Oh cool, we’re back! For a few days there I wasn’t able to get the site up.
I like the idea of a round 0 build up, but I think the implementation needs more work.
The first issue I’m anticipating is just sheer amount of time it would take to go around the table piece for piece. Beyond that you also have the issue of players matching each other (out in the open) by choosing to place all their TUV in just a few hot spots, at the expense of everywhere else. And finally, without any limits or caps for individual territories or sea zones you will likely see a ton of front line units, placed just outside the range of any opening attacks.
My suggestion would be to have more structure to the zero round, more rules defining where the units can be placed, or perhaps some kind of initiative role to determine the sequence in which they are placed.
One approach might be to just scale back the number of units or ipcs that are included in this process. So instead of taking all the starting TUV and putting that in a tray, you might just use a portion of the total, or perhaps instead allow players to add some smaller amount of TUV on top of the normal starting totals. Not only would that make things faster, it would also provide some much needed structure to the set up process.
Particularly with sea zones, instead of a race to be the first to occupy the contested ones (that border multiple originally controlled territories), you could restrict where naval units can be added to just those sea zones that already have a ship etc. Same deal with land.
You might make it a secret placement only revealed after everyone has recorded all their placements. Or you could break it down by unit type, first bases then inf then tanks then fighters then ships etc.
For ease of use, the more this zero round looked like a bid the easier it would be to implement. Although in this case it would be like a bid for all sides.
Again I like the idea a lot, I just think it needs more polish.