I still think the map is more interesting with a US first turn order and an Axis bid. At least there you get a substantially different play pattern out of the opening round, and can still use the default unit set up. Unlike LHTR for Revised, which changed the actual rules for that game, the proposal here is for a tournament tweak to the starting unit distribution. But in terms of the opener the play pattern is pretty similar to the vanilla game.
The German attack on sz 7 (2 subs, 1 cruiser, 2 fighters vs 1 Battleship and 1 destroyer) is still 98% odds to the attacker with both fighters and the cruiser surviving.
The German subs in sz 9 can still sink the US transports in sz 11 with 87% odds and 1 uboat surviving. Or the same for sz 10.
The German bomber, if it survives, can still hit Egypt or sz 17, (or sz 13 to kill the British cruiser and still land in France).
Because of the above, a strafe on Ukraine is a lot less attractive. The Russian attack to take Ukraine is still at like 90%, with an average of 4 units remaining. But its also totally do or die, and really comes down to the first round of combat, which is kind of a toss up.
On Japan’s part the dynamics around sz 37 and sz 53 are pretty much the same as in OOB. They can still push on China/Burma using the sz 61/Yunnan shuck with ease.
I think the 2 extra pips on India are the most significant thing going on here. But they don’t do a whole lot to change the basic play pattern. At best they give you one more round of holding the India factory, or a slightly more effective retreat to bolster Caucasus, or maybe a way to give J a temporary headache if you go for broke and send them on an amphibious assault UK1. But I don’t see them as real game changer in the Pacific naval contest between the West and the IJN. The odds on sz37 or 61 remain what they were OOB.
I don’t know though, Greg and the others in the tournament community seemed to suggest that the bid going into a sz37 attack is like the key to cracking the 7-8 round VC game. And that just isn’t the way I’ve been playing at all, so maybe I’m not seeing it. If that is the case though, and sz37 is critical, then unless the bid range for Allies is pushed under 6 ipcs, you’ll probably still see Allied players bidding for a UK sub or whatever, so they can at least get the fight up to 80% odds.
OOB the odds are only like 65% with 2 units remaining, which makes sz 37 a pretty terrible TUV trade in my view.
Sure if you can bid a british battleship that goes up to 97% with 4 units remaining. But who is going to let that one slide under the new set up? To me it just seems kind of weird anyway, since the sz 37 attack doesn’t have any historical basis for the start date of the game.
I have to admit, with the recent news about AA50 getting re-issued soon, it’s harder for me to see the appeal of 1942.2 long term. I’d almost rather figure out how to balance the AA50 1942 scenario without Objectives/Tech, since you’d probably end up with a similar play pace to 1942.2, without much overhead in terms of rules, and the scale is still pretty manageable.