What do you think of the idea for giving the French one free infantry a turn to represent the gathering and enlarging of the Free French forces that occurred during the war? This would only really be potentially game-changing in the much later turns and if the French player decided to stack them on a single territory.
EDIT: After running some battle calculations in a situation where France goes first, buys 4 infantry and an AA gun while consolidating everything it can on Paris including the London Fighter It would have 12 Infantry, 3 artillery, 3 tanks and 2 fighters. Now if you add the 3 infantry, 1 artillery and 1 tank to counteract France spending 19 additional IPCs you have land units able to attack the territory of France consisting of 10 infantry, 4 mechs, 4 artillery and 4 tanks. There are also 5 tac bombers in range, 5 fighters and 1 bomber. Obviously Germany cannot commit its entire airforce but if they commit 4 of their tac bombers leaving 7 of their planes free to pursue other objectives than the attacking force would win 99.5% of the time and would suffer on average 54 IPCs worth of damage to the French's 86. Germany would take France with 2 mechs and 6 tanks with the only allied troops left in France consisting of British troops. When compared to the current Battle for Paris in the Alpha setup where if Germany attacks with only its land units it will lose on average 23 IPCs to the French's 48 and that still leaves the 2 remaining French infantry (one in Normandy and one in Southern France) along with the 1 artillery and 1 tank in those territories respectively.
Obviously these calculations do not encompass every move the French or German player could make in these situations but based on them I think that even if France got to turtle for a turn and buy an AA gun that it would not really affect the outcome when Germany is given enough units to offset that spending of 19 IPCs. So far it seems like given the right execution, France going first could spice up the game without unbalancing things to much and allow whoever controls France to actually make a move besides consolidating infantry in Africa or scrambling their fighter in the UK before the game is almost over.
Also, when you create a situation where Germany has to actually commit some air power to the battle of France it definitely adds to the realism component of the game because their air power was a very important factor in that campaign. Although a situation like this would not prevent them from going forward with other air attacks, they just wouldn't be as wide spread.
France is never the only power a player would have. Italy often is. By giving italy more of a challenge on the ground in africa and less of a challenge making it safe to move out of the Adriatic, the Med can be more dynamic, and a power that actually has business being a major player has a chance to do so.
Any good British Player would hope the Italians were dumb enough to head south instead of east.
It's easy enough - after saving London from Sea Lion - to plunk a transport and some odd units in SAF, to fight for India or the Middle east.
The Alpha+.2 Balance is really good, the player strategies, play styles, and poor/good decisions making, is the controlling issue that effects the game.
Allowing the french to place 1 unit per turn is not a good idea. What it leads to, is people getting the hope that "France is a power" and that they should play them as an independant state. It starts a line of thinking that is contradictory to what you already believe - so it's best forgotten.
France is just right the way it is.
The territory containing Paris should have been two territories. Eastern France bordering part of Belgium-Holland, Western Germany, Switzerland, North Italy and Southern France, and a central one containing Paris that borders all surrounding areas.
It should be two movement points from Western Germany or Northern Italy to Paris. There should not be many units in the Central Territory to start, since after Dunkirk there was really no significant force between the Germans and Paris, and to preserve Paris the French allowed the Germans to walk-in.
With this setup the Germans would have the choice to attack Paris only from Belgium-Holland and not straight from Western Germany. The Maginot Line and armaments would be represented in Eastern France and there would be no silly Italian ability to attack Paris from Northern Italy.
However, this is no longer possible unless they wanted to reprint the map. It would really help out for 1939 scenarios as well.
I think there is really no point in beefing up France at this point in the development of the game. If Larry were to make a 1939 version of Axis and Allies I would lobby for the above map change. A 1939 version with the map as it is offers no reason to attack Belgium-Holland. A straight move to Paris from Western Germany for a quick victory was not really a viable strategy in 1939 or 1940 which is why the Germans tried to go through Belgium-Holland. With this map there is not really a lot you can do to save France for any period of time.
But on the bright side, I do enjoy any game that lets me defeat and humiliate France!!!
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