From: Columbia, MD. USA
I'm currently trying a different tact. Basically, the complete opposite of PvtBenjamin suggestions.
The USSR took as much land as possible with her DEs (though I might consider skipping the Polish border renegotiation next time.
I made France as tough as possible.
Germany didn't Declare War on Belgium and Russia's prewar Mobilization was around 14%; and yes this hurt her prep pretty hard.
However, Germany didn't declare Vichy until Late August 1940, and took lots of damage doing so (including getting 1 paratrooper shattered).
At a guess he lost 2-3 turns because of Belgium and going after the UK land units (shattering a UK Corps, and badly damaged the BEF).
What this did was:
a) Stopped a 1940 Sea Lion before it could start.
b) Reduced pre-Barbarossa German MPP.
The above caused secondary effects as well:
a) It quickly became clear that 1941 Sea Lion wasn't happening either. This let the UK go heavy in Egypt, while still leaving enough behind to stop or at badly drag out any 'Sea Lion without planes' attempt.
b) Meant Germany had to decide between either fewer German units, or fewer Tech buys (and it also delays Tech buying either way). My opponent went unit heavy and was late (and some very late) with Tech buys. He also didn't invest anything more in Diplo (after he spent 350 MPP between GE & IT on a failed Yugo attempt (UK blocked him with 250 MPP spent). He didn't send any additional help to Egypt, until it became obvious that the base DAK units weren't going to be enough. Then when he sent more (planes), they came in piece meal and only just stalled the offensive switching to the UK. Once Egypt was safe, the UK (as painful as it was and still is) sent the maximum to the USSR, and that is significant when you still hold the whole empire. Having said all that in the summer of 1942 it still feels like the USSR is on a knife's edge. However, I don't believe he can take more than 2 of: (Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow and the Caucuses), and certainly not all 4, before the weather turns again. His late Tech ups also meant the USSR was doing more damage (i.e. dinging his land units for a point or two more often, and while still coming out on bad end of air engagements was not getting outright crushed by being 2 levels behind in Air Tech at any point). In the meantime Italy is going to be in a heap ton of trouble as Libya is well on its way of falling and has lost a lot of units, particularly expensive ones.
"Part of the $10 million I spent on gambling, part on booze and part on women. The rest I spent foolishly." - George Raft