Looks like nobody is really interested in this. Maybe I’ll state my goals with this setup, which might give people a reason to try it out:
1. Make Japan go a little bit slower in Asia, even in KGF. This is done by making China a bit more resilient (and this also makes China a little bit more fun to play as).
2. Make Italy a bit more powerful, to be a more viable independent country (though 5 more IPC/turn is still not going to turn them into a major power or anything).
3. Balance Italy’s increased income with a bit more income for Russia early in the game. This makes them closer to an equivalent to Germany in power, so Italy will have to cooperate with Germany closely to beat back Russia.
4. Give the UK a chance at keeping one of their NOs for a few turns, at least. This gives the Allies a few more turns of vital UK IPCs in a KGF game, which I believe the Allies need.
5. Give UK a more viable option of going partly or fully Pacific, and in doing so, try to make KJF and global strategies nearly or just as viable as KGF.
6. Make India and Australia more defensible to an early Japan blitz, if the Allies wish to hold on to them.
Note that these measures will slow Japan down, but the Allies will also be slowed if they go KGF since Italy’s fleet is a touch stronger. It ends up that the game is about 2 turns or so longer in my experience.
So, I think the changes do help the balance and playability of the game substantially while not changing the game -so- much as to be unrecognizable. I know people are going to say, “Bids fix the balance, you don’t need all this.” But bids don’t do everything that I tried to do above, either.
If you playtest it, let me know what your results were and I’ll use that information to tweak it, if necessary.