From: Shropshire, UK
ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
To be clear, the printed manual has nothing to do with how we would set the base price in this instance. That would be generally covered by the additional $10 cost of the physical copy.
The decision on a printed manual here was based on two issues. First, 200 pages is our limit for manuals that fit in the box and are affordable to print with our normal printer. This came in just over that and frankly we had some bad experiences with the WITP AE manual using the printer in China that we really did not want to go through again.
Second, printing a manual of this size and getting it back would take at least six weeks from the time we had the manual ready to print. In the case of WITP AE for that large manual it ended up taking more like three months and we had that manual finished much earlier before release than the BFTB manual. We would have had to delay this release at least a month and possibly more depending on what happened with the printer.
We decided that given how things went with the over 200 pager in WITP AE, it was not worth an additional month or more of somewhat unpredictable delay in the release of an already finished game. I apologize to those who really prefer a printed manual, I'm generally in your camp but we have to evaluate this with each release.
With a 200+ page manual and 3 additional supplemental manuals / guides I personally would only buy the game with a printed manual, and as with WITP:AE would be prepared to pay for it.
If you released BFTB with a printed manual, which from your post wouldn't actually require any additional increase in the price I may well be tempted to buy it even if there was a delay in getting the physical version as buying physical and download would be no more expensive than physical only and I could still start playing while waiting for my manual to arrive with the physical part of my order.
The manual was one of the things that for me justified the price of WITP:AE
"In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill." - Winston Churchill