Whenever we play, someone will knock a piece around while moving, whether it be their own piece or someone else's. It will generally only be a tiny amount, but we don't fret much about it. Especially when we're playing on just a table, the piece your moving gets adjusted a little bit when lining it up with the movement template.
So are you super meticulous about where your ships are? Do you allow any adjusting? What do you do if someone knocks a piece? I realize that a slight adjustment can affect the entire outcome of a game; whether you can shoot someone or not, or whether you hit an asteroid or not, etc.
I like to play with sort of an assumed angle rule; I assume that when placing my ships starting out, I'm placing them perpendicular to the starting edge. So if I move forward and realize that I'm off a few degrees, I'll adjust the ship's angle to compensate.
Human error is definitely an issue in this game especially with how easily the ship bases can slip on a table. I've only ever played with friends so we just do our best to keep it fair. We try to be reasonable with all the bumping and sliding. How is this handled in tournaments? Are you disqualified? I could see how people would be really mad if you messed up their formation or something. The ease of making mistakes, however, seems to call for some leniency.
In the tournaments I've been in, folks try to replace things where they were, or they'll get assistance in carefully displacing and replacing ships during a move or LOS check. Deliberately banging on the table is right out and habitually fussing with your ships is frowned on.
And you have to measure the move for every ship. No wheels where one ship moves and the rest are picked up and reformed around it.
Of course they were aligned at the start of the game. Of course they're not aligned after a few maneuvers. That's the way things are, maneuvers are only as precise as possible with the margins of human and template error. But, moving and adjusting things will not make them the slightest bit more precise, and is way too prone for manipulation and sleight of hand.
If I were TO and saw one player do that, I'd first issue a warning and then, if he doesn't stop it, probably disqualify him for unsportsmanlike conduct.
If I'm playing someone and they continually fuss with their pieces after movement or something always gets bumped if its a close call. I would call the player on it once and if it continues to happen call over the judge. I'm usually pretty easing going and will put up with a lot but at some point you have to put your foot down. My group understands stuff happens and the ships can easily get knocked around. We try to help get the ships set back up properly but if there is every a question we error on the side of the defender and position accordingly.
I tend to just live with the fact that things will get nudged or knocked during play. If a ship gets moved out of place a fair bit, then I would replace it as best I could and look for agreement from the other player, that they are happy with the placement. It has worked out okay so far.
If I'm playing a friend, we have a certain understanding. Some of my friends likes to put everything back as they where, at close as possible. Some of my friends doesn't care that much. I've gotten both of these reactions at tournaments too.
Now, I have very nervous hands. My hands shakes quite a bit and I always tell my opponents this at tournaments beforehand. And I always allows THEM to put the ships back in order, if they want to. Because it is my fault and therefore I shouldn't be the one to "profit" from the situation.
Allowing the other person to reposition the ships accordingly makes up for most of the irritation that your opponents will feel, because they now know that you really aren't doing it on purpose.
Even in tournaments I've never had an issue, no one has ever warned me, no one has ever called the supervisor and due to my otherwise casual style of play, I've often received praise for both being open, fair and easy to play against (not tactically or luck-wise).
Weight your bases to avoid ships tilting over. Give the base a rough bottom surface to stop them sliding around.
It's tournament legal to weight the bases.
THIS. Just make sure the weight you add is flush with, or less than, the recess molded into the base. If it protrudes, it's not legal. (many hardware store washers are too thick.)
Between the weight I glued in and the felt I play on, my bases are very stable. That said, I personally try to be as precise as I can be. First touch the base, hold it gently but firmly. Place movement template. Touch and hold template gently but firmly. Place miniature as indicated. I really like precision, and knowing how often the difference is a gnat's whisker between being in arc or not in arc, I want to play where the difference is made by skill and not by imprecision.
I have a friend who grabs his minis by the stem when he goes to put down the movement, and it rotates the mini in place before the template even hits. Drives me up the wall. DUDE.