Within the next month we'll have the Beta rules ready for the next edition of Heavy Gear. We're pretty excited around the pod since this means a brand new start and a great opportunity for new players to join in playing Heavy Gear on the tabletop.
The hardest thing about talking to new players is communicating what the game is, how it plays, and what it feels like to experience it.
The common thing to do is to have an elevator speech ready. An elevator speech is a speech of less than 30 seconds that conveys what you want to listener to know. People often practice elevator speeches to talk to bosses in short elevator rides, or when standing in line when getting coffee. It's the speed dating equivalent of game recruitment. It's a very valuable tool for answering this question: "So what is Heavy Gear anyway?".
Here's what mine sounds like:
"Heavy Gear is a tabletop futurist, realistic, science fiction game where players face off with armies of model Tanks, infantry and walking vehicles called Gears and their heavier cousins, Striders.
It's a fast paced tactical simulation of combat on the fictional colony planet of Terra Nova. You command your troops to complete objectives before you either run out of either time or troops.
It's a game of fast maneuvers, tactical strikes, and strategic dominance.
The game has a huge variety of models that you can select your army from with a very intuitive army building process."
I don't mention dice, measuring tapes, terrain, or anything else because that's the how of the game, I prefer to explain the what, and where as the first place to go when people ask.
The best part about the beta is that we'll be releasing a free PDF of the rules that will allow anyone who wants to start playing to have the rules there with them on their mobile devices in a searchable format. This PDF will be used as the official organized play rules until the new core book is released at Gencon in 2015. Paper copies of the beta rules will be available as print on demand and included in the starter army box sets plus at Gencon 2014 they will be available at the booth.