In many of my games most combat chits remained unused, largely because it is never the “right” faction that draws it. So they go back into the pool, and then another faction draws the “wrong” chit that it cannot use. In addition, since the chits from 1914 stay in play, the French could occasionally suffer from “wearing red pants” as late as in 1918 (!).
So I tried a variant whereby each faction simply receives all of “their” combat chits for the turn and is free to use them any time during the turn. The mandatory blue and red chits still must be played; the only difference is that the player can chose when to do it thus somehow minimizing the consequences. The unused chits are simply discarded at the end of the turn and replaced by the chits for next year.
I have a feeling that it works, but would be interested in any feedback.