Since Perry quoted this post, let us go back and look at it more closely.
The Axis is gimped.
Japan will not be able to help Germany on Russia’s front.
Italy is entirely too weak and is nothing but a weak link in the Axis.
Italy splits up Germany’s IPCs.
Italy’s splits up Germany’s original forces, especially naval.
Italy only has a lousy 10 IPCs.
Italy has no transport and will be unable to ship anything to Africa to fix their IPC deficient status for at least a turn.
Italy’s IPC deficient status railroads them into an immediate expansion for IPCs.
We won’t know just how much Axis is hurting until we see Germany’s and Japan’s starting IPCs.
Do the designers hate the Axis or what?
Having spent a lot of time looking at what might be set up boards on Boardgamegeek, specifically this one, http://boardgamegeek.com/image/362552?size=original, Italy has one transport to go with the Battleship and two cruisers in the Med, so moving two units per turn to Africa is not a problem. As for splitting up Germany’s naval forces, the forces in the Med were Italian in origin, not German, and with Italy now as a player, revert to Italian control.
Just curious, how many of those of you who play Axis really plan on having an italian player? With no Italian player, Germany is going to control those units, and IPCs. If there is no Italian player, aside from having a work a bit harder coordinating attacks in North Africa, I am not sure how I see that this hurts the Axis that much. With no Italian player, basically all Italy will be is a slightly more powerful version of China, controlled by Germany.
We know that National Advantages are going to give IPC to each player, and it looks like there will be more IPC going to the Axis than the Allies, which to some degree takes care of your bidding IPC. That, of course, requires much more complete information on the game.
German loss of IPC to Italy: Given that we will soon have Italian units to use, I have been looking at adding Italy to A&A Europe, expanding that in a similar way to what I have done with A&A Pacific. In that addition, Germany will loose 8 IPC to Italy and its territories. I make up the loss fairly easily from elsewhere, and keep Germany at its 40 starting IPC in the Europe game. Without seeing the board clearly, it is hard to determine where to make up the losses to Italy from, but Bulgaria-Romania (Romanian oil and the Ploesti refineries) and Czechoslovakia-Hungary are two obvious areas for boosting slightly. I get Italy up to 15/16 depending on how many sea zones are controlled.
Considering my attitude toward the Axis, if I find it not hard to get German IPCs back up, I find it hard to believe that some of the forum is not going to come up with IPC boosts to get Germany back to 40. However, I have also boosted the Allies in the Europe game by the same proportion, so as to keep IPC balanced.
As for Japan not helping Germany, that simply makes the game a bit more historical. Aside from the Japanese Army having no desire to tackle Russia after having the Japanese 23rd Infantry Division mangled at Nomanhan/Khalkin-Gol in 1939, Siberia and further east did not have the resources that the Japanese needed so very badly. One resource in particular being oil, which was available in the Dutch East Indies and Borneo. The need for resources to assist in finishing up the “China Incident” was the driving force in Japan’s decision for war, not any concept of helping Germany. Taking advantage of German success, yes, actually thinking about helping Germany, no. It looks like the game is simply reflecting that. If that bothers the Axis players, I am certain that you will come up with something to deal with the issue. However, it will have to be a house rule, and not part of the Out of Box rules. Most players are going to use the OOB rules.
As for the designers at Wizards/AH that made the final rules decisions, they may have decided that making sure the Allies have a good chance at winning is good marketing. Given that the primary market is going to be in the US, I would tend to agree with that decision. I know that I have no problems with it.