Rich, I'm not sure you are communicating what you want very well, so I went back to the OP to see and respond.
Actually I was hoping for some AI improvements in what is an entirely new game, not an expansion. Like having the AI capable of using carriers and airborne and smarter at blowing/repairing bridges, stuff like that.
I've done some reading and I don't know what the AI is or isn't capable of, but I also don't know how much it has been improved. I do know that the AI is restricted by the same resources as the player, so that is an improvement. As far as bridge busting and carriers, it would be nice to have that, sure.
It looks like existing scenarios will work with the original game that will be included but not gold so I see no improvement there although there will of course be gold scenarios in due course.
From what I've seen, it looks like you can load up your original scenarios using AT Classic and then you will be able to load up new scenarios in ATG. When I bought AT, there were only a few scenarios available but this was quickly rectified. As you said, in "due course" this should be a moot point.
The new random engine looks nice but kind of generic.
I don't think so at all. Generic in what way? The pics I've seen posted show pretty lively looking maps and fairly interesting land/water features. The original AT was pretty utilitarian in that regard, and the maps were not particularly pretty or "unique" but they worked well (no worse than a Civ or Empire map). So I guess I don't see this, but I suppose this is personal preference.
ARHS works well and I don't really see much of an improvement there. Just a couple of bells and whistles. Of course I never play multi and mostly random games so I'll be in a minority with this post but unless there's more info that I'm interested in I'll probably pass and save the $30-40. Just my opinion fwiw.
I never used ARHS, so I can't comment there. I never played a multi game and stuck to the random game as well, and IMHO the random games are being heavily pushed in the ATG marketing. Which makes me think that this is a priority for Vic et al.
Where did you get the $30-40 price range? Just curious. I've not seen any talk about price, other than a pretty clear statement that previous owners of AT will get some form of a discount.
Obviously your opinion is valid to you, and is certainly understandable. But I don't know what exactly you wanted here and I don't feel like Matrix or Vic is hiding anything with this project - it all seems rather clear that this is a major overhaul of AT without being a completely different game.
"Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet!"
(Kill them all. God will know his own.)
-- Arnaud-Armaury, the Albigensian Crusade