From: Denver Colorado
It is very difficult for the Germans to win the war, but it has been done in several AARs.
The only times I've seen the Germans win is because the Soviet player screwed up badly. The German player has to put in a top notch performance, but even if he does its moot as long as the Soviet player doesn't completely screw himself.
My biggest example of this is Tarhunnas vs. Q-Ball. By the end of 1941 several people were telling Q-Ball that he was completely screwed and should concede. But then we see the summer of 1942 and find that in actual fact Q-Ball is just fine and that he can carry on offenses while Tarhunnas is stuck on the defensive already.
Now, Tarhunnas did push longer than he should have, and did take more damage than he should have (he should have started digging in sooner), which everyone seems to think is the problem. There are four problems with that theory however.
1. The Germans did push until Dec. 5, 1941, and only when the blizzard hit did they actually stop. Unlike us they didn't know they should stop in October and start to dig in and fortify for the brutal winter to come (some preparation did occur, but nothing like is necessary in the game).
2. The Germans did take significant losses to men and equipment in the winter of 1941 and 1942. They weren't in the greatest of shape come the spring, the Soviets pushing them back in several places - but the Soviets largely exhausted themselves in the process, using up the available supply, and many of their units needing to retire for refit. Although it is worth noting that the Germans didn't just crawl into holes during that period, they performed some counter offensives as well!
3. The Germans didn't take Leningrad and Moscow historically, but Tarhunnas did. Despite losing these two important locations, the worst that Q-Ball can say is "I lost some bomber factories, but its okay now, I'm back up to making 80 IL-2s a turn."
4. Historically the Germans and Soviets fought like mad over the summer of 1942, the lines moving about dramatically, in the center and north they ended up almost back where they started while in the South the Germans pushed all the way to Stalingrad.
So despite doing a dramatically better advance in 1941 which should have resulted in a Soviet army on the ropes thinking "oh crap! How do we keep them from going further?" we know that the game is done. Tarhunnas has no where to go but down, Q-Ball has no where to go but up, and while I think they are going to play it out I'm now wondering how Q-Ball could not take Berlin.
So the problem is that some people are more than happy to say how X or Y is historically accurate, but when the complete and utter reversal that occurs post Winter '41 arrives, these same people are suddenly silent.
After the end of 1941, the game's historical plausibility gets up and leaves. The Germans are too weak in 1942, the Russians too strong, and instead of the back and forth struggle that would make for an interesting 1942 and 1943, we get a reprise of the static trenches from 1915 to 1917.
That is the problem.
And the Sovs struggle in most AARs in 1941, althoughs sometimes more than others.
Define 'struggle'. From what I can see, the only struggle is psychological.
Oh sure, the Soviets lose 3/4 as many men as historical, they lose a bit more territory than historical, they lose a small fraction of as much industry as historical, they sing the woes about how screwed they are - and I'm sure they believe they are, logically they should be! But they aren't. They find instead that they have a massive front in 1942 that resembles 1915 France more than 1942 Russia, and an ineffective summer campaign season follows that the only way ends at the gates of Stalingrad is if the Soviet player decides to skip a few turns, or if the Germans had already been there in the first place.
And when the best German players out there are having this problem, its even pretty hard for the Soviet fanboys to say "lrn2play n00b". So instead they point to a handful of Soviet losses that only occurred because the player made one gross mistake or another in 1941 and deny that there is any problem at all.
Nicely ranted, and I'm with you 100%
Spring 2017-Playing: Hell's Highway, Advanced Squad Leader,
Reading: Kampfgruppe Walther & Panzerbrigade 107 (Magnificent). Lots of Osprey stuff.
Rulebooks: ASL (always ASL)