From: Houston, TX
I doubt there is any need for a "confusion" penalty for me, since on the subject of cooperation, I remain thoroughly confused and have been since TOAW came out. The manual just doesn't describe how it actually works and I've never given it rigorous tests.
Now, the manual does seem sort of clear provided all units have the same support scope. But it looks like Norm didn't think forces would use more than one scope for their units, because the manual doesn't describe what happens in those cases where, for example, a unit with free scope combines with a unit with internal scope, etc. In fact, you can get completely different cooperation flags in the Attack Planner - with the exact same units assigned to the attack - based upon which unit you add last. Now, does that cause different combat results? I haven't really checked.
I have heard that Norm answered on the web that the higher scope takes precedence, and that seems to be the case (any free scope unit will get support from internal scope ranged units, for example). I can see issues with that if the free scope unit is minor and most of the attack/defense is made up of internal scope units, for example.
What Jarek suggested kind of sounds like a band-aid kluge on top of a poorly understood mess. We first need to find out how cooperation really works. Then decide just how we think it should work. And then overhaul the whole thing.
So, if we have a Greek unit, a Turk unit, and a US unit stacked together, and the Greeks and Turks are uncooperative while the US has full cooperation with the Greek and limited cooperation with the Turk, what should happen? What if the US unit is 1/10th the size of the Greek and Turk units? Etc.
While we're at it, one issue with cooperation that has always concerned me was that it's too crude. There are only three states. Better would be a 1-100% range. For example, there might be progressively greater cooperation issues between German units in different divisions, corps, armies, and army groups, but probably not to the level of what "limited" cooperation inflicts.
Finally, what Jarek also seems to be seeking is a motive to keep all the units of a given formation in proximity to each other. If so, that really isn't going to be addressed by cooperation and needs some other mechanism devised. Perhaps there should be an increase in chance of formation reorganization if its units get too separated (maybe a radius set by designer). If so, we first need to provide a mechanism to reassign units into different formations (Item 4.2), to allow players to address a scattered situation.