IF the german is fast enough, the Russian simply won't have the units for 2, let alone 3 or 4 rows of divisions in reserve.
I have to disagree. Glvaca, with all due respect you've been fighting a very forward defense which plays into his hands. The further forward you decide to fight, the better will be his supply situation. You had a LOT of units in the Crimea and a number still defending the Denpr (both north and south) after he crossed elsewhere. Once the landbridge in the north is breached or the denpr is cross anywhere in the south, I have seen many a soviet opponent pull far back because these spots become untenable. You didn't do that. SJ80's rail lines are still way back there in the south. If you were to pull back, far, in the south, you'll see his panzers on fumes. You could have avoided these encirclements entirely.
After I post my turn 11 with Viktor, check out what he's doing. He has small hedgehog all along the south. He just wants to slow me down. He's probably already railed out all the arms and factories. So he has a minimal committment in the south and a very strong in in the north. I'm lucky to push 2 or 3 hexes in the north, but I'm doing it at high cost to my panzers, and there's still a chance for Moscow. I never posted my game with cheerfully insane and I wish I did. He did pickets in the first few turns then started his defense in depth. He didn't care a BIT about terrain but maintained solid lines running from Moscow down to Kursk/Stalino. I mean absolutely straight. If I pushed 2 or 3 hexes into his lines, he retreated ALL of his lines 2 or 3 hexes. He didn't care about cities, rivers, nothing. I couldn't isolate or do nearly enough damage. I'd like another crack at that defense because I believe I can do more damage to it, but it was quite affective. It all comes down to playing style.
I will say that I'm probably focusing my panzer too far into the wooded north and that the best route for isolation or mosow is from the clear terrain to the south of Smolensk, however, in comparing my game to SJ80, we are about at the same physical locations on the map. The difference is that I've had to do a number of small pockets vs. the larger encirclements that SJ80 has been doing. Overall, it looks like we are at similar places in terms of isolated units, though he probably has a handful more than me.
However, I can tell you right now, barring a disaster during winter, that I'll be facing LOTS of troops all in reserve mode in 42. It won't be pretty and there will be minimal chance for a good campaign. I simply haven't destroyed enough of his units.
M8, I have never lost as the German, and have always managed to take Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov and Rostov. I do about 3 buildup per game, sometimes more, sometimes less.
As to my AAR, I'm not going to run like a rabit East of the Dnepr because I don't want to give the german masses of space to retreat come Blizzard if I can help it. The reason I don't _HAVE_ to run East of the Dnepr is because I ran West of the Dnepr. That's the whole point of not fighting West of the Dnepr, because it's too close to his supply lines, etc... East of the Dnepr, that's a completely different thing, and I don't think he has ever been in a position to do a buildup in the South because of RR lagging behind. He's been fighting 25+ distance from RR heads AND still he has 30+ movement points to spend, repeatedly. As I said in my AAR repeatedly, without reaction, he uses air supply a lot, but doesn't drop on units but on his HQ's. That seems to be his secret. It seems to be VERY efficient because he's not muling and he can't have done HQ buildups as his RR are to far behind.
Now, the largest pocket thusfar in the AAR have been 10 Divs. at a time, that's nothing to complete fronts at a time I managed myself.
Now to come back to your turn 2 versus SJ80's turn 2, or turn 7 if you like, if you can't see the difference than I'll stop trying to help you here. He's focussed, he's aggressive, and he's flexible. You're spread out, haven't figured out that it's the infantry that will do the heavy lifting when you meet such a line, and you're slow. Sorry if that's blunt.
Now as too reserves, they are nice, and I've had a lot of units on and off on reserves but they have to commit for 1, and he needs to attack where you have reserves. that's 2. Thirdly, when the German is really pushing you and keeping you off balance, you'll be moving units constantly to plug gaps, they will not have all that much movement left to go on reserve. Lastly, if your units get beat up, they need to go on refit to replace losses, so they can't be on reserve.
You're on the wrong path, open your mind, you're not doing things right.