Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Bargain - Grind

I was purchasing a conversion bits order at the Privateer Press webstore, when I saw that Grind was on sale for $25 as a Summer special. I added it to the cart. Sadly (for others who are not me) the price is back up to $70.
The basics of Grind... Steamjacks and a
giant metal spiked ball.

So what's Grind? It's basically Steamjack Blood Bowl, without the blood. It started life as a rule set published in No Quarter 10 (about 2 billion years ago) using regular Warmachine 'jacks and eventually made its way to the standalone game I bought. Each player controls a team of five Steamjacks (as opposed to the military Warjacks in Warmachine) equipped with a variety of arm types as they attempt to bash the other team back and push/carry/throw the "grinder" into their opponents goal. You can knock each other around a lot but you can't damage the other 'jacks. We played a lunch hour game as our first try, and managed to get 2 full rounds in (of the 10 that make up a game) but it looks like it will play much faster once we know the rules.

Each team, the Iron Storm (blue, Cygnar) and the Steel Fury (red, Khador) includes three light 'jacks (runners), two heavy 'jacks (crusher) and a variety of different ranged and melee arms. You kit your team out with arm choices before the battle (there is no cost for the different arms, as each has its different strengths.) Both sides have exactly the same weapon arms included, but the "open fist" arms match the faction 'jacks nicely (see the left-most crusher in the pic.) Yes, there are Khador light 'jacks. They are cute little buggers!

Iron Storm, with extra arms
The 'jacks themselves are quite nice. They are 4 piece (without arms) press-fit plastic models (the semi-flexible plastic that feels more like a toy than a scale model) and the sculpting is pretty good, with distinct details. They aren't quite the level of the current plastic, but they aren't bad at all. Size-wise they are comparable to their Warmachine equivalents. Each comes with a textured base to match the grind playfield. I almost think a Grind 'jack and a couple arms from the PP webstore could make a close facsimile of the Warmachine version.

Size comparison, Grind to Warmachine
The board itself is a typical high quality four section folding game board, with nice graphics. the obstruction columns and the grinder itself are two piece models (cleverly designed so that two identical pieces fit together to make each.) The rules hint at Warmachine's rules. Each turn (two turns, one for each player, makes a round) the player has 10 action dice to use. You activate your 'jacks one at a time and they can move and attack (either one first, unlike Warmachine.) The dice are d6, but have "hits" on them instead of numbers. The normal "action" dice have three blank sides, two with one "hit" and one face with two "hits" (super hit, I think that's called.) Blue "boost" dice (used when rules call for them, not when you choose like in Warmachine) have more hits on them and "action" dice that have even more hits. The fun part is that the "action" dice are used as turn counters too, so as the turns progress you move them from the game clock to your dice pool, where they can be used at will. This makes turn 5 a whole more successful than turn 1 for rolls. The game consists of two 5 round periods.

Check it out here, including tutorial slide show:

Or just download the rulebook and check it out:

1 comment:

  1. We played the NQ ruleset, I liked the casters in the coach role. It gave the game some flavor that was missing when we picked up this version. On a side note, I often use the jacks in the sets I pick up cheap for terrain and wreck markers since this plastic is so much easier to hack apart.


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