Games I Like – Heavy Gear Blitz

Games I Like – Part 1 – Heavy Gear Blitz

Well, as a proud Canadian living in Toronto I’d often seen ads and product from Dream Pod 9 at local hobby stores pretty much my whole life. I won’t get too into details, but the brief history of the game can be found on Wikipedia (of course take all this with a grain of salt… as it is Wiki).

In their current incarnation they are mostly run by a hardcore group of guys who are fans of the properties themselves. The games are lovingly created and in a new twist to most available miniature games; available as a pay-site download-able PDF from DriveThru RPG.

To give a brief overview, Heavy Gear Blitz: Locked and Loaded is the 4th edition of this traditional 15mm Sci Fi miniature game. The basic rulebook (of the above name) outlines the four factions of Terra Nova, a colony world cut off from Earth during a time of political and economic upheaval. These factions are the Northern City States, a religious oligarchy with different playable member states. Their diametric opposites are the Allied Southern Territories who are a more bohemian but less egalitarian society with their own individually playable factions. Between them are the Peace River Forces; the private army of the huge corporation Paxton Arms whose complex lies between the two larger powers and represents a separate interest, the Port Arthur Korps who are the stranded forces left behind during a botched attempt to repatriate Terra Nova to Earth rule and the Leagueless who represent the nomads and mercenaries who dwell in the badlands that encircle the planet.

A new expansion Black Talon: Return to Cats Eye outlines the Terra Novan special forces called Black Talon, and the Caprician and Earth forces who are still encroaching on the colony.

The game doesn’t require a lot of miniatures. In fact, typical games are played at about 1000 ‘pts’ (referred to as Threat Level in Heavy Gear) and will typically have under twenty models.

I started the game by picking up bargain bin miniatures locally. After the turmoil of the mid nineties a lot of stores stopped ordering these figures and they tend to turn up really cheap. That being said, I really LIKE the look of Heavy Gears. They represent one-man mecha infantry and the proportions and style of these miniatures was something that attracted me to the game.

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This is one of the new generation of multi-part Heavy Gears. I replaced the bases with some Privateer Press round ones, as the old hex bases are really only important for turning at this point and I made a simple counter to do that with. This model is a high-performance gear called a Black Mamba from the Southern Republican Army.

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These guys are a Recon Squad (also new style) from my Southern Republican Army. They’re led by a Black Mamba and made up of Iguana scout gears.

Infantry also exists in Heavy Gear, as in most 15mm games. It’s real strength is that the larger gear troopers have a hard time digging them out from objectives and buildings… making them an important addition to pretty much any army.

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Larger walkers are called ‘Striders’. This one is a Naga (also from my South army) and tends to fulfill a fire support role in Heavy Gear, having their heavy weapons called in by other models in the army.

I’ve only played a couple games… but I like the highly detailed movement and combat options. The game uses an alternate unit activation system and loose squad rules (models operate on their own… but need to be in communication range to do certain things) in addition to a highly flexible army creation system. I like games where I can play with a handful of models and get lots of choices, so it definitely had that appeal.

If you decide to give it a try I strongly recommend buying the download of the rulebook and taking it to a printers to be cyrlocks bound. It’s full colour, lavishly illustrated and gives you everything you need to play. This should also give you a good idea of what you want to buy as Heavy Gear gives you a ton of options and the ‘core’ units aren’t necessarily ones you’ll enjoy playing with.

Check it out if want a highly detailed miniature game with Giant Robots!

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~ by Achilles on August 1, 2009.

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