As the nights draw in, The Walking Dead returns to our screens and the publication date of We Will Destroy Your Planet: An Aliens Guide to Conquering the Earth approaches, the Osprey office found itself drawn into one of it's legendary debates. The subject this week? Which Osprey book would we pick to help us survive the end of civilization? Would we go for a tactical title to help us fight our way out of tight situations? Or a book about weaponry so that we can defend ourselves? Or would we go for our favourite ever title, so that we can comfort ourselves with our favourite bits of art whilst cowering in the ruins of an office block?
As ever, with these debates, there was no clear winner - but we thought you might like to see what everyone chose, and why they chose it!
Phil Smith (Commissioning Editor) - Book of choice: Weapon 29 US Combat Shotguns
"Weapon 29 US Combat Shotguns. It's all well and good knowing your enemy, but in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event, there are likely to be so many enemies that detailed knowledge of any one is somewhat redundant. A shotgun tends to offer a definitive answer to most problems, and any foe or threat that can't be stopped by a blast from a shotgun is probably going to be able to walk all over you no matter what you throw at them. It has its drawbacks - bulky ammunition, short range; slow rate of fire - but ammunition is widely available and operation is simple. Anyone with combat experience will no doubt lean towards more familiar weaponry with which they are more skilled, but for Joe Average, a shotgun is a simple, effective and versatile tool.
Chris Norris (UK and Export Sales Executive) - Fortress 82 Scottish Baronial Castles 1250 - 1450
Chris may have been showing off his national pride when he chose Fortress 82 Scottish Baronial Castles 1250-1450 as his book of choice. His reasoning was simple and pretty difficult to argue with.
"No-one's going to apocalypse a Scottish castle."
Rebecca Mortimer (Marketing Assistant) - Zombies: A Hunter's Guide Deluxe Edition
In order to survive a zombie apocalypse I have chosen Zombies: A Hunter's Guide by Joseph McCullough. Packed full of advice, including survival tactics, the best weapons to use to protect yourself and how to identify each type of zombie (yes, there is more than one), this book will keep you safe and ensure your survival. Reassured by the knowledge I have gained from this book I have customised my crutches as weapons (Rebecca fractured her foot a couple of weeks ago and has been hopping round the office ever since!). I intend to reach Atlanta, Georgia where renowned zombie killer Daryl Dixon resides. There I will spend the rest of my days fighting evil with the greatest crossbower the world has ever known.
Richard Sullivan (Managing Director) Weapon 30 The Longbow
The big boss has been wandering around the office for the last couple of weeks purring over his copies of Myth 7 Robin Hood and Weapon 30 The Longbow so it wasn't a huge surprise to see him pick one of these as his apocalypse reading. He disagreed with pretty much every other member of the team quite vociferously coming up with the classic line:
"Good luck finding shot gun shells as you starve to death in your castle. I'm going for Longbow. And BTW. Zombies. They don't exist."
Yet Richard...they don't exist yet....
Joseph McCullough (Project Manager - Osprey Adventures) Elite 192 World War II Tactical Camouflage Techniques
"My first inclination was to go with the SAS Ultimate Guide to Combat, but considering my size and general level of aggression, it probably wouldn't prove that helpful.
Instead, I'm going to take Elite 192: World War II Tactical Camouflage Techniques. If I've got any chance of surviving, it pretty much hinges on not being seen!"
Michael Ramalho (Global Sales and Marketing Manager) - The Men-at-Arms Celebration - Limited Special Edition
I have personally gone for a slightly different solution to this question. It is all very well having a book on Longbows - good luck learning how to make a bow, making your own arrows and perfecting your aim whilst being chased down the road by a pack of scavenging, rabid, dog-rabbit hybrid mutants. Or playing hide and seek with a super intelligent extraterrestrial being who just happens to be able to see your body heat from a mile off. And a book on castles won't help you oust the local fiefdom that sprang up behind it's walls during the fall of civilization, whilst a book on shotguns won't help you find one... which in the UK is a much more challenging activity than you would imagine (or at least I think it is. I hasten to add that I have never actively tried).
No, for me there is a more brutal, practical solution, and it starts with the goat-leather bound, slipcased limited edition of the Men-at-Arms Celebration - and a hefty amount of blunt force trauma. Need a weapon? This is perfect - works in both offensive (biffing that nasty Mad Max type over the head) and defensive ways (extra body armour to stop that knife strike from the waif who hasn't eaten in days and is getting desperate).
Not only that, but because the special edition is bound in leather, it wipes clean easily, so no need to worry about bloodstains messing it up.
And, if that is not enough to satisfy you there are a number of other benefits:
1) Slipcase plus book? Essentially two weapons in one, time to hone those duel-wielding skills
2) It might be a bit heavy - but that means more reading matter. Those apocalyptic nights might be long and empty, so why not pick a book with more to it? Reduces the boredom factor.
3) Feeling cold? Can't get a fire started? A couple of pages makes for perfect kindling in emergency situations, without reducing the effectiveness of the weapon.
4) Feeling ill? Coming down with that humanity destroying virus? Or just ate some bad rat? Either way you might need some paper to clean up.
5) Bartering - this is the rarest Osprey book ever. And once the fires of revolution die out there will be even fewer left. That will increase the value of the Men-at-Arms Celebration. Who knows, that old weapons trader might be a huge Osprey fan - and will hand over glorious loot for it. Provided you haven't had to deploy uses 3 and 4 too often!
The only fly in the ointment is that if you want to load up on the Men-at-Arms Celebration now, you can only get it as an ebook. And it is pretty tough to use a digital file in a post-apocalyptic world. Sorry about that!
So which of our books would you choose to help you survive the apocalypse? Do you agree with our suggestions - or do you think that our choice will lead us into trouble?