With high funds, there are two parameters in relation to funding. One is the total funds, meaning how much income each player has a turn once all properties have been captured. The other is the property worth, or how much funds each property gives a player.
Based on these parameters, there are four options:
1) Low total funding and low property worth. This is what we call a normal game, where the income is about 15k-25k and funds=1000k per property.
2) High total funding and low property worth. This is still a normal game, but it is more like those "epic maps" you see every once in a while (see Rivers of Blue Moon or Royal Armada). The funds are high enough to allow high-tech units to be built regularly (30-40k), but this just means larger maps and more cities since the funding is still 1000 per property.
3) Low total funding and high property worth. This is a high funds game now, not a normal game. This would mean a total income of about 15k-25k still, but there would be fewer properties and each would be worth more. This would mean you see the same types of units as in normal games, but you would be able to get them faster as funds would increase more quickly. There are balance issues with this though, as losing one city would then mean a much larger funding disparity.
4. High total funding and high property worth. When I say high funds, I mean this option and not option #3. This means that the number of properties is about the same as for normal games (option 1), but there are now enough properties available for regular high-tech units. This allows normally designed maps (in looks, size, etc) to be used with a whole different set of units, namely the high-tech ones. The rest of this post will be talking about this option (though #3 is also a valid option for high funds and deserves to be experimented with!).
The FTA Counter
In high funds maps, a single infantry is not a sufficient FTA counter. Normally we use an infantry because it's value is equal to the amount of funding provided by each property, and because it is always built first anyways. With high funds, this is no longer true. The easiest solution is to leave the starting bases neutral, and predeploy infantry so that each side gets one base first. This works well for maps with even numbers of bases (see the examples linked below).
In Color of Envy you'll notice that there are three bases. This is because I think 3 bases is a better number for a map in general, and because I wanted to play around with it. Having 3 bases means that no matter what, one side will get 2 bases first and the other will get one base first. This happens also in normal games with 2 preowned bases and 1 neutral base, and the common solution is to have the neutral base be in a backwards position. On Color of Envy, I used that same idea.
Edit: I am planning on changing the FTA counter to 3 infantry as soon as I can. The idea is that Player 1 can capture 2 bases on their first turn, one of the forward and one of the backwards. Then Player 2 captures all 3 bases on their first turn, and Player 1 begins capturing the second forward base their second turn. So it goes 2 for Player 1, 3 for Player 2, 1 for player 1. Although Player 1 can build from 2 bases first, one of those is the less useful backwards base, and so it is still pretty evenly balanced. This is the equivalent to what occurs for maps with 2 preowned bases and 1 backwards neutral base.
Color of Envy has 17 properties per side plus one lab and one tower. Labs are used instead of HQs because of FTA issues with early funds (the same reason I don't use preowned bases). Therefore, at 2000k per property you have a total income of 34k, at 2500 an income of 42,5k and at 3000 an income of 51k. I personally recommend using similar parameters for maps of about the same size as Color of Envy (about 20x20). There are enough cities that being at a city disadvantage isn't an auto-loss (being 4-5k down out of 40-50k is about the same as 2-3k down out of 15-25k). Also, the funds aren't high enough for multiple mega tanks or other extremely expensive units to be built a turn, similar to how you shouldn't be able to build multiple MD tanks in a turn on a normal map.
So overall, I think decent parameters are: - 15-25 properties per side - 35-60k total income - 2000-3000k per property
This is for a "standard" map with 2-4 bases, an airport and a port (remember, this is my own personal opinion and not a fixed law!).
Airports and Ports
Airports and ports become more useful in high funds games than in normal games, mainly because most naval and air units are too expensive to be built very often. You'll see a lot of copters and occasional fighters,stealths, or bships on most maps, and that's about it. High funds changes this, but it is also dangerous because units like stealths and battleships are really really good.
However, I think it is almost necessary to have airports and ports on a high funds map, because they provide an integral part of the gameplay. High-tech units include anything over 15k, which includes almost every non-transport naval and air unit (with copters being the exception). High fund maps without air or naval units are obviously possible, but I think you lose out on a big part of the high funds metagame that way (the mostly undeveloped, theoretical metagame :p).
Now, because air units and naval units are relatively powerful, and because you are actually able to afford them every turn in a high funds game, it seems natural that there is a likelihood that they will be spammed. For example, if you have two airports, two bases and 50k, you are probably going to build 2 stealths, 2 infantry instead of high-tech land units. Similarly, you might be spamming battleships like it isn't even a thing. So it's important to keep the numbers of airports and ports low (I recommend one each, as in Color of Envy).
Now then, black bombs should always be banned in high funds. If you have an airport, there is no reason why you aren't building a black bomb every single turn in a high funds game. Since this is pretty broken and stupid in my opinion, let's just ban them! Stealths are the other problematic air unit. If you only have one airport, you are probably going to build a stealth every single turn. They are by far the best unit in the game, and if you can afford it, you'll do it. So, I'm thinking a stealth ban is probably in order also, although I do think that it's a shame. If only stealths could be hit by anti-air units while cloaked...
So to recap, I recommend: - At least one airport and port per side - No more than one airport and port per side - Ban black bombs and stealths
Now, this is the area where I'm the least sure of, simply because I have yet to really play a lot of serious high funds games. The main difference between high funds games and normal games is that it uses a different set of units as the "main" units. In normal games, infantry are the meatshield fodder, while tanks and arties are the main direct and indirect units respectively. You also have mechs and recons which are used more situationally, and copters and AAs come into play if there are airports.
In high funds, I think that all changes. Let's look at Color of Envy at 2500k per property. That means there are 3 bases, an airport, a port, and 42,5k per side. I'm assuming stealths and bbombs are banned. You are obviously going to need a fair amount of infantry around still, just to capture properties. Even though infantry are now ridiculously cheap, they still need to be produced. However, they are almost worthless as meatshields now. There are towers, so MD tanks can OHKO infs on plains. Neotanks are even worse, and bombers can truck them as well. Therefore, heavier units like tanks should be used as meatshields. So tanks become the new infs, while MD tanks and Neotanks become the new tanks.
Similarly, rockets can be produced instead of arties now. But rockets are much more fragile than arties, and if tanks are being used as shields, even the shields can do terrible damage to rockets. This is like if infantry could do 80% to arties in regular games. Rockets also have poor movement. So arties might still be used instead of rockets for the most part as an indirect unit. However, indirects on the whole are much more vulnerable overall than in normal games, especially with more air units around. Battleships, however, have good defense against direct land units, and only have to worry about air units. Carriers might actually also see use in some situations, if air units are used a lot.
So with these things in mind, here is what I did on Color of Envy: - Convenient roads from the base to a key defensive position on the front. This is for rockets to be able to move to the front quickly, and also stand a chance at being defended. - Restrict battleship access to key areas of the map. Battleships are useful to help control the front, but they cannot cover all of it, and so spamming them is not really a good strategy. - Backwards airports restrict their usefulness, although they're still pretty damn useful. - The terrain is relatively low, with lots of plains in particular. This is so Md tanks and mega tanks can be useful, and not take multiple turns slogging their way to the front through swaths of forests (as an aside, I can see merits to having heavier terrain also, since that means that indirect use might be promoted somewhat more). - The fronts are relatively choky. Without an abundance of infantry and because I think air units will see a lot of use (especially bombers if there are megatanks around), I think having a choky map is fine. Indirects are not as useful, and otherwise maps might turn into just direct spam. Now, less choky, more tank-spammy might actually make for better games, I really don't know, but it's just my theory that it won't.
Also, I didn't do it on Color of Envy, but piperunners have real potential for high funds games. High funds maps with pipes included are probably a really fun idea. I also wanted to note that I included towers, but they are probably not necessary, and might actually even hurt gameplay.
CO Tier Change
I am not even going to go into this in detail, since it would probably require at least another post as long as this one already is, and also because it's even hazier than the high funds gameplay. I just wanted to note a couple of things: - Sami gets a lot worse. Less infs around and less importance on infs in capture phase. - Grit is probably not broken. If indirects are weaker, he probably isn't. But who knows, maybe missiles, carriers, and piperunners are still enough to give him a good chance against air units. It's worth a try. - Sensei is also probably not broken. Maybe he is, but those infs and mechs aren't going to be worth quite as much, and copters will be almost useless. - Kanbei might not be broken. The lack of HQs is going to hurt him building infs the first couple turns, and his extra 20% might severely impact his vehicle count enough. Not sure, but I have a hunch. - Sasha is probably broken. D2D she isn't quite as good (that extra 100 is practically nothing), but she will have enough funds to keep anyone from SCOPing ever. - Eagle, Hawke, Olaf, Sturm, Von Bolt and other COs who have really good SCOPs with long power bars are improved. High funds means bars will charge faster, meaning their powers will be used more. - Mass damage COs in general are probably a lot better, for obvious reasons.
I'm sure there's a lot more, but that's a nice little overview for now.
Examples of High Funds Maps
- Color of Envy
- Generation X
- Burned to Ashes
- Injurous Things
- Colin's Summer Home
- Jarka Ruus
- RE: High Income, Low Spam, Test Game
Current Test Games
I banned Colin, Hachi, Sasha, and Kanbei universally. Each map has a game made at 2000k, 2500k, and 3000k. The game with 2000k has stealths unbanned, the others do not. Here are the join links.
Refer to Walker's thread "High Funds and Color of Envy " for a list of test games