Zero is really powerful now. Despite the complaining about the unit it was strong to begin with - all that was really about was people repeatedly failing to grasp the notion that just because a unit is less valuable against the poorly functioning AI does not translate into the unit being a bad unique unit by itself. The Zero was dominant pre-patch, now you can build an unlimited quantity of them and guarantee total air superiority. Japan can now go absolutely nuts during the modern era and build a gigantic fleet/airforce from all the oil no longer tied to fighters. I didn't think Japan needed changing in the first place but if they had to change something I'm glad they did it this way. Japan as a cultural island nation makes sense. I also really like how much emphasis they've placed on the Samurai now, it reflects the administrative role the samurai had during peacetime well. In pure gameplay terms, it's not a big problem you have to wait till Steel tech to build fishing boats - anything beyond your first cities can easily wait that long, and then the Samurai will save you lots and lots of hammers that you now don't have to sink into the costly boats. Overall I think Firaxis did a truly excellent job on Japan - wish I could say the same about the rest of the Fall Patch. As for America, I think they are somewhat overshadowed by the Shoshone. However, the benefit of +1 sight should not be underestimated; it works for you throughout the entire game, giving you a small but significant advantage, and is a very big advantage during combat. I'm undecided as to whether America should be boosted, but the 'Manifest Destiny' ability fits them perfectly. As for their unique units being too late, well - that's also mainly a weak-AI issue. Earlier unique units are definitely better, but unlike an AI a human opponent won't just roll over and die meaning it could very well be only in the latest stages of a game that things really get decided and unique units are needed. Zero, B17 and Panzer all come out during a stage of the game where the plausibility of a military victory really come into its own - even if these unique units are late, you could potentially be producing a *lot* of them.