My PBEM game of A Victory Lost has ended, and I've won--my opponent conceded, saying that I'd broke through in too many places for him to salvage the game. I'm not sure that's true, but I'll take the win happily. We'd played about 2/3 of the way through the game when he conceded.
I think that my opponent is even newer to the game than me. As the Axis, you need to focus almost entirely on force protection for the first few turns, giving up territory to save units. This is especially true of German units, and even more so for German panzer units--the Soviets get victory points for killing German units (1 for infantry, 3 for panzer). My opponent tried to fight delaying actions, which exposed his units to being surrounded, which meant that I destroyed a bunch of his units in the first half of the game.
In AVL, you get victory points for (1) controlling victory cities, and (2) destroying some types of enemy units. Each victory city is worth 5 points, and there are 5 victory cities total. The Axis controls all of the cities at the start, so begins the game with a 25-0 lead. In our game, I hadn't captured a single victory city yet (although I was seriously threatening three of them). The final score was something like 27-22 in his favor. I think my opponent believed that I couldn't be stopped from taking at least one victory city, which would put me up by 27-22, and I might be able to take several cities. I think he's probably right about that, but you never know for sure.
We are now playing another game of AVL now, playing the same sides. I hope he hasn't learned his lesson.