I think we’d probably only need to go down to 12 ipcs for the cost of the factory to make it a viable purchase option in a place like Africa. Or if there was a 2 ipc space in Australia, a factory there might be feasible if they only cost 12. At 15 the only players that have much use for them are Japan and the USA.
For a while now, I have definitely been in favor treating IPC values more like “abstract game points” than actual industrial production, so I really don’t have an issue with concepts like increasing or decreasing the value of specific territories, if this serves the gameplay.
In the post above I tried to confine my suggestion to the one area of the gamemap that has been a consistent disappointment for me and that is the valueless Pacific. I know there are people who believe that these territories can be made “valuable” in other ways, but I just don’t see it. Until they have a value of 1 ipc, I think they will be ignored. USA has no strong incentive to take them, and Japan has no strong incentive to hold onto them. Just making them worth 1 would make all the difference.
That would put 6 ipcs into contention, in areas that the USA can reach early on, so the first 4 rounds of the game aren’t so boring to play as USA.
I picked the 5 Japanese territories that I feel should have a value of 1, due to their historical significance in the war. And Midway too, because it’s Midway! That’s 6 territories that are currently worthless, which would be brought into play. The island of Formosa is less important to me.
If I had my way, every territory on the map would have a minimum value of 1, but I would be happy enough if the main Pacific islands that were contested during the war had a value of 1. Basically I was trying to find a simple way to keep the game at a similar economic scale, but with a more compelling Pacific distribution.
I tend to agree with wittmann, USA feels pretty cash strapped compared with Japan. I think there are two ways you could approach it, either more total IPCs or more starting ground units in North America (so you don’t have to buy them.) I think either approach to balance might work.
I would like to see Hawaii at 2 as well, just to give the territory more potential significance as a factory location, or as a target/springboard for Japan against North America. I’m not looking for huge changes to the map, I think we could accomplish a lot just in the range of +1 or -1 ipc in a few specific places