I am enjoying this conversation, btw.
OK, the environment. With the GOA exe, Frank used a Resource Manager, probably from the late 90's. The Resource Manager allows the progarmmer to create forms (windows) within an EXE file, to handle all the list boxes, messages, buttons and artwork, and displays of other strings, etc. that you seen when you execute the game. Chances are this part of the exe (its a tool), is older and maybe 16 bit (I don't know), and this maybe why you need compatability mode in Win 7 (maybe the 64 bit version), when you run the game in that environment.
Surely, he hasn't pitched this RM. He just wants to use a newer one going into the future for the newer operating systems. Also, he could link the RM portions of the exe into it's own DLL (another form of exe), so that these parts (that manage windows), are seperated from the remainder of the executable code.
It would a goal for the mod, to come up in the existing game first, in its current environment, and then see if anyone wants to go futher.
If Frank has done his job, the executable code, has no idea that it is running a period specific game. What makes it a WW1 game vs a WW2 game, is the artwork, and the game's data.
If the border hexes are determined by program logic alone to determine where to display the borders, then that would be an exception to what I just stated above. However, perhaps it is the case that the hex or map data file or the scen files, describe which hexes are border hexes, etc.