OK about to digress on the NAP.
I’d take it to another thread, but everyone is already here and its kind of related. Trying to put myself back into an AA50 1941-2 mindset, since it was my favorite map and had the simplest concept/wording for the “no western units” objective bonus +5 if Soviets control Archangel and no allied forces in Soviet controlled territories. Might this have worked if the bonus was way higher? In my view +10 would still be way too low, to accomplish the desired aim. So +15? for like 5 additional inf a round? Maybe, then they would be at least matching the European Axis on the hitpoint spam. I still worry that it would be too low to last beyond the opening couple rounds. +20? for a pair of fighters a round? This is getting a lot closer. Its not quite enough to match what the West could bring on a given turn, once they have their logistics set up, but for the Soviets that income could translate into Red attack power, whereas when it comes from the West it’s locked moreorless on defense, or for more limited can opening. 20 ipcs to Russia for Red units on offense, might even out to be worth what 30-40 ipcs in Western Units allows on defense. It’s likely enough to match the European Axis full press on an even footing, and perhaps the Allies will choose to let Russia go it alone, so long as the European Axis are the only ones coming at them. But eventually Japan arrives (and this eventuality is really just a few rounds out in most games) and then you have to deal not only with more attack power coming at you, but also the turn order advantage. Russia still needs more to manage, so this is where the NAP comes in.
AA50 was still a total war start, like 1942.2 and all of the boards before/since with the exception of the more recent 1940 ones, so any kind of NAP would basically be an outside rule. In G40 you have some more flexibility with the DoW and Mongolia stuff, but usually the NAP is maintained either as a bonus to both sides (Japan/Russia both get something to preserve the NAP), or as penalty to Japan to violate the NAP (Russia gets something, but Japan is penalized). I was thinking just now, what if the NAP was much broader in scope?
What if, instead of giving a bonus to Russia when Japan violates the NAP, you give the bonus to the other Allies?
Sure +10 per round to Russia alone might be all too easy to ignore, but +10 to each of the other Allies? That might actually be enough to persuade the Japanese that invading Russia will be bad for business all around. I haven’t really heard a NAP proposed this way before, so just wanted to float it. Something like…
If Japanese units end their turn in a Soviet starting territory, then the NAP is violated with Japan as the aggressor. The Allies receive the following bonus every turn thereafter, so long as the Russian capital still stands:
+10 ipcs to Britain
+10 ipcs to America
Would this be enough to preserve the NAP on Japan’s end? I think it might. Japan may not be so worried about what the Russians can do, but if it went to the British and Americans as well, that might be a major cause for concern. That’s 20 more TUV that the West could bring against the European Axis, or Japan itself. So here it’s not really the situation with Russia that holds Japan in check, but the other 2 Allies on the team. I’m not sure how exactly you might want to explain or justify the recurring bonus, for me it is just a pure gameplay type disincentive to break the NAP. Maybe like a big morale boost, that the other Allies now have another dog in the fight against their mutual Japanese enemy. I’m sure you could come up with a way to word it that fits with other objectives. I like the Income and Progress Credit idea for IPCs hehe, keep it abstract and flexible.Then on the Russian side of the NAP, you do the same sort of thing…
If Soviet units end their turn in a Japanese starting territory, then the NAP is violated with Russia as the aggressor.
The Axis receive the following bonus every turn thereafter, so long as the Japanese capital still stands:
Its a rather different approach than what has been tried before. Usually the bonus/penalty to the potential belligerents is focused on Russia/Japan rather than on their teammates.
Thoughts? Maybe something like this could work together with a Xenophobia rule, to actually give Russia enough to go it alone?
Also this sort of NAP might encourage the liberation of Moscow in the endgame, because the West would get their NAP bonus so long as Moscow is under Russian control. They’d have an economic incentive to recover the Capital for the Soviets in Exile hehe. Similarly, the way it’s worded, there would be a disincentive for Japan to prop up the German offensive vs Russia, since ending their turn in a Soviet starting territory (even one under German control) would be a violation, and result in a bonus to the West.
On the Allied side, a full press KJF, with Russia as the aggressor and violator of the NAP, would give something to G. So in either situation, the aggressor would be setting off a race against the clock. It’s a more all-in approach. Either side can break the NAP, but as soon as they do it flips the hourglass, and they have to go into crunch time mode to take the Capital, before the other members of the opponent’s team rack up an insurmountable income/TUV advantage.
Probably the NAP would still be violated eventually, but this would likely push that out several rounds. It might get you more adventures in the deep endgame, with a better balance and more historical flair.
If you wanted to be really strict, you could extend the NAP to include fly overs of starting territories as a violation. This would put more limits on Japanese aircraft, especially in a game like 1942.2 where a third of Russia is already under German control. Would at least make it more challenging for Japan to get defensive fighters to a place like Ukraine or W. Russia without breaking the NAP.