Jericho I intend to use the grid just like you describe you're using the abstract movement system.
I just find it a lot faster to just count four squares for moving (one maneuver). The ranges are then just really obvious on the grid, but there is not more mathematics about it. It's just a different way to organize and I feel grid is easier and gives a more vivid expression of the battlefield and allowing for more immediate detail. All the things possible with the abstract movement system is possible on the grid. It's just a simple way to handle engaged, short, medium, long and extreme range.
Sometimes the abstract system gets silly when players are at very different ranges from each other and opponents where you need to track range between individual stand ups where it matters. If one engagement then moves away and is at medium range from the engagement it was previously engaged with, then you need to take into account at what range they are to the other engagements in relation to which direction they moved. I want to track it where it matters, because otherwise... why bother. I just find the abstract system really cumbersome, where the grid is straight forward.
What I am trying to say is that the grid is just a way to put down an automatic range finder under the standups, so you don't have to track it, consider it and remember it. It changes nothing really... it's just a ruler that tracks all ranges in two dimensions, but we still use the ranges.
That said some of the cards targeting engagements can get real silly, because we have had engagements of 20 total stand ups sometimes and a blunderbus can hit them all in one go. You'll house rule that of course, but again with a grid this just becomes instantly simple and above all has some consistency.
Consistency is important for me as a GM. I want my players to know the fairness of the game lies in the consistency, because then I can challenge them and they are more in control, the more they can see, react to and the more my interpertation of the combat is similar to their expectations and perception of what's going on.
These are my grid house rules:
• One maneuver equals 4 squares of movement. Disengaging costs one maneuver and moves you one square. Players have one maneuver each round for movement. They can use fatigue to gain extra maneuvers. If they use more than two maneuvers for movement in their turn however, they can't attack.
• Range increments (squares):
o Engaged = touching bases (1)
o Short = 2-5
o Medium = 6-9
o Long = 10-17
o Extreme = 18-29
o Out of range = 30+
• Combat conditions and pushing/sliding enemies
o Staggered = push 2 squares away
o Exposed = Push 1 squares away
o Rattled = Slide 2 squares
o Sluggish = Push 2 squares away
o Any other = Ask GM
• Opportunity attacks: When you move from a square adjacent to an enemy he gets an attack of opportunity on you, unless you use one maneuver to disengage (move one square). An enemy can only get one attack on you this way in your turn, but several enemies may all get attacks. Pushing and sliding does not provoke opportunity attacks.
• The standard size of an engagement is 4 times 4 squares, in relation to effects that targets engagements.
They are simple and the combat conditions and pushback is something we just want to test. It could easily be removed and you would have the exact same system as exists in the current abstract rules... just consistent and easy to work with. The opportunity attack is no different from the current rules that force people to use a maneuver. I just give the option of not doing it. The engagement size of 4x4 squares is something we need to test, but these are the rules and they aren't complicated or mathematical. It's more of a measurement tool.
Before making these rules I had some laminated rulers saying MEDIUM, LONG, EXTREME, SHORT and would put them between standup engagements to track, But in some bigger fights it was a clutter that really detracted from the game.
So the reason I want to use a grid is not complexity, but simplicity