Can't get enough military mecha fighting scifi battles on distant worlds? Classic game Heavy Gear offers a rich pseudohistorical backdrop for mech-on-mech warfare, and a deep suite of tactical rules. It's sure to please both wargamers and giant robot fans.
The comparisons to Battletech are inevitable with any game tackling this subject matter. Heavy Gear's mechs are smaller than most Battletech mechs, maxing out at around 18 feet tall (with a few exceptions). Most of them are powered by advanced combustion engines that provide electric and hydraulic power, a concept I love - just imagine the chugging rumble of a high-displacement engine powering a walking war machine. The Heavy Gear storyline plays out almost entirely on a single planet, an Earth colony 4,000 years in the future known as Terra Nova. Various city-states and other factions vie for control of natural resources and territory, and occasionally fight against forces from original Earth looking to retake their colony.
The Blitz! rules feel like an old-school wargame, with lots of tactical options that can be added as the players' skill level increases. Where Battletech battles often turned into Saturday matinee giant robot fights (which I find absolutely no fault with!), Heavy Gear battles feel more like true military battles where the mechs are a vital tactical element, but not the only tactical element (which I am equally unable to find fault with!).
More than 100 pages of Heavy Gear Blitz! are devoted to the military factions of Terra Nova. I love the added depth that all the pseudohistorical information provides. Learning which company manufactured a unit, how field units generally modify it, what major battles it played a part in and other bits of detail make these fictional military conflicts so much richer. Heavy Gear does not disappoint (did I mention there's over 100 pages of the stuff?). Unit by unit, faction by faction, it outlines who uses what and how, with plenty of images showing unit insignia, well-known pilots, and of course awesome tanks and mechs. There's no shortage of photographs of beautifully painted miniatures. There's even a thorough painting and figure modification guide (Dream Pod 9 also produces a full line of Heavy Gear miniatures) and an ultra-detailed breakdown of unit colors, so you can paint your Nova Redriders the proper shade of "scab red."
You can get a foothold on the world of Terra Nova by grabbing a Heavy Gear Blitz! Locked and Loaded rulebook from DriveThruRPG and ordering some minis from Dream Pod 9.
This post originally appeared on Robot Viking.