Rulebook quality

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Poi
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Rulebook quality

Postby Poi » Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:23 pm

TBH I'm not prepared to buy the hardback. Spent some quality time with a friend's copy of the rulebook today, and the production quality is appalling.

The binding, although it fits, is dreadful. Major problems with either the glue or the card used for the covers, causing the extreme warping. I know the rulebooks where rushed for the open day, but earlier books from the new presses have the same problem. Not just a few, all that I have seen.

The binding is also tight, pushing text too close into the binding.

The backgrounds used throughout make the text impossible to read in places. The hyperspace section is especially bad.

The cover logo appears to be a jpeg, showing pixelation. Why was a vector image not used?

Ink coverage on the pages is poor, giving a mottled effect, especially in the black areas.

Many of the model photos and screenshots are so dark as to be pointless. The models are largely black blobs on grey backgrounds. Has the feel of a colour book that was changed to B&W at the last minute.

Very off putting.

I'll consider a pdf, but only if it's offered as a printer friendly version, losing all the backgrounds.
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Postby prelude_to_war » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:07 pm

Serious indictments on all counts. I haven't seen one personally but if asked to buy a hardback rulebook, good production values should be a given.
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Postby Greg Smith » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:57 pm

My copy isn't great. My criticisms aren't as harsh as Poi's, though.

The cover is warped. That is a problem on quite a few of Mongoose's books of late, to some degree - I bought the new Lone Wolf and VaS at the open day and they are both slightly warped.

The text isn't up against the spine, so no problem reading it. It is closer than SFoS, on comparison.

The background is dark on some pages, I don't think it obsures the text, although it does obsure some table lines. I would have much prefered the book without. You can't really tell what the images are supposed to be on a lot of pages. The two pages that are missing the background look much crisper and cleaner.

There are indeed a few images that are a little too dark to make out details.

On the whole I'm not displeased with it. And importantly the content is great.
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Postby Estalies » Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:36 pm

I'll second a printer friendly pdf. Though it only cost me 30$ to print and spiral bind revised and SFOS pdfs.
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Postby Court Jester » Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:55 pm

Now now Poi... I have the exact rule book you were commenting on right here...
"The binding is also tight, pushing text too close into the binding."
I would have to say that actually it isn't.

But I agree that whatever process is being used for the hardback covers it is not working. The problem seems to be that the glue being used to stick down the covers is contracting when it dries meaning the cover is warped which in turn is pulling at the binding at the spine on either side.

And if anything the spine and cover are not bound tight enough (partially an effect from the warping cover pulling the front and back board away from the spine). I have a WFRP book here and it appears to be very tightly bound. Basically the spine and headband are cut much closer to the width of the textblock on the WFRP book. Looking at the ACTA book here the spine could loose about 2mm of width which would tighten the whole thing up.

Also the cover material (the bit that goes over the spine, front board and back board) is printed onto a heavier paper which means the turn-ins are bulkier which just doesn't look quite as neat.

The page binding however seems solid enough. Its does not feel like they are ready to fall out at any minute, nice and sturdy.

Also the pages fit nicely within the cover (which I know was a peoblem with earlier books off the new press).

I do however have a problem with the layout and design of the book. Poi and Greg touched on this.

Basically the book is too grey. It really does seem like it was layed out in full colour with wonderful graphics and page bacgrounds nicely faded allowing the text to be seen.

Sadly this just transfers to a rather bland, indistinct grey when printed in B&W that makes reading the book that little bit more difficult. Secondly this predominance of imagery also adds to the "photocopied" look when turned B&W.

My suggestion... go through the InDesign document and delete all the page backgrounds. I would also use a slightly more glossy paper to avoid the bleed that is happeing with the heavy black areas on the pages at the moment.

As far as I am concearned if Mongoose can get the cover to stop warping, use batter quality papaer and stops making black and white books too image and colour intensive they will get my money.

Oh yeah... they also need to make sure that their output is consistent. I have heard talk of books on sale at the openday with worse problems than the one I am looking at now.
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Postby Court Jester » Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:56 pm

And also I was being REALLY picky when I pointed out the pixalation of the logo J-Pegs... :wink:
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Postby Greg Smith » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:05 am

Court Jester wrote:And also I was being REALLY picky when I pointed out the pixalation of the logo J-Pegs... :wink:
Yes. You have to be really close to see it.
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Postby Chernobyl » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:29 am

Looks like I'll be re-iterating my request on another thread for a rulebook and fleet book pdf. Hoping to see it on Wargaming Online in the future.

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Postby Renny » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:07 am

I've seen the rulebook as well and would echo a lot of the previous comments.
I was lead to believe that the warping of the cover ws due to problems with storage and was a one-off with the books prepared for the open day. If this is not the case, then there's a big problem right there. Also, I would agree on the backgrounds and internal photos. A lot of the photos are indistinct and the backgrounds are just distracting. I don't see that what is essentially a reference book needs them. Ship pictures look okay to me and i assume that the fleetbook is being printed in full colour like SFOS so I presume that won't be an issue. The counters don't look that great in b/w but again I assume full colour versions will follow. Interesting design decision to use what looks like the VaS font on the counters instead of the B5 font. Not sure I like it.
Having said that, the content looks good (won't mention the typos :D )

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Postby Shadow Queen » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:26 pm

my 2 books are warped that i got from the open day, and my copy of the rim is a bit tight
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Postby Poi » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:35 pm

Shadow Queen wrote:rim is a bit tight
:oops:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Da Boss » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:27 pm

My rule book has similar problems - I t really does look like a colour book that has been photocopied inside which is disapointing - the grey backgrounds of whatever they are do nothing for the look of the book - but this has all been said above.

As its a rule book I am actually not too bothered. However I am hoping for a quality product from the fleetbook - £20 hardback books are usually full colour and very nicely put together - well at least all the ones I have bought recently - eg Infinity rule book from Corvusbelli - beautifully presented glossy full colour 200 pages - £20.

Here's hoping............. :)
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Postby Shadow Queen » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:49 pm

Poi wrote:
Shadow Queen wrote:rim is a bit tight
:oops:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I said The Rim (book) is tight, you perv
Last edited by Shadow Queen on Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Shadow Queen » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:50 pm

Da Boss wrote:My rule book has similar problems - I t really does look like a colour book that has been photocopied inside which is disapointing - the grey backgrounds of whatever they are do nothing for the look of the book - but this has all been said above.

As its a rule book I am actually not too bothered. However I am hoping for a quality product from the fleetbook - £20 hardback books are usually full colour and very nicely put together - well at least all the ones I have bought recently - eg Infinity rule book from Corvusbelli - beautifully presented glossy full colour 200 pages - £20.

Here's hoping............. :)
got mine for £13
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Postby Da Boss » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:53 pm

I presume you Mean Infinity? Hmm nice isn't it? :)

Now I would love ACTA to look as good

Still at least the rules are good................ :D
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Postby Shadow Queen » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:55 pm

yep Boss, may use my ninjas for gangs they are the right size
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Postby Blu_Majik » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:46 pm

if it's easy enough to read and doesn't fall apart i'll be happy. it's just rules, all the rest is cream IMO

i do though expect the Fleet List book to have pictures that clearly show the ships to which the stats apply. colour would be nice but again it's just toppings.

give me that and it's worth it. 8)
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Postby Sulfurdown » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:16 am

If it's just the rules though, they could publish a text file for cheaper or PDF. As it is people are paying for a book with all that entails. I purchased a Shadowrun 3rd edition soft cover once that lasted about 2 weeks before I was trying to catch pages as they came out (eventually sliced the binding and plastic sleeved the entire book). At least it sounds like the 2E books aren't coming apart but it the first print run is mediocre. I'm hoping that since the printing is in-house it means that Mongoose can make a quick switch and get everything back up to par.

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