From: Olympia, WA
TexasThunder - I felt the same way the first time I started a Grand Campaign: overwhelmed at first. I always wanted a massive Pacific War game that covered everything, then thought I wish I hadn't gotten what I wished for! The game sat dormant for years until I gave it a go. But I read the manual and the forums over and over, and eventually started. I made many mistakes at first but was not as overwhelmed as I thought I would be because I just took my time. Even now it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to plan a turn because I tend to be a little OCD and check everything to make sure I haven't missed anything.
As others have said, develop a system that works for you. I use Tracker to tell my what new arrivals have come in that turn (ships, LCUs and air groups) and I usually start with them. I then start with a geographical turn through the map. I usually start in Abadan, Aden and Cape Town, work my way through India and Burma, down through Oz, etc., and finish on the West Coast (playing as Allies, that is). I hit all the bases, check the air groups, ships, convoys, LCUs, etc. It takes time but is not overwhelming, I don't take a lot of notes, unless I am moving units by sea for bases, invasions, etc. Everyone has their own style.
Once you plot your first turn in the Grand Campaign (if it's your first time, and you're playing as Allies against the AI, which I recommend, use Kull's excellent setup spreadsheet available in the forums), save that first turn somewhere safe. If you make too many mistakes, just reload and start over again. Once you play through, you'll get the hang of it. Like anything challenging, practice makes perfect, or at least better, because there is no reaching perfection in this game.
You WILL make mistakes. Just remember that even the real life counterparts did so, after years of specialized training and decades of practical on the job experience. But they didn't have the benefit of reloading and starting again. If, after all their experience and training, mistakes were made, you're allowed a few as well.
Desert War 1940-1942 Beta Tester
Agressors: Ancient Rome Beta Tester
"The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in this world is to discover new truths; and the next is to shake off old prejudices." Frederick the Great