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I have just been given the 2016 edition of Twilight Struggle. Quoting the rule book ...

3.0 GAME SETUP

3.1 Shuffle the Early War cards and deal each player 8 cards. Place "The China Card" face-up in front of the USSR player.

... so clarification is needed. Should the first sentence have been, "Remove The China Card from the Early War Deck"? If not, three possible scenarios present themselves

  1. The USSR player is dealt the card.
  2. The USA player is dealt the card.
  3. The card remains in the deck.

If scenario 2, then the USA player is now short of a card. If scenario 3 then the shuffled deck has to be turned face-up in order to extract the said card.

I believe that this is how the rules ought to look:

3.0 GAME SETUP

3.1 Remove "The China Card" from the Early War cards. Shuffle the remainder of the deck and deal each player 8 cards. Place "The China Card" which was previously removed, face-up in front of the USSR player.

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  • The original rules were worded with "In addition" there: 3.1 Shuffle the Early War cards and deal each player 8 cards. In addition, place ‘The China Card’ face up in front of the USSR player. Dec 27 '20 at 22:00
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Yes, the china card is removed from the Early War cards before the shuffle. You are right, it is harder to make a mistake with your explanation. However I think that the rules are clear as they are.

As a side note, there is a computer implementation of the game that enforce the rules. Playing that version can help discover rules that you might have missed.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/406290/Twilight_Struggle/

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  • The Example of Play in the rulebook also supports: "Opening Deal: USSR (8 cards): De-Stalinization, Decolonization, De Gaulle Leads France, Captured Nazi Scientist, Socialist Governments, UN Intervention, Truman Doctrine, Red Scare/Purge. USSR also starts with The China Card." Dec 27 '20 at 22:02

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