John K (Sandal_Thong)
I've looked at several variants or rules changes to the 1980s version, and I think this one is the key to break the Infantry Pile & Push plan. If you use 12-sided dice then you can double the attack and defense ratings of all units, and tweak the one(s) that need fixing. Specifically, infantry defending at 2 is too powerful, but reducing it to 1 or making it cost 4 aren't good options. Neither is increasing tank attacks or reducing the cost of fighters. So my solution: infantry defence is 3 on a 12-sided die. I did get to try this once, but haven't found many opponents willing to play my variant.
Turn Baltic Sea into 2 sea zones (line from Germany to Sweden) so that the sub can retreat on the first turn.
Northwest Passage is closed, so you can't ship units from Western Canada to Europe.
Pacific Island enhancement: Take control markers that are unlikely to be used, and write a +1 on the back of 5. Now mix these with 5 (or more) blanks. Draw one for Australia and each worthless island group: Midway, Solomon Islands, Carolines and Wake. If it comes up blank then there is no change. If a +1 comes up then it is worth 1 this game (3 in the case of Australia) so adjust starting IPCs. Choose sides first, before doing this.
I enjoy this last rule, it makes the game a little different each time (allowing Japan different starting builds!) Ages ago, the Axis were often this close to getting an economic victory. If the Pacific Islands were worth a couple more IPCs then this could have happened. It should therefore encourage more attention in this theater, which is so often neglected by the Allies. I have tested this one several times.