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PenguinBonaparte

Custom Templates Really Wrong?

72 posts in this topic

*TLDR Edit for the thread*  (Also, TLDR is a great podcast)

The Team Covenant templates do seem to make sense and are completely legal, and they were great about explaining how they made their templates based on averages of the cardboard pieces and the FFG acrylic templates, the latter being the best reference. (See the detailed reply on page 4.) It seems like the fundamental difference is that other template makers have copied what was currently in the end product cardboard, which varies from printing to printing, but TC has rationalized the measurements. All in all, I like these templates a lot and feel ok about them now that it's all explained, although the range ruler is just about a millimeter too short.

 

The banks are a little shorter than the cardboard by 1/2-1mm, and the turns are ever so slightly longer. The one big variation is that the 1-turn, which is noticeably larger:

tumblr_n1770yaokz1sz2scho5_500.jpg

 

As I understand it, this is a correction to keep even spacing between the turns, such that if you perform multiple turns in formation your ships don't drift apart. (I don't have multiple TC templates, but with the cardboard if you always line up flush against one of the pegs, two alternating 1 and 3 turns will drift you 1-2mm apart.) The metric they used was evening out the distance between the turns, which you can see if you line it up like this.The picture is at an angle and not fully lined up, but the distance between those templates is 6mm.

tumblr_n1beakPPde1sz2scho1_500.jpg

 

 

/* original post:

So I just got what I thought were the good templates and pulled them out to play and they were totally wrong. Some of them seem like they're following a slightly different curve and the turns are too long by about a millimeter, while the banks are too short by more or less the same amount. The markings on the range ruler don't line up either. Are there any that are reliable or good? I'm now thinking back to the number of acrylic movement sets I saw at my last tournament and really have to wonder how legit they were.

 

I don't want to say the brand since I haven't gotten a reply to my request for a refund and maybe it's just some big weird fluke somehow, but have other people had this problem? I was really bummed.

Edited by PenguinBonaparte
Darthfish likes this

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it could be your cardboard template, I had 1 set where my cardboard 5 straight was diagonally slanted, and my range ruler the both sides dont match up (my rebel side had a longer range1)

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Nope, I've got 3 core sets and the cardboard pieces all match.

The cardboard sets differ slightly from production run to production run.  The acrylic template maker will have used a set from a different run to make his templates, hence why there will be a slight difference.

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Huh. I just got a reply along those lines. It seems really weird to me that this would happen though, particularly since the 1 turn piece is way different. Considering one really unpleasant match I had with someone who got very strange about a ship I didn't bump and then started accusing me of all sorts of things I really don't want to take a chance. 

 

I do see the difference in range though on with the rebel side being about half a mm. longer.

Edited by PenguinBonaparte

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Having worked with Clickers(the machines that do the cutting). There are going to be slight differences over time. Lots of things can effect it. he dies over time will change shape. The machines apply multiple tons of force while cutting. 

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This is why for tournaments, FFG recommends using a single set between you.  Me personally I think you're taking it too seriously (even in a tournament) if you have an issue with me using 3rd party templates.  Might not be a bad idea to keep a standard set handy though.

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I'm in the process to make my own acrylic templates, and I can tell you there's no way to create a lasercut set that will fit on every standard cardboard set. I have 7 cardboard sets, and they all differ slightly, with the biggest difference among them being almost 2 mm on the 3 bank.

 

So I was looking for the rule/mechanic behind the template ranges (by how much does the 2 bank change compared to the 1, and the 3 to the 2) and I will use those values for my templates. They should then fit many cardboards, but not everyone since that's impossible (unless you use flexible material that you can bend everytime you have to compare with the standard :-) ).

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From the official X-wing tournament ruleset:

 

 

Range Rulers and Maneuver Templates

Minor variations in the printing process and the existence of third-party products may cause slight 
disparities in the measurements of some rulers and templates. Before a tournament match begins, 
any player may request that a single range ruler and/or set of maneuver templates be shared for the 
duration of the match. Both players must agree on the set of maneuver templates to be used, as well as 
which side of the range ruler to use. The TO will have the final say in any decision.”

So if anything goes wrong simply use the same set of templates for your tournament matches.

 

For any casual play I seriously doubt anyone having problems with slight disparities. I mean, you usually bump ships accidentally a few times per match anyway. It's just a part of the game.

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Worth noting - the Star Trek Attack Wing templates are different - so if the acryllics were based on those for some reason, they'd be odd for X-wing.

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1 mm and half a mm. Life is too short. If someone needs that as an excuse for losing a game then he needs to give it up, if just for his blood pressure.

agreed, when I read the title of the thread I expected something around a cm in difference between the templates, 1mm or 2 just get buried in the statistical noise of bumps and hasty placement.

and if the other side also has a differing template even if it is original it might even be the same as yours.

 

and this doesn't even cover if the additional millimeter is actually an advantage, it might be that millimeter that let's you crash into an asteroid, who knows. ;)

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1 mm and half a mm. Life is too short. If someone needs that as an excuse for losing a game then he needs to give it up, if just for his blood pressure.

 

This.

rym likes this

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Actually, I have to disagree. Placement is critical in this game. I bought a set of acrylic maneuver templates that were off a lot more than any of my cardboard ones are. I think, especially for tournaments, one set should be used and it should be a stock set, not something unofficial. Some of the acrylic templates I got are way off. I have been very disappointed in them. Now ì have seen others that were very good. Mine are too inaccurate to use for anything. While bumps occur, I think we can all agree it is good to be as accurate as possible.

Edited by Darthfish

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You should return them and demand a full refund including return shipping if they don't have a courier pick them up.  If not please by all means tell us the name and take photos, lots of photos.

 

I got a set from Applied Perspectives in Dec 2012, when he first started making them. They are embarrassingly bad.  Too skinniny and too short on the banks.  I've never used them, they are that bad.  My friend got a set at the same time from them and his are perfect.

I also got a set from Litko, that were pretty much perfect except they were too long in the banks, so I shaved them down to the correct length. 

 

Anything over a 1mm variation is not acceptable.

 

Team Covenant templates are absolutely perfect btw.

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Well I agree about obsessing over it being silly, but like I said, only takes one bad experience to make you paranoid about people. 

 

These are TC templates. The worst offender is the 1 turn, which actually would cause things to work out somewhat different. If I'm flying my swarm that turn might make a difference, and not to my benefit.

 

tumblr_n1770yaokz1sz2scho5_500.jpg

tumblr_n1770yaokz1sz2scho3_500.jpg

tumblr_n1770yaokz1sz2scho2_500.jpg

tumblr_n1770yaokz1sz2scho1_500.jpg

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It's tough to say, without knowing where you got them from.  The truth is, at this point most of the good template makers will be more accurate than most of the cardboard ones.  The cardboard ones are subject to mass production and being produced on a number of different machines and there can be a ton of variance between them.

 

The acrylic guys have largely figured out what the angles on the templates are SUPPOSED to be, as an ideal, and program their machines to cut them to that exact ideal specification.  

 

Now I've seen and bought some badly done acrylics, as well, which is why I hesitate to say for sure without knowing more, and I suspect even the best cutters have an off day on occasion, but in general a good set of acrylic templates, if they vary from the standard set in the box, it's because they're more accurate and not less.

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Cardboard templates are not only inaccurate to begin with, but they also change shape depending on a bunch of other factors (being stored underneath something heavy, heat, humidity, etc...).

I think acrylics fairly reliable since these are made by the unit, from a standard size chart. Even if there might be a millimeter difference from one to the other, I feel more comfortable with acrylics.

 

I got some from Applied Perspective and I am very satisfied by the quality of the product. The only worry when I played is to not scratch my pretty templates  :D

Edited by Fencer
VanorDM and CrookedWookie like this

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Do we know if these 3rd party acrylic makers have obtained a set of the FFG ones, and started making copies of those?

 

I agree that cardboard is going to shrink and expand based on your climate, but if there are copies of the "official FFG" acrylic templates...i would think that would become the standard to base other templates from.

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This is a Team Covenant Template and they say it's laser accurate to the originals. I got all my core sets between July and November, so maybe the 1 turn is that different in the original printing? Is there anyone with a first run of the game? I could scan my template and send it for comparison. You can see that when I'm holding them down against a flat surface the 1 turns don't even follow the same path. It's not just the length they were cut to. I would believe the acrylic was accurate if there weren't next to no variation in all three of my core sets.

 

I replied to the TC guy with the pics to double check on this, so we'll see whether that actually reflects the difference or I got a bad piece. I checked my cardboard against a Litko one, which was still in a bag so couldn't be as careful, but it seemed like there were smaller differences in length than with my TC and they all followed the same path.

Edited by PenguinBonaparte

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Do we know if these 3rd party acrylic makers have obtained a set of the FFG ones, and started making copies of those?

 

I agree that cardboard is going to shrink and expand based on your climate, but if there are copies of the "official FFG" acrylic templates...i would think that would become the standard to base other templates from.

I don't know if they've done that.  I do know Adam with AP figured out about a year ago that the templates were designed so that if you sat a number of them end to end they form a perfect circle.  Once he knew that he was able to compare a bunch of cardboard sets, figure out from those what even number they were all hovering right around, and determine from that the exact ideal length and angle and everything they were meant to have.  And it's to that standard that he cuts all of his sets.  

Team Covenant has a page up on their 2.0 templates detailing how they made much the same discovery.  Not really a math guy myself, but Adam made it sound like it was pretty obvious, when he was able to determine that the templates should each form a circle when placed end to end, what ideal angle each of them was describing.

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IIRC the movement templates are all based on a very round number.  Perfect arcs, with a radius of 300mm or something super predictable.  The hard turns are clearly 90 degrees, the banks 45 degrees.  You take that and it's easy to draw up the templates in a CAD program without ever referencing the slightly irregular second generation cardboard (the first generation being the design files for the cardboard).  It is all based on the cardboard originally, just an idealized version of the cardboard templates that's not subject to humidity and other variability.

Ultimately the acrylic versions don't wear down like the cardboard, and if both players use the same set I can't see how it matters.  I always offer my acrylic set for use by both players in a tournament setting.

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Honestly, if that one turn is that off (more from the blowback by an opponent), I'd find it concerning to some extent, but hopefully it's a set issue and not a team covenant issue.

Edited by AlexW

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I have a set of the TC templates (2.0) and they match almost exactly in length, shape, and width to my cardboard sets. There may be millimeter differences here and there, but certainly nothing obvious like in the pictures posted.

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