Image via Wikipedia
Welcome to the Heavy Gear Universe
Whether you are an experienced gamer or you are looking to get started, Heavy Gear is a war-gamer’s dream. It’s set in a universe where the best of the best do battle in big stompy robots. Dream Pod 9 has put together a fantastic collection of miniatures representing all aspects of combined arms warfare centered on “Gears”. Gears are 15-18 foot tall robots. They are armored and agile carrying tank-like firepower including rockets, auto cannons, lasers and even rail guns. They are capable of inflicting major damage at range while performing martial arts style hand to hand combat.
The setting combines tabletop miniatures with RPG style background. The story takes place on the planet Terra Nova, one of several Earth colony planets. Terra Nova’s poles are temperate but separated by a wide equatorial desert called the Badlands. The North and South wage war across the Badlands while the inhabitants of the Badlands fight for survival and to hold on to their small pieces of inhospitable terrain.
To complicate things further, the forces of Earth have re-appeared to reclaim their colony. The CEF (Colonial Expeditionary Force) is Earth’s strong arm bent on reclamation of the colony planet and all of their resources. There might consists of hover tanks and genetically engineers soldiers called GRELs. After an earlier, failed attempt on Terra Nova, the CEF has set their collective mind and come back with a vengeance.
The combat system for Heavy Gear, which we will discuss in much more detail later, is simple and easy to learn. It is based on opposed rolls (2d6) with simple modifiers. Damage is determined by margin of success and weapon based multipliers. It is an elegant system where every attack counts. Even the lightest attack has the ability to be lethal, giving the exciting feel of real combat.
In addition to the rich storyline, great miniatures, fantastically attractive and well formatted rulebooks, one of the biggest appeals offered by Heavy Gear is the relatively low buy in. A two player starter containing the core rulebook, field guide, dice, a tape measure and 6 gears weighs in at $67. The starter contains everything needed to play Heavy Gear while leaving endless options to expand the game to fit your wants and needs. An out-of-the-box video review of the starter will follow shortly in addition to book reviews, background articles and battle reports.
Keep an eye out for the first battle report where I will be teaching my16 year old son to play and will be sure to include his thoughts on learning the game as well as the diversity of the system.