I recently purchased a copy of the Judge Dredd board game which, is in my humble opinion, one of the finest boardgames from the Golden Age. I paid a premium for it, but as I said, it's a good game, and I'm not the church mouse I was when I was younger, so a little luxury is not going to case me any guilt.
This game and I go back a long way; right back to the day of release in fact, when I ran the game in the Sheffield store where I was something of a permanent fixture. I once had to be broken from the window on a cold October morning as I had my nose pressed up to the glass and my drool froze solid.
Now, the modern enthusiast, intent on grabbing themselves some gaming history will buy the game on eBay and then brag how despite being 31 years old, they have had it since it was released in 82 and will proudly present a 2nd edition of the game. The rules are the same, the overall production is as good as the first, but it is different in a glaringly obvious way. Two ways as a matter of fact...
This is a second edition copy:
Note if you will, the use of Halma pieces and the two part flush edged board, which has a tendency to warp somewhat.
If your set looks like this, then you are the proud and blessed owner of a second printing of the JD board game. You will have the same fun in terms of game play, but, you'll not be able to brag that you bought it on the day the JD game was released. No, sorry... You won't!
Just be happy that you do own a copy of the game and that you can have hours of fun, 'Barney-ing' your friends and arresting Judge Death for littering, only to have Edwin Parsey ruin your shift, patrolling the streets of MC1.
Now, today, as I sat in the precinct house adjacent to Gary Gygax Block with a synth-caf and a munce block I received a tip-off from Max Normal (OK, I was in a hotel restaurant in Glossop, sipping a Coke and eating a lamb and black pudding shepherd's pie and it was a text from my brother) that 100 yards from me there was a copy of the JD game for £20 in a charity store.
I didn't bother with firing up the Lawmaster, I just grabbed my nightstick and dropped my Lawgiver into my boot holster and made my way to the scene of the crime.
Lo and behold, there it was!
DROKK! It was sealed with spugging tape. No problem... I am the law and therefore I simply removed said tape and looked in the box.
And the joy was such that I may have shouted 'ZARJAZ!' perhaps even forgot that I am a Judge and as such am expected to project a cool, even manner at all times.
What I was holding was a first edition of the game, just like the one I bought on the very day of release, all those years ago.
This is a first edition of the game:
You will note that there are two things which mark out the earlier edition.
Firstly, the board is a 4 panel jigsaw type board with a are marble effect rear face. It's really good cardstock too.
Secondly, you will see that the Halma men are not present, but some rather nice 18mm Judge figures are. For a while you could buy them as a pack for a few pence over the counter at your GW store, which, is how a few found their way into later sets.
But if you have the two piece board the set is still a second print run.
If you have a 4 part, jigsaw board and the six plastic figures , you may attempt to bluff it and say that you've had it since day one. It is a first print run and is considerably more sought after with a distinct whiff of cache.
And so citizens, there you have it - and so do I, once again.
I hope that this little blog may prevent some of you Rookie Judges from getting stung as you search for the game on eBay.
Splundig Vur Thrigg
PS: There's also a third difference, but I'll leave that you to find...