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"Does anyone still play Heavy Gear Tactical?" Topic

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Achtung Minen02 Jul 2021 7:22 a.m. PST

Since a new version of Blitz has just come out, I am wondering if anyone still plays the original Heavy Gear wargame, HG Tactical? The original game is a lot to digest if you take all the supplements, but I still find it is a superior mecha wargame to anything on the market. It is brilliant for scenario-driven games, combined arms tactics and fast and furious action. I ran a Tac scenario at the local convention before COVID and have been itching to give it another go… but does anyone still play Tac?

Gear Pilot02 Jul 2021 2:15 p.m. PST

I do. I played the 2nd Edition. I've played the Locked and Loaded version of Blitz! too, but not the newest version.

Finding players interested in Heavy Gear is difficult.

Goober02 Jul 2021 5:19 p.m. PST

I liked the campaign packs for the original Tactical game. The extra maps and counter sheets were always a treat.

The new Blitz rules are good, but I find the "competition" style of the scenario design – take and hold, essentially, rather dull.

Where are my storyline missions dragging cargo containers across the desert whilst under fire, or dodging the Alpha MagLev as it screams across the table?

Achtung Minen02 Jul 2021 7:21 p.m. PST

Yeah Blitz is fine I think, it just lacks that depth that the original game has. I love how Tac integrates seamlessly with the RPG material, not only so that they can be used together, but so that you can pull rules from the RPG to make more narrative scenarios for the wargame. And Blitz rounded off the complexity of Tac in all the wrong ways for me… I really cannot do without the internal damage table rolls and I love to add more crunch with the many Tactical supplements (Tactical Air Support, Tactical Field Support, Raids & Raiders, Duelist's Handbook and so on).


I actually played a quick game with my wife tonight to refresh my memory of the rules. We did the classic Jäger vs Hunter duel (I played North) and the whole game took about 15 minutes. I raced forward into the oasis base, we exchanged fire, the Jäger shot off my APGL and I damaged four of the the Jäger's Aux systems with a lucky shot. We then went in close for melee, but the Jäger got the upper hand. The Jäger made a desperate pummel attack (we used the 1e Duelist's Handbook for attack maneuvers), which damaged the Hunter's Maneuver systems, causing it to fall to one knee. The Jäger then used an ICP to get a bonus attack, opting for a knee-kick that smashed through the Hunter's cockpit and won the fight (that -2 Maneuver damage is just brutal!). Just for fun we worked out the Hunter's attack to see if it would have made a difference: if the Hunter pilot had the chance, his can-opener maneuver would have sent a vibroblade straight through the Jäger's cockpit. Oh well, better luck next time!

Overall a very cinematic game, with lots of interesting choices for moving and attacking. The presence of TCP and ICP really speeds up a small game like this as they effectively guarantee each Gear will be getting two actions (without penalty) every round.

Sargonarhes03 Jul 2021 4:28 p.m. PST

It's hard to find people that play pure mech games in general, whether it's Heavy Gear, Jovian Chronicles or Battletech.

Achtung Minen04 Jul 2021 4:42 a.m. PST

Well for the last year, it's been impossible to find anyone to even play checkers. I'm in Canada and we've been in basically rolling back to back lockdowns for over a year now… I haven't played a single face to face game of any kind with anybody who wasn't in my household. We do have a thriving Battletech community locally but of course they are all in the same boat (so to speak).

As for lesser-known games like Heavy Gear, I'm not too bothered by it. I've done a lot of solo-gaming over the last year and really enjoy it, and I am sure the conventions will return to Southern Ontario eventually and if you run an event, it basically means you have a captive audience for your favourite game haha. For now, Heavy Gear solos very well and I can take all the time I need to set up my terrain, design my scenario, pick interesting forces and play the way I like (narratively, not competitively). Online forums like this are great for sharing ideas and getting feedback, so I am not overly bothered by Heavy Gear being a lesser-known game.

There was a time in history, of course, where it was an absolute giant. Heavy Gear had a kid's TV-show, two excellent computer games, a card game, multiple scale models, an active fan magazine, the roleplaying game and the wargame itself (with many different modes, from arena-dueling to tactical warfare).

I don't sit around and bemoan the loss of those glory days… on the contrary, I am very glad they happened. Heavy Gear and Terra Nova was developed tremendously during this time with dozens of supplements, all of them excellent and top notch. I've got reading material for a lifetime! The one thing that I NEVER understand about younger gamers getting into newer versions and editions of games… the latest edition NEVER has as much support as the most-supported older edition and likely never will. Take the latest game for example: Heavy Gear Blitz. I am happy old DP9 is still chugging along and has a new game out, but it seems absolutely bananas to me to play Blitz over Heavy Gear Tactical. The staff behind Blitz has been massively scaled down from the glory days of Heavy Gear Tactical and Blitz will never, ever receive as much support as Heavy Gear Tactical has right now, right this very second. If you are asking me whether I'd choose a game that has a couple supplements over one that has dozens and dozens… I'll choose the latter every time, without hesitation. What makes these games cool is how well-developed and rich they are. The old Heavy Gear is and will always be king for that, and it's good to be king.

Sargonarhes08 Jul 2021 5:43 p.m. PST

Oh I'm don't mean to cry over the old glory days of Heavy Gear or Battletech, some of us have to keep the fires burning after all. Just be the light of these games, some day they may yet draw some in what with Gundam being back on Netflix.

I know these games are a far cry away from Gundam, but giant robot lovers enjoy all giant robot games. Even if Heavy Gear has more in common with AT Votoms.

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