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Poll
Why did you never start or alternately stop playing/collecting Heavy Gear?
Never heard of it... what's Heavy Gear?
Don't like the mech minis genre in general.
Don't like the look of Heavy Gear specifically (art, minis, etc).
Don't like the price of Heavy Gear (books, minis, etc).
Don't like the mechanics of the game/silhouette system.
Don't like edition changes in Heavy Gear every 2-3 years.
Couldn't find any opponents to play against.
Couldn't find any of the products locally to buy.
Other (please elaborate below)
Inadequate support from DP9 (expansions, communication with fans, FAQs, etc).
Power creep and unequal efficacy between factions.
Poor resource management (playtesters, freelancers, website, etc) by DP9.

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Made in us
Hangin' with Gork & Mork






Just curious to see why people on an independent gaming site never bothered to start playing/collecting Heavy Gear or alternately why they stopped if they did start. I've been a long time fan of the game (world, art, core mechanic) but my fandom has definitely had it's ups and very steep downs over the past 20 years and am curious about other hobbyists and what they think of it. If you don't see the appropriate reason, feel free to select other and explain below but I'll try to include some (multiple choice) common reasons I've read/heard over the years. They've announced a new edition in the works (right on track for their typical 2-3 year edition lifespan) so I figured I'd ask with that in mind. This is specifically geared towards people who are NOT actively playing the game currently but who may or may not be fans.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2015/02/26 16:47:01


   
Made in gb
Waaagh! Warbiker



wales

To many other games to take my cash that appeal to me more and no local interest.

currently playing dropzone commander, battlegroup and gorkamorka  
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Sinc eit is Canadian, it is a bit more expensive than other similar games offered in the US.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut



Scotland

There's never been a community for it here. It's pretty pricey to introduce new players too. and when I do research it seems that the various faction rulebooks are from different rule iterations, which seems like a hassle.
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado






Chicago

High Price and no real gaming presence. I was looking at small scale scenery at my FLGS and a Heavy Gear boxed terrain set that was just a couple of small pieces of resin terrain was 100 bucks!

That said, the models are pretty cool. I always keep an eye out for used bargains at our store's gaming auction. Picked up a few gears for about a buck each at the last one.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/12/27 18:23:12


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Made in ca
Deva Functionary



Montreal

No offence, but your poll kinda exclude one big category of reason: problems not with the basic mechanisms, but with their implementation, and their development.

In my case, as I know warboss knows, it's basically:
  • Utter and complete lack of game balance, concern for game balance or understanding of the general concept of game balance;
  • Not actually designing the models' stats to match the rules or their functions and capacities in the fluff ;
  • Not coherence, vision or structure in the army list, especially the squads;
  • In fact, not doing any game design whatsoever;
  • Not listening to playtesters' feedback, and then blaming said playtesters for the problems;
  • Not supporting the rules until the lack of support become embarrassing (i.e. people are talking);
  • Stopping supporting the rules a few weeks after the lack of support became embarrassing (i.e. people are no longer talking);
And the clincher: doing all that, year after year after year, with the same problems showing up after every release, losing playtesters and players every step of the way, with people politely (well, at first. I was less polite towards the end) pointing out the problems with the game "design" process and DP9 doing absolutely nothing to address those problems.
A strong tendency to exclude players who point out problems in favour of those who flatter them.
Lots of promises from DP9 that things would improve, never any actual improvements.

Oh, and I probably spent more time proof-reading my post than they take to proof-read their books.

To that, you can add that the current fluff reads like bad self-insert fan-fiction, that the current writers clearly don't care about the Heavy Gear universe (look at what happened to the poor Humanist alliance! Sacrificed to fluff up the designer self-insert new faction!), or even the genre of the universe/game (ugly Gundamish models do not belong in a somewhat realistic and gritty mecha combat.).

Also, they under-use (to a rather shameful (and never nested) level) parenthesis.

edit: my usual proof-reader got online 5 seconds after I posted, and found typos 10 seconds after starting proof-reading. Also, one 15 minutes later.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2013/12/27 14:20:53


 
   
Made in us
Whiteshield Conscript Trooper




CT

I never got into it because im a Battletech player.

 
   
Made in us
Hangin' with Gork & Mork






Thanks for the responses so far guys and gals. The ones that I expected would be most common certainly are.

mrondeau wrote:
And the clincher: doing all that, year after year after year, with the same problems showing up after every release, losing playtesters and players every step of the way, with people politely (well, at first. I was less polite towards the end) pointing out the problems with the game "design" process and DP9 doing absolutely nothing to address those problems.
A strong tendency to exclude players who point out problems in favour of those who flatter them.
Lots of promises from DP9 that things would improve, never any actual improvements.

Oh, and I probably spent more time proof-reading my post than they take to proof-read their books.

To that, you can add that the current fluff reads like bad self-insert fan-fiction, that the current writers clearly don't care about the Heavy Gear universe (look at what happened to the poor Humanist alliance! Sacrificed to fluff up the designer self-insert new faction!), or even the genre of the universe/game (ugly Gundamish models do not belong in a somewhat realistic and gritty mecha combat.).


Agreed... I really should have put some of those in the poll considering I'm running face first into them as I type. I was warned that I'd encounter those exact problems but I figured I'd try to help (as you posted about as well) but I came in relatively (constructively) critical moreso than polite given my negative experience with the Southern Field guide. I've added a couple new options to the poll to cover them but I'm frankly not sure if you can "edit" poll responses/votes after the fact. I made sure not to change any existing poll options so as not to alter the votes and their reasons though.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2013/12/27 15:28:24


   
Made in au
Destructive Daemon Prince





Melbourne .au

I picked up a few Gears since they looked good, but as there was never a local community to game with or anyone interested in playing, the figures just sat unbuilt ...which is where they still are today, 10+ years later.

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





down south

Are they going under? I'm just getting started with HG, the models just scratch an itch for me and I was hoping they were on the verge of getting their stuff together rules wise.
   
Made in us
Stubborn Temple Guard






Stormcrow77 wrote:
I never got into it because im a Battletech player.


This. I have sunk more than enough money into Battletech that I don't particularly need another mecha game. And I like the flavor of Battletech quite a bit more.

27th Member of D.O.O.M.F.A.R.T.
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Hangin' with Gork & Mork






 jedi76 wrote:
Are they going under? I'm just getting started with HG, the models just scratch an itch for me and I was hoping they were on the verge of getting their stuff together rules wise.


I don't have any first hand insider knowledge of their finances and can only comment about what they say and what I've experienced publicly. They're coming out with an "alpha" new edition of the rules in January that is "significantly different" from the current ones and it's only been 2 1/2 years since the current FM rules came out; that quick edition turn over is usually (in my personal experience twice losing every player I knew) associated with significant player loss. They've only come out with one paper product a year and this year they skipped that in favor of a board game. The Heavy Gear videogame crowdfunding failed.. twice.. in a row. This thread about why you DON'T play Heavy Gear is now officially the most active thread about Heavy Gear on the largest independent minis gaming forum (more active that any P&M HG blog and the HG new release thread). Things from an outsider's view looking in are not rosy on Terra Nova unfortunately. That said, I don't want the game to fail and am doing my part in trying to help it (despite resistance). I've started some more optimistic threads on what the game needs over on the DP9 forums but I did at least want some sort of resource for the company to find out why people avoid them and their products. My recommendation is buy the figs you like at a discount (like with miniature markets 50% off sale... but the pickings are a bit slim now after so many weeks) and see if you like what is published in January. The alpha edition of the rules will be free to download so there is no harm in taking a look.

   
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Servoarm Flailing Magos







I'm still involved with DP9 albeit in a reduced aspect, partially because I'm getting a lot of stress from my day-job and don't have the time for it from my side-job. The company's still alive, and I'm hopeful the new rules will be a good new step, but I do worry that that the rules will need a lot more work and time to develop than the design crew seems to expect. These projects never go smoothly, which I don't think is a statement unique to DP9.

BTW, there's a few more days for the holiday sale from DP9... Buy 3 products, get 1 free.


Working on someting you'll either love or hate. Hopefully to be revealed by November.
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Made in se
Regular Dakkanaut






We stopped because the new south book made my brothers army unplayable and that just isn't a nice thing to do.

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The pricing in weird [colour rule book= 2X the price of the B&W rulebook]

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I was sorry to see the B&W books go as well. Personally, I prefer the smaller format B&W versions for reasons beyond just price but I agree cost of entry is an important issue and the removal of the inexpensive option was inadvisable from a consumer standpoint.

   
Made in gb
Willing Inquisitorial Excruciator






I actually like the models and have long said it's a game that a move to plastic (or even resin) would really go a long way to helping people want to get into it. Even the older minis look great even with my Gak poor paintskills on them

That said the rules could stand to be clearer. You need what, the rulebook, the gearups and the army books? I know the split format like that isn't unique, but being a Canadian company it makes getting any of that shipped out a big hassle on top of the already meaty entry price. Plus some of us don't really like having to bring a laptop along just to play

The writings pretty messy too. Having gone through both the blitz and arena books it's a damn pain to keep everything straight which is a shame. I like their system. Don't like the rulebooks layout. (Only have the Arena one as a physical copy, and even a glossary in that thing would have gone a long way)

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Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






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Stormcrow77 wrote:
I never got into it because im a Battletech player.


Where's this on the poll, 'cause it's what I'd vote for.

Yeah, so that and the fact that the prices are kinda insane for what you get.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/02 12:51:49


   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut




I disagree with many of the comments above. Prices are not a main issue if you can take the advantage of sales from time to time especially with some online shops like FRP games or Miniature Market during previous Black Friday or X'mas sale.

The disorganized rules have been an issues for years. Finally, Dream Pod has announced that there will be a new edition for next year. I am really looking forward to it.

I was a Battletech player before. I regret that I did not pick up HGB sooner.

The new army book on the South will likely make some older players' armies for the south invalid. If you look at the new PRDF list, it is even worse. That sucks.

I rarely play these days due to RL issues. The biggest drawback is that HBG is definitely NOT a beer and pretzels type of game. With Battletech, you can still relax, enjoy and have fun. HGB unfortunately on the other hand is much more intense. Finding local players can be a challenge for many although not a major issue in my city.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/03 00:34:51


 
   
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Hangin' with Gork & Mork






An analysis of price as a reason though can't depend on once per year sales. I take advantage of those sales when they come up but that doesn't accurately reflect on the price most gamers would end up paying and shy away from doing so. I don't think the metal prices for HG are cheap but they're also not too expensive... it's the resin prices that are close to ridiculous and could benefit most from a switch to plastics.

   
Made in au
Anti-Armour Swiss Guard






Newcastle, OZ

Scale. Once they dumped their original scale of 1/87 for the models, I walked away. The models reminded me of AT:Votoms, and this is why I collected a few.

I don't game in 15mm or smaller these days. The eyesight isn't what it used to be, and I honestly cbf'd painting small dribbles.

I'm 49.
Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a ****.


 
   
Made in ca
Hauptmann





I ended up choosing "other" and while some of the other options are kind of relevant, I don't feel they are exactly what I'm looking for.

I have an opponent to play against, but it never took with the rest of my group (one guy kept on latching on to side-factions like Caprice which were and still are horrendously expensive to buy in to; the other two it was just straight up cost). But even then, I have enough extra stuff to run the game for two players. So group was never really an issue.

I must admit, I don't like the frequent edition changes. But at the same time, the original Blitz and later, Locked and Loaded had a whole load of issues that needed sorting. Like with Spartan, my wish is that they had just gotten it right the first or second time in. A lot of this was due to mismanagement and not using the playtest data well (and the previous developer doesn't have a lot of nice things to say on this front). But that said, despite the unholy storm caused by the new Southerner book, I actually loved the direction things were going with starting with the new Field Manual and going through Perfect Storm and Forged in Fire. I know that FiF invalidating people's lists sucked to high heaven, but given the mess L&L's army creation system was it was bound to happen (honestly, it can still use tweaking but the L&L system allowing all kinds of weird and wacky swap-outs and conversions is just some kind of nightmare; that the South also got that weird 4-man squad thing back in the original Blitz and it wasn't fixed until now just made it more painful). Though going back to a more BTech-style list-less system ala 2nd Edition could possibly fix that (but that comes with its own set of balance issues if you are looking to make things more pick-up friendly as Blitz was intended to do).

I think the basic system has some decent ideas, but the conversion from a small-scale hex game in to a miniature-based game was not a pretty transition (especially with all of the RPG-relevant data tracked in the original). It hangs on to too many concepts that worked in a hex-based game where your force consisted of 5-10 units on the board (concealment, I'm looking at you) but don't work so well in a minis game.

So, needless to say, Heavy Gear needs a new edition and no previously released edition changed that. So I still very much want to see a new edition, but am tired of the cycle they created by not fixing things when they had the chance before.

But my main reason for not continuing on with it (for now at least) is that, while I like the current direction... it is unbearably slow going. Prior to the latest announcement, we were looking at everything being "fixed" by 2015-2016 if they kept on track. As is, that has at least been shaved back to a full release by 2015. But for now, the game just requires too much cross referencing between multiple books for me to want to bother. I mean, I don't want them pumping stuff out willy nilly (the tail end of 2nd Edition HG showed why this is a bad idea), but when one is waiting on an army list update to be able to play the game without referencing 3-4 books it can seem like a very long wait.

So basically, my stance became to wait and see what they did before giving them any more money and trying to invest my group in their games.

Heavy Gear is still, bar none, my favourite complete gaming-universe. 2nd Edition Heavy Gear will always hold a special place in my heart (along with Warzone 1st Edition) as being the first thing I tried outside of the "GW Hobby". But I just can't hawk it at my group in the current state it's in and wont give it a go until there is a new edition for me to have a gander at. Until I can see some real progress, they wont be seeing anything from me. I want them to succeed, but we're talking N times bitten N+1 times shy here.

They have a shaky track record, they have shown in the past that they can and will shove out shoddy product before it is ready and outside of some bright spots recently, the mechanical side of the game has been a spotty mishmash. I want them to pull a Firestorm Armada V2.0 out of their arse with this new edition (I used to feel much of the above about Spartan... save for the fact that DP9 has been around longer and disappointed me more often) and produce something that is fun to play and well balanced. But the onus is on DP9 to show me they are capable of doing so.

 
   
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 Ronin_eX wrote:
I must admit, I don't like the frequent edition changes. But at the same time, the original Blitz and later, Locked and Loaded had a whole load of issues that needed sorting. Like with Spartan, my wish is that they had just gotten it right the first or second time in. A lot of this was due to mismanagement and not using the playtest data well (and the previous developer doesn't have a lot of nice things to say on this front).


Do you happen to have a link to that discussion? I'd be curious to see what he said and whether any of it (taking it obviously at face value) has changed. I also agree with most everything you said.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/03 15:33:06


   
Made in ca
Hauptmann





Unfortunately the forum to which Mr. Buckmaster tended to post (RPGNet if you want to have a look) doesn't have a working search function. So I can't be much help dredging his old comments up. But if you go back through most of the HG-related posts he tends to chime in once or twice. Though considering how he didn't leave on the best of terms, I am inclined to take some of his vitriol with a grain of salt. But even then, it is easy enough to see the mismanagement of their resources as an outsider.

In the end, Heavy Gear kind of needs a ground up re-write at this point. I'm not sure if the next edition will be that, but at the very least I've liked the newer stuff they've been doing (though it comes with a side-order of screwing over a lot of established players in ways only those who transitioned from 2nd Edition 40k to 3rd Edition can really appreciate).

So this will be one of those things I keep an eye on and hope they succeed against all odds that it will be more of the same. If Spartan can surprise me with Firestorm Armada, I can pray that DP9 will do it with Heavy Gear's next edition.

As an aside: considering that they no longer have any off-shoot lines from fleet-scale, tactical or the RPG side of things (let alone other properties to worry about)... Am I the only one who kind of hopes the next edition drops the 'Blitz' from the name and just calls itself Heavy Gear?

I think that would, if nothing else, make for a clear reboot of the line. If they can follow it up with a decent set of rules, built from the ground up instead of a hodgepodge of stuff that came before with bits welded on at odd angles, that will be a major bonus as well.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2014/01/04 09:47:48


 
   
Made in us
Hangin' with Gork & Mork






Ah... the infamous RPG.net Heavy Gear thread. I posted angrily a few times there years ago when the company last decided to invalidate my book collection with a premature edition (original Blitz). I don't go to that forum much anymore but the last time I checked the old 60+ page thread on Heavy Gear was gone likely due to the forum software switchover.

edit: I did find this one though with a few familiar names both from the dp9 forum and even this thread.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?711064-New-Edition-of-Heavy-Gear-Announced

One of their mods summed up my most frequent complaint nicely...

Of all the games I've fallen in love with, Heavy Gear has broken my heart the most times.

Maybe this time will be different! Maybe this time we'll get more than two or three army books before another new edition or soft reset or ... whatever.


Blitz made it to 3 books total... Locked and Loaded made it to 3... Field Manual only made it to 2...

edit 2: And Buckmaster even comments there later on in the thread.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2014/01/04 05:03:57


   
Made in ca
Deva Functionary



Montreal

I have to say here that Buckmaster is not actually as innocent as he claims. I know for a fact that the major problems in LnL were all reported, multiple times and with higher and higher emphasis my our playtest group. He kicked us out of the playtest for our trouble. Then, when everyone was complaining, said that no one saw the problems during the playtest.

Of course, the fact that the same attitude and the same problems with DP9's process remain even after he quits indicates that they are systemic.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/04 13:43:46


 
   
Made in us
Hangin' with Gork & Mork






mrondeau wrote:
I have to say here that Buckmaster is not actually as innocent as he claims. I know for a fact that the major problems in LnL were all reported, multiple times and with higher and higher emphasis my our playtest group. He kicked us out of the playtest for our trouble. Then, when everyone was complaining, said that no one saw the problems during the playtest.

Of course, the fact that the same attitude and the same problems with DP9's process remain even after he quits indicates that they are systemic.


I realize that. He personally and publicly said that L&L would come with a free PDF to update original blitz owners with the new rules (but not new fluff obviously) when the discussion about the premature retiring of blitz (following the same with 1st and 2nd edition RPG). When it didn't show and I inquired about it, he denied ever saying that till I posted the link. To his credit he apologized about it several years later though. In the meantime, I stopped buying anything HG for years for the second time (until basically a massive deal on a store closeout of southern minis got me back in and wiped out the "loss").

   
Made in ca
Deva Functionary



Montreal

Ha, yes. That was probably from when LnL was simply going to address some of the issues with Blitz by adding an objective system and a new point system for the army lists, with some other updates to the lists. Instead we got a new edition, with a rather bad objectives system and the old point system for the army lists, which were completely changed without addressing the actual problems with the previous lists.

Then again, according to the new system (FiF), doubling your expected damage per shot is apparently worth nothing. Hard to say which one is worse.
   
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Hangin' with Gork & Mork






We've got enough votes to post a link over at the DP9 forums so I'll log in to do that. Fanboys incoming! Hopefully something good comes of the info and responses in this thread and the pair of threads I started over there as well. *fingers crossed*

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/04 17:46:37


   
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PanOceaniac Hacking Specialist Sergeant



Indiana, U.S.A.

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-Brandon F.

Edit: Oh, you were expecting more out of the fanboy? I know the complaints of a few of those above. They have them for their reasons.

As it stands, we're already looking at a new free alpha playtest for everyone. so hey.

God bless you all.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/05 08:21:48


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