Here are a few thoughts.
I find some of the balance issues seem to be related to the map as much, if not more to the OOB set up. In most games by the end of round 1, Germany is making more IPCs than the US and Japan more than UK. So adding a few pieces to the board don’t fix this. The Axis already have a crap ton of stuff, but since their economy often can be bigger than the Allies quickly then it is almost insurmountable. One example of this is (and one of my biggest peeves about the game), if the UK builds up a navy to hit Germany, no matter how big the navy is, you can only put 8 units against Germany b/c your production is so limited. Even if those unites are the 4 Inf and 4 Arty = 28 IPC.
Several immediate problems are evident:
- effectively that is the British economy unless something in the pacific is going extremely well.
- With this minimum build in the mainland to pressure Germany, you cannot defend India. The economic power is simply not there. Even if you are holding ALL of your territory and have Scandinavia (+3) you would be at 34. So you have 6 IPC to put in India… this is not enough.
- Even when the US is manhandling Japan and you are solid in India, your 28 IPC/8 units is a joke agains Germany who is at 40+ without even making ground against Russia. You land and you get obliterated if you even have surviving units.
So my thought process is what if you start the Britain at 10 instead of 8 on the mainland, and maybe even India at 4 instead of 3? It gives you the ability to actually build more units at either location and either hold India or actually do more to Germany. And still maybe not even enough b/c with an extra 3 IPC of economy you only get 1 more Inf. Not sure where to go form there. Bump Canada 1 IPC also just to give more underlying economy that is not going to get whisked away immediately.
Circling back to my first point - if the US/UK economy is less than the respective Axis they are faced with by the end of round 1 that is a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed. The Axis should be able to get there, but not by taking a few territories that are givens in the first move of the game. There are a lot of possibilities here that could be explored. Maybe like 1941, Russia’s Eastern most territories are worth nothing so Japan cannot gain as fast. Similar with 1-2 China territories for the US? Too much obviously would throw things in the other direction, but I think there is something to this.
One other thing regarding the map and India. If there was one extra sea zone for Japan traverse before they drop the mother load against India it would be a game changer. I’m thinking SZ 36 or 61. What if you cut one or the other in half so Japan could not land stuff directly from the mainland in Burma in a single move or get their navy there to devastate India so quickly? These Ideas would make India more defensible and give more flexibility to the Allies IMO. I do however wonder if this extra season would be too powerful for the Allies.
Anyway, some thoughts. Any ideas pro or con? I’d love to dialogue.