Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Recaps & Roundups part 49: JG2 Dungeon Tac Cards & JG28 Judges' Shield

I'm tackling two Judges Guild products this time around, because neither of them should take up too much time. I don't have a copy of either, but I should be able to scrounge up enough info on them for a short post.

The first of these is product JG2, the Dungeon Tac Cards. I covered these previously, when they were sent out to Judges Guild members as part of their first subscription installment in late 1976. The first edition of this product consisted of 135 cards, each representing an action that a player might take, the idea being that players would have these cards face up in front of their character sheet to indicate what their character was doing or what they had in their hands.

In approximately April of 1977, the second edition of these cards was released as a product for sale in stores. This set had 140 cards, five more than the previous edition, but there are no new cards added: the old cards were simply given in different numbers. I listed the card amounts in my previous post on this product, so I'll do the same for this set. The cards are double-sided, with a different action on each side.

  • 5 Move/Charge Move cards
  • 5 Parry/Get Up cards
  • 5 Punch/Grapple cards
  • 5 Heavy Crossbow cards
  • 5 Dagger cards
  • 5 Horsebow cards
  • 5 Sword (longer) cards
  • 5 Sword (shorter) cards
  • 5 Shortbow cards
  • 5 Hand Axe cards
  • 5 Shield cards
  • 5 Mounted Lance/Pike cards
  • 5 Equipment (misc.) cards
  • 5 Morning Star cards
  • 5 Flail cards
  • 5 Torch cards
  • 5 Two-Handed-Sword cards
  • 5 Battle Axe cards
  • 5 Mace cards
  • 5 Halberd cards
  • 5 Composite Bow cards
  • 5 Spear cards
  • 5 Light Crossbow cards
  • 5 Pole Arm cards
  • 5 War Hammer cards
  • 5 Staff/Wand cards
  • 5 Longbow cards
  • 5 cards with Men Attacking and Saving Throw charts

The cards were given in varying numbers in the old set, but here they all come in sets of 5. It should also be noted that the cards featuring the Monster Attack and Damage charts, as well as the ones with the Man-to-Man rules from Chainmail, are no longer included. I can see leaving out the monster rules, because only the DM needs those. As for Man-to-Man combat, I suspect that very few groups were using those rules, so the JG folks left those cards out.

The second product I'm looking at today is JG 28, the Judges' Shield. I'm sure most of you know what this is: a multi-panelled cardboard shield with various charts printed on it, that can be used for reference during the game as well as to block the DM's notes from the prying eyes of the players. This particular shield has some historical significance, though, because it's the first one ever. I know of very few DMs who operate without one, so they've become something of an indispensable tool, and Judges Guild were the ones who came up with the idea.

I found scans of both sides of the Shield which I'll provide below.

Side facing players

Side facing DM

There's nothing too out of the ordinary on here, except maybe the section on the spell phantasmal forces; it must have caused more than a few headaches during gameplay for the JG crew to have thought it worthy of inclusion. The DM's side has a pretty comprehensive list of monster stats, including those from the first three supplements, as well as The Strategic Review and The Dragon. I was surprised to see that the Denebian Slime Devil and the Death Angel made the cut, as they won't be included in the Monster Manual by TSR. The Death Angel was only just in the last issue of The Dragon that I covered, so Judges Guild must have tried really hard to make this product up-to-date.

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