The game was finally started on Saturday. We're playing Scenario 2 of the original game, using the original rules, including all the optional rules listed in the rule book.

We were both VERY rusty, so it took about 2 1/2 hours just to set up, since we were having to check the rule book every five minutes to make sure we weren't planning anything that might end up being illegal. The first turn also took about 3 hours, for the same reasons. But the second turn only took about an hour, due to the fact that we were getting back into the groove again, as well as the fact that we were both running low on supply!

The Iranians have opted for an aggressive defense, starting with divisions in and around Tabriz, Rasht, Teheran and Mashad. After two turns, the Soviets have vaporized the division around Tabriz and have battered the division near Mashad pretty badly. But the Rasht division is still holding the Caspian coast road in pretty good order.

The B-52's have made their first flight and immediately targeted the airbase in Afghanistan, which is responsible for the Backfire sorties. Two hits inflicted. US Special Forces are in theater now, and will be wreaking havoc with the Soviets shortly. CV-63 is still skulking south of Diego Garcia.

The Soviets may have to take a breather to bulk up supplies again before making another push for Rasht, and then Teheran. 30 Game Turns is a LONG time. If the Soviets keep advancing at the rate they're moving now, it may be a short game...

One rule issue has popped up: The "Detection" rules on 33L-4 say:

"In order to attempt to detect an enemy unit, the enemy unit must meet the following requirements:
* It must be within the Detection Range of a friendly ground, air or naval unit.
* IMMEDIATELY prior to the detection attempt, the enemy must have moved OR the enemy unit must have used its ASM, Bombardment, Anti-Air or Sub-Surface Rating against the unit attempting to detect.
EXCEPTION: A unit may always attempt to detect an enemy unit with which it shares a hex, whether the enemy unit has moved or attacked or not, provided no previous detection attempt has been made at that range."

Fine. But in the "Naval-Naval Detection" example on 34R-2, there is a very clear description of a US submarine moving around, making detection attempts against Soviet surface unit that has NOT moved, has NOT fired, and which does NOT share a hex with the detecting U.S. unit. Not sure which is correct, the rule or the example.

Also, it's not very clear to us if an Air Unit, for example, can go out on a Strike mission against a Naval unit that has not yet been detected, detect it, and then immediately strike it. Other sections of the rules seem to indicate that you must have a target in mind when you launch a strike mission. If the unit has not been detected yet, then it can't possibly be a firm target. What happens if you don't detect the intended target? Are you free to just keep moving around hoping to detect something else to kill?

We instituted a house rule whereby an air unit cannot strike a naval unit that it has just detected. Effectively, we've created a "Recon" mission. So, the U.S. P-3 can, during the first Action Stage, go out and detect a submarine, but it cannot strike it. Another strike mission must be launched, either by another air unit during the same Action Stage or by the P-3 unit during the next Action Stage, when it can launch a valid strike mission against a known target.

We'll see how that works out.

-Mark/Scott

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David,

Yes, I mentioned that exception in my original post on this thread. But I still think there's a disconnect between the Detection rule on 33L-4, which says that "IMMEDIATELY prior to the detection attempt, the enemy must have moved OR the enemy unit must have used its ASM, Bombardment, Anti-Air or Sub-Surface Rating against the unit attempting to detect", and the Naval-Naval Detection example on 34R-2, where there is a very clear description of a US submarine moving around, making detection attempts against a Soviet surface unit that has NOT moved, has NOT fired, and which does NOT share a hex with the detecting U.S. submarine.

The exception only refers to units that share a hex, and that's what had me scratching my head.

-Mark
My guess is that 34R1 overrides the parent section 33L4. 34R1 states "A friendly naval unit may attempt to detect any enemy naval unit that is within its Surface (or Sub-Surface, for submarines) Detection Range. The player announces the detection attempt immediately as either unit enters a hex,"

So this would mean that the movement of the phasing player is counted as meeting the requirement of moving or firing..for 33L4. IMHO

David
Agreed.

-Mark
I remember a question about air damage, but can not seem to find it now. The question as I remember it was could you move below the 0 track..thus not taking a hit. In the Insert page 6 "Short Range Air-Air Interception Example" clearly shows ECM driving the result below zero and no hits are taken.
Of course.
I lost the initiative on turn 8 in my game. It's been many years ago that I last played GS and I can't seem to remember this ever happening before. Is this an "end of the world" thing for the proud Soviet armies?? I know he'll be putting some part of my forces out of supply in his turn of the third action stage. Anyone else ever experienced this??
Sure, Steve. I don't think it's that uncommon at all. My Soviet opponent nearly lost the initiative on Turn 2, because it doesn't take much to accumulate 15 hits! Many of them were self-inflicted also. Every time he uses chemical weapons, he inflicts a hit on one of his ground units... and moves himself one step closer to losing the initiative. And he was doing that 5 or 6 times per turn. We were thinking that this was a bit weird, and maybe (for initiative purposes) we should only count hits received during ground combat. So we checked the rules and they're very clear that hits taken for ANY reason count toward the loss-of-initiative total.

It's also been a long time since I've played and I forget most of the successful strategies and tactics. I'm having to re-learn all that stuff again. But I do recall that, once the U.S. player becomes competent, it's really not a competitive game any more. If you're the Soviet player, get used to eating shoe leather because supplies will always be lacking, unless you commit a substantial part of your forces to depot-guarding... in which case you won't reach your military objectives. It's a tough situation for the Soviets and you almost have to count on the U.S. player making a blunder (losing the Supply Head, losing a carrier, etc.) in order to have a shot at winning.

But, I have to say that I'm enjoying the game immensely. The game system demands total attention of both players at all times, which keeps it interesting.

-Mark
We too just dusted this game off..its been at least 10 years but I'll bet longer since we played. The big problem for us was the first several games..and the mistakes we made..due to not remembering a rule or just the mucking up the flow of the game. The use of Air Power is very critical to this game, if you goof or have not learned to play it well..then it will come back and bite you. The US has a great advantage, with better air units and a much greater AWAC detection ranges. It is a very interesting game though, one of my favorites (A3R, VG's Civil War being the top two and most played by far). The first part of the game always goes against the US player (the Iran vrs Iraq war aside) and then at some point the tide turns. Like playing Britain in A3R you must have a plan to win..as the non-US player..and you must control your forces well to achieve those goals. (Or hope the US player makes a big mistake)

Now it is normal for the initiative to switch at least once in the game, and I remember 3 switches when the first one is early in the game. I do not think that this is critical, in the long run, since not much tends to happen during the Reserve Phase. What can be critical is that you do not plan for a possible double move. This has created a few minor and major disasters in the past, when the initiative changes and the player loosing it did not plan ahead.

A side note for those following things..the last of USSR's air units (before the break-up) turn out to be quite a match for the US, and their AWAC's system has a good jamming ability as well as a fair detection range..they now use Israeli radar for detection. The big US advantage is now its stealth units.

David
Hi! I'm Mark's opponent in the game he's been talking about. This was always one of my favorite "almost never played" games & I've been delighted to get a chance actually to give it a try. Space constraints & a lack of opponents had always thwarted my previous attempts to play this through to completion.

One of the things I really like about this game is that it has such a realistic feel to it while at the same time being about a situation that never actually happened. So you can get a sense of what an actual Soviet invasion of Iran might have been like while, at the same time, creating your own strategies & tactics since there is no history to guide you in what to do. Even games on a Soviet invasion of Europe rely on the actual war plans of the combatants.

In our game, Mark set up in a forward defense & made me fight for my initial gains. This slowed down the Soviet advance & caused some damage to my formations (& led me to use chemicals much earlier than I would have wanted to). But once I had wiped out his frontline divisions, I should have been able to sweep up many of his other cities like a bunch of grapes. He might have slowed me up just enough to allow the USA to arrive in force before I could make any really substantial gains. As noted I almost lost the initiative, which I think would have been very bad for me. This was partly due to the hits from using chemicals but also due to B-52 strikes, & naval combat.

Scott
The last rules issue we're debating is the "Formation Change" rule.

The rules say that only one formation change per Game Turn is allowed.

Scott interprets that to mean that a unit can go from Travel to Hasty Assault, for example, as a single formation change.

I think that the change from "Travel" to "Movement to Contact" would be one formation change, and then "Movement to Contact" to "Hasty Assault" would be a second formation change, and therefore not allowable in a single Game Turn.

Does anyone see anything in the rules to clarify this?

-Mark
You can make a single change to any formation, by paying the movement cost. I can know of no rule that states you must be in Movement to Contact, to make the change.

David
OK, I guess that makes sense. As long as the unit has the movement points to leave the formation it's in, and enter the formation it want to go to, it seems logical that it should be able to do it.

I was thinking that going from "Deliberate Assault" to "Deliberate Defense" is a much bigger shift than going from "Movement to Contact" to "Deliberate Defense". But I see that this is accounted for by the higher movement point cost to leave "Deliberate Assault".

Thanks,
Mark

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