Nice to see someone seriously defend Leningrad, the German may get caught napping here before committing the necessary resources. I would definitely look to fortify the hex east of Pavlovo though. I am also surprised you have given up the Dnepr line so early, generally that can be a serious obstacle in delaying the German as well. This looks to be a very interesting match.
I think the point Michael wants to establish with this match is that even if he just runs for the hills and losses the South, Moscow and Leningrad in 41, he can still stall the 42 Axis summer offensive and achieve a Soviet Major Victory before May 45. Although in that case he shouldn't be holding onto anything except his army. I doubt it will work, but I am curious to see the result. So far I think he forgoes the chance even for a minor victory if the runs in 41, although at least his army may be in better shape for some counteroffensives in contrast to the common state when the Axis player just overruns the Soviets, brute force.
But what would either outcome of this AAR mean? Would it prove the point that this war was never about terrain lost or won, but about keeping the armies from falling apart? Well, we know that from the books already, no matter who'd reach Berlin first. If Michael fails, and even scores a draw or loses, it will prove that running is a losing strategy.
What would be much much more important in my opinion would be an AAR against one of those extremely aggressive and fast Axis players that shows that given the present conditions and rule sets it is possible to survive as Russian by holding forward and counterattacking vigilantly, as history proved it to be possible. In the end, this whole discussion isn't about whether it is the smartest strategy to withdraw in 41/42 summers as Russian, or in the 41 winter as Axis, but whether there exists a strategy or the means that would allow a good Soviet player to hold something like historical lines by December 41 and have enough means (AP points, pools units) to start a blizzard offensive and also conquer Berlin in the long run.
If Michael played an AAR where he deliberately fought for pretty much every hex, and counterattacked despite heavy casualties, and yet still were in control over Moscow and Leningrad by the time he would launch a powerful blizzard counteroffensive (if...), this would make a really important point. However, thus far nobody succeeded to prove this point...
< Message edited by janh -- 7/3/2012 1:33:53 PM >