Playing as Germany vs Challenging AI, historical weather
General performance: My first time as Germany, so I made a number of mistakes. Failed to get Leningrad, let alone Moscow, and only as far as Kharkov in the South. Gave ground during the winter, with my panzers in the rear. Cut off his spearheads in March in a very historical manner, then tore up significant chunks of his line in May/Jun. Now in July, and preparing to continue on a larger scale.
1. Only real success in '41 was capturing tank and armaments factories in Kharkov in September. There was plenty of time for an evacuation - the panzers took two turns driving directly for it to make contact. Similarly D-town was only evacuated after I contacted it, and then had to withdraw due to supply issues.
2. In May/June clear/mud season the AI pushed three tank corps through my lines on suicide missions.
3. In general, when isolated along with some free space, units will abandon fortifications (even cities, with level 3 forts) in an attempt to move toward the borders of the pocket. This in situations where there is a "wall of steel" ie panzers solidly round the pocket. Makes the player's life much easier in subsequent reduction of the pocket.
4. A bit of caution for the Soviet AI in Feb '42 would be a good idea. A better force mix too - the larger pocketed spearheads had 4 gds cav corps in the north, and 10 tank brigades in the south. Recon around the spearheads would have spotted panzer korps forming up on the flanks from mid-Feb onwards.
5. In general the AI seems to form a single, sometimes double, line with significant strategic reserves. This is arguably a decent enough alternative to carpet, however the front line units should then be considered disposable ie All Corps units in the reserve, rather than on the line. A rifle brigade checkerboard behind the line would reduce the size of pockets significantly and cheaply.
1. I killed the 10th Guards Cavalry Corps twice in one turn, then again on the next turn. Does the AI not use unique naming, or is this a special kind of maskirovka?