Not just for breakfast anymore

I like to support the little guy.  The new startup, trying to make a business filling a niche that wasn't there before.  I've often bought games at conventions from the guy with a little table - who is obviously the entire company.

I've also found that I really like Kickstarter.

(No, I don't have a problem.  I can stop backing projects any time I want to.  I just don't want to.  And you can't make me.
Ok fine.  
Hi, my name is Mike, and I'm a kickstarter super-backer.
Are you happy now?)

Where was I?  Oh yeah, little companies and Kickstarter.  One of these I backed last year was for the Precision Pivoting Arcs - which helped to create Peacekeeper Games.

I've talked about these before here and here, showing both the prototypes and the final product.

Today I thought I'd take a little time to show some uses for these.  I kindly had a few goblins and abyssals volunteer to help me out a bit (they will do anything to get out of the bins once in a while).

our victims volunteers
Perfect Pivot

Of course, the primary use of the arcs is making the perfect pivot (it is in the name after all).

The arcs have several useful markings on them.  There are lines every 15 degrees (except for 90, which is the company logo :-).  In addition there are two 'eyes', which, when you align the arc with the front corners touching these, indicate the arc of site for the unit.  Finally there are two more arc marks (they look like footballs) closer to the middle, these can be used to show the flank arc of a unit by aligning them to the flank.

When you first start Kings of War, pivoting can be a little challenging, especially if you have come from a game that uses wheeling (i.e. pivoting around a front corner as opposed to pivoting around the center).  Square (or nearly square) units are fairly easy to pivot (i.e. infantry regiments, cavalry regiments, heroes, monsters) however when you get rectangular units (troops, hordes, legions) it can be a little trickier.

Using the arc makes it very simple.  Place the arc so that ANY two corners are touching it, then rotate the unit around the desired amount, making sure that when your pivot is complete two corners are again touching (and they don't even have to be the same two corners!).  This pivots the unit exactly around the center.

So take, for example, this horde of goblin spitters.  They have gotten themselves into a bit of a bind - with the lower abyssals in front of them and the molochs on their flank.  They want to have it so that they don't get flank charged by the molochs OR the lower abyssals, and can also shoot at the molochs (which do not have regeneration, so keep any damage they take).
uh-oh guys
Place the arc so that it touches the two corners on the left hand side

PPA to save the day!
I can then pivot the unit up to 90 degrees.  Since the back left corner is touching the end, 90 degrees would be with the back left corner touching the logo.  That would expose their flank to the lower abyssals so instead they only pivot 30 degrees (the second hash mark).

As goblins, they have never moved so precisely before
Now they are lined up so that the centerpoint of the moloch unit is in their front arc (and they can now see them to shoot) while keeping the lower abyssals in the front arc.

Checking one flank
and the other.  Time to  unleash the furry of our deadly goblin bows (ok, so with the movement penalty they only hit four times for three wounds - at least the molochs don't instantly regenerate them back.
Previewing movement

There are often times when you might need to be able to see exactly where a unit might end up BEFORE deciding to actually move them.  One of the worst things is to move the unit and then 'take it back', because you almost never get it back where it originally was.

You can use the arc to mark EXACTLY where a unit is before moving it, then if you decide that isn't such a great move, you know exactly where the unit started.

The trolls see that the molochs are a nice juicy charge target, and being stupid, they take the bait
After moving them, it is obvious that the lower abyssals will get a flank charge on our poor trolls if they fail to rout the molochs in a single charge.  They may be stupid, but at least they aren't that stupid, and decide to go back where they started.
Simulating a pivot

The game is ALL about movement, and often you need to see just how something to work out.

can I pivot to see the molochs and keep them out of my flank
pivot the arc and move it.  My corner (the eye at the top) is just behind the corner of the building, protecting my flank
I like it, so I move the unit.
In addition, there are times when you aren't 100 percent sure of the distance after a pivot, as you centerpoint moves.

You can pivot the arc, then measure from it as well.

before a possible pivot
after the possible pivot
Using arc for movement

You can actually use the arc for movement.  When you move the arc a given amount - the unit in the arc will move that same distance.  So you can measure and move from the arc when you need to.

move the arc, rotating it for the pivot
and simple place the unit back in the arc the way it started
Do I fit?

There are sometimes situations where you might want to fit a unit through a very tight spot.  It is important to know if the unit will fit before committing the move.   Once more the arc comes in handy.
It's too tight, we'll never fit in there
never say never boys
Ok, everyone hold their breath and squeeeze
Getting around obstacles

There are times you need to be able to squeeze every last quarter inch of movement out of a unit.  Of course this is always when somebody has decided to drop a house in your way, and you have to go around it.  Use the arc to precisely measure your pivot to squeeze the most out of your move.

Mush you fleabags, mush
hold on tight, this is a very tight corner
now, full speed ahead (so fast the camera can't focus!)
So there are several ways to use these useful gadgets for your games.

Are there any innovative ways you have found to use these as well?

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. So... Arcs have existed forever since warhammer fantasy so nothing new there...

    But that pivoting tool... WHY DIDN'T ANYONE COME UP WITH THAT EARLIER!!!!! Would have stopped so many disagreements at tournaments!!!!

    George B
    Thanks again for the blog Mike, I know I don't say it frequently but it's enjoyable to see whats coming out even though I don't play a single one of the games you feature :)


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