New Year's Day Grinder

 


Happy New Year everyone and I hope all is well as you progress into 2022. For this New Year's Day I continued my tradition of running a starship 'Grinder' for any and all interested both in person and virtual. A 'Grinder' is an idea I shamelessly stole from Battletech. 

The premise is a tournament where players begin in low level units, playing a free-for-all, earning victory points and progressing through higher tiers of units. Player's can even enter the game midway or leave partway if they choose (have new players enter at the average tier on the table), which makes it great for conventions (what are those again?). This premise is mostly rules agnostic and can be used with one fleet, universe, or many so feel free to steal the idea, just make sure to post pictures for the rest of us to see.


2022 Starship Grinder

This Grinder will be played over a six hour period or ten turns of gameplay, whichever is reached first. At game's end, the player with the most victory points will be declared the winner. A player will earn a single victory point for each turn they play (at turn's end) whether their starship survives or not.

When a player destroys an enemy starship they will earn a victory point. Additionally, if the destroyed enemy starship is of a higher tier, the player will earn a number of victory points equal to the difference in the tiers.

Respawn

When a player's starship is destroyed, they will re-roll for a new starship in their current tier at the end of the turn. A player may spend one victory point at the end of the turn to remove their starship from the table and re-roll for a new one in their current tier as if their starship was destroyed or advance to a higher tier and re-roll by spending a number of victory points equal to the new tier (i.e. four victory points to advance to tier four). At the beginning of the next turn, the player's starship is placed at one of the random starting positions and they may begin the game with a momentum from 0-20.

Starting Positions

Eight starting positions are placed around the table equidistant from the center and from each other. Newly spawned starships will enter the table at one of these starting points.

Tiers

The collection of starships available to the players is divided into ten tiers. Each of these tiers covers a point range with the range of each subsequent tier being 150% the range of the previous (i.e. tier one = 1-100pts, tier two = 101-250pts).

Each tier is subdivided by universe. When a player is rolling for a new starship in a tier they can choose the specific universe they wish to play with. Alternatively, a player can choose all, in which case their starship could be from any of the available universes but they are granted one re-roll but must accept the second roll. Players will not be informed as to the starships available to them in the various tiers but will know which universes are available in each.

Initiative

Instead of the normal mechanics for plotting of movement and firing, an initiative card deck is utilized. The deck is composed of one card per player with their name on it. At the beginning of a turn the deck is shuffled and dealt out. The indicated order of players is used for the remainder of the turn.

Movement

Players will not plot their movement orders each turn, only keeping track of their momentum. During the movement phase, the players will proceed, according to the order of the initiative deck, performing a legal move with their starship and updating their momentum.

Firing

Players will not fire their starships simultaneously; rather they will fire their starships in the order of the initiative deck with all damage and criticals being dealt immediately. This ensures no confusion as to the responsible party for a starships destruction. Both starfighter combat and boarding combat will be adjudicated in the same manner.

The 'Anomaly'

At the center of the table is an unknown and powerful anomaly. At the end of the turn, the player who's starship is closest to the anomaly can either choose a single tactic (that they have access to for the remainder of the game) or to replenish all lost starfighters, starfighter ordinance, and any one-shot weapons or systems on their starship.

The table before game start with the eight starting points and the anomaly (Blackstone Fortress from WH40K)

The 2022 New Years Grinder was played using Metaverse Second Edition, but by removing any rules specific to Metaverse (such as tactics) this should be adaptable to any rule set. The starships in these ten tiers were pulled from my collection with a few from my friend Addison's and was limited to the models we have completed. I have linked each starship class with their Metaverse Second Edition designs in my account.


Tier 1

Star Trek

Daedalus Class Light Cruiser [United Earth Starfleet]
Freedom Class Frigate [United Earth Starfleet]
Ganges Class Destroyer [United Earth Starfleet]
NV Class Heavy Cruiser [United Earth Starfleet]
NX Class Explorer [United Earth Starfleet]
Yorktown Class Battleship [United Earth Starfleet]
Sevaijen Class Destroyer [Andorian Imperial Guard]
Kaza'kime Class Attackship [Dominion]
Z'Gavva Class Bird of Prey [Klingon Defense Force]
Amosarr Class Strikebird [Romulan Star Navy]
T'Liss Class Strikebird [Romulan Star Navy]
Suurok Class Explorer [Vulcan Defense Force]

Star Wars

Action VI Class Pocket Carrier +1 RZ-1 A-Wing Squadron [Alliance Fleet]
Braha'tok Class Corvette [Alliance Fleet]
Consular Class Corvette [Alliance Fleet]
CR90 Class Corvette [Alliance Fleet]
CR92a Class Corvette [Imperial Navy]
IPV-1 Class Corvette [Imperial Navy]
Raider Class Corvette [Imperial Navy]

Tier 2


Star Trek

Constellation Class Cruiser +2 Type 3 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser +1 Type 1 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Thofsin Class Cruiser +2 Yravas Fighters [Andorian Imperial Guard]
K'Tinga Class Battlecruiser [Klingon Defense Force]
K'Vort Class Light Cruiser [Klingon Defense Force]
Ganum Class Strikebird [Romulan Star Navy]
Sh'Raan Class Combat Cruiser [Vulcan Defense Force]

Star Wars

BFF-1 Class Posket Carrier +2 R60 T-Wing Squadrons [Alliance Fleet]
DP20 Class Corvette [Alliance Fleet]
Marauder Class Corvette Mk II +1 T-65 X-Wing Squadron [Alliance Fleet]
Arquitens Class Corvette [Imperial Navy]
Bayonet Class Frigate [Imperial Navy]

Battlestar Galactica

Harrow Class Missile Frigate [Colonial Fleet]
Lightray Class Missile Frigate [Colonial Fleet]

Honorverse

Brilliance Class Light Cruiser [People's Navy]
Courageous Class Light Cruiser [Royal Manticore Navy]

Tier 3


Star Trek

Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser, Enterprise Subclass +1 Type 3 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Excelsior Class Explorer +2 Type 3 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Miranda Class Cruiser +2 Type 3 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Saber Class Scout +1 Type 8 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Kumari Class Battlecruiser +2 Yravas Fighters [Andorian Imperial Guard]
Galor Class Heavy Cruiser +1 Hideki Patrol Craft [Cardassian Guard]
Obsidian Class Destroyer [Cardassian Guard]
D'Tavan Class Firebird [Romulan Star Navy]
D'Kyr Class Combat Cruiser [Vulcan Defense Force]

Star Wars

CC-9600 Class Frigate [Alliance Fleet]
Nebulon-B Class Frigate +1 BTL-S3 Y-Wing, 1 T-65 X-Wing Squadrons [Alliance Fleet]
Carrack Class Cruiser [Imperial Navy]
Nebulon-B2 Class Frigate +1 TIE/Ln Fighter, 1 TIE/Gt Bomber Squadrons [Imperial Navy]

Babylon 5

Artemis Class Heavy Frigate [Earth Alliance]
Sho'Vok Class Attack Cutter [Narn Regime]
T'Rakk Class Light Destoyer [Narn Regime]

Battlestar Galactica

Brenik Class Frigate [Colonial Fleet]

Honorverse

Sword Class Heavy Cruiser [People's Navy]

Tier 4

Star Trek

Olympic Class Science Vessel +2 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Keldon Class Battlecruiser +1 Hideki Patrol Craft [Cardassian Guard]
Vorcha Class Attack Cruiser [Klingon Defense Force]

Star Wars

CC-7700/E Class Cruiser [Alliance Fleet]
MC-30 Class Light Cruiser [Alliance Fleet]
Neutron Star Class Heavy Cruiser [Alliance Fleet]
Quasar Fire Class Cruiser +2 SF-01 B-Wing, 2 T-65 X-Wing Squadrons [Alliance Fleet]
Broadside Class Heavy Cruiser [Imperial Navy]
Strike Class Cruiser +1 TIE/Ln Fighter, 1 TIE/In Interceptor, 1 TIE/Gt Bomber Squadrons [Imperial Navy]

Babylon 5

Mograth Class Frigate [Centauri Republic]
Vorchan Class Warship [Centauri Republic]
Olympus Class Corvette [Earth Alliance]
Ka'Tor Class Battle Destroyer +1 Gorinth Medium Fighter Squadron [Narn Regime]

Battlestar Galactica

Medusa Class Destroyer [Cylon Fleet]
Hecate Class Cruiser [Colonial Fleet]
Luna Class Destroyer [Colonial Fleet]

Warhammer 40K

Cobra Class Destroyer [Imperial Navy]

Honorverse

Star Knight Class Heavy Cruiser [Royal Manticore Navy]


Tier 5


Star Trek

Ambassador Class Explorer +3 Type 3 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Cheyenne Class Frigate +1 Type 6 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Defiant Class Escort [Starfleet]
Freedom Class Destroyer +1 Type 6 Shuttle [Starfleet]
New Orleans Class Frigate +1 Type 6 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Norway Class Destroyer +1 Type 8 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Nova Class Science Vessel +1 Type 8 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Springfield Class Frigate +1 Type 8 Shuttle, Tactical & SWAC Pods[Starfleet]
Tenak'Talar Class Battlecruiser [Dominion]
Qeh'Ral Class Dreadnought + 6 To'Duj Class Fighters [Klingon Defence Force]
Draconarius Class Starbird +2 Scorpion Fighters [Romulan Star Navy]

Star Wars

Dreadnought Class Heavy Cruiser [Alliance Fleet]
MC-40 Class Cruiser +1 T-65 X-Wing Squadron [Alliance Fleet]
Dreadnought Class Heavy Cruiser +1 TIE/Ln Fighter Squadron [Imperial Navy]

Babylon 5

Altarian Class Destroyer +1 Sentri Medium Fighter Squadron [Centauri Republic]
Avenger Class Heavy Carrier +8 SA-20 Nova Starfury Squadrons [Earth Alliance]
Cronos Class Attack Frigate [Earth Alliance]
Sagittarius Class Missile Cruiser [Earth Alliance]
Whitestar Class Gunship [Minbari Federation]
Shadow Scout [Shadows]

Battlestar Galactica

Hydra Class Escort Carrier +12 Raider Mk I Squadrons [Cylon Fleet]
Admiral Canis Class Cruiser [Colonial Fleet]
Apollo Class Strike Cruiser [Colonial Fleet]
Kopis Class Fast Destroyer [Colonial Fleet]
Nemesis Class Heavy Cruiser +1 Viper Mk II Squadron [Colonial Fleet]
Olympia Class Light Cruiser [Colonial Fleet]

Warhammer 40K

Firestorm Class Frigate [Imperial Navy]

Honorverse

Sultan Class Battlecruiser [People's Navy]


Tier 6


Star Trek

Luna Class Explorer +2 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Steamrunner Class Light Cruiser +4 Peregrine Attack Fighters, 1 Type 8 Shuttle [Starfleet]
Bortasqu' Class Battlecruiser [Klingon Defence Force]
Negh'Var Class Battleship +6 To'Duj Fighters [Klingon Defence Force]
D'Deridex Class Warbird +2 Scorpion Fighters [Romulan Star Navy]

Star Wars

Assault Class Heavy Cruiser +2 JV-7 Escort Shuttles, 2 X4 Gunships [Alliance Fleet]
Liberator Class Heavy Cruiser +3 BTL-S3 Y-Wing, 3 T-65 X-Wing Squadrons [Alliance Fleet]
Gladiator Class Heavy Cruiser +6 TIE/Ln Fighter, 4 TIE/In Interceptor, 2 TIE/Sa Bomber Squadrons [Imperial Navy]
Vindicator Class Heavy Cruiser +1 TIE/Ln Fighter, 1 TIE/In Interceptor, 1 XG-1 Assault Gunboat Squadrons, 1 ATR-6 Assault Transport [Imperial Navy]

Babylon 5

Tinashi Class War Frigate [Minbari Federation]
G'Quan Class Heavy Cruiser +2 Frazi Heavy Fighter Squadrons [Narn Regime]
Hyperion Class Heavy Cruiser +1 SA-23 Aurora Starfury Squadron [Earth Alliance]
Nova Class Dreadnought +4 SA-23 Aurora Starfury Squadrons [Earth Alliance]
Shadow Cruiser +1 Medium Fighter Squadron [Shadows]

Battlestar Galactica

Valkyrie Class Light Battlestar +6 Viper Mk II, 2 Raptor Mk I Squadrons [Colonial Fleet]

Honorverse

Reliant Class Battlecruiser [Royal Manticore Navy]


Tier 7


Star Trek

Galaxy Class Explorer +1 Danube Runabout, 6 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Intrepid Class Light Explorer +2 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Nebula Class Heavy Cruiser +1 Danube Runabout, 4 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Vesta Class Explorer +1 Danube Runabout, 3 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]
Mogai Class Warbird +2 Scorpion Class Fighters [Romulan Star Navy]
Tonga Class Battleship +4 Hideki Patrol Craft [Cardassian Guard]

Star Wars

Victory Class Star Destroyer +1 TIE/Ln Fighter, 1 TIE/Sa Bomber, XG-1 Assault Gunboat Squadrons, 2 ATR-6, 2 Delta DX-9 Assault Transports, 1 GAT-12j Skipray Blastboat [Imperial Navy]

Babylon 5

Omega Class Destroyer +4 SA-32 Thunderbolt Starfury Squadrons [Earth Alliance]
Centurion Class Attack Cruiser [Centauri Republic]
Primus Class Battlecruiser +2 Sentri Medium Fighter Squadrons [Centauri Republic]

Battlestar Galactica

Columbia Class Battlestar +8 Viper Mk II, 4 Raptor Mk I Squadrons [Colonial Fleet]


Tier 8


Star Trek

Akira Class Heavy Cruiser +6 Peregrine Attack Fighters [Starfleet]
Galaxy Class Dreadnought +1 Danube Runabout, 6 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]

Star Wars

Dauntless Class Star Destroyer +2 BTL-S3 Y-Wing, 2 T-65 X-Wing Squadrons [Alliance Fleet]
MC-75 Class Star Destroyer +3 Z-95 Headhunter Squadrons, 3 X4 Gunships [Alliance Fleet]
MC-80A Class Star Destroyer +3 RZ-1 A-Wing, 3 SF-01 B-Wing Squadrons, 4 X4 Gunships [Alliance Fleet]

Babylon 5

Tigarin Class Patrol Cruiser +1 Nial Heavy Fighter Squadron [Minbari Federation]
Warlock Class Destroyer +4 SA-32 Thunderbolt Starfury Squadrons [Earth Alliance]
Bin'Tak Class Dreadnought +3 Frazi Heavy Fighter Squadrons [Narn Regime]
Vorlon Scout [Vorlons]

Battlestar Galactica

Basestar Mk II +24 Raider Mk II, 8 Heavy Raider Squadrons [Cylon Fleet]

Warhammer 40K

Dominator Class Cruiser [Imperial Navy]


Tier 9


Star Trek

Sovereign Class Explorer +1 Danube Runabout, 5 Type 8 Shuttles [Starfleet]

Babylon 5

Octurion Class Battleship +4 Sentri Medium Fighter Squadrons [Centauri Republic]
Shadow Dreadnought +4 Medium Fighter Squadrons [Shadows]
Vorlon Light Cruiser [Vorlons]

Battlestar Galactica

Atlas Class Basestar +40 Raider Mk I Squadrons [Cylon Fleet]
Mercury Class Battlestar +10 Viper Mk VII, 6 Raptor Mk II Squadrons [Colonial Fleet]

Warhammer 40K

Retribution Class Battleship [Imperial Navy]


Tier 10


Star Trek

Odyssey Class Explorer [Starfleet]

Star Wars

Imperial Class Star Destroyer +3 TIE/Ln Fighter, 2 TIE/In Interceptor, 1 TIE/Sa Bomber, 1 TIE/Sr Scout, 1 XG-1 Assault Gunboat Squadrons, 3 ATR-6, 6 Delta DX-9 Assault Transports, 1 GAT-12j Skipray Blastboat, 3 Gozanti Gunships, 2 Guardian Cutters [Imperial Navy]

Babylon 5

Sharlin Class War Cruiser +4 Nial Heavy Fighter Squadrons [Minbari Federation]
Vorlon Heavy Cruiser +1 Heavy Fighter Squadron [Vorlons]

Battlestar Galactica

Warstar Mk II +48 Raider Mk II, 12 Heavy Raider Squadrons [Cylon Fleet]


For the Grinder I had five players and three observers. The gameplay was not as narrative as my usual scenario style gaming, not being conducive to my usual writing format. Instead I have focused on a few of the highlights.

 
The starting tier one starships were a Daedalus Class Light Cruiser, NV Class Heavy Cruiser, T'Liss Class Strikebird, CR92a Class Corvette, and a Raider Class Corvette.

A tier one Raider Class Corvette is pummeled by a tier two DP20 Class Corvette, both vying for the coveted 'closest player to the anomaly' position.

The tier two K'Tinga Class Battlecruiser did not even hesitate to turn directly towards and engage its nemesis, a tier two Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser, as they both entered the table.

Fratricide became ever more common as the game played, in this case a tier two Harrow Class Missile Frigate destroys a tier two Lightray Class Missile Frigate with a volley of nukes.

Having dispatched the Klingon annoyance, the tier two Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser eliminates a tier two Courageous Class Light Cruiser but is crippled in return.

To the amusement of all, a tier three Brenik Class Frigate orbits the anomaly continuously reloading her nukes, firing at a target, missing that target, and then reloading again. Over and over again.

A tier two Constellation Class Cruiser and a tier two Arquitens Class Corvette head straight for each other, phasers and turbolasers lighting the vacuum, leaving both vessels crippled.

A tier seven Vesta Class Explorer rips a corvette sized whole into a tier four Medusa Class Destroyer with precise phaser fire, the quantum torpedoes intercepted by the dense flak field. Amusingly, the "Explorer's" Danube and Type 8s destroy a tier four Broadside Class Heavy Cruiser (it was 95% dead already).

Having earned the attention of everyone present with its shuttles, the tier seven Vesta Class Explorer is set upon by a tier four Olympus Class Corvette, a tier five Olympia Class Light Cruiser, and a tier four Star Knight Class Heavy Cruiser who bring the rear shields down and shear off the nacelles. From the other side of the table, a tier seven Primus Class Battlecruiser pierces the Vesta with its battle lasers and sets off a warp core breach.

A tier four Star Knight Class Heavy Cruiser sets off her starboard ECM pods, avoiding the gunnery of a tier seven Columbia Class Battlestar, however, a Raptor strike lands numerous nukes nearly destroying her.

A tier six D'Deridex Class Warbird closes with a tier seven Columbia Class Battlestar intent to push her face in with plasma torpedoes, but it is not to be. Blind but thick gun fire from the battlestar almost entirely misses, save for one battery which hits the cloaked and unshielded warbird, disabling her forward torpedo tubes.

This silly game lasted for the full six hours. More than a dozen starships were destroyed with two players advancing to tier seven. However, the winner in the end was Addison in the tier four Star Knight Class Heavy Cruiser from Honorverse, one point more than Will in the tier seven Columbia Class Battlestar. Having the highest tier starship does not guarantee victory, having the most victory points does. This is an annual tradition but I may start to roll it out at conventions when they are a thing again. If you try running a Grinder yourself, let me know how it goes and post pictures!

The 2022 Grinder was played using Metaverse Second Edition.

Join us on Facebook.

Comments

Popular Posts