It’s a tricky balance to get right! If anything, I think the territory structure of Anniversary 1941 favors tanks a bit more than the territory structure of 1942 Second Edition. What I mean by this is that in Anniversary, German and Italian tanks pose a huge problem for the Russians – from a base in East Poland, Axis tanks can threaten Leningrad and Moscow and Stalingrad, and if the Italians have 3+ tanks in the area for can-opening, it becomes prohibitively expensive for the Russians to try to screen off any of those factories, so the Russians quickly wind up falling back to Moscow.
That said, I think with tanks at 5 IPCs, there is rarely any reason to buy artillery unless you happen to have 1 IPC left over, and with tanks at 6 IPCs, there is rarely any reason to buy tanks unless you really need the mobility. In all versions of Axis & Allies, Germany starts with more than enough tanks to get the job done. Historically, countries in WW2 tended to field about 500 infantrymen for every tank. In this board game, the ratio for the Axis is more like 2 infantry per tank! Obviously you can make allowances for what a “tank piece” represents – maybe a tank piece just represents a infantry division that happens to have an armored brigade – but I still think that the starting Axis forces are over-stocked with tanks at the beginning of the game.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s a way to make the decision between artillery vs. tank a little “sharper,” so that you can build radically different armies depending on which pieces you choose to emphasize.
For example, instead of increasing tank prices to 6, what about the following piece values:
Infantry: 3 IPCs, 1 Attack, 3 Defense, 1 Move
Artillery: 4 IPCs, 1 Attack, 2 Defense, 1 Move, Boost up to 3 Infantry by +1 Attack each
Tank: 5 IPCs, 3 Attack, 3 Defense, 2 Move, Blitz
The idea here is that with enough supporting infantry, artillery are now much more cost-effective for offensive punch; you can get 4 punch for 4 IPCs, which is the best ratio available in the game…but only if you have enough cannon fodder. If you take casualties and you only have 1 infantry per artillery, then your artillery are no longer cost-effective, and may even perform worse than pure infantry, since they have weaker defense.