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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Heavy Gear... here we go!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

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So, I've fiiinally taken the plunge and ordered a bunch of models for Heavy Gear from Dream Pod 9. I've always enjoyed the stuff from DP9, starting with when I bought the first edition of Jovian Chronicles and continuing with a plethora of Heavy Gear books that I picked up on the cheap.

So I've read a bunch of their books but never actually played any of the games. Six months or so ago however, I decided to get myself the "Heavy Gear Blitz! Locked and Loaded" rulebook and I should have my first bunch of Gears in a few weeks. Weee!

Heavy Gear takes place on the planet Terra Nova where two dominant polar powers (the North and the South) battle for control, often in the equatorial desert region known as the Badlands. There are other factions as well of course, like Peace River who try to remain relatively neutral in the Badlands and the remains of the Colonial Expeditionary Force - a large army from Earth that tried to retake their former colony.

The primary weapon of war on Terra Nova is the ubiquitous Heavy Gear (or just Gear), basically a humanoid robot with room for a pilot in the chest. They're heavily influenced by Armoured Trooper VOTOMS and are far from any kind of super robots that are so common in anime, instead they have a very real and gritty feel to them (just like the VOTOMS!). Other weapons are Striders (bigger, non-humanoid walkers) hovertanks (used by the CEF) as well as more mundane machines like tanks and, of course, infantry. The strong aspect of combined arms is something that really drew me into Heavy Gear; sure a Gear is very maneuverable and has many different uses, but a tank still spells big trouble!


Deciding what force to start building was easy as it was love at first sight as soon as I layed my eyes on the Northern Grizzly (the guy on the right)! I experimented with a few army compositions using the excellent Gear Garage tool and at first settled on a TV (Threat Value=points) 750 force where a Dragoon Squad with three Rabbid Grizzlies was the main attraction. After consulting the very helpful senior podders at the DP9 forum I however settled on the following force in the end:


Northern Guard Army roster, 750 TV, PL 1

Infantry Platoon (Core) 80TV
  • Infantry Squad Leader CGL 20TV
    • Anti-Gear Rifle +5 TV

  • Infantry Squad 20TV
    • Anti-Gear Rifle +5 TV

  • Infantry Squad 20TV
    • Anti-Gear Rifle +5 TV

  • Infantry Squad 20TV
    • Anti-Gear Rifle +5 TV

Recon Squad (Auxiliary) 285TV
  • Jaguar CGL 65TV
    • Swap MAC for HRF +0 TV

  • Ferret MkII 45TV (Cheetah->Ferret -30 TV->Ferret MkII +5 TV)
    • Swap LAC for MRF +0 TV

  • Wild Ferret 35TV (Cheetah->Ferret -30 TV->Wild Ferret -5 TV)
    • Swap DPG for LRF +0 TV

  • Cheetah 70TV
    • Swap DPG for LRF +0 TV

  • Cheetah 70TV
    • Swap DPG for LRF +0 TV

Veteran Dragoon Squad (Auxiliary) [Army Command Group] 385TV
  • Jaguar CGL, ArmyCmdr 85TV (Rabid Grizzly->Jaguar -30 TV)
    • Increase Ld to 3 +10 TV
    • +1 Ld for ArmyCmdr +10 TV

  • Cheetah 70TV
    • Swap DPG for LAC +5 TV

  • Cheetah 70TV
    • Swap DPG for LAC +5 TV

  • Jaguar 80TV (Hunter->Jaguar +20 TV)
    • Swap LRP for AGM +10 TV
    • Att and Def to 3 +10 TV

  • Jaguar 80TV (Hunter->Jaguar +20 TV)
    • Swap LRP for AGM +10 TV
    • Att and Def to 3 +10 TV



As you can see there are no Grizzlies in it. Although they look big and menacing they are also slow and easy to hit. So following the forum advice I went for a leaner and more maneuverable force where Jaguars with Anti-Gear Missiles would provide the punch, and Cheetah's and Ferret's provide Target Designation and some sniper support. Grizzlies will however most likely be a part of my next order. :)

I've also ordered 250 tiny magnets that I'll insert into hands, weapons, rocket pods etc to (hopefully) make the weapons and equipment switchable so I can customize the miniatures as needed. This will be very interesting as I'd like to do something similar with the flying stand on my Full Thrust fleets. We'll see...

Anyway, my order should leave DP9 HQ now on Friday (the 11th) and it'll probably take a week or two getting here. So until then I guess I'll just twiddle my thumbs...

Or maybe I should assemble one of the Jovian Chronicles minis I managed to snag on eBay last week...

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