Judgement - The Game
Judgement brings all the elements of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena video game genre to the table top. Powerful, diverse and fun heroes, neutral monsters, magical items and hero levels. These ingredients provide a truly amazing gaming experience like no other miniature game on the market. The game design team have worked tirelessly for more than a year creating, testing and perfecting the core mechanics which ensure diverse, dynamic hero activations and a fast, flexible combat system. The icing on the cake are superbly detailed 54mm scale resin cast miniatures.
Game Play Videos
The design team have put together a series of game play videos. There are two editions of the game, the 3V3 game and 5V5 game.
3V3 Game Edition
The 3V3 game is played on a smaller (2' diameter) board with each player controlling 3 heroes. The video below demonstrates the 3V3 game in a very advanced state using the latest rules.
5V5 Game Edition
If you want to dive in and get a feel for the 5V5 game then the Full Game Commentary video below will give you a complete rundown of the game including tips, tricks and commentary to help explain things.
Judgement is played between 2 players, each who control a Warband of heroes. The objective of the game is to destroy your opponent's Effigy, a powerful artefact forged by the new gods, used to transport the heroes from their world of Onathien to the Shadow Plane. A Warband consists of either 3 heroes (3V3) or 5 heroes (5V5). Regardless of the size of the game the objective is the same, destroy the enemy's Effigy!
Souls play a very important role in Judgement. They make the destruction of your opponent's Effigy much easier as well as provide Fate to a Warband's pool (see below). Souls can be harvested by killing enemy heroes or making a successful Soul Harvest skill check while near an un-bound Soul. These Souls randomly spawn on the battlefield from designated Soul Pits.
Fate is a mystic force on the Shadow Plane, something that can be collected and unleashed by the heroes throughout the course of a battle. Each Warband has a Fate pool that is shared amongst the heroes of that band. Fate can be used to execute the most potent hero powers, purchase magical items, heal heroes and manipulate dice rolls. The astute use of Fate is what separates the great Judgement players from the good ones.
Shrines are strategic locations on the battlefield that provide bonus Fate for Warbands that capture them. Players that base their strategy around winning the Fate war will place a high priority on controlling Shrines, often committing several heroes to the task. Some battlefield maps have a single Shrine whereas others have 2 or more.
The Game Board
Judgement is played on a circular game board. The 3V3 game is played on a 2 foot diameter whereas the 5V5 game is played on a 3' foot diameter battleground.
Each game board map has pre-defined terrain as well as dictating the placement of Neutral Monster camps, Soul Pits, Shrines and Effigies. The image below display the 2 maps that are included in the Judgement 3V3 game edition.
There are 20 heroes created for the initial launch of the game. The heroes are drawn from 5 races and operate across 4 classes which define their role on the battle field. Each hero has a unique range of powers including basic attacks, innate abilities, special actions and mighty Fate abilities.
This is an example card of one the Judgement heroes, Rakkir the Orc Rogue. Rakkir is an aggressor (i.e. his class) whose damage output is one of the highest in the game. A hero's card is used throughout the game as a reference of his/her abilities and for tracking their health.
The basic attributes of each hero are Movement (MOV), Melee (MEL), Ranged (RNG), Magic (MAG), Agility (AGI), Resilience (RES) and Soul Harvest (SH). These statistics are used when resolving combat between heroes normally using their basic weapon Attack Actions.
Innate Abilities are powers that are constantly in play and are active without the hero having to do anything. Rakkir's "Cloak of Darkness" which affords him a bonus +1 AGI vs RNG attacks is an example of an innate ability.
Combat Manoeuvres are abilities that can be triggered during a combat sequence. The unique Judgement dice have symbols on some of their faces that are used to "purchase" combat manoeuvres. The cost of a combat manoeuvre is depicted as (xS) where "x" is the number of symbols required from an attack roll to execute that manoeuvre. In Rakkir's case he is able to purchase the Poison effect whenever he rolls at least 1 combat manoeuvre symbol in his attack roll.
Special Actions are abilities that a hero can use instead of their basic attack actions. Special actions have a cost associated with them and the hero can spend their actions, Fate points or a combination of both to execute them during their activation. Special Actions that have a Fate (i.e. "F") in their cost are the most powerful abilities in the game and are normally a hero's signature move. Special Actions can only be executed once per activation, regardless of their cost.
Level 2 & 3 Abilities are only in play once the hero has gained the appropriate level. Heroes advance in levels by performing heroic deeds on the battlefield such as killing an enemy hero or neutral monster for example.
Hero Health is tracked on their card by filling in health circles each time they take damage. This is normally done using a non-permanent marker with cards protected by plastic sleeves. The skull symbol indicates the point where a level 1 hero will die upon taking that much damage. The health circles containing "L2" and "L3" labels indicate the bonus health a hero receives when advancing to level 2 or 3 respectively. Therefore in the case where an hero has gained levels they won't die until all the health circles of that level are also marked.
Note that when heroes die they are not permanently slain. They re-spawn at the controlling player's effigy at the start of the next turn.
The 4th card will display core rules that the hero uses in the game. In Rakkir's case he uses the Poison rule so an excerpt from the rule book is included in his card for quick reference. The 4th card will also have further rules clarifications from time to time as in the Shadow Token case for Rakkir.
In Judgement each player takes turns activating one of their heroes. When a hero activates they have 3 actions which they can use to perform a variety of tasks, some common amongst all heroes and others specifically detailed on their statistics card. For example a hero can move their Move statistic in inches 3 times, using all 3 actions. They can move once and then attack twice or any combination they wish of abilities available to them. This flexible, easy to use and powerful system of activation is a major contributor to the fast pace, dynamism and fun of Judgement.
The Combat System
Judgement uses unique dice which results in a fast paced and dynamic combat system that would be very difficult to emulate using traditional 6 sided dice. The 3 special symbols across 4 sides (2 are blank) are used to trigger different abilities and effects each time a hero attacks another.
Crossed swords indicates a Hit has been scored, the vertical arrow is used for executing combat manoeuvres and the "J" symbol counts for both at the same time.
Attack Dice Pool
Each time a hero attacks they must first work out the number of dice they will roll for that attack, otherwise known as the attack dice pool. Heroes always start with 3 dice in their pool, they then add or subtract dice based on the difference between their attack statistic and the target's Agility. Finally dice are added or subtracted based on a number of situational modifiers such as firing a ranged attack into an existing melee, whether the attacker has charged and things like that.
Executing the Attack
Regardless of how many dice an attacker rolls the most they can use to execute the attack is 3 dice. They must select the 3 dice from their attack pool which they think provides them with the best outcome from the attack. There will be times where an attacker will sacrifice raw damage to enable them to execute combat manoeuvres (i.e. selecting manoeuvre symbols over hit symbols) and others where they just want to dish out as much pain as possible. These tactical decisions add another dimension to combats that represents a swirling ever-changing melee and makes the Judgement combat system like no other in the miniature game genre.
Magical Artefacts can be purchased in-game to augment a hero's powers. The most common artefacts boost a basic statistic whilst others can provide a completely new ability. There are artefacts that provide a permanent constant boost and others such as potions and elixirs that are one use only.
Artefacts are purchased by heroes when they are base-to-base with their Effigy using Fate from their Warband's generic Fate pool. Some neutral monsters can also drop magical artefacts when killed. Magical Artefacts are a fantastic way to alter your strategy during a battle to counter a powerful hero or combination in your opponent's Warband. Alternatively they can be used to raise the potency of your own strategy to ram the advantage home even more.
Each map has designated neutral monster camps that are home to the natural denizens of the Shadow Plane. These monsters are drawn to the din of combat so will roam the battlefield in search of heroes to destroy and/or eat. Neutral monsters provide yet another fantastic tactical element to the game allowing astute players to use them to their advantage, almost like an extra hero in their Warband. Precise push Combat Manoeuvres or perhaps a timely throw can result in neutral monsters doing significant damage to your opponent. Some heroes even have the power to force monsters under their will goading them towards the enemy.
Monsters are not all bad news however because they provide a bounty for any hero that kills them. The bounty manifests itself in Fate, magical items and also enabling heroes to gain levels. Just as neutral monsters are an integral part of any MOBA they are crucial to a game of Judgement. Ignore them at your peril, kill them to enhance your Warband's powers or use them to force the hand of your opponent at crucial stages of the battle.