We are keeping in touch with the printer to follow their current schedule. The print shop has been working both late hours and part of this last Saturday. While we have not been given a copy of their actual schedule, it appears that they will catch up in late February, though this is from the floor staff and not management. We have not received a proof copy with the new paper yet but that may appear next week. We will keep you updated as we get news.
Both Gar and I have been partly sidelined for a while. Gar had two minor eye operations that mean he can now has almost full vision again — although the resultant bruising meant he looked like a raccoon and had to spend a good bit of time on his back with ice packs on his face. I had a staph infection (initially misdiagnosed), including a massive rash/itching I hope to never experience again.
Another OB sample appears below. This covers the Axis Air OB for the entirety of Total War, including how the surprise air raid is resolved.
We met with the printer again on Friday and examined a sample booklet they had printed. The printer agreed that this booklet was still not acceptable, with graying-out problems, and they will no longer try to use this 60lb paper for the Total War printing.
While the booklet is readable, it is not the full black-on-white we approved on the original proof. The printer has offered to use a finer grade of 70lb paper without adding to our cost and there will be no charge for reprinting of the booklets already done.
This paper is thicker and our major concern in accepting it is that the added weight may add to the postage costs. We will absorb any postage increase. While we had anticipated some of the games shipped before Christmas, this cannot be met by their available press time.
We will let you know as soon as they begin reprinting.
We have talked with the printers a number of times since Sunday. The problem on the evening of November 27th was booklet sheets that appeared too light due to a major variation in paper porosity. The company has agreed that the print is not acceptable (did not match the proof copy we signed off on). They will reprint our material as soon as possible. The problem is that they have booked their presses until the 18th of December.
They offered to discount the already printed booklets and match the color shade on what has been printed but it would arrive at almost the same time. We have reluctantly accepted a reprint of the darker (proof) version. They have given assurances that they will use any available press time that becomes open. We will let you know if that is possible and when we are told to expect the material. We will begin packing and shipping as soon as we receive the printed components.
We should have these before Christmas but cannot know how many will be shipped before then. Any that are not shipped by the 24th will continue to be shipped as rapidly as possible.
We hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!
In the midst of all of the holiday rush, we missed a late Wednesday cell call from the printer. This was questioning our instructions for reprinting several of our booklets. We have had standing instructions to call with any questions, at any time. We understand from the message that they have suspended printing until our Monday and Tuesday meetings. They have a long weekend and were not available after Thursday. We will let you know if this results in any delay.
In the mean time, we have permission from our investors to make the initial surprise turn of the Soviet OB available for download, since we have already given a sample of the initial Axis OB and are close to a shipping date. This should allow customers who have already received their counters to begin to trim and organize the Soviet border MD units for placement.
Appended below are extracts from the Total War Axis/Soviet OBs showing the initial conditions/setup for both sides.
Total War should now begin shipping December 6th, 2013. After getting approval for the last of our electronic files from the printer, we uncovered an error. This was a error on our part, here at HMS. Due in part to the long development time for the rules and OBs, we had not coordinated our software conversions as well as we should have.
While the bulk of the booklets are in a standard format, the OBs and part of the rules use a number of special symbols and graphics. Transfer from Mac to PC files and then to the format needed by the printers, slightly altered some of the text. Our scans of the initial print proof copies focused on the page length and margins since we had already edited the text of the files. The printers have generously minimized the cost to reprint and we will move ahead with the new print schedule.