Haaahaha! I feel your pain, FMG. The second I bought Guadalcanal, I was so psyched to make my opponent’s IPC’s deteriorate via bombing raids, and swarm em with fighters. And then I opened up the box and went “WTF!?”.
I, too, am a bit unappealed by the rules. What we did was put a certain amount of chips on each island, gave it an IPC value, and put a production factory on our “base islands”. This made for an exciting naval minimap. I haven’t gotten to play a lot of navy-heavy games, usually my 1942 games just end up with British bombardment and amphibious assault on Berlin, and the US navy buildup with the subsequent bulldozing of the Japanese.
So, theres my suggestion for you, FMG. I look forward to your custom A&A molds. I’m DEFINITELY buying an italy set once I get my paycheck, and of course, once it’s released =D