Expert AI really makes for an interesting German-Soviet war. In most of my games as Germany, I’m building up for the big invasion and it ends up being anti-climactic. With the production improvements, some mild bonuses to the USSR and I guess Paradox operational AI improvements, it’s been a tough fight so far.
The mod increases the amount of time units take to receive reinforcements, reduces the amount of IC you get from occupation and greatly increases the effects of weather, particularly mud.
I’d rushed Panther tanks to have a fair number ready for 1941 and started off with a large successful naval invasion of Leningrad. I had better technology and better numbers in the air, and the advantage of radar. But the never-sufficiently-damned Soviet heavy tank divisions are so damned tough to penetrate and the infantry is so numerous.
I spent the summer and fall of 1941 making small-to-medium encirclements but I could never get the big break because there were always more Soviet reinforcements piling into the line. Due to fully-researched doctrine, the encircled Soviet troops are stubbornly resistant. Things get bogged down in Soviet counter-attacks, heavy fighting ruins the infrastructure and forces me to move my mobile forces to another section of the line. Overall I took about 4 million Soviet soldiers off the table before fall mud arrived, and another 2 million in the winter. But I haven’t conquered much territory, barely holding on to Minsk and western Ukraine and my forces in Leningrad are bottled up and constantly threatened.
The air war started out well. I largely skipped light fighters and used one of the German focuses to move ahead to 1944 Heavy Fighters. They are less agile but have so much firepower, range and hitpoints that exchanges were initially heavily in my favour. However, the newer Soviet fighters are much better and are trading much more evenly with my heavy fighters, and I have no where to go tech wise for the moment. Plus the Soviets make liberal use of anti-aircraft elements in their divisions, which makes my CAS losses very heavy.
I’m hoping that with the addition of heavily-modified Jagdpanthers and some mechanized elements my tank divisions will finally be able to penetrate the Soviet heavy tanks and have more momentum against the infantry in the 1942 campaign. If I can take a big enough bite out of the Red Army at once, then I can make more progress capturing territory. Though it’s still a long, long way to capitulation and years until I will be able to significantly improve my tank tech.
I’ve set it up so the Soviets get significant bonuses as they approach capitulation, so it will be a long struggle in the east. If the US gets a foothold or starts a strong air campaign it could get very bad.