From: Upper Michigan
Yes thats nice to see in the game. For the most part its present everywhere, except the WA usually skip building armor. But then so do the Japs. But thats due to the fact that their tanks suck. Its not to hard for the WA to tech up their tanks to 9/9 or even 10/10 since they don't need them until after D-day. So why don't they? Well because the WA is usaully looking for the imediate payoff and will focus research into infantry instead even though it is more expensive than the tank route. I'd like to see the WA's build tanks out of necessity rather than flavor. Once tanks are more encouraging for the WA's to build, they can represent the highly mobile infantry that is all the craze with some at the moment. Instead of giving the infantry a movement of 2 and raising their cost lets try to find ways to encourage the building of tanks to represent the mobile infantry of the US.
I don't see a problem with any nations tech advancement other than the WA's. Russia Germany and Japan have no need to be throttled in this way since they just can't spare the FP's on to much research. The WA's on the other hand can spend way more than was historical on tech. Its not uncommon to see the WA's have better everything than the Germans. Good balance should see the WA's leading in some areas while they lag behind in others. Instead of limiting what the WA's can spend per turn on techs, just realize that the problem is not inherit to the tech mechanics but with how much extra FP's the WA's got left over after they build their stuff. It's this huge left over to spend on tech that is the problem.
Once again if a player is buying to much of one unit it must be because its over teched and therefore good for everything. Like the WA's super infantry. Reducing the amount the WA's spend on tech would curb this building of one super unit. When I play most other countries I feel the variety is there. But one that could be improved is Russia. I wish the Russian tac air had a better starting evasion, then I would probably add them into the build mix. The Russian tac air starts at 4 evasion. That's 2 under the Germans tac air. Making it 5 would probably be enough to make it a more popular build. This would then have an effect on the German way of playing to counter this. The result would be a slight increase in arms variety.
The solution to these problems is, as I said before, to adjust the US production multiple so that the WA's player does not have a ton of excess FP's to toss into the tech pool. Many may feel its sacrilege to suggest moving America's x4 back one year to 1944. That America is suposed to be able to build lots of stuff. I agree, but America did not build all this stuff in addition to surpasing the Germans in every tech category mid war which is what this game now allows. Using a x3 multiple through 1943 would cut US spending in the tech pool up to 18 points each turn. The result would be more historic levels in the tech tree. The WA's would likely continue heavy reaseach into ASW and aircraft related tech since its so important to them, but would have less to spend on land unit techs. When the WA's look to spend on land units the tank becomes a more atractive option.
Amph Assault restriction
I agree a distance of 3 sea zones is about right. This forces island hopping. But trying to remember and enforce the other rules would be too hard. If we could just get 2by3 to see the need to increase the combat penalty then this problem would solve itself since most would not want to try an assult that would probably fail. From rule 8.5.4 it says:
Penalty during amphibiuos invasion: Whenever a land unit conducts an amphib invasion, for every region moved over 2, the unit substracts one die from the total attack it rolls(ie 1 or 2 regions no penalty, 3 regions -1, 4 regions -2, etc.)
I would think increasing the penalty starting at 3 regions to -2 and 4 regions to -3, etc. would be a vast improvement that would force players to stage in areas nearby before launching an assult. This is a simple way to get the effect you are looking for without all the complicated house rules. Lets just twist their arms to get this into the next patch.
Raider range restriction
This problem is a symptom of a broader problem, which is the Japanese inability to place air on islands to provide op-fire on ships that attemt this. I don't mean the Japs can't, I mean they don't want to because they are needed back at the home islands because of the threat of a US thrust into those seas thus cutting off Japan from their resources. Its instant death when this happens so the Japs must prevent this above all else. Thus US ships slip past islands without facing op-fire. If Japan can more effectively protect the seas surrounding the home island then they can spare some forces to place on the outer islands. One of the ways to acomplish this is to raise the Jap production sooner so that they can field more forces quicker. My suggestion to forbid the US x3 production multiple apon the Jap attack went a long way to encurage an earlier attack. The old US strategies were based on low Jap production until 1943 when they just took the DEI and begun to repair. The Japs under this strategy had a hard time getting these resources repaired because the US was breathing down their necks with a x4PM. Now the lastest patch uses my suggestion and the Japs can attack the DEI whenever they feel ready. The overall effect would be that the japs will have more to counter the US with should the US shoot for the home island blockade. Then the Japs may just have enough to spread air over some islands to reduce cheap shot raids by the Americans. Since this revised multiple is now standard, combining this with the increased penalty during amphibiuos invasion that I suggested above can lead to greater confidence in the Jap players security of his home island. Thus he can more freely distrubute his forces on some islands without having to worry so much.
In short most if not all of these problems can be solved without house rules if two simple things were changed.
1. Move the x4 US production multiple to 1944
2. Increase the amphibiuos invasion penalty starting at 3 regions to -2 and 4 regions to -3, etc