I wouldn't go that far.
From my perspective, all the Luftwaffe need do is smash the forward airfields and make sure no Soviet fighters can respond to their ground support and interdiction missions. Everything after that is just contributing to the Soviet air modernization program. Virtually nobody leaves air miles unused going into the Soviet turn -- and I'm extremely relieved of that because there's no interdiction to slow me down even more than is already the case with the crippled first turn movement rates. Luftwaffe interdiction is amazingly annoying.
Air supremacy is not synonymous with a huge casualty count on the enemy side; there's a point where this whole business of killing obsolete aircraft by direct bombing missions yields diminishing returns and arguably negative ones in terms of opportunity costs. I've long been bemused by the Axis fervor for driving up these surprise air attack numbers. Beyond that the most effective way to keep the Red Air Force off balance is to overrun airfields and force others to redeploy backwards to avoid getting overrun, it is the disruption caused by the ground advance that really hurts more than anything else.
Up to a point. Playing German I always used first turn to destroy Russian recce and heavy bombers, flying deep inland to do so. These planes remain useful to a player who knows how to use them.
As for the rest of post patch, playing Russian I noticed reduced air losses first turn from what I was used to. Otherwise, Germans who understand how the game works can steamroll at a ridiculous rate, just as ever. I'm now awaiting turn 4 from Germany, expecting worst scenario- evacuation rail link out from Leningrad to be cut, Smolensk taken, the Dnepr crossed near Moghilev and Cherkassy, Kiev contested and units adjacent to Zaporozhye, preventing evacuation.
I never played a German that knew how to do this before and I don't think I could have last time I played German. The Russian side has got progressively weaker in 1941 when it should always have been made stronger and the German players who couldn't achieve great results sent to war game school.
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