Development Blog #11
The recent announcement of the Dragonfly as an April Fools joke was an early tease and a good test for the Heavy Gear rules currently in Alpha development.
The Alpha rules have been a project that I have been involved with for over 2 years now and one of the hopes was always to show through the rules that a game of Heavy Gear is a part of a larger conflict with long range artillery and air support.
When building the rules we always assumed the aircraft models would be the same fleet scale counters that have always worked so ably for Heavy Gear Blitz. However, there was always the dream that we would do a larger aircraft model just to give the sense of scale the world has. For a fighter jet, or a bombe, this wouldn’t make a lot of sense since the model is effectively off-board and never sticks around doing only strafing runs. But for a model such as the Dragonfly and other hoppers the possibility has always been there that a 12mm scale model could be a part of the battlefield.
Because of this there has always been a section of the rules that have been quietly worked on as a forlorn hope that this would come to pass before we would publish the new rules. Now thanks to the 3D sculpting skills of Jason Geyer we can bring this model to the tabletop for you!
The dragonfly can be used in either North or Peace River armies and we have the alpha release of the rules for you. Because the aircraft and especially the aircraft to hover vehicle rules have not received as good a shakedown as the rest of the rules this section will likely remain alpha level even once the rest of the core rules is pushed forward into beta.
Notice that the Peace River version (long produced under license) deliberately downgrades the weight of it’s Anti tank warheads to allow for an upgraded communications system (EW:5+) and an electronic counter measures system (ECM:+1D6).
To enter the battlefield the Dragonfly has to start as a flying model circling the table. When you decide to bring it in as a hover vehicle using it’s secondary movement system (SMS:H) it will start to act identically to any other hover movement vehicle with only a couple of changes.
Unlike most hover tanks the dragonfly does not have a turreted weapon system. Instead it has the ability to move like a helicopter in any direction using the spider and jump jets traits. Remember that a strafing or landing model cannot turn so be careful about overflying the field to land in your opponent’s deployment zone because they might just turn around and punish you by shooting into your exhaust vents. You can get around this by making a strafing attack run in the first round and then landing on the return trip, this time facing in the right direction.
In term of survivability the Dragonfly is well protected with an armor rating of 8, comparable to some of the heaviest Gears, and eight damage points. Be careful because unlike a lot of models the split between the hull and structure points is even at 4 / 4 so once you get four damage the Dragonfly is going to be down to 1D6 for defense since the Fragile Movement trait will cancel any advantages for agile, or some light cover.
At two actions each the new army construction rules mean that a primary unit of 2-3 dragonfly can be accompanied by a single regimental support unit containing another dragonfly. Alternately you can bring a single Dragonfly RSU along to accompany any Primary unit for some light support and as a potential threat to any objective late in the game. Players should be aware of this new threat from the sky and plan to spend some points upgrading an auto cannon, laser, or missile for anti-air duties.
You can order the new Dragonfly now along with the anti-air upgrades your forces will need. Don’t forget that the defense option for AA turrets with linked heavy auto cannons that is now available.
I’m looking forward to players getting their dragonflies on the table and hearing the game reports of their exploits. Soon we’ll have a announcement for a hover flyer for other factions too but I can’t do more than hint at this time.
dave.mcleod [at] dp9.com
forum handle: dave
Currently painting: A Dragonfly!