No this is a new idea, Pay 12 IPC and get a “research center” which can be bombed like a port or air base ( max 6 damage). Key feature is you get one roll for the rest of the game, but if you get a 6 you get a tech, and it takes one turn to reset before you can roll again. The other key difference is you don’t lose the investment once you win the tech.
This is Grasshoppers idea:
During the “purchase new units phase”, Any nation who is at war, who holds their own capital, and has an eligible territory, may purchase “research facilities” for $12 each. During the “place new units phase”, research facilities must be placed on an originally owned territory (only one per territory) with an IPC value of 3 or more.
During the “research and development phase”, each operational research facility may roll 1d6 for an opportunity to roll a 6 (only research facilities that were on the board prior to the research and development phase may make research rolls). If a facility rolls a 6 during research, they have made a technological breakthrough (regardless of how may 6s are rolled, a nation may only make 1 breakthrough per round).
When a breakthrough has been achieved, that technology is available immediately. However, 1 research facility must be flipped for one full round making it unable to roll a research dice during the next research and development phase. The facility may be flipped back during the repair phase of the following turn, making it operational again (regardless of how many 6s are rolled, a nation need flip only 1 research facility per breakthrough).
During a strategic bombing raid, research facilities (flipped or not) follow all the same damage, interceptor and repair rules as a minor complex, including built in AA Guns, and being vulnerable to strategic bombers only. If a research facility is captured by an enemy nation however, the invading player may choose to keep the facility for themselves, or have the facility destroyed in order to steal one technology from the conquered nation.
New Turn Sequence
1. Repair Units
2. Research & Development
3. Purchase New Units
4. Combat Movement
5. Conduct Combat
6. Non-Combat Movement
7. Place New Units
8. Collect New Income
I recommend using the tokens from the A&A 50th AE as facilities, or getting some through HBG.
A new sequence will allow for repairing, developing breakthroughs, and purchasing accordingly.
China is ineligible to use research facilities due to purchase restrictions, and not having a capital.
Russia & the United Kingdom are limited to building only one research facility each.
India has 3 possible territories for building research facilities (Borneo is ineligible as it’s an island).
America can build 3 research facilities, but like Russia, must wait until they are at war.
The only chance for ANZAC to develop technology, is to capture an enemy research facility.
Germany has the most eligible territories for building research facilities at 7, Italy has 2.
I have deliberately left out any ideas for breakthrough charts because that aspect of the rule has the greatest political gap among us. I would like us to discuss the research phase only, because we can all use our own breakthrough charts later. As long as we can bridge the gap on the research phase instead of the development phase, we may have a chance to make “Laboratories” a universal house rule with a sticky post in this forum. We can talk about “Mexican Conscripts” and “Game Ending A-Bombs” in a later thread.