by Mick Bullock
1) The 1971 rule book applies except where superseded below.
2) Each season (after retreats have been adjudicated – see rule 3) the GM will adopt the following procedures:
i) One province will be drawn at random and “black-holed”. i.e. that province will become impassable. Any unit in the province at the time is annihilated.
ii) As from Spring 1905, for each black-holed province created, one of the existing black-holed provinces will become “whole” again. i.e. will revert to its former passable state and, where relevant, will regain its former supply center status. If the re-instated province was originally one of the 12 neutral supply centers then it reverts to neutrality regardless of whether it had been captured prior to being black-holed.
iii) One province will be drawn at random and split into two. The borderline running across the former single province will be determined by random means (dealing a playing card for each bordering territory and selecting the two highest is probably best). Impassable provinces are not included in the draw to see which province becomes split but are included in the “deal” to find the new borderline.
If the split province is a supply center, then its owner gains a s.c., if an unowned s.c., then a new neutral s.c. is formed. If the province is occupied by a unit then another unit (of the same type where possible) is immediately built.
3) Prophetic retreats must be made. Unordered retreats will be retreated by the GM on the “first available province to the north, continuing anti-clockwise” rule.
4) Each 1/2 of a split province is liable to black-holing or even further splitting without having any effect on the other 1/2. Indeed, the two 1/2’s of a split province become provinces in their own right.
5) Before the Spring 1901 adjudications are published each player may elect one of his home supply centers to be free from black-holing. A player who does not request this exemption from the GM will be considered to not want to take advantage of this dispensation.
6) Victory criterion is a majority of units on the board and control of the then extent supply centers. This can be more or less than the original 34 depending on how many s.c.’s are black-holed/split at a given time. Note that victory may occur on a Spring move as well as on an Autumn move.
N.B. The sequence of black-holing/splitting must be carried out as laid down in rule 2. It is therefore possible that after Spring 1905 an unblack-holed province may also be split on the same turn.