From: Davenport, Iowa
My personal answer to this question is yes, we can have a consistent combat and supply system which is accurate for western Europe.
To address the points within the question, consider this, and I'll get to the greatest flaw last:
1) Because the combat system is corps based and not divisional based, a lot of historical suprises exist only abstractly. Guderians blitz into France is quite rare indeed, because we all have the forethought to see the issue coming. [/quote]
>> Similarly, the Russians will not mass on the border, nor will the US not use a convoy system at the war's beginning.
2) Judicious use of an offensive chit during the attack on France can well quickly reveal the light-blue house of cards. The effect can be very similar.
3) Luck. If you roll 20 on with ten sided dice. Well, it can turn a push into a shocking victory. To do well, IMO the Axis is required to take chances.
>> In my opinion, the Axis rolled well in history, especially in the attacks in France.
4) The bloodiness of the Russian front can easily duplicated if the player decides as Hitler did, to not retreat when faced with tactical disaster.
5) Combat on the Russian front is indeed much more ferocious than France.
6) Partisans are a big deal in 42-45[/quote].
>> This depends a little on what kits you are using. In my experience, it is rare for Germany not to have the important countries garrisoned enough to prevent patisans. Exception: Russia. Also, Japan will not normally have China, Indochina, NEI or the Philippines fully covered.
[/quote]The greatest error in the game is the supply along Rail rule. Thankfully the rule is a consistent one when tracing supply in the game, and any exception to it is a grand headache.
However, during WWII the Germans had to change the gauge of the entire Russian rail system to the European gauge. The effect on the front line troops was that supply could not be maintained in even a reasonable fashion. The entire beginning of Barbarsossa was what I would say, "On emergency supply".
The German army was incredibly interlinked with a well developed rail system which had propelled them to victories in Europe by rushing troops by rail to areas where fronts could develop from nothing. Supply in Europe was far easier than Russia. When winter of 41 settled around Moscow the troops primarily froze because they could not get supplies to the front. All rail traffic was devoted to most emergency supply, and the basic logistical flow of supplies halted in a very large degree, because the one saving grace for supply that the Germans had been using, was the Luftwaffe. Without bombers, and air transports due to extreme cold, and a lack of rail support, supplies were completely cut off, and the troops could only attempt to live off the land; with disastrous results.
A lot could be said about many more factors, but I've always very strongly thought that there should be:
#1 the ability to bomb a rail hex to disable it.
#2 buildable non-combat rail engineers which could repair a single broken line by sitting in it for the entire impulse (not turn).
#3 all russian rail (with the exception of parts of estonia, lithuania, and latvia) hexes should all have to be repaired if a german unit takes control of the hex. I don't recall clearly if Finland used European gauge rail, but I believe they did.[/quote]
>> The game Europa uses a similar system. There are a lot of compromises one adds in a game of this strategic level. My personal request would be step losses, especially in the East. Interestling enough, the most recent WiFFE Annual has kits that address my concern and yours as to disabling rail and repairing rail.