Hmm, well I wonder how that relates to SRU?
I guess I should fire up some later game scenarios/campaigns and see whether bonds are enabled in later dates.
So if I understand you correctly, you are saying: 1914 scenarios (both sandbox "scenarios" and the campaign??) have NO BONDS; but then the 1917 scenarios HAVE BONDS?
When you say the 1917 HAVE, does that mean the player has manual control over them or simply that the advisor auto-purchasing them when the player's treasury runs dry is a feature?
It is all very confusing and I'm just trying to understand what BGs overarching idea is here. If I'm going to help them identify IF something is either (1) not working as intended or (2) poorly balanced/implemented I have to understand what it is they have sought to achieve!
I felt like the system that existed in SR 2020 was perfectly fine: Many nations (depending to some extent on the scenario) started with debt. This was listed with each bond itemized in a readily scrollable list in the finance pane. It listed the date it was taken out, the interest rate, the principal. One could pay these back whenever one had enough liquid cash in the treasury and this improved the national solvency and also improved credit rating. This struck me as a nice game design and, at least from the standpoint of the player, an excellent model for representing the relative tradeoffs of taking debt versus paying it back. I felt it very nicely fit in with a region undergoing alternating stages of development ranging from speculative long-term expansionistic phases during which taking on debt could be used to provide short-term assets for major projects, to post-expansion phases of balancing the budget and paying down the debt.
If memory serves, this exact same feature existed initially in SR 1936 and/or Cold War, but then someone complained that "bonds are not realistic" under the pretext that they are strictly a "modern day thing" and BG took them out/changed how they function. It may be that there were gameplay balancing concerns that also contributed to this I don't know. I suppose if the computer opponent(s) cannot be "taught" how to use bonds effectively and/or they tend to bog down the computer opponents then that is a real concern, but I would certainly prefer if the player had the old SR 2020 system where bonds were individually listed, had due dates to pay in full, incurred interest fees and were completely manually controllable by the player. If the "AI" cannot handle them, then just set all the values for those variables and functions to null / zero when they are being calculated for computer opponents.