Of course, these books are optional for anyone who has the main v2.0 rulebook, as the stats for the fleets concerned are all available online as free PDF downloads. That, of course, is not the point! The manuals have all the stats, plus background fluff and a whole lot of nice photography for us to pore over.
Anyway, here they are;
Both books are glossy hardbacks just over half an inch thick (about 14mm) and run to almost 140 pages each.
After the title page you're onto Admiral Buzzcut and the contents, followed by a double page spread of the three core Kurak homeworlds. This preamble aside, you're into six pages of the Terran Alliance fluff before you're into the stats, which are populated with renders and interspersed with single and double-page spreads of beautifully photographed ships. After the stats, there are a further 8 pages of different suggested fleets, together with background fluff and a picture of a Teuton in that fleets colours.
The Terran chapter ends and the Sorylian begins with a double-page spread of a Sorylian fleet, and then follows the same layout as the Terran description. The Aquans conclude the core race elements, and the Kurak Alliance members then start with a mixed Kurak fleet double spread.
In the Kurak section there are new renders for several ships, including the Tarakians and Terquai;
The Zenian League book is set out in the same way as the KA book, and is similarly slick.
After drooling over pages of core race fluff, stats and pics, we are treated to some new renders for the Ba'kash;
And also a nice surprise for many of you - a lovely new Works Raptor ship....instantly down on my "buy immediately" list;
In conclusion, these books are not necessary for you to play FSA. They are window dressing, nerd-porn for us to read and gloat over when we can't (or don't want to) access the internet. As such, they're essential, and the price tag SG associate with them (£20 RRP) is very good for a production of this quality. Go and buy them now!!!