Theme and What is it?
At GenCon this year, we connected with WETA Workshop to bring you a review of their game, GKR Heavy Hitters. However, while we are working on that review, we have a preview/unboxing of their latest expansion, the Sweet & Salty Faction Expansion, to whet your appetite. We loved the look of these new factions and their thematic flavors so let’s take a look at how you can expand your base set of GKR Heavy Hitters with these two new factions.
What’s in the Box?
The Sweet & Salty expansion comes with two new factions: Sweet (Pink) and Salty (Purple). Each faction comes with a new Heavy Hitter and three support models, as well as 70 Faction cards, 20 Holo tokens, and 8 pilot tokens. As in the base game, the support models are unique sculpts. The set does not include sentry guns for the new factions which is a slight missed opportunity (sentry guns were a new introduction as part of the Urban Wasteland expansion).
The high level of quality set by the base game continues with this expansion. The pilot tokens punched easily and cleanly and the cards are of good thickness and feel like they will hold up well. The Holo tokens appear identical to those in the base game only in the new colors. The support models for each faction are interesting and unique sculpts and match the color of their faction. They have also been treated with an ink wash to bring out some detail and highlights. The main attraction, the Heavy Hitters, are wonderful. Each model has quite a bit of character, enhanced by the excellent paint schemes, while maintaining the distinct mechanical look of the base game’s established lore. I don’t know that there are better pre-assembled, pre-painted miniatures in any competing board game franchise presently.
As with any expansion, many gamers thoughts will run to questions of how an expansion adds to and/or modifies the base game experience. In the case of a combat game there are certainly questions regarding power creep and if the new factions are balanced to base. From the time I have spent with this product line I have some answers. This expansion does not add any new mechanisms to the GKR Heavy Hitters experience. The new Factions do however have their own styles and add new options for players who have explored the base game and are looking to spice things up with some new combinations. I obviously have not been able to play games testing out every permutation of Heavy Hitters and pilots to compare how the new factions balance to those in the base game, but they appear to be well balanced and no more or less powerful than combinations already available in the base game.
I really like the thematic flavor of this expansion. It drips from the titular Heavy Hitters all the way down through the naming conventions of many of the faction cards. Some of the weapons have interesting new secondary effects that really add to your strategic options. If you are new to the world of GKR Heavy Hitters and want to ease into the line (as they have also released the Urban Wasteland expansion which offers some new mechanisms as well as many component upgrades) then by all means start with the base game. However, if you feel that your games of GKR Heavy Hitters have gotten a little stale, then you should consider adding some flavor to the mix with the Sweet & Salty Faction Expansion.