On the blog today we have another solo play through of Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter, using the new Dark Judges expansion pack. If you want to see how Judge Dredd and the other Judges did, check out the last report!

The Dark Judges are back, and this time it’s up to the Strontium Dogs to take them out!

As before, my objective is to score 6 points. Each Fragment of Reality I pick up will get me 1 point, and each Dark Judge I kill will double the number of Fragments I have collected.

As the game starts we have the Dark Judges split into two groups – Judge Death and Judge Fear together at the top of the board and Judge Mortis and Judge Fire in the bottom corner opposite.

For the Strontium Dogs, we have Johnny Alpha alone at the bottom, Durham Red alone at the top, and Wulf Sternhammer, Middenface McNulty, and the Gronk sticking together in the middle.

If you didn’t read the last write-up of my solo game of Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter using the Dark Judges expansion pack, you can find it here. The Dark Judges are a formidable foe, with an armour token that must be broken before you can do damage to them. They are activated by a special Solo Deck, which dictates their actions on the board. Let’s see how Johnny Alpha and the Strontium Dogs do!

Turn 1

The Strontium Dogs

For my first turn, I took the opportunity to whittle down Judge Mortis a little. I don’t want to kill him at this point, but knocking off some of his health will make it easier to finish him off once I have collected some Fragments (to make sure I benefit from the 2x modifier). Johnny Alpha fired first, breaking through Judge Mortis’ armour, then Wul Sternhammer fired twice. Judge Mortis managed to block one, but not the other, so took 1 damage. Not too bad. Not wanting to play any more cards, I ended my turn and drew three new cards, taking me back to my maximum hand size of 7.

The Dark Judges

The first card I draw for the Dark Judges has Judge Fire and Judge Mortis move onto the same space as Wulf Sternhammer. Wulf is a melee specialist and my toughest character, so if they were going to go for anyone I’m glad it’s him, but with two Dark Judges in his space he is going to struggle.

The second card saw Judge Death move towards Durham Red. I think she might want to get a bit of a move on and get away from him – on her own she won’t be much of a match for the leader of the Dark Judges.

With the solo deck, if you draw a card and it shows actions that can’t be used, you simply skip those actions. I got lucky with this first turn, as no damage could be done to any of my characters. Let’s hope my luck holds!

Turn 2

The Strontium Dogs

At the start of the turn, Wulf takes 1 damage due to Judge Mortis’ Cloud of Decay, a passive ability that has to be blocked to avoid taking damage.

After that, the Stontium Dogs are back in action, and this turn is all about manoeuvring. Durham Red needed to get away from Judge Death, so dashes two spaces towards the nearest Fragment of Reality. Johnny Alpha also repositions, ready to collect a Fragment on his next turn if he wants to.

This does leave Wulf in the lurch, but he’s a tough nut to crack and The Gronk is close by to heal him if needs be.

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn by the Dark Judges sees Judge Fire get a little over-excited and launch an Explode attack in the space with Wulf Sternhammer in. Unfortunately, Dark Judges aren’t effected by Explode attacks by other Dark Judges, and I don’t want to spend a card defending Wulf, so one health down.

This first card drawn also sees Judge Fear and Judge Death move, and with Durham Red running away earlier in the turn it means they will both be heading towards the centre of the board. Perhaps I’d have been wiser to keep her a bit closer as bait… ah well!

The second card brings more pain to The Strontium Dogs. Judge Fear makes a Shotgun Attack against Middenface McNulty, but rather than take the hit I decide to Deflect the shot. Judge Mortis also wants to get in on the action, and tried to land a sucker-punch on Wulf Sternhammer. I don’t want him to take too much damage this early on, so another block comes in.

Only 2 damage taken over the turn, but 2 cards gone from my hand, limiting my options going forwards.

Turn 3

The Strontium Dogs

Rather than take another point of damage, Wulf blocks Judge Mortis’ Cloud of Decay and moves out of the space. His ally, The Gronk, does the courageous thing and runs away, as I want to avoid having my characters on the same space if at all possible.

The Dark Judges

The first card is drawn, and they are really on the move. Judge Fire moves into the same space as Wulf and shoots him point blank in the face – I have nothing to block it with, so one damage taken, leaving Wulf at just 1 health!

Then, Judge Fear joins McNulty in space 10, and Mortis joins Wulf in space 11. Judge Death is the last to move, charging at Wulf and trying to land the knock-out blow. Luckily, this one I can block. So he isn’t dead yet!

The next card comes and things aren’t looking good. Judge Fear shoots McNulty, but as he is in cover I can use the cover defense to avoid taking damage. For the uppercut from Judge Death, unfortunately Wulf has nothing. 1 more damage – 1 dead Wulf. Gronk can only look on in fear.

Turn 4

The Strontium Dogs

Things are looking grim for my team. I desperately need to get some points on the table, so the first thing I do is play three of Johnny Alpha’s cards to pick up the Fragment of Reality he is standing by. 1 point down, 5 to go.

Next, I play my last card to move the Gronk away from the mass of Dark Judges beside him. This leaves McNulty in a real pickle, but I have a soft spot for the Gronk and don’t have two cards to move McNulty with anyway (he is currently caught in Judge Fear’s paralyzing aura!)

The Dark Judges

Their turn begins, and straight away they draw a card with enough damage to kill McNulty. I can’t block the Explode attack from Judge Fire, but can play a card to block Judge Fear’s Shotgun attack, saving me from the 2 damage that would have knocked McNulty out.

Second card out and more bad news. Three Melee attacks will be coming in, and I can only block 1. I could just sacrifice McNulty and save the card, but if he gets knocked out by Judge Fire then Judges Fear and Mortis will march towards the Gronk. Instead, I block the first hit, and let Mortis land the killing blow.

Turn 5

The Strontium Dogs

Situation Update – McNulty and Wulf Sternhammer are dead, I’m left with Durham Red, Johnny Alpha, and the Gronk and, with just 1 card in my hand, the best option seems to be to do nothing and let my hand refill a little.

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn by the Dark Judges sees Judge Fear and Judge Death advance towards Gronk.

Not wanting to lose Gronk’s reputation, I interrupt the Dark Judges before they draw their second card and run away. I think The Gronk will have to delay the Dark Judges for as long as possible while Johnny Alpha and Durham Red do the hard work!

The Dark Judges draw their second card – a shot from Judge Fear takes The Gronk down to 2 health, and Judge Mortis joins the charge. They are still some way off though, nothing to fear yet!

Turn 6 

The Strontium Dogs

At the moment, I feel like I’m on the ropes. The Gronk is in trouble, but I need to build up my hand so opt to do nothing, just drawing the 3 cards at the end of my turn. I do have an interrupt in my hand, so if things do start to get dicey I can play that and shuffle Gronk away from the oncoming Dark Judges.

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn for the Dark Judges isn’t too bad. Judge Fire’s explosion attack does nothing, neither does Judge Fear’s melee attack. Judge Death does move one space closer though – a little worrying, although I feel like I have enough in my hand to avoid damage should he attack with the next draw.

The next card comes up, and luck seems to be smiling on the Gronk. Judge Fear moves in closer and shoots, but The Gronk deflects the attack and finishes the turn unscathed.

Turn 6

The Strontium Dogs

I’ve managed to weather the storm, and Gronk continues to lead the Dark Judges on a merry chase. I play one card to move the Gronk closer to Johnny Alpha and end my turn, bringing my hand up to 6 cards. Plenty of options going forwards!

The Dark Judges

The first card from the Solo Deck is drawn, and the Dark Judges advance again, but no attacks are incoming. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the next draw doesn’t have Judge Fear advancing again, as he would lock the Gronk in place (spending two cards just to get away from him at this point seems wasteful!)

No such luck unfortunately. The second card for the Dark Judges sees Judge Fear join the Gronk on space 37. Will this be…their final battle? Luckily no more damage yet!

Turn 7

The Strontium Dogs

Operation Gronk-shield begins. The hero of the Strontium Dogs lets out a small chuckle as he patches himself up, bringing his health back to 3, while across the board Durham Red moves into position to collect another Fragment of Reality. With 2 cards played and 4 left in my hand, I am finally going to be back up to my max hand size, which will hopefully turn the tables in this battle.

The Dark Judges

Their first card sees Judge Fire shoot a celebratory Shotgun Blast at nobody. Judge Fear, on the other hand, gives the Gronk a smack in the chops, taking him down to 2 health. Judges Death and Mortis both advance.

Before the next card is drawn, perhaps due to my fondness for the Gronk, I interrupt and use the Heal ability to get him back to 3 health. I’m a bit wary that there could be 3 attacks incoming this turn!

It isn’t too bad though. For one thing, the second card isn’t going to move Judge Mortis into my space, which means I don’t need to worry about his Cloud of Decay. Judge Fear’s Snipe attack is easily deflected by the hero of the hour, but unfortunately the melee attack from Judge Death makes contact.

Turn 8

The Strontium Dogs

I’m feeling pretty good going into turn 8. I play three cards with McNulty’s symbol to pick up another Fragment of Reality, which makes me realize that I only have 2 points on the board, and only 3 characters left. I end the turn feeling slightly less good.

The Dark Judges

The Gronk will forever be remembered as a hero. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done to save him from his fate. A shot from Judge Fear and a punch from Judge Mortis brings his story to an end, and leaves me wishing I had moved Johnny Alpha…

The second card comes up, and my fear becomes a reality. Judge Fear, to be precise, moving into the same space as Johnny Alpha, but not before Judge Fire takes 1 health off Durham Red with a long-range shot.

Turn 9

The Strontium Dogs

Johnny Alpha won’t last long if he gets collapsed on, so I bite the bullet and pay the two movement cards to get him away from Judge Fear. I also spend 2 cards getting Durham Red onto the high ground.

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn by the Dark Judges doesn’t cause me any issues. The attacks from Judge Fire and Judge Fear don’t do anything, and Judge Death is still 1 space away after his move towards Johnny Alpha

The second card is a bit more problematic – I can block the Shotgun attack with my Cover defence, but I can’t stop Johnny Alpha from getting punched by Judge Death. He’s down to 2 health, and things are looking bleak.

Turn 10

The Strontium Dogs

My main aim here is to get away from Judge Fear so that I don’t get locked in the space with him. 1 card spent and 3 cards drawn takes my hand up to 4.

The Dark Judges

The Dark Judges’ first card isn’t anything to worry about – Judge Fire moves closer, but the cover means that Judge Fear’s Shotgun attack doesn’t do anything, and Mortis is way too far back to do anything (annoyingly, as he is the only Judge I’ve damaged!)

The second card sees Judge Fire dash forward to launch an Explode attack, but luckily Johnny can block this with his Precog ability.

Turn 11

The Strontium Dogs

Johnny takes the opportunity to move into cover, but my turn ends there. I desperately need to knock out one of the Dark Judges, but if I could get one more Fragment first then that’d be enough to win me the game!

The Dark Judges

Judge Fear has left himself blocked by cover, but Judges Mortis and Death advance with the first card.

The second card sees Judge Fire advance twice, joining Johnny Alpha in the cover space, and Mortis continue his slow march towards my remaining fighters.

Turn 12

The Strontium Dogs

Channelling his inner-Gronk, Johnny Alpha makes a dash for the Third Fragment, leaving Durham in the lurch. My new plan is to grab it, dash for cover, and hope I can kill one Judge to claim victory. I don’t expect Durham to survive the game.

The Dark Judges

The Dark Judges all advance once more. Judge Fire tried to shoot Durham Red at point blank range, but she deflects the shot. I need her to buy me time to get Johnny Alpha into position.

Luck is on my side again with the second card. Judge Fear moves and tries to take a shot, but as Durham Red is on the high ground he can’t see her. The turn ends, and Durham is still alive!

Turn 13

The Strontium Dogs

Three cards with Wulf Sternhammer’s symbol enable me to collect my third shard, and Johnny is on the move, heading towards the nearest piece of high ground. Hopefully this will give me the safety I need to snipe the Dark Judges as they advance!

The Dark Judges

An explosion attack comes in from Judge Fire – I’ve got nothing to block that with, so one damage on Durham Red. Just one health left as the other Dark Judges advance. Judge Fear tries to finish her off, but I can block that one! She lives… for now.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t survive for long. Judge Fear moves in and finishes her off with a single shot. It’s all on Johnny now!

Turn 14

The Strontium Dogs

Turn 14 begins, and I have no cards available to attack with. I need to restock my hand. Until then, all he can do is advance, so that is what he does. Hopefully the cards will be kind to me!

The Dark Judges

Just one enemy left for the Death Sentence, and the Dark Judges are eager to dish it out. Judge Fear and Judge Death advance towards Johnny Alpha, with Judge Fire staying on the high ground. He’ll have line of sight on me if he gets the Snipe ability.

Luckily, he doesn’t. The second draw see’s Judge Fire rush forwards and Judge Mortis advance as well. Plenty of targets – I just need the cards to do the job!

Turn 15

The Strontium Dogs

The cards were kind to me at the end of my last turn. I have 3 Psi attacks in my hand, and Judge Mortis’ advance in the previous turn means he is in line of sight. The Psi attacks cannot be blocked by cards, but still need to break through the armour, but with 3 in my hand I can break through his armour and deal the last two points of damage needed to claim victory!

Johnny Alpha and  the Strontium Dogs were victorious, but the cost was great. Many sacrifices were made to win the day, and with the Gronk among them it truly is a pyrrhic victory.

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