The problem with Heavy Gear Blitz (Part 1)

So I like the world of Heavy Gear by Dream Pod 9. I like the implementation of their mecha (Gears) and the combined arms aspect. We have a time line and an evolving world story. It also has a tabletop game to go with it.

Heavy Gear Blitz: Locked & Loaded Rulebook circa 2009

So what is the problem with it? Well no one seems to play it, stockist are almost non-existent and or hold minimal stock, interests is very low and its future seems to be dependent on kickstarter campaigns which don’t seem to have the draw of other miniature kickstarters. Added to that various 3rd party efforts have fallen flat on there face. Not inspiring stuff.

Heavy Gear: Dreadnoughts

Heavy Gear Assault PC Game

Dreadnoughts was a miniature game which was to be on a much larger scale than blitz, with landships been the main focus and the game was to launch with plastic miniatures and it all seemed interesting enough. Sadly it failed to gain the interest required to launch and seems to have been abandoned

Heavy Gear Assault hoped to revive the Heavy Gear PC gaming experience once provided by Heavy Gear & Heavy Gear 2. However this time single player took a back seat to multilayer e-sports. This was completely uninteresting to me (and others it would seem) but I keep an eye on the project. The kickstarter failed, but the game was made playable and money changed hands via steam and there own funding website. However as of writing it seems the developer was taken over by some bloc-chain related company. Development stopped and seems the servers for the game do not work and is currently unplayable.

Dream pod 9 (DP9) even had to cancel and rejigged one of there own miniature kickstarters , fortunately both new kickstarters did fund and we will be getting a new wave of plastics for 3 factions.

Heavy Gear Blitz! Plastic Peace River, NuCoal & Utopia Minis (Canceled)

Its Not All a Tale of Failure Though

The Heavy Gear Universe was moving along with new resin and metal models as well as army books for Nucoal and Southern forces. I enjoyed the army books and a steady flow of new models kept my interest. This was near the end of 2012

Then came the first of the DP9 kickstarters in 2014. The idea was sound, a revised ruleset and most importantly plastic Northern, Southern, CEF and Caprice miniatures. It was funded and managed to reach many of its stretch goals. If anything to was probably too successful for a 1st time kickstarter which was to launch a new plastic range of miniatures. In the end it was clearly a learning experience for DP9.

1st problem was the computer models there had where not suitable to make plastic moulds, 2nd the KS was in CAD (Canadian Dollars) and most think where to be paid for in USD (US dollars) and CAD lost value compared to USD as the production when on. The result was some items where cut (the plastic Tiger and Sidewinder), though DP9 where upfront about this once the problem was apparent and we did receive an extra Acco instead. The project was not on time but we got 95% of what we where supposed to get. As I said it was hopefully a learning experience as some where unhappy with the quality and or design of some of the miniatures but I think they are a fine first effort and hoping for improvements on the next KS. It is wrong to expect Games workshop quality plastics on the first try.

This leads to the next two Problems

So the first KS was in 2014 and took until 2016 for it to be fulfilled. The problem? In that time and the time since (Start of 2019) almost nothing Heavy Gear (other than KS and yearly Chibi resin) has happened. It pretty much killed any continuing interest in the product for me and many others. Now the new KS plastics and the way other things have worked out its time for another Heavy Gear phase for me at least. But how long will that last?

The second problem, it seems like for some at least are the new rules. The problem seems the new rules are far too much like the old ones and can in parts be too complex and I personally find the gear loadouts and just general army building to be harder than it needs to be. But regardless of how I feel it clearly has not brought a core of new players to the game. It has hardly been the relaunch into a more successful Heavy Gear that I was hoping for.

It’s not all done for though

I still think there is good and worth in the Heavy Gear universe. It just needs to be capitalised on. So in Part II I will give my thoughts on that.

In the meantime assuming I have not put you completely off Heavy Gear in the UK you can find the plastics and some other bits at

Shinygames.uk
Or direct at the Dreampod 9 Store (warning I sometimes get dodgy competition pop-up)

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