barterer2002 wrote:Oak, I've been thinking about this one for a day now. Most of my concerns have already been discussed but the big one that just bugs me is the ability to fortify 4 terts and get both a continent and a railroad (Madras Presidency and Madras-Bombay). As I think about it, I'm led to a previous discussion about the bonuses of Calcutta-Delhi and I'm less and less convinced that the railroads are a positive on this map-at least from a gameplay perspective. Essentially what we've got is 3 railroad bonuses-2 of which will essentially add to a continent bonus and do little else.
Your concern is not lost on me, barterer. Personally I think the railroads are a fun little twist to gameplay that don't require somebody to spend too much time working them out. So while I'd like to keep them, I think it's worth looking at each railroad line individually to see what their impact will be on the play of the map.
Calcutta - Delhi has been the center of much discussion in this thread. The idea behind its presence in the middle of a region is to create some incentive for activity in what could otherwise be a wasteland in the center of the map. Without the railroad Bengal is this map's Asia: you shuffle some armies around to help secure the small regions on the periphery, but the action is elswhere. It's my favorite railroad on the map, and I think it lends a lot to play.
Bombay-Calcutta will be absolutely nasty to hold, but I can see situations arise where a player scores a good start in the Central Provinces and expands along the railroads. It could be a powerful forces in some games, completly ignored in others.
It's the Bombay - Madras route that you are concerned about, and for good reason. The idea behind that railroad was, like the northern track, to create another viable start for somebody, in this case somebody who starts in the south. Fo this reason I think that it is good that it exists, but perhaps the bonus is too generous.
Coupling the Madras bonus with the railroad does create a significant bonus. Taking Konkan already makes Madras easier to hold by eliminating one border, making it a ten territory, four border +5 (ignoring the railroad bonus of now); without Konkan its a nine terit, five border +5. Neither configuration is a very generous bonus from a classic perspective - compare it to North America's +5 for holding nine territories and just three borders. And it's right next to a five territory region that is going to pick up +4, and another that is looking at +3, so it's going to get hammered from somebody early.
With the railroad there, of course, we have to reconsider the region, which now brings in +7 altogether. Madras has a four territory region - the smallest on the map - that acts as a stepping stone to controlling the rest of the region. Is it now too strong? Maybe... I'd be curious to see what others have to say.
If it is there are options we can take that don't involve scrapping the entire rail system: we can adjust either bonus, add a sea route into Coromandel Coast from Calcutta (which would be interesting and add a border to Madras), or redraw some borders. I'm open to discussing any option. Or maybe folks think it's fine as-is. ??