From: The Land Downunder
The key to playability rests on one of two factors, either concentrate all the clicking, etc. into the hands of a single player (as you have proposed) OR evenly distribute the clicking, etc. around so that no one feels an undue burden. If a player only wants to commit to a modest time involvement, he or she could be the British commander, or if that is too much, the Australian commander. Certainly the US commander would be a heavy burden but that too could be split in MANY ways, Army, Navy, strategic air, etc. As indicated the Japanese play could also be subdivided into area locations and even national groupings (Thai?). The Japanese player could also have an industrial director given the need to supervise the Japanese economy!!!!
The beauty of this game is that the lead player(s) can pick and choose what works for them for a particular campaign or scenario, but there does seem to be those two main options, or a blend somewhere in between.
I’ve seen lots of AARs go with option 2: with 2v1, 2v2. I’ve heard of one that might have been 3v3, but as the number of people involved with entering orders goes up they would take longer to run a turn. I don’t think something like 9v13 would be workable. Running 3 day turns would help speed up progress but reduce detail which some people might not like.
I can’t recall seeing someone try something like option 1 before, so I might open a “positions vacant” item in my current AAR to see if anyone wants to take an IJA or IJN commission at about the Command HQ level without having to get involved in the daily click fest, and see if it works.