The book reached its first customer on August 16th and now seems to have arrived in most corners of the globe. It was a massive relief to finish this project which had been all consuming for over eighteen months.
The final decision to print is always a bit like betting £50,000 on red. You know there is a risk that something will not be right but having checked and checked, you can't find it. It was just a relief in the end actually to say, it's done, let's print!
Now that the dust has settled and the reactions are coming in, I am delighted to say that the words of approval and appreciation have been by far in the majority. I know book releases, particularly those involving rules, go through phases. Phase one is the visual acceptance, phase two is the feedback on things that can't be found, are unclear, or occasionally highlighting mistakes. Phase three is when players start to play and the questions or disagreements on concept or interpretation appear. Phase four is rejection or acceptance for gaming. In other words, does the book have legs or not.
Currently, we are still in phase one/phase two. Customers seem to like the book layout, look, photos, content and quality. That is one major hurdle jumped.
In terms of what we missed, apart from a misplaced full stop and the omission of an 'n' across one hundred and eighty one of the pages, it seems all ok so far. The proof reading team did a good but not perfect job. The issue that has caused the most comment is the contents page(s). The pagination is out. This is correct, or rather, wrong.
It is a mistake. It was caused by a last minute decision whilst the files were with the printer to change the number of pages in the book. We had to make a deadline for shipping back to the UK and went for it. The good thing is, if it is written on the contents page, it is in the book. If an item is out by four pages in the page count, its neighbouring items will be out by four pages.
This is of course inconvenient for those with a level of OCD similar to my own and it will bother them disproportionately. I do apologize for the oversight and take full responsibility but I hope readers can put this in context and perspective. MINUS 4 is the rule for those two pages. These offending pages also contain two spelling typos. Again, the meaning of the words are clear but we missed 'em.
Of course, my own OCD will not rest because I missed something and I do so much like perfection. To improve user experience we have prepared two important downloads which you can obtain free here:
A printable QRS
A corrected table of contents
My view of life has always been, focus on the positives, see the benefit, find a work around, glass half-full, exude energy and don't suck it out of the atmosphere. In other words, make things happen. I will continue in that vein as it keeps me healthy!
I am proud of With Talon and Claw. It has a lot in it. It is moving units and this means, the next book project has already been conceived and started during my little down time break in the sun.
Based on the very encouraging feedback on this book and The War of Three Kings, a third companion volume filled with medium sized battle scenarios is now being produced. I anticipate it will not take a year to release. Coupled with the following already written pdf texts which Clarence and I are working on now, we'll have lots of new material for the 17th century gaming community very soon.
The Jacobite infantry at Aughrim (6 parts)
Western Protestant Armies in Ireland 1688-1690
Marlborough's campaign in Cork and Kinsale 1690 (2 or 3 parts)
Swedish infantry at Poltava 1709