The Empire seems to control a larger area, and with the Leftists having to ship a lot of troops from the islands to mainland, the early naval victory and unrestricted submarine warfare can deal a lot of damage to them. The rebels, however, have a stronger concentration of force at Sair Usa. If they manage to achieve a breakthrough there they could run up the eastern coast.
At least that's what I'd try to do: let the Empire overextend and try to achieve a big victory in a single area.
I agree with your strategy. The Leftist plan at Sair Usa is to fight their way North and knock Tszaq out of the war. The Empire has responded by piling reserves into the Sair Usa front and the battle has become a battle of attrition. Should the Leftist break through the Empire is working on a second line of defense along the minor river just North of the main defense. I think any breakthrough will come further to the West near the center of the continent.
The victory points you see have been revised for the released version. Each side is granted 5 victory points located in inaccessible hexes. These are the only victory points in the game. All changes to the victory levels will be due to loss penalties with victory levels calculated per the graphic below.
I expect that the path to victory will not be from loss penalties, but from the accumulation of resources (supply and replacements) and destruction of enemy resources. A winning strategy will give the commander an insurmountable advantage in material and troops. If the war becomes a stalemate or unwinnable, both sides will have Theater Options available to negotiate a cease fire or surrender outright. I don’t think many games will be played the full 104 turns.
Comprehensive Wishlist Forum #467 . . . The Norm (blessed be His name, genuflect three times and accept all values in the program as revealed truth)
Pre Combat Air Strikes # 64 . . . I need have no concern about keeping it civil