GKR: Heavy Hitters is a customizable tabletop game for 1-4 players, combining high-quality collectibles with dice-rolling, deck-building and tactical play. Pilot your Heavy Hitter (the biggest, baddest robot on the board) and a squad of three Support Units through the ruins of an old city, competing to either wipe your opponent off the map or reduce four skyscrapers to rubble!
From the miscreants at Weta Workshop and Cryptozoic comes Weta Workshop’s first tabletop game, set in the sports-crazy dystopian future of Giant Killer Robots.
Launched on Kickstarter in February 2017, the game reached its funding goal in just 4.5 hours and smashed records to become New Zealand's most successful Kickstarter ever!
The Robot Rumble starts now. Are you in?
GKR: Heavy Hitters is a customizable tabletop game for 1-4 players, combining high-quality collectibles with dice-rolling, deck-building and tactical play! Pilot your Heavy Hitter (the biggest, baddest robot on the board) and a squad of three Support Units through the ruins of an old city, competing to either wipe your opponent off the map or reduce four skyscrapers to rubble!
A unique hex-based tabletop gameplay experience
High-quality robot collectibles designed by the artists of Weta Workshop
Over 300 cards featuring unique artwork
Five distinct phases of play
Two ways to win!
Strap in for the most epic smackdown this side of the megapocalypse. Gather your squad of Giant Killer Robots (GKRs), build your deck, and face your rivals in the ultimate fight for fame, fortune, and sweet salvage rights! Scheme, strategize and strong-arm your way to victory as you dominate the media landscape, one billboard at a time.
Spokesperson, GKR League
YOUR GAME BOX INCLUDES:
x4 Giant high-quality Heavy Hitter miniatures up to 139mm tall
x12 Highly detailed Support Units standing up to 47mm tall
x10 Buildings that break up the landscape and alter the way you play, every time
x317 Cards with unique artwork from Weta Workshop artists
x1 Unique hex-based tabletop gameboard
x8 Pilots with special skills + Achievements Board to track their progress
Note: Images shown are prototypes - final product may vary.
Adam Savage Checks Out Weta Workshop's "Giant Killer Robots"
ABOUT THE CREATORS
For over 20 years, Weta Workshop has applied creativity and craftsmanship to blockbuster films and hit television series including The Hobbit trilogy, Mad Max: Fury Road, King Kong, Avatar, District 9, Elysium, Thunderbirds Are Go, and Ghost in the Shell. We’re also a producer of consumer products, a tourist destination, interactive studio in collaboration with Magic Leap, and creator of public sculptures and exhibitions.
Now, Weta Workshop is making its first foray into the exciting world of board games with GKR: Heavy Hitters!
To help bring the game to life, we’ve partnered with Matt Hyra and the Cryptozoic Entertainment team. As the R&D Lead Designer, Matt has more than 30 board and card game releases to his name, working with iconic properties such as DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Naruto, Street Fighter, Cartoon Network, and many more.
WANT MORE GKR?
The benevolent corporate overlords of GKR run our social media accounts with a (slightly dented) iron fist. Here's where you can find the latest updates, art, and Hapsi-fuelled humour!
How awesome is this game? Right? I have GKR Heavy Hitters, Urban Wasteland, Sweet and Salty, and Hapsi original and purple flavors. This is an awesome game. Part miniatures, part card game, part tactical and 110% amazing, GKR is a unique type of fun. Miniatures are massive. Board is big. Rules are straightforward but with so much strategy and tactics. With six factions now we\'re \"gonna need a bigger board\". So make it happen WETA. New boards, more pilots, crazier (possible?) weapons, random stuff, and rules variants please! This game is too awesome not to be played by everyone. And it is also one player if you prefer. What is not to love? Keep going WETA. You guys and gals are awesome!!!
Customer Service is horrible
I have been trying to obtain a refund from this company for weeks after they would not honor the pledge I made in Kickstarter for this game. I cannot get answers to my emails from either the public relations folks nor the abysmal customer service folks. If you were to ever need help from this company for any purchase, you would really be taking a risk as they are deaf to the needs of their customers. Wow.
From the art I\'ve seen, looks good...
But I ordered it through Kickstarter and through some snafu, I\'ve not yet received it. I ordered it a year and two months ago. I\'m not sure what it takes. I\'ve been told by customer support to hang tight. That was over a month ago. How tight should I hang? What is the prescribed level of tightness I should apply when the game has been out for months, I ordered it February of last year and I have zero idea of when I\'ll receive it? I\'m so tight I might snap. Please let me know when I will receive it.
Wow. Please do more.
Copied from my BGG review:
If you see this game being played, and get a chance to play it yourself, you may find yourself asking \"how the hell haven\'t I heard of this?\" Or you may find yourself asking, \"how the hell did nobody get excited about this before?\"
Maybe big silly weaponized robots weren\'t in vougue. . . maybe people wrote it off as just another dice chucker when there were too many already. Maybe the community didn\'t trust the publisher or the inexperienced design team.
Maybe all of those things together. Wow this game sounds terrible.
Until you see it and play it.
Turns out it\'s a tour de force master class curb stomping rock anthem.
Graphic Design: It\'s designed by ACTUAL world class artists in the peak of their big money fields. WETA workshop works on AAA movie titles. I\'m not kidding when I say that the game has better AND MORE graphic design than the NEXT TEN GAMES combined. Not an exaggeration. The decal sheets (provided as an add on to decorate the minis with (more on them later))alone have more and better graphic design than the next 6 games.
Miniature Design: Very subjective field here but the robots displayed in this game are probably the best made by humans so far. They would fit right into a AAA movie, let alone a board game. No game has ever had this level of talent and treatment payed to individual characters as the four main \"Heavy Hitter\" robots in this game. Warhammer fully and consciously included. Add to that that the production control on them is out of this world. You could throw one of the 80mm miniatures across the room and it would be just fine. Whoever designed the final molds for production was one of the best at what they do EVER.
World Design: Again, the world they\'ve developed is aesthetically amazing, nuanced, unique, and consistent. You can tell that they were a bit careful and conservative with \"the veil\", being cautious about how far back they were willing to draw the curtain. That\'s why I\'ll not be throwing around any \"best ever\"s here. Still, it\'s an unblemished masterpiece of world-building albeit a careful and clean one. Correction: it feels less carefully manicured than wisely navigated. It\'s not so much perfectly polished as focused carefully on what matters.
Okay so it\'s a masterpiece design-wise. Is it art or a game?
Well, the game is awesome!
Momentum: This game moves and the battles are a roller-coaster ride. It never feels like you\'ve got bumpers up, but the game\'s mechanics manage to force balance on the situation naturally. That\'s not to say a perfect noob will stand a chance - the game doesn\'t rise to the level of teaching itself, but it hasn\'t yet felt like \"the whole match was over before it got going\".
Subtle complexity: There aren\'t many games which have surprised me more with how complex they got quite like GKR: Heavy Hitters. You get a relatively simple rules set and then things just get really tricky really fast. On many turns I found myself just going for \"what felt right\" after giving up on what \"the best thing to do\" might be. This is a brilliant thing. It made me feel more like a mech (sorry, Heavy Hitter) pilot and less like an olde child playing with robot dollies. It so surprised me because the game looks really simple. You\'re only ever piloting 4 robots at most and the goals seem really straight forward. The designers did something critically clever.
Achievable goals: They added a layer of goals that looked like a gimmick but turned out to make the game first order great. In addition to trying to slag your rivals, each player is trying to gain sponsorship by tagging building faces with their on-board spray printers. This means that on each turn, each robot wants to be on a DIFFERENT side of the buildings they are using for cover. Also, the game was designed so that you CANNOT ignore the possibility that a player might actually tag enough buildings to win. Somehow I missed that that would make the game WAY more thinky than 90% of other \"dice chucker\"s I\'ve ever played. It was never annoyingly thinky, mind, if I wanted to \"just shoot the bastard\" it was straight forward as anything. Players are constantly balancing the impulse to defend themselves with the desire to mitigate their long-term prospects and it makes every turn a beautifully difficult choice. It\'s got the feeling of a good strategy game.
Luck Mitigation: The deck building (or unbuilding) mechanism in the game is great. Each robot becomes less maneuverable and more deadly as it takes damage. They become like cornered cats as they get pulverized, saving their most high-damage cards for the strike they hope will cripple you back. Trading blows in this game feels exciting and tense.
Balance: Each force is slightly different (more on that in the cons side) and superbly balanced. The game never feels unfair.
Theme: If it weren\'t already obvious what I think about this - I\'ll go ahead and say this is probably one of the strongest implementations of theme in a game ever. It\'s easily in a league with Twilight Imperium, Twilight Struggle, Rebellion and GW games. Admittedly the people who made it have a really unfair advantage - but hey life\'s not fair. You really feel like you\'re making decisions like a mech (sorry Heavy Hitter) pilot on live TV. It\'s amazing.
Things I could see improved (Cons):
Not too Unique Teams:
The robot teams could really stand to be more different. It feels like they went with a \"we\'re not sure we can pull off balancing more oddball mechanics\" approach. That feeling is evidence enough that the game could be improved in that area, at least for me. Some others may appreciate that the abilities available to each team are clearly \"balanced\" and \"straight forward\" but I feel like more individualized experiences would add to more exciting replays. It\'d be nice if each faction took a bit of individual mastering in vein of \"Netrunner\". That said - the game is VERY replayable and I look forward to playing it many many more times and likely for years.
The SAME achievements: it is actually just disappointing that the achievements don\'t change game to game or player to player. It\'s the only part of the game that feels clearly like it needs an expansion. To clarify for people who have not played: I\'m talking about a very small detail in the game. It doesn\'t feel incomplete necessarily - I just found myself surprised that the easy opportunity for variation was not taken.
Fate: At the end of the day, you ARE rolling dice. That means that several games WILL come down to one dice roll. While this is not a deal breaker for many it IS a deal breaker for some. In 2018, there are many mechanics which have been developed that feel less random than rolling D6 dice.
Waiting: There CAN be turn waiting issues. Especially the first time people play the game, when they\'re still shocked at how complex it got, they may take a long time over-analyzing. Hand them an energy drink and encourage them to just jump into the cockpit.
Overall: I rate this game a 9. I would play it any time with anyone without hesitation and excitedly. It\'s a riot of fun and a tour de force of game design. It should absolutely have far far more attention. I\'m sad that the board game community may pass on this designer making more games. If you can get it for any price under $400 I\'d suggest it. The only caution I\'d throw out is that it DOES involve rolling dice and robots so if you\'re allergic to those things you should pass. Otherwise dive in and enjoy the delicious HAPSY!
Tactical, nuanced and a hell of a lot of fun
Given Weta\'s background as a special effects studio, and the fact that this is their first board game, you could be forgiven for thinking that this game would be style over substance. That is absolutely not the case with GKR: Heavy Hitters.
The rules are deep and nuanced but never feel complicated. Straight-forward core mechanics and rules on the relevant cards make the game easy to play.
The energy and damage system is clever, constantly making you feel like you\'re trading off short vs long-term advantages. And when combined with the myriad of different weapon systems and abilities, you always have a ton of options, even when you\'re on the back foot.
The level of artistry and detail in the models and custom artwork is just a cut above anything else I\'ve seen in a board game.
Some mates and I backed this on kickstarter. Our expectations were high but Weta definitely exceeded them. We were all pleasantly surprised by how well thought out and balanced the whole game is.