The Dark Judges have fought in the streets of Mega-City One twice now, and each time they have been rebuffed. Now, they  turn their attention elsewhere…

For this next solo playthrough, I opened my copy of Wildlands and got my beloved Gnomads out. They were going to have a crack at the Dark Judges, using the official Wildlands / Helter Skelter crossover rules.

They’d be fighting in the Dungeons, which meant removing some map cards from the game. These aren’t as easily marked as in Helter Skelter, but you can set up a solo game of Wildlands using the Dark Judges expansion by removing the following cards (depending on  your map):

Ruined City – Remove 1, 2, 3, 7, 11, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 34, 37, 40, 41, 42

Dungeons – Remove 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 29, 33, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42

Wizards Tower – Remove 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 41, 42

Crystal Canyons – Remove 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 13, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 29, 30, 32, 39, 40, 41, 42

Dark House – Remove 1, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42

With the board set up I fortuitously had some of my gnoble Gnomads close together, ready to work as a team, while the Dark Judges were more spaced out. Unfortunately, the Dark Judges weren’t that far away – Ginauld was right next to Judge Fear, and Judge Mortis was just two spaces away from Automate (the only friend I need during lockdown). The Crystals were well positioned for me, so it was time to see how the best faction in Wildlands* fared against Judge Dredd’s most infamous adversaries.

*100% true don't even try to argue against this.

Turn 1

The Gnomads

The first turn sees Shiv use the Rally ability, ordering Ginauld to dash towards the nearest Crystal Shard while running away from danger himself. Truly leadership at its finest!

Ginauld wastes no time snatching up the Crystal and I end my turn there. Turn 1 done, 1 point in the bag!

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn by the Dark Judges has Judge Fire launch an Explosion Attack, Judge Fear use a Basic Melee attack, and Judge Death move one space. As there was no one in range for either of those first two actions, they are skipped. A lucky break for the heroes of the Wildlands.

The second card is revealed, and I’ll still be avoiding any damage. “01001000 01110101 01111010 01111010 01100001 01101000” shouts Automate! Judge Fear and Judge Death do advance, however, getting ever closer to my gnimble friends (I’ll stop there)

Turn 2

The Gnomads

Judge Fear and Judge Mortis were a little too close for comfort, so I retreated with Ginauld and Automate. Ending my turn there meant I was back up to my full complement of 7 cards.

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn sends a crack ringing through the air as a shot from Judge Fear hits Ginauld, taking him down to 3 health. Judge Mortis also advances towards Automate, but no damage to him quite yet.

The second card is drawn, and another shot hits Ginauld from Judge Fear. 2 health left on him, but Judge Fear is close now. Maybe it’s time to see what this spanner can do!

Turn 3

The Gnomads

Rather than charging into battle I bide my time, using a Rally ability from Tak and two movements from Shiv to get within one space of a Crystal Shard. It’s risky, but if I manage to scoop a second shard up and THEN kill one of the Dark Judges, the 2x multiplier will take me to 4 points, tantalizingly close to victory!

Let’s just home Ginauld can hold on!

The Dark Judges

The first card doesn’t bring any damage to Ginauld, but does see Judge Mortis and Judge Death continue their advance towards Automate and Elsie. I’ve now got 3 of the Gnomads caught in the corner, and they aren’t too happy about it.

Second card, and all the Dark Judges are on the move. Thankfully no attacks, but it does mean that Judge Mortis joins Automate on space 40, bringing his Cloud of Decay with him.

Turn 4

The Gnomads

When you aren’t playing this as a Helter Skelter / Wildlands crossover, Judge Mortis’ Cloud of Decay can be blocked by the Psi or the Deflect ability. In this variant, only the Green Shield can block it, making Judge Mortis much more threatening. I decide to block it, because Automate is my only mate.

After that, it’s clobbering time. I move Automate onto the same space as Judge Fear and they join Ginauld in the attack. First, a basic melee attack from Automate smashes through his armour. Automate follows it up with a swift left-hook, but Judge Fear blocks it, along with my open attack on the next card.

I no longer have the cards I need to take him down, but I have a Smash attack from Ginauld ready and waiting, and given that his shields are down at the moment I take a chance and go for it…but it comes to nothing.

6 cards spent, and all I managed was to break through his armour, leaving Automate, Ginauld, and Elsie in vulnerable positions.

The Dark Judges

And straight away, with the first card, they punish me. Judge Death moves into the same space as Elsie and deals 1 damage, which I let through, knowing worse could follow.

The next card brings another punch from Judge Death, as well as a shot from Judge Fear, taking Ginauld down to 1 health. Judge Mortis has also joined the fracas, bringing his stench with him.

Turn 5

The Gnomads

First things first – 1 damage to Ginauld and Automate due to the Cloud of Decay. Ginauld is out, Automate is down to 2, and I finish the turn without doing anything!

The Dark Judges

The Dark Judges start the turn with Judge Fire advancing, before Judge Fear launches a Shotgun attack at Automate, taking him out.

The second card would bring another point of damage to Elsie, enough to finish them off. I can’t afford to lose another character so quickly, so I block the damage. Judge Death will be tied up for at least one more turn!

Turn 6

The Gnomads

I need more points, as at this point I think my only shot is to kill 1 or maybe 2 Dark Judges and hope the 2x modifier wins me the game. I move Shiv into a space with a Crystal Shard and play 3 cards (2 with Automate’s symbol and one wild) to pick it up.

The Dark Judges

With their first card, the Judge Fire dashes towards Shiv and Judge Death tries to finish off Elsie – no luck this turn buddy!

This is followed by a ranged attack from Judge Fire against his new Goblin friend, but Shiv uses the cover defense to avoid any damage!

Turn 7

The Gnomads

Oooooh boy. Things are looking rough, but I’m not too worried because I have Tak, and Tak has a big gun. Unfortunately, at the moment she doesn’t have line of sight. I decide to bide my time, hoping for a good draw…

The Dark Judges

Judge Fire tries a different approach with his first attack, using the Explode attack on his space. Nice try, but nothing doing. Shiv uses the shield to defend against it.

The second card comes up, and it’s the end of the road for Elsie. A valiant effort, but Judge Death was determined to pass his sentence.

Turn 8

The Gnomads

I’ve got two characters left – Shiv and Tak. Both are on full health (3 for Shiv, 2 for Tak). I opt to run Tak up to space 8, giving her a clear line of sight down the corridor towards space 10, then move Shiv out of there. My aim is to get the Dark Judges in the corridor and then gun them down, depriving them of the cover bonus they get in space 10, but will it pay off?

The Dark Judges

Immediately I’m relieved that I moved Shiv out of space 10, as Judge Fire launches two melee attacks, flailing wildly at thin air. Judge Fear and Judge Mortis continue to advance – I’m wary that both of them have powerful Auras that could spell my doom.

The second card is drawn and it is another Explode attack from Judge Fire, and another block from Shiv. He must be getting really ticked off at this point – nothing he is trying seems to be working!

Turn 9

The Gnomads

Turn 9 begins, and it’s time to lock and load. I have Line of Sight to both Judge Fear and Judge Fire, but with his passive Paralyzing Aura I’m more concerned about Judge Fear, so he is my target.

The first shot comes in – a 2 damage blast from Tak, but Judge Fear deflects it. Shot number 2, another 2 damage, and this one hits home. Armour smashed, and 1 health gone. Time for the finishing touch, 2 more damage coming in…

And it’s blocked. I use the Gnomads’ wild card to draw 2 cards, hoping to get something to finish the job, but nothing comes up. I end my turn, demoralized.

The Dark Judges

The first card comes in, with Judge Fear shooting Shiv. This one I won’t be blocking, so Shiv goes down to 2 health.

He follows this up by moving into space 9 – if he’d done this the previous turn I would have been able to finish him off – and shoots again. This one I do block, as if I lose Shiv as my shield I think that’ll be game over!

Turn 10

The Gnomads

I launch a flurry of attacks against Judge Fear. He parries my melee attack, before having his Armour broken by a well placed shot from Tak. The next shot is deflected, but eventually, after 5 cards played, he is taken down.

My victory point total is up to 4, but the other Judges grow strong in the absence of Judge Fear…

The Dark Judges

Judge Mortis charges into the fray, launching an attack at Shiv. Again, Shiv the Shield holds firm, blocking the attack.

Next, Judge Fire charges in, but with no attacks coming in I’m OK for now!

Turn 11

The Gnomads

The first thing I do is play a Green Shield card to block Judge Mortis’ Cloud of Decay, avoiding 1 more damage on Shiv. That is all I do, leaving me with 6 cards after I draw. Let this be our final battle.

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn doesn’t do too much – Judge Death starts to mosey on over, but he is so far away I’m not concerned. By the time he reaches me I’ll either have lost, or be celebrating my victory.

Before the Dark Judges draw a second card, I interrupt, and with the Wildlands / Helter Skelter crossover rules you draw a card whenever you interrupt. It is time to finish this.

It doesn’t particularly matter which of the two I target – if I defeat them I win, if I don’t I’ll probably lose. I opt for Judge Mortis, due to the part he played in defeating my beloved Automate.

My first attack, meant to break through his shield, is blocked. I launch a ranged attack, but no luck. This is followed by a 2 damage ranged attack from Tak, and finally we break through the armour, dealing 1 damage to Judge Mortis.

Unfortunately that’s all I can do, other than run away, which I promptly do to avoid the Cloud of Decay.

The Dark Judges second card is then drawn, and we finish Turn 11 with Judge Mortis and Judge Fire two spaces away from Tak and Shiv.

Turn 12

The Gnomads

There’s nothing for me to do here. I need cards, and I need my enemies to be in my Line of Sight, so I end my turn without doing anything

The Dark Judges

The first card sees Judge Mortis and Judge Death advance, but no damage to sustain this turn. I just have to hope he doesn’t move forward again…

Oh bugger, he does. Because Judge Fear is knocked out, some of his actions apply to Judge Mortis instead. He moves forwards and attacks. With multiple targets in the same space, usually he would target the one on less health. However, both of mine have the same amount, so I get to choose. I opt for Shiv, who can block the attack.

Turn 13

The Gnomads

Judge Mortis is in the same space as Shiv and Tak, and he’s stinking up the joint. Unfortunately, I can’t block it, so they both take 1 damage. They’ve only got 1 health left each. I use Tak’s rally ability to get out of the space, then run Shiv one further to avoid them both being on the same space. It’s not looking so great for the Gnomads…

The Dark Judges

The first card drawn sees Judge Fire advance and, thankfully, Judge Mortis stay where he is.

In another stroke of luck, the second card brings no actions from any of the Judges, giving Tak and Shiv a moment to compose themselves.

Turn 14

The Gnomads

Another turn, another mad dash to avoid certain death. Shiv uses the Rally ability to move Tak out of danger, then plays another card to move into a space with a Crystal Shard. With so many of my team knocked out, it should be fairly easy to pick things up!

The Dark Judges

With Judge Fear dead, some of his actions are going to Judge Mortis, and this is the case again. Mortis moves and shoots, but luckily I can block it otherwise Tak would be finished.

The second card is drawn, and Judge Mortis joins Tak on space 2, bringing his Cloud of Decay with him.

Turn 15

The Gnomads

First, I block the cloud with a Green Shield. Then, I attack, knowing that I have just enough in my hand to kill Judge Mortis. Any blocks and I won’t be able to do it.

I start with a basic melee attack, and it gets through. His shield is broken, and Tak’s gun is ready. She blasts him for 2 more damage, and Judge Mortis has no response. The Dark Judges will think twice before venturing into the Wildlands again.

Although only 2 survived (and only just) it was a victory for the Gnomads. The Dark Judges had failed in their attempt to pass judgement on the Wildlands.

Want to try the game yourself? You can order a copy of Wildlands here, and Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter: Dark Judges here.