Judgement: Loribela Runeflask

Judgement came to my attention a little while ago thanks to our friend Shoshie and a few other souls. In a miniatures market with some excellent MOBA style games out there, it takes something special to stand out. I’m not talking about rules or backstory – I’m talking something to immediately catch your eye as you cast  your gaze along the shelving at FLGS. Some companies have pushed on a genre for their skirmish and MOBA games – Sci-fi, high Fantasy, Gothic horror, Steampunk, Wild West, many others, and hybrids thereof. The crew behind Judgement decided to stand out by upping the scale. Models for Judgement are 54mm scale, significantly larger than other models on the market, meaning that the game is immediately eyecatching.

We’re seeing more and more fantastic artists turning away from gaming pieces and painting miniature figures and busts purely for artistic display. While a lot of gaming companies make game-playable figures that are absolutely display worthy. Judgement’s designers are producing models that are each designed to be display pieces, complete with some incredible scenic bases (eg, Zaffen Ironhelm’s shipwreck, or Piper’s illusory projection). They may have started a more Fantasyish theme, but has since thrown genre to the wind and now you get a dwarf in a mini flamethrower tank  and a demon-summoning halfling, alongside an orc assassin and more.

When I heard Shoshie was going to be painting for Judgement at GenCon, I know I was going to end up visiting, and while I wasn’t able to squeeze in a demo, I did chat with Shoshie and Jay Larsen and had a chance to look over the model range in person. I’d spent some time perusing the Judgement website and had already accepted that I was a fan of most of the dwarf models. Zaffen and Barnascus were definitely on my radar, but Loribella Runeflask stood out. So few companies are producing models of – or even writing up characters for – female dwarfs, that the diminutive alchemist definitely caught my eye.

I was immediately impressed by the detail on the model, as much as I chuckled that she was handed to me in a box for Thorgar the Minotaur.

Before we look more closely, I reached out to Pal Chad, previously known as the Second Prettiest Man in Warmachine, who it turns out is all over Judgement like a dirty shirt. It took very little arm twisting to convince him to share some words with us.

Welcome to The Between! The Shadow Plane where demigods summon powerful mortals to fight for them in their ever present struggle for power. Loribela Runeflask is one of these chosen, armed with her Gatling Gun, various elixirs and plenty of Explosive Dwarven Ale, she is ready to do plenty of damage to the enemy while also working to support her fellow allies. Even her mere words are enough to inspire her fellow Dwarfs and their Minotaur allies to quickly charge into the fray.

Loribela Runeflask is one of many characters that comes from the game Judgement. Judgement is based on the concepts behind many games from the MOBA genre of PC gaming, games such as League of Legends, DOTA2, Heroes of the Storm and more. The characters are the focus of this game, as they are beautiful 54mm scale models, all of which have their own role to play in the game. Game play will pit either 3 models of one player against 3 of their opponent, or in the more full-sized variety of the game 5 models against another 5. Ultimately, the goal is to destroy the enemy’s Effigy through any combination of direct attacks and gathering of Souls, either those of the opposition or those drifting through the Shadow Plane as they try to reach the plane of the gods.

Each model has a role to play in the game, but there is still a lot more depth after that. Loribela is classified as a Supporter model. She brings a toolbox of different abilities that can do things such as displacing the enemy with an Explosive Dwarven Ale, healing her allies with Elixir, increasing the movement for Dwarf and Minotaur allies or even in the right conditions spinning up her Gatling Gun and putting some significant damage on her adversary. In Judgement, models get more powerful as their are able to destroy their enemies or gather the power of souls. You can see this via the level-up mechanic giving them access to more hit points and more abilities.

I highly recommend that if you haven’t checked out Judgement to take a look at their website (http://judgement.game)  where you can find free rules for the game, scenarios, monsters and heroes all for free. They even include a print-and-play section for you to print out a hero to try before you jump into the game. There is also a lot more lore for you to explore about Athien and The Between, as well as to learn more about our favorite time-displaced alchemist, Loribela!

 – Chad “I’m still pretty, dammit” Kaufman

Back to our model! There’s a little cleanup to do, but given the size of the model I honestly expected more. The scale allows for a lot of attention to the pull and flow of her alchemist’s leathers, her hair, and more.

On her base, a smattering of battlefield detritus. Sandbags, barrels, even the skull and helmet of an earlier casualty slowly sinking into the muck.

Ah, blurry pic! Her “Gatling gun”, its feedhose, and a small keg of dwarven ale. While it may be utilized like a molotov cocktail, even if it *didn’t* explode, you’re still getting brained by hardwood and metal banding.

Fully assembled, Ms Runeflask is sending her explosive keg in the direction of her foe. A bullet may have your name on it, but an explosive dwarven ale keg just says “To whom it may concern”

I was very impressed overall with how simple assembly was, how little cleanup is required, and even little details that we don’t often see on smaller scale models, like the gun barrel being hollowed out, or the nails in the soles of her boots. Ignoring the fact she’s a dwarf and apparently armed with a rapid-fire hose-fed chemical grenade launcher kinda thing, Loribela Runeflask has a very military, storm-the-trenches feel to her. The character of the model speaks volumes.

Of course, you can read all about the character on the Judgement website, with two stories available – Father & Daughter, and A Tear in the Fabric of Time. Given that my interest in any game is 70%+ aesthetic and fluff, having backstories available to match up with their sculpts is a good thing.

Judgement is available directly through their online store, and through select FLGS’s and online retailers. If you’re looking for a new arena combat game, or perhaps just want to try your hand at painting something new, it may be worth a peep.