This map describes the minimum requirements of a production mod to get all zero IPC territories up to a value of at least 1.
You can see that Japan has 6 zero ipc territories
UK has 3
USA has 3
The 6 Russian territories at 1 ipc are highlighted in red. If brought up to 2 ipcs, this would give Russia a total of 30.
Note that USA has money in Central USA that can be pushed out to other locations. Japan has (a more limited) number of ipcs in Borneo and Dutch East Indies. UK does not have much that can be pushed out, unless you want to take away from Eastern Canada, which I don't really like as an option, since this territory has been the same since classic. I prefer to just give UK an extra IPC in India, since this can be used to hold Japan off the south more effectively, than it would anywhere else on the board. I would suggest then, with the adjustments for the zero ipc territories. It is possible to create the following scenario for starting income.
To me that feels very clean, and not so terribly far from the standard 1942.2 board.
What do you guys think?
To achieve the starting income listed above
My suggestion is all zero value territories at minimum 1 ipc
+1 IPC India
Central US -3, Szech +1, Hawaii +2
All Russian territories at 1 raised to 2
Norway +1, Finland +1, Northwestern Europe +1, Poland +1
(the Other possibility for G, would be to leave them the same, or even knock them down to 40 to keep the starting numbers nice and round, but that seems somewhat harsh.)
Basically Axis are receiving +9 ipcs total, to compensate for Allies +13
earlier thoughts, on how to scale this up even further...
Proposed mod for 1942.2 to increase production in contested areas. Alpha xml below
edit: This is just a working model for High production which presents certain challenges. See above for a lower production model.
High Production mod
The idea is to invert the Russian situation. This is based on the finding that less value in the Soviet territories didn't really do much in preventing the all out tank drives. Instead I would suggest more money as a better solution, even if it is at risk, the money allows for a stronger Russian start, and a greater incentive to fight for territory rather than folding into a Moscow ball. :)
I think this is an interesting approach to explore how the map might be improved through production tweaks, with a factory unit now at a cost of 12 to match the price of the new cheap bombers. This model could also support the inclusion of Italy (with some tweaks to the value of Italy and surrounding territories). I think this is the first step towards a full fledged mod, but before any unit adjustments are made, I would like to concentrate on production values. This is what I would describe as an ideal set up for me. More viable locations at a value of 2 or more, and a much stronger Russian starting position. The increased values are offset by having more territories in swing regions, so it is possible for the money to trade hands more often.
The most important goal is to eliminate all 0 PU territories!
The next most important goal is to re-balance Russia and the Pacific.
Each territory has a minimum value of 1 here. The other adjustments were made in accordance with this necessity. Essentially the map is organized on the principle that it is better to have production in contested areas rather than out of reach, so instead of putting the increased money in the core it has been distributed across those areas of the map which are more likely to encourage territory trading. Both sides are encouraged to fight for their starting territories, Allies in particular are encouraged to fight, rather than withdraw to focus on the center, due to the amount of money in these contested areas.
Note especially the situation in China and the Soviet Far east, as well as the Pacific Islands, The Eastern Front, Scandinavia, and the North Africa Suez canal area. All this is intentionally designed to encourage fighting/trading in these regions, and to make these theaters more significant to the endgame. Most of the money has been added to Allies, but in such a way that Axis can take it with effort.
The current start values are as follows
So each nation has been increased by roughly 10 PUs, except Russia which has increased by 16.
It is possible to increase Russia to only 30, but this would almost certainly require starting unit adjustments which I would like to avoid if at all possible. Putting them at 40 does much more to create interest and variety for all nations.
But let me know what you think of the current distribution. If you feel that 40 is too high for Russia? If not these are the values I would like to support, even if it requires minor adjustments to starting units in the end, then that is certainly fine, but first I am most interested right now in how others feel about my approach to the base values. It is possible that this sort of distribution will support more varied gampley without needing to make all that many modifications (possibly none) to the starting unit set up. I think the new production values will lead to more engaging gameplay patterns, on both sides, so I am eager to hear what you guys think.
If it is agreeable, I would suggest that we make a kind of "pact of steel" game for v5, like we did after Revised came out, using the above production as the basis. It could also be possible to make a kind of "pact of steel" game for v6 as well, with artillery included and some production tweaks. Would anyone be interested in something like this? I feel confident that we can make a v5 game based on this gamemap, without requiring anything too elaborate. I favor maintaining all map divisions, just concentrating on production and let that guide any alterations to the starting units. Make sense?
The xml below does not include them, but we could also balance the game with additional starting factories if need be. For example, if Axis are too strong, a starting factory in Evenki may be sufficient to help Russia hold the far east for a time, without having to mess around with any of the other starting units. Another location which might be interesting for a starting factory is Hawaii. If Allies, prove to strong a factory in Romania, or Okinawa could balance. I think the ideal would be all unit placement and map divisions remain the same as OOB 1942.2, only production modifications. But I believe this current arrangement may prove reasonably balanced, without messing around with the map or unit placement, just production tweaks. So I would like to try it first, and then let that balance guide any decisions about further production or unit adjustment. Ideally it should be even without a bid. Right now it seems to play pretty well.
The Karelia boost alone, goes a long way towards balancing the set up. Another interesting aspect of increasing the value of the Russian fast east instead of lowering it, is that it gives Japan more options to combat North America, rather than exclusively focusing on Russia. I have tried to set it up, so that there are more natural stepping stones all across the board.
There is now a more moderately scaled production mod as well, xml and save included above. This lower production mod retains the factory cost at 15 (basically only USA and Japan are going to buy them), though factories could be optionally lowered to a cost 12 ipcs if people like to explore that idea. The goal here was to show what I think is probably the minimum necessary adjustments to get those zero ipc spaces at 1 ipc.