Bushido!

2021 Top 10 Solo Skirmish Games Countdown : #6!


#6 : Judge Dredd / Strontium Dog


Two games that weren't even on the horizon in 2020 (despite me owning them since 2019) have made it to the list. 


These two games share the same game engine, separated by theme and characters. If you’re of a certain age when the 2000AD comic reigned supreme, you will know who these 2 characters are… with Dredd having an advantage due to the 2 movies (by Stallone and Karl Urban) and general pop character recognition.

The game is pretty standard. You get 3 Action Points, some actions cost 1 AP, some 2AP. You have some pre-set skills. You have cards you can play to mess up your enemies. You even have chit draws (like Bolt Action/Gates of Antares dice draws) to determine activations.


What makes this game stand out is the use of Star chips. If you have a lowly minion type character, it only rates a normal chip that goes into the bag. But hero-type characters rate a Star chip that also goes into the bag. 


What makes the Star chip special is that you can attempt a “Cool” test to see if you succeed in putting that chip back into the bag. So your hero character can potentially activate more than once in a turn. (Note it’s not only your hero that can put the Star chip back in the bag. Any character can do it. But Dredd will have 5 chances to put the chip back, compared to 2 for a typical ganger).

For Judge Dredd, the judges typically cost way more than your average munce-for-brains ganger. Dredd himself will cost about 32 points. That will give you anywhere from 6-8 gangers as foes vs Dredd as the lone Judge.


Now in a normal game, 1 vs 8 (even if that 1 is Judge Dredd) will probably not make for a very fun game. Enter the Star chip.

I’ve had games where the sole Judge activated 3 times in a turn, turning the abundant gangers into so much resync fodder.


While the games in and of themselves are not specifically solo, the random chip draw activation makes for a surprisingly solo-able game. Warlord have even come out with solo campaigns for Dredd and Strontium Dog during the 2020 Covid lockdowns. I’ve not played them yet… but I will do so in 2022.


If you like either of these IP characters, check the games out.


HONOURABLE MENTION


Operation Last Train


This was in my Top 10 last year at #5.  I didn’t manage to get this to the table in 2021, hence it now gets a mention here. 


The game is great for making use of all the minis you have and gives you challenging missions to overcome. Just make sure you have enough minis for the Bugs (12-15 is more than enough) and you will have a great time trying to rescue the civilians while attempting to keep your team alive. 

Just don’t get too disappointed when the members of your die. You’ll have lots of replacements waiting in the wings. A bit like the Persian Immortals, really. Or the Expendables. You make a list of up to 100 troops. Then when one gets ripped apart by the Bugs, you replace him/her. Each troop has a role to play (sharpshooter, heavy weapons, power armour etc.) and so are pretty interchangeable.


The biggest fun part of the game is the inevitable conga line of survivors hustling towards the drop ship transport, chivvied along by the harried troopers while all the bugs/aliens make a beeline for said dropship or survivor conga line.

It's sort of free... call it donationware... so if you have any kind of minis lying around (minis from Zombicide Invaders are EXCELLENT) you should just download the rules and have a go.

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