This discussion puts emphasis on what fascinates me the most about that game: The depth of the mechanics, the endless possibilities and thus the importance of the Commander in Chief, namely, the player.
I realise that every player has exactly the same ratings as the Leaders in the game. Some are good in pushing units and choosing paths of attack or defense, so high Mec or Inf rating, others are good at logistics, so high Admin, or timely attribution of support to attacking spearheads, which also uses initiative ratings etc... Others have steely nerves and will play more aggressively or make gambit, won't despair in face of difficult odds, showing high morale... So many things to think about and master that it must be really rare to have a player with all those ratings above 7 or 8, a Model, Manstein, Weiss or a Rendulic ;-)
This is exactly in line with the thinking of Clausewitz on the mechanics of war and the importance of the leader and morale. And it's quite a great achievement in a game design I think.
So I think that to have a complete and thorough analysis of openings and deciding which is best might not be possible. In this case, both openings will make for very different following turns, with different opportunities, and those are entirely up to the talent and vision of the player as to how they will develop. And also to a great degree to the reactions of his opponent, also depending on his talent and vision. So past experiences in games with a specific opening might not be full proof as maybe the Soviet best tactics or strategies against it has never been fully implemented, even if that game was against an experienced and talented soviet player.
Correct me if I'm wrong, and this is only a green player with not much experience in game play, and also no experience at all in MP games... but it might also be that against some players with the right ratings, a standard historical Axis attack on the first turn might still be the best option, even if less devastating at first.
At least, I hope it is the case else a lot of those forces of depth and complexity are lost.
I was reading in your AAR HLYA that some nerfs of the last patches were for twarting elite players and that they made the lives of average players really tough... I can understand why. Balance in this game is probably an impossible razor edge to find for the programers and game designers. And even with house rules, if you accept some to give a edge to a player that is not as good as you are or experimented, and suddenly the guy understands things and becomes better while playing, then you suddenly are in trouble! lol!
Best attitude is maybe not to play for winning, but for the sheer enjoyement of analysing tasks and problems and finding the best solutions possible.
< Message edited by joelmar -- 3/22/2019 9:21:30 PM >