Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
15% price drop available now! 15% price drop available now!

News

Zaffen Ironhelm, an old friend returns

Zaffen Ironhelm, an old friend returns

For many of the early Judgement play testers, Zaffen was an old favourite. The closest thing we have to an artillery piece in the game, with the kind of dwarf resilience you would expect. The latter, a trait that sets him apart from other ranged heroes. Zaffen was another hero that remained an unlocked stretch goal in our original Kickstarter, so has been waiting in the wings ever since. A version of his card was included in the two player starter box, however we have given him a slight re-work for his official release in wave 2.

The good news for Zaffen fans, is that he is one of the 6 core heroes in our wave 2 Kickstarter so is certain to be released this time around. We also commissioned our resident dwarf lover, Shane L Cook, to create a new illustration for him.

In the illustration above, Zaffen is under siege from an unusually aggressive pod of Gratin, the sea creatures he hunts regularly near his homeland. His boat smashed on rocks, Zaffen relies on his double crossbow to keep them at bay. Shane managed to capture the spirit, and tenacity, of Zaffen Ironhelm, perfectly in this illustration, it tells such a wonderful story.

Zaffen remains firmly in our main fantasy time-line, but that did not stop us adding a little bit of intrigue with his mechanical left hand. The story of how that came to be will be published a little down the track, however for those of you that want to learn more about this mighty hero, have a read of Colin Hill's excellent piece called "The Hunter".

Rules wise, as mentioned earlier, Zaffen's new card remains true to his origins, however we have reworked him a bit, to bring him inline with the rest of the heroes in the range.

Like all dwarfs, Zaffen enjoys a solid core state line, including RES 1 and a base health of 16. He also share the maximum range of 10", with Allandir, on his Giant Crossbow. On the surface the 2A weapon's damage output looks limited, however the Reload ability means he can get 2 shots off in an activation, assuming he does not move. Then, to top it off, Big Game Hunter can throw in another d6 damage to boot!

Like most Aggressors, Zaffen has very good Combat Manoeuvres at his disposal, with Poison (2S) and Momentous Shot (2J), the latter being a more powerful version of the standard "3J Knockdown" all heroes enjoy. Racial Enmity is in-line with our move towards more raced based abilities in wave 2, granting Zaffen +1 attack dice against a race of his choosing, very powerful against race themed Warbands.

The Judgement team are so excited to get Zaffen Ironhelm out there into the community, and as always, cannot wait to see him get sculpted up!

Continue reading

Ashtooth, predator of the Shadow Plane

Ashtooth, predator of the Shadow Plane

Neutral monsters are a unique, challenging, and fun aspect of Judgement. As the game has matured, the best players have come to realise that appropriate manipulation of the neutral monsters can go a long way to ensuring victory. The Judgement crew have always treated the creation of monsters with the same care and attention as we do our heroes. Ashtooth was actually the first monster created, when we only had the 5v5 game on our horizons. It was not until later, when we developed the 3v3 version of the game, that we introduced Gloom, to provide an monster that was easier to kill, and better suited to new players.

While we were fortunate enough to get Gloom sculpted up in our wave 1 Kickstarter, Ashtooth remained unlocked, so we were always keen to get him done. With wave 2, like we did with Gloom in wave 1, we are making Ashtooth part of the core range, so he is almost certain to get produced this time around. With that in mind, we commissioned James W Cain to bringing Helge's magnificent illustration to life, and here it is!

Ashtooth is currently the toughest monster in the game to kill, and provides the healthy reward of 2 Fate, and of course, the obligatory level. He also hits like a freight train with a massive 7 damage crit attack, along with a 2S Poison combat manoeuvre. Outside of possibly Brok, you normally need to commit more than one hero to take the werewolf down, and many a great battle plan has come unstuck in the attempt.

Work has already begun on Inferno, the other wave 1 monster that remained unlocked, so look out for his reveal in the near future.

Continue reading

The Ancient One - Xyvera, Minotaur Necromancer

The Ancient One - Xyvera, Minotaur Necromancer

A gnarled, wrinkled hand dragged across the earth, smudging the glowing rune that was carved in it moments before. Xyvera, squatting on her heels, mulled thoughtfully over the portents the rune communicated. Rune carving was a sub-conscious activity for her, a long forgotten art she had perfected over the centuries. For over a hundred years, the runes had enabled her to foresee many things, years before they would come to be. The message was not always obvious, and hours of meditation was often required to glean an accurate vision. Today’s one could take days to decipher, it was too important to get wrong, care was needed…indeed.

The silence was broken by a low moan, an incoherent gibber. Xyvera got to her feet, grabbed her staff, and walked deeper into the cavern where she currently resided, through a low archway into a small alcove. Lying on the floor, manacled to the wall, was a middle aged human male, bloodied and beaten. His torn shirt revealed strategically placed wounds, inflicted by a practiced torturer. It took some time for her to break him, however after Xyvera persisted with her gruesome techniques, he was only too willing to part with his deepest secrets. With a start, the man snapped into a sitting position and shuffled away from Xyvera, until his back pressed against the cavern’s stone wall. “Please…I have nothing more to tell you. Let me go, please!”

Xyvera slowly pulled a large knife from a scabbard concealed within the folds of her cloak, gestured towards the man with her other hand, and uttered a short incantation. The man immediately fell into a kind of trance, still conscious, however not present, gazing into the distance. Xyvera inserted the point of the blade into the side of the man’s face, and then drew it precisely down his jaw line until it got to the tip of his chin. The pain was too great, even for the spell he was under, and his face contorted into a grimace, before he howled in agony. Xyvera continued her gruesome task, flaying the human’s face from his skull, before lowering him to the cavern floor as he entered his final death throws. 

The necromancer attached the flayed skin to her staff, a practice that enabled her to recover the victim’s memories in the coming months, as required. She closed her eyes, calmed herself, and let out a slow deep breath. Her mind was made up, it was time, the signs were crystal clear and there was no denying them. Xyvera would become one of the summoned and play a part in the great struggle of the age. Manipulating one of the demigod fools to summon her was the easy part, ending their folly and saving her people, well that was something entirely different. Without a look back, Xyvera walked from the cavern before setting course to the north west. She would seek a commune with the once mighty Doenrakkar, and with him plan her first journey to the plane of shadow.

**************

The latest hero reveal for our Wave 2 Kickstarter is Xyvera, a female minotaur necromancer, of the Soulgazer class. For regular viewers of our weekly Twitch stream, you would have heard the Judgement game designers speak of how challenging it is to design and balance heroes, that are not straight up damage dealers. Damage in the game is a mathematical problem, and therefore can be run through simulators and like-for-like comparisons are pretty easy to do. However, for heroes that bring value in other areas, such as Bastian Oriel, it is not quite so simple to evaluate their worth or impact on the game.

One of the key design features of our game is that it does not have points values for models. Therefore, by definition, we are saying each hero is balanced with each other. We say that with some reservation, because that is not strictly true, and not something we lay down as the law. Combinations with other heroes, interactions with various maps, and the 3v3/5v5 game types, all have an impact on how strong a champion is. However, for the sake of this discussion, essentially we try to balance heroes with each other. Extra care must be taken when we start designing non damage dealing champions.

With Xyvera, we decided to push that boundary even further. She is completely different to anything else we have done so far, and she introduces some fantastic new mechanics that are sure to shake up the meta. Before going any further, here is her card!

A quick glance at her face card and you can see she is definitely not a combat orientated hero. In fact her stats, other than Soul Harvest, are un-inspiring, but that does not tell even a fraction of her story. The fact she is a minotaur grants her decent health and the race themed Regeneration (2). We can now launch into her 4 Active Abilities at level 1, amongst the highest in the game. 

Blood for Blood means Xyvera is a healing bank, and when combined with her regeneration, a damn good one. To be able to heal another hero for 5 health, for the cost of a single action (and cutting herself), is powerful. 

Corrupt Blood follows the same theme, with Xyvera cutting an ally, or herself, to damage an enemy. Once again, a very powerful ability in the right situation, no dice rolling and no chance of failure. If an enemy is down to 5 health and within 4" of a hero, in Xyvera's Warband, they are dead.

Unholy Harvest extends Xyvera's Soul harvesting range to a massive 10", when you consider the 2" base of the hero you are cutting.

Raise Dead can completely upset your opponent's plans, with the early return of a dead hero. If you have spare Fate and Xyvera is around, she can raise a dead friendly model, and they will not have the 2 action cap in the next turn. A really strong ability, and one we are very excited about.

At level 2, Xyvera unlocks Soul Link, which can make it extremely difficult to kill either of the heroes that are linked together, particularly if they have large base health values. 

And finally at level 3, Diminish Will is perhaps one of the best de-buff innate abilities in the game. This ability will mess with the activation and effectiveness of many heroes. 

Xyvera will play differently to any hero in the game, and will take some time to master. There are several really strong synergies she shares with heroes and we look forward to seeing what our players come up with.

We will be publishing a background story for her in the near future, which will provide more context around her abilities, look out for that in a future blog post. Until then, we will leave you with her awesome illustration by Shane L Cook.

Continue reading

Allandir, Elf Ranger - 1st Sculpt for our Wave 2 Kickstarter

Allandir, Elf Ranger - 1st Sculpt for our Wave 2 Kickstarter

The Judgement team are super excited to release the render of the Allandir sculpt, the 2nd hero from the World War 2 genre, and 1st of our Wave 2 Kickstarter heroes. Allandir is a male elf ranger of the aggressor class, who brings to bear the longest ranged weapon in the game at 10", and a host of cool abilities.

Like all elves, Allandir has decent base stats including MOV and AGI of 5. His RNG of 7 is not amazing, however with a range of 10" on his Bow, he will often be able to gain the aiming bonus, boosting it to 8. Equipping him with the Heart Seeker artefact will often send him to the stratospheric levels of 9 RNG, which will scare the life out of your opponents. Allandir's signature plays are the Twin Shot combat manoeuvre, which makes a mockery of an opponent's tendency to bunch their heroes together, and Explosive Shot, which pretty much means a bunched enemy is a burning enemy. Finally, at level 3, he becomes the ultimate tank buster with the Armour Piercing fate ability. This guy packs some serious punch, albeit not with the same mobility of Istariel, but when positioned well, he is a terror to behold.

The Allandir illustration was done by Helge C. Balzer, whose artworks are becoming synonymous with the Judgement range. Helge managed to capture the essence of Allandir in a dynamic pose that reflected his in-game rules superbly. 

When it came to sculpting Allandir, we wanted to move even further, so that he was not simply a fantasy elf in military clothes. He had to look the part. We were fortunate enough to once again secure Tom Lishman to create the sculpt, and true to form, he produced a masterpiece. Absolutely nailed it. 

There are so many interesting things with this model, it is something you can look at several times and still find something new, which is really cool. The main deviation from the illustration was to remove the bandana and reveal his mohawk, a hairstyle a lot of paratroopers employed during WW2. His cape and bow keep him tied to his elven roots, however the rest of his outfit blends him into the WW2 genre perfectly. Scenic bases are a very important aspect of all Judgement models, and Allandir's is no different. It also ties in the dual fantasy and WW2 themes by having giant mushrooms near a pond (fantasy) and a dead tree (WW2).

Allandir is a fantastic sculpt to kick off our wave 2 kickstarter range, and we are bursting with excitement to reveal the rest. Stay tuned. 

Andrew "Guns" Galea

Continue reading