If there is one thing that has always attracted me to the world of Heavy Gear it's that though there is a lot of military conflict it occurs in a world that is distinctly not post apocalyptic. If anything society could be on the cusp of a golden age like has never been seen in the history of humanity. And while this world of conflicting ideologies creates more than enough dynamic tension, even if it is not in the context of an invasion of Earth forces, sometimes you kind of want to play the bad guy.
Almost uniquely Heavy Gear does not have any defined bad guy, an evil nation. Even the Earth government does not go in for wholesale murder or genocide, though what is happening via geoengineering on Utopia and Eden might qualify. No, I'm talking about the Mad Max scenario. Like many I went to see the film and thoroughly enjoyed it. Don't drive a car within two hours of seeing that film, you'll get pulled over for sure.
But it did make me think about how you might use represent a badlands community that has somehow divested itself of the trappings of civilization – somewhere where the criminals and the crazies go, where the children born are born into a world that might seem insane but in a day to day sense would be a real and vital world.
One of the precepts of the Mad Max franchise is that it happens in a situation where there is a higher level of irradiation and lack of essentials. Survivors band together under leaders who rule through strength of personality or force of arms. After the first invasion of Terra Nova by the CEF there were many landships that self destructed in nuclear fireballs cased by their reactors and even at least one interstellar space ship that was deliberately crashed into the desert of the Badlands by the Black Talons (see The Terra Nova Gambit – Source book DP9-9097c). All this combined with the deprivations of war, lack of relief supplies, radiation sickness could easily lead to a localized Mad Max situation.
The fun here would be realizing such a force of Gears and tanks as a modeling project. I'm going to use the Leagueless Homesteaders list with South models for the local manufacturing (more spikes!), Peace River Allies (spikes!) and the old Rusty rule to show how the Gears may be deeply flawed but they still fight well for the free Vet upgades.
The Main character Vehicles would be:
The Leader: A Black Mamba or Diamondback for the Commanding Officer – or head of the family if you will.
The Lieutenant – Probably in a Black Adder or Cobra. He's got the be the muscle.
The motivator – It's pretty much impossible to represent the doof wagon (look it up) on a Gear so it would have to be a Strider, maybe a Fire Dragon for the space it will give to modeling a stage and monster sound system.
The Rabble – If you are going to have a bunch of speed crazies there is no better place to go than a Militia squad or two with lots of street vipers and Salamanders.
So that's the basic plan for the force – starting with some vague ideas rather than a specific army list means that this project will develop more organically than if I selected for game play before aesthetic. I'll be updating this project regularly in the future to show the progress that can be had.
Had any themed ideas for forces? Something to build your Kickstarter figures into when they arrive this fall? Post them in the forums!