This is just a first impression of the book itself, not a review of the rules or how the game plays. I see some interesting concepts and I'm eager to get some miniatures on the table and try it out but that will have to wait for later. I did receive the free mini with the rulebook and he's very nice and is going to look marvelous when I get him painted up.
As with the current trend this is a full color hardback rulebook for the period running from 1500 - 1700. It is a sharp looking book and so far the spine is holding up great. That seems to be the first thing to go lately but so far I have mishandled it repeatedly and haven't lost any pages yet. The interior pages are a heavy weight and there are great pictures on every page. In particular I do like the diagrams and how they are handled in the book so big plus right there. Anything that gives me a visual clue to how things work is great. I have, of course, run through the sequence on shooting and charge attacks. There are a couple of key pieces that are kind of buried in the text and could have been highlighted better (and in fact are also missing off the quick reference sheets as well). There are a couple of things that I'm disappointed with; the army lists and the scenarios. I was hoping for a more extensive set of army lists and it didn't provide nearly enough information for covering such a broad period of time. In particular I was hoping for at list one list for Denmark and that was pretty much glossed over and off we go straight to the Swedes (certainly a more interesting army, I admit). For the most part I think this is a pretty minor quibble and maybe there is a more extensive army list book in the works. The scenario section overall is great, beautiful maps and detailed orders of battle for six very specific scenarios. My beef with these is that there is no scale on the maps. All six maps are the same size and I have no idea if they are meant for a 6' x 4' table (doubtful) or maybe a 6' x 8' table (I'm betting on this). Another small knock is that there are no generic scenarios provided although there is a section for how to point out your own army, again its less extensive than I would have liked. Really these are pretty minor issues and certainly should not be something that keeps you from adding this to your (if you are like me) extensive library of rulebooks.
One trend that this book doesn't follow is that of providing a healthy section of modeling information. There is nothing on how to paint and base your troops or how to make scenery. I think this is great. I know that GW considers this a must include thing but I don't feel that these things should be included in a rulebook just to increase the page count (and the price). This information is readily available in other places and really doesn't have a place here, I didn't even realize it was missing when I went through the book till I went looking for it.
That's it, just a first impression. Its a well done book and I'm certainly glad that its found its way into my collection. Now I just need to paint the mini that came with it and the several hundred other TYW miniatures that are strewn across my workbench.