Chain of Command – First Contact…

CoC-Cover-FinalIt is a well known rule of war that ‘No plan survives first contact with the enemy’, and it’s the force that most quickly adapts to the situation that will usually win out in the end.

Well, if this was applied to the launch of Chain of Command, then Too Fat Lardies have most certainly carried the day.

As I mentioned earlier this week, Chain of Command was released on the 21st August, with an initial batch of 1700 pre-orders. Many of these included bundles of both hardcopy rules and PDF or Tablet editions. The PDFs started hitting people’s inbox soon after dawn on D-Day, and there was even rumours that by mid-morning, the first hardcopies had started dropping onto the doorsteps of the locals.

Then, as the day progressed, two issues appeared. The first concerned some over-zealous copy editing, which, rather than removing an errant space from a line had removed an entire line from Page 16 of the rules…unfortunately, the line removed did contain some key information about being able to fire after deployment.

Secondly, due to a family emergency, the Tablet Edition of the rules were not ready to ship.

How did TFL deal with this issue? First off, within a few minutes of the error being discovered, a corrected version of the errant rules page 16 was available to download. Rich Clarke then posted on the TFL Yahoo Group that he had produced a corrective sticker for the rulebook, and that people should contact him via email and he would mail it out (in the mean time, he’s started the mammoth task of gluing said sticker into his remaining stock of rulebooks)

Rich then pulled an all-nighter and e-mailed  PDF copies of the rules to everyone who had ordered a Tablet Edition, as compensation for not getting that edition on the day of release (mine arrived at 5am yesterday morning). (Apparently, the PDF/Tablet editions had to be mailed out in small batches, otherwise the TFL IP address would have been flagged as a Spambot)

Furthermore, the Tablet Edition (With a corrected Page 16!) arrived at 3pm, and I got home to discover my hardcopy rules bundle had also been delivered.

And during all this, Richard has been constantly on the TFL Yahoo group answering queries.

And bear this in mind, Too Fat Lardies has a single full-time employee – Rich himself.

In this day and age, we are very quick to criticise poor customer service, and perhaps too slow to recognise and applaud those companies that do it right.

Huge Kudos to Rich at Too Fat Lardies. Not only has he produced a fantastic product, but has backed that product launch up with the most excellent customer service.  Sir, I salute you!

4 Comments on Chain of Command – First Contact…

  1. As a person affected by this (I order a pre-order bundle that included the Tablet version) I completely agree with your statements. In this day and age of Amazon.com, and the expectations that gives us, for delivery and customer service, I have sometimes been dissapointed by some wargames companies service. (Litko.net — ahem)

    I was quite pleasantly surprised when I got an email from TFL at 9:45pm PST (which would be when reasonable people are sleeping in the UK) with the “regular” PDF attachment and an explanation, and a promise of the Tablet version coming soon. The Tablet version PDF followed a few hours later.

    This is above and beyond, in my opinion, and it just makes me love TFL even more.

  2. Aníbal Invictus // August 23, 2013 at 09:58 // Reply

    I agree totally with your comments, being one of those affected by the tablet versión problem. The reaction by Richard Clarke to the problems mentioned was superb. Top-notch cliente service indeed and additional reasons to keep supporting TFL. And now to play the rules!

  3. Good to hear that small companies can put the big boys to shame over issues like typos and fast service. I won’t mention names!

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