Lots of good fodder for experimentation here. I especially like the idea of delaying the appearance of any objectives for a period as a way to further minimize the impact of an advantageous spawn. So, for instance, if all 3 vp's first appeared 15 minutes into the battle, I imagine there would be some early skirmishing for potentially advantageous ground (gun positions, woods, hills, creek banks, etc.), but neither side would be willing to go all in before knowing what will actually become critical to VP possession. After some testing this morning, it's clear that 15 minutes of preliminary marching on a full size random map is not enough for a division to make it all the way to the middle from a map edge or corner, but it certainly is adequate to get close enough to carry through with an assault capable of neutralizing a 30 minute timer on an enemy possession.
I'd also note that it's unlikely delayed VP's by themselves will eliminate all complaints of "unfair" spawns because, with both sides moving to the middle early, the chances seem even greater that the various VP's will pop behind one army or the other, rather than being in front of both, as is usually the case with early VP's in regular games. What it should do, however, is put an army's ultimate fortunes more at the mercy of its own (sometimes blindly made) decisions.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I hesitate to introduce too many new variables in one battle to keep things from getting too crazy, but for tonight's Custom Battle 5, I'd like to try both delayed VP's and designating one VP as a "Major" objective that carries a flat 1,000 point bonus over the other 2 VP's. The Major VP will be shown as such on the mini-map.
This would create new potential victory combinations and, I think, an additional strategic dynamic. An army would win, for instance, in each of these situations:
-Controlling any 2 VP's;
-Controlling any 1 VP where the enemy controls 0;
-Controlling 1 Minor VP where enemy controls the Major VP -- but is down 1,000+ casualty & other points;
-Controlling 1 Minor VP with any advantage in casualty & other points where enemy controls 1 Minor VP.
PS: I may also put the Major VP on a 40 minute, rather than 30 minute, timer. Haven't decided yet...