23 Apr 2013

Table Top - Mind the Gap

Heavy Gear has come back to the fold over the last couple of years and my itch to see some Paxton Gears piloted from the folks at Peace River got worse and worse. The new rules for the current load out of the game looked great and play even better. The models are getting the love that the IP inspires. All is going well with Heavy Gear. Yet when I got two boxes of minis from my mates last year as a birthday gift what has kept them from being put together, painted and played?

Peace River Gear Stride
by Paxton Arms
Dream POd 9 has put out some great books in the past. The new rule books are pretty good with some great rules. Gear Up their free electronic magazine is filled to the brim with awesome little nuggets. The NuCol book was just out and recently we got the Southern book. Why am I not playing this game all the time? Well it's the gap.
Dream Pod 9 is putting out some great books and some great models. Yet they have a gap in product and this is a issue with the oldest kid on the block Games Workshop. I'm very surprised that Dream Pon 9 has not changed the way the release game mechanics and rulesets to follow suite of newer and more successful companies.

Almost 20 years ago Dream Pod 9 was the new kid on the block and they shook up the whole hobby as a whole. Great Minis, great rules and a RPG integrated from the start. The sourcebooks were awesome and the style was fresh. This was not an old dying empire in space like Battletech or Warhammer 40k it was a world close to ours and yet distant enough to make the premiss work. 

When I read the most recent issue of Gear Up (#6) that took a very long time to come out it reminded me of the reason why Privateer Press faction releases are so smooth. I've been waiting for almost two whole years for my Peace River/Paxton Arms army guide. The slow ponderous release of the Dream Pod 9 books has been brutal and has honestly kept me from playing the game. I dislike seeing the guys playing the newest or second newest army that got a book (In the last three years that's all of the books) while I'm stuck playing out of the main book with less fancy things to use. 

Super Sexy PRDF Task Force Deal
GW breaks this up by (re)releasing whole new armies every few months. As such your army can get almost four years behind in updates and upgrades. Privateer Press, Corvus Beli and MERCS all have a a way to get the rules to you without the need of a whole new faction guide. It allows for new releases to come out at their own pace and for every faction at the same time. The 'Price of Blood' is the new title for my faction book and I'm looking forward to picking it up and delving deeper in the mini game. 

Don't read this post as a 'Where's my faction book'. I still play the game but I've not yet jumped in money wise and time wise on a game who's company has had a less the great business history. I love the IP and Heavy Gear:Arena is an awesome game. I like where they are going and they are just not where I want them in order for me to go all in. 

I love the old Warrior gear
Warrior IV is just plain sex... for Gears
I'm trying to not use the GW martyr as my example for a failure in the hobby. The gap between forces and factions is divide that honestly makes the games we play that much less fun at times. It's the dark reminder in the corner telling us for some it's about money and keeping our wallets empty and void of our hard earned cash. The gap reminds us of the reality of our hobby. 

I dislike the gap. The reason I've jumped all in Warmachine/Hordes is the lack of gap. Releases come out in a steady stream. My inspiration was up kept through the last couple of years. I want to enjoy my Heavy Gear but right now I'm hesitant on the continued existence of the gap. Other folks release the rules for free or with the model... 

Why do I like this Gear Strider so much?
Still 'Price of Blood', the title is keeping me glued to my chair and hopeful that my PRDF will finally get the far deal that the other factions on Terra Nova already enjoy.