Heavy Gear is a PC game that was turned into a board game, followed by a CGI movie, which was butchered into shorter segments to make an animated series. But before all of that it was a pen and paper game that saw a lot of play testing in the game shops of Montreal before being released. The pen and paper game included the wargame rules as well.
The animated series was awesome at the time; c'mon dude, it's a bunch of mecha fighting each other in low res computer graphics, it was savage at the time!!! The good guys were the Shadow Dragons, who face the bad guys, ironically named the Vanguards of Justice, who always cheat in the games to gain the upper hand in Team Rocket-esque hijinks.
The board game and first video game are generally considered two of the few media focusing on mechs that are not weeaboo in any fashion. I.E. TANKS WILL FUCK YOUR SHIT UP! The designers actually understand that tanks would have better armor and bigger guns by the very nature of them BEING TANKS. Seriously if you use a walker in a frontal assault against a railgun armed tank in either you are dead, no exceptions. Use of mortars, guided missiles, and lots of stand-off weapons that can actually hit things make this game the antithesis of ninja mecha bullshit. But nothing is perfect. The first video game had ridiculously complicated and counter-intuitive controls(kinda like real military equipment?) The second video game fixed this issue but created others such as: mecha swords, lack of emphasis on cover, and nerfing tanks horribly. It also introduces hover tanks, which negate any advantage a legged combat vehicle would give you over tanks, yet they are still weaker than your gear?
Both tabletop and wargame are known to be driven by one of world's deadliest systems - Silhouette. You get shot by a kid with 9mm, even if you are some ninja cyborg commando from space, there's pretty high chance you get owned if you don't use cover or element of surprise. And no "You need to roll 20 and than roll again to confirm a crit" bull shit, it happens all the time. If you are not loosing a character every encounter, you are most likely playing it wrong.
Also: GUIDED MORTARS OF DOOM!
Factions of Heavy Gear
-Confederated Northern City-States: Consists of the Northern Lights Confederacy, the United Mercantile Federation, and Western Frontier Protectorate Leagues. Their main united army is the Northern Guard. The UMF is the birthplace of the Hunter Gear, the first heavy gear on Terra Nova. Their forces tend to be focused on specializing in one thing, counting on other forces to plug the gaps they do not have
-Allied Southern Territories: Consists of Eastern Sun Emirates, Humanist Alliance, Mekong Dominion, and the Southern Republic. The MILICIA [MILItary and Counter Insurgency Army) is the combined army of the Leagues, although unlike the Northern equivalent, it is extremely underfunded and is considered a place where careers go to die. Their forces typically can fill any role somewhat well, a more jack of all trades approach to warfare, they do however have a hovertank option.
-Peace Rivers: City state/corporation that is the most powerful independent faction on Terra Nova, they typically sell to all sides to ensure maximum profit while maintaining a neutral stance.
-New Coalition: Consists of several badlands city states allied with the remnants of the first Earth invasion. Has some of the best tech available to the Terra Nova people as well as some minor CEF tech.
-Black Talons: A combined effort by all nations of Terra Nova to fight the CEF on the colonies that the CEF has invaded. Has lots of stealth and some of the best tech. They also can ally with some of the resistance cells of other planets.
-Badlands factions: Consisting of bandits, independent city states, and homesteaders. Uses the cast offs of the other leagues basic tech.
Colonial Expeditionary Force: The force of Earth setting out to retake the Colonies that Earth originally abandoned. They have some of the most advanced military tech. Their forces are made mainly of hover tanks and Vat Grown super soldiers. Now they have access to their own form of Gears along with some of their Super Soldiers with access to power armor. Not to mention auxiliary forces from the other colonies they have conquered. As with most Sci Fi, if Earth is not the good guy they are typically the bad guy.
Caprice Corporate Forces: Torn between key toying to the masters of earth and the resistance, the forces of Caprice use special mechs called Mounts which are able to climb with ease.
The forces of Utopia are technically the most advanced faction of Heavy Gear, this comes from bombing their planet to an irradiated mess and having to live in huge vault cities where their tech was the only way to survive. Their armies consist of Gears called Armigors, who have bays filled with drones, semi-Intelligent robots, and power armored troopers able to survive in the wasteland of their home. The Earth is currently in control of the planet with the help of the two most powerful nations.
A feudal world ruled by the kings and nobles of the former resort owners. Eden used to be the prime spot for people to go on vacation, they eventually become knights in the techno medieval style. Their troops consist of power armor equipped troops.
There are a couple of other factions/worlds that not much is known about them/their units are not available for playing in the wargame.
Alantis is a water world where the people have developed some really good Navies, better than anything the CEF can make or use which they use to keep the majority of their planet under their control, the land masses are firmly under the control of the CEF however
Jotenheim was bought by private citizens and set up by them. Always have been independent minded. Not much is known about them other than they kicked the asses of one of the CEF fleets. They are probably Techno Vikings with some really good stealth tech. So good that the CEF did not even know where their ships and troops came from.
New Jerusalem is owned by the Roman Catholic church, like Jotenheim not much is known about them other than that they beat back the CEF armies on their own. Even less is known about their forces than the ones on Jotenheim, they wiped out the CEF fleet before they could report back anything.
Home is owned by a corporation and is firmly under the control of the CEF. Not much is known about them other than the Corporation who owns the planet is willingly working with the CEF.
Botany Bay like its namesake was originally a planet filled with prisoners. They evolved into a strict warrior society over the generations, but where conquered by the CEF, they are maintaining a stiff resistance force however.