I think people worry too much about activating the “UK original territories” NO. In the vast majority of games, you’ll collect the NO on your first turn, because Italy hasn’t gone yet. Likewise, in the vast majority of games, you’ll collect the NO on your fourth turn no matter what you do, because by then your South African troops can walk up to Kenya / Somaliland and knock out whatever Italians remain. So we’re really only talking about two turns’ worth of the NO, i.e., 10 IPCs.
How much do you want to pay to guarantee those 10 IPCs? Do you really want to use both transports on UK1 in east Africa, neglecting Persia and Iraq and Sumatra and Tobruk? Do you want to send one transport to east Africa on both UK1 and UK2, which means you’re short on troops for Egypt in your north African campaign? It just seems short-sighted to me. If you skip Sumatra, that could be the margin of victory for holding India. If you skip Persia, that could be the margin of victory for holding the Middle East. Meanwhile, what are you going to do with 10 extra IPCs in the Atlantic on turns 2, 3, or 4? Buy 1 extra fighter or 1 extra transport? Will that really help you break into Norway or France ahead of schedule? Typically, the Germans have enough airpower in Western Germany all through the opening to lock you out of key territories even if you spend 100% of UK income on an Atlantic fleet.
I often build a South African transport on UK1, and I don’t mind using that transport on UK2 to ferry South African troops up to East Africa to kill Italians there, because it’s sort of “on their way.” They’re headed north anyway, and if I build the extra transport, then I’m not hurting as badly for naval logistics, so it’s easier to spare the transport for a turn. Using two out of two transports on turn 1 in East Africa just seems like overkill to me.
Ditto using a bid for an early South African transport just to strengthen the attack on Ethiopia – it’s overkill. If you’ve got $7 to spare in your bid and want to spend it on the UK, then I’d much rather have an extra sub for Taranto, an extra transport for India (to claim Java), two infantry for London to help protect against Sea Lion and allow a UK1 purchase of an Egyptian factory, an extra tank in Egypt to add punch to an attack in Tobruk or Iraq, or even an extra destroyer for the British Home Fleet in the hopes of bringing down some Luftwaffe.