OK guys, these are just some thoughts off the cuff, for what they're worth. I'll try to give more examples and clarify some of the ideas, as I go along. I'm a mad editing fool, so I'll expect more to come once I've had a chance to re-read all this stuff I just typed
I just want preface all this by saying how totally genius A&A is. I love this thing and think its as close to perfection as any board game I know of.
That said, this is what I'd want from a Deluxe version.
If Italy is included as a full faction then I would also like to see China as a full faction. Before AA50 I probably would have argued against the inclusion of Italy (even though I helped to make Pact of Steel), but now that the Italians are in I think it makes sense to include the Chinese as well. I always preferred the underdog status of the Axis powers anyway, and I think it was part of what made classic and revised so entertaining. The 3 vs 3 is alright, but even when we were making Pact of Steel, it was always a little gimmicky. I was much more interested for example, in tweaking the Pacific towards a Midway set up, or playing around with other ideas, than I was with Italy.
The third space in China was Cousin Joes suggestion, and I thought it worked out pretty well. But now that we have the Chinese separated off into their own thing, and have demonstrated a willingness to carve up Asia a bit more, I think we should just take it all the way.
I would love to see the definition of IPC relaxed somewhat, so that we can play with the numbers a little easier. Imagine if we could make Hawaii worth 3 ipcs with a factory, what that might do for a pacific showdown? Or all the pacific islands at 2 ipcs, something to really gun for? I don’t think anyone would have a problem with something like that. I feel like with just a little more flexibility on the ipc distribution we could accomplish great things without needing to revisit the rules.
What if we just added some extra clause that says something like “Industrial Production Capacity/Commitment”
And then leave it up to the imagination, how best to interpret the “commitment” part of the idea?
Take Pearl Harbor for example, even though the industrial output of the islands was insignificant compared to production on the mainland, you could still say that much of what was produced on the mainland ended up being “committed” to the defense of Hawaii. Thereby justifying the minor increase in value. You could do something similar in other areas of the board too. Like imagine if North Africa was a few more ipcs, then the Axis might have a reason to fight for it, instead of just handing it over to the Americans. I think the Pacific is the area that needs the most rebalancing though. I would love to see a set up that forces US action in this theater. I think Hawaii at 3 with a factory would do exactly that.
I also favor a starting factory in India, as an allied anchor in South Asia and penultimate target for the Japanese. All in all I think we should have 1 more factory for each of the original 5 major powers. And then 1 each for the new guys as well, so the locations would look something like this:
British: UK, India
Americans: Eastern US, Western US, Hawaii
Russians: Russia, Caucasus, Karelia
Germans: Germany, Eastern Europe (Poland or Romania)
Japanese: Japan, Manchuria (Chosen)
I think an arrangement like that, with only some very minor tweaking of IPC values in certain key territories, and we could achieve that perfect two front game that everyone dreams about. The key territories are the pacific islands and China, and maybe to a lesser extent North Africa and the Med basin. If we could get a capital in China at 6 or 8 ipcs, and maybe one or two easily defensible territories at 2 or 3 ipcs, then they could easily fit onto the board as the seventh player. Then all we have to do is make some minor adjustments to the starting unit set up, to balance out situation in the Pacific/Asia, and we’d be good to go I think. It doesn’t even require a dramatic adjustment to the IPC totals (though I think it would be fun if those were raised slightly.) If you kept the current cost structure, but upped the total values for each player by about 5-10 ipcs, I think everyone would really enjoy it. It would make bigger purchases like battleships, seem more feasible, and just by increasing the total by that little bit, we could easily get away with increasing the value of some of those areas on the map that are so important to the Pacific game. Maybe something more like
On the assumption that the Axis will be able to gain some ground in the first round, this should balance out to be pretty even. I think even a modest increase like this would go a long way towards encouraging more esoteric builds, especially with any additional bonuses that might be factored in.
Actually forget the totals, that’s doesn’t stress what I’m driving at anyway.
Instead let me just put down what I think would be an ideal IPC distribution.
http://img242.imageshack.us/my.php?imag ... plejo5.gif
I would redraw China a bit to make the capital more spacious if we went that route.
I think something like that would really encourage the kind of Pacific gameplay we’re looking for without necessitating any core rule adjustments. The basic game resources (still ipcs) are placed in such a way as to encourage heavy combat in the areas where we want to see it occurring. By playing with this idea of an Industrial Production ‘Commitment’ we could accomplish the main thing that fans have been asking for since Classic: a full showdown between the US and Japan. People look at a territory worth 2 ipcs and they think "OK, now here’s something that’s worth going after." With more income diverted to the territories that are in play, like Alaska or Western Canada, we also make attacks against north America more viable. And in the case of Africa, we give the Axis a reason to fight for control of N. Africa instead of bailing on it entirely to smash and grab sub-Saharan Africa.
The other thing that would be nice about tweaking the values up in favor of 2 ipcs, is that it makes more territories possible for strategic factory purchases, which I think are entertaining. Japan or the USA, might choose to establish ‘bases’ on the islands they conquer, instead of just skipping everything on the way to east Indies. I’m a fan of the factory unit, always have been, and even with the starting factories I have layed down, I can still imagine other locations where we might see them crop up. Basically each player would have more options for new factories, then they would under the current scale which favors territories at 1 ipc.
I would love to see a few more starting naval units for each player. The reduced cost of the naval units in AA50 is great. I like that trend and hope we can stick to it. One thing I would like to see though, is an extra sea zone to seperate Norway from Karelia (so its two moves to and from Archangel/UK). I think that would help to prevent the common UK strat of just camping out in the White Sea, and dropping 8 units a turn into Arch or Karelia. You'd still have the option, but the logistics would at least require a rotating transport scheme.
Also, we might want to playbalance the starting unit set up (first two rounds) under Low Luck rules to ensure proper balance for all the openings. Personally I don’t like LL gameplay and will always remain a dice man, but this style has proven quite popular with some players. LL also reveals some of the basic patterns in predictable ways which can help to isolate any game breaking moves. I’m guessing this is how its already done, with the averages and such, but just in case it isn’t I would recommend it as an option.
Man I'm out of juice right now. Let me think on it some more, and I'll be back tomorrow. And again, beautiful work on the core game. A&A rocks the house!