Help support TMP

"PDFs Would You Buy Them? " Topic

72 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Consumer Affairs Message Board

Back to the Wargaming in Canada Message Board

Back to the Wargaming in Australia Message Board

Back to the Wargaming in New Zealand Message Board

Back to the Wargaming in the United Kingdom Message Board

Back to the Wargaming in General Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

4,638 hits since 12 Jun 2005
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

Shagrat4414 Jun 2005 7:40 a.m. PST

Yes I buy pdf. The ones I bought were pretty cheap.

I made myself a copy and put the electronic version onto my flash card in case I lose the printed version or dump my tea on it.

The ones I have bought are not usually available in my local store, and I found the whole buying online pretty easy.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Mar 2016 8:34 a.m. PST


Here is a picture of the battlefield. Soviets enter from the east (bottom of the image) while the US/NATO deploys anywhere behind the first (smaller) river. Terrain notes:

  • The one swamp behind the first river and between the highways is impassable to all ground vehicles, even amphibious ones. The swamp limits line of sight.
  • There are five areas of rough ground mostly adjoining the second (larger) river. No effect on infantry but vehicles may find it particularly slow/difficult to traverse. The rough patches also block line of sight.
  • The fuel depot on the rail line is at the far end (top) of the map, pretty much dead center.
  • In addition to the city (Top right corner) there are four villages. Villages will be treated as "areas" rather than individual buildings.
  • Woods are all light woods. Limit LOS and slower for vehicles but not impassable.
  • Not shown, but visible in the photos previously sent, are fields, orchards, farmhouses etc.
  • The individual trees in the photos are for effect only and have no effect on game play except the lines of cypress looking trees along a few highway spots do block LOS. The other single trees scattered across the table are just for looks.


  • RudyNelson11 Mar 2016 8:54 p.m. PST


    trailape13 Mar 2016 2:25 a.m. PST

    PDF rules?
    Why yes,… I have several sets.
    Very convenient to have my rules on my iPad

    chironex23 Mar 2016 3:24 a.m. PST

    Yes, and will continue to do so anytime I need it and can get the chance. I can print at work, as it is my job to make sure the machine will do it, and we have shop printers anyway.
    Just because that doesn't work for some doesn't mean it doesn't work for anyone. Especially if it's a book that can cost upwards of fifty bucks just for the postage. And isn't offered as a paperback.

    hurrahbro28 Mar 2016 1:12 p.m. PST

    Since this thread started (back in 2005) there has been the arrival of affordable touch screen tablets of a generous size.
    Back then? I would of said no except for items I very much sought but were out of print and scarce. Now? Semi-regular.

    I use a Linx 1010 tablet and it is just right for flicking through rules. Tables and charts can be printed off, all in all.

    Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2016 3:07 p.m. PST

    I prefer Old School but If I want them, I get them anyway I can.

    Shadowcat2028 Mar 2016 6:13 p.m. PST

    As an older gamer and collector I prefer bound rule books, first to add to my huge collection taking up way to much space, and second they have resale value when I get too old to store the stuff. Then there is the cost of printing them off on my printer with it's way over priced ink cartridges. Cheaper to buy a printed copy then print my own. Would only look at PDF's for older out of print stuff and would hunt E-bay looking for a copy first.

    Ottoathome29 Mar 2016 3:29 a.m. PST


    ced110629 Mar 2016 10:23 p.m. PST

    As hurrahbro says, touchscreens are getting cheaper. I found a 7" screen at Fry's, so might as well get a tablet to store my PDFs, access the interwebs, play games, read stuff online, etc.

    For me, PDFs vs. hardcopies is a false choice. I don't have the time to play all the games I'd like to (including RPGs), and the games that don't make it to the table might as well be kept as PDFs for now. I already have plenty of boardgames taking up closet space. I don't need unplayed books on the shelves as well!

    capncarp09 May 2016 7:40 a.m. PST

    I like to buy hardcopy versions of my rules and supplements. And a lot of the newer efforts are gorgeous in their art and layout. But sometimes I will buy the pdf if cash is short and I really am interested, or if I'm in the "ooh, shiny!" impulsive/whimsical phase, in case it isn't quite what I wanted, less money invested.
    I figure that the writers and publishers will get their payment either way, and will also keep producing that way.

    kodiakblair09 May 2016 9:36 a.m. PST

    Big fan of PDFs.

    Having moved house end of January I'm well aware of the space and weight rule books.

    See no reason to print them out when a 10.1" tablet can be had for £40.00 GBP on eBay,that should be more than big enough. After 35 years gaming I know what painted figures on a table look like so photos hold little interest.

    Never saw PDF software that didn't allow adding bookmarks,no pieces of paper falling out or getting lost.

    Only time I'll buy hardcopy is if there's no PDF option. No intention of adding to my groaning shelves,in fact I've scanned most of my rule books.

    VicCina Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2016 9:18 a.m. PST

    I buy PDFs all the time. Love having them. I can print them out and get them bound with a spiral binding and they work perfectly.

    Mute Bystander16 May 2016 5:48 p.m. PST

    Many of my rules are Two Hour Wargames I spend the extra $1 USD to $5 USD for the PDF and Print combination and get both a hard copy for the stacks where I store the gold copy and have the PDF in Dropbox, accessible to my desktop, dying ancient laptop, iPad, and (God Forbid) iPhone if needed. Instant reading of the rules after download and delayed gratification when USPS delivers the print format.

    The Print copy never leaves my sight at game table. I do print any QRS or critical tables from PDF rules for one time use (great if they last longer and most do.)

    PDF has a place but I like the print copy also just as I prefer printed books (cannot help it -Dad was a printer) over e-formats. I would note that some books I do only own in PDF because there may no longer be a print format available.

    jameschill17 May 2016 4:04 p.m. PST

    Living here in the Philippines it is hard to get printed rule books and can be expensive to have them mailed out. I find having PDF versions much better. I would even pay for PDF versions of my current printed rule books. I use my iPad for viewing the rules which works great. Also with storage space limited I can store all my rules on my iPad and have easy access to them when I want. I do hope more publishers make them available.

    Lfseeney06 Jul 2016 1:33 p.m. PST

    These days no PDF no sale.
    IPad and Surface Pro allow me to use them anywhere, search by word when looking up a rule or by phrase.
    No need to ever print them out.

    VVV reply13 Jul 2016 6:54 a.m. PST

    "But how many of those club members would actually have bought the rules? How many lost sales were there?"

    However the club member who does so is breaking copyright.

    Don't want the rules, fair enough don't buy them. But distributing them for free all over is still theft. Just like going into a supermarket, taking something off the shelf and walking out without paying for it (well no one was going to pay for this one).

    Thats why I have opted for having watermarked pdfs, If someone is going to break my copyright, its at least nice to know who has done so, and they spread their name every time an illegal copy is made.

    CriticalGeek20 Jul 2016 4:31 p.m. PST

    I can take them or leave them when it comes to rules on PDF. I prefer to learn the rules with an actual physical copy, but it is handy to just have my iPad at the table for rules reference. Saves my book some potential wear and tear too.

    UshCha28 Jul 2016 1:27 a.m. PST

    As a publisher I love them its the only way we do it.

    We use Wargames vault for all our stuff. Why becuse it keeps costs down for the players. I personally have a PATHERLOGICAL HATE of over produced rule sets that have un-representative picture on glossy paper. Technical manuals, which is what wargames rules are as far as I an concerned should just get on with the job of describing the system.

    PDF is great as its international, removes the cost and hassle of postage and gives the player value for money.

    TMP Reader228 Jul 2016 7:04 a.m. PST

    I prefer an actual hardcopy -- the feel and smell of parchment thing. If reasonably priced, I normally purchase the PDF as well for portability and weight issues.

    Visceral Impact Studios04 Aug 2016 2:08 a.m. PST

    However the club member who does so is breaking copyright.

    Don't want the rules, fair enough don't buy them. But distributing them for free all over is still theft. Just like going into a supermarket, taking something off the shelf and walking out without paying for it (well no one was going to pay for this one).

    Thats why I have opted for having watermarked pdfs, If someone is going to break my copyright, its at least nice to know who has done so, and they spread their name every time an illegal copy is made.

    We've run into this problem and, as a result, in the future we won't be publishing main rule books or major releases in PDF format. PDFs will be reserved to smaller, supporting publications.

    People are brazen about pirating games. One fellow, who didn't know who I was, proudly showed me his pirated copy of Age of Madness at a game convention. He loved the rules which were given to him by a friend who had bought the PDF.

    I didn't say anything to him as that horse had left the barn. But after that and related experiences I vowed then and there that I wouldn't release major books in PDF format.

    Weasel04 Aug 2016 8:06 p.m. PST

    Piracy is an unfortunate fact of life unfortunately.

    It extends to other services as well. I have friends that do all manner of illustration, layout and similar work, professional grade too.

    All of them have stories of being stiffed for payment by people who value creative work at zero.

    Pages: 1 2 

    Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.