That was the general idea I was agreeing with. For more information, this happened because the French in 1914 attacked Spain and lost. Spain joined the Central Powers and after the French attack…there was nothing in any French territory that bordered Spain. We all looked at each other and went, “…why would Spain not at the very last gobble up Portugal and some of southern France as a response? Why would Germany and the other powers not promise Spain everything short of a lap dance by the Kaiser’s wife to jump in and absolutely ruin France’s strategy?”
Even the threat of a Spanish attack could be enough since France would end up sending forces down. With those undefended territories, even one turn of Spanish domination could be a major CP strategic coup. On the other hand, a nation like Greece might not have a great chance at surviving but if it behooved the Allies to send troops from Africa or even Italy to aid them when they are invaded, maybe that gives them a chance to open up a new front. It relieves a little pressure from the Ottomans and even the AHuns initially, with the Allied gambit either failing and weakening them in another front or working and causing chaos for the CP. The Nordic countries actually matter.
Persia becomes a more interesting gambit. In our game, the UK player just attacked into Persia. He barely won after the Ottomans intervened. If one die had gone differently, Persia would have survived as a CP power and had the ability to hammer India.
The system isn’t perfect, of course. Ethiopia shouldn’t become an African superpower because Italy fails to take it, but it should have something. So for 1914, maybe European neutrals and Persia get 8 IPC+territories, Ethiopia gets 5 IPC+territories, and Afghanistan gets 3 IPC+territories? A small sheet would be enough and it isn’t too much math hammer, methinks. And if that is too complex, a flat across the board IPC rate works.
Who should play them? For 1914 my idea was that whoever takes control of that nation when they are being attacked would use them right after his main nation’s turn. IE; Persia is part of the CP. Ottoman player controlled it during the invasion. After the Ottoman turn, it is Persia’s turn.
As for WWII Axis and Allies games, 6 and 3 IPC makes sense.