OK, here is some more info. There are 3 manuals downloaded with the demo: the main manual is in English but all the labels and tables are in Russian. There is a small starting guide in English, and a 78-page "Tactic Guide" in English. The latter explains all the buttons and so on with a lot of graphics, so it is far from useless. It is not a "click-by-click" introduction, but is useful to get started, although you will have forgotten most of what you read by the time you start the game (this game is complex after all).
So I started a game, and the first step is to place your units, and I did manage to place a recon unit consisting of 3 squads in halftracks and a HQ, and other infantry units somewhere on the left flank. The briefing says that the Germans are coming and that I should intercept them, and the arrows seem to indicate that they will attempt to loop around my left flank.The recon unit is along a road leading to a crossroad with a flag, which I presume is an objective probably defended by infantry. I placed the recon unit so that it could duck in the forest along the road if shot at, or move up the road to the objective at the crossroads.
The map then shows two battles, one on the left flank and one on the right where the recon unit is. I click on the recon area to bring up the tactical map, which is a 3-D map that I can zoom in and out. I can still place my recon platoon, so I put two of them along the road with the HQ behind, and the 3rd halftrack on another road a few hundred meters to the left and point them in the general direction of the crossroads. I order the leftmost squad to move toward the crossroad objective, expecting to encounter some resistance but nothing happens. Ileapfrog the other two squads towards the objective, but nothing happens until I reach the objective and capture it.
Hmmmm...no Germans here. The map shows some objectives to the North with German flags so there must be Germans there. So I order two halftracks and the HQ to head along a road in that general direction, while I send the 3rd halftrack looping around to the west to pass along a road between some houses in case there are Germans there. Bad idea...
The two halftracks with the HQ following behind suddenly are attacked by a horde of German infantry to their front and right as a bunch of little yellow men appear all over the place. Not too familiar with the interface, I order the two halftracks to fire back, but I am not sure if the infantry have dismounted or not, and I wait too long to zoom in to find out.The two halftracks and the HQ are massacred before the third halftrack can be brought back, and it too is destroyed. It is not too clear what the little yellow men represent. The Germans should be the little blue men (the enemy is always blue), so why are there both yellow and blue little men killing my men?
I probably should have hunkered down around the crossroads objective since apparently the German infantry was attacking, and separating my platoon was not a good idea . I never made it to the other battle on the other flank, so I will restart the game. After playing I saw in the manual that there is both a quick interface and a complete one, and I was using the quick interface. The full interface should give me more options but we will see if I can avoid annihilation on my second try.