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If there are no war plans because Guns of August was not played, is the CP unable to play Falkenhayn until 1915? Or is he able to play him immediately because the War plans have been 'cancelled'?
The War Plan can't be cancelled if it doesn't exist, but you're right to point it out, I'll add a clarification on the card page.
The idea is that if the CP had ruled out the Schlieffen plan (no "Guns of August"), it would have meant they had given up the envelopment scheme and opted for a more straightforward, less amibitious approach, aiming at obtaining victory through decisive battles against the French on the borders; Penetration in Belgium would only have been considered as a flanking manoeuvre against the French forward positions, which is what Joffre expected. This more conservative conduct of the war would have had both sides less exposed to the dramatic crises that precipitated the changes in the war's physiognomy (limited war). The emergence of the new strategic options opened by War Status 4 would have been delayed. (hence the late Falkenhayn)
I thought that was probably the intent. It means that a non Guns of August Central Power player has to wait until Spring 1915 before getting access to the Limited War deck. His opponent can do so in Winter 1915. A small delay, but possibly a critical one...
well spotted :-).... ...one more reason why to date I have not seen a single opening by the CP player without guns of august