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Barnascas couldn’t help smiling. He loved it here. If he could work out how to stay, he’d never leave. So much better to forget his lost, useless legs. The tracks ground out a rhythm beneath him that soothed a lifetime’s worth of frustration. He knew the tank was ridiculous, and on Athien he’d never be able to make it work; the dimensions were all wrong. Besides, it offered no real protection on a battlefield. It was enough for the smaller skirmishes in Between though! Here, he could stand…ahem…fight toe-to-…well…track with anyone he chose. Here, those who ridiculed him would burn. Though, generally, he’d found those he met here to be completely oblivious to how he looked. The odd questioning glance was about all he earned for riding on a gods-be-damned tank! Which, when he considered the many things he’d seen here, was probably not unreasonable really.
Some elf he’d run across (he had thought they’d all been killed off a hundred cycles ago) appeared for all the worlds to have a backpack that made her fly. Creatures of flame, beasts, mages, a little man that spawned something hideous that cackled and threw gods-knew-what at you when you looked away…it was a world of wonders. Forbidden wonders he’d always been taught about, but he suspected the teachers had never had any real idea of this place. If appearance was anything to judge by (which was certainly questionable here), then there were precious few visiting here from his world. Most seemed far more primitive, although that didn’t mean anything in terms of ability to kick his dwarf arse. He’d been a little taken aback the first time that bloody little elf had kicked the side of his tank and sent him flying, nearly kicking him clean back to Athien.
No, he hadn’t worked out exactly what dictated strength here, but it certainly wasn’t technology. Which should have been a bitter pill for him, having spent his whole life developing bigger and better weapons of war. Instead, he felt liberated. Here, he could fight how he wanted to, and be rewarded in ways he’d never imagined. He was sure now, after a dozen visits, that each time he went back to Athien he became a tiny bit stronger. More so if he’d had a successful visit, but even after a drubbing he still felt enervated on his return.
He’d felt the first twinges of feeling in his legs a handful of visits ago, and after the last one he could feel his thighs. He had pinched them and they had tingled; even hurt a little. He didn’t know how, or why, but he felt certain that if he kept visiting, he would eventually recover the use of his legs. What surprised him most was that he wasn’t sure it mattered. He wanted to be here. Athien, even with his legs returned, was a poor substitute for the freedom he sensed could be had in Between.
So far, he had no more idea of how to get here than he’d had the first time that the inexplicable summons had made itself known. He had got better at hanging on though, like now. The effigy had faded minutes ago and with it the other summoned, but not him.
Barnascus was holding on to the connection with every scrap of will he could muster. He wasn’t sure exactly how he was doing it, and it definitely would leave him more drained when he finally slipped free, but for a few precious moments he could stay here and observe a wholly different world. Without the effigies and the other summoned, the place seemed to revert to what he assumed was a more natural state, which was confusing and wonderful.
As he remained in the slowly shrinking bubble of his own influence, the world beyond it morphed and twisted. The scenery bent into amalgams of places he thought he recognised, and landscapes he would have sworn were impossible. The perspective sometimes shifted wildly, particularly when he caught glimpses of things moving. They often appeared to move in stop-motion, one moment being in multiple places at once and the next coalescing into a single figure in an entirely different place. He didn’t understand it, and wasn’t sure it was possible to understand it without being in it in some way.
So far though, when his bubble collapsed he found himself back on Athien. He never managed to stay past that moment.
One day, though. One day he’d manage it. He’d break free of the bonds that kept him close to the effigy, and somehow remain. He felt sure that the souls and the golden energy they fought over were the key. While the effigy held him, almost all of the energy was forfeit to whoever had bought him here; only a scrap remained for him. But if he could break free, he could use all of it, he was sure; use it to keep him here much much longer, perhaps forever. He had no idea how his body would fare on Athien. These trips typically left his body vulnerable for minutes or hours. Curiously, the duration on Athien and the time lapse he experienced on Between did not seem to correlate. Perhaps it would sit there for as long as it took to die of thirst, or maybe if he spent years here, he’d eventually return to his body to find it only heartbeats later. Perhaps he’d be able to live a hundred lifetimes here with brief spells back on Athien. He could dream, couldn’t he?
He could feel his grip slipping already. He had hoped to last longer, perhaps have time for some experiments. But once again, introspection had drifted over him and eaten his precious little time away. He was beginning to suspect it wasn’t so much his fault as the very nature of the Between that caused wistfulness and introspection to suddenly consume time. A little like meditation really, he thought, amused at that. He typically used meditation as an excuse for his disappearances. As he returned to his body again, he wondered not for the first time if this was, in fact, all in his head. Perhaps it really was a bizarre daydreaming of some sort. The tingling in his legs, now close to the knees, told him otherwise.
One of the highlights of our recent wave 2 Kickstarter campaign was when Shane Barnbrook went huge and pledged $5,000 to "Become a Hero!". It was a real shot in the arm for the campaign and meant Shane was able to collaborate with Judgement's designers, sculptors and illustrators, to create his very own hero. The result of this collaboration was the mighty Barnascus, dwarf pyromaniac! Similar to our wave 1 backer designed heroes, Barnascus introduces something different and pushes the Judgement team to move into new areas that add a lot of variety and colour to the game. Shane was an absolute pleasure to work with and everyone involved in the Barnascus project was absolutely over the moon with the results. For the record the Barnascus illustrator was Shane L Cook and the sculptor was Tom Lishman. Here is Barnascus in all his glory, congratulations Shane, you have been carved into the history books of Judgement! :)
The hapless goblin underneath Barnascus' tank is the world famous "Itchy Nads", who makes his first appearance in the Judgement universe, however it won't be his last...
Obviously, Barnascus is another hero from our WW1/2 time line and the first to be equipped upon a mechanical device, his own personal tank platform! Barnascus is a grizzled veteran of many battles and revels in the opportunity to fight against mighty heroes from a bygone era on the shadow plan of Between.
Shane's involvement in the creation of Barnascus was not just limited to the sculpt. He was also included in the design of Barnascus' in-game rules, and once again we were able to introduce some cool themes and abilities to represent this mighty dwarf on the battle field.
Barnascus is available as an add-on via our Kickstarter late pledges, and can be added to any existing pledge level.
Barnascus is the final sculpt, to be completed, from our wave 2 range! What an awesome collection of heroes and models we now have, and we are simply so excited about getting them manufactured and onto your table-top! Full steam ahead now!Continue reading
The Judgement team continue to work on two streams for the wave 2 Kickstarter, which is to manufacturer the miniatures and ensure the game's rules are in good shape. Today's blog post is about the latter including both a core rulebook update and tweaks to 4 of the wave 2 heroes. The hero changes will be included in the official Patch Notes #3, which will is scheduled for July 1st, however we felt we would release these ones now so that tournament organisers had the option of using them in their tournaments, before patch #3, if they wished. Please note that since the wave 2 models are not actually released, tournament organisers are not obliged to allow them at all, however we are encouraging TOs to allow players to include a single wave 2 hero paper-doll in their Warbands.
An out of cycle core rulebook update is not something we would normally do, however we have had to prepare it for the wave 2 Two Player Starter Box so we decided to make it available for download immediately. Version 1.3 of the Judgement core rulebook is sporting a new cover and basically includes a number of clarifications, and standardisations, based on player feedback. The core rulebook is downloadable as a PDF from the Print & Play section of our website or you can click this link here.
These rules updates are technically not official until 1st of July, when we publish Patch Notes #3, however we are making them available for players and tournament organisers to use if they wish. Official tournaments, run by the Judgement team, will be using these updated hero rules and they will be added to both the iOS and Android mobile apps in the coming days.
We felt that Zhonyja's previous level 3 ability, Last Breath, was underwhelming and did not add anything interesting to her kit considering it only triggered when she died. Zhonyja is meant to represent a frenzied orc warrior, all rage and fury, so after a lot of consideration we decided to give her the more characterful, and potent, ability Counter Strike. This means, at level 3, Zhonyja is a scary proposition to charge particularly if she can apply a Fury token to an enemy out of activation.
The design team are very happy with where Skye basic kit sits among his defender peers. An AGI based defender provides an interesting counter point to the RES based ones and he has opened up different Warband options for many players. After several months play testing we came to the conclusion that Heroic Stand provided little counter play and could really stifle the flow of a game once it was in play. We have made 3 tweaks to it in an attempt to bring it back in line. It can no longer be cast on defenders, the range has dropped from 8" to 5", and it now grants 4 temporary health instead of 5.
Xyvera was the hero the design team used to push the boundaries. This is an important step in the evolution of any game, opening up opportunities to move into new directions and increasing the variety of tools available with future heroes. It has come as no surprise to us that she has been a difficult one to balance, however after this last batch of changes we are a lot more comfortable with where she currently sits. Corrupt Blood was changed so that both the friendly, and enemy, hero models have to be within 4" of Xyvera. Previously the enemy model only had to be within 4" of the friendly model she damaged, effectively giving this ability a 10" range allowing her to do serious damage from the safety of the backline. This change means she has to be a lot closer to the action to use Corrupt Blood.
The major change for Xyvera is her Soul Link ability, which was proving to be too easy for her to get into play and once there proved too dominant, with very little counter play. The first change was to swap her level 2 and level 3 abilities around. This moved Soul Link to level 3 meaning she would get access to it later in the game, but it also means that Diminish Will, which we feel is an interesting ability, will get to see more play time. Soul Link's cost has been raised to 1A+1F, from 1A, and finally we removed defender models as valid targets. The design team want to keep Soul Link in Xyvera's kit, and while it is still a strong ability, these changes mean it has the appropriate cost and restrictions in place to ensure the balance is maintained with other level 3 abilities.
We are also taking this opportunity to officially release the 1st version of Barnascus' rules, and giving players and tournament organisers the opportunity to allow him in their games. As many of you know, Barnascus was designed as a result of the "Become a Hero!" backer from our wave 2 Kickstarter. The design team are so pleased with the aesthetic he brings to the table and worked hard putting together rules that mirrored the fact he is a dwarf riding a tank-like platform. The one change we made from his beta version was to give him a brand new level 1 Fate ability called Grind. Simulating Barnascus grinding his opponents into the turf under his tank tracks, Grind provides the opportunity to do True Damage to multiple opponents simultaneously which gives Barny's kit a bit more bite.