From: Vancouver, BC
Bill - I very much appreciate your openness to ideas for an updated Game Manual. An interim step, as suggested by others in this thread, would be to produce a consolidated list of all the rule changes since the game was released keyed to the headings in the Manual. But speaking for new players (which I was six months ago) having an up to date version of the Manual is important. I learned the game by reading the Manual and I still refer to it frequently, even though I know it is not the final word on how the game works. The Manual is the place where everything is laid out in a logical order and explained in full sentences. It is also the best place to explain the intersection between different elements of the rules - which is the heart of gameplay.
There are some rules that have been changed since the game was released, but there are many more game mechanics which were very briefly or never explained in the first place which I have learned by posting questions on this Forum and receiving answers from yourself or Hubert. A small example is supply levels for units on amphibious transports, addressed in a recent thread. If you do revise the Manual, it is those under or unexplained areas that I would most like to have spelled out.
For me the two biggest areas that would benefit from a rewrite are the supply rules and the mechanics governing production and the economic warfare. Supply is an obvious area, as you can see from the many posts on this Forum addressing supply questions. It is also an area where a few significant changes have been made to the rules.
But a better example of an area that would benefit from a revision and expansion of the Manual would be to add a section on the economic dimensions of the game. By this I mean questions like the following: how are MPP levels calculated? How many MPPs do different resource hexes produce? How can you increase your side's production of MPPs and what are the ways of reducing the enemy's MPP production? What are the various functions of: urban resources; ports; railroads; roads; mines? How can you damage the enemy's economic infrastructure by attacking, blockading or capturing these kinds of hexes, and what are the limits to being able to convert them to your own use? What are the scorched earth rules and when do they apply? What are the rules for convoys? What triggers convoys starting? How can convoys be reduced through raiding? How can convoys be shut down entirely through military action or through diplomacy? What is the difference between the supply level of a resource hex, its MPP value and its National Morale value (if any)?
Some of these questions are well covered in the existing manual but they are in disparate places. For example, a description of reducing the supply values of cities can be found under Air Combat dealing with Strategic Bombing but of course there are other ways of reducing cities' supply values e.g. through naval bombardment. Pulling them altogether into a new section on the economic dimensions of the game would be really helpful, in my view.
Other players no doubt will have other sections they would like to see added or expanded to the manual. I think crowd-sourcing suggestions through this forum is an excellent idea.
< Message edited by mdsmall -- 12/1/2020 1:58:03 AM >