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I always played with the Leader Evacuation rule, but I never used it, because a] it is too restrictive (wait until it is surrounded, but then it dies before a Soviet turn) and b] I always put my leaders where I wanted them to die adding 1 more step to a stack. Yes those 5s & 4s would be nice later, I just never could save them.
I feel that the Ger. Inf. Div. are reduced faster than any other sort.
. . a] The Soviet maneuver element is the stack. And here the weakest unit always dies 1st.
. . b] Ger. Mech maneuver elements are Pz and Mot Inf. Div. Here when one loses a step just 1 of the Reg. is flipped and loses 1/2 to 1/3 of its CF. This reduces the whole Div. by only a little.
. . c] Ger. Inf. are different. They lose 5 CF for the 1st step, then 2, then 1 and then 1 more.
. . . . . I don't think it would be a huge change to do the simple fix for this. It is "change" the 1s into 7s, 1-7 ==> 7-7. Then the order of loss is -- 9-7 ==> 7-7 ==> 4-7 ==> 2-7 ==> dead. You don't really need to actually change any of them, or just a few maybe or make a few from blanks.
I do agree that the Soviet zero strength Div. are too much of a jump, that is from 1 down to 0 DF. Or from 1 step down to no step. Perhaps they might be 1s (0-1-6) instead. The Armor Div. ones too (change to 1-10). This will help the Rus. a lot.
BTW -- has anyone noticed that all but 1 of the Soviet Mech Div. are an even number of CF? So, when out of supply they lose 1/2 their CF, while all but 1 of the Armored Div. have odd CF and always lose the odd CF when out of sullpy? This is as it should be. Tanks are helpless without gas, while Mech Inf. can still move a little to react to the tactical situation. This means that if you don't want any zeros in the unit mix it might be better to just remove the 3 Armored zeros not make them 1s that stay 1s when out of supply.
BTW -- I marked my copy of the AH version to make all the Mech, Mech again. Perhaps we need a different way to pick them though. Like roll a die, if odd = Armor, but if even then = Mech. This is not as self-correcting as before, but it is cheat proof.
A bigger change would be to add 1 "Battle Group" to all 5 Ger. Pz Corps. They would be 2-10, 1 or 2 step units that arrive with the rest of the Corps. These were left out of even consideration in the original game because every single counter in the very limited number allowed had to be used for something more important. The Ger. did have a lot of such units -- MG Bns, Assualt Gun Bns, etc. The Ger. player would use them to avoid splitting up his Pz Div. This would add not 10 CF to his mix, but 26 CF. Perhaps use this with the no zeros rule change.