This poll would be more informative if the bid numbers weren’t grouped. The difference between a bid at 7 and a bid at 9 is substantial, 10-12 is even more dramatic.
Against an evenly matched opponent, I wouldn’t go lower than 9 for Allies.
As Allies 10 is optimal because it allows you to bid a British Fighter in Egypt, which does triple duty… it covers Egypt on G1, it frees up a Russian fighter, and can be flown to join a sz37 attack (or elsewhere depending on the situation, like to reinforce W. Russia.)
At 9 I think Axis can still feel reasonably confident, and Allies won’t feel like they are just getting mowed over completely. At 10 the situation starts to turn the other direction, since you can do a lot more (in terms of breaking Japan) with a fighter than you can with 3 infantry, or 1 inf and a sub, or a pair of artillery pieces.
You can still break the sz 37 battle with just a British sub, but for only 4 more ipcs, you can get a lot more long term out of a fighter. Otherwise, I’d just distribute it on the ground. Britain seems to be more effective with the bid, than Russia or USA in my experience. A sz 11 destroyer bid is interesting as a way to springboard KJF, but even with a second destroyer, I would still attack using both subs as Germany at fairly even odds, so I’m not sure the 8 ipcs can’t be spent more effectively elsewhere. The bid for this board seems very narrow though.
As I said above, I wouldn’t go lower than 9 for Allies against a skilled opponent, but as Axis giving up anything more than 9 is really rough, for the exact reason outlined above. 11 ipcs on the bid is basically the same as 10 in terms of gaining an air attack advantage, but 12 is just nuts for the air attack advantage, because a British bomber attacking and landing in the right place can totally wreck the Pacific game for Japan. I don’t suggest that sz37 is essential for the Allies to win, but it is probably essential for a Kill Japan First strategy, or a stall Japan and redirect strategy, or any strategy that involves the US making it across the southern Pacific. It’s too easy for Japan to manage their naval defenses otherwise. Also someone mentioned Borneo on UK1 for the KJF game. Every time I have done this I end up regretting it. USA just really needs that territory under their control to make the pacific endgame worthwhile.
If the idea is to give a more inexperienced player a reasonable chance playing the Allies against a more experienced Axis player, I would go much higher on the Allied bid, or maybe remove tanks from Germany. Or try an alternative bid for production. If for example, you allow the Allies to move the Karelia factory to safer location, or the India factory to a different location. Or you could just allow players to destroy factories on the retreat and scorch the earth (Advantage to Allies in most situations.) Otherwise, when the scales are balanced…
If you really want to play allies I would open the bid at 11, so you can probably get them at 9. If you’d rather play Axis but might consider Allies, then open at 12, so you have a shot at 10, and if it goes lower then you can pass.