I added a 69th territory, so that in a 2 player game, each would start with 23 instead of 22 regions, with 7 armies for the region bonus. This is assuming that there are no neutral starts. If Amundsen's blue line starts neutral, this changes everything.
I lowered the island bonus to 1 for every 4. At 21 islands (composed of 22 regions), in a controlled drop, each player should start with 7 islands each, and an additional bonus of +1, total 8 armies to start with. To make sure that the players get 7 whole islands, if I understand starting positions correctly, I'll have to compensate for Victoria Island/Cambridge Bay by making sets of 8 territories instead of 7, and plugging in two dummy territories for the 2nd and 3rd sets. For safety sake, I'll be breaking up Greenland and Ellesmere Island as well. That makes at least 28 territories/69 that will have starting positions. Does this make the game too controlled? If so, what are my alternatives?
By lowering the bonus from +1/3 to +1/4, I'm trying to prevent a predictable opening move and a great first player advantage.
at 1/4 and 23, the player starts with 8, and has to take 3 territories from his opponent before the opponent's starting bonus drops to 7, and at least 4 territories to make it 6. It would not be easy to take 4 territories with 8 armies.
I will not give a build-a-bonus to water territories. Even a diluted one, say, +1 for 6 held, would mean players start with another +1 (total 9), and the first man has an even greater advantage. There are enough bonuses.
Other changes to the map include a tiny explanation of Amundsen, and shuffling of coloured circles OFF their lines. I'm trying to eliminate the subway look.
THE SUBWAY LOOK:http://www.atomation.com/~thazzard/fun/nwp/nwpassmay4.jpg
It gives the idea that coloured circles can only attack other of the same colour. Untrue.Should Amundsen's entire line start neutral? Should the drop on his line be controlled instead, with starting positions? Or can it be completely uncontrolled?
I see that other objective-based wins always have the objective start entirely neutral (Oasis, 66). This is most like Route 66, where the objective bisects the map.