Updated: Oct 24, 2020
As a fan of Martin Wallace's Wildlands and a long-time fan of all things 2000AD, Osprey's Judge Dredd reskin of Wildlands sounded like a marriage made in heaven and on most levels it does not disappoint.
Each player (2–4) controls a squad of characters from the 2000AD universe(s). The premise for the game is very simple. You choose where your squad members start, the tokens that you need to acquire are placed by another player and then you get a deck of cards which are used either to secure those tokens or eliminate other players' squad members. If you have played Wildlands, there will be no surprises here. One of the few changes from the original, however, is that each faction has a unique ability. For example, the Judges can fire explosive rounds and Slaine can do his signature warp spasm. They are rarely game changers but add quite nicely to the theme. Whilst there are few significant changes to the core rules, one thing worth mentioning is that the interrupt cards are handled differently in this version and, in my opinion, this has an adverse effect on the game. In Wildlands, you can use the interrupt cards to draw additional cards into your hand, resulting in some pretty cool extended moves. In the Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter rules, that is no longer possible. Personally, I would be tempted to just play with the original Wildlands rules (although I'm not sure how would affect the balance...)
Other than that, there is not much to say. The boards are lovely: high quality, and highly thematic. The miniatures are of a slightly higher standard than Wildlands but nothing special. In fact, I really wish the minis were of a higher standard, as this would have made this an essential purchase. As it stands, I am quite happy to continue playing my copy of the original Wildlands. If, however, you are a sucker for 2000AD or you don't already have Wildlands, then acquiring this game should be a no brainer.
(Review by Paul Callaghan)