ORIGINAL: Peter Hugo
Using Unrestricted Naval Warfare is the way to boost German National Morale, as doing so will boost it by 75 points per turn per area of unrestricted hexes where German naval units are operating. These areas have different designs to signify them, and therefore German NM could be boosted by 300 NM points a turn by this.
It will trigger the US to mobilize, but it can be stopped before the US reaches too high a mobilization level. It's best for Germany to pull back from actual hostilities with the USA, as a US war entrance will hit German NM by 2,000 points.
In terms of NM losses via unit casualties, the graphs showing the NM values of losses should give a clearer picture, rather than of units destroyed as all casualties impact on NM, whether or not the unit is destroyed.
Bill, I completed several games to test my blockade hypothesis that it may be too harsh. My first game was as Allies on default settings and enforced full blockade as much as possible, and then played a second game without enforcing the blockade at all. In the first game, the German NM hit zero in July 1916 and they surrendered, they had taken 37,410 MPPs in losses. In the second game at July 1916 the German NM is 28% and they have taken 34,116 MPPs in losses. Total Allied losses were 34,253 MPPs and 30,660 MPPs respectively. Unfortunately, in the first game, the Germans hardly used USW, but in second game they used it more. The 28% difference could mostly be related to the blockade, but could also be partially explained by the degree of use of USW and total MPPs lost by Germany and the Allies. Assuming 20% is due to the blockade, does that seem like an unreasonable amount by mid 1916 with more years of war left? It seems if the AI is playing the CP, and the Allies enforce the blockade, then the AI should be made to use USW or it will likely face defeat before 1917.
Thanks for the feedback. The actual impact of both the blockade and unrestricted naval warfare is exactly the same as in our original WWI releases, though as I noticed during beta testing, that doesn't necessarily mean that the National Morale starting values can remain the same.
One big change however was that for the original releases the AI received large National Morale bonuses at the start of the game, the exact bonus varying with the difficulty level, whereas this approach wasn't adopted here.
Instead, much more subtle and gradual bonuses are received, and it may be that they aren't enough. I'll give this some thought.