14 Aug 2012

Table Top Tues - Heavy Gear

When doing the whole table top game bit, I was never into the GW outside of Bloodbowl. My mates had yet to jump into the expensive fires and played Battletech instead.

Then some dudes in Montreal, Quebec, Canada made a new game that also touched on my love of the Japanese Animation, still yet to be called Anime at the time.

Heavy Gear.

In the mid 90’s I was playing lots of games. My years of high school included no young ladies and more ‘fun’. Oh I had ‘fun’. Parties were aplenty. I was named a few times the ‘munchies master’. I got drunk, did dumb but I never hooked up. I was too busy having fun. Of course to avoid giving an image of me being some super party animal, the other 2/3rds of my fun was being a giant nerd.

Drunk house parties turned into Golden Eye tournaments where the last vestiges of pizza slices were given away to winners. Being the nerd, I got a piece and watched due to my skill with an N64 Controller and the layout of the classic deathmatch map the Temple. It was not fair for me to play when there was a prize. I was the token nerd in the high school party world. I was that guy who with a few beers didn't seem all that bad. You were even having a good time once a few more beers came into the picture.

The largest shift in my opinion when it came to the table was CCG's and Heavy Gear. These games changed the way we played. Heavy Gear was Battletech with an RPG in the core system. It was everything we wanted. The box had maps, tokens and awesome rules that was easy to play. Plus the small tricks of shooting a hex with a missle pod, smoking feet... it was awesome.

When Heavy Gear came to town, I picked it up right away. Finally I was able to play a game that everyone had yet to master. At the time, the boys and girls of my nerd circle were masters of the Battletech and were awesome Mechwarriors.

Heavy Gear changed that. The playing field was level and we were new guys to the table. Later on when 2nd edition came out we bought into it, but this time there was fewer buys. But we continued and we gathered and played. Then the new games came out; Gear Krieg, Tribe 8, Jovian Chronicles, and the d20 versions. Some of them were good, some were not to the standard we had come to expect. The dream pod was having a nightmare and the gears started to slip. Great Video games were being shadowed by shity cartoons.

When the d20 bubble popped… Dream Pod 9 went to sleep.

Last year at Game Summit a few mates of mine saw the new game, tried it and picked up a few minis. They also pitched in a got me some love for my birthday with some PRDF.

By the by, I love me some Peace River Defense Force. They were always my favourite Gear Faction.

So I got the PDF books from the store and I found that game worked well enough to play. I can see that there is not enough to fully grab hold on for newer players. Most of the guys I see picking up the game in my end of the planet are previous players bringing in their friends. The game is better and new but people are picking up the Privateer, Corvus and Workshop products.

So I call out to those new players. Try this stuff out. Dream Pod 9 is back.

With the NuCol book and the upcoming Southern Book, DP9 is standardising the look layout and feel of their books. This is probably the largest shifts the company needs in order to regain the ground they lost. They need to update the appearance, the way they present their product in order to match the new breath of fresh air that are the rules and minis DP9 are working with. The core books are a bit of a mess and disorganized, if only slightly. This new developed standard in the army books will save them if they can keep up the pace of release. I also need to mention the awesome Mini's these guys are putting out.

I like the new stuff and Heavy Gear: Arena is buckets of fun. I wish I had more time to work these games into my time table.

So... Dream Pod 9 is back ladies and gents. They have a great bloody product and they are worth the time to rip through the core books in order to find the gold they’re polishing to a fine shine.

For myself the Peace River book is too far away. I want badges and medals and rank insignias for my PRDF and PROC. I want more information on regiments of renown, units and army composition since the bomb went off.