|Rule book and the NATO / Pact Data Book|
Both are soft-cover with drool-resistant glossy covers. The rule book is a small, "cargo pocket" sized book that is less than 100 pages and the data book is a hefty, 200+ page compendium covering most of the nations of NATO but only the Soviet Union for the Warsaw Pact. I was actually hoping the rule book would be a little bigger but I guess this makes it easier for me to carry onto the train to read, and also makes it a more convenient size for gamers.
|The rules are packed with pictures of models and figures, as well as examples of play|
Upon first glance, both are impressive and thorough. If you secured yourself a copy of the BETA rules, then you already know most of the features of the game and I will not talk much about mechanics in this post.
|Lots of tables and also background|
The rule book itself is packed with examples of play, which is good for a half-wit like me. I will say I should probably have bought the black and white version of the rules since there is this annoying tie-dyed background on the pages.
|The NATO / Pact data book has excellent national backgrounds and Orders of Battle. (pictures are used without permission - please don't sue me!)|
The Data Book organizes its sections into National Background, OOB for popular units you would encounter on a modern battlefield, and unit composition to form combat teams and units to game with ranging from higher headquarters all the way down to infantry platoons and sections.
|The back of the Data Book (T-80 not included)|
I was also pleasantly surprised to find Quick Reference Sheets in the back of the data book. Those are much appreciated because there are many tables you must reference during the course of a full turn. There are also helpful appendices that will help with game play located in the back of the data book.
Overall, I'm pleased with the initial impression I've gotten. Mr Ayres has published what looks to be a thorough account of WWIII combat and I'm looking forward to my first game. What I like the most about the rules and first supplement is the fact that everything you need for a wide range of games is right in these two books. If you are content with the European theater of WW3, then these two books are likely all you'll ever need. This is one of the strong-suits of games like Fistful of TOWS III and Coldwar Commander,
Oh and per David's request, here is the link: