"I think the basic underlying theme of the game is that the German will lose, and there isn't anything a German player can do about that."
I went into the game with a sense of forboding and doom, having been mislead by a "vocal" cadre of sullen Axis fanboys who have been vociferating that the game is broken and unwinnable for the Axis. Initially it was rough going; random weather with more than a fair share of mud as well my learning curve slowed me down. However, while the Axis pundits were first advising raiding armaments, I felt that bleeding off Soviet manpower was going to be my road to success. So first grinding, second pocketing and most important driving south to maximize deprivation of manpower was the key to success. TDs OOB was held in check, and frankly my strategy was simple: make sure he lost as many or more troops than he could regenerate every turn.
This is why I attacked so aggressively in 1943: his depleted corps whithered under counterattack; and loses of 4 - 7,000 men/attack were not sustainable for him.
I think if played right by both sides, the game should end in a draw. In fact, if TD had played on I think that is how our game would have ended. However, I understand his frustration: it did gel into a morass where I would have retreated 1 or 2 hexes/turn all the way back to the frontier. Once the Axis player figures out how to build fortified hexes in depth, then the deal is done. There was not going to be a glorious deep operational penetration past my interior lines, no Bagration, only turn after turn of controlled retreat.