Yeah I was able to fight a pretty effective campaign in the Americas, at least vs the machine hehe. Here is another one using the standard file...
I guess I can see what you're saying about not wanting the AI's shortcomings to dictate the set-up, though I still think its a bit of a missed opportunity, since the scenario is pretty fun for a solo, and it's hard to say if/when the AI will ever be able to catch up (esp. for things like canal ownership.)
Under player control the Axis side is pretty fun and the AI Allies put up a decent fight. The AI Allies utilize a fairly historical attack pattern and the fact that there are so many centers of power means that the AI Allies have lots of ways to mass their forces together, giving the AI big dogs more chances to break out.
Playing as Allies vs AI Axis however, Germany can be kind of a let down as an opponent. Weirdly it seems to be AI Italy, more than Germany that leads the AI Axis team in Europe. AI Japan is sort of hit or miss, I think it comes down to who prevails in the early contest along that Manchurian border, and how quickly their transports get picked off by the Dutch or Aussies or whoever. I've seen games where the Japanese steamroll their way to Siberia and others where they get booted off the mainland by the Chinese. I mean most of the difficulty level stuff can be handled with an AI bonus, so its more about the shape of things out of the first couple rounds.
Even with two human players though, having Denmark neutral in the opener is kind of tough. With the current distribution of forces Germany's only sensible option is to attack the British fleet immediately. If they attack with everything in range (including the air transport) its 99% with 7 units remaining. If they don't attack, and don't build up naval defense, then the chance they survive a British attack is only like 15%, so the choice is attack or run away. For some reason AI Germany doesn't seem to attack the British fleet anymore, it just bounces north out of harms way instead where it can't be reinforced. It's a bind because, even if G did attack, spending the whole fleet on the first turn also leaves them vulnerable, because those starting units are pretty much impossible to replace.
I like having options too, since the most entertaining part of the game is the chance to make departures from the history. That said, I guess the main thing I would suggest with respect to the common timeline/start date is that under the current scheme Paris falls on G1 every game, and historically that happens on June 14th, 1940. So if that's the deal then it makes sense historically for Scandinavia to already be under German control. Or at least to set it up such that the Denmark/Norway attacks are similarly routine. Trying to get the AI to do that consistently seems like kind of a tall order, which is why I thought maybe just giving it to G from the outset. I mean I definitely prefer them true neutral to pro-side, but having them under German control is pretty similar to having them true neutral, which is why I brought it up.
Just been running some tests to see how the AI handles the German naval situation.
Here is a typical example of what the Hard AI does under the normal conditions (here the Germans do take Denmark, but move their main fleet away)...
0_1521866803081_2.2 Hard AI test.tsvg
And here is one with a Scandinavia edit (Hard AI Germany attacks British fleet)...
0_1521867081293_2.2 Hard AI Danish Straits edit test.tsvg
Here is a typical example of what the Fast AI does (sends the main fleet north to take Russian convoy zone, Baltic fleet doesn't move)...
0_1521867380933_2.2 Fast AI test.tsvg
And here is how the Scandinavia edit looks with the Fast AI (attacks Russian fleet and retreats to Baltic)
0_1521867260372_2.2 Fast AI Danish Straits edit test.tsvg
To me the edit plays feel more convincing, at least on the water. Strangely the Germans always go really light into France, taking just the bare minimum to attack Paris at advantage, but not really enough to press very hard the following rounds. When the British survive this leads to a lot of dunkirk'n about on the part of the Allies hehe. Anyhow, just messing around. Clearly a human player can put together a much better attack plan, but would be nice if the AI script for G was little more solid. I think the size of the suggested AI bonus has to go up quite a bit depending on how much TUV AI Germany destroys in their opener. Like if they regularly work the British fleet, they probably don't need as much of a bonus to be competitive, but if the British fleet regularly survives, then we probably need a bigger bonus to compensate.