Sunday, 11 February 2018

S102. Character Fact File: Rhode Island Red and Squid Face.


Hey, hey Dredd-heads. Bringing you some more Dredd goodness. This time we turn to the dreaded Cursed Earth and the home of Rhode Island Red.

++ Sector House 102 ++

++ Morning Briefing ++

++ Subject: Rhode Island Red and The Red Leg Raiders ++


"Morning Judges. Intel has lead us to believe that Rhode Island Red, has escaped custody with the help of the surviving members of the Red Leg Raiders. Most likely in Sector 102 looking for transport to escape via the Black Atlantic. Be warned this gang make use of Dog Vultures so always check your six!"

-Sector House Chief.





Rhode Island Red Leader of the Red Leg Raiders
Credits: 140
Type: Infantry Hero, Illegal Infantry.
Move: 5" Agility: +0 Shoot: +1 Melee: +1 Melee Dice: 2D Will: +3 Armour: +3 Hits: 2

Mutations: Beak (Melee), Cock-a-doodle-do (Will)
Weapons: Knife, Laser pistol, Leathers.
Talents: Brave, Drokk the Law!


Squid Face of the Red Leg Raiders


Credits: 65
Type: Illegal Infantry, Minion.
Move: 5" Agility: +0 Shoot: +0 Melee: +0 Melee Dice: 2D Will: +0 Armour: +3 Hits: 1
Mutations: Tentacles (melee).
Weapons: Knife, Spit Pistol, Leathers.


Unsurprisingly I plan on growing this gang into a fully formed group. So continue to watch this space. Just need to workout how to make dog vultures.

Rhode Island Red and Squid Face ambush a business man and minder. 

Sector 102 // Dino Rampage


Time for another JDMG mission and additional rules. Once again these rules come from the now disbanded Mongoose Blog and are reproduced here to help grow a community. This time we turn our attention to Dinosaurs! First seen during the Cursed Earth Saga, they make for great random encounters and an excuse to play with some dinos.

++ Attention all Street Judges ++
++ Howie's Circus of Historic Facts is visiting Sector 102 today. Make sure to download the following facts on how to deal with beasts on the loose ++

In Mega-City One’s history, recovered dinosaur DNA was used to create clones for the "Dinosaur National Park". When the Atomic War ravaged the city, the dinosaurs were able to escape their confines and while most were recaptured or exterminated, many found their way into the Cursed Earth where they thrived in the harsh landscape.

Skip to present day and dinosaurs are a constant worry for every Cursed Earth settlement, who add them to the list of ever-present dangers along with rad storms, raiders and mutated vermin. Occasionally, a dinosaur may wander close to Mega-City One and slip past the defences unnoticed, where it will lurk in a ruined sector, preying upon the unwary.

The JDMG

Dinosaurs are a great way to challenge your campaign force in Mega-City One, as they are an unusual enemy that can pop up almost anywhere, and you do not need an opponent to face them! While we have not released any dinosaur-specific models, you will find a quick trip down to your local toy shop will furnish you with many different species eager to tear your forces apart.

The following dinosaurs can be used in games of Judge Dredd. All dinosaurs follow the Big and Dumb rule.

Big and Dumb: Dinosaurs were never noted for their brains and tend to follow their instincts, ignoring anything else. They never take take Will to Fight checks and automatically pass all Will checks they are called upon to make (even against Psi Talents – they just do not have a big enough brain for a psyker to find!).


Large Carnivore (500 Credits)

The most well-known carnivorous dinosaur is the Tyrannosaurus Rex, though there were many species of two-legged monsters equally capable of tearing Mega-City One apart. There is little more dangerous than a rampaging T-Rex.

MoveAgilityShootMeleeMelee DiceWillArmourHits
Large Carnivore8”-2-+62D-+525
Type: Illegal Minion Equipment: Jaws

WeaponDamageAPSpecial Rules
Jaws4-5Power Shot, Smasher

Large Herbivore (300 Credits)

Dinosaurs such as the Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus fit this category, huge swamp-dwellers that became the largest creatures to ever walk the planet. Though normally placid, they are easily spooked and can become very unpredictable when scared.

MoveAgilityShootMeleeMelee DiceWillArmourHits
Large Herbivore6”-4-+44D-+730
Type: Illegal Minion Equipment: Stomp

WeaponDamageAPSpecial Rules
Stomp6-6Smasher

Aggressive Herbivore (400 Credits)

In a world of large carnivores, it pays to be well-armoured with a foul attitude if you just eat plants. Dinosaurs such as the Triceratops evolved with armour-plating and some useful weaponry to keep predators away. These defences work well in Mega-City One.

MoveAgilityShootMeleeMelee DiceWillArmourHits
Aggressive Herbivore8”-2-+43D-+816
Type: Illegal Minion Equipment: Horns

WeaponDamageAPSpecial Rules
Horns3-6Parry, Power Shot, Smasher

Dino Rampage
This scenario allows you to bring dinosaurs into your games of Judge Dredd, be they taking place within the city, Cursed Earth or some far off alien moon! One or more dinosaurs has intruded into your force’s territory and must be seen off before it causes too much damage.
Forces
You can choose any campaign force to face off against the dinosaurs. You must choose a number of dinosaurs to face, their combined Credits equalling or exceeding that of your force.
Set Up

As with most games of Judge Dredd, aim to get as much terrain on the table as possible – do not make it easy for yourself, or we will bring in flying dinosaurs, and you won’t like that!
Place the dinosaurs in the middle of the table, no more than 6” away from one another. You must then deploy your entire force, at least 12” away from a dinosaur and no more than 18” away.
The dinosaurs have the first Phase of the game.
Special Rules

Dinosaurs are somewhat unpredictable but they rarely have a pleasant attitude. At the start of every dinosaur Phase, roll a die for each dinosaur, apply the listed modifiers and consult the table below to see what they do.

Die RollDinosaur Actions
2 or lessSpooked
3-4Confused
5-7Irritated
8 or moreRampage!

+1 Lost one or more Hits last Turn
-1 Reduced to half of starting Hits
+2 Has Line of Sight to one or more of the force’s models
-2 Is a Large Herbivore
+2 Is a Large Carnivore or Aggressive Herbivore
-1 A Psi Talent was used on it last Turn
-1 Was Confused last Turn
+1 Was Irritated last Turn
-2 If attacked by a Fire weapon

Spooked: The dinosaur sees something it really does not like. It will take two Move actions to move as fast as possible away from the closest model it has Line of Sight to. Failing that, it will move directly away from the closest model.
Confused: The dinosaur tries to figure out where it is. It does not take any actions and will go on Alert Status. It will perform a Melee action against the first enemy model that completes an action within its Move, regardless of whether it has Line of Sight to that model.
Irritated: The dinosaur is getting testy and the slightest provocation may set it off. As it is, it merely follows its instincts, eating whatever is close by or trying to move little creatures off its territory. It will perform two Melee actions this Turn, chasing after the nearest enemy model that is in Line of 
Sight. If no enemy is in Line of Sight, it will instead become Confused.
Rampage!: The dinosaur is angry! It will perform three Melee actions this Turn, chasing after the nearest enemy model that is in Line of Sight. If no enemy model is in Line of Sight, it will simply go after the nearest enemy model.

Victory

You gain victory if you manage to destroy the dinosaurs or get them to run off the battlefield. Any other result is a loss and you must try to patch up your force after the dinosaurs have run through it!


I can't imply how exited I am to paint some dinosaurs. I already have some lizardmen Warhammer monsters that I feel would be cool representations of some Cursed Earth Dinosaurs. So watch this space.

Have you tried this mission? Are you play Dredd at all, drop me a comment below.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Beer Review 55 // Flying Dog Easy IPA

New brewery hitting the blog! This time I'm checking out Flying Dog from Maryland. Picked up a pack of these from my last trip down to the states. It was the can art that attracted me to them, with the creepy Moomin style creature. Let's see how it goes.

Details

Name: Easy IPA
Style: Session IPA
Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
Country: Maryland, USA.
Price: $2.50 USA - 12oz Can
ABV: 4.7%

Commercial Fluff:
Aromas of grapefruit and subtle spice meld into lemon and pine hop notes balanced with crisp cracker malt. Pair this with tailgates, mowing the lawn, and anything else that calls for a light, yet flavorful, beer.

Own Opinion

Sight: Light hazy golden yellow, tidy white head. Classic looking IPA.
Aroma: Straight off I get a lemon citrus and peach aroma, which soon makes way to a slight malty biscuit hit.
Taste: Pretty standard. Easy to drink with a gentle hop profile. Finishes with a moderate bitterness. Very easy to finish a six pack.
Would I buy it again? Most likely not. It was fun to try and I did finish the pack. The problem is there are better versions of this style out there. This is a great intro beer for the less experienced.

As always let me know your thoughts. I love getting the feedback.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Book Review 17 // The Unforgiven by Gav Thorpe (Legacy of Caliban Part Three)

Welcome to the final part of the Legacy of Caliban series. If you haven't read the earlier reviews please do- Part One & Part Two. For those not in the know, I am attempting to improve on my Books of 2017. Last year I challenged myself to a book a month and managed to just complete it. This year I am upping the twelve book total to eighteen. This will hopefully improve my reading ability (dyslexia sucks), but will ultimately give me a reason to blog even more!

So my first book of 2018 was completed fourteen days into 2018, whilst the the second book was completed twenty five days in. It continues the trilogy of Legacy of Caliban by Gav Thorpe and follows a group of Dark Angels through three novel and a few short stories. For this review we will be going over All Must End, Accept No Failure and The Unforgiven so let's jump in:


All Must End

Page Count: 26
Overview: This tale follows on from Master of Sanctity and delves deeper into a scene from the tale. For this short story we follow the events of Dark Angels Librarian Harahel as he attempts to take a spirit walk through the warp that will endanger his very soul. Though he is protected by wards and sigils Harahel risks everything to discover the fallen. But can he come back from this in one piece.

Great quick tale that shows how much the Dark Angels are willing to risk in order to protect their shame.

Accept No Failure

Page Count: 20
Overview:  For this tale we head back to Piscina IV as the main bulk of the Dark Angel forces wage war. During this tale we follow Deathwing Captain Belial as he relives his failures of the first time the Dark Angels and greenskins clashed on this world. This short story links the actions of Purging of Kadillus and unfolding of Master of Sanctity. The re-enactment of the duel between Belial and Ghazghkull is the highlight of this story and worth reading purely for that.

The Unforgiven

Page Count: 235
Overview: The final tale of the trilogy. With the thrice cursed Cypher in the Cells, it is up to the inner circle to decide the next course of action. Will they listen to the traitor and risk it all or should they ignore the warnings and hope it is all lies. Though filled with twists and a good plot, it felt rushed and could have been filled out in a more fulfilling and satisfying way.

Highlights for me include:

Ending of the Annael and Telemenus storylines- Telemenus' was a great ending.

Typhus finally appearing though rushed was still an exciting moment.

Cypher- how does he always escape?

The Watchers in the Dark what are these creepy little monsters.

Luther in a Cell- What the hell dudes! You are keeping him in statis, bad idea.

The actual ending of the tale. What the heck happen! Feel free to email on this topic as I don't want to post spoilers.

Lowlights:

Rushed, every scene seemed rushed. Felt like two books crushed into one.
Merir Astelan. Where the hell did he go? He escapes at the end of book two and is never spoken of again. Seems like a poor way to forget a him.
To much jumping back and forth between characters, it lost a bit to much focus.

Great to have completed the trilogy, but was left a little disappointed by this last tale. I truly hope Gav Thorpe will revisit these characters and flesh out this tale more. Have you read the series? What are your thoughts on it, drop me a comment below.

Now just to resist the urge of an all Ravenwing army....must resist....must resist....must join The Unforgiven...

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Comic Review 25 // IDW Judge Dredd Funko Universe

Welcome to the next comic review. Unsurprisingly it is Judge Dredd related, but instead of the safe and friendly world of 2000AD we are entering the American market and a comic Published by IDW. This comic already scares me because it is also based in the world of Funko's. Yep Funko the collectible statues of movies, games, books, made from plastic with giant heads. This is going to be interesting.

Publisher: IDW
Title: Judge Dredd Funko Universe (One Shot)
Writer: John Layman.
Artists: Francesco Gaston and Troy Little.
Pages: 35

Cover
The Cover displays a funko style Dredd in red, across his visor we see Mega City One burning. The style is lacking detail and already I'm filling with dread over what the story will be like.

Story: Crim Story
Overview: Funko Dredd faces off against a Cursed Earth Mutant, whilst a Cambot narrates the whole thing.
Opinion: Annoying. It didn't do justice to the city the population or Judge Dredd. The artwork was childish at best and annoying at worst. Complete let down.

Story: All Pupped Up
Overview: An old lady has lost her dog and it is up to Dredd to find it. Maybe the dog is in the Cursed Earth Botanical Exhibit.
Opinion: Wow it got worse! Firstly pets aren't allowed in MC-1, there also is no central park ever mentioned and when the Lawgiver fired Weed Killer I wanted to die. This is seriously disappointing.

Story: Matters of Life & Death
Overview: Zombie Funko's are invading MC-1. Can Judge Dredd and Anderson save the day?
Opinion: Had a better plot if I want to be kind. Unfortunately the ending was amazingly week and pointless. I love the Dark Judges and want this comic did to them is amazingly mean and cruel.

Final thoughts: Do not buy, do support this, save your money and buy the real comic. This was a disaster, for this alone IDW should lose the rights to the Dreddverse all together. This is a shameful money grab to get the Funko collectors. I'm truly disappointed.

Leave a comment if you have an opinion. Sorry you had to read and see this review.
If you own one of these and want to sell it send me a message!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Book Review 16 // Master of Sanctity by Gav Thorpe (Legacy of Caliban Part two)

So for those not in the know,I'm attempting this year to improve on my Books of 2017. Last year I challenged myself to a book a month and managed to just complete it. This year I am upping the twelve book total to eighteen. This will hopefully improve my reading ability (dyslexia sucks), but will ultimately give me a reason to blog even more!

So here we are fourteen days into 2018 and the first book is complete. It continues the trilogy of Legacy of Caliban by Gav Thorpe. It follows a group of Dark Angels through three novel and a few short stories. The first part is here for your reading pleasure. For this review we will be going over Battle Brothers and Master of Sanctity so let's dive in:




Battle Brothers

Page Count: 26

Commercial Fluff: As the battle-brothers of Fifth Company struggle to keep the Chaos-worshipping forces of the Unworthy at bay in the warrens of Port Imperial, it falls to the elite warriors of the Ravenwing to hunt a mysterious traitor, one of the Fallen. What awaits Sergeant Cassiel and his Black Knights squad in the depths of the corrupted space station?

Overview: When I first started reading this tale I thought I had accidentally gone back a few chapters into Ravenwing (I need a bookmark!). This short story is in fact a deleted chapter of sorts; set during the 2nd and 5th Companies assault on Port Imperial from the Ravenwing novel, but this time told from the point of view of the injured Brother Sergeant Cassiel and his soon to be rescuer Brother Apothecary Gideon. It's what you expect from a 26 page space marine tale, it is full of quick fighting action, violences and iconic moments ripped from a 80's action movie. Why should you read it? Well for one, Brother Sergeant Cassiel's epic fight moments: left alone having suffer horrific injures- losing his legs and being left pretty much crippled from an earlier ambush the poor Sergeant has to outlast the crazy cannibal cultists that are breaching the room from every possible entry point. It's amazing how calm the characters are throughout this tale. Great read for sure.

Master of Sanctity

Page Count: 416

Commercial Fluff: More secrets of the Dark Angels are revealed as the Legacy of Caliban trilogy continues. The Legacy of Caliban echoes down through the ages, and the secretive mission of the Dark Angels Space Marines continues. Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai sees treachery and deceit everywhere he turns – while this serves him well in his hunt for the Fallen, it also strains the Chapter’s relations with their Imperial allies. With their true quarry now seemingly within their grasp, Brothers Annael and Telemenus find themselves at the forefront of a new operation that could shake the Imperium itself to its very core.

Overview: The story follows on from the discoveries and revelations made in Ravenwing. We follow Annael as he is freshly promoted to the Black Knights and Telemenus who is promoted into the ranks of the First Company aka The Deathwing. Through their eyes we see how the terrible knowledge of the Dark Angels past affects them both and changes their lives forever. We also get introduced to two new characters Chaplain of Sanctity Sapphon and Chaplain of Repentance Asmodai. Their constant power struggle and differing viewpoints is a true highlight of the book. It fun watching the pair argue how to deal with a Fallen marine and how easy it is for him to manipulate the pair into an ill prepared hunt for more Fallen Marines.

One of the best sections of this story for me was the Daemon World Ulthor. Here on the very edge of the Eye of Terror both Ravenwing and Deathwing make planet fall in the hope of capturing another Fallen Marine. The descriptions during these chapters are just epic. From the city itself manipulating the buildings to stunt the attack, all the way to the creepy ass fortress/mansion of lungs, eyeballs and greater daemons. What happens here to poor Telemenus is just heartbreaking and I can't wait to see if he comes back in the third title.

The ending had a twist I didn't expect and I have been left ultimately wanting to jump into the next and final installment. So come back soon for the final review.

Beer Review 54 // Elaborative -Four- by Hillfarmstead

Today is a bit of a throwback to when I had a Hill Farmstead. Like a lot of the beer I drink, I ultimately take notes, take a picture and forget to blog about it. This has lead to me having quite a backlog of beers that would seem dated to post about. But some beers like Hill Farmstead have to be blogged about, otherwise that is just a huge injustice. So today's post is one such beer, enjoyed with good company in Montreal. Here are my notes.

Details

Name: Elaborative Four
Style: Radler/Shandy
Brewery: Hill Farmstead (collaboration with Crooked Stave & Jackie O')
Country: Vermont, USA.
Price: Unrecorded- 500ml Bottle
ABV: 3.2% (it is a Radler)

Commercial Fluff:
3% abv Radler brewed with the Elaborative gang (Brad ’Jackie O’s’ and Chad ’Crooked Stave’) and Cory King.

Own Opinion

Sight: A pale yellow body and white foamy head. Looks inviting and refreshing.
Aroma: Straight away the citrus is there, lemon being the main aroma. This is backed up some oaky brett aromas before a slight wheaty smell appears. Definitely citrus from this (underlined citrus).
Taste: Lemon on the front end of this, but quite dry and tart at the same time. It is very drinkable and glasses quickly emptied.
Would I buy it again? Truthfully no. I'm not sure I would say it was a refreshing beer as I would want from a radler, as the dryness has you reaching for more. It was fun and interesting at the time but for the price tag I think would rather sample something else.

What are your thoughts on this beer or this brewery? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Beer Review 53 // Filibuster by Dominion City

Welcome to 2018! First beer of the year is from a local brewery called Dominion City. This brewery has seen a big change over the last year. They seemingly found some money or a new backer and are ramping up their production. They have also thrown a sizable wad of cash at marketing, social media and websites. This is a brewery to watch as I'm sure they will be making waves in 2018.

Details

Name: Filibuster
Style: DIPA
Brewery: Dominion City
Country: Canada, Ontario, Ottawa.
Price: $4.20 CAD
ABV: 8%
Commercial Fluff: "Like the legislative tactic for which this beer is named, Filibuster invites you to sit back and relax. Just don’t plan on anything productive happening for awhile. Loaded with juicy hop flavour, tropical aroma and still refreshing despite a considerable malt body, this double IPA will get you talking."

Own Opinion

Label: Pretty standard label from them. Not much else to say on this one.
Slight: The pour is a murky opaque yellow, which forms a small off white head to cap it. Looks like orange juice. Good so far.
Aroma: Aroma gives off tropical fruit flavours think Mango and Pineapple juice. Starting to wonder if it is just Pineapple juice from a carton.
Taste: The flavour isn't quite what I hoped for. It tastes like canned pineapple and the hop taste sticks in your throat. Seems like a sticky beer that may have been released too early, just seems to green and fresh.

Would I buy it again? No. I bought four cans but ultimately gave away three cans after this one. Nice to have them try this out but it really didn't work for me. Other breweries do this style better, but I do understand it is a learning experience so I hope they tweak it and a make a Filibuster 2.0

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Comic Review 24 // The Complete Case Files 05 (Part 3)

Welcome back for the second part of the Complete Case Files 05. If you haven't read Part One then follow these links Part 1, Part 2. I ultimately wanted to do the reviews in just two parts, but soon came to realise that just wasn't going to happen, so it will now be broken down into three.

Guess what it's still in it's bold striking purple jacket, ringing in at a massive 404 pages. The tales inside spann progs 208 till 270 (62 progs worths) and it covers the Mob wars, the return of Judge Death and the Apocalypse war years of 2103-2104. I love this era of Judge Dredd as we see great artwork, stunning stories and the rise and fall of some great heroes and villains. For this book I had to break it down into three parts as it is a long one and this part is ultimately the Apocalypse War arc.

Story: Block Mania Part 1- Block Wars are nothing new for the citizens of Mega City-One, but this day in 2103 Block Mania will rule the city. Whilst attempting to control one block such block war the Judge force find themselves surrounded by six blocks as they each declare war on one another and meet in the central park.
Highlight: Melda Dreepe getting a face full of four cred Freezy Whip that starts off the whole block war.

Story: Block Mania Part 2- The Judges finally bring about an end to the six way Block War. The end of the fighting comes at a heavy cost to both Judges and Citizens alike. Soon Judge Dredd discovers this is not an isolated event and that in fact most of the Northern Sectors of Mega City One are in fact in open conflict with one another. What could be happening?
Highlight: Pancho Villa block's mentally of going it alone against the five other blocks! Stupid, crazy and very inspired by the name.


Story: Block Mania Part 3- The Northern sectors of Mega City One are in open war with each other. As Dredd struggles to contain the fighting his long suffering informant Max Normal arrives on scene. The Pinstripe freak has news that his own block has succumb to the fighting, only problem is they have discovered away to kill hundreds of blockers in one foul swoop!
Highlight: Max Normal is seemingly unaffected by the spreading block mania, making Dredd realise it maybe a virus. Poor old Max is then force into medbay for a series of tests.

Story: Block Mania Part 4- Mega City One is in  open revolt, blocks fighting blocks and now even the Judges are affected by the sweeping mania. Following up on a tip from Max Normal, Dredd is able to stop a doomsday weapon from reaching it's full potential. Unfortunately for a few blocks the help comes too late and hundreds are killed by the toxic cloud.
Highlight: Weather Control- Using their weather manipulating powers they are able to create a cyclone in order to remove the poisonous the gas from the sector.

Story: Block Mania Part 5- Faced with 150 million rioting citizens, Dredd is forced to call in the big guns. Using Sonic Cannons (designed to destroy incoming missiles), Dredd fires on the citizens bringing a lot of the fighting to a quick close. But just as things seem to be improving more Block Fights start appearing in other parts of the city.
Highlight: Is there a more sinister plot a foot? The last three panels sure hint at it!

Story: Block Mania Part 6- The city is in full scale riot and the Judge's system is being pushed to breaking point. Having received a tip off, Dredd heads to Frank Zappa block which seems to be at the heart of the fiercest fighting. Inside he discovers the possible cause of the problem and an overall more sinister plot.
Highlight: Even the Mopad drivers are affected and are fighting road wars all along the high speed megaways.

Story: Block Mania Part 7- Finally the villain is exposed and it is none other than Orlock, top Assassin of East Meg One. Turns out the Block Mania is being caused by the city's water supply being poisoned. As the Judges start searching for the poisoner it is the heroic Judge Giant who discovers him.
Highlight: Seems like the fan favourite Judge Giant has come to the rescue of the city again. But in a shocking surprise Orlock gains the upper hand and defeats Judge Giant! A real shocking turn of events, up until now named Judges who died had very little background. This is proof that no character is safe in Mega City One.

Story: Block Mania Part 8- Orlock the assassin is lose in Mega City One. Having been foiled at the water plant he decides to up his game and attack weather control. Poisoning the rain seeding machine, Orlock damages the controls so the rain won't stop falling. Now all of Mega City One is being covered in the Block Mania drug.
Highlight: Weather Control- a huge hovering complex that has full control of the entire city's weather. Great idea until something like this happens.

Story: Block Mania Part 9- The poisoned rain is falling as Judge Dredd hunts down the murderous Orlock. As flood waters rush about them, it comes down to a classic fist fight. Assassin versus Judge. Ultimately there could only ever be one winner with Dredd triumphant but not before Orlock has poisoned him with a heavy dose of Block Mania! With some timely intervention Judge Dredd is subdued and when he comes round he discovers a cure has been found. Sadly for Mega City One it is too late as the real plot unfolds, this was all a precursor to an East Meg One attack!
Highlight: Orlock the Assassin- Such a badass! Kills 10+ judges and almosts takes Dredd in a one on one fight. Pure badass.


Story: Apocalypse War Part 1- The war has begun. East Meg One launches the biggest attack to be seen since the Booth administration. As Mega City One still reels from the Block Wars, the Sovs launch attacks from air, sea and space, catching Mega City One completely defenseless.
Highlight: The opening panel artwork of Dredd with a nuke cloud in the background. Very epic opening.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 2- As Mega City One's defences are pushed to breaking point, Sov nukes start smashing through the shielding . The first location to suffer is Sector 403, the sight of an earlier nuke attack by the Sov control agent Captain Shank. Soon the death toll is rising on both sides as nukes are exchanged between cities.
Highlight: Seeing the Texas City and MC-2 chief judges, such a shame both are cowards and agree to not aid Mega City One, the Shame.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 3- The war of the missiles continue with the Sovs detonating a load at sea in order to cause a massive tidal wave that floods the Eastern Sectors and destroys most of the wall defences. With the guns gone missiles are free to rain down on the besieged Mega City One.
Highlight: Watching Dredd's ship survive the blast, only to crash land in a block afflicted with Block Mania.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 4- With Judge Dredd leading the way, he manages to get the injured Chief Judge Griffin out of Betty Boop block and into the safety of the Tactical Command Bunker East. Here the news turns sour as Dredd discovers that Tactical Command Bunker West is destroyed and North is without a commander. As the Sov leaders demand the surrender of Mega City One they put on a display of power by completely wiping out some of the southern sectors.
Highlight: The medicine of the future. Using a rapid heal machine Dredd's broken arm is healed in minutes!

Story: Apocalypse War Part 5- The South of Mega City One is gone! 150 million souls purged in a moment. With such power on display Judge Dredd plays his final hand and launches all of Mega City One's Total Annihilation Devices missiles at East Meg One. As the missiles close in on their target the East Meg Judges active they're secret weapon an Apocalypse Warp Shield.
Highlight: Apocalypse Warp Shield- Seemingly takes all the power of East Meg to run it but it seems to make the Mega City One missiles disappear!?

Story: Apocalypse War Part 6- With their shields up East Meg is unable to communicate with the outside world, so they place their faith in 'Mad Dog' Kazan to lead the ground invasion. As this is happening we discover the fate of the Mega City One missiles. The Warp shielding has transported them to another dimension. On that Earth peace has reigned supreme since the start of time, sadly for them it is now the end as the TAD missiles land and crack open the core of that Earth.
Highlight: The final panel showing Kazan ordering the land invasion, is very atmospheric.


Story: Apocalypse War Part 7- The land invasion is in full swing. Whilst the Mega City One Judges fight a guerilla war. The Sov Judges deploy T-1000 Rad-Sweepers a form of giant tank that can crush all before it. Then if anything is unlucky enough to have survived they are soon mopped up by the Karpov MF7 Sentenoids, a multi limbed fighting droid designed for anti personnel fighting.
Highlight: Dredd's command post is now under attack by the deadly Sentenoids. It would seem that Dredd is trapped.
Story: Apocalypse War Part 8- The war is pretty much lost and Judge Dredd must help Chief Judge Griffin escape capture. Judge Dredd announces to the City that they must fight together to protect their homes or all will be lost. Unfortunately for the Judges the citizens still have Block Mania and are ignoring the bigger picture.
Highlight: Maria- Dredd's housekeeper is affected by the Block Mania and tries to enlist Walter the Wobot to the cause. Lucky for the housekeeper Walter is unaffected and ties up poor old Maria.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 9- Chief Judge Griffin has fled upon Justice 2, leaving a burning city behind him. As Dredd rides north to combat the East Meggers we learn that weather control has sabotaged their controls to aid in the hinnering of the invasion.
Highlight: As the East Meg Judges spray the block mania antidote over the city; Walter the Wobot covers the infected Maria's face, fearing the gas to be poison. Then as the warring populous recovers Walter realises is error. Now Maria is the only citizen left suffering from Block Mania.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 10- The East Meg forces have complete control of the Northern Sectors. Now Judge Dredd is leading fighting elements against the invading forces, striking quick and leaving quicker.
Highlight: After saving a bunch of refugees from some Rad seepers, Dredd informs them they have entered a rad zone and will be dead within the hour. Upon hearing this news the citizens request a clean death. With the request granted Dredd and his team open fire on the citizens ending their misery.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 11- As the East Meggers spread south they bombard the population of Mega City One with Hypnotic leaflets. As the hungry and weaken citizens read them they become affected by the message, allowing the East Meg forces to pass unopposed.
Highlight: Dredd's plan of cutting off the northern sectors is working. Soon only one junction stands open for the invaders- Dan Tanna Junction. Where it all began!

Story: Apocalypse War Part 12- Now armed with the deadly stub-gun, Dredd's forces ride North to destroy Dan Tanna junction. But unknown to them they are riding straight into a trap!
Highlight: Stub-gun: Potentially the most devastating hand held weapon ever made. Downside it can be dangerous to the user! It's basically a high powered laser gun that can cut through anything.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 13- Only four squads made it to Dan Tanna, as the east meg forces sweep over the area the teams start destroying the roads, bridges and walkways of the Junctions.
Highlight: Judge Soulster after being cornered by East Meggers, he heroically jumps over the edge and as he plunges to his death he cuts and destroys the remaining connectors bringing down the entire Junction with him. His final words are "For Freedom, For Justice, For Mega-City One"! Cheesy but cool.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 14- Dan Tanna is gone all that is left is for the Judges to escape. With the megaways gone the battles move from the towering city blocks to City Bottom, the base of MC-1.
Highlight: Mad Dog upon hearing of the destruction of Dan Tanna exiles his commander to Siberia for his failings.

Story: Apocalypse War part 15- The war for MC-1 is drawing to an end and it would seem Dredd is on the losing side. Sensing his soon to be victory Mad Dog Kazan unveils his true plans and orders the assassination of the Diktatorat. Now Kazan is the Sole Leader of East Meg one and her forces.
Highlight: We find out that Kazan has a clone-mother in Siberia, leading to the idea of him maybe being a clone like Dredd.
Story: Apocalypse War Part 16- We go back a few days to discover the fate of Chief Judge Griffin. It would seem he was captured rather quickly after fleeing Mega City One. After suffering from extreme torture Chief Judge Griffin is nothing more than a brainwashed Sov puppet. Leaving it up to Judge Dredd to end Chief Judge Griffin's career.
Highlight: Dredd's forces are building pits and executing any and all citizens who have helped the Sovs, this is a serious dark turn for the comic.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 17-Chief Judge Griffin has sided with the Sovs and now it is up to Judge Dredd to sneak into the Grand Hall of Justice and kill his old friend and mentor.
Highlight: Dredd sneaks in the same way as he did when he attacked the Mad Chief Judge Cal. A fitting way for sure to end another Chief Judges life.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 18- Dredd has assassinated his old friend Chief Judge Griffin. Not wanting to be used like his mentor, Judge Dredd takes his own life. Or at least that's what he wants the sov's to believe. Using a specially modified bullet, Judge Dredd is able to shoot himself whilst not actually killing himself. Coming too in a less guarded location, Judge Dredd fights his way back to the escape hatch. Cornered and too weak to lift the statue, Judge Dredd plans to sell his life dearly and sets fire to the Grand Hall of Justice.
Highlight: Walter seeking revenge for Judge Dredd's death actually arrives just in time to drag the weaken Judge to safety.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 19- At the most Southern Gates of the city 27 million citizens flee into the cursed earth hoping to escape the Sov Block onslaught. Having failed to gain the support of either Tex-Cit or Mega-City Two, Dredd selects nine of the best still active Judges and sets off to destroy East-Meg One for good.
Highlight: Anderson and Hersey are back, I just know the next few progs will be crazy!

Story: Apocalypse War Part 20- Nine versus an army! Dredd plans to destroy East-Meg One in hopes of evening up the fight. Step one of this plan is capturing a Sov Strato-V.
Highlight: The Sov Judges are out matched compared to the elite of Mega City One. We get to see them take down twice their number with zero casualties.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 21- Using the stolen Strato-V Dredd's team use a twister missile to drill a hole into a Sov control missile bunker. As the Sov are distracted by the unexploded missile the Mega City One Judges are able to use the tunnel to infiltrate the bunker.
Highlight: Though not a bad strip it has no real standout moments.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 22- Dredd's team tear through the Sov bunker taking no prisoners. Soon they gained control of the op centre and 20 TAD missiles. Once launch codes secure Dredd orders them all fired on East Meg One, from this range the Sov city won't have time to raise it shields.
Highlight: A cold hearted ruthless Dredd. Seeking vengeance against the Sov's Dredd sentences 20 billion souls to a nuclear death!

Story: Apocalypse War Part 23- Judge Dredd has wiped East Meg from the face of the Earth, reigniting the resistant fighting in Mega City One. With their job complete The Apocalypse Squad surrender and are took as prisoner by Mad Dog's men.
Highlight: Izaak- Once the Sov second in command, his career has taken a nosedive die to Dredd. For his constant failures he is now just a Kadet forced to play russian roulette every day!

Story: Apocalypse War Part 24- With Mega City One's faith restored the fight shifts in favour of the besieged fighting force. Soon even Mad Dog's own generals are suing for peace. At this point it becomes clear Mad Dog is going get everyone killed, so Izaak the downtrodden East Meg Judge hatches a plan to bring down Kazan for good.
Highlight: Judge McGruder is back! She is heavily injured but has took command of the resistance fighters of MC-1. This will be her defining moment and lead to her becoming Chief Judge in the future.

Story: Apocalypse War Part 25- The epic finale. Released by Izaak and given the freedom to move unchallenged on the Sov Command Ship, Judge Dredd makes his way to confront Mad Dog Kazan. As Kazan watches his demoralised forces collapse around him, he regrets nothing and stands defilant before Dredd. For his crimes against Mega City One, Dredd executes Kazan and forces the unconditional surrender of Sov forces. The surviving Sov generals become prisoners for the most part whilst the rest are sent back home to the smoking ruins of their devastated city.
Highlight: The aftermath- we see SJS Judge McGruder become Chief Judge and following a chat with Dredd they wonder what worst fate is soon to befall Mega City One as prophesied by Judge Fey (Judge Child Saga).

Wow what a saga! 2000 AD have got so good at these longer tales. If you include block mania this tale goes for 34 weeks, that is rather impressive for any comic book firm. Highlights for me include:

  • Block Mania and the building tension of wondering what the hell is going on!
  • Orlock the East Meg Assassin- Such a badass, can't wait for him to reappear again.
  • The destructive scale of the fighting at 30 billion people gone from the Judge Dredd timeline!
  • The use of old characters- the return of Anderson and Hersey at the end and sad death of Giant at the beginning.
  • The newly instated Chief Judge McGruder, we are getting closer to when I first started reading 2000 AD which makes me excited.
Lowlights:
  • Feel weird writing this...I don't have any! This story arc was epic and exactly what I want from a tale that feels half the book. Yes it was expected that MC-1 would win. But the how was a mystery.
So where does the city go now? It seems pretty screwed up in my opinion, most of the north is in ruins whilst the east is flooded. On top of that we have a Dredd that blew up 20 billion citizens in revenge for his city and as the last line mentioned we are also closing in on Judge Fey's doomsday year. All I know is the Complete Case Files Six is going to be an interesting read.

Hope you have had fun reading this overview. My hopes is that these either inspire you to pick up a prog or at the very least bring a smile to your faces. Thanks for reading!

Monday, 1 January 2018

Comic Book Review 23 // Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files 05 (Part 2)

Welcome back for the second part of the Complete Case Files 05. If you haven't read Part One then follow this LINK you damn perp! I wanted to do the review in two parts but came to realise that just wasn't going to happen so it will now be broken down into three.

Like last time it is in it's bold striking purple jacket, ringing in at 404 pages. The tales inside spann progs 208 till 270 (62 progs worths) it covers the Mob wars, the return of Judge Death and the Apocalypse war years of 2103-2104. I love this era of Judge Dredd as we see great artwork, stunning stories and the rise and fall of some great heroes and villains. For this book I had to break it down into three parts as it is a long one and this part is ultimately the Return of Judge Death arc.

Story: Judge Death Lives Part 1- Having spent the last few years imprisoned within Judge Anderson, Judge Death has waited patiently. That is until now, when a tourist of the Grand Hall of Justice releases him from his prison. Now carrying the essence of Death within him the poor citizen returns home to find his wife dead and the Dark Judges holding court in his home.
Highlight: The first ever panel showing Fire, Fear and Mortis is one of my favourite Brian Bolland panels ever. So creepy and atmospheric.


Story: Judge Death Lives Part 2- Judge Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis are loose within MC-1. Having erected a Shield the Dark Judges start sentencing the citizens of Billy Carter Block to death! As Dredd and the other Judges arrive on scene they find just pure carnage as the citizen try to flee the block and burn up on the shield!
Highlight: Seeing the Dark Judges powers in action, purely horrific and mindblowing. How will the Judges stop them?

Story: Judge Death Lives Part 3- The Dark Judges are racking up a body count like no other. Whilst trapped outside a frustrated Dredd is visited by a recovering Anderson, who informs him of the other three Dark Judges. Using her willpower Anderson is able to get herself and Dredd through the shielding into the besieged block.
Highlight: The last stand of Billy Carter Citi-Def in Peanut Park. Full of hope and trust in their guns and ultimately they barely scratch them or slow them down.

Story: Judge Death Lives Part 4- Dredd and Anderson are now in Billy Carter Block and searching for the shield device only problem is Judge Fire and Fear stand between them and it.
Highlight: My highlight is also a lowlight. Dredd defeats Fire by trapping him under concrete all fine and well. But with Judge Fear he does his classic Fist of Dredd line which is pretty badass. Unfortunately for me all seems a bit too easy. They are supernatural beings brought down with ease by a meer man! I would have preferred to have seen Anderson stepping up to the plate and aiding more help than just the odd shot from a lawgiver.

Story: Judge Death Lives Part 5- With the shield down the full might of MC-1 Justice is hitting Billy Carter Block. With one of their number down the three remaining Dark Judges flee MC-1 via a dimension jumping device. Not wanting to miss their chance Dredd and Anderson follow using Judge Fears dimension jumper and end up on Deadworld, home of the Dark Judges. Here an epic battle takes places resulting in Anderson harnessing the victims to finish off the Dark Judges. But can the dead truly die?
Highlight: The statue erected showing the spot of the last living soul to be judged. Who exactly built it?

Story: Diary of a Mad Citizen Part 1- Kweeg has gone Futsie and as his diary reveals he has vowed to kill anyone who annoys him today! First up was his friend from the Citi-Def, followed soon after by a poor joe who knocked into him on the pedway, then a passing street Judge, followed by an explosion at a fuel station, before finally killing his old boss who fired him! Quite the first day for Kweeg, but when an un-named Judge (I assume Dredd) pushes him Kweeg's mission changes focus.
Highlight: Putting his dead friend in the rubbish grinder! Such a sad way to end a friendship.


Story: Diary of a Mad Citizen Part 2- Kweeg has gone Futsie. Worst let he wants to kill Dredd and no one will stop him! After killing his taxi driver Kweeg finds himself heading back to the taxi station were he kills everyone! From here everything goes downhill as he attempts to out shoot Dredd! For his crimes Kweeg is sent to a Kook Cube for the rest of his life.
Highlight: There wasn't one really. Pretty sad ending for the villain, felt rushed and seemed weird it went on for two strips.

Story: Assault on I-Block-4 Part 1- Gila-Munja are infiltrating MC-1 their mission, to kill Shaky Pete Coco ex-mobster turned Judge Witness.
Highlight: The Gila-Munja. How best to describe them...Short, poison clawed hands and weird Conan hair. A tribe of Assassins from the Cursed Earth, their mutation has stabilized and they now use their abilities to kill for money.

Story: Assault on I-Block-4 Part 2- The Gila-Munja are within MC-1, now we get to see their skills in action and how quick they can break through an impenetrable building. Soon Dredd is alone facing off against three of the Cursed Earth mutants.
Highlight: Shaky Pete Coco even though he survived the assassination attempt Coco's heart ultimately fails him and technically the mobsters win.

Story: The Hotdog Run! Part 1- Judge Dredd and Judge Giant is taking a team of Cadets out into the Cursed Earth Wastelands. If the cadets perform poorly, they are automatically failed from the Academy, success means being one step closer to becoming a Judge. This group has been tasked with hunting down a group of Mutant Marauder pillaging supply convoys west of the city.
Highlight: Aquaponic Farm growing Munce plants. Munce is the miracle food of the future but creepy looks like human heads!

Story: The Hotdog Run! Part 2- The Cadets have managed to chase down the marauders to an Aquaponic Munce farm, which is now under siege. To make matters worse the Marauders have a tank!
Highlight: Cadet Spode fails and is forced to head back to MC-1, before leaving the Academy. Life is hard for a cadet Judge.

Story: The Hotdog Run! Part 3- With the Judges hot on their heels the Marauders makes a fateful error and enter the territory of the Gila-Munja. Unsurprisingly casualties are high and a promising cadet dies. With their mission complete Dredd passes Judgement on the surviving Cadets passing only two of them.
Highlight: The Gila-Munja are back and scary as ever.

And with that tale we bring this part to a close. The next tale is Block Mania and the opening of the Apocalypse War Saga. What to say on this section of the comic..highlights include the artwork on the Judge Death strips, but not so happy how easily dealt the villains were. I would have preferred to have seen it go a strip or two longer and have a more epic showdown. Also the diary of a mad citizen had a rushed ending to it which was a shame, made it feel like filler than the in slight into a citizens life. Hotdog run entered the Cursed Earth so it was a given that I would enjoy it! Overall this section is a solid 4 out of 5. Now onto the war!

S102. Character Fact File: Rhode Island Red and Squid Face.

Hey, hey Dredd-heads. Bringing you some more Dredd goodness. This time we turn to the dreaded Cursed Earth and the home of Rhode Island...