Thank you for the warm welcome!
I tried to make progress on the same campaign with more HQs. The SU land unit kill count is now at 159 (among them 64 Corps, 29 Armies, 21 tanks, 8 heavy) and they still have more units against me in the SU. Despite the increased SU losses my troops could advance just a few hex fields and reached Baku and Tallin. Leningrad, Stalingrad and Moscow are still far away. I get it that Axis lost the war in real life and the eastern front in winter was no walk in the park, but it is still a game and should be a fun experience.
The Allies didn't get the memo about the historic timeline and started Operation Overlord in June 1943 already. The first round they landed with 10 corps, 2 special forces and 1 tank. After installing a bridgehead they flooded half of France with units. It is August 1943. The game is officially over.
It still feels like I am playing against a cheater and the ramp up in enemy units is too much after Barbarossa for my taste. I guess the margin of error is too thin for normal difficulty and the time table is too strict. How am I supposed to avoid DDay in 1943?
I did recommend SCWWI to a friend and despite the more interesting setting, I wouldn't recommend WWIIWiE based on this fresh Axis experience. It feels odd.
For the next playthrough I am gonna use a better setup for Barbarossa and cheat on enemy position (not proud of it). But thanks for all the tips, that should make the next campaign easier!
If I can just add some thoughts to your notes here, and in sympathy to your original post which indicated that there was little to no feeling that the game would suddenly feel so difficult after the first 2/3rds of your playthrough, the issue here really is that for the Axis side, the first 2/3rds of the game likely will feel very easy and stacked in favour of the Axis, while the last 1/3rd can indeed feel like the tables have turned, and rapidly so, if things have not lined up properly for the Axis in the early critical parts of the game.
With that I would just argue here that this is not necessarily a particular fault of the game, but rather that this should indeed be the correct WWII feel, and more or less what one could expect. Again, this is not to say that this means the Axis will or should lose every time, in fact we've made a concerted effort to bring the game balance to 50/50, but rather just to reinforce that playing as the Axis side really is a race against time.
For example, as the Axis, the race is to get into a position of strength and dominance on the map before the Allied industrial might ramps up and is able to effectively push you back. Mid 1942 is usually the tipping point and if you can push the Allies past the brink by mid 1942 then you should be able to win outright, if not then the Allied industrial and resource strength will be very difficult to overcome and likely push you back into defeat.
The first few years should feel easy for the Axis, but could be misleading in that if you haven't pushed quickly and strong and far enough by the end of 1941, you may have already mathematically lost and it is just a matter of time before inevitable defeat. This just means one could look at your position pre-Barbarossa, and already know that the war is lost if the setup is not sufficient enough, and despite already having great success throughout the map with a defeat of Poland, France, the Low Countries, Yugoslavia, Greece and so on.
My suggestions would be to perhaps try an all out Barbarossa as the primary focus, with the right research and upgrade combinations and skip North Africa until you get a good feel for what it might take to be able to reach Moscow and ideally eventually knock the USSR out of the war. Then modify and experiment with your strategies after that.
You could also try the GREEN difficulty level to see if that helps as well. I suspect a few experiments will eventually get you the right place to eventually defeat the game as Axis with ease.
Hope this helps,
< Message edited by Hubert Cater -- 10/4/2021 2:50:14 PM >