There are three objectives to this scenario: Cottbus at 100 points (-25 after turn one), Torgau at 200 points (-50 after turn three) and finally Berlin (West) at 200 points (-50 after turn four). I have had some difficulty with the first objective Cottbus in the past, so smashing through there as quickly as possible is going to be vital to accumulating maximum points.
The briefing summary indicating a potential easy victory is quite misleading: the forces arrayed in and around Berlin are difficult to unseat and ultimately destroy.
On the first turn I ask some of my front line infantry to give up their artillery Specialist Steps, which consist of 122 mm M-30 towed guns. I will be adding these to the armor units in the next turn when they become available in the force pool. This is something I saw in a YouTube video for this mission (I am too lazy to read the game manual), so hopefully it will help me as well.
At the start of turn two, the Germans have reacted as expected by meeting my initial thrust south and dropping back some forces to guard Torgau. I continue my assault on Cottbus and take shots where I can along the front line. Those units at a -3 disadvantage are entrenched, and all available forces that can be moved forward are.
Cottbus has fallen and I continue the push towards Torgau, however the German counter-attack eliminated two of my four armor units in the south. They continue to push infantry forward to stop my advance without having any units fall back to augment the defense of Berlin.
The four armor units I had in the south are now down to one (I cannot tell if adding the artillery specialist steps have helped or not, I am sure they have as far as buffing up the unit combat attributes but I am suffering some serious losses here).
The Germans are either being pushed back or are now falling back in defense of Berlin in a proper fashion. I am starting to seriously have doubts about the outcome of this play through.
The Red Army has taken Torgau and has begun and encirclement of Berlin, however this will be too late as I only have two turns left to take the city. The units remaining at the objective are the ones entrenched from the beginning of the scenario: Festung Berlin SS Infantry (veteran) augmented by Tiger II specialist step, and standard German infantry buffed by 88mm Flak.
Pushing everyone forward has allowed a straggler German unit to cut off my supply source from Koeslin which would have an effect if there were any more turns remaining but this final one. With nothing left to lose, I through everything at Berlin and get all Georgy Zhukov on the Hun.
I end the debacle with a score of -/600 (zero points out of a possible 600). This is one area where the game could take a cue from Command Operations in presenting a more robust after-action summary such as statistics (number of units killed, etc.) At any rate, I have Berlin encircled but because of union regulations the battle must end at turn six (overtime is a bitch on the battlefield).
Review Final Situation
Even if I had one or more turns remaining, I was losing units against the Berlin defenders. Whole armor, cavalry and infantry units simply ceased to exist on this day of virtual combat hell.
I could be completely wrong and missing something here, but this map is one of the ones where you cannot move the view around. All of the action occurs on the right 1/3 of the map, with most of the first 2/3 not being utilized at all. It would be nice to be able to move the view around to center on the main action, as well as zoom in and out.