You list your fifth favorite (FFG) game as StarCraft, which has 48 pages in its PDF rulebook.
40 pages is nothing, really. SPI in its heyday had rules at least that long (Air War was over 60 pages as I remember). I love it! Call me geek, but the longer the rule book, the better as long as it's clearly written, lots of illustrations, well-organized, and has examples of play. FFG rules generally meet all those criteria. So I'm glad it has a long rule book. But it also needs, as others have said, a one-page summary, player's aids, and an index so that learning and remembering is fast and easy. (for that matter, put the essential rules on cards as Fantasy Roleplay is doing as well as in the rulebook.)
An an INDEX..the remark about SPI was right on,a lot of their rules were fold outs & printed on both sides & the fold outs were rather big.It was like trying to read a newspaper on a full bus.
Remember in those days of War Gaming the first thing the Rules said were that the die had nothing to do with movement,like "OK this is not like Monoply"
The way of iron and the ax,
this Dwarf's tale nears told.
Now extract their cruel tax,
the stone grows cold..cold...cold
Is it just me or does a 40 page instruction guide seem a bit much.
Here you go. Rule book is only 3 pages.
XBL Gamertag - Frost King
I don't mind a big rulebook. FFG nowadays usually has plenty of full color examples of play that take up a lot of space (StarCraft comes to mind). A few pages of summaries, ads for other games, an index, etc. Really, it's probably not all that complex, if you can handle other FFG games, I don't see how this can be much harder to learn.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. - Douglas Adams
(kaleljorson7 on boardgamegeek.com)
At one time one of my favorite games was A World at War by GMT Games. Strategic level World War II with 2,800 counters, four 22"x30" mapsheets, 196-page rulebook, 72-page Status Sheet booklet, 24-page Research and Diplomacy booklet, and a 24-page Scenario booklet. Sadly out of print.
The designer maintains a web site for the game at http://www.aworldatwar.org/. You can download the rules from that site. If you think 40 pages is a long rulebook, prepare to be amazed...
Definitely looks like the ones superklaus mentioned. Things that prevent me from trying one of these ? Finding players, finding time, wanting to see pretty contents and not thousands of ugly and old fashioned material, and, not to forget : have you realized all these games always refer to war ? second world war or wars in general ? man, that's a bit sad. I love any topic for any game, and war is definitely an okay theme, but hey, I'm no war obsessional either...
My Wishlist : A Game of Thrones / Ad Astra / BattleLore / Chaos in the Old World / Conan / Dust / Middle-Earth Quest / Runewars / Starcraft / Tannhäuser / Tide of Iron / War of the Ring - You love these games ? Try to convince me to buy them ! I still hesitate...