Thanks for the feedback Argothair. Best way to make things matter is to bounce ideas off each other!
Sorry in advance, I meant to/should have been more clear in my original post on a few of your questions.
- What does it mean for the Free French to have “a government set up in London?” Can they build units there? If Germany occupies London, do they loot the Free French treasury? With 4 IPCs / turn in London, will any new Free French recruited during the game typically do anything other than garrison London? It seems like it’s hardly worth a pair of British transports and an escort to get, e.g., 2 French inf + 2 French art into the action, because they can’t attack jointly with the British, but on the other hand if you save up for a French transport and French escort, then you’re talking turn 10+ before the Free French start landing troops on the front lines.
Should have been more clear on the Free French. Yes, I meant that they would be able to build units from London. I think it would be fair to also have Germany loot their treasury in the fall of London as well. You’re right, 4 IPC’s a turn isn’t much. But if you wait two turns, get 8 IPC’s and build a transport, it’s only one move to French West Africa with the naval base, from where you could further support the Allied effort in Africa. It’s not much, but the way I see it those 4 IPC’s wouldn’t be used otherwise unless taken by the Axis and retaken by the Allies. Couple extra infantry or mec, etc. once every couple of turns couple potentially help in the defense of Egypt, or at least help blunt a potential breakthrough of Italians if they take Egypt.
- What happens to the French navy?
I meant to answer this above, maybe I forgot. The French navy in SZ 93 would become Vichy, the destroyer in SZ 72 and the navy in the Channel stay Free French (thought the channel navy is probably dead).
- What happens if Germany (or Italy) invades and conquers Southern France before invading Normandy, or, for that matter, before invading Paris?
This was the question I thought would come up. To make Southern France the Vichy capital it could be similar to the liberation of Paris by the Allies. Once Paris falls to the Axis, the earlier mentioned Vichy territories revert back to Vichy control if they were in Axis hands before. So they could take Southern France if they wanted, but it would fall back to Vichy. This one could certainly be tweaked, but could work.
- Even if the Vichy troops stay loyal 50% of the time, i.e., on a roll of 3 or less, why would Germany bother to build them? Wouldn’t Germany be just as happy leaving southern France empty?
This can be answered two ways I think. 1) The French player controls both Free French and Vichy forces, Vichy can’t do anything anyways, and France just needs to do what makes the most sense for the defense of French territory, or both sides could decide together what is fair to build. 2) You let the German player decide, and you’re right, they could decide to not use the money, but then that’s still 9 IPC’s (7 if we just assumed Japan takes French Indo China) a turn that won’t get used for anything at all. Germany could decide that’s the best course of action, or take the gamble that the units will fight for them.
- Do you really want to make it impossible for Hitler to invade France before the Allies land in Morocco? What if the Allies ignore north Africa – is Germany just stuck with a whole bunch of neutralish French territory on his doorstep for the entire game?
I must have worded that wrong. I didn’t mean the Hitler couldn’t invade France. They still take Paris and Normandy G1, but after that and there’s a Vichy government the rest is generally an ally. This is very true that the Allies could just bypass North Africa and you’re right, Germany would be stuck with neutrals. But that money still wouldn’t be used against them any way at least. We could add that once the Allies attempt any landing in Europe the Axis can have the right to decide to attack Vichy territories or not. If they want the money badly enough at that point they’ll do it. Or if they like the security of North Africa being untouched they can do that.
- Have you tested the impact of Vichy on Sea Lion? Does Germany wind up with noticeably more troops in Normandy that can be used to invade London on G2/G3, or is Sea Lion still balanced?
We admittedly don’t have a ton of Sea Lion attempts in our games, but have tried it. True, a few less German troops have died by not taking Southern France (if any). But you’re also taking 7/9 IPC’s away from the Axis treasury each turn that would maybe normally be spent building two INF a turn to help defend on the eastern front while Sea Lion is attempted. Add in the 4 IPC’s of the Free French in London, and there’s an extra Allied INF a turn in London to help defend as well. Seems like kind of a wash to me, though would have to be tested more to see.
Hopefully those answers make sense. But again, the input is appreciated. The crux of it is that there’s an 11 IPC/turn swing (+4 to the Allies, -7 to the Axis), as well as the unknown of what Vichy units might do when presented with combat.