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(Almost) Finished Course Ruler Device

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Game_Fleet
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Joined: 10/27/2014
Course Ruler Set

This idea was helped by discussion with some members on here over a year ago, but now its functional enough to show.

The concept is simple enough: one inch ruler segments that snap together, with differing degrees of 'turn' in each joint depending on the ruler level. This was designed for my naval miniatures Kickstarter project, Clockwork Armada, the idea being that more nimble ships could access the higher Course levels, while larger capital ships were stuck with ponderous level 1 or 2 turns.

Believe it or not, this simple concept has been through about twelve revisions over the past few years, but I'm excited about it. I was never happy with any 'move turn move' mechanics in a game, especially if fire arcs were involved. This method makes early positioning much more important, I wanted a game where a more agile ship could actually hold its own against a ponderous vessel loaded with weapons by darting into one of its blind spots.

The benefit over a standard semi circle template is that it doesn't put you 'on rails'; it allows for some finesse in where you want your ship to go. It is going through one more revision, both to comply with the specifics of the plastic injection molding process in preparation for full production, and to make it fit tighter together. The current resin prototype pieces are still a bit too loose and finicky to be intuitive.

This was designed for ship games, but I imagine it could have other applications. Just wanted to show my work.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
An interesting idea, but the

An interesting idea, but the design looks unnecessarily complicated, to me. (And you did say that the pieces are loose and finicky.)

Why not just each piece is a trapezoid, where the leading/trailing edges have a male/female puzzle-type connector. As long as the connectors are perpendicular to the edges, you should be able to snap any one into any other. So, if I have a ship with mobility 3 and movement 5, and I want to make a pretty sharp turn, I grab 5 threes and snap them together. When I discover that's a bit sharper of a turn than I wanted, I replace the middle piece with a 1 piece, and it's just right.

Game_Fleet
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Joined: 10/27/2014
I'm trying to visualize your

I'm trying to visualize your description. Can your pieces move? I liked the idea of being able to bend into just the position I wanted, in a game where facing is very important.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
I guess if you can bend them,

I guess if you can bend them, and the higher mobility ones just bend farther (and you can do it all in such a way that you don't start to get metal fatigue from people trying to bend it just a teeny bit further than it wants to), then your design is certainly better. It would be a lot easier and faster to use.

I was thinking of separate pieces that you snap together to make the path you want. This would be a lot more trouble to use, because it would take time to build the path you want.

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