When it's all about precison

Kings of War is generally a relaxed game.  I'm not saying there isn't tension, but compared to what I used to feel in even fun games of Warhammer, it is just a more laid back atmosphere.  However there are times in tournaments where exact placement and measuring is vital.  The vast majority of times when I'm called over as a TO (Tournament Organizer) it isn't for a rules question, but a line of sight, arc or pivoting issue.

Often these questions involve millimeters and the difference in an angle of barely a degree.  Is this unit in the front or flank? Can I just skirt around that blocking unit to charge the one beyond?

In these instances, the more precise and accurate you can get, then the better it is for both players. However you often have to be aware of the clock and don't want to spend a lot of time with making these measurements.

Karl Kersten has spent a lot of time thinking about this subject, and now needs a little of your help to bring the solution to life.

Precision Pivoting Arcs is a kickstarter project to create a tool to help with this.  The goal is to be able to create acrylic Arcs to precisely measure your pivots for Kings of War, as well as the Song of Fire and Ice (and in case you weren't aware, this is what the HBO Game of Thrones series is based on (Game of Thrones is the first book in the Song of Fire and Ice set)) miniature game that just funded on Kickstarter.
sample prototypes
Creating pivoting arcs is only possible because of the fixed sizes of units - all regiments of cavalry are always the exact same size.  Using some basic geometry (and you thought that high school math class would never come in handy in the real world) it is possible to precisely calculate an arc that fits a given unit, so that simply placing any two corners against it allow you to pivot exactly around the center of the unit.
math
With these simple tools, you will be able to very precisely pivot your units correctly.

In addition, by positioning an arc against your unit, you can then measure and move the arc to determine where your unit could end up without moving the unit itself.  How many times have you moved a unit and then needed to back it up.  Putting dice or other markers at the corners can help, but they can also easily get bumped or knocked over.

All the marketing speak is great, but do these actually work?  Well we gave them a try at Gencon, to see what they would do.

These are prototypes, the real ones will have nice graphics on them (not white stickers)
the ironclad need to move down toward the flank of the beast of nature
and a perfect pivot
The Ogre braves check their arc
the brotherhood pivots precisely to line up future flying charges on the ogres
Some of the player comments after giving these a try

  • Very smooth
  • I'll definitely have to look at these
  • I like being able to place them behind or on the side of my unit
  • Using them to 'check' your movement without actually moving the unit is great.

When I first looked at these, I immediately noticed that they have to be made for very specific units, as very few units in Kings of War are exactly the same (the only ones that are are cavalry and the large based infantry units (25mm - orcs are a great example) - where the troops (10 infantry/ 5 cavalry) have the same base size.  (Regiments and hordes for these continue with this.

I did a quick calculation and realized that if you had one for every possible unit (aside from single models), then you would need 14 different arcs.  However very few people have a need for this huge variety - most armies only use a few different unit sizes.

There was also some feedback on improvements that were needed, and it was nice to hear that these very things were already being worked on:

  • markings on the arcs to indicate exactly 90 degrees
  • movement trays

Movement trays are a bigger issue.  Unfortunately there are so many out there, from the plastic Mantic trays to MDF trays from warbases in the UK to my favorite steel trays from Shogun Miniatures.  They are planning on making sizes available that fit movement trays with lips as well. (One of the reasons I only use Shogun trays - they have no appreciable lip to them.  Even the flanged trays add less than a millimeter to the size of the unit.)

Drakon riders with movement tray don't quite fit the arc
I encourage everyone to check these out.  The kickstarter has a quite modest goal of only $2000 - if only 200 people back for a single arc at $10 (or if only 30 back for 10 of them) then it will succeed (I spent more for a really crappy dinner at Gencon this weekend).  At least this is something I will actually use (as opposed to some of the games I've gotten on Kickstarter that I have never played).  I personally like supporting the little guys out there.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Full disclosure - I was given the prototype templates to test and provide feedback, and I have pledged to this kickstarter.  Does anyone actually read this stuff anyway?  Remember when Mantic used to put jokes in the fine print on their packaging - I miss that.