Great discussion, thank you guys, seems like balance in this game is a nuanced thing and it is really my feeling. I think that to know the exact truth about it would need some professional players doing only that as a day job, with lenghty analysis of the data and systematic exploration of possibilities, such is the magnitude of the complexity of the game.
As I said elsewhere, I think playing this game and aiming for a win, whatever side you're on, is besides the point. IMO what's interesting is much more to see how things develop than the final result as a game lasts forever and the final result is only a short moment in time. Crackaces said in another post that "It's about the journey, not the destination", and that IMO is one of the wisest thing I ever read about this game.
This has made me think of the historicity of the German getting Leningrad and Moscow and the Soviets being able to fight on. In reality, I don't believe it would have happened as it happens in this game. Those 2 cities and the Donbass were the 3 objectives of the German, and that was based on serious thinking and I believe sound analysis. Imagine the Germans take 2 of those 3 objectives in 1941, like the 2 cities. Forget about manpower or other considerations of the sort, think politics. Bottom line, Stalin would have been in a very difficult situation. I'm really not sure he would have been able to stay in power with the turmoil such a loss would have caused. And the creation of a vacuum at the top at that moment, or even only the infighting and frictions at the top and down the line would have meant a serious degradation of the Soviet military cohesion. It's exactly what happened to the Czar in WWI. Imagine if the Germans had won the Great War, there would have been a very different Russia in the XXth century. Such was the magnitude of their defeat in that war. Funny how we tend to see Russia as invincible because of 1812 and 1941, but we so easily forget 1917.
So I really doubt they could have straighten up the situation like the Soviet player is able to do in the game. It always amazes me that Hitler who was always having the "political" formost in his thinking didn't get that.
That said, it's a game and it's really cool in the game that the Soviets are able to continue fighting after loosing both cities and I don't think anything should be done to nerf that. It's just an observation.
"Everyone has a plan, then they get punched in the mouth" -Mike Tyson