to me:
- The maps are pre-set, meaning that they have been tested (this is a great selling point).
- The objective of the game is to kill the opponent’s effigy, which can be accomplished by getting souls (dropped by enemies when they die, they also appear at a pre-set location every round) or by doing damage to it.
- There are mobs on the map that will attack the closest model.
- Champions can level up, every time they get a soul or kill a mob they level up. The higher the level the more health and stronger abilities get unlocked.
- A champion that dies gets to come back next round.
- Every champion gets three action points that can be used for different things: walks, attacks, buy magical objects
- When an attack is being made, the relevant ability number (magical, melee, or range) is compared to the defense of the defender and the difference is the number of dice that you get to roll. Independent of how many dice are rolled, you only get to use three results to resolve the attack. So an attack rolling 3 dices can have the same effect than an attack rolling 7, the odds are just different.
- The game has a resource called Fate that is used for re-rolls, to buy special abilities or to equip your champions with magical equipment, among other things.
A screenshot from a game played in twitch (channel: playjudgement) by the guys from Judgement.
For some of you who know me, or have read some of my reviews, you should know my love for apps, if a game has an app it has a higher chance to make me play it. I live in Chicago: I take public transportation a lot and spent an average of 80 min on it every day. If I can look up rules and stats while on the bus/train it gets me thinking about it for a longer time.
Judgement has an app, warband commander it’s simple, it’s basic and it is great. It’s faster to scroll through than a PDF, it lets you keep track of life and level, helps you bring them back after they die…
Warband commander, a simple interface with ALL the information you need.
The game looks great, the rules are simple but deep, the models look fantastic and we have a seller in the United States: Discount games Inc. It is time to jump on this train and get a good player base. Furthermore, they are going to expand the number of Champions with an upcoming Kickstarter, so be alert! (Or follow Midwest wargaming since I’ll make sure to not miss this opportunity again).
Finally, it wouldn’t be one of my articles without some stats, I’m into math, so let me leave you with this: a table of what are the odds of getting Glances (1 attack result), Solids (2 attack results) or Crits (3 attack results) when rolling a given number of dice.
The probability of getting Glances, Solid, and Critical results when rolling an attack in Judgement.
|Number of Dice||Glances||Solid||Crits|
Yes, the odds of getting only one hit when rolling 11 dice is really low, you will likely get all three.