As with most things, money (well, prestige) is key here too. Although I had played PG many years ago, when I started the first PzC campaign I was no longer used to the style and I struggled with it. I was getting marginal victories and even if I managed decisive victories, I was very low on prestige and could not afford all the upgrades that I needed. These lacks kept adding up in the campaign and it got harder and harder instead of easier. Second time I tried it it seemed much easier.
I think you`ll be better off starting a new campaign at this stage. Not only that you`ve got the hang of the style of play, but you`re more familiar with the scenarios too. Choose Colonel for a more relaxed play and don`t overdue it with elite reinforcements. It might seem like a waste to lose experience, but the cost is just not worth it at the beginning at least when you need to expand your force. Avoiding losses as much as possible is also key to building prestige.
Also, you might need to change the army composition a bit. For one thing, the great helper when it comes to the soviet tanks in the initial stages when your tanks are not so tough is to have tactical bombers. If the weather is good, 3 Ju-87 will make a lot of a difference. At the beginning of the eastern campaign I wouldn`t generally attack a KV-1 with ground units unless I had already bombed it with a Stuka. You can send these in advance and in a couple of turns wipe out some tank units completely. Personally I`d only keep one strategic bomber in my core in the vanilla campaign and that`s more for the sake of diversity than actual use (usually they`re important when you have to deal with ships). Secondly, you`re probably exaggerating with the pioneers. Infantry is important (pioneers and paratroopers especially) for when it comes to close combat (woods, hills, cities - avoid using tanks in such situations) and fortifications, but while having the ability to avoid the penalties of enemy entrancement, the pioneers have lower initiative than the grenadiers and paratroopers if I remember correctly. Initiative is very important (when your unit fires first, the enemy only shoots back with what he has left). So, I`d vary a bit in the infantry composition. For example in the Stalingrad scenario I remember once using paratroopers to capture the southernmost cities in the Caucasus. Generally, I think that in the vanilla campaign I`d only use one Pioneer, the rest being panzer grenadiers (mostly), but also some paratroopers and a mountain infantry (very important for mobility in scenarios where there are big mountain ranges like in Norway and Stalingrad since they can go fast through mountain terrain and thus can go around enemy strong points). Also, try to get self propelled artillery. It helps to have it deployed instantly as the AI is somewhat reluctant to attack units covered by artillery.
Stalingrad is not actually a tough battle once you`ve mustered the game mechanics and have lead a successful campaign up to that point. Good luck!
< Message edited by R35 -- 1/13/2014 7:23:12 AM >