Thanks buddy. One thing I marvel at about G40 is the rich, choice-filled opener. I’ve tried to build a similarly rich and interesting opener into my own versions (which I shared with you) and its made me appreciate the amount of tinkering it must have taken in order to combine the designers intended goals with a fun and somewhat realistic piece setup. Of course, they did issue a second edition which was another bite at that apple.
As you point out, there is nothing realistic about the world’s greatest sea power getting wiped off the map on the first turn. Actually, the opposite would be true; Germany’s surface navy was a one-shot. There is a big problem however with changing that dynamic from where its stands, because we are already used to the UK getting wiped out on the first turn, and recovering the threat projection from that point. Even 1 BB left tipped after the open makes a big difference to the KGF, so leaving say 1 of each UK ship as our goal is generous.
Since Germany needs this opener to succeed or face a REAL UK navy, the play is kind of locked to those expectations. If the Allies bid or the setup has changed, 16 hits needs to come (14 planes and the BB) to “ensure victory”. After that, the Germans have no more to add in any event, which restricts what we can add to the UK team or move and still have the game play out as we are accustomed to.
The game would be more fun if it had a real Battle of the Atlantic, though, I think the rules of AxA regarding blockers, control, sighting units, fog of war are all too simplistic to model that very well. Even the vaunted Europe 1999 edition had a novel idea on how to keep the fight going in the Atlantic, that fight simply cannot operate in the face of the normal game dynamic (that a huge USA fleet is going to cross and its first and priority job is to clear the Atlantic to eliminate the threat and the income nerf). It is especially difficult for germany to place subs in interesting and annoying positions without having the subs be able to “transit” there. Same with convoys, there are alot of mixed ideas about how transports, as represented on the board vs “invisible or invulnerable units/transports” that model economic convoy damage, should be treated.
All in all, the game is pretty fun and though I could think of some tweaks to make it less monotone (like the Taranto Split so Italy might get a core navy), I don’t know how to make the UK fleet part of it more FUN and more REALISTIC.