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Judgement will be at GenCon 2019!

Judgement will be at GenCon 2019!

 

Absolutely massive news today with Judgement being selected as one of 36 lucky applicants to receive a dedicated booth in Entrepreneur's Avenue for 2019 GenCon at Indianapolis. We are over the moon with the news and humbled to be considered for such an honour and opportunity. Judgement's presence at GenCon will enable us to introduce the game to tens of thousands of potential new players, artists and gamers and will give us the chance to network with some of the major players in our industry.

We will be posting more information about our preparations in the coming months however we just had to get the news out there to let you all know. GenCon 2019 is GO!

Itchynads, Goblin Hunter

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Judgement Patch Notes #5

Judgement Patch Notes #5

Herein lies the fifth clarification and errata document for Judgement. From the very beginning we socialised the fact Judgement would be a regularly "patched" game, in keeping with its MOBA origins and to ensure the game's rules are kept in an optimal state. Our patch schedule is quarterly, with the changes becoming official on the 1st day of the start of the next quarter. Therefore the official date for this patch is the 1st of January 2019.

Remember that all hero, monster, magical artefact and rules can be downloaded from the Print & Play section of this website. Both our Android and iOS apps will also be updated to reflect changes from this patch.

If you want to discuss the patch notes, or anything at all about Judgement, please join our Discord channel!

Clarifications

"Enter" Definition Added

After observing, and playing, countless games, it became apparent that we needed an official definition for a model entering an area. This new definition is available in version 1.5 of the Judgement rule book.

Enter

To advance, be pushed, placed or thrown to within a specified area.

"Running Out of Time" Recommendation Updated

Deathclock has pretty much become the universally accepted way to play competitive games in table-top tournaments. Many games have come up with ways to avoid the dreaded scenario where both players are simultaneously running out of time. It creates stress, promotes sloppy play and often leads to neither player walking away from the game feeling good about things. This is not an experience we want to associate with Judgement. With that in mind, we have introduced a new way to resolve the situation where one, or both, players run out of time on their death clocks in a tournament. This new method has been included in version 1.2 of the Judgement Tournament Pack.

Running Out of Time

If a player runs out of time, the following occurs:

  • play is suspended immediately.
  • the player sets a timer for 1 minute and has that minute to complete their current activation.
  • at the end of the current activation, or 1 minute, the player’s opponent gains a Soul bound to their Effigy and then has their turn, as per usual.
  • from this point forward, the player whose time has run out will continue to get 1 minute to complete each activation. Their opponent will gain a Soul bound to their Effigy at the end of each of the timed out persons activation or at the end of each minute, and will continue to play their turn as per usual.

Multiple Monster Activations

A quick clarification around what to do if there are 2 or more monsters on the battle field. This has been added to page 21 of the rule book under the Hunter section.

When 2 or more monsters are on the battlefield during the Communion Phase, randomise the order in which they activate.

Errata

Treacherous Ground Updated

The 2 damage a model would suffer as a result of interacting with Treacherous Ground was often dominating battles whenever it came into play. Heroes with the ability to do multiple attacks, such as Brok, Skoll or Nephenee, had the potential to do over-the-top damage by moving an enemy in and out of Treacherous Ground each time they rolled a manoeuvre symbol on their attack role. We never had the intention for Treacherous Ground to have such an impact and whenever it did it detracted from the enjoyment and realism of the game. We have altered the way Treacherous Ground works so that it still has an impact but not one that can decide the outcome of battles. These changes are an inadvertent nerf for Gendris however we felt it was necessary to maintain integrity of our rules.

Treacherous Ground

If a model’s base is within treacherous ground at any time during an advance or charge action, it suffers a -2” MOV penalty for that action and 1 damage, that ignores 1 RES, immediately.

Any model whose base moves within treacherous ground as a result of a push, place or throw, suffers 1 damage, that ignores 1 RES, immediately. 

The Suicide Rule

A tactic that was fast becoming prevalent within the competitive scene was the act of a player killing one of their own heroes by purposefully ending their activation within melee of a monster or traversing through Treacherous Ground. This provided a negative experience for their opponent, as well as prolonging games by denying Souls. It was intentional that a hero could suicide however it was not our intention to have it become a major tactic. We have therefore modified the Soul Harvesting section of the rule book to change what happens when a hero dies this way. Note that if a hero dies to a monster during the Communion Phase, then nothing changes. This errata is just to change what happens when a hero dies during their owner's turn. Rules for Soul Harvesting can be found on page 24 of the rule book.

Excerpt from Soul Harvesting Section of Rule Book

Killing a hero creates a Soul. The hero that inflicted the final wound, that results in the death of a hero, automatically and immediately harvests the dead hero’s Soul unless they are dead at the time. If a hero dies from a monster or treacherous ground, it does not generate a Soul from that death, unless the hero died during its owning player’s turn.

If a hero dies during its owning player’s turn, from any means, then the nearest enemy hero model will automatically harvest its Soul.

Smoke Terrain Feature

We have decided to add the Smoke terrain feature to the rule book. Smoke behaves exactly like a forest, in terms of soft cover and line of site, except that it is not Rough Ground. Rules for Smoke can be found on page 31 of the rule book.

Hero Updates

While we have updated cards for 9 heroes, only 3 of them have had actual balance changes. The other 6 are clarifications and quality of life changes.

Allandir

Allandir, elf ranger

We felt that Allandir struggled to compete in the competitive ranged aggressor class, in particular direct comparisons with Istariel. Allandir lacks the manoeuvrability of Istariel and Viktor, however he also lost out in the damage stakes. We have buffed in a few areas to give him that extra bite and put him on par with his contemporaries.

  • Bow Crit damage increased to 5 from 4.
  • Mark Target now gives an extra attack dice instead of +1 damage.
  • Explosive Shot inflicts 1 True Damage on top of the Fire condition.
  • Camouflage now works while Allandir is within Smoke.

Barnascus

Barnascus, Dwarf Pyromaniac

Barnascus was a little too good at everything. We have toned down his potential damage output via Hot Fire and Hull Smash, as well as dropping the effectiveness of his Flame Thrower. We feel these changes bring Barnascus back in line with the rest of the range while still keeping him effective in his niche all-arounder slot.

  • Flame Thrower incurs a -1 dice penalty when attacking 2 models in the one attack action. 
  • Hot Fire now requires a J in its 2S to inflict the 1 extra True Damage.
  • Hull Smash now requires a J in its 2S to inflict the 1 extra True Damage.
  • Lightning Shield can only inflict damage once per hero activation and now specifies the new enter rule. This means that enemy models will not suffer the damage from Lightning Shield if Barnascus is moved in any way to "catch" a model within it's range.

Doenrakkar

Doenrakkar, Minotaur Shaman

We have decided to clarify that all defender abilities that protect friendly models, such as Doenrakkar's Redirection, are only triggered from enemy basic attacks. Previously, there was some confusion whether Redirection could be used to divert the damage from something like Rakkir's Toxin, which was never the intention of these kinds of defender abilities.

  • Redirection now specifies it only triggers from Basic Attacks.

Gendris

Gendris, Minotaur Druid

Clean up task of updating Gendris' card with the change to Treacherous Ground.

  • The 4th card updated with updated Treacherous Ground rules.

Kruul

Kruul, Orc Witchdoctor

Transference, in its original form, allowed the Kruul player to bind one of his Souls to non-hero models which was not the original intention.

  • Transference only lets the Kruul player bind one of his Souls to a friendly hero model instead of any friendly model. This means a Soul bound to Kruul can no longer be bound to Kruul's Effigy upon his death. 

Nephenee

Nephenee, Elf Warrior

Nephenee is in minor tweak mode now as we feel she is in a very good place. We have decided to up her Laser Storm damage to make it that little bit more reliable.

  • Laser Storm damage increased to d6+1 from d6.

Skye

Skye, Elf Monk

Similar to Doenrakkar, we have updated Skye's Diversion so it only triggers from enemy basic attacks.

  • Diversion changed so its trigger is enemy basic attacks.

Styx

Styx, Human Cyborg

The wording for Nullify was causing a lot of confusion around what exactly our favourite cyborg could remove with it. We have updated Nullify, and the explanation on card 4, to help remove any ambiguity.

  • Nullify updated to clarify what tokens, templates, and effects that can be removed by it.
  • The 4th card provides further clarification. 

Thrommel

Thrommel Ironbeard, Dwarf Warrior

Another defender that has had an update to his defensive innate ability, this time it is Thrommel's Bodyguard.

  • Bodyguard updated so that it only triggers from enemy basic attacks.
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King of the Grove Series Final Report

King of the Grove Series Final Report

 

The inaugural King of the Grove tournament series has drawn to a close with the final, featuring the top 8 players from the 5 heats across the year, run yesterday. The players battled it out over 3 rounds of 5v5 utilising the full 28 hero draft mode for Warband selection. Once the dust had settled Colin Hill remained undefeated displaying mastery of both the draft phase and in-game play to sweep all before him. The final was a very close affair between Colin and Steve Fury, with Steve fighting back from the brink to almost snatch a memorable victory before Colin managed to close it out and take the 1st year's title.

The final standings look as follows.

Rank Player Wins Souls Levels
1 Colin "Bobliness" Hill 3 15 17
2 Steve "Fury" Drury 2 13 18
3 "King" Kyle Elbourne 2 12 18
4 Andrew "Guns" Galea 2 10 12
5 Ben "Chunky" Hayes 1 9 13
6 Anthony "Tort" Tortoricic 1 9 11
7 Byron te Velde 1 8 12
8 Maggie Bailie 0 3 13

 

Full results for the day, including the round matchups, can be found on the Tabletop Tournaments web site. Games played on the top table were also streamed live all day on our Twitch channel, and they will be re-broadcast on our YouTube channel in the coming days.

As mentioned early, all 12 games were played using the draft mode for Warband selection, which across 28 heroes is a game within itself. The feedback about draf mode, from the competitors, was overwhelmingly positive and it stands as a unique feature of our game that presents the challenge of "live" list building and completely removes discussions around Warband imbalances and "cheese", since everyone is given the opportunity to outwit their opponent via the draft before the game begins.

28 heroes

This pic displays the 28 heroes lined up for a draft before the 1st round. They are not all painted yet, and there is one proxy as we wait for Kogan however the site of 28 Judgement heroes lined up is a sight to behold!

Here are some more pics of the day.

Colin vs Steve

Colin and Steve Fury face off before the final!

Below is a pic of some of the earlier rounds.

Early rounds

Draft Mode Statistics

We will be publishing more in-depth analysis of the draft statistics however here is a teaser of the most prominent things to come out of the 12 games using the 28 hero draft mode yesterday.

Top 5 Most Picked

 Rank Hero Pick %
1 Thorgar 83.33%
2 Istariel 75.00%
3 Skoll Bonestorm 66.67%
4 Brok 58.33%
4 Barnascus 58.33%
4 Haksa 58.33%

Top 5 Most Banned

 Rank Hero Ban %
1 Bastian 83.33%
2 Rakkir 75.00%
3 Doenrakkar 66.67%
3 Saiyin 66.67%
3 Kogan 66.67%
3 Kvarto 66.67%
3 Xyvera 66.67%

Top 5 Win Rates

Heroes that played in 5 games or more only

 Rank Hero Win Rate %
1 Zaron Bogdan 80.00%
1 Kruul 80.00%
3 Brok 71.43%
4 Skoll Bonestorm 62.50%
5 Sir Marcus 60.00%
5 Thorgar 60.00%

Top 5 Most Overlooked

Heroes that were neither picked or banned across the 12 games. There were 4 heroes each game like this.

 Rank Hero Overlooked
1 Svetlana Oaklost 8 times
1 Piper 7 times
3 Loribela 4 times
3 Skye 4 times
3 Gendris 4 times
3 Zaffen Ironhelm 4 times
3 Viktor Clerval 4 times

High Priority Picks & Bans

These were the heroes that were either picked or banned in the 1st phase of the draft. So either banned 1st, or picked 1st by either player.

 Rank Hero # of Times
1 Sir Marcus 7
2 Doenrakkar 5
3 Brok 4
4 Barnascus 3
4 Zaron Bogdan 3
4 Styx 3
4 Thrommel 3
4 Kogan 3
4 Skye 3
4 Viktor Clerval 3

Judgement Hero Overall Ratings

For a bit of fun, we put together a formula that provided a rating for each hero based on how much they were picked, their win rate and a weighting based on whether they were picked or banned in the 1st round of drafting. I.e. high priority picks and bans. 

 Rank Hero Rating
1 Sir Marcus 22
2 Brok 21
3 Thorgar 19
3 Barnascus 19
3 Zaron Bogdan 19
3 Doenrakkar 19

 

Looking forward to 2019!

We have big plans for the series including branching out to other Australian states in 2019. The Judgement CanCon tournament is the 1st heat of the 2019 series with full points up for grabs for competitors. Watch out for more news around the heats for next year and we encourage all Judgement players to get involved.

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KotG Final - 1st Rd Draw & Rules Update

KotG Final - 1st Rd Draw & Rules Update

The inaugural King of the Grove tournament series final is being held on Saturday the 17th of November at the Judgement studios (i.e. game creator Andrew Galea's house!). The 8 qualified players will play 3 rounds of 5v5 using a 28 hero draft to determine the winner with games streamed via Twitch all day.

The 1st round draw is as follows:

  • Steve Fury vs Maggie
  • Andrew "Guns" Galea vs Ben "Chunky" Hayes
  • Anthony "Tort" Tortorici vs King Kyle Elbourne
  • Byron "Salty" te Velde vs Colin "Bobliness" Hill

Rounds 2 and 3 will be determined using the Swiss chess system.

Rules Changes for the Final

We have decided to bring forward 2 rules changes that will feature in the January 1 errata for the KotG final. Note that these are not official until January 1 2019 however players are free use them in their games if both players agree.

The Suicide Rule

In high level play, there are been a propensity for player to kill their own heroes voluntarily to deny their opponent an impending Soul. This was normally achieved by ending an activation within melee range of a monster or even moving through treacherous terrain. This caused a negative experience in the game as well as contributing to game length, two things we, as game designers, are keen to curb. With that in mind the following rule will be in play for the KotG final, with a view to making it official in the January 1st errata.

"When a hero dies, during its owner’s turn, by damage suffered from a monster or treacherous ground, the closest eligible enemy hero will harvest the dead hero's Soul."

Death Clock Amendment

Standard death clock rules dictate that when a player runs out of time they automatically lose the game. This works fine until such time when both players are running very low on time which introduces a scenario where each player feverishly works through their activation hitting the clock over to their opponent. It is messy, stressful and not fun for anyone involved, 3 terms you don't want to associate with a game. :)

After a lot of discussion with our players and deliberation on several options the following Death Clock rule will be incorporated into competitive play.

When a player runs out of time on their death clock:

  • play is suspended immediately and the player then has 1 minute to complete their current activation (use a phone or similar to set the 1 minute timer)
  • at the end of the current activation, the player's opponent gains a Soul bound to their Effigy
  • from this point forward the player whose time has run out will continue to get 1 minute to complete each activation, and their opponent will get a Soul bound to their Effigy at the end of each activation

We are confident this is the fairest way to end a game when 1, or both, players have run out of time and should alleviate the issues with the current system.

Bring It On!

Jeff and I are really looking forward to celebrating what has been a fantastic year for the game with some of our early adopters. We are keen to grow the King of the Grove series in future years both nationally and internationally and more importantly crown the inaugural champion. 

 

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King of the Grove Final

King of the Grove Final

 

The King of the Grove is a tournament series based in Sydney Australia for our local early adopters. Players were awarded points for their placing across 5 heats throughout the year. The final, being held on Saturday the 17th of November, is an opportunity for the top 8 players to fight it out for the title of King of the Grove 2018 champion. 

From humble beginnings, we are hoping to build up the tournament series to include heats from other states in Australia and one day internationally. For now we will celebrate what has been an awesome year for the game of Judgement as it finds a foothold in an ever increasing competitive market full of fantastic games.

The Players

Here are the top 8 players at the end of the 5th heat. The number in parenthesis denotes the number of heats the player has competed in.

  1. 34pts (5) - Andrew "Guns" Galea
  2. 30pts (4) - "King" Kyle Elbourne
  3. 28pts (5) - Anthony "Tort" Tortorici
  4. 28pts (3) - Colin "Bobliness" Hill
  5. 17pts (3) - Steve "Fury" Drury
  6. 14pts (2) - Byron te Velde
  7. 11pts (2) - Maggie
  8. 11pts (3) - Evan "Doombull" Ferris
  9. Ben "Chunky" Hayes

Unfortunately Evan "Doombull" Ferris is unable to make the final so an invitation has been extended to, and accepted by, Ben "Chunky" Hayes. 

The Format

All games in the KotG final will be draft mode, using all 28 heroes in the game. Draft mode is a true test of a player's skill containing a game within the game as each player battles it out with their opponent to actually put their Warbands together. The draft mode format also results in many different combinations of heroes with greater diversity, and of course it inherently means there are not mirror matchups since a hero cannot appear in both player's line ups. The official draft mode was published recently, the format for 28 players is below.

Initial Roll

Players roll a D6 to kick off the game. The winner of the initial roll off chooses whether:

  • to have 1st or 2nd turn, and the table side they want to play from

OR

  • being player 1 or player 2 in the draft

The loser gets to choose whatever their opponent (the winner) does not select.

The Draft

Do see the new draft rules in action, check out episode 40 of The Judgement Show.

Player 1 Ban
Player 2 Ban 

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Player 1 Ban
Player 2 Ban
Player 1 Ban
Player 2 Ban
 
Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick
 
Player 2 Ban
Player 1 Ban
 
Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick
 
Player 2 Ban
Player 1 Ban
Player 1 Ban
Player 2 Ban
 
Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick

Player 1 Ban
Player 2 Ban

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Leaves 4 heroes in the pool after both Warbands have been selected

3 Rounds to Determine the Champion

An 8 player final means we will have 3 rounds to determine the winner. The 1st round draw will be random and will be determined live on stream the week leading up to the tournament.

Live Streamed

A feature match, from each round, including the final, will be streamed live throughout the day, including expert analysis from Murray Lloyd and Jeff Galea. Tournament kicks off at 10am Sydney time on Saturday the 17th November. 

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Come Say Hello at PAX!

Come Say Hello at PAX!

 

The Judgement team are gearing up for a huge 3 days at PAX Melbourne! Lock in the 26th-28th October in your diary and make sure to pop in and say hello to the Judgement crew. We had a blast last year so in 2018 we have upped the ante to a double stall dedicated to Judgement that includes 2 tables dedicated for 3v3  demos.

Two Player Starter Box & Wave 2 Launch

PAX will feature the launch of our brand new two player starter box, as well as a number of our wave 2 heroes. It will also signal the start of the shipping phase of our wave 2 Kickstarter.

Judgement Two Player Starter Box

Backers of our wave 2 Kickstarter, who are at the convention, will be able to pick up their models on the Friday morning, and then battle it out with the Judgement crew and other players across the weekend. 

Tournament Saturday Night

We will be running a 3 round tournament on the Saturday night with free entry for anyone that has Judgement models and the desire to dominate the shadow plane! It will be great to see some of the Judgement veterans lock horns with brand new players that purchased their first models at PAX itself. Saturday night will be a Judgement celebration and we hope to have fun with as many of you as possible.

Facebook Live Incoming

The crew will be broadcasting on Facebook across the weekend, including our epic, 9 hour, road trip in a 3 tonne truck full of Judgement goodness! Keep up to date with the team's movements on our Facebook page  and join in with the Judgement community on our Judgemental Facebook group.

Judgement Stall TT446

You can find us at stall TT446!

Judgement stall TT446

 

 

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Draft Mode Official Rules

Draft Mode Official Rules

The imminent release of the wave 2 heroes has prompted us to publish official rules for draft mode, what we normally call "competing pick & ban". Draft mode describes the process where each player selects, or drafts, the heroes in their Warband from a central pool, taking turns to pick and ban heroes until they have enough heroes to play in the selected game type, i.e. 5 or 3. Draft mode mirrors what happens in traditional MOBA games, the genre from which Judgement draws its inspiration from. 

We have put together draft mode sequences for both the 3v3 and 5v5 game types, and each is able to be adapted depending on the number of heroes you have available in your draft pool. Each Ban entry in the sequence has a hero criteria which means it only gets executed if your pool starting size satisfies the criteria. 

The Initial Roll

Like all game modes both players roll a D6 to kick off the game. The winner of the initial roll off chooses whether:

  • to have 1st or 2nd turn, and the table side they want to play from

OR

  • being player 1 or player 2 in the draft

The loser gets to choose whatever their opponent (the winner) does not select.

3v3 (12 heroes Minimum)

Note: for a 3v3 draft you need a minimum of 12 unique heroes in your draft pool.

Player 1 Ban (12+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (12+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (20+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (20+ Heroes)

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Player 1 Ban (14+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (14+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (16+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (16+ Heroes) 

Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick

Player 2 Ban (12+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (12+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (18+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (18+ Heroes) 

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Leaves 2 heroes when you have 12, 14, 16, 18 or 20 heroes
Leaves 4 heroes when you have 22
Leaves 6 heroes when you have 24
Leaves 8 heroes when you have 26
Leaves 10 heroes when you have 28

Example - 14 hero draft pool

In the example below we look at the sequence if we had 14 heroes in the draft pool, therefore we have removed the ban entries that are no applicable for our hero pool size.

Player 1 Ban
Player 2 Ban

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Player 1 Ban
Player 2 Ban 

Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick

Player 2 Ban
Player 1 Ban

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Leaves 2 heroes remaining

5v5 (16 heroes Minimum)

Note: for a 5v5 draft you need a minimum of 16 unique heroes in your draft pool.

Player 1 Ban (16+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (16+ Heroes)

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Player 1 Ban (18+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (18+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (26+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (26+ Heroes)
 
Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick
 
Player 2 Ban (16+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (16+ Heroes)
 
Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick
 
Player 2 Ban (20+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (20+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (28+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (28+ Heroes)
 
Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick

Player 1 Ban (22+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (22+ Heroes)

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Leaves 2 heroes when you have 16, 18, 20 or 22 heroes
Leaves 4 heroes when you have 24, 26 or 28 heroes

Example - 24 hero draft pool

In the example below we look at the sequence if we had 24 heroes in the draft pool, therefore we have removed the ban entries that are no applicable for our hero pool size.

Player 1 Ban (16+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (16+ Heroes)

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Player 1 Ban (18+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (18+ Heroes)
 
Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick
 
Player 2 Ban (16+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (16+ Heroes)
 
Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick
 
Player 2 Ban (20+ Heroes)
Player 1 Ban (20+ Heroes) 
 
Player 2 Pick
Player 1 Pick

Player 1 Ban (22+ Heroes)
Player 2 Ban (22+ Heroes)

Player 1 Pick
Player 2 Pick

Leaves 4 heroes remaining

Demonstrated on Stream

For a full run-down of Draft Mode including a demonstration of it using 18 heroes, take a look at this video, and if you want to see the resulting game you can view it here.

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Judgement Patch Notes #4

Judgement Patch Notes #4

Herein lies the fourth clarification and errata document for Judgement. From the very beginning we socialised the fact Judgement would be a regularly "patched" game, in keeping with its MOBA origins and to ensure the game's rules are kept in an optimal state. Our patch schedule is quarterly, with the changes becoming official on the 1st day of the start of the next quarter. Therefore the official date for this patch is the 1st of October 2018.

Remember that all hero, monster, magical artefact and rules can be downloaded from the Print & Play section of this website.

Clarifications

New Auxiliary Functions

Invisibility (p29)

Invisibility appeared as the level 3 ability for Rakkir. With the release of the Ring of Invisibility magical artefact, we decided to add it as an Auxiliary Function in the core rules.

A model with invisibility cannot be targeted by Ranged or Magic attacks while the attacker is more than 3" away from the model.

Nimble (p29)

We decided to plan ahead with the "immune to parting blows" ability and name it as Nimble. This appears as a new Auxiliary Function in the core rules.

A model with nimble is immune to parting blows.

Steady (p29)

Knocked down is arguably the most powerful condition in the game with many players designing their Warbands around having multiple ways to execute it. With the introduction of the Boots of Stability magical artefact (see below) we once again wanted to future proof the core rules so included Steady as a new auxiliary function.

The first time each turn a model with steady is knocked down it ignores it and is not knocked down.

Effigy Recall (p13)

Clarification was required around whether Effigy Recall was an Active Ability, primarily to see whether a knocked down model could execute it. The following text was added to the Effigy Recall entry in the rulebook. 

An Effigy recall is not an active ability so can be executed while a model is knocked down.

Forests & Line of Sight

While the rulebook did talk about forests and line of sight for models that are within the forest, it did not clearly state that a forest does actually block line to models that are not within it. The following text was added to Forests & Line of Sight entry on page 31 of the rulebook.

Forests do block line of sight between two models if neither is within the forest and a line cannot be drawn between any points of their bases that does not cut through the forest.

Monsters and Summoned Models

There were some interactions between monsters and summoned models that were confusing and/or were open to interpretation. The following section was added to the Monsters section on page 22 of the rulebook.

Monsters treat Summoned models exactly like hero models under all circumstances with one exception. Monsters will ignore Summoned models when executing the Hunter rule.

Errata

Curse

The Curse condition was not having the desired impact on a game, especially when compared to the other conditions. One of the main issues was that it did not de-buff the recipient before they had a chance to shake the effect. Curse has been updated to the following, on page 28 of the rulebook.

A cursed model suffers the following effects while suffering the curse condition:

  • Unable to harvest Souls, either by attempting a Soul harvest or by killing an enemy model. If a cursed model does kill an enemy model, then that hero’s Soul does not spawn at all; the model is simply removed.
  • Unable to contest shrines.
  • Unable to assist friend models, or hinder enemy models, that attempt a Soul Harvest.

Stun

The Stun condition suffered in a similar fashion to Curse, and as such has been given a buff. Stun has been updated to the following, on page 29 of the rulebook.

A hero suffering the stun condition has 1 less action during their activation and is unable to perform parting blows while stunned.

Nephenee

The main design goal of Nephenee was to emulate a dive comp, allowing you to get her into the enemy's backline and wreak havoc on their "squishes". This unique play style, coupled with her dual wield ability, has resulted in her being difficult to balance. After several overpowering early play-test rule sets for her, the design team erred on the side of caution which left her in a slightly underwhelming place. After playing a lot of games testing her in different scenarios we feel we have finally settled on a kit that will allow her to do what she was meant to do.

Nephenee

  • Gains Nimble - Immune to Parting Blows
  • Laser Storm - Range increased to 4"
  • Jet Pack - can ignore impassable terrain models such as Effigies and Shrines

Kogan

Kogan is meant to be a mid-field bruiser who has a devastating short ranged attack via his Blunderbuss. Unfortunately his Blunderbuss was commanding too much influence and was relegating his chainsaw attack to an after-thought. He was also able to absorb a lot more damage than we were comfortable with. By reducing his Blunderbuss range from 6" to 4" and shaving 2 health off each of his levels, we believe there is a lot more opportunity for counter-play against Kogan and also make him a more interesting and challenging hero to play.

Kogan

  • Blunderbuss range dropped from 6" to 4"
  • Health dropped from 18/20/23 to 16/18/21

Kvarto

The launch of Vujasha introduced a quirk with Kvarto's Hold Monster ability, in that it did not stop her from moving when a Soul was harvested. We have closed that loop hole by removing the Communion Phase trigger from the ability. There was some confusion around who gains a Soul in the event that Mind Control results in the death of an enemy hero model. This has been clarified on his 4th "rules" card.

Kvarto

  • Hold Monster changes so reference to Communion Phase is removed. Therefore it now stops Vujasha moving when a Soul is harvested.
  • Mind Control clarified so that Kvarto claims any Soul, level up and bounty if the attack from Mind Control kills an enemy model.

Piper

Piper often fills multiple roles on the battlefield, and has the perfect kit for it. At this stage the change to Hybrid from Support class does not have a huge impact on the game, however we want all the heroes to be correctly classified to future-proof them. 

Piper, Elf Illusionist/Thief

  • Class changed from Support to Hybrid

Barnascus

The wording around Lightning Shield was a little loose so we wanted to tighten it up. It is now clear that the damage is triggered whether Barnascus or an enemy model resulted in them being within 2" of each other. Barnascus also inherits the new definition of Steady for his level 2 ability.

Barnascus

  • Clarified Lightning Shield wording to indicate the damage was triggered whether Barnascus or an enemy model caused them to be within 2" of each other.
  • Updated Steady to the new definition.

Viktor Clerval

We are always looking for areas where we can future proof game rules. The original Viktor card referenced Al'garath by name, however we want to have the little guy able to summon other demons as we release them. Therefore his card has been changed to reference the generic "demon" term instead of Al'garath specifically.

Viktor

  • Reference to Al'garath removed and replaced with generic "demon" term.

New Magical Artefacts

Increasing the size of the magical artefact deck is an important part of the game's expansion. Artefacts inherently alter the way heroes interact with each other and the battlefield environment and are an interesting and cost efficient way, for both us and our players, to introduce variety into the game on a regular basis. This is the first time we are expanding the deck and the design team are super excited with the cool things players will be able to do with the new artefacts.

Boots of Stability

Bracers of Disruption

Hunter's Knife

Null Stone

Potion of Ogre Strength

Ring of Invisibility

Ring of Teleportation

Tome of Experience

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Barnascus' Musings

Barnascus' Musings

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.

Itchy

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.

Barnascus

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Kogan's Secret

Kogan's Secret

The shelling rose in intensity again, marking the sixth fake halt. Kogan still remembered when they had started this war, when a simple shelling salvo abruptly ending was the herald of oncoming carnage. The enemy had learned quickly, emerging in the lull with all weapons readied, exacting a massive toll. So they’d moved to a dance of expectations. Each time, they varied the length of the bombardment and the length of the pause between. Last assault had been on the fifth pulse; today’s was scheduled for the eighth.

“Hold to Thorgar’s blood Sister” he murmured to Caella, resting his hand on her shoulder. He could feel her trembling. The curse that affected so many of their race tended to run strongest in those that were called to the military. Though perhaps it was simply that those who felt the curse most keenly were most likely to seek out one of the few areas of life where it could be indulged. He didn’t like to examine that too closely, given his own life.

He tried to ignore the bitter taste on his tongue that came from Thorgar’s name and the feeling of betrayal and shame that accompanied it. Thorgar, the ancestral saint of his people, held up as a paragon of restraint, renowned for overcoming the bloodlust that bedevilled his race. He still remembered his first meeting with that mythological being. His incredulity, his unwillingness to believe who he saw, what he saw. That his people could have got it so wrong was…inconceivable. Thorgar was never a paragon, or a symbol of the victory of restraint over their tainted blood. Quite the opposite. Kogan now believed Thorgar was the source of the corruption that had, over the intervening centuries, come to pollute his entire race.

He had no idea how, over that time, Thorgar had come to be a symbol of peace and harmony, but to present it as irony was an understatement of horrible proportions, and speaking his name in the ritual greetings now left Kogan sickened and guilty. Unfortunately, none would credit his story even if he were willing to tell it. Which was a twofold relief; he had no desire to bear the responsibility for shattering a saint, and even less to admit to his people that he had travelled to the cursed realm of Between.

Invoking Thorgar served its purpose anyway. Caella drew a shuddering breath and squared her shoulders. The rage faded down in her eyes and he could see that she was back in control.

It wouldn’t be long now before they would both need that rage. The rest of the storm force were assembling around them, preparing for the assault. The rage was a curse in day to day life, but a weapon at the right time. And this, like all of the assaults, would require it.

This would be a bloody event, judging by the last two days. The enemy were so deeply dug in that the shelling of the last day would have done little but keep their heads down. It would be up to his team to dig them out, and that would cost both sides dearly. He couldn’t pretend that he feared it; such a large part of him needed the violence as a release and revelled in it. He wasn’t proud of that, but he carried no shame in it either. He knew too much now of the origin of his race to feel shame over something that ran in his veins. He had done his best to control it, to channel it to a purpose that benefitted his people. That was all he could do.

He continued his round of his team, giving what reassurance he could to those who wanted it. None of his team knew his secrets, but he felt sure some suspected. They had seen him take too many wounds, too many blows that should have bought him to an end. Some, like Caella, viewed his seeming luck as a talisman, but he could feel others becoming wary. The belief that the summoned were cursed, a curse upon those who knew them, was deeply rooted in their culture; so deeply that Kogan himself had nearly collapsed under the weight of the knowledge, nearly buried himself forever when he’d first returned and realised exactly what it was that had marked him above his heart.

Now he viewed it differently. He’d come to recognise the tendrils of influence that had been exerted on his people over time, moulding them along with the other races. Aimed at shaping the whole world and keeping all of the true power in the hands of a select few. He’d identified some of those he felt were responsible and sworn to himself that if no one else could hold them to account, he would. To do that, he would need all the power he could get and so here he was. The summonings seemed to increase in frequency when he was involved in the war, which was enough for him. He had no real idea whether the violence here on Athien was directly linked, or whether it was simply that as he gained more strength the summonings naturally increased in regularity. He did know that the bloodlust rose easier in him now than ever before, and his new strength made it even harder to keep himself from the battlefield.

The other five members of his team appeared calm and ready, and not in any need of encouragement. The assault teams drew a wide range of personalities, but those who survived tended to either be very calm and capable….or mad. Which bought him to the Shaman.

Ettin

The last of his small team was Dayn. He found him sitting against the trench wall, staring at the opposite wall. The Orc’s eyes were wild; wilder than usual. He was mumbling one of his ritual incantations, a mannerism that was really the reason he’d been transferred to Kogan’s team in the first place. No-one else wanted him. As Kogan got within arms-reach of him, the eyes snapped into focus on him and the dark intelligence that Kogan had come to recognise regarded him while the mouth continued with the unintelligible murmurings.

“Saved a special prayer for us today I hope, shaman?” Kogan yelled above the roar of the shelling.

“They are all special, Sam’delab” The orc’s voice didn’t seem loud, but Kogan never had trouble hearing it. There was something about the delivery. It seemed to simply appear in his ears. Sam’delab, the name that Dayn had called him from their first meeting. Kogan had no idea what it meant, had never been able to find anyone that did and the Orc had no interest in explaining it. He worried that it held a meaning, perhaps even referred to his touching of Between, but while no others understood, he supposed it didn’t really matter.

The time had come to start moving. The roar of the shelling had risen to another crescendo, and the rest of the assault force was positioned to start the advance. He couldn’t have made a speech in this cacophony even if he had been the type, which he wasn’t. With a gesture, he pulled them all to readiness and before he had time to second guess, he chopped his saw through the air.

They rose from their trench in a wave and moved into the darkness. The footing was treacherous, but since only orcs could see worth a damn in the dark and all of them were on his side, he knew they could afford to take their time until they were close enough to be seen. He did have to admit that a cautious advance didn’t come naturally to him or his race, which was awkward since the assault teams were almost entirely composed of Orcs and Minotaurs. Humans were the next most common members, Dwarves tended to be too slow for the actual assault and Elves were pretty rare. Of the Elves he’d come across, only two had ever thrived on the closeup carnage. They’d been the maddest and shortest-lived team members he’d had. Neither had lasted more than one or two assaults, lacking the constitution to survive injuries but, more than that, lacking the desire to survive that marked the true veterans. There was an art to surviving this sort of semi-controlled chaos.
It started with not being first into the enemy lines.

As they moved through the roaring darkness, strobe-lit by explosions, he slowed the advance of his own team just a fraction. He allowed the rest of the assault to gain a bit of ground, perhaps only a dozen steps or less. Small enough to not be obvious, but large enough to ensure the first shapes that would emerge from the smoke would not be them.

It was only another few moments before he heard the change; the tempo of explosions began to slow. He knew the enemy had learnt their tactics, and would be waiting. As soon as the explosions faded they would be up and firing again, expecting the assault teams. The entire assault force dropped to the ground as the enemy began firing blind. Kogan counted under his breath as the explosive tempo kept falling. He braced for what he knew was coming, a few breaths before the explosive chorus roared back to a crescendo. Both sides had learned, but now it was a dance of second-guessing. Was this the tempo drop to herald the assault? Or was it another pause to lure you out, and catch you in the open?

The enemy were short on artillery in the area, thankfully. A week ago, they had assaulted an enemy with its own support. That had added another complexity. They had predicted the assault team’s presence on the field and shelled the no-mans land viciously. The entire assault had collapsed, shredded with nowhere to go but backwards since their own forces were still shelling the area in front.

This time though, the enemy weren’t so well equipped. The tempo dropped again and Kogan stayed planted; the next pulse would be the final one. It was a harrowing experience to lay waiting on the open ground with explosions raining down so close ahead, but it was still preferable to trying to make the entire advance without cover. Small shrapnel wounds were commonplace for the assault teams. Minotaurs and Orcs shrugged off such wounds without issue, which was a large part of the reason why they were so predominant in the teams in the first place. The advantage of being halfway across the field when you start your charge made the risk worthwhile. While they could shrug off shrapnel, the larger calibre weapons of the defenders were another matter.

This pulse was intended to be shorter, giving the defenders enough time to seek shelter, but not enough to start preparing to come back out. He waited for the staccato clap of the ‘barker’, an artillery piece that fired a loud air-bursting projectile, designed to allow signalling during the shelling. He didn’t have to wait long. The clap tore through the other sounds, and the remaining shelling dropped almost instantly. The assault force rose from the ground as one in the darkness, and the true assault began.

Kogan and his team gathered as they advanced, moving at a jog rather than the headlong run he’d seen others employ. Ahead of them, the defenders would be pouring out and attempting to lay down fire, but in the darkness it was nearly impossible to pick targets. The bulk of the fire would be ineffectual until they got close enough that the assault teams’ own weapons would be in range. Some of the defenders had managed to keep some lights protected and dragged them into position, sending wedges of illumination cutting into the shrouded field. They mostly lit up nothing but smoke and dust, but caught several unlucky attackers, who were cut down immediately in a hail of fire. It was far too little to keep the assault at bay, and Kogan could see the enemy trench now as the front of the assault began to hit it. The silhouettes of the defenders were braced at the edge and firing desperately. At last he let his rage off its leash and broke into a run. Caella roared with him and was in front of him in a matter of steps. Dayn’s voice rose in an almost melodic chanted prayer as he flung a pair of grenades ahead of them, dropping directly into the trench they were approaching. Smoke billowed up where they had fallen, and defenders were obscured even as the rest of the team opened fire with a variety of weapons. Kogan sprayed the area ahead with shot, aiming to kick up mud and injure more than kill. The confusion bought them the few seconds they needed to cross the intervening ground, and he ignored the stabbing pain in his thigh and a brief tug at his side as his final stride carried him straight into the smoke and down, into the trench.

Minotaur

******

Kogan staggered to a halt what felt like an age later. His saw was dead and bent on his hand, all of its fuel expended in the carnage long ago. It was bent in the bludgeoning that he was forced to use it for in the last few moments when, out of ammunition, they’d burst into a room with a handful of the last defenders. In reality, Caella had killed most of them. He’d just dealt with the couple that had tried to get behind her. It was going to take a while for her to recover from today. The wounds on her back should have probably killed her, and they possibly still would. His team had survived though, with no deaths during the fighting, which was nearly unheard of. He’d taken a half-dozen wounds, starting with the two bullets that had caught him right as they made contact, and ending with the bayonet that a Dwarf had managed to plunge deep into his gut before Kogan could kill him.

The wounds hurt, but not as much as they should. They slowed him, but they probably should have killed him. Again, he thanked whatever divine providence had led to him being blessed with such resilience, and wondered how much longer it could possibly remain a secret. He’d seen the looks from the other assault teams, the combination of shame and guilt at their own losses, coupled with anger and resentment that his team should emerge relatively unscathed again and again.
Soon, he knew, there would come some form of reckoning. He was beginning to think he might have to leave before then, to spare his team the choice of betrayal or protecting one of the cursed. But not today. Today he could find a place to rest, safe, out of the way. The fighting would drag on for hours, if not days. The main forces were driving the remaining defenders back as far and as fast as they could. He could feel the summons pulling gently at him. It had started in the middle of the assault, and even though he was exhausted, he knew he would answer. He couldn’t resist the call any more than he could resist the call to battles on Athien. He knew that others would think his life a living nightmare, but he could no longer imagine anything else. Perhaps one day he would finally get a grip on those who had driven his people to this state, and finally wrest from them the control they had so carefully assembled, and shatter it for good. On that day, maybe he would rest and seek another life-path, one with a bit less bloodshed. Though he struggled to imagine what else he might be good at.

“Perhaps a lumberjack”, he muttered to himself. “At least I’ve got experience with a saw.”

By Colin "Bobliness" Hill

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