Ultimately, just about everyone discovered that a more balanced approach to their tank forces (i.e. filling the gaps with mobile/motorized/mechanized infantry) was the way to go. The more tanks & less infantry - particularly in the attack, the higher losses the tanks would take (look at the fighting the British & Americans did in Normandy) - in the vast majority of cases, unless you were in full pursuit mode, tank-led attacks without proper infantry support were decimated by dug-in anti-tank defenses.
Over the course of the war, the Germans also revamped their armored forces to include more infantry until they reached a much more balanced OOB of about equal battalions of infantry to armor.
Hmmm, I think the Germans got that lesson exactly right from the start. A panzer division didn't actually change a lot (except on how many tanks and other supporting arms) concerning infantry. Standard, 2 regiments, 4 battalions during the whole war, +1 recon and 1 Engineer batt. They did lose the motorcycle batt mid 1942. SS, 2 regiments, 6 batt. Obviously, the Sovs, and the UK focussed more on tanks with less infantry BUT, their doctrine required the infantry divs to provide the infantry. That didn't always work out though.
Point is however, the tank was the crutial weapon in the panzer division or TC. And, whenever tanks caught infantry in clear terrain and not dugin to the teeth (level 4-5) infantry almost always paid a steep price. As in completely eliminated, like all other games I know except WitE. In this game, tanks route infantry, cause minimal damage, lose quite a few tanks in the process. On the defense it even gets worse, I'm shocked with how easy it is to push a 90 morale/experience 90% TOE panzer division from it's hex, even in 1941! And causing 40% casualties in the process. Just pile up enough crap infantry divisions and poof, there goes your panzer div. Surely, it wasn't as easy as numbers. Again, check out some tactical wargames to see how easy it is to attack tanks.
The Normandy example is actually not quite right. It wasn't that more tanks wasn't better. It wasn't that the infantry wasn't supporting the tanks, it was that the Germans had less but vastly superior tanks and used them to great effect and with great determination. The Allies chose to have a lot of inferior tanks versus fewer but better tanks. And they paid a serious price for this. Only 1/3rd of the British tanks were Fireflies and had the upgraded 76mm gun which could penetrate the Panthers and Tigers at a reasonable distance. Most where either still the 75mm or the normal 76mm. I don't think the US had any Fireflies. Those tanks could only penetrate Tigers and Panthers at rediculous close ranges if at all. In addition, the Germans had the superb 88mm gun which just tore the haert out of any tank attack. Come to think of it, why can't we attach a 88m LW regiment directly to a German division in the game? Surely, it was done quite often historically. Or would that upset the balance of the game?
This probably will sound rude but it isn't intended as such. This is a GREAT game. And I'm having a ton of fun playing both the Germans and the Russians in the 2 pbem's I'm playing. But my honest, unbiased opinion is that as it stands, the game is heavily biased towards the Soviets at this point in time. To name but a few key "rulings" in favor of the Soviets:
1. massive importance of arty. I'm not about to dispute the effect of arty, but the germans did devellop tactics to reduce it's effects. For instance withdrawing to a second line before the barrage (read the Raus book for more info). Secondly, quantity is good, but that doesn't mean the fire is accurate.
2. Germans can't attach arty directly to a division but can to a fortified region!?? Which to boot is rediculously weak?
3. Soviet Corps and the stacking advantage it brings. I mean, seriously, you have a stacking limit of three units regarless of size, but that is actually trippled when the Soviet get their corps (each corps being 3 divisions). I mean, why can you suddenly get 3 times as many men and weapons in a 15km hex as before? What's the rational? It certainly smells like a serious game balancing trick in favor of the Sovs.
4. Tanks which have minimal effect and are just for CV dressing.
5. Effects of German superior command and control, doctrine are below underwhelming.
6. The morale/experience mechanism is currently very much in favor for the side which has low morale units. The Germans are depending on morale/expereince to get anywhere. Currently, a failed hasty attack 99% of the time costs you -2 morale. Gaining morale is _waaaaaayyyyy_ more difficult as in the first version of the game. Then it was actually right on the money. Then changed when everybody was complaining about the first winter. So as the German you end up foregoing many attacks you're not really certain of because if you fail you'll lose morale. Seriously guys.
For the Sovs this is different as you can easily gain up to the national morale level through doing nothing.
7. Closely related, every skirmish is counted as a defeat or victory? Easy fix, hasty attack only counts as a victory but not as a defeat.
8. No option to probe, all-out attack, defend, defend at all costs. Look at the W@W games, it works, very well.
9. No seperate pool which keeps experience for returning disabled soldiers from lowering experience. An experienced soldier returning from hospital is still an experienced soldier. In a system that depends so heavily on experience (or should) this is really a source of annoyance. Especially affecting the German side.
10. No real reason to fight forward for the Russian player.
11. Too easy to move industry and too fast back in production, even if radom and not at full production.
12. Capturing Moscow and all the other cities doesn't have any effect.
13. Losing industry doesn't really matter.
14. Basically zero chance for the German to win the GC 41 game on points.
15. etc... etc...
Again devs, this is intended as positive, constructive critism. I write because I care.