I improved my Battle Station score from 833 cycles to 303, and I’m exhausted. I think I’ll set the game aside again for a while.
The thing about bumping the input rate is that it leads to catastrophic jams. While I’ve learned various ways to deal with jams, those tend to break down when the object getting jammed is large and complex. It’s also difficult to modify machinery when it’s buried deep under other machinery, and there isn’t much room to add traffic control down there anyway because I built up a bunch of stuff around the area that’s jamming.
At one point, everything was getting backed up because the Battle Station demands a cube with 4 printed sides, there’s a single face-printer, and everything was waiting on face-printing to advance. I thought my little printing machine was small and efficient, but there was a steady backlog of cubes building up, waiting for printing.
Eventually I managed a super-efficient setup which rotates the cube and bumps it back immediately. This takes 8 cycles to print all 4 sides. There’s a little delay counter that ticks off 8 cycles and then pushes the cube out of the loop. My standard state machines and counters didn’t work because a pulse every 2 cycles is generally too fast for most such constructs to respond.
I had two spots where I had to deal with uncertainty in the order of arrival of parts. At the start Part X would arrive before Part Y, but as things progressed Part Y would arrive first.
In any case the thing was a bloody mess.