I cannot express how much I love the National Objectives. They really add something great to the game. A&A Anniversary Edition without NOs is like a good meal without fresh herbs and spices.
We always start in 1941 and play with nearly all NOs right as they are. The only NOs that I changed are those for the Soviet Union. The reason is that our House Rules forbid any Allied troops in the Soviet Union and any Soviet troops on UK or US held territories (including China)unless their capitals are occupied by the Axis. In order to compensate this, US (up to 4 IPC) and UK (up to 3 IPC) can support the Soviet Union via Lend Lease if either Archangel, Kaukasus (and Persia by UK) or Buryatia are held by the Soviet Union. The US can also support the UK with up to 6 IPC. But the US have to pay an additional 2 IPC for each contribution and the UK 1 IPC as transfer costs.
Now back to the NOs for the USSR. Ours are these:
(1) Gain 5 IPC if the Soviet Union controls Russia and Karelia SSR or Caucasus.
(2) Gain 5 IPC if no original Soviet territory (territories with Soviet roundels on the map) is controlled by the Axis.
(3) Gain 5 IPC if the Soviet Union controls 3 of the following territories: Finland, Poland, Bulgaria/Romania, Czechoslovakia/Hungary and Balkans.
I never liked the idea that the USSR gains 10 IPCs for territories that are held by the Western Allies (i.e. if they invade Norway and Finland). So the Soviet Union only gains income if it does the job itself - like pretty much every other NO.
And last but not least: The Soviet-Japanese Non-Agression-Pact is in place until either Berlin or Moscow has been captured for the first time. Even if immediately retaken, the treaty is gone.
I cannot emphasize how much I like our upgraded Anniversary Edition. For me it is the perfect game between 1942 SE and the Global Edition. The one is a little bit too small and lacks Italy as a separate nation, the other is too large and takes too long for me and my gaming buddies. After 10 to 12 hours it has to be game over – including our traditional Sushi armistice