Nice ongoing AAR.
Yep, Axis Empires has a steep learning curve. That first year of Barbarossa can be tough to handle. It's important to garrison those rear area cities so that reserve movement doesn't freely walk all over the place. Good luck in your next game.
Can be a while for next TK. My friend is back to university, and need the room for less fun stuff.
We will look for a game with less footprint, and can be played in 5-12 hours. I have a nice collection to pick from. Blowing dust off at the moment to find next challenge.