Thanks Saratai, appreciate that. Have you read through the latest version though? I have rewritten their entire history, their geography and their clans, and redid almost the entire bestiary, removing all L5R units and characters from it and brought my own ideas from the 7th ed list back instead in the new one. The only thing that has anything to do with L5R in the current version is some artwork (most pics are just normal samurai), the customs and culture section minus the old religion (and without any references to the L5R clans), and few snippets of fluff that make of part of the bestiary.Yeah, that is an awesome picture. It's the cover to Age of Empires 3, the Asian Dynasties, and it looks perfect for a Warhammer book. If you look through it, he sources a lot of really high quality art - mostly from L5R, but there's no shame in that, it's the widest range of Feudal Japan-themed pictures that you'll find that are all done in the same style and quality, and look like they belong in a GW publication.
I'll say that the rules are solid too, it's not broken or unbalanced, it fits in with 8th edition. My only gripe has always been the same with this book - I don't really care for the fluff. That's minor though, and doesn't matter on a tabletop standpoint - all the big units are there, Ninjas, Arquebus and Ashigaru, Samurai, different Japanese demons and mythic creatures, and your Daimyo and other commanders, so you can build just about any army from it.
Neither of us are making any money off this, I'm still dragging on publishing mine to .pdf, and Matthias's name carries a lot more weight in the home-brew community than what mine does (or probably ever will), so you have a better shot at random strangers letting you use his book over mine. A lot of that owes to the quality and quantity of his other projects, which are also all very good.
The only differences between his book and mine are slight - he pulls more units from the L5R setting and sticks to established rule styles, making those units a lot easier for opponents to swallow (no weird boundspells like mine), whereas I tried to make the army unique to both the setting and it's play-style and not cannibalize too much from other armies and sources.
I gave Matthias hell a while back, and feel kinda bad for that. This is my honest opinion of his work - I think that it's very good. Neither book is any more "valid" than the other, they're both homebrew and GW will never touch them, however your opponent is probably more likely to allow you to use his stuff over mine. I've responded to people who've sent me PMs and comments about opponents not allowing my book and told them to give his a shot because his stuff generally will be more accepted and at least for the moment looks like a more finished product. The book is balanced, the rules are all very clear, recognizable, and easy to follow. The only complaint that I have about the execution - and they are minor ones - is that I'm not a fan of how much fluff is taken almost directly from the L5R setting, and I feel that the army itself is too similar to other officials, rather than trying to branch out and be 'the 15th armybook' to Fantasy.
I'd give it a solid 4 out of 5 though. Definitely one of my favorite books that he's done, but I'm a sucker for Japan, haha.