Maybe Russia doesn't stand a chance and that's why they are only a separate player with 4 (both games were played with the full four players). I haven't played Russia so maybe that is a fair complaint. But Russia did reject Brest-Litovsk (which would have given them game assuming their side won, which they did).
Germany plays very differently from Austria. Getting bogged down in deadly trench warfare in the West. The need to communicate with Austria. The tension of fighting on two fronts. Much different than the usual blah German World War Two game.
We lost due to Austrian surrender. Our point total was higher and it was 1918. It felt like we lost when we were at our height (just as happened historically). The levels of casualties and length of game (enough time for reversals) seems right.
It is a "real" wargame. In each game, I could see how poor play (not just poor dice rolling) lead to the loss. Although that is hard to say definitely because of the game's fog of war.
All in all an enjoyable game for me. I can't wait to play it again.