I did a sort of an explanatory Road to Minsk AAR. It might help you get some info on what to do. However that is for that scenario only.
1. what my different units are
2. and what are they for?
3. I have the general impression that I should be attacking the front line and try to encircle enemy unit, and keep moving my mech units forwards and leave the infantry to clean the "pockets"...
4. but in addition to that I don't know how to do it tactically,
5. that I have no clue about what the strategic goals are. So what's the "big picture"?
1 and 2. I made these two pictures to try to explain those.
3 and 4. That is correct. What you want to do, is to start your move by attacking the enemy frontline with your infantry, to make a hole in the enemy line, atleast 3 hexes wide. Do this in both ends of the pocket you wish to create. When that is done, move infantry in as far into the breach as possible, then let the panzers/mechanized units move in to close the gap. If the enemy is well dug in, you will probably need to make those initial attacks as deliberate attacks (hold shift down and select stacks adjacant to the enemy unit, then click on the enemy to attack). Keep in mind that these attacks cost more movement points (MP) than hasty attacks (click the stack you want to attack with, and then click again on the enemy stack), but have a better chance of success.
5. Depends if you play the Axis or the USSR.
For the USSR it is all about being Muhammed Ali doing the Rope-a-dope. You need to hang in there and take a pounding, making sure you do not succomb untill the enemy is worn down and you are ready to strike. This means relocating your factories out of harms way, keeping your best units alive, not losing too many units in -42 and early -43. Before converting from divisional strength to corps strength and finally strike back at the Axis.
As the Axis, the goal is to take as many victory locations as you need to win the game (not easily done). You do however need to keep an eye out for when the time comes that you are no longer able to attack the enemy and win. At this time you need to keep your frontline as short as possible, and stay in fortified hexes.
Main targets for the Axis are;
*Leningrad - taking LG will allow the Fins to attack past the "no attack line"
*Moscow - well, it is Mosow Apart from that, Moscow consists of 3 city hexes with ALOT of manpower in them. Denying those manpower to the USSR can be vital (or so I am told as I always fail with this anyway).
*Donets basin - open terrain is a wet dream for the Axis early on, as it means the best oppertunity to pocket enemy units. Destroyed USSR units means fewer units will be able to attack you later on in the war.
*Any factory you can get your hands on. Any factory you take out will not produce anything for the USSR.
*As many manpower centres as you can take (see Moscow).
For more specific answers, just ask and the forumites will usually respond rather quickly.
"Hun skal torpederes!" - Birger Eriksen
("She is to be torpedoed!")