Russia facing Sea Lion and Barbarossa strategies

  • Me and my gaming buddy Just tried my first two games last night. I explained the most common strats (Sea Lion or Barbarossa) and we ended up having trying both, but with different sides each time.

    Sea Lion
    On the 1st game G massed a huge fleet of transports, subs and 2 ACs on SZ110. On G2 it landed on Scotland (the UK made a strafe attack, leaving 1 art and 1 arm) and on G3 it attempted to go after the UK but it didn’t had enough units and had to call off the attack after 2 rounds. Meanwhile it occupied Bulgaria and Finland and attacked Yugo on G1 and attacked Greece on G2. On G4 he considered another attack on the UK but decided to call it off due to the Russian threat.

    But Russia made things interesting. Its standard buy was 4 inf, 1 art, 2 arm for the entire game. Initially I kept only 1 unit on each of the border territories. I kept piling up my units on Novgorod, Belarus and W. Ukr.
    On R3, seeing how the attack on the UK failed Russia moved all of its army to Eastern Poland (18 inf, 4 art, 2 mech, 4 armor, AA, 2 ftrs, 1 tac). It was impossible for the Germans to attack it or garrison the border territories so they pulled back to Yugo/Germany/Bulgaria.
    On R4 Russia declared war on Germany and attacked Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Finland (using the transport on SZ115, plus 2 units and all planes). The bulk of the Russian army then moved to Romania. In total Russia received 38 IPCs + 5 bonus from Archangel + 9 bonus from the 3 original German territories, for a grand total of 51 IPCs.
    The game ended on US4 with Germany conceding. It was impossible to take the UK after the US landed its planes and Russia was kicking down the door on the Eastern front. So we decided to call it off and tried again.

  • Barbarossa

    I took Axis and bought 1 AC and 2 transports for G. I wasn’t sure of my strat but I thought that this buy would give me a little more flexibility and make the Allies wonder about my intentions.
    I sank the fleets on SZ106, SZ110 and SZ112 at the cost of 3 subs, 2 planes and 1 damaged BB, while leaving 1 damaged UK BB on SZ111. I took France leaving all my armor and mech intact and also took Yugo and N/B and activated Finland and Bulgaria.
    Russia bought 1 arm, 1 art and 6 inf and did pretty much what I had done, while the UK bought units for South Africa and the UK and attacked and sunk the Italian fleet on SZ95. He had to leave the UK carrier on SZ95 since I only got 1 hit for the Italians (it took the DD out), leaving him with 1 AC, 1 CA, 1 ftr and 1 tac.
    The Italians attacked the French fleet on SZ93 and sunk it at no cost and used the transport to disembark reinforcements to the attack on Alexandria.

    On G2 I decided to call off Sea Lion. I bought only land units for Germany and moved everything to the Eastern border (no attack on Greece). Then I used the entire Luftwaffe to sink the UK fleet on SZ95, clearing the Med of Allied ships.
    UK bought units for South Africa and 1 tac and evacuated Egypt to Trans-Jordan. The Italians bought 2 transports and took Egypt.

    Then on G3 Barbarossa started. Russia had massed its army on Eastern Poland (trying to repeat my idea of the previous game) - I had warned him that it might not be a good idea to do so but he ignored me. So G attacked it with everything on range destroying some 20 units at the cost of 6-8 infantry. Meanwhile the 3 transports made an amphibious assault on Novgorod and conquered it, sinking the Russian BB and transport first and the Finnish army conquered Karelia.
    From that moment on the Russians were in full retreat. They retook Novgorod on R3 but simply couldn’t spare enough units to hold it so they tried to keep a line through Archangel/Smolensk/Ukraine. On G4 I bought a minor IC for Romania and the Germans took again Novgorod with some 12 units while the bulk of its army took Belarus and a smaller attack failed to take Western Ukraine.
    On G5, it was 6 armor for the Novgorod and Romania ICs, all the rest to the West. The Germans moved the main army to Smolensk and took Archangel/Bryansk/Western Ukraine. The Russians could have tried a counter attack on Smolensk but the boatloads of infantry wouldn’t do much good against 10 inf/art and some 15 armor so they just retook Bryansk.
    On G6 the Germans consolidated all of their inf/art on Smolensk, took Vologda, Ukraine and Bryansk, while moving the 6 armor to Belarus and all of its airforce to Novgorod. Then on G7 Moscow fell, with the Germans still having 5 armor and 2 tac.

    Meanwhile the UK/US tried to keep landing on Western Europe but from turn 5 onwards G ceased to send units to the East, so any landings (on Norway, Benelux and N/B) were easily defeated. With the loss of Moscow the Allies surrendered though. The Italians had sent a small force through Persia to take Caucasus, Cairo was secured and when Stalingrad fell the Axis would have 8 cities.

  • Some reflections about Russia’s role in both games now.

    *Russia needs to be able to move its army to Eastern Poland on R3 without the risk of it being destroyed by an Axis countermove. If possible then the 3 territories might be taken with a total gain of 17 IPCs.
    *The Sea Lion strat failed because of G’s mistakes with buys (too many submarine and the 2nd AC, not enough transports), but otherwise it couldn’t do much to prevent Russia from taking Poland/Slovakia/Romania other than to mass an army those territories and dare Russia to take them, risking a counterattack afterwards.
    *Russia needs to move the Baltic fleet to SZ114 to prevent any surprise landings on Novgorod, if the German transports are in position.
    *The Italians can be the can opener for a German attack on Russian positions so caution is necessary. When the Russians moved their army to Romania, Italy retook Slovakia allowing for armor on Germany to perform a possible counterattack on the Russians there.
    *Control of Romania opens the Balkans to Russia.

  • Nice summaries Hobbs

    One lesson I’m seeing is Sea Lion is costly, even when it is successful.

    Another is the big stack of Russians better be darned sure they can’t be killed by a large attacking force if the square they’re in isn’t important.

    Interesting about the American landings.  Do you think the Italy first strategy would have gotten better results?

  • @MarkVIIIMarc:

    Interesting about the American landings.  Do you think the Italy first strategy would have gotten better results?

    That would have worked better than the landings on France. Italy was earning some 30 IPCs and was preparing to defend S. Italy from the US (it was sending a DD to block the US fleet from moving into the Med) but the US could have gained access easy. Another thing that he should have done would be to force passage through the Danish Straits by taking Denmark with the UK then sending an US fleet through it. Then Norway would be impossible to take back (bye bye Sweden NO).

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