From: Juneau, Alaska
Thanks for posting this AAR. I'm currently on turn 19 (Oct 23, 1941) as the Soviets at 100% vs German AI at 110% on the 5.63 beta. This is my 2nd GC as Soviets, the first was under the 5.5X betas at 100% for each side. I won handily (Germans never got near to Lgrad, Moscow or even Kiev and only threatened Smolensk). I thought I'd try again at a harder setting. Your AAR has been fun to follow since our play styles are almost the complete opposite - I'm trying to hold at every river and forest and swamp line everywhere but in the area north and east of Lake Lagoda. You, perhaps more sensibly, give up land for time every where but the Lagoda area (interesting to see that you've managed to bottle up the Finns in that area - I learned something new - thanks). Looking forward to following your progress!
The turn 18 sit rep for my game is: Lgrad still held but with 3 German divisions adjacent to it. I expect to lose or at the very least have Lgrad isolated by blizzard. Valdai Hills over run. Could be trouble come snow. Moscow still held and defenses well prepared. May loose it by blizzard or in 1942 but who knows. Rzhev still held but will lose come snow. Kaluga, Tula, Bryansk, Orel, Kursk, Kharkov still held (Bryansk has changed hands 3 times tho). Holding along the Desna and Dnepr rivers near Kiev (Kiev lost 2 turns ago). Still hold a river-based line roughly from Cherkassy down to Odessa. It'll be interesting to see what happens come snow. Big victory this turn was destroying an isolated German motorized division and I hope to destroy another before the snows come.
I've obviously found this game much more of a fun challenge than my 100% vs 100% game under the 5.5X betas. The AI seems to be much more aggressive and has managed a number of smaller pockets and tried a number of larger pockets that have unhinged large areas of my defensive lines (my thin, natural feature, don't give up an inch defense is very suited to being unhinged and pocketed but dang it, I'm gonna make the Germans pay for every inch of Mother Russia they wish to soil). Tons of fun so far and the snow season will be rather, er, tense.
Anyway, thanks again for your AAR!