Today I started a game of the PDE 1939 campaign with the settings I usually would use (that is, the default 0% AI bonus, no partisans but otherwise the default stuff) as the Allies. Usually my game would go something like:
1/ use the French to knock out the Italian navy by removing garrisons in Africa
2/ lose France, stick an Army in El Alamein (and the cities in Egypt) and then pretty much ignore Africa - the spawns I get there are heaps enough to hold it.
3/ eventually Hitler invades Russia, I'll get stopped somewhere between Moscow and Stalingrad and probably lose Leningrad.
4/ land the Western Allies in 1943 and push to Berlin, usually with the Russians getting to Warsaw before Berlin falls.
Whether or not that is a good strategy doesn't really matter, I know that it works and can expect to get a result fairly similar to what I outlined above.
Except instead my recent game was a total disaster:
1/ knock out Italian Navy: check
2/ ignore Africa: check
3/ "Berlin decides to Reinforce the DAK, sends Schorner to Africa" WHAT? Never seen that event before (not to mention, a 2nd DAK is pretty overpowered in that region, considering the Brits never have any money)
4/ Sweden joins the Axis around mid-41. Why? (I never noticed them doing diplo but that is possible, although it is much quicker than I would expect).
5/ Lose Egypt . Iraq joins the Axis for bad measure.
6/ Pretty much lose the RN because so many subs are being spammed out (not so much sunk as 'on 3 strength parked around the UK but I can't afford to replace them'). Followed by me gutting the convoys because otherwise they would be sunk.
7/ Turkey joins the Axis too.
8/ USSR dies. As in, gets pushed beyond the Urals and knocked out completely.
9/ Land in France with Western Allies (technically Spain/Portugal and push up but that part was easy).
10/ A bunch of Germans spawn in Frankfurt including 2 level 5 tanks. Give up at that point because they have 11 panzers and my build cap is about 3.
I can't think of a single game before where I have felt the need to research ASW at all, much less have 4 chits in it because otherwise I'll die from sub spam. Again, whether or not I should is behind the point, as I'm using the same settings as I normally would, yet the game feels heaps harder than normal. My strategy should work because it has worked before and I haven't changed anything. Now, Sweden is probably a statistical anomaly and by itself I'm not concerned about it, but the extreme result in Africa isn't very likely to be. And I suspect it is because of that Schorner event - until today I had never seen it before.
; Berlin decides to reinforce Rommel
#NAME= Germany (North Africa Reinforcements - 1941 - Axis AI) (Intermediate)
#POPUP= Berlin Decides To Reinforce Rommel - Marshall Schorner Arrives in Libya
#VARIABLE_CONDITION= 2   
#VARIABLE_CONDITION= 5   
#CONDITION_POSITION= 0,0 [0,0] [1,1]  
#UNIT= 0   [Schorner]
#UNIT= 1   
#UNIT= 8   
#UNIT= 10   
#UNIT= 12   
I'm convinced that at some point, probably in the most recent patch, this event has been changed. 0% level is called 'Beginner' and corresponds to #LEVEL=2, while Intermedate is the +50% level ("3"). Seeing as the word Intermediate is used in the title, I'm guessing it should be #LEVEL=3, but at the same time I can't think of a good reason why the patch that was created to solve some display errors would involve changes to a map script. And I'm also wondering: has something else, directly relating to the difficulty of the game, been altered since the Battlefront version? Because this feels much harder than it used to be, and I'm fairly sure I haven't become dramatically worse.
Although I didn't make a save to test everything (played the whole game in one session and didn't notice problems until quite late into it), I did start another game, again as the Allies, 0%, no partisans and otherwise default. The Schorner event fired again, and a bit later Germany invaded Russia with level 4! tanks (I have accomplished that myself as the Axis before, so I know it is possible if very unlikely, but considering all the unlikely stuff that happened already I'm not so sure that it is playing the same level: the AI must be getting more MPP no?). And for good measure the AI did a decent job of wrecking my navy. But I kind of expected that.
I also noticed that the bugs relating to experience loss (supposedly solved in 1.3) and research (supposedly solved in 1.2) are still present.
And for good measure, one final issue (although one that has been in the game for a very long time and doesn't matter much): in 1944 Shattered Alliance, one of the tiles near Stockholm was overwritten in the editor at some point and it displays as a disjointed coastline with a neutral tag (rather than being part of Sweden and actually looking like a coast).
I can assemble screenshots for these issues (well except for my disaster game) if need be.