I borrowed heavily from Shalkai's excellent Role Reversal Soviet aar located here https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4754512&mpage=1&key=
I tried to provide my best possible explanation for Shalkai's TOE settings based on what I know of the game. I have since come around to the utility of Soviet airborne brigades, but unfortunately we only have 2 of them still left in the game at this point!
I really overestimated the number of SUs we would be able to build in this game. We have barely built any SUs 10 turns in because of how badly we have gotten hammered. AP has gone to leader replacements, eliminating CP penalties, and building forts.
1. Security Regiments at 55% --> these are nothing more than stop gaps that disappear over time anyways. No reason to waste much manpower reinforcements over them.
2. Fort regiments at 95% --> as the Soviets I build a lot of forts. Their price comes down to 4 AP after the first few turns. Soviet forts are much larger with more manpower and artillery than German forts. So they take a lot more investment in terms of ARMAMENTS and MANPOWER in the early game when you are losing hundreds of thousands of men every week and evacuating lots of armament factories to the Urals. Nevertheless, I am a big believer in using forts to plug gaps and slowly build up the power of your rear areas. Level 3 and 4 forts are serious game changers for weak 1941-1942 Soviet infantry on the defensive. Bringing the TOE down to 95 or even 90% spares you some of the pain in armament and manpower spending.
3. Airborne at 100% --> Soviet airborne units suck monkey balls. They have excellent morale, but they are just individual brigades so they lack the combat strength to do anything even when merged into one hex. Three weak Soviet divisions in one hex have much better strength than three high-morale Soviet airborne brigades in one hex. Also, Soviet airborne missions suck and you are better off using transport planes to resupply cavalry divisions during blizzard offensives. Finally, waiting until 1943 to turn airborne brigades into airborne divisions is stupid and you are better off just forming Guards Rifle Corps in the summer of 1942 with your airborne brigades as soon as you can. I have said my piece. I honestly don't care much about these units, think they are overhyped, and you can feel free to sacrifice them on the front lines.
4. Cavalry at 100% --> The best unit in the Soviet arsenal because they form the corps of your attacking power in the blizzard of 1941 since they can form cavalry corps in December. Save every cavalry division you can and never let one get wiped out for any reason. Use infantry to screen your cavalry forces, not the other way around. Cavalry divisions in this game are just stronger infantry divisions.
5. Anti-tank brigades --> a unit that is good to stack on the defensive with two infantry divisions in areas with lots of panzers. that's all.
6. Tank and motorized divisions (90 for > 45 morale; 75 for >35 morale; 60 for <35 morale). Why the scaling structure? Because you want your stronger units to be prioritized over your weaker units, and you don't want weaker units that get wiped out to get caught with a lot of strong reinforcements.
7. Rifle divisions (90 for > 45 morale; 75 for >35 morale; 65 for <35 morale). Same idea, except manpower is at a premium in the early game so we cap them at 90% early on.
SUPPORT UNITS - The Soviets can and will build LOTS of support units. I have set STAVKA's Support Unit level to 9 and everyone else to 0 for the first three turns. I will then manually reassign support units back down to give the front commanders an even distribution based on the idea that each front will command 4 armies and 1 air army. We are looking at building an army of 7 million men, 150,000 guns, 10,000 tanks, and 15,000 planes by 1944. Supports units lets us counter the superior quality of the Germans army.
1. Tank Battalions at 100% our initial tanks suck and we will lose tons of them in most of our battles. Fear not! We will attach a lot of tank battalions to our cavalry corps to give them more staying power.
2. Motorcycle regiments at 60% to save up on some of our truck usage early on, but I really like these support units in the late game because they are motorized and can keep up with mechanized corps in 1943 and beyond
3. Anti-tank/ Anti-air/and Artillery at 90% to save on Armaments in the early game
4. Engineers at 100% they help with urban combat from what I think I understand
5. Construction at 100% - we will be building a lot of construction SUs in the early game because they help with fortification build up of individual units, a key factor in our defensive values early on
6. Mortars/Rockets/Machine Guns at 100% - as we get more sophisticated Support Units it is good to have a variety of artillery in each unit. I like to mix each army with: a field gun, a howitzer, a mortar, a rocket, a machine gun, an engineer, and a ski unit. YES I BUILD A LOT OF SUs
7. Airbases / Army/ Front HQs at 100% - there seems to be some back and forth in the forums, but HQ units operate at their best when set to 100%