If I read your rules correctly, you are saying that all technology has a set cost, thereby eliminating luck, yet you also said the United States was the only one who could get atomic bombs? Half the reason other countries didn’t have a chance to complete their nuclear research was because they figured the war would be over too soon for it to play a role and they weren’t sure it would work. But many countries began their research earlier than the United States. I don’t like the fact that only the United States gets to succeed, because you are then forcing a historical outcome on the game itself.
One of the problems with recreating World War II as a game, is that we know how it turned out, we know what each side did wrong, and if we were playing the Axis, we would be stupid to make the exact same mistakes.
Consider Battleships and Aircraft Carriers. I am pretty sure most of us would invest in carriers if we were replaying WWII and forget the battleships. And if atomic bombs were obtainable, we would try to obtain them.
Other countries also knew the US was researching the atomic bomb and where it was doing the research. Does the US just get to spend the EU’s and get the technology, or does it take a number of game turns? Can their program be disrupted? Can other programs be disrupted? The US was fortunate in that nobody was strategically bombing it all throughout the war, but if Los Alamos had been hit by strategic bombing even once or twice, it is likely the program would not have succeeded in producing an atomic bomb by 1945.
Some other general questions I have include:
1. How long are turns in real time? Are they monthly, yearly?
2. How small of units does the game account for? Corps? Divisions? Brigades? Are there individual aircraft or just entire wings? Are fleets comprised of individual ships or are they just fleets?
3. You said that Strategic Bombing “permanently” reduced the production value of a city, but then suggested cities could be built up and improved? Can you repair strategic bombing damage?
I like the idea that you want the make the game detailed, yet playable. I have struggled in my own gaming concepts for that same balance. I like the idea of including such detailed wartime issues as individual resources (Japan was screwed because their home islands had virtually nothing, while the US had just about everything except Uranium), individual factories such as ball bearings, batteries or shipyards, aircraft plants, electrical plants and so on. Basically you would have to have a simple enough system to say that you need a certain amount of aluminum, iron, rubber, oil or whatever to build certain units, and the more you have (at your factories, so you have to transport it there), the more units of a certain type you can make. If you don’t allocate properly, or someone has bombed your rail networks and you can’t get it there quickly enough, productions drops, or stops. This is why I asked about setting back programs like the atomic bomb. If someone had done a Doolittle Raid and took out the Uranium Enrichment facilities at Oak Ridge, and if that was the only production center… or the Germans had focused on sinking any ships leaving the Belgium Congo with the Uranium ore, suddenly the program halts for lack of materials. So if you say that Uranium is only currently located at certain points on the map, and a country doing atomic bomb research needs X number of resource units to conduct research (more allowing for faster results), and the shipments never arrive at the production factory, or factories, suddenly 1945 arrives and there is no bomb.
So many war games leave out significant issues like supply lines. Germany was going for the Russian oil for a reason. Japan was going for the Dutch East Indies oil for a reason. The US was shipping endless material to the UK for a reason. Without it, the war efforts of those nations dwindles. The other item is weather. Nowadays we take for granted that aircraft fly in all kinds of weather, but back then an overcast day meant no air attacks. The Russian Winter comes to mind as a good example. Maybe for simplicity, you simply say that strategic bombing and air support is weakened during winter turns.
And lastly… for this post… you mentioned air combat being a big deal. During WWII, experienced pilots were a big deal too. When Japan and Germany started to lose theirs, it was very apparent. Also, early in the war Japan enjoyed a somewhat qualitative edge with the Zero, which then went downhill as America built far better aircraft, whereas Germany generally fielded some of the best aircraft, but later lacked the numbers and pilots. Will your rules account for this? Can “units” get experience points or some other advantage?