BUT couldn't this book be re-written / re-worked relatively quickly for Command ?
A static book/manual doesn't make sense because we update the game so much. We've been looking at easy ways to create a living manual that we can grow with the game. Nowadays you do all sorts of neat things from video to pdf print etc. The catch is the time and effort involved in doing this (dev game or dev webapp etc).
I think a book/manual that focused less on the mechanics and more on concepts and execution within the game would be extremely helpful. I've read a lot of military history and study military concepts, but even so, where do I go to find out how to conduct a proper air assault? Watching the tutorial explains the mechanics, but that doesn't tell me much. Should I drop all my equipment at once? Should I drop the troops first, then the equipment? Do I need constant recon? How far from the target should I drop the troops? Should I just literally read FM 3-99 (Air Assault and Operations)?
Setting up a proper CAP would be another one. Tutorials cover the mechanics, but the game has nuances. A book/manual could do the same thing as the intent of the Red Flag exercises - help the reader "fight" a few scenario concepts before I have to spend 30+ hours in game trying to learn everything.
I think this is an example of taking the wrong approach to playing a game like CMO. I find games like Combat Mission, Steel Beasts, etc. fall in the same category. Its about finding an issue or topic you want to learn about and then googling on it, asking questions, and actually playing the same scenario different ways to teach yourself the majority of it.
There is never going to be a book written that goes over the entire breadth of tactical and operational aspects of naval and air warfare. For example, CAP. CAP, by itself, has numerous nuances that are solidly scenario specific. There is almost no plausible way to teach someone how to execute CAP over numerous just by writing about it. It could be almost an entire book by itself. Even military manuals only help a little. The USN book on CAP might not mean anything for someone play the Russian Air Force.
I think that should be the main focus on the forum, especially the War Room section. Take a scenario and go in there and ask how different players would set up CAP and their reasoning. Combine that with trying different things out yourself and you'll quickly start to get how some things can get done.
btw, NWS is Naval Warfare Simulations.
An interesting take. Let's summarize:
1. You can't imagine how such a product would be written, so it shouldn't be written.
2. Players should learn to play, or translating boomer-speak into contemporary parlance, "git gud".
3. A written document would quickly become outdated and players should ask questions on the forums instead. Interesting advice from a poster that routinely gives "read the manual" as an answer to player questions on said forums.
Everyone approaches PC games differently. Since I'm assuming we are discussing the commercial version of this game - and not one of the professional versions - I think it's safe to assume that most of us are here to be entertained by this game. I play CMO to get away from the work and research (and yes, learning) that the normal day entails. Perhaps you take this game more seriously and have the time to read Clausewitz or Mahan in between scenario actions but I would guess some of us don't. Many of us have busy lives and do not have time (nor, honestly, the inclination) to post 5500+ times on a forum for a relatively obscure game.
Here's how I would approach a strategy guide:
1. Discuss some basic principles of air and naval warfare.
2. Discuss the mechanics of the game in more depth than the manual.
3. Most importantly, have the game monetize a new revenue stream from the extremely talented and hardworking player base: have some CMO/CMANO veterans (Beirutdude, Gunner98) write blurbs on how they would approach certain scenarios (that would cover different types of operations - air assault, amphibious landings, fighter sweeps, etc) and share their expertise. Further, allow those same folks to share in that revenue stream. If anyone deserves to make some more money off this game it's the scenario developers that "flesh out" this game.
4. Put links and notes in the guide with references to the forums or other sources of data.
5. If the game truly evolves that often, then update it periodically or leave it as a working document.
Ultimately, if you think a strategy guide is the wrong answer, then simply don't contribute to it or read it. Unless you are arguing that a strategy guide is going to somehow "dumb down" the player base?