You really need to stop thinking about changing the actual combat and consider why the Allies have a difficult time with the Axis.
Its not that the Allies cannot get involved in skirmishes, but when they do, they are almost always outnumbered when doing so.
How to fix that?
1. Give the Allies more money is the easier solution and we call them bids. These are dangerous.
2. Give the Allies more starting units is similar to bids, but it doesn’t have what business calls “competitive advantage”. It is a band-aid to a bigger problem.
The bigger problem is the inability of the Allies to bring any strength to the front lines and continue to bring strength in any fashion. It is a logistic problem, not a combat problem.
Some alternatives in considering this dilemma include:
Increase the capacity of Allied transports to 3 or 4 units.
Increase the capacity of Allied warships to transport units to 1 or 2 units.
Historically we know that many ships transported combat units, generally infantry. Our game does not truly reflect that, and should be a real consideration to address the inability of the Allies bring strength to the front line.
Another way would be to increase the number of eligible territories for ICs (sorry… couldn’t help myself)
Producing units in Europe you mean? What other possible territories could there be that don’t already have one?
In the Pacific the problem for the strength of the Allies - the US - is at best 3 turns from impacting the typical operations of Japan in the South Pacific, SE Asia and the DEI with its starting units alone.
By vacating Hawaii, the earliest the US can arrive with 4 units in any location in those regions is Turn 4 (with a J1 DOW).
In either situation, more units can arrive simply by increasing the capacity of ships the Allies use and forces the Axis to not only plan to conquer, but to hold territories from Allied threats.
I do think the US should be able to place the IPC value of its starting units in any ground unitary form they choose at any US complex they wish with no regard for the IC capacity. In short, all those MEC could be reorganized into INF and ART. I never understood why the US had so many MEC to start the game. I see why some are valuable (Alaska), but the starting amount is a bit… well we could say it is overdone.
If you wanted to make a reasonable compromise, you could only allow AA from TT, but units carried on ships could NCM to reinforce newly taken territories.
My proposition would be:
AA can only be conducted by units carried on TT or from aircraft.
Units carried on ships with defensive values can only NCM from sea to land.
TT can carry up to 3 units, but no more than one non-infantry unit.
CV can carry any 2 ground units.
BB can carry up to 2 INF.
CR can carry up to 1 INF.
In this fashion, the US could load its starting 3 TT with up to 6 INF and 3 ART and can reinforce the units lost from an AA with units from CV, BB and CR which would enable a more… offensive island hopping battle. Japan would be forced to seriously consider how exposed it wishes to leave its recently conquered islands if the US with no additional investment in ships could start the process of reclaiming islands with effectively strong AA landings. This, all without changing the actual dynamic of combat values of units.
The same could be said for Europe as in my experience successful AA landings that hold the gained territory are subject to the ability of the UK to reinforce and repel the Axis response. By the US being able to bring more INF as reinforcements, Germany cannot simply leave Europe exposed and rely on the Italians to repel all the early small landings. Conversely, the Allies have to wait much longer to land a strong enough force to actually hold Normandy, which plays so much into a hyper aggressive German march towards Moscow, it forces the Red Turtle as the only viable option for survival for the Russians.
In effect, Germany may not be able to continue such a large stream of units towards Moscow so early because if the US spends on Naval on US1 in the Atlantic, the US could in theory land in Europe and hold it with the UK’s help and Italy would be unable to repel those landings alone.
In reality, the Allied LimFac in Europe is not combat values or starting units (in general), but in the logistical nightmare of having to spend 70 IPC to simply move 20 units across an ocean. And, that is only the first wave which is in direct proximity of multiple Axis IC (both major and minor). Due to the turnaround or additional IPC investment required for TT to continue a stream of reinforcements, those 20 units are stranded in Europe for the next 4 turns (excluding what the UK could ferry in).
Having the ability to transport more units to reinforce via warship allows the US to both defend the movement of its units across the oceans more effectively, and reinforce territories it does take to withstand counter attacks.