I am also late to the game, but this was a really nice post. Thank you.
When you attack, do you go in and look at the soft attack / defense, hard attack / defense of your forces and the target enemy forces, or in general do you just go by the combat strength displayed on the counter? Or do you just know enough about the units so you have a feel for what attacks will work and what won't?
I have a couple more questions if you have the time.
1) I am trying to figure out how many recon points a unit will exert so I can figure out what I need so I can see what enemy may be in other hexes. The manual only had a vague 'recon points are tied to unit size'. From clicking around it looks like recon points is about equal to the white combat strength on the icons. It looks like it gets full points in its hex and surrounding hexes, 2 hexes about 1/3, 3 hexes about 1/8, 4 hexes about 1/10. Is this correct? The manual states unit types are factored into this calculation. Anyone know how? How does terrain effect it?
2) I'm also having a hard time figuring out how combat resolves. Manual states infantry is broken down into 100 man groups and the attack score of the attacker is compared to the hitpoints of the defender. Is the hit points the defense # that is usually about 100? How does the hard and soft attack / defense numbers factor into the combat resolution? Yikes...
Ok, I think I finally see how the combat details screen works. If my infantry attacks the Polish infantry (soft attack / defense of 10 / 20), would the Polish infantry use their soft attack of 20 for any attack / counterattack they do during the attack I initiated? Assuming the units started at 100 hit point (defense), the infantry have a very low chance of causing any damage because their attack of 10 is only 10% of the defense of the enemy infantry (100). If the attack is 50% of defense it only has a 25% chance to hit, so at 10% it would seem to only have a 5% chance.
3) How much detail do you need to know about the combat numbers to play the game effectively? What do you usually pay attention to?
4) Is there any benefit to making myself learn the NATO symbols, or do the unit pictures do just as good a job describing the unit?