On the First German turn the 67th Corp attempts to eliminate the 5th Armored Calvary. If it is eliminated then the 12SS panzer division can destroy the 5th Corp headquarters. If the headquarters is gone it will leave the allied side with only one headquarters to be activated. This will put it at an extreme disadvantage. If by luck the unit only needs to retreat it should be placed so as to protect the HQ from the 12th SS.
After the Germans have activated all their Corp headquarters, its the allies turn. At this time its usually the First American Army HQ that is left standing. Move the HQ to a hex at the top of the map so that it can be protected by the reinforcements coming in turn 2. Try to move units to be adjacent to German Panzer units so that they use Strategic Movement. They will not be able to exit the board next turn. Move units into breakthrough corridor to inhibit turn 2 replacements. Try to place units so that they can be activated by the 7th Corp HQ which is a reinforcement for turn 2.
If the 7th Corp is activated before the Germans can exit the Northeast map, create roadblocks to these exits. Getting units to Liege, Huy and Durbuy will effectively seal the Northeast to any Germans using Strategic movement. Allied Reinforecements on Turn 3 will flood the area. Hang on till the third turn if possible.
The key to beating the German AI is to know when to quit. WinterThunder is a game of luck and skill. In taking on the German AI a degree of luck is required. If the Germans get 3 mechanized units off of the Northeast edge that gives them 12 victory points. Those victory points can NOT be retaken. That’s the same as any mech units that leave the West. You can retake the cities, town and move units off of the the Meuse but you can never get the exit points back. To match and exceed the AI you need to destroy German divisions. The number of division on board to destroy is shown under Possible on the Victory Points window.
The main algorithm for the German AI has been called “One Trick Pony”. It tries to exit as many of the Mechanized units off of the map, including the reinforcements. To that end it will try to keep a corridor clear to the exit points. Once it detects that the exits have been sealed it will try to remove as many of its own divisions as possible so the Allies cannot destroy them.
So examine the Victory Points and if you don’t have a chance, end the game and start over. The AI won’t gloat. Feelings have not been programmed in.
If you get lucky in Turn 2 and one your Headquarters is activated before the Germans can do any damage save the game and restart from there if needed.