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Subject: Minefield variant rss

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Leon Stansfield
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An unclear worded passage in den rulebook gave me the idea of a minefield variant. This variant makes the game much more difficult for the Soviets.

As the rulebook (page 9 – “Laying Mines”) states out: “Once laid a minefield remains active for the entire game”. More than once you will also find the phrase: “triggers the mine”. Does “minefield” and “mine” mean the same thing in this paragraph? I think so. But … What if there are actual two separate things?

When a Soviet vessel triggers a mine only the mine on this specific square will explode (and not the entire minefield). Both NATO and Soviet player need a token to highlight the square containing the mine detonated on both game boards.

Now the Soviet player has a rough idea of where the minefield is. This vaguely knowledge would slow him down quite a bit.
 
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Nick Case
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Although NATO lay a minefield five squares long a ship won't hit the entire minefield, just a mine so the wording is correct.

As for the variant, well house rules are fine if you all enjoy them, but based on my experience in my last game I'd avoid it. In my game I was NATO and getting hammered. I had one sub left with 1 & 1/2 damage and pinged by both destroyers. Desperate times etc so my sub reached 200' water and I laid out a minefield which destroyer #1 hit next move. Much swearing ensued as the Soviet player applied heavy thought into where I was. He worked it out but by that time had totally forgotten about the mine and steamed destroyer #2 into the same minefield. Even more swearing. 5 turns later and a container ship did exactly the same again. Obviously the Soviet was having a bad day and maybe future plays might not see this again BUT, if cubes had been put down to mark the minefield position, the visual reminder would have certainly stopped the second and third mine detonation. Far from slowing the Soviets down, this would have been a major assistance.
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Leon Stansfield
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Thanks for your explanation, Nick. Was not quite sure about the wording … It was a little misleading for me. Because I have misunderstood the paragraph therefore that house rule makes no sense.
In my previous games the Soviet player was capable enough to stay in small distances to the subs once they reach shallow waters. Even small speed was adequate to keep up with the subs.
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Andrew Benford
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jumpwalker wrote:
As the rulebook (page 9 – “Laying Mines”) states out: “Once laid a minefield remains active for the entire game”. More than once you will also find the phrase: “triggers the mine”. Does “minefield” and “mine” mean the same thing in this paragraph? I think so. But … What if there are actual two separate things?


The minefield piece defines the limit of the minefield and the design with five symbols indicates that it covers five squares on the Deep board and not that it consists of just five mines. The number of mines in the field is indeterminate and so, as the rules state, the minefield remains active throughout the game.
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Andrew Benford
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jumpwalker wrote:
In my previous games the Soviet player was capable enough to stay in small distances to the subs once they reach shallow waters. Even small speed was adequate to keep up with the subs.


This won't always be the case particularly if NATO can stretch the Soviet forces by operating their submarines in different areas of the Barents Sea. Also, the minefields can come to the fore when playing the weather mechanic with the Soviet forces possibly having to make up ground to get close enough to a submarine's expected position having been delayed by a storm and moving at speed through a minefield.

Making the Soviets decide to redeploy their weapons and fuel as a result of the threat created by the presence of a submarine in the vicinity of an ice-station may create the situation where a logistic ship unwittingly triggers a mine. Conversely the Soviets may become too cautious and keep their stores at sea in slow moving Container Ships; this will keep the stores safe but they will be of no use to the destroyers.

Minefields are of course indiscriminate and by their static nature rely on a bit of luck (and a careless enemy) in order to cause havoc but the fact that they could be lurking below the waves somewhere in shallow water gives the Soviets something else to consider even if NATO don’t necessarily get to enjoy a kill.
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Mark Robinson
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Much swearing ensued as the Soviet player applied heavy thought into where I was. He worked it out but by that time had totally forgotten about the mine and steamed destroyer #2 into the same minefield. Even more swearing. 5 turns later and a container ship did exactly the same again.


LOL! I'd have loved to have watched that game
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