I think the 1940 games introduced a level of complexity and a level of nuance with respect to production rules that aren't particularly helpful when thinking about the more moderately scaled world-theater boards. The global game is replete with nuanced rules, nuanced national objectives, and 3 different types of IC in the unit roster, but for all this, it still didn't do a whole lot to actually make VC's a core part of the games underlying mechanics.Interesting thought on VC as the only production centers, but the game has evolved to where islands like Philippines or Hawaii aren't eligible for IC anymore (I think that is a good thing).
I suppose from an evolutionary standpoint, I see the production rules for the larger 1940 games as weird mutations, that probably shouldn't be bred into the more moderately scaled boards
My suggestion going forward would be to replace the whole idea of a "factory" or
"industrial complex" altogether, and exchange it's role in the game for that of the VC.
The main argument I see for doing this is simplification. It allows you a way to restrict the total production possible in the game, and anchor it in territories which make sense for the period. It can be used to focus the patterns of the gameplay in historical directions, and to finally give VCs a role at the core of the game, instead of just being added on as an afterthought.
Why for example, should a territory like Borneo or East Indies be allowed to instantly build a "factory" which can in turn produce large numbers of units? This doesn't make any sense. For what I am proposing, in order to exploit the resources from such territories (read IPCs), and transform them into tanks, you would first have to bring these IPCs back to an established population center (e.g. spent at a City, with industry!) so that they could be put together into weapons of war.
Granted, everything in A&A is an abstraction, but under the G40 rules, you are allowed to build factories and produce units in all sorts of places that don't make sense. If you instead concentrated the only entry points for units on the gameboard into those territories which house a VC, you could design a set up which actually reflects the character of industrial production at the time when World War II was being fought.
Under this system the value of a given territory in IPCs, would reflect the value of its raw materials for exploitation, but not necessarily its value for production, since only Victory Cities could actually produce units. Then you just distribute VCs in such a way to encourage a dual theater war.
I like those bonus ideas a lot Wild BillMy proposal was to make all captured enemy VC's worth 5 IPC's to the power that controls them (every round they do so) and tweak the NO system to accommodate.
National Objectives are all well and good, but a VC bonus like the one you and I are talking about now, allows a much simpler way to get that money into play. It might be possible for example, to "tier" the game, such that you can play with two levels of income bonus depending on how complex you wanted to make things. A simple VC bonus, or a more complex NOs bonus system on top of it. For me, (and I can guarantee it would be the same for many people) it is just a lot easier to track a bonus when it can be observed at a glance. NOs require a lot of complex tracking. Not only do you have to be familiar with your own NOs, but you must also be familiar with those of your enemy. This is a lot of information to hold in your head. A VC bonus, alternatively, is much easier to see, since the relevant information is clearly denoted directly on the map.
If we really want people to pay attention to VCs, then we have to find ways to build them into the actual gameplay. If the Victory City has no role in the game, beyond simply existing as text written on the map, then people are not likely to use them in actually determining who wins. On the other hand, if VCs had bonuses tied directly to them, and were the only territories that could produce units, they would immediately become relevant for the purposes of determining "Victory".