1. Huberts comments are right on.
2. This a game not a simulation. As I have said elsewhere a game has to be fun for both sides so some "unrealistic" rules are needed to allow balance between sides. Like Herbert said, making any change, especially for some of the innovative suggestions herein, will likely have unintended consequences and game balance implications.
3. I for one appreciate this very long list of ideas but I think caution and game testing are in order to maintain balance.
4. Perhaps some of these ideas can be incorporated into a mod to game play and test.
ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater
We are watching the thread and listening to all the feedback. Often the best thing for us to do before we jump in as it is usually ideal to hear all the different points of view.
That being said, many of the game rules have been in place for well over 10 years and can work just fine until players discover strategies that challenge the logic of existing rules and design decisions. Having in game flexibility to move air units around as shown above is one of them and in the past spending those MPPs to operate that many aircraft as well as placing the required HQs would simply mean a significant weakness in other areas of the map. Typically some strategies only work until the appropriate counter strategy is devised and then all is well again and no intervention is needed from our end at all.
Now in this case it could simply be that one player is very good at working within the rule set no matter what we do, or it could be that long term this strategy doesn't pan out as let's say those extra MPPs spent in the screen shot above eventually come to roost as it results in the Soviet player being able to survive in the USSR and eventually tipping the balance there. For example MPPs spent to move all that air to North Africa eventually needs to be spent to move it back if they are rapidly required elsewhere at some point.
Sometimes we just need to see how dozens of games pan out before making a change if the strategy above only relates to a short term victory and not a long term one.
From our end there are a lot of "developement what ifs" and it's just a matter of being careful of what you wish for as well. For example the game could be made much more realistic, which usually leads to more micro managing, which usually leads to less fun for most players.
It could be that Sugar's game play works only for him, or maybe for everyone, or maybe it is just short term and doesn't win in the long term but even still it found to be offensive to those that want realism no matter what. At the end of the day it is difficult to please everyone, that's simply a reality on our end, and that is something to consider as well.
* * *
Again, the game can always be adjusted, but from our end we've quickly discovered that for each change there can be unintended consequences and we have to be aware of that so that it doesn't turn into a game of whack a mole on our end of constantly changing rules to fix our fixes etc. Which is usually why we sometimes take a wait and see approach. Also, the game is getting older now and the tournament results so far indicate the game is within the realm of balance and we have to balance out any potential changes, time and effort, with also having the ability to move forward and focus on other projects. Unfortuantely in order to survive as a business we need to move our efforts forward at some point, again another simple reality on our end, and also one of the reasons we don't necessarily respond to each and every post as that takes a lot of time as well.
So all of the above bein said, there are a few options for us at the moment:
1) Wait and see if the massing of air fleets is a sure fire win strategy, despite the feeling of it being ahistorical. I suggest this only because the image above is not a free move and does cost MPPs, quite a few when considering the back and forth cost, and one of the big things players do seem to enjoy in game is having flexibility to try different strategies. Of course with the built in pro and con system of having to expend MPPs in order to do so and that those MPPs might cost them elsewhere if needed elsewhere.
2) Add further restrictions to the flexibility in order to achieve either game balance if needed, and/or to add more realism. Again this tends to lead to more micro managing and for some much less fun, but if that is the desire of the majority we will be open minded to that.
3) Change air unit statistics if needed, but even here it is likley to change the dynamic of the game and require careful and considerable adjustments as it will potentially hurt the Axis the most in the early years and the Allies the most in the later years. I'd almost suggest to those that would like to lower the effectiveness of bombers to to simply try this out with the default game, i.e. make just this one change, and see how it goes as my guess is it would require quite a few games to know what sort of long term effect this one change would have on overall game play and if it would solve the concerns outright. I realize from reading above that there are mods that have done this, but I am guessing the mods have other changes in place as well so a simple one element change to the default game would paint a better picture on our end of what else may or may not be needed.
Hope this helps,
LTC Field Artillery
US Army Retired