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Subject: "MUKDEN" RULE PROBLEM AND FIX rss

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Mark Saha
United States
California
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The Modern Battles Standard Rule "Strategic Weapons Interphase" is flawed in games like MUKDEN/WURZBURG in which strategic weapons are nuclear missile strikes.

(1) During the Interphase before start of a Game-Turn, both players secretly plot any nuclear strikes for next turn. Then execute any strikes they plotted the previous turn.

(2) The primary effect of a strike is to disrupt all units within range of its impact hex. Such units are inverted, cannot move, and have no Zone of Control -- but recover on the following turn.

The "art" of plotting a nuclear strike is, off course, to "off-target" the impact hex to the enemy rear, so collateral damage disrupts his front line units but does not reach yours.

Then, during your movement phase, you can either simply slip past the disrupted units into his rear, or surround and eliminate them.

(3) The PROBLEM with the Interphase rule here is that it hugely favors the first player:

He can move immediately to break though a second player's disrupted units. But if first player's units are disrupted by a strike, he moves first and can redeploy undisrupted units to fill ZOC holes in his line.

MY PROPOSED SOLUTION:

The obvious answer is to drop the "Strategic Interphase", and give each player a separate "Strategic Weapons Plotting & Execution Phase" at start of his own Player-Turn. During this Player-Turn Phase One he:

(i) Executes all his strikes plotted in his last Player-Turn
(ii) Then plots any strikes for his next turn

Strategic weapons add a significant new dimension to play WURZBURG and MUKDEN, but does not skewer the games beyond recognition. Since these are in limited supply, things do not go totally out of control. But add a nail biting new element for players who have mastered non-nuclear play. I like them a lot, and recommend them at least for occasional variety. But it takes some experience to plot them properly; not just the "off-targeting" but being able to estimate "where" the front is going to be in another game-turn.

STRATEGIC INTERPHASES IN CHINESE FARM & GOLAN

Strategic Interphase works fine in these games, where it is used by the Israeli Player to attempt suppression of Arab SAMs. Israel air that suppress in the Strategic Interphase are NOT available for tactical air support or FPF in the subsequent game-turn.

But there is no reason why SAM suppression cannot occur in an Israeli opening "SAM Suppression Phase", so long as such air units are set aside for remainder of turn. Whether you call that a "Strategic Interphase" or "Israeli SAM Suppression Phase" makes no difference.

CORRECTION: Oops! I think the Syrians move first in Golan. Best stick with the Interphase so Israli (if he wishes) can get in a SAM suppression before putting aircraft in harm's way for FPF.

MODERN BATTLES II:

I don't recall off-hand if there are Interphase problems there, but if so the above solutions can be applied to them.

ms
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