Welcome to the world of Terra Nova and the turn based strategy game of Heavy Gear Blitz. We’ll be starting off with a quick look into world of Terra Nova itself and the divisions of power on it. Then we’ll check in with the stars of the game the Gears themselves and the other units and equipment that they work with. Finally the rulebook itself will get some needed attention and a little personal praise.
The world of Terra Nova is a large planet dotted with large lakes and the all important tunnels that allow access to the vast amount of underground water locally called the MacAllen Network. Being a planet with little above ground water and only certain areas that the MacAllen Network can be accessed all water sources are very valuable assets.
The northern hemisphere of Terra Nova is a mountainous and temperate area and is controlled by CNCS which is a partnership between 3 nations. The 3 nations maintain a professional all volunteer force made up from their own private militaries. The first nation in the partnership is the Northern Lights Confederacy (NLC) and their military The Norlight Armed Forces. The Norlight Armed Forces are the largest of the 3 military groups and are very zealous. The second nation is the United Mercantile Federation (UMF). The UMF Army is not as large but are very well equipped thanks to their manufacturing might. The third and final nation is the Western Frontier Protectorate (WFP). The WFP Army is not large or well equipped but they are some of the best trained in the northern Hemisphere and have considerable field experience.
The southern hemisphere is covered by tropical jungles and expanses of swamp land. The southern hemisphere is ruled by the Allied Southern Territories (AST). There are 4 nations involved in the AST. The AST is a puppet alliance used by the Southern Republic (SR) to rule their vassal-states. The SR’s military force the Southern Republican Army (SRA) is the iron fist and true might of the AST. The SR allows the other nations to keep their own military forces but with strict guidelines on size, deployment, and equipment. The second nation is the Mekong Dominion (MD) and their military force the Mekong Peacekeepers (MP) are superbly trained and are focused on operations in dense urban and jungle areas. The third nation is the Eastern Sun Emirates (ESE) and have no formal military forces of their own but each Emir within the ESE maintains their own personal retinue. The fourth nation is the Humanist Alliance (HA) and they were long ago conquered by the SR in every way except name. The HA’s military is the Humanist Alliance Protection Force (HAPF) and they are a small but fanatical force that uses high-tech weapons that are often reverse engineered from CEF designs.
Along the equator stretching out in a wide band is an inhospitable but resource rich desert called the Badlands. The badlands is used at a battleground between the northern and southern forces. It is also a source of mineral wealth coveted by both polar forces. No single political entity has assumed or dominated the Badlands. The biggest source of power in the Badlands is Peace River, home of Paxton Arms. Paxton Arms sells weapons and equipment to both polar confederations and this has helped fuel Paxton Arms ability to protect itself and the lands around it from bandits known as rovers. Paxton Arms has placed the entire area of Peace River under its protection. Peace Rivers military force is the Peace River Defense Force (PRDF). The PRDF is equipped with the best weapons Paxton Arms can manufacture. The PRDF protects against all forces that would cause harm to the people they protect. This includes mostly rovers but the PRDF will not hesitate to defend against aggressors from either polar forces. The PRDF is well trained and has considerable experience but they are stretched thin and many wonder if Paxton Arms has not bitten of more than it can chew. Another power of note in the Badlands is the New Coalition (NuCoal). NuCoal is a group of independent city-states that would be unremarkable except for the presence of Port Arthur. Port Arthur was founded by the abandoned CEF troops. The might of the forces called the Arthurian Korps causes the polar confederations to respect NuCoal. While not a large power in the Badlands there is city named Khayr ad-Din or “city of trash” and it is home to the most successful underground Gear dueling league on the planet. This would not be worth note to any of Terra Novas powers except that in recent time a northern expatriate Gear Trainer named Katryne Sanz has been organizing the duelists of this city into a makeshift army. While most laugh at the idea of the Khayr ad-Din Army it has some of the best soldiers on all of Terra Nova in its ranks and these soldiers pilot very high performance Gears with a skill that is a culmination of instinct and training.
The Heavy Gears or Gears for short were made out of simple construction walkers. It is given that all systems were given a complete military overhaul but the basic design has not changed. Gears are a compromise between an infantryman’s flexibility and the hard hitting hard to disable armored vehicle. Gears are almost as flexible as an infantryman because they are essentially a one-man Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and as such is capable of swapping handheld weapons on the battlefield and even completely changing their entire load-out in just mere hours. The amount of firepower a Gear can carry (depending on its base design) can be staggering and allow it to pack a punch and take a few hits while maintaining its roots as an infantry type unit. While Gears sound like some kind of super units they are certainly not. Gears still require heavily on good tactics and the support of standard infantry, heavy armor, artillery, and aircraft. A look at what makes a Gear and the simple construction walkers they were made from reveal a few differences. While the combat systems and weapons are an obvious difference one of the biggest differences are the CPU units that are under the pilot’s seat. These CPUs are trained painstakingly and individually and are almost as important as the actual pilot. The CPU takes input from the pilot and translates it into the Gears movements. The intelligence of the CPUs is comparable to that of a smart dog and because of them the Gears are capable of the near human motion that makes them the valuable combat machines that they are today. The biggest thing that has not changed with Gears and most other vehicles on Terra Nova is the power plants that run them. Gears and most vehicles run on what is called the V-engine. The glory of this engine is that is has a minimum of moving parts and can run on nearly any combustible fuel. This makes the V-engine very durable and reliable which is something that is indispensable on Terra Nova. Now while the Gears are the new shining stars of Terra Nova we can’t forget the other units and equipment that are supported by and support the Gears in times of conflict. Standard infantry units are still alive and well on Terra Nova and used to great extent as it would be hard to field an army comprised entirely of Gears even if they are mass produced. Infantry fill the same roles they have in warfare for generations. Support, Defense, and handling of tactical equipment in the field that requires a more delicate touch. Another common sight are tanks. You may think with the Gears technology tanks would be phasing out of armies but to this day tanks hold true to the role they have always had and they are the punch of most armies on Terra Nova. Tanks are tough, powerful, and fast. The tanks load-out has changed very little and they are built around a single heavy cannon, with smaller weapons mounted for a small measure of support. While not as common and only traditional in weapon design the hovertanks of Terra Nova are fast and maneuverable. Hovertanks are lightly armored compared to traditional tanks but they carry powerful, advanced weapons on board. Aircraft still perform their basic functions in the army as well. They provide air support for ground forces including air strikes and are used to drop off advanced scout or commando units in the battlefield. A true marvel of construction on Terra Nova are the massive and hideously expensive Landships. Each landship carries a sizeable detachment of troops and has considerable firepower in the form of close range defense lasers and long range artillery cannons. Between the need for simple and reliable weapons and equipment designs and the presence of Paxton Arms most weapons and equipment are rather standardized across the entire planet. Projectiles are fired using a gel explosive that in emergencies can be cooked down and used for fuel in the wondrous V-engines. Energy weapons run off of large battery packs or capacitors powered by the V-engine.