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Author Topic: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?  (Read 3320 times)

garhkal

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Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« on: 22 June 2018, 12:51:18 »
At this past Origins, there was a little chat from the guys who were running it, about potentially changing the 'ranking' system, from the 5 'levels' it is now, to something else.  Just to make things a little easier.  That way someone running a, say green inner sphere mech, wouldn't be competing potentially against a clan yellow mech. 

When the guy (forget his name, sorry), was chatting about it on Friday, i mentioned it might be easier to go to a 6 grade system.
Grade 1 to 4, are nothing but inner sphere.  Blue corresponds to light, Green to medium, Orange to heavy and Yellow to assault.  THEN add in 2 other colors, representing the clan mechs.

Another change i'd like to see, is maybe make a table of team grinder, so that way the mechs you include which have C-3 systems on them, actually get to benefit from the use of that spent tonnage.  Either that, or do not include mechs carrying C3 units..


So what are some of your thoughts on this?
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

GreyWolfActual

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #1 on: 24 June 2018, 21:02:49 »
That way someone running a, say green inner sphere mech, wouldn't be competing potentially against a clan yellow mech.
There’s a few things I want to clear up about this statement. Firstly, the clans don’t come in at Yellow (3rd level), they come in at Orange (4th level). Secondly, none of the proposed changes that we were/are mulling would prevent the situation as you describe. As long as all levels can be played on the same table at the same time that possibility exists. Preventing it would end the Grinder as we have been running it and that is simply not going to happen.

When the guy (forget his name, sorry)
Hi.

i mentioned it might be easier to go to a 6 grade system.
Which is our tentative plan right now.

Grade 1 to 4, are nothing but inner sphere.  Blue corresponds to light, Green to medium, Orange to heavy and Yellow to assault.  THEN add in 2 other colors, representing the clan mechs.
This is simply not how the Grinder works these days. In its original conception, yes, that is what the Grinder was: four levels each corresponding to the weight classes. As the Grinder has grown and been utilized at conventions outside of Origins and GenCon so too has its mission. No longer is it just a four level free for all. At a variety of large conventions the Grinder does double duty as a BootCamp, introducing people to the game. It is far easier to teach someone how to play if they are using a Jenner JR7-D than if they are using a Wulfen Prime. Both are light mechs but one has the simplicity necessary to teach the core concepts without overwhelming the new player. Consequently, the theme of each level has shifted to reflect that emphasis on teaching game concepts versus simply getting bigger.

Each pile of record sheets at Origins, and at every other convention that this Grinder Kit makes an appearance at has a cover sheet. That cover sheet lists all the technologies that that particular level teaches. The Blue Level is not about light mechs. The Clint and Cicada both currently demonstrate larger mechs that still fall within our requirements of the Blue Level. Likewise, the Red Level is not solely about either clan or assault mechs. We have a clan medium in the Red Level, the Dragonfly, and an Inner Sphere heavy, the Cataphract. In both cases, the equipment listed on the back of their record sheets is what qualifies them for the Red Level. It would make no sense to move that particular Cataphract to the Yellow Level (especially since we just moved the chassis out this year) since the equipment is carries is far beyond what we are trying to teach in the Yellow Level.

Another change i'd like to see, is maybe make a table of team grinder, so that way the mechs you include which have C-3 systems on them, actually get to benefit from the use of that spent tonnage.
We have tried that. For years we have tried various combinations and permutations of every idea we can think of. We’ve tried Team Grinder. We’ve tried things like Lance Tactics. Nothing draws the same as Grinder. A big part of that, we think, is the simplicity of grabbing a mech, sitting down, and playing. There’s a relative simplicity in the setup. Getting teams like that organized does slow things down and does pull away from that simple “sit down and blow things up” attitude that the Grinder epitomizes. There’s also a social element introduced by team games that we just don’t think the Grinder needs. A lot of people just want to play and, as I said, “blow things up.” We just haven’t seen the market for casual, but still team based, Battletech.

Either that, or do not include mechs carrying C3 units.
The Hatamoto-Chi HTM-28T carries a C3 slave. It also teaches ER weapons, Streak SRMs, and CASE in an assault mech chassis. Yes, it carries a C3 slave. It does not lose a whole lot to that. Its value as a teaching tool with that equipment far outweighs the cost of a single C3 slave. The same is true for Beagle Active Probes and, mostly, TAG. You’ll find that there are no C3 Masters in the Grinder. The most tonnage any mech devotes to that sort of equipment is the Kintaro in the Orange Level with a C3i. However, the Kintaro teaches some very specific equipment which requires its presence in that level. That may change in the future but, for now, it is the mech we need in the place we need it.

I hope that clears up some of your questions and conceptions of the Grinder, as you saw it at Origins. Every Agent can make their own Grinder that uses their own mechs and strategy. So you may see a Grinder elsewhere that does not match what we do at Origins and GenCon. Thank you.
"My name is Saul Tigh. I'm an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be."
-Saul Tigh

garhkal

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #2 on: 25 June 2018, 01:06:08 »
Thanks for the explanations.  And i hope my critique was not taken as anything but suggestions..
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

garhkal

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #3 on: 30 June 2018, 12:22:29 »
Another possibility i was thinking of..  Let there be say 1 'open' slot for each color group and for 1 month before the event, let people say vote on what mech to put in those slots...
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

Simon Landmine

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #4 on: 30 June 2018, 18:10:42 »
After reading that from GreyWolfActual, I really want the opportunity to get blown up in play in a Grinder along those lines. Are any likely to show up in the UK in the next year or so?
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."

GreyWolfActual

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #5 on: 03 July 2018, 13:29:02 »
Another possibility i was thinking of..  Let there be say 1 'open' slot for each color group and for 1 month before the event, let people say vote on what mech to put in those slots...
Still not going to happen.

The amount of prep work that goes into preparing the Grinder needs more than a month. The biggest component is the section we are directly talking about: choosing the mechs. Leaving one open spot sounds good but has many issues. For example, which criteria should be used to let the players vote?
  • Any mech.
  • Any mech that matches the level requirements.
  • Any mech that matches the level requirements and fills specific needs.
  • Any mech that matches the level requirements, fills specific needs, and has a durable mini.
  • Any mech that matches the level requirements, fills specific needs, has a durable mini, and is not currently being used in another level.

There's a considerable amount of restrictions when you get to that last option. That, however, is our starting point for the rest of the minis. Now even if we do that and we let people chose, we still have to get the minis. The Demo Team consists of volunteers which means that time for this project is secondary to our real lives. Buying and painting three minis in a month may not sound like much, but the reality is that I am a teacher and free time in non-summer months can be awfully hard to come by and the Grinder is not something that I want to do a slapdash performance on.

Now on top of those minis, we have to create all the information on the backsides of the record sheets (mech description, notable pilots, level specific technology). Then we have to format and print them, which takes a while as well. And again, we are not doing the Grinder as paid employees, this is all a labor of love.
"My name is Saul Tigh. I'm an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be."
-Saul Tigh

GreyWolfActual

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #6 on: 03 July 2018, 13:33:10 »
Are any likely to show up in the UK in the next year or so?
For that you'd have to contact local UK agents. The Grinder is not a single thing. It is, as I mentioned above, merely a philosophy on how to simultaneously teach and play Battletech in as fun a way as possible. The mechs choices that are utilized at Origins, GenCon, and Adepticon are what we personally chose. They are not set in stone as The Grinder. Any Agent, or any person, can make their own with their own units.

Shichiro does a lot of organizing in the UK so reaching out to him might be your best bet to see if there is a Grinder event coming up in the UK near you.
"My name is Saul Tigh. I'm an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be."
-Saul Tigh

garhkal

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #7 on: 04 July 2018, 01:34:16 »
Fare enough.  T'was a thought.. 
It's not who you kill, but how they die!
You can't shoot what you can't see.
You can not dodge it if you don't know it's coming.

Simon Landmine

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Re: Grinders, proposed change to 'levels'?
« Reply #8 on: 04 July 2018, 14:57:26 »
Shichiro does a lot of organizing in the UK so reaching out to him might be your best bet to see if there is a Grinder event coming up in the UK near you.

Cheers!
"That's Lieutenant Faceplant to you, Corporal!"

Things that I have learnt through clicking too fast on 'Move Done' on MegaMek: Double-check the CF of the building before jumping onto it, check artillery arrival times before standing in the neighbouring hex, and don't run across your own minefield.

"Hmm, I wonder if I can turn this into a MM map."