@taamvan Thank you for your response as it beautifully sums up the disconnect surrounding this issue. While I certainly can’t speak for anyone else, the arguments that I have advanced here and elsewhere, as well as many of the arguments I have seen over the years pertaining to the overly simplified retreat rule are not based in any way on their reasonableness or their lack thereof from a game balance perspective.
Axis & Allies is a re-creation of an event from our very recent history. It’s not Dune, it’s not Root, it’s not Twilight Imperium. It’s not just another board game that simply needs to be fun, interesting, and deep. Its appeal is that it is simultaneously extremely accessible and attempts to remain true to the spirit of accurately depicting the realities of the Second World War.
Ultimately, over the past 43 years, the game has changed multiple times resulting in a consistent increase of complexity while still remaining one of the most accessible wargames you’ll find. This is a damned challenging tightrope to walk and Larry Harris indeed deserves our gratitude and recognition.
This does not mean, however, that we are not to point out rules that need changing. From the perspective of a game designer one of the most reliable indications that a rule needs to be altered, changed, or tweaked is when it creates extremely non-intuitive gameplay and motivations. In an historical game it also needs to be considered if it is creating clearly anti-historical gameplay situations.
Yes, there are other facets of the game that would certainly fall under these umbrellas, and yes, this is a rule that has been part of the game for years and is a part of making the game relatively simple. But if we can keep track of the movement remaining on planes coming from 6 different territories to the same battle, we can keep track of which units came from which land territories.