Flavius, problem is, maybe because fatigue doesn't work as it should, the Germans can use all sorts of tricks to keep their advance in supply, which equals active. Bombers are now primarily fuel transports and delivering at the start of the turn shortens flight time for them and the Ju 52s. One counter measure which may work, and it would be a good argument for not disbanding every air base in sight, is cheese bombing German units to 'red' supply with lots of little raids. As with the old air war Luftwaffe nerf, until fatigue/logistics is fixed, one good cheese deserves another.
I agree with Rzhev-Vyazma-Bryansk as first MLR, my games always gravitate towards such a line, helped by delaying actions on the Berezina and upper Dnepr. It also gives some divisions time to raise their morale.
Up north, I recently tried to make a go of Leningrad, committing large numbers of green divisions. All the same, Pskov went on T2 and I should have lost Leningrad on turn 4. Don't know why I didn't, maybe all those division shells scared my opponent, but it made little difference in the end. With a fort on T1 (16AP, ouch), construction, doubtless city folk, regular units and sappers all digging on the east Neva hex it was only at level 3 by the time Germans were adjacent. T7 or 8 IIRC.
South, I'd say expect to lose a few delaying them to reach the Dnepr, turn Odessa into a thorn for their side if you can, but not if it compromises Crimea defences. Odessa can delay rail conversion along the coast and a little inland. If inadequately screened, a breakout is possible.
Dig behind the Dnepr and fight any bridgehead tooth and nail cos after that it's a long run even if your legs will carry you. Every river line is a possible pause and dig point.
My experience doesn't support your reserve and picket arguments, though. It can be useful, yes, but not a game saver. With Zhukov in STAVKA and 5/6 initiative leaders all down the line and close to the fighting, my reserve activation was minimal. When it did occur, it improved loss ratios but seldom if ever turned retreat into hold. On the good side, none of my reserves routed and some were only mid 40s morale. But balanced against morale gain from refit, reserve status, particularly for divisions and bigger, where the chances of activation are even more slender, is not a panacea and its use should, in my view, be balanced with other considerations.
Picketing likewise. Yes, it does slow the enemy at a cost, but what slowed my current opponent much more was his own determination not to eliminate 40+ pocketed divisions before November. I'll never get those divisions back, but I doubt he'll get another good crack at Moscow, Tambov or Lipetsk. I'm not saying never picket at all, but when a couple of weeks digging reserve lines will bring them back up to useful combat levels, I'm not going to chuck away even high 30s morale units unless I see an important gain. I'm pretty sure I saw a division gain SEVEN morale in a week. Unusual, but if I'm not mistaken, it happened. Experience seems to grow no more than 1 point a week though.
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