From: Washington DC Metro Area
1) I agree on spotting in cities then amphibing to the vacant city.
2) How do you get Italy to surrender in the first few turns?
3) Subs/surface ships doing recon certainly isn't realistic. Neither is the Germans executing Sealion 4 weeks after France's fall by blocking the channel with subs. Especially being the fact that the Brits historically had a much stronger Navy, strong airforce, radar and the Germans had very slow moving barges as amphibious carriers. Even the most optimistic on Sealion agree that the Germans would have had to eliminate the Royal Airforce. Sealions there for the game, and thats ok.
As it stands right now the only way in "the game" to figure out if your opponent is going to attempt an unrealistically easy Sealion is with unrealistic subs/ships doing recon. It ain't right but its so.
I don't care if the game changes the spotting ability of ships but accommodations need to be made for Sealion and Egypt or the game isn't balanced.
2. Without giving away the specifics of certain people's strategy, Italy is invaded from all points of the compass on the turn it enters the game(I will let you figure out how). It does not have enough units to cover all of it's coastal cities without abandoning North Africa to the British, and any empty cities are easily identified using ships. It also, before the last patch, took huge national morale penalties for any landing on its territory, far higher than any other country. These facts, in addition to the loss of most of its navy on the first turn as well, drives its national morale down to dangerous levels on the first turn it enters the game. With its national morale shot, the combat effectiveness of its troops(already minimal) goes to zero. The rest of the country can now be taken easily. The only thing that the Axis player can do is flood Italy with German troops for the rest of the game trying to prevent any further morale loss. The loss of these troops permanently and so early in the game means an Allied victory. If the Germans don't move the troops in, Italy surrenders and the Allies win again. Now THAT is game unbalancing.
3. As far as Sealion goes, I always used aircraft to scout the French ports, not ships. But I believe that under the new rules if there is an amphibious assault ship in a port, a ship will see it if it gets adjacent to the port, I do not think that ability is impaired. So I am not sure what the problem is. You seem to want to be able to see them on land, in the cities before they even embark, which just isn't realistic with a ship. Or necessary. Use an aircraft, that is how these reconnaissance missions were accomplished during the war, not with ships. Unless you have already flown them all to Egypt, which is your choice, but you have to live with the consequences of it. Sealion is a little too easy, but in a turn based game, the invasion cannot be intercepted between France and Dover. Getting on Britain is fairly easy, taking all of Britain is very hard and time-consuming, I guess that is the deterrent in this game.
I'm not sure how Egypt is effected. You have aircraft there too, if you feel that you just have to know what is in a certain hex. What do you think the issue is there? Maybe we could find a way to mitigate it...
Regarding naval spotting.
1. Cruisers and BBs did have spotting planes. These amphibious planes, even the best ones, were slower than pretty much any modern 1940s monoplane fighter. SC3 units are for masses of fighters. The coasts of all the belligerents were covered by search planes and small groups of anti-ship/sub planes. A single CA/BB or even several would have, in most cases, be spotted and shot down. If I was to write a rule for this I would say CVs spot per their current rules, amphib units can spot once per turn. CAs and BBs can spot each turn but 25% success 75% no success and 50% loss one point. DDS and Sub no spotting.
2. Certainly prior to 1942 any Allied amphib operation outside of the north sea is very gamey. The Allies and Axis simply didn't have the amphibious ships to support. Now both sides can invest and if get lucky can do some serious attacks in late 1940. I had this happen to me, I wasn't ready, and it worked. The rule I would make is to increase the cost to do it by both sides by 50% until June 1942 or until getting to Anphib level 2.
Live Long and Prosper,
LTC Field Artillery
US Army Retired