Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Great Games I Never Played: Heavy Gear

I first became interested in Dream Pod 9's seminal universe when the video games came out, though, obtuse youth that I was at the time, I couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be BattleMechs or dudes in armor. Turns out I wasn't far off. "gears' such as they are, are a cross between an elemental-esque Battle Armor, and a true mech, a lot, in fact, like the later ProtoMechs from FASA's universe with which I was so familiar.

After the great FASA shutdown opened my eyes to miniature games beyond the Inner Sphere, I realized what I had missed, but unfortunately, this was the period during which there really were no appreciable Heavy Gear products. The line has now been relaunched, with Blitz being the flagship game, and Arena being the Solaris style Mech Gladiatorial duel. Quick Start rules are available for both.

I really like quick start rules lately, as I find that I am interested in a wider variety of universes and game scales than can be shoehorned into one system, nor do I wish to take the amount of time to learn a more complicated system. Ideally, the pages should be kept in the low twenties (or less!). I attribute this dread of rule books to BattleTech first and Warhammer 40k second. While I was aware of it with BattleTech, I only grew to resent it with 40k. The reams of material required to be remembered to be decent at that game is just staggering.

Back to the topic at hand, however. I have read through the Blitz rules before, but I think the Arena quick starts are new. I downloaded both, and I am planning on playing through a couple of games to see if I like them. I have a fealling that the lower model count of Arena might be right up my alley, as long as the detail increase per Gear does not go up too much.

The contested shooting roles seems interesting from a mechanics standpoint, and the models are undeniably attractive. Since I have always been better at painting armored vehicles than people, I feel like a return to the Mecha genre might really do me some good. We'll see how this works out.

Note: This is a guest post by KE554, since Counterfett is currently out of commission with nerve damage. Stay tuned folks.


Mike Howell said...

Heavy Gear certainly had my attention when I first saw it since it is modeled after the anime Armored Trooper Votoms. I loved me some Votoms back in the day. Even so, I never actually dropped the $$ to get started in it.

Man, I'm finding myself more and more drawn to buying into different games! Infinity, Mercs, now Heavy Gear... my poor, poor paycheck. No pun intended.

CounterFett said...

It's funny, my recent ennui with Games Workshop has me examining such things. When BattleTech was on top here in the west coast, I remember thinking that I didn't want to get into Heavy Gear because it needed more units and initial investment.

After playing 40k, though, Heavy Gear seems downright economical, especially if you buy from someplace like the Warstore.