I think that we have Currency locked down and ready to go. We know how Units are spawned, and we're aware of the design implications of that. I think, next, we should dive into how Units act, with a mind to how Technology might affect those Actions.
Hereís what (I think) we know so far
-Actions are no longer based on a random roll, a race to a binary success state.
-Instead, Units add Action Points to an Action, and once the Action reaches a certain threshold, the Action enters a new Stage.
-Some effects are constant across multiple/all Stages, such as the ability to kill units in Insurrection/Countermeasures. Other effects only take place when an Action reaches a certain Stage.
-Units should be able to stack up in some fashion, to work together on the same Action ala Evil Genius. Any Technology adopted by one Unit in the stack gives its effects to the entire stack.
-Technology can alter the effects of an Action at a particular Stage.
EDIT: -A Unit varies +/- some number of Action Points they contribute per turn. The overall effect of this variance is that the total time it takes to advance an Action Stage can vary by +/- a few turns, without straying too far from its expected target duration.
Things we donít fully know
-The particulars of Unit stacking. It feels like they ought to stack automatically when they perform the same Action, but part of me says that we should be a bit more intentional about this. Maybe be deliberate, and make Units take a turn to join/leave an Action. Or something. Thereís a user experience here to think about that could have some impact on gameplay.
-Related, but what happens when an Action is ended? The obvious answer is ďAction loses all Stages and thatís thatĒ, but it doesnít hurt to confirm that. (UI-wise, we can give a warning when a player is about to lose an Action by moving/re-assigning the last Unit that was performing that Action)
-Break Link and Forge Link are the two odd men out in this new system. Hereís a list of all Unit Actions to date:
Spoiler: All the Actions
Itís encouraging that only two Actions donít obviously fit this new pattern, but the fact remains that two Actions donít obviously fit this new pattern. It seems a fixable problem, though. Just gotta think of a way to make it fit. (And maybe aid the potential idle Executive problem detailed above? Worth thinking about.)
-We donít know exactly what Stages every Action will have. Even if we donít have solid numbers down, I think itíd be worthwhile to put down a basic framework. What happens on the super-late Deploy Stages? How badly can Conventional Warfare screw up a Country? What wonders can maxed-out Development Aid bring?
Things that I couldnít think of a proper category for but thought they were worth mentioning
-Now that Actions have stages, and Units primarily add Action Points to those Actions, we can actually have significant Technology boosts without it being game-breaking. It used to be a problem where you couldn't get to the binary "you did the Action" state too quickly, because there's no counterplay there. What are you supposed to do against an Agent that can OTK any Army you Deploy? Now, we've created room to do something about it. Actions are slower to get off the ground, but much nastier when sustained.
-What stops a big stack of Tech'd-up Units from going Country to Country, wreaking havoc? That's certainly powerful, but it's also rigid. If something goes wrong on the other side of the map, it'll take you a long time to maneuver over there. Not to mention it's really susceptible to Executives cutting your route off by breaking vital Links. (Although, thereís something to be said for the turtle strategy of a smaller, well-connected empire with careful application of Technology. There might be some Endgames where thatís a viable strategy.)
-We already have the Ban keyword. This seems like a good place we could re-use it, to describe effects at lower Stages that go away when an Action reaches a higher stage
-I think there ought to be a "this Country can no longer sustain this number of Links, please choose one to forfeit" mechanic. Right now, if your Link capacity drops below the number of active Links, it doesn't force you to discard down. You just can't make any more. If reducing the number of Links is going to be a major part of Countermeasures and/or Insurrection, then I think we should have a proper system to handle this. Gives it a bit more bite.
-Gosh we need to overhaul the Country Info panel. Itís been a rough prototype thus far, but there's no way it can communicate all this information in a helpful manner. Something with tabs could be really useful; one for Tech, one for current Actions, etc.