After putting forward this idea last year, it’s been discussed in various other threads so I’m splitting it out here to avoid derailing them. I’m sure someone else has thought of this, but it seemed original and interesting enough to warrant consideration. I see this applying widely but at least to Anniversary '41 and to AA42.2.
Before the start of the game, in lieu of any bid, the Allies may instead elect any one Allied-controlled territory to be the “Colonial Outpost” for that game. If they do, add a Industrial Complex* and AAA unit** to that territory and increase it’s IPC value by +1 (but not over 3) for the duration of the game. If the Colonial Outpost is ever captured by the Axis Powers, the Industrial Complex there is destroyed (not captured) and the value of the territory reverts back to the original value printed on the board.
* This is a Minor IC in games that include Minor ICs
** Only in games where ICs do not have built-in AAA
The background for this idea is the combination of two problems that seemed to have dogged at least the ‘mainline’ games like 42.2 and Anniversary:
- Axis bias (sometimes extreme)
- Godzilla-Japan (KJF is an order of magnitude more difficult than KGF; JTDM; etc.)
The consensus fix for balance’s sake is an Allied bid. Bids do offer a kind of flexibility and balance, but are by definition minimal (usually no more than one unit per TT allowed)- and they can be subject to fiddly restrictions or ultimately swept away by a single unlucky roll of the dice. A hitpoint in Egypt in no way guarantees it holds against even a nominal G1 attack; and Indian bid cannot ultimately preserve it from Japan; units in Russia have to be scrutinized to avoid breaking the tenuous R1/G1 balance; and so on. What makes the Colonial Outpost idea so interesting to me is that it can’t be negated with dice alone (it’s a vector change, not just an incremental blip) while also being very simple: just place a factory and bump the IPC value up by 1 (unless it’s already 3+).
Some additional considerations of a Colonial Outpost rule might be
Maybe we want to allow any IC placed by the allies as part of a bid to be considered a “Colonial Outpost”, following the same rules as above, ala: “Any IC placed as part of an Allied bid is considered to be a ‘CO’…”
– This would allow the CO to be just a part of the bid and not the entirety thereof, meaning you could have this AND some elements of a normal bid, or they could be combined for an even stronger CO e.g. CO +1 Inf in the event of a bid of 18, etc.
For that matter, maybe we build in a free Infantry or two to the CO, to widen the range of possible locations to include those where a naked IC could fall even before it’s owner takes a turn.
Maybe we should set a bid threshold that would have to be met in order to depoloy the CO with this: “In any game where the settled bid is greater than X, the bidding side may elect to waive that bid and designate a CO…”
– X =…18? 20? You can already just bid a factory, if you want, and the +1 IPC/turn is nearly worthless by itself… but +100% or +50% production capacity is obviously a game-changer in a default 1 or 2 IPC territory.
[ G40 only ] Maybe we should preclude the risk-free upgrade of the CO into a full-blown Major IC with this: “If the Colonial Outpost’s Minor IC is ever upgraded to a Major IC, that Major IC is exempt from the special CO rule above and is not destroyed automatically when the territory is captured. Follow the standard OOB rules for IC capture instead.”
I’m teaching either AA50 or AA42.2 to a group soon, and I’m intending to give this rule a try. I’m not sure that this rule wouldn’t also be some fun for the Axis side as well, I just can’t think of a game other than Revised where anyone ever has to bid to take the Axis