I'm nearly convinced that Stardock's 'continuous development' approach makes a serious printed manual pretty much a waste of resources, other than as a collector's item for the state of a game at RTM for physical distribution.
That's not to say that I haven't had great satisfaction with good manuals from older games like MoM, Civ1-2, or SMAC. And more importantly, it's a poor excuse for the lack of effort on soft documentation like PDF manuals and even less of an excuse for...
... the opaqueness and superficiality of the "Hiregamenon" in-game manual.
I have no idea how Random House people were integrated into production, but if they took much money at all in the name of editorial contributions to the game itself, they were scamming Stardock.