I’m not in favor of lowering the cost of ships (think they got that right), but I wouldn’t mind tinkering with the abilities of the naval units. I’m not fond of war ships caring troops either. Well maybe destroyers carry one inf, but only if their role was reduced in sub warfare. IMO subs are greatly under powered in this game and nearly impossible to keep alive in convoy routes (which are non existent BTW) where they were the most effective. I would like if DD and ftrs roll a detection dice (at 2, 3 with radar) when attacking subs, if you detect it then you can attempt to kill it with the units taken into the battle (one round battle then sub can submerge if it survives).
There is a good argument for cruisers having more range (move 3 spaces with or w/o naval base), but as others have pointed out it may not help because it wouldn’t be too effective w/o other units. It could be useful however depending on position of the other ships, or the use of air power having more range. Not liking pairing up other ships with cruisers to gain more range (arguments against that listed by others make sense).
People have said that cruisers have more speed and larger fuel capacity. Instead of extending range what if you gave cruisers the ability to escape? Maybe allow attacking and defending cruisers to retreat after any round of battle. This would include a cruiser that was used to clear a sz (can NCM 1 space). Could allow your attacking cruisers to get to safety.
I’m not sure that the cruiser (or battleship) is as bad a buy as the carrier is too good a buy. As others have said there aren’t to many battleships being bought either. Basically you have US and maybe UK build a BB for the Atlantic fleet. The US starts with a BB in the pacific, but might build a second BB to match Japan. Japan rarely buys another BB. I realize that cruisers are rarely purchased, maybe allow cruisers to attack at 4 when paired with a BB? That would increase the values of both the cruiser and BB.
I know that this is off the track but would cruisers and battleships be more valuable if carriers weren’t allowed to go into battles just to soak hits? As for AA abilities I’m more prompt to give a defending carrier AA ability (still fire at 2 every round, but planes are hit first). Defending carriers being able to kill planes might make up the difference for the attacker not being able to take carriers into battles when you look at the big picture.
Just my 2 cents