Models in Heavy Gear are defined by attributes. Current Heavy Gear players are used to some specific information on their models data cards. I’m going to tell you now how that is changing, show the Hunter and Jaguar example models and explain what is going on with the Dice tests.


First off, the Alpha does not have fancy data cards. That kind of formatting is reserved for final products, not products in development. When the Open Alpha is released this week on Friday the 31st you will also be able to download Army lists for all of the Factions. Each of these lists will include a copy of the basic army selection rules, some identification pics (to help out new players) and simply formatted tables with Models and Variants.

Lets look at an example and learn about the attributes of Gears and Weapons:


  

One thing veteran players of Heavy Gear will notice right away is that the EW and Pilot skill blocks from the field manual data cards are absent. The maneuver table is also absent


Lets go through them one at a time:
Name: What you call the model
TV: Threat Point Value, what you play in points to put the model in your army.
UA: Unit Availability. If different models in the same faction share a UA then they can be in the same unit.
MR: Movement Rate. How fast you go and what movement type you use to get there. (W stands for Walker).
AR: Armor Rating. Enough said. Higher is better.
DC: Damage Capacity. Two numbers might seem strange but add them up and you have the total number of damage points this model can suffer.
ACT: Action. How many actions it gets.
GUN: Gunnery Skill. If you need to shoot, this is your attribute. Lower skills are better.
PILOT: Pilot Skill. Defending, attacking in melee, or moving through dangerous terrain you’ll need this. Again, low scores are good.
EW: Electronic Warfare. If you want to call in support or communiate with a unit member that is flanking you’ll need a good EW rating. Again, low is good.
Weapons: This lists your guns by code. Refer to the weapon table to see what they do.
Traits: Is there anything special about this model? Check here to find out.
Type: Just so you know some facts about base size and how LOS to your model works.


There are some hidden attributes that all models have but are so generic that they are woven into the rules instead. For example all models have a Detection rating of 12” unless they have a trait that makes it better. Commanders also have an additional skill but only commanders get the CMD (Command) trait so it’s not included for basic models. Asute players will have also noticed that there is no more Aux trait category. If a trait is lost when the model is critically damaged then it will have an ‘(Aux)’ trait beside it.


Here's a look at some common Ballistic category weapons:
 

Hey! Weapons have attributes too:
Name: what you would commonly call that type of weapon
Code: The Normal Short form code for the weapon.
Range: How far it can shoot giving optimal and maximum ranges.
L/M/H (PEN): This rating is how the weapon compares to armor.
Traits: special rules that affect how the weapon attacks or damages a target.

(The Weapons not listed in the example but that are on the model table example above are the Rifle (*RF), and the Vibro-blade (*VB), grenade Launcher (*GL) and Stub Cannon (*SC). We'll meet them later.)


The most common question that play testers have asked when they started was how they know how many dice to roll for tests if the old pilot skill box doesn’t exist? Easy, you always roll two six sided dice (2D6) as the Base Dice for every test. In the old Heavy Gear the game revolved around stacking positive modifiers for the attacker and negative modifiers for the defender. The Dice (the skill of the model) were never as significant to the end result of the test as the modifiers were unless you had rolled extremely low as the defender.

We’re changing that and now the Skill of the model (Pilot and Gear Combined into one attribute) is a significant factor in the success of a test. Instead of hard modifiers the things you would normally factor in to the success of the shot like range, accuracy, cover, position, and posture add dice to the opposed tests. You roll your dice and choose the highest result as the check result dice. Put that dice aside. Then instead of looking for multiple 6’s you compare all the other (non-result) dice to the skill of your model. If the dice equals or beats the skill rating you add 1 to the result dice. In the image above the Hunter has a GUN 4+. If it makes  a test with 3 dice and rolls [6, 4, 3] then the result is a 7! Note that the Jaguar would have gotten an 8 with the same test result. This kind of test is called a check and will be both familiar and new to current Blitz players.


The other type of test is called a Roll. It is an unopposed test where a player rolls the dice solely against the model’s skill or equipment. It’s pretty easy to understand. You get your dice as normal with base dice (2D6) plus modifier dice and roll them. Each dice that equals or beats the skill rating counts as one success. Electronic warfare actions that function best when used by EW specialists test against a model’s EW skill. Each success can be the start of an important chain of events.


As you can see the more modifier dice you can benefit from the higher the potential result can be. Models like the Jaguar will be reaching their potential more often thanks to great skill ratings and traits and weapons that help it out.


Tomorrow, some more rules spoilers and discussion and some more details about weapon traits! Most importantly, what you are going to need to play the game. Jan 31st the Alpha files will be uploaded to the website in the afternoon.


Historical note: Players who have tried out the Badlands Rally game got to play an earlier variant of the new rules which were then developed more fully for the racing style of game. While great fun and very fast the Badlands rally game is different kind of animal from Heavy Gear. Heavy Gear certainly doesn’t use non-lethal ammunition and models in Heavy gear are less agile than the stripped down Gears used in the rally races.


Contact
dave.mcleod [at] dp9.com
forum handle: dave
Currently painting: Nothing, Alpha release is too soon!