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July 16, 2012 by beerogre
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Andy gets to speak to the Heavy Gear developer and writer, Jason Dickerson, about the background to Heavy Gear and what’s the next major release for the boys from Dream Pod 9.
I am defiantly not a whiner, but I have to say this is head and shoulders above the rest in relation to price. This is the primary reason why I have not even considered this system. As there are a lot of main table top games now, I think they will have to be better priced in order for it to take off. Free rules is a step in the right direction but either better quality looking models (which is a taste thing I know but they look a lot like Lego men to me) or cheaper boxed sets could make me think mmm maybe. As it is I am settling with Malifaux, Infinity, 40K and warmahordes which is more than enough to be getting on with.
I do hope those that try it like it though, if it takes off, I might have to try sculpting my own minis for a bit of a challenge, but as they are quite basic and boxy it shouldnt be an issue
I’m quite fond of the old school anime-inspired mech designs compared to the likes of hunchback Warmachines and stumpy leg & T-rex arm, boxy Dreadnauts and Tau Battlesuits
I find I don’t agree with your cost comparison – especially to the likes of 40k. Assuming my cursory Google search for an official tournament at 800 points and a few clicks in their free army builder software, you can build a tourney force for $120 (not counting hobby supplies like paint, etc, of course). My math is based on half a 2-player starter ($60/2=$30) and a single army box ($90) from just a couple minutes of shopping. This also gives you the rules (both pdf and paperback), dice, a measuring tape… even if you don’t have someone to split a starter box with, you could get away with just a couple more miniatures for the same $30-ish. Those prices are off of eBay and a couple discount online stores.
Naturally, tweaking beyond the basics means more purchases, but if we were to assume non-discounted purchases, you’re looking at $45-$54 for a squad of Heavy Gears or ballpark $40 for a tank. Admittedly, I’m cherry picking here in using GW, but compared to a GW tank that’s $40-$75 or a $45-$50 5 man squad of Vets or Terminators I’m not seeing “head and shoulders” above in price. Sure, you can get a 5 man vanilla Space Marine Tac squad for $25, but I can’t remember the last time I’d seen them fielded at that size.
I’ve never looked at Malifaux (it doesn’t appeal to me), or priced Warmachine seriously, but I seem to recall a typical Warjack is $30-$40 and up. I assume they are about equivalent to a “squad” in that game; I’m sure someone will come along to put me in my place on that. I’m just not seeing the huge price difference in fielding a force. On a mini to mini basis, 1 Gear is about the same as 1 Terminator.
Obviously, your mileage may vary and there’s plenty of taste involved in terms of what you/I/anyone prefers in terms of design and (non)preference for tabletop hordes of minis. Not all games are going to appeal to everyone. And if you’re playing 4 other games already, I would assume Heavy Gear only has a theme (which you stated you don’t care for) to try to sell to you. Myself, I like them far more than what anyone else is offering for my robot jones, the cost to get into it seems average to below average, and as I’m not huge on the modeling side of the hobby, a functional force with only a dozen miniatures is appealing; the 1/144 scale means there’s tons of model kits and N-Scale easily gotten to populate my table. I don’t think I could build a 5 story building for $11 without it being a paper model, but I can find more than few already made for that price. I’m sure someone could model them up on the cheap and make them look decent, but I can’t, and certainly not in the time it takes me to open the box it came in.
I hope people who try it like it also. We’re all in this to have fun so that should always be rule #1 – have fun.
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