Here is another way of implementing auto Shipyards that just occurred to me.
At the beginning of each round* roll 1d6. The hit will determine whether the Shipyards technology is activated for all players.
round 1: hits at 1 to activate Shipyards for all nations
round 2: hits at 2
round 3: hits at 3
round 4: hits at 4
round 5: hits at 5
round 6: auto tech Shipyards for all nations
This means that from the first round, and for each round which the game progresses, the odds of Shipyards will increase. Until the 6th round, at which point the Tech is activated automatically for everyone.
Germany starts the game round sequence so they can roll it. Or, depending on how many players you have, you can alternate the roll each round so that someone else gets a chance to try for the hit.
The logic here is that the Naval Race escalates as the war itself escalates, until it crescendos, and everyone gains access to the cheaper naval unit cost structure at the same time.
Axis have the strong early incentive to go naval if shipyards is activated in the first or second round. Every round after the 3rd the cost structure starts to favor Allied builds. Though even then, Axis can exploit late game naval action.
Naval Race rules: an independent and escalating tech roll, which grants Shipyards for All! 😄
In TripleA this is how you use the roll…
At the start of each round:
“Game” tab > “Roll Dice” > roll 1 six sided die (free roll)
If it hits according to rules above, then
“Game tab” > “Enable Edit Mode” > Add Tech Shipyards for All
*note: you could also choose to make this roll at the end of the game round rather than the beginning. This means the roll would usher in the 2nd round, rolling each round thereafter until Shipyards is activated, or until auto-tech Shipyards in the 7th round. It works either way, though I think it would be more fun to roll Shipyards at the beginning of the round rather than the end of the round and this keeps the value of the roll corresponding exactly with the game round G1 at 1, G2 at 2, G3 hits at 3, and so forth. Its a fairly simple way to get cheaper ships into the game for everyone.
For people who play using the Optional Global tech rules, the Shipyards technology is now removed from Breakthrough chart two. If you roll on 3 on the second breakthrough chart, re-roll the die until you hit one of the other technologies.