Since IPs have now been limited (especially for the USSR) with the revised rules and are more Event Card driven, I think the "abandoned" requirement should be relaxed. It allows for the use of the IPs in more critical locations well to the rear before the fighting gets there.
Any thoughts on that?
There is already a Soviet Set-Aside Card--"Mother Russia Wants You"--that gives you six IDM and a Garrison. This may not seem like much, but we don't think the IDM's should be so easy to get. Alan and Jeff were too macho (or something :D) to build these, but finally saw my IDM's and we all agreed we wanted less of them. It was fun to build them, but attacking vs. less of them is exhilarating for me. There is no longer a limit of only two Garrisons being built per turn, so it shouldn't be too hard to tend to fewer IDM's. If in Cities they aren't abandoned when in EZOC's. I don't remember if they need an OLOC.
I know that at start, there are rear area units there. It is that they quickly find their way to the front to face the deluge on turns 1, 2 and even 3. So it thins very fast. At least that has been my experience.
Certainly IPs need to work in the big ETO picture. Maybe keep my idea in your possible toolbox, that having an Event Card for USSR that is just an IP build (with nothing else) and make it Set Aside or even Return To Deck. It will allow Soviets, who were known traditionally as excellent at digging in, that ability at the cost of not having other Event Cards.
" they have no units to spare well to the rear ... " And yet, at Barbarossa, 2/3 of their forces were off the front line "in the rear." I'm busy designing the larger "ETO universe" of cards right now for the Development Team to go over. Making sure the IP work everywhere, not just the Soviet Union's, is an important consideration.
I thought of that too, but then got to thinking that early when the USSR is in need of IPs, they have no units to spare well to the rear ... just to keep a single critical location fortified. When I say well to the rear ... I'm talking more than 12 hexes behind the rapidly decomposing Soviet Front Lines.
If the IPs are placed where the Soviet Units are at in early game , German Armored Units will just bypass them.
I think going the route where IPs are more Event Card driven is a GOOD one. However, I can see that these cards are not going to be effectively used, because the front is like Swiss cheese for Soviets. Maybe there should be a Return to Deck card (or Set Aside) that just allows the Soviets nothing but IPs? After all, they were known for digging in all the time.
I'm not sure we need to change the "abandoned" Improved Defense marker rules. You have only to leave 1 unit to "keep alive" an entire chain of them. I mean, SOMEBODY has to keep them maintained or they will become ineffective.