Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I like PDF rule Books!

If you follow my blog you will know I played a solo game this past weekend. I used the rule set form 15mm UK called USE ME 001 SciFi rules. These rules if you do not know about them are a simple set of fast play rules for Skirmish, Platoon, or Company level gaming. So during the game I ended up with a bunch of questions, and fired off my questions to a group a great guys involved with these rules. They all responed, answering all my questions, and also pointing out some of my questions are answered in their other titles.

Now 15mm UK started with 001 SciFi, but have created a number of other titles covering different game types. USE ME 002 = Fantasy, USE ME 003= WWII. USE ME 004= Modern, USE ME 005 ACW, USE ME 006= StarShip batles, USE ME 007 Post Apocalypse, USE ME 008= The Wild West, USE ME 009= Zombie Dawn, USE ME 010= Support pack, USE ME 011= CyberPunk, USE ME 013= Horror. Now each book has some extra rules in them, and you can mix and match rules from each book. So Most of what I need answers for were in the USE ME 007 book. I own the following in PDF USE ME 001, 002, 003, 004, 007, 010. In non PDF (printed booklet) I own USE ME 001, 002, 007, 009.

Now for the reason why I like the PDF rules.
I went through the PDF USE ME-007 and saw a large 4 page section on advanced rules. these rules cover things like Close combat specialty, Anti-Tank, and some 27 other rules. In the first book there were only 4 of these rules. So I can print both books, and thumb through them as needed during a game, but that is a pain. So I have taken the PDF (with out permissions) and altered the book, then printed it in a booklet style.

In this photo you will see the hard copy from 15mm UK (on the right), and my printed PDF booklet (on the left). The Printed one is a 8.5X11 letter paper folded in half, with the edges trimmed off to make it cleaner looking. You will also see how the original copy is quite warn from thumbing through it.

This next photo shows the printed PDF booklet opened to the page ware I have inserted the pages from USE ME 007.

Now to how I managed the pages.
If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat (lots of money) this is very easy to do. If you do not have lots of money, you have to get a bit crafty with it. There are a number of Free PDF editors out there. Here is One CutePDF Editor. For me I have Linux Ubuntu at home and used a free tool called PDF Shuffler. Ether tool will allow you to extract pages, then insert pages in to PDF files. When extracting pages make sure you do not delete them from the original PDF. To prevent this I have placed a copy of both books in a working folder called Workbench. I open the book USE ME-007 found the pages I wanted extracted, for this job it was pages 10 through 13. I used the extract button, and saved them as a file in the Workbench folder. Now I close USE ME-007, and open USE ME-001. With 001 open I went to the page I wanted to be before the inserted pages, in this case it was page 12. I now went to the insert option of the PDF editor selected the extracted pages saved in the Workbench folder, and inserted them after page 12. Now I went through the book page by page to make sure it was they way I wanted it, then save it as a new PDF. I called the PDG USE_ME_001_007.PDF.

Now as for how I made the booklet.
Back in December I wrote up a how to on how to print, and make booklets.
December"s Posting.
This covers how to print, and then how to put it together. As we all know a normal stapler will not be able to reach the center of this booklet 5.5 inches in from the edge. So I have devised a method using the fact that the stapler will open so you can staple flat. Lay out the cover page, place on a cardboard box, and drive the staples through the pages. Flip and fold the staples, and booklet, trim the edges and you are done.

So I will be looking through the other booklets I have and seeing if there is any thing I should be adding to my play book.

If you feel this post violates any copy rights, or you have issue with me altering you copy righted material please let me know @ noelvh AT theorky DOT net and I will remove this post.


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