A few comments:
1) There are three things you want to do after installing the base game:
- Add the unofficial beta path. It fixes a host of problems. It installs into a different directory from the main exe, so pay careful attention to setting up the Desktop Shortcut
- Speaking of which, getting switches right can be tricky, so definitely use Korvar's Seabee to help with this.
- Update the Script AI. The base game comes with the 2007 AI, but a lot has been done since then. As you'll see from the link, there's a LOT to update, so it might be easier to update only the scenario you plan to start with (although if you move on to another one, you'll have to remember to get the update for that). This is particularly important if you are a solo player. However, if you soon plan to play PBEM, it's really optional.
2) Start with several of the smaller scenarios. You can jump into the main campaign, but even a simple one like "Aleutians" can help with the learning curve.
3) The War Room has lots of helpful threads. When questions arise, the answers can often be found there.
4) Do NOT start as Japan. It's like skipping high school football and going straight to the NFL.
Most important, don't get frustrated. There's always an answer, so enjoy the ride!
Wow, I thought in the patches everything was updated, thanks for your AI Files post