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Heavy Gear – Peace River Defense Force (PRDF) Spotlight



Brief Faction Overview: Peace River and Paxton Arms, its corporate owner, produces the most weapons on the planet. The neutral entity sells its goods to anybody and everybody. As a global power, Peace River is surprisingly small. With one city-state and a few outlying Badland’s communities marking its geographical sphere of influence, Peace River holds nearly as much clout as a polar league. During the War of the Alliance, Peace River and its rag tag Badlands army tipped the scales in favor of Terra Nova and forever gaining the enmity of Earth. In TN1939, Peace River’s city-state was destroyed by an anti-matter bomb planted by Earth’s agents. With seventy-five percent of the civilian population perishing, Peace River was nearly wiped out, but the majority of its manufacturing capability and military remained out of the bombs blast. Rebuilding from the wreckage, Peace River would play a central role in arming the Black Talons and fighting Earth off planet, thus getting some small measure of vengeance.


Reasons to play the Peace River:

  • Big Tankstriders and Cataphract Gearstrider make Peace River visually striking.

  • Want to play a small, but elite force with good equipment and special abilities?

  • One of the signatures of Peace River is that just about every unit has low level ECM, which means Peace River can shut down forward observing by trooper models if it wanted to play a harassing force.

  • Advanced Small Unit Tactics: When your combat group has at least half its number active they become immune to cross fire. The ability to ignore this defense penalty means your army will have endurance on the board.

  • Access to loads and loads of fire power: Frag Cannons (Giant Gear-sized Shotguns), Linked Medium Rocket Packs, Medium Field Mortars, and Light Railguns are just a few signature weapons that make Peace River a potent force.


Subfaction Information

  • Peace River Defense Force (PRDF): The military arm of Peace River, the small elite force is significantly smaller than its polar counterparts, but the army packs enough of a punch to keep them at bay or at least give them a good mauling before being overrun.

    • Growing Pains: Since the PRDF is a rapidly growing military operation, they often use polar equivalents in their army. If you use the Growing Pains rule, you can swap out Peace River Gears for some selected North and South Gears. You might ask, “Why would I do this?” There are some TV savings when you swap some units, especially in the Fire Support and Recon squads. Grizzlies and Spitting Cobras net discounts. This allows for some interesting combinations with mixed Southern and Northern Fire Support Gears, but taking this option forces you to drop all of your Crusaders in exchange. In Recon Squads, taking a Ferret gives you a nice discount from the Skirmisher, though the Iguana and Cheetah have increased costs.

    • Small Unit Training: Or how not to get caught up in a wicked crossfire. This special ability gives Peace River a way to avoid crossfire as long as half of the combat group is still present on the board. This effectively gives you a nice buffer from getting hit and taking damage from a commonly used tactic.

  • Peace Office Corp (POC): The militant police force traverses the Badlands rooting out injustice and keeping Peace River’s interests intact. Like their PRDF counterparts, the POC is heavily armed and an elite force of highly trained soldiers. They have all of the same benefits as the PRDF, though the availability for certain combat groups changes with the POC.

Getting Started with the Task Force:

  • The General Purpose Squad (GP): The Peace River General Purpose Squad has a couple of decent weapons at its disposal. The best option for the squad is the Frag Cannon with Heavy Hand Grenades. The Frag Cannon is a beast of a weapon capable of accurate spray fire or increased damage based on choke settings. Don’t let the low damage multiplier fool you, Frag Cannons get the job done against light and medium Gears. And for larger targets, you can always switch to the Heavy Hand Grenades. The Rapid Fire Bazooka is a signature Peace River weapon. Both weapons require you to be fairly close to be effective and to make them work you should use your squad tactics and generate crossfires and coordinated attacks against your opponents.

  • Patrol Squads: The Skirmisher falls in between a light trooper and an Electronics Warfare unit. Like the recon squads in the North and South, you should reserve your Skirmishers for their intended roles as forward observers and EW specialists. Most of the weapons used by the PRDF do not have the guided trait so generally you will not need to upgrade to a Target Designator. However if you find yourself adding loads of Anti-Tank and Anti-Gear Missiles into your army, don’t forget to add you TD’s.

  • Strike Squad: The Warrior IV as a base model compared to its polar equivalents falls a bit short with its defenses. All this is fixed easily by making your Strike Squad a veteran squad and adding the Elite Upgrades to them for a bargain cost of +5TV. This upgrade also increases your sensor’s detect ability which is important in finding things to kill. The best weapon upgrade option in this force is the Medium Bazooka, which makes this unit a very aggressive combat group. Don’t let the increased defense modifiers lull you into a false sense of security. Stick to cover and mount good assaults against your enemy, but unlike your polar counterparts, with Small Unit Tactics, your strikes are going to be less vulnerable from crossfire.

  • Fire Support: Crusader IV’s are fantastic killing machines, though they don’t quiet have the ranged capabilities that their polar counterparts have. This makes the Crusader IV more vulnerable to attack, but with linked Medium Rocket Packs, there’s a good chance that your opponents will be long dead before they ever get a shot off against your Crusaders. Because of the shorter effective range, Crusaders will play one of two roles. First they can be used to move up with the rest of the army in assault profile, but this means you’re likely to see your Crusaders dying regularly. The other role is as a defensive unit used to hold territory. In this case, upgrade your Crusader IV’s to Crusader V’s which exchanges the Light Field Mortar for a Medium Field Mortar with more punch.

  • Infantry: Peace River Infantry is built differently from their polar equivalents. At its foundation is the infantry section. Infantry sections are half of a platoon or two squads instead of the usual four. You then get to add two special weapons teams of which the most attractive is the Heavy Weapons Teams. Why? Simply put your Heavy Weapons gain rate of fire if you buy your teams with the same weapon. With infantry mortars, that means stunning and damaging a larger area since you can use your Rate of Fire of 2 to increase the base area to a 5 inch radius. Alternatively you could also add the Rate of Fire to damage. Pretty darn frightening for your light and medium class Gears.