There are always some questions that pop up asking for clarification on so I've pulled and updated some answers from my own game bible. When it comes down to brass tacks I always like to remind players that there are any number of lenses you can view the game through, and it is fine to choose a viewpoint that is different from the standard one. The important part is to choose to have fun playing the game with your friends!
Note: There are a lot of aspects that get considered when choosing how parts of game design impact parts of the rules. For this blog I'm focusing almost exclusively on the core considerations, not any minute of the rules.
The Heavy Gear Manifesto (Game design brief)
This edited brief describes the goals behind the new edition Heavy Gear rules.
The Vision: To make Heavy Gear a classic and modern Intellectual Property that can be a popular cultural device for games and stories set in a science possible fictional future where humankind must face it’s own worst enemy, itself.
The Goal: Our goal is to create a fun and gripping tabletop combat game where between four and twenty models a side face off in a tactical combat scenario. A scenario should last about two hours. The game setting is realistic/tactical with a cinematic flair.
A New Edition: The rules of Heavy Gear started as a role playing game. The number of models used was very low and the detail level very high. Over the years the game has evolved into a pure tactical miniatures game though the rules remained mired in the minutiae of the RPG. This new edition aims to speed up the resolution while fixing fundamental flaws in the old dice system. A new system of rules needs a new start and a new edition is the best way to do this.
HG Beta in 30 seconds or less: Heavy Gear is a combat game between two forces clashing in an effort to achieve their objectives while preventing their opponent from doing the same. The game includes one pilot walking combat vehicles called Gears, Tanks, Infantry, APCs, Artillery, Support vehicles, Aircraft, and Larger walkers called Striders. The militaries of the colony Terra Nova are heroically defending their planet from the invading juggernaut of the Combined Earth Forces and their genetically engineered super-soldiers.
The game system in 30 second or less: The combat system in Heavy Gear is an opposed dice test system. One opposing roll determines how successful any attack is and how much damage is caused using the difference in rolls, a weapon penetration rating, and the armor rating of the target. Models active in units one at a time each choosing their speed and using their position and the best choice of their weapon systems to attempt to eliminate enemy models. The most common modifiers in the game are dice modifiers that add to the base of two D6s for each roll. The game also features advanced Electronic warfare and command options such as electronic cover, sensor jamming, and orders to enhance units.
You should play Heavy Gear because: Heavy Gear is a tactical game with immense replayability and depth. It is supported by a wide range of models that allow players dozens of options when constructing armies. The game is highly immersive with a responsive action system and unparallelled flexibility in player options.
What aspects of the game does the game designer want the playtesters to focus on?: Players should be testing the limits of the system. Be inventive and proxy your models to try out all kinds of wacky army builds. Spam your favorite weapon system or have your entire army use a special deployment option. Can you make the unbeatable army? Challenge your friend to use a ‘take on all comers’ army vs your forces and see if it is your wits, your luck, or your army that can’t be beat. Players are also always actively encouraged to send a quick e-mail to Dave McLeod (DP9 game developer) to report on games and how players resolved any rules issues. Send E-mail to email@example.com.
If it’s a new edition why the same Heavy Gear Blitz name?: Heavy Gear blitz is a great name and nicely describes the situation, a fast combat game. Plus we can continue to use the same packaging without having to pass on the cost of re-packaging our whole line onto customers. Keeping our prices reasonable is important to us!
Why are the models in so many parts?: Heavy Gear models come in a lot of parts because they have very complex geometric shapes that can’t be cast in one piece without losing a lot of detail and all the pose-ability inherent in more parts. A small amount of super glue with a touch of extra putty where needed will quickly assemble most of the models. We are committed to a very high standard of quality in our casting and model design.
I hope this simple manifesto lays out some of the principals that guide the decision making process here at the pod.