I am coming to the conclusion that, no matter how improved the AI is, it is no match strategy-wise for a human opponent. Sure, it can stockpile units and throw them at weak spots. And it can focus on certain historical goals. But that's about it. Here is my latest experience as Finland using historical mode. That's right, Finland. Finland's only opponent is Russia. First the Winter War: Almost took Murmansk after bracing for an attack that never came, but missed it by one turn because the diplomats intervened. No matter, USSR hadn't even bothered to attack other than to grab a wayward worker. Apparently too busy getting beaten up in Poland. Now it is mid-1942 and I have been at war with Russia for a year. Things are going well, despite my erroneously planning to also have to fight with Norway. I've taken all of USSR's northern cities including Leningrad and am now one march away from a lightly-defended Moscow. Also took Talinn and am bombarding Riga into submission. Russia has a huge stack in Riga, 10-15 ground units, on their border with Germany (they have apparently only squabbled over Konigsberg but not echanged cities otherwise), so I may not be able to take it for a while. But no matter, just to the east are several cities with only 2-3 ground units each. While Finland is on its way to superpower status, despite largely inferior weaponry (improved bombers are still just a dream on the drawing board, but am getting it done with standard-issue artillery/marines/tanks/paratroopers against superior Russian infantry and heavy tanks), the rest of the war can best be described as a stalemate. Low Countries and central Poland still remain independent, in 1942. Copenhagen and Oslo fell to Germany, Baltics fell to Russia, northern Africa is mostly in Italian hands, the Balkans are fighting amongst themselves. That is about it. No idea what Germany and France and Britain have been up to on the mainland, but apparently am not missing much. The AI seems to send only token counterattacks most of the time. 1-2 ground units, a couple of air sorties, token shore bombardment from a navy that has no ports to call home. Leave an injured unit unattended, and the AI pounces. It is also pretty good at pulling off the stealth amphibious assault, from the transport that has been floating around full of units probably since the beginning of the game and maybe since before the DoW -- units that might have been better utilized in nearby city defense. But the AI is not so good at moving ships out of port before a city is taken. The Russians keep throwing units away attacking the square north of Leningrad -- I have a fort there now and they are crossing a river against fortified units, so it has been a slaughter. But they do not attack Leningrad at all and I am cleaning up all of the cities to the east with little resistance. In an earlier game as USSR, I was able to take three cities from Finland during the short Winter War while also dealing with Poland in a timely manner. And this was no suicide run, knowing the diplomats would bail me out -- I tend not to throw units away, so I only took what I would be able to hold from a counterattack. So certainly Russia is strong enough to take it to the Finns if they plan accordingly. I think ultimately the bottom line is that, as wonderful as this scenario is, anything less than multiplayer isn't going to do it a whole lot of justice strategy-wise.