I still prefer France over Poland…if I buy an IC…as someone pointed out above if Germany can capture Cauc or Karelia…then that works better.
The argument for France is that NOs dictate that I hold onto France for dear life, and if I can place infantry there directly that’s pretty awesome, plus this allows me to reinforce Italy easily and plop naval units all over the place if I feel like it. The drawback–SBRs–is substantial. Sometimes I will leave France burning for awhile if the Allies are all into bombers. But is really the 16 land units a turn in rounds 3-6 that make France so tempting for me…after those rounds Germany’s defensive position rawx. Keep in mind, I would only advocate for France in response to specific Allied tactics (ie KGF) and only on Round 2, never on Round 1.
The open undecided question is whether the potential for Allied SBR tactics makes Poland a better choice than France. Jen makes good arguments for Poland above–she may be right. Let me play the devil’s advocate though.
One objection to Poland is it means I have to defend Poland every turn, which means I’m stretched to defend Poland, France, and Germany all at once…but with wise use of armor this isn’t so difficult…but it can be annoying sometimes. The more substantial objection is that the Poland IC will eventually be captured by the Allies. What I mean is that in a KGF scenario Poland ought to fall before France. Once that happens, Allies can stack it with all 3 Allies and now they are building 3 more units a turn. If I build the France IC and it is captured…well the game is over for Axis anyway unless Japan is right around the corner.
Bulgaria is also a nice alternative with interesting possibilities, but if I’m Allies I’d try to snag it with the USA…not ez but not impossible.