Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Heavy Gear Blitz: A review

Or How I learned to love war gaming for what it truly is: A good time.....

A week or two ago now, my buddy Renegade09 invited me to go to the local game store with him to try out a new game. Having lost my last Warhammer 40k game I wasn't too anxious to get my tail handed to me again in miniature combat.

This time the battlefield took us away from the grim dark future of the 41st millennium and into the world of "Heavy Gear", a game by the Canadian company Dream Pod 9. So you ask, What did I think of the game? Well my buddy Renegade09 had bought two factions of this fantastic science fiction world: Peace River and The North.

After a quick run through on the rules the night before we got to go the store and test it out. The activation system and the flow of the game was very fast. I enjoyed the pace and the way cover actually mattered in this game compared to others I had played. I also found the models to be of excellent quality that Renegade had painted to a well done table top quality. After having painted with him for weeks, it was nice to get a chance to try out the game.

Our set up after only about 20 minutes saw  the table ready for our deployment and mission objectives. Renegade had home built and printed off the templates for the terrain (I really need to ask him for some of that) and a well done carrying board.  After rolling off, we determine who went first and started the game.

By turn 2 not much had happened and the number of potshots being bounced off our armor was becoming annoying. Somebody needed to get a kill. We had a few people interested but many dismissed us. Still, we did get a few 40k players to try it out. Progress!

The game didn't end at 4 with anybody dead so we continued onto the next round. By turn 6 our board looked like below. Finally after some daring maneuvers and listing lazily to the left our units engage into close quarters battle. His HQ unit "Honcho" was killed by a blast to the face at close range and my unit made up of brothers "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dum" fell to his Gears from gun fire.  In the end, the game was a clear victory for me by number of kills and him having one model on the board. However, having had a epic night full of combat, I told him we should call it a tie instead.

So what did I think of the game? Honestly, the pace and the activation system are probably some of the cleanest and nicest rules out there right now. I liked the unit count and the amount of models needed to get started was low. I also enjoyed the background and the fluff behind all the factions. The Science Fiction part of the story also was very well done and nice. Since this system was D6, it made it easier to learn for me as well as new players who would like to learn more about war gaming in general. I watched a 40k veteran pick up the game and understand it in nearly ten minutes, a impossibility in other games such as 40k and Warmachine.

What didn't I like? To be honest, not much. After having come from 28mm models, the game felt familiar enough to not be off putting but new enough to be entertaining. I imagine with infantry at the 15mm scale things would get annoying but I have yet to see them in play yet. Some rules mechanics I found funky but none too rule breaking. The counter system of movement while ingenious does seem to slow down the pace since I very rarely wanted to switch modes to go faster, instead focusing on my firepower to see me through.

Overall my Rating would be a solid 9.8 out of 10. Very easily one of my favorite games I've ever played. Having war gamed since 2006 I felt that with time this game could be a serious contender to the big 3 should DP9 continue to run the game right as they seem to be doing now.

Till next time. Game on.....


Callum said...

Nice little review, just trying this game out myself. I had two things to add if that cool: firstly the game is 10-12mm and its worth mentioning as its enough of a difference to mean its hard to mix models from either scale, the other is that if you like city terrain the cityscape for dropzone commander is the same scale, is basically high quality papercraft and is AWESOME for HGB.

I'm not a fan of the blitz dice and tokens and such either but I've not found a better way of illustrating speed and damage in a way that is also easily visible to your opponent.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More