From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
After the tutorial, I just jumped into a CG, played maybe ten turns, screwed up big time here and there, read the parts of the manual that pertained to the screwups, then started another CG on "easy." I'm up to late '42 in it and plan to go to perhaps early 1944. I want to get an idea how all the changes in forces impact the game (e.g., what happens when soviet arty divisions start pounding me). Then, I plan to start another CG on "normal" or "hard" with a lot more wisdom. Playing against the AI is a good way to learn the mechanics and let the details come in over time. For example, it took a while to "get" support units, then a few more turns to figure out the air game. The motor pool still has a few mysteries about it, but it's taking shape in my mind nicely.
So, I say, just jump in and have some fun. The AI doesn't laugh at you for screwing up.