I ended up not needing to create extra time between segments otherwise I got a noticeable bump in the production which looked gross.
I did two video segments, one with the drop down build and one with the whole group rotation. I kept the images that were created in both segments and assembled them in Camtasia. The production works flawlessly. I only did it in part wireframe / part draft for now to work out all the issues but now I am sure I can run a quality scenario. It will just take much longer to render the frames.
I would have liked to run it all in one segment but I couldn't figure out how to created a new actor out of the whole bundle of pieces when the puzzle pieces were named as actors already. Each puzzle piece has 3D text and/or logos on them as well, so they are groups on top of it. I did try rotating the whole collection of actors but each rotated about their own axis, instead of as a group.
This is preliminary work for a client so I can't show it, but I think I will eventually do another with different text and logo so I can post it on my gallery at some point.
Thank goodness I had spent some time getting to know Animation Lab. Although no expert, I can get by. I had been asked to do the puzzle graphics and then out of the blue my new client said "We should animate that!"