Ps. So yeah, I'm thinking that Benelux and Iceland worth +5 would solve a lot of problems for the Allies vs Europe. Right now it is the Axis who make most of production purchases and they can expand pretty naturally with a factory at each new echelon as they grow. But the Allies end up kind of stuck, unable to really build new production hubs as they push out.
Historically the British had Operation Fork invading Iceland in 1940 to deny it to the Axis. And Germany had a planned Operation Ikarus to seize it. The defense of Iceland was transferred from the UK to the US in 1941. So any of those nations taking control would make sense historically, and the value at 5 would make this play more worthwhile.
Similarly having the Low Countries worth 5 would open up options for the UK to do a little Dunkirk, or Market Garden action, or give the US a way to establish production in Western Europe (without requiring Normandy.) Probably better as a true neutral, so the Germans don't opt not to conquer it. I think both those make sense.
One issue that probably should be addressed though is the Sea Lion thing. Right now England caps out at 5 hitpoints in production, whereas Germany has 10 hitpoints in production to start, and can easily increase this to 15 or 20 hitpoints, with a couple factory purchases.
To get more than 5 hitpoints on England you either have to ferry or fly in units from the US, Halifax or Russia. Canada and the US are both 2 turns from England. Russia can purchase fighters in Leningrad and send them over, but that also takes 2 turns. Germany by contrast can have close to 30+ hitpoints on England by G2. So I'm not sure it's really possible for the Allies to prevent Sea Lion right now if the Germans are committed.
I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to consider strengthening Scotland, and perhaps giving it a starting factory. Not sure, I'll have to look at the map again when I get off. I think adding to the British would probably be more fun than taking stuff away from Germany, although fewer starting transports for G might end up being easier to balance. Right now Germany can get 13 hitpoints into Scotland at the end of G1 (if they take no hits.) The British have just enough to destroy this at odds, but the issue there is that they can't counter attack in Scotland and defend England at the same time. Since the latter is more important (Capital/Factory) Germany basically can do a walk in. I think this is going to be a tough one to strike the right balance, because it's nice for G to have an option for Sea Lion, but we don't want it too easy. Right now though I can't see any reason not to invade Scotland on the first turn.
Somewhat related to the Sea Lion thing, is the ease with which Italy and Germany can take all the straits around Europe on the opening turn of the game. Denmark, Gibraltar, Istanbul and Egypt are all pretty easy marks. So the Axis really open things up on the water.
Russia can certainly have a lot of attack power bearing down on East Prussia in fairly short order, which is a deterrent to some of those naval escapades. But it still takes them at least 3 turns to truly get into position for a major offensive of the sort that could threaten Berlin. By which time Germany can stack England and then transport all the units back to the East, leaving the defense of the West to the Kriegsmarine. A competent human Allied player will handle the naval situation much better than the AI, of course, but right now G definitely has the initiative there, and seems pretty tough to stop.
Even going with a transport build G1 to ice the invasion of England, it's still pretty straight forward to deadzone the Atlantic. This was a little slower, and ultimatelt more expensive than buying the Graf Zeppelin outright, but still allowed me to wheel back East with plenty of time to hold vs AI Russia.
I think maybe what the AI Allies (US/UK) need is a string of potential production hubs. Perhaps Southern Greenland +5 to Iceland +5 up North, and Tangiers +5 or maybe Liberia +5 down South would give the US a way in? If they could build a chain out of Greenland or Africa it would at least spread the Kreigsamarine in two directions. Norway or Benelux +5 might be sweet to serve as forward production hub goal for Western Europe, similar to the way Libya or Egypt are for North Africa. Basically what seems to happen for the Allies is that the US AI gets stuck floating, despite having a ton of naval TUV, but without production hubs close enough to the action to really start moving the ball forward. I see something similar happening in the Pacific. I wonder if adding a Truk as a starting Japanese territory +5, in Pacific 5 sz might help? Then the US would have target territory that also puts it in range of the home island. So they'd have some way to hold the IJN in the cat and mouse between production centers. Hawaii +5 might work in a similar way, but in reverse if the tables are turned and its Axis AI. Anzac is pretty good at defending KNIL pacific territory, so the dutch money islands aren't necessarily available as a US springboard. That's why I was thinking an intermediate hub somewhere sooner might help here in the Pacific as well. I guess maybe it wouldn't be an issue if there was some kind of US annexation, so they could set up hubs the way they did historically. Lending materials to lease bases.
Anyhow here is that Sea Lion game vs AI Allies (regular income) after 9 rounds. Germany just won an epic battle for control of Leningrad, and Italy and Japan are on a steady march...
0_1493627346500_39 Iron War Elk Axis vs Fast AI Allies J9.tsvg