Since it's about late-game adjustments, it should be bases. There are essentially 3 options:
1) Maintain same overall number of VPs available to each side, but: reduce the Japan VPs for various bases not in the "inner core" (Manchuria/Korea, E/NE China, Taiwan, Okinawa, Bonins) that Japan can expect to hold onto until at least the middle of 1945 in a "historically comparable performance" (or close to it) game - this means reducing Manila, Singapore, Rangoon, etc. They're the big ones and you need a big change. In exchange, you then increase the points of the "inner core" areas I just mentioned.
2) Maintain same overall number of VPs available to each side, but: reduce Allied VPs for various bases not in that "inner core".
3) Increase the number of base VPs available to Japan by increasing the "inner core" value without reducing any points elsewhere. In order to counterbalance this increased ability to reach an AV in 1943 or 1944, you would also need to add about 50% of this increase to the Allied side in other semi-safe locations that are safe from all but the most aggressive/successful Japanese player (Hawaii, Alaska, CONUS, India, etc.). In doing this, remember that you are balancing base VPs that Japan would lose in the late game if an Allied player were more successful than history vs. base VPs that an Allied player would lose in the early to mid game if a Japanese player were more successful than history.
The number of VPs that you would need to move around is probably more than 5K, if not somewhere in the low 10K's, so to me the best solution is a combination of all 3. Or, you know, we could all just continue to use our opinions to award victory or defeat instead of having a neutral arbiter in the VP/victory conditions system.
If we assume that an allied decisive victory would be unconditional Japanese surrender, including allowing U.S. forces to occupy the Home Islands at the conclusion of the war (whether the Home Islands had been invaded or not), the value of Home Island bases to Japan (and possibly to the allies as well) should be higher. I would be reluctant to reduce the value of Singapore, Bangkok, or Saigon, for either side, if we want some historical and post-war geo-strategic basis for the victory conditions. Control of these regional capitals would have been the basis for any peace nedotiations that did not include unconditional surrender (i.e. an allied marginal victory or a draw).
In real historical terms, an allied marginal victory would have been a peace that allowed Japan to retain control of all her "home soil:" Formosa, Sakhalin, Honshu, Hokkaidu, and so forth, including possibly Manchuria, depending upon the situation on the ground.
In real terms, a draw would have been a peace that acknowledged the situation on the ground at the end of hostilities: an armistice more than a surrender. Such a peace would have allowed Japan to retain most of her colonial possessions, including Thailand, Manchuria, and possibly even Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In real terms, a Japanese marginal victory would have been a victory that extended the empire, even slightly, which may be as little as adding Hong Kong to Japan's possessions.
As such, I think that the VP values of Singapore, Bangkok, and Saigon should remain mostly unchanged (or even possibly increased for both players). It seems to make more sense, if we wish to use history as the guide, to reduce the VP value of Manila and Rangoon (for both sides), and reduce the value of bases such as Noumea, Luganville, Moresby, and Chungking for Japan to offset increases in the Home Islands. The value of these same bases could be increased for the allies to offset the possibility of Japanese auto-victory in 1943 if the allied player is able to restrain the Japanese advance to its historical limits. Also bases that allow for the strategic bombing of the Home Islands, such as Okinawa, should be reduced for the allies, because the VPs associated with having these bases will come from the strategic bombing, not the base itself.
These are my thoughts on the matter, and my intent is to induce discussion, not provide any definitive guide.
< Message edited by Aurorus -- 1/10/2018 7:22:19 PM >