But yes, I do believe of all the technologies in the game, Paratroopers are the most powerful. Paratroopers + Long Range Aircraft is more powerful still and Paratroopers + Long Range Aircraft + Heavy Bombers is game over for the side that does not have the three combined, IMHO.
An over-generalization, I think.
I’ve developed long range heavy bombin’ paratroopers (2 hit heavies - before they neutered them) with Japan and still lost. I didn’t complete the tri-fecta until after Germany had fallen, and it was too little, too late. We played it out, though, because the long range heavy bombin’ paratroopers made it interesting. Sure, you can get the infantry to odd places, but you can’t always land the bomber in a safe place. And you can’t get to all the islands as easily as you might think.
Paratroopers can be awesome, but they can also be not so awesome. It is not always the best tech for your country to get. Many times, mech infantry or rockets are better (for chart 1) and long range aircraft is often better. It depends on what country you have, and what units you own, and what round it is, and what the board situation is. The fact remains, you can’t do more than one thing with a unit at once. If you’re dropping infantry (only allowed on the front lines, and only allowed during combat movement) then your bomber is not SBRing, it is not attacking naval units, and it may not end up in the optimal place as a result of the attack. To be sure, long range heavy bombing paratroopers is still an issue, which I have addressed in another thread. Some house rules have been proposed by various players, including only allowing one capability per bomber each turn (take your pick - long range, heavy bomber, or paratrooper), and increasing the cost of bombers by 1 IPC for each tech obtained (maximum 15). While these are reasonable “remedies” I’ve never used them. Both sides have equal chance to get these techs, and both can benefit roughly the same. The game is for fun, and one side is going to lose one way or another, so why not have the possibility of getting long range heavy bombing paratroopers? It makes it more fun and enticing to invest in tech. And like Jen pointed out - radar is a nice defense for them. It will shoot down 1/3 of your bombers and paratroopers, whether they’re long range and heavy bombers or not!