The format for this year is again swiss-elim. Three rounds of swiss play will advance eight players to single elimination.
Scenarios to be played in each swiss round are pre-designated as follows:
Round 1: D Falklands
Round 2: B Search and Destroy
Round 3: A Sub Duel
Players will be matched randomly for Round 1, then randomly by like records (to the extent possible) for Rounds 2 and 3.
In the case of an odd number of players in a given swiss round, a bye will be awarded to the player with the worst record who has not already received one (in the case of players with equal records byes will be awarded first to the most recent past champion who has not yet received one, and then randomly if none are present).
Players will not play the same opponent twice during the swiss rounds. If players who have already played each other are randomly matched in Rounds 2 or 3 they will be rematched with new opponents.
To select sides each player draws a random number, the player with the higher number has choice of sides, the player with the lower number will then play first.
The eight players with the best win-loss record after the three swiss rounds will advance to single elimination. If there are more than eight 3-0 players, tiebreakers will be used to advance the best eight 3-0 players. If there are less than eight 3-0 players, tiebreakers will be used to advance the best 2-1 players.
Tiebreakers, in order of use are:
1. Players who won with the Soviets in scenario A.
2. Players who won with the Soviets in scenario B.
3. Players who won with the Argentines in scenario D.
4. Strength of schedule. (Note: For strength of schedule computations, if any player's opponent(s) dropped out before playing all three games in the swiss portion, any unplayed games will be considered a loss by that opponent.)
5. Dice roll.
For elimination rounds, players will be assigned to brackets randomly. However if there is a combination of both 3-0 and 2-1 players who advanced, then 2-1 players will be initially paired against 3-0 players to the extent possible.
During elimination rounds, players may select from scenarios A, B, D, E, G, and H. There is no limit on how many times a scenario or side may be played. To select sides each player draws a random number; high number has choice of either declaring they will select the scenario first (the opponent then has choice of sides) or will select side second (the opponent then selects the scenario first). In either case low number will play first.
Matches in the elimination rounds will be played until conclusion; swiss round matches are subject to adjudication if slow play is an issue.
In order to improve play balance some scenarios are modified as follows:
A. Replace the Los Angeles and Baltimore with the Swiftsure and Valiant. Swiftsure begins the scenario with Sensor Malfunction level 1.
C. Replace the Seawolf with the Annapolis. Replace the Donets with the Admiral Lapshin.
E. Change the victory condition to read: "If the RN drawn is less than or equal to the number of the current deck, the renegade wins." Note in this scenario if the boomer plays an Open Range card which would decrease the respective contact levels between forces that change may still be negated by a reactive play of an Open Range card by the surface force, but the boomer is still allowed to draw a RN for missile launch.
H. Replace the Seawolf with the Los Angeles. Also change the victory conditions to read: "If the RN is less than or equal to the current deck, the Soviet wins." Note in this scenario if play of an Open Range card by the Soviets is negated then the boomer is not allowed to draw a RN for missile launch.
Additional_Prizes: A special 25th anniversary trophy will be presented to this year's winner. It will be an 18" long model Russian Kilo submarine on top of a wooden display case. On the left will be a USSR sub commander pin and USSR naval officer crest emblem. On the right will be a USN sub commander pin and USN officers crest.
The following errata and FAQ's will be in use:
*3.2D Add: "However, only one Ship may react to each Active Sonar or Sub attack card played."
3.4 Could a player who plays no cards but does take a legal action such as a repair attempt by drawing a RN avoid having to discard? A. Yes.
3.6 When using a Battle Stations card must the two actions be predesignated? A. No. The player may perform an action, observe the results, and then play a Battle Stations card to perform the second action "anytime".
3.6 May a helicopter play a Battle Stations card? A. No. A Battle Stations card allows two different actions "by one ship".
3.6 Can the Battle Stations card be used for two attacks against different ships? May two separate attacks be made against one target if the total is less than or equal to the contact status? May two separate attacks be made against two targets if each satisfies its own requirements? A. No. 6.3 prevails. Separate attacks would be considered identical actions. No. No.
3.6/8.2 Does Battle Stations allow a surface ship to conduct an action on the same turn that a Close/Open Range card is played for its side? May two different types of CR cards (such as Thermal Layer and Silent Running) be played with a BS card? ... even as a Reactive play to a black card (3.2)? A. Yes, Yes, Yes.
3.6 Can a Weapons Lockon card be played as a reaction to an attack with a Battle Stations card? A. No.
4.21 If a sub uses Active Sonar to search for two ships, can both ships play a Passive Sonar to raise their Contact Level on the sub twice? A. No. Only one ship may react with a Passive Sonar to each Active Sonar played.
4.3 If, due to malfunction, it is impossible for a ship's sonar to increase contact with its target (e.g., sensor at -1 vs detect value of 7), can a Passive Sonar be played anyway just to get it out of the hand? A. No.
*5.3: Delete the word "red".
5.5 Can a sub in Systems Shutdown invoke it again to reduce contact after further attacks? Can a "playing dead" sub use an "A/PS" card as a Passive Sonar? A. No. A sub in Systems Shutdown has lost its freedom of action. It cannot take any action other than Contact Reduction and Passive Sonar until it draws a RN > 3. Then it must decide whether it will reduce contact one level or regain its freedom of action. An "A/PS" card is considered a Passive Sonar card when played as such.
*6.4 The example is wrong. Passive sonar cannot be used against surface attacks.
6.8 If a surface ship that is attacked plays Passive Sonar in response, but is destroyed by that attack, does its side still gain a contact level on the attacker? A. Yes. Note the surface ship would have had to play the Passive Sonar in response to the attack before the attack was resolved.
7.1 Can a ship attacked by a combination of two Lockon cards per 6.4 react with two Evasive Maneuver cards? A. Yes
8.1/13.5 May the play of an Open Range card to disengage occur even if the ship has no contacts on any opposing ship? Does an Open Range card used to disengage apply only to a single surface ship; i.e. it is not shared? A. Once an opposing ship has been sunk by a vessel, that vessel need not have a contact to play an Open Range card. Open Range cards are shared by all surface ships except in the case of Scenario Special Rules such as those of 13K where a capital ship is allowed to escape alone. Generally, for one surface ship to escape, all must turn away from the enemy with that Move card.
8.4 Does the playing of a Close/Open Range card increase the contact level of all surface ships even when there was currently no contact against some of them? A. Yes.
8.4 Assume Sub A has a Level 1 contact on sub R and plays a Close Range card. Sub R has No Contact on Sub A and so cannot play an Open Range to counter. What are the resulting contact levels after play of the Close Range? A. Sub A to Level 2 and Sub R to No Attack.
9.3 Do subs and lone surface ships have their contact status lowered by subsequent malfunctions of attack systems? A. No. Attack malfunctions do not have this effect.
9.3 Errata: Delete second sentence; substitute: "If the system is a sensor, the effects of 9.2 are applied again. In the third sentence; delete "all Contacts ... No Contact". Substitute: "The ship's contact on opponent's Contact Level Tracks to No Contact; Exception: see 9.2)."
10.31 If play of a C/OR card is negated by reactive play (8.5), is a helicopter check still required? A. Yes.
10.31 If a surface fleet player draws a RN which is also a Helicopter card at a moment when he has no helicopter in flight, but later in that same turn he launches a helicopter, must he make a helicopter attack at the end of that turn? A. Yes.
10.31/11.1 Is play of a Close Range card to attempt reinforcement entry considered played on a surface force such that a helicopter check is required? A. No.
13C Must Soviet Subs currently hold contact level 1 to disengage or must they just have achieved it at some prior point? Can NATO win this scenario by destroying one sub and disengaging? A. The latter - no ship can disengage while currently at Contact Level 1. No. Any scenario with specific stated victory conditions cannot be won by 13.5.
13E Must the play of the Open Range card not be negated as in 13H? Does the Open Range card function in every way as a normal play of such a card? May the Open Range card be played even if no enemy ships are currently detected? A. No. Yes. In this scenario, once play has entered the second deck Open Range cards may be played without respect to enemy contact. However, enemy contact can never be reduced to less than "No Contact". The same logic applies to 13H.
13C/H/J Note the swimout capability of the Seawolf's torpedoes (see 13.3)
*= Corrected in 2nd edition