In Heavy Gear the world and the game allow for a lot of military options that expand the battlefield and provide more challenge than a straight up military force. There are a number of specialist troops that should be considered as Primary or Secondary units. 

When choosing which specialist is right for you you have to consider your options: Paratrooper, Military Police (MPs), Special Forces, Engineering units, and Milicia. 

Paratroopers are models with the Airdrop trait. Taking models with short ranged guns such as bazookas or grenade launchers can be a little frustrating as they risk being damaged or killed before they can close the distance to their preferred targets; Striders and Tanks with heavy armor. Using the airdrop option puts those boots on the ground in the right place at the right time. Choosing where to land your troops is important to help them survive. While landing in a woods or other area template may seem more risky with those hard landing rules (roll 1D6, 4+ does a damage) the added cover of the terrain will protect your unit before it has to fight. Choosing the right amount of troops is also important. A single Chaingun Dingo as a Support unit can do a lot of damage when it arrives in just the right place. Splitting up a paratrooper unit as individual support choices allows the flexibility of dropping them all over the place as required. It just makes command point coordination harder. That's risk it can be hard to stomach if you aren't ready for it.

 

Military Police are excellent models for protecting others. The Shield trait allows additional dice that stack with cover. Putting a MP model as a body guard to a commander allows the commander to use the model with the shield as cover, and then if the guarded model is missed the guarding model gets a bonus to avoid damage from the attack by the shield bonus. Alternately you can assign a MP as a bodyguard to a high value model such as a Duelist or a Strider that you want to protect. Once again choosing one or two models as a single Support unit for this role is a very cost effective method of providing their protection. Combine that with how MP models are often very effective for few points and you have a n excellent specialist.

 

Special forces represent the very best of a military force. The Veteran trait makes them very difficult to destroy and their access to high tech and rare weapons are a lethal combinations. Many Special Forces can also airdrop and their ability to purchase veteran upgrades is often overlooked. A Chameleon or Black Cat with the electronic specialist ability that ECM Sensor Jams a target (See 14.2b) makes it vulnerable for the rest of the squad to attack. Tag team with another recon model guiding in some anti-tank missiles with a target designator for extra fun. Specialist troops are also extra good fun for painting as giving them matt black or special paint jobs to make them stand out from the regular troops or just provide a break from painting one paint scheme all the time.

 

Engineering models are a kind of specialist that are often overlooked. The recovery ability is rarely used but can work in combination of tank heavy forces where a risky move over dangerous terrain could leave a significant asset like a heavy tank at risk. All Engineering models also carry Shaped Explosives as a weapon. This is normally an expensive generic upgrade. Also Engineerng models can be included in infantry units allowing a lot of flexibility in the unit build. Lastly the Engineering models are often dirt cheap. A Engineering Cobra is only 8TV and is a significant threat up close in melee combat to most gear or light tank targets.

 

Milicia are specialist troops that specialize in one thing only. Being cheap. Asps, Lynxes, and Street Vipers are still threats with their weaponry. Flooding the battlefield can backfire as a tactic but there are many situations where putting a half dozen models on an objective is the surest way to capture it by making your opponent's ability to destroy them all difficult or impossible.

 

How are you using your specialist troops? Join the conversation on the Dream Pod 9 forums and share your best tactics and game stories involving specialists.

-Dave