From: Denver Colorado
Isn't the 'problem' with the Turn 1 gambits based on the fact that the only imperative for the Germans is killing units?
A secondary objective (i.e., a bonus objective) is to knock out means of production, but none of that is available on Turn 1.
Playing the German side is about managing the slow degradation of combat effectiveness of your force. Once you move a unit on Turn 1, it's all downhill from there for the next 225 turns. Soviet players appear to overlook this.
The same factors that make it possible for the German to obtain optimal encirclements in the Lvov pocket are factors that are also available to the Soviet player in the form of unrestricted movement, and perfect understanding of algorithms and history (such as to give the human player psychic abilities when compared to a commander of the era). While I sympathize with Riga being an a-historic port of call for the Wehrmacht 3 days after the opening of Barbarossa (Turn 2 starts on June 25, IIRC), supply is a heavily abstracted mechanism in this game.
I see nothing you can do to the opening turn gambits without handing even more of the 'margin of error' bonus to the Soviet player.
At its root, WitE is a game that is critically short of 'payoff' for the German side and 'penalty' for the Soviet. The only imperative for the German is Soviet casualties until initiative switches sides. Relative to the secondary objectives of destroying production, speed to the east is important, but speed is best achieved by encircling as much as possible early.
The only imperative for the Soviet is to avoid casualties as early and often as possible.
Like chess, you end up with a series of opening moves that everybody knows, each with its own counter-theory. Unlike chess, WitE essentially has only 1 set of opening moves that are best, and it's only 'counter-theory' is what the Soviets already do anyway: retreat at the slowest practical pace and form a defense that can't be encircled (part 2: wait until 1943).
Spring 2018-Playing: Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress; Advanced Squad Leader,
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL), Holland'44, Demyansk Shield: Frozen Fortress