AFAIK, the most experienced player from tester team is merely able to get a historical result and casualty number in 41 winter, even with hindsight and expert planning.
Average Axis player usually collapse 9 out of 10 times.
See Above: I agree 100% Jay, and that should be a “red flag” to the designers as well. If it takes the best of the best to get close to historical results as the game is designed now as the Germans, while I have seen a report that a Soviet player are reached Berlin by 43, then something is not right. I have written of this in my own thread, “Casualties seem off......”
German casualties appear too loses are too high in winter, and Russian prisoners are too low in summer 41. After the initial shock of the first month, I'll bet the cases of frostbit were way down, reason, the Germans had learned how to cope with the weather, and they were wearing the nice padded jackets and boots from dead Russians, and the lines had stabilized in most places by mid January to early February 42. Most of the frostbit cases were caused by from having to fight in the open, once the lines had stabilized, this was not case. The Germans would hole up in dugouts or villages in hedgehog (360 degree defense), and would only come out to fight if needed, rotating out LP/OPs. The first month brutal, maybe some of January, I agree 100%...after that I think personnel loses due to blizzard too high for the Germans. There should be some bonus if Germans are able to start and end a turn in levels of fortifications.
As for Soviet prisoners, I have taken 2 million prior to the 25th turn, the start of the blizzard, with a total of 3.37 million total Russian casualties. This is still not close to historical results. I also think the artillery loses may be a bit too high for all sides. Unless you are getting over run, or retreating, artillery tube loses should be very low, it is not like either side have very good means of firing counter battery fires.
If we are going to have a historical "simulation", then it should have close to historical results given reasonable play. All the results above are against the AI, I cannot imagine how hard it would be to get historical results against a human Soviet player, I would thing next to impossible, making a PBEM game a forgone conclusion, while is a sad state of affairs for me.
Winter 41 as it is right now in the game, IS used as the primary balancing agent in the game. It allows the Soviets to have a chance, and prior to the winter of 41 the (in game) Soviets do not have a chance, and cannot even think about attacking the Germans, when a closer look the historical record shows the Soviets fought much harder and inflicted very heavy losses on the Germans prior to the 41-42 Winter battles. The latest historical research by Dr. Stahel and COL (Ret) Glantz, show that it was not winter that broke the back of the German army, but the summer battles around Smolensk. According to both their independent research (David Stahel book “Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East”, 2009 and David Glantz's newest book “Barbarossa Derailed: The battle of Smolensk 10 July – 10 September 1941”), the heavy casualties the Germans suffered during the summer battles around Smolensk were the primary reason for the failure of Barbarossa not winter. I agree the winter was bad, very bad, but it was just icing on the cake of a failure to plan, taking into account the actual size and competency of the Soviet Army and leadership, and it's willingness to suffer huge loses to stop the Germans.
Bottom-line if you play the Germans and do exactly what they did in 41, fighting all the way to the suburbs of Moscow, till the Soviet winter counter offensive hit, then you should see comparable loses in the game, right now you do not, you see huge German loses in winter, fewer Soviet prisoners taken in summer, and that is not historical.
I hope this post does not offend, but I think an honest discussion of the the above issues needs to take place.
I agree trying to duplicate a real battle of smolensk or a real battle of any type in 41 is not going to happen. The germans just steam roll you. Maybe it is because of the week long turns make it hard for a russian player to be able actively react the same way that was done historically. Or maybe it is just that the best of the best can perform these real life counter attacks. I'm talking about in PBEM games here.