The Block Gangs of Mega-City One

Unemployment levels in Mega-City One stand at approximately 98%, making it virtually impossible for the average citizen to secure a job. This makes the youth of the city vulnerable to crazes and borderline insane pursuits such as pro-eating (see the League of Fatties below), scrawling and even organised leaping. It also makes many citizens turn to crime. They may do so in pursuit of imagined wealth, or just to alleviate the boredom of their pointless existence.

Each Juve’s ‘career’ will vary widely. Some are happy to feel the rush and small rewards of petty crimes such as scrawling, fare dodging or even dealing in old comic books. Others become caught in the gravity well of organised crime or gang warfare, at which point the risks and rewards multiply exponentially. Those gangs which successfully gain control of a block’s—or even sector’s—distribution of drugs and other illegal substances such as tobacco, Umpty Candy and even sugar can look forward to significant rewards. Some gangs may focus on weapons, body-sharking or organ legging, whilst others pursue what they consider to be noble causes; these might include pro-democracy activism or crusades against robots and mutants. Some gangs are even insane enough to declare a war on the Judges!

Inevitably, these gangs always fall foul of the Justice Department, and no matter how well-armed or experienced the gang and its members may be, their criminal careers will end. All that remains to be seen is whether those careers end in an iso-cube, or the Resyk center.

Classic Moment

Rumble in the Jungle (2000AD prog #343–344 / Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 07)

Juves from a number of blocks converge on an infamous area of sector 230 known as ‘the Jungle’. There they intend to ‘slug it out’ in a mass firefight. Sadly for their opponents, the juves of Bob Marks Block have stolen a trio of Rad-Tractors, and are causing chaos on the skedways of MC-1 as they drive their new rides to the Jungle…

Further Reading

The Pit (progs #970–999 / Judge Dredd: The Pit)

The year is 2117, and Dredd is appointed sector chief of Sector 301, more commonly known as ‘The Pit’. There he finds a sector almost lost to corrupt Judges, organised crime and rampant gang warfare. Can he bring law to this lawlessness?

Extract from Dredd’s Comportment

“Every juve is exactly the same: they all think joining a block gang makes them indestructible. It’s a sad affliction, but it’s easily cured with a dose of daystick and a holiday in the iso-cubes.”

Block Gang profiles are divided into four different classes: LieutenantHeavyPunk and Juve. Entry-level Juves are individually weak, but they have the Pack rule, allowing them to act, move and attack together. This makes Juves dangerous if overlooked by Judges or opposing gang members, and effective at directing fire from their superiors.

The stats of the Block Gangers increase as they advance through the ranks. Although still relatively weak, Punks are more effective than Juves, and—at stats of 3 across their entire profile— Heavies are relatively effective. The full potential of these gangers is, however, unlocked with the inclusion of a Gang Lieutenant. Not only do Gang Lieutenants possess decent stats, but they also wield a cache of effective skills. C’Mon, You Lily-livered Scumsuckers lets Block Gangers return Action Chips back into the blind draw, and Drokk the Stinking Jays! also allows Block Gangers to ignore the Respect the Law special rule; this makes them much more effective when facing Judges.

All these things make a Block Gang more than the sum of their parts. If used correctly, these gangs can pose a threat to even the most veteran of street Judges.

Restless Juves seek thrills in the dangers of the Cursed Earth.

The Heavy Mob: Introducing the League of Fatties

Of the many crazes that grip the bored and largely unemployed citizens of Mega-City One, eating is by far the most popular. Faced with a surfeit of leisure, but little to no exercise and career opportunities, it’s no surprise so many Mega-City civilians are obese. The copious amount of junk food and junk TV available to a bored citizen to gorge on almost makes it inevitable.

Some civilians, however, make weight gain a full-time pursuit. With professional eating competitions offering fame, attractive prizes and a bounteous supply of free food, it’s no wonder so many are attracted to the lifestyle of the fat and famous. Gorging on everything from Munce to Umpty burgers, fatties have turned recreational eating into an art form, and some even live the dream of being professional gluttons. Aspiring children are sent to food camps to gain weight, and those foodies with sufficient talent compete in organised competitive eating championships. Such aspirants can—if they train hard—hope to become big enough to compete in the Mega-City Fats competition and even the Olympics. Some of these organised scoff-offs are less savoury, however, with illegal eating competitions rife in Mega-City One.

Fatties rarely kick up civil unrest without something to snack on whilst doing so!

Whilst this is all fun and games in times of prosperity, fatties can experience real hardship in post-war periods of rationing—as seen in Mega-City One after the Apocalypse War and during the events of Chaos Day— or other instances of city-wide disaster. In such lean times, it is not unknown for more militant fatties to take to the streets in organised rallies, or even turn to crime in order to satiate their gargantuan appetites. In such challenging times, therefore, Justice Department has been known to round up fatties and hold them in ‘fat blocks’. Here they are subjected to strict rationing and the general populace protected from their criminal tendencies.

Notable Fatty: ‘Two Ton’ Tony Tubs: A professional glutton, Tony Tubs achieved international fame and fortune by becoming the world’s first man to hit the two-ton mark. Catapulted to stardom, Tony inspired a wealth of Two-Ton Tony merchandise and profited from lucrative endorsements.

Fattie Battering Ram: Size matters in Mega-City One, especially if you’re a fattie crammed into improvised armour and propelled at high speed toward your opponents. Such is the case with the Fattie Battering Ram.

Fats Hambo: Fats Hambo is typical of so many militant fatties. Driven by what he perceives as a Grud-given right to eat, he uses his membership in his block’s Citi-Def unit to get his chubby paws on just enough weapons, ammunition and armour to fight for his next bite. Like most fighting fatties, Hambo is easy to hit but difficult to slow down, and Grud help anybody between him and his next meal.

Classic Moment

2000 AD prog #273–274 / Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 06: “The League of Fatties”

Seeking more rations in the wake of the Apocalypse War, Dick Porker’s League of Fatties unleashes a crimewave on Mega-City One.

Further Reading

Requiem for a Heavyweight (progs #331–34 / Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 07): broken out of a fat camp by an unscrupulous trainer, Apocalypse War survivor and fattie Arnold Stodgman is embroiled in the murky world of illegal eating contests.

Extract From Dredd’s Comportment

Fatties sum up everything that’s wrong with this city. The citizens don’t have anything to do and all the time in the world to do it. That’s why we have crime. That’s why we have block wars. That’s why we have fatties. Bulk and lack of both mobility makes crime and combat an anathema to fatties. However, fatties can make surprisingly capable opponents who should not be scoffed at.

Most dangerously of all; they are 100% dedicated to their craft. I’ve seen a fattie so dedicated that he’s choked to death trying to eat his own bed. But when that dedication turns to desperation and mealtime drives these porkers to crime, that’s when they go to the iso-cubes. They’ll soon drop a few kilos in there.

Fatties are slow and easy to hit. They are, however, surprisingly durable and able to shrug off a lot of damage. Whilst relatively poor in hand-to-hand combat, they are still dangerous at close range, with their Jet Barf! attack rivalling the Lawgiver in its potential devastation.

In short, the fatties are not to be taken lightly, and have the ability to chew through their opponents.

Even the Justice Department won’t keep a Fattie from their meal.
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