I've just finished the 225-turn 41-45 campaign with an Axis major victory (255 VPs) for me playing against the Russian AI.
I started the game on version 1.03.05 beta and finished it with the latest patch, version 1.05.45 beta.
I held Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov through to the end but never made it to Stalingrad. Interestingly, Soviet AFV losses totalled 84,580 compared with the actual historical loss of 83,500.
I started playing the campaign in February, and it gave me a very entertaining and mind-exercising diversion in my spare time while I spent most of this year away from home in another city because of a major work project. In fact, I found War in the East so enjoyable, I never once watched TV in my hotel room at nights while I was away. Am I a War in the East tragic, or what?
1. As other players have observed, capturing Leningrad in 1941 (which I did) is a prerequisite for surviving the distance.
2. In 1942, my major campaign was to capture Moscow (which I did) with a diversionary campaign in the south to keep the AI from throwing everything against my Moscow campaign.
3. I was mostly on the defensive from the start of 1944, holding the line I had won.
4. From 1944, I found it very costly to make any headway against the strong Soviet units. I adopted the Manstein strategy of letting the Russian AI force units through my line, and then I would cut them apart with my reserves. This became even more pronounced with the last two patches, where the AI had been reprogrammed to be more aggressive.
5. I found the best defensive formation was to maintain three-unit stacks every alternate hex, with mobile reserves behind the line to smash up Soviet units pushing through the gaps. As mentioned in Point 4, the AI was far more aggressive in pushing units through these gaps in the last two patches ... although mostly to its cost when the advance units had low combat power.
6. I know there's a quite a rigourous debate on this forum about the air campaign, but I was reasonably satisfied with it. I discovered late in the game that it was better to manually assign aircraft upgrades, rather than let that function happen automatically. Soviet air losses at the end were ten times mine (73,191 versus 7147).
7. From 1944, the AI kept hammering away in the north trying to retake Leningrad, and concentrated some very powerful units up there. It was quite a challenge and I had to reinforce the Finnish units with quality German divisions.
8. By May 1945, I was actually in a position to conduct a small offensive just north of Rostov after the Soviet AI had burnt out a lot of powerful units in an attempt to break my line.
My grateful thanks to the developers of War in the East. Money well spent.
I'm going to try a small scenario until the latest batch of changes have been made and then start another campaign.