Sea Lion revisited



  • Any ideas on how the Axis can effectively exploit a g3 Sea Lion?  My opponent has pulled it off 2 games in a row now and has lost both.  The first time he did it slightly on the cheap because I was spending half my income in Africa and managed to take UK with a 6 transport purchase.  It would have worked out pretty well as he managed to have a decent sized army left over since he didn’t have to devote 90% of his turn 2 purchase to transports, however he missed the fact that my Russian sub was within striking distance of his transport stack and lost them thereby losing his ability to reinforce or retake the island once the US showed up turn 5 to liberate UK.  A US Norway factory followed shortly thereafter and things went rapidly downhill for the Axis.

    The second game I’d learned my lesson and built 9 inf UK1 followed by 9inf 1 arm UK2 and Germany went in with 7 surviving planes plus his 10 transports.  He came out of his with 3 arm and his air force surviving (GB AA guns are notoriously ineffective in our games) and this time had a large enough German fleet that I couldn’t sink his transports.  The net result of all of this was the US had to wait till the German fleet retreated into the Baltic after the US showed up @ Gibraltar, then block the German fleet w/ a couple ships while the rest liberated the UK.  He tried to leave his cruiser in sz 110 to stop me from bottling up his fleet but it was sunk by that Russian sub (my new MVP).  This time since Germany had bought 9 transports G2 it was dangerously undermanned in the face of a large Russian stack sitting in eastern Poland (I starting massing on the front lines as soon as I saw his G1 carrier build) and a large US fleet w/ 7 loaded transports and a revived Britain in the Atlantic.

    My thoughts
    1.  There’s no way Germany can hold onto UK past G6 tops if the US player anticipates the Sealion (and who won’t after a multi-transport build g2?).  It’s worth noting both games the US was splitting its income between the two theaters (about 30% pacific/ 70% Atlantic) and Japan attacked J3.

    2.  The 25-30 IPC’s plus 8 more per turn Germany gets from plundering UK comes nowhere near defraying the costs of taking the island in the face of UK1 and UK2 inf builds.

    3.  GB should still sink the ITL BB, CA, and TRN UK1 even if G1 purchases the CV +1 TRN and a ship.  IMHO it’s better for UK to go ahead and effectively remove Italy from the game early knowing that with London falling they won’t be able to reinforce Africa for a couple turns, rather than going up against the German fleet in a battle that could very easily result in them losing all their starting ftrs.  I even managed to do this while flying the Tac back to the UK turn 1, although admittedly the raid becomes much more dicey as a result.  It’s worth noting that even with UK being dead for 2 turns the 2nd game they still drove Italy out of Africa with ease.  A 15 IPC Italy is ripe for the American picking after they liberate UK.



  • My instincts are telling me that Sea Lion is a bad move for Germany, but in no way am I dismissing the idea out of hand. That said, I think the burden of proof is on the Sea Lion advocate at this point to demonstrate why Sea Lion is a good idea regardless of what UK does. If it can be done on the cheap then it screams to be done, otherwise, the simple numbers scenario on the Russian front is spelling doom for the German player in my opinion, and have yet to read or experience anything compelling to suggest otherwise.

    Incidentally, the fact that Germany can do Sea Lion, and have it be a losing move, I think a particularly awesome design feature of this game. Bravo!


  • Customizer

    Incidentally, the fact that Germany can do Sea Lion, and have it be a losing move, I think a particularly awesome design feature of this game. Bravo!

    I go the other way on this.  Germany loses the game because they conquered England?  Think about that … .

    And do you really believe they intentionally designed it so Germany could take UK so easily?  And still lose?  I call that fluke.


  • Customizer

    2.  The 25-30 IPC’s plus 8 more per turn Germany gets from plundering UK comes nowhere near defraying the costs of taking the island in the face of UK1 and UK2 inf builds.

    You need to remember that UK is also knocked out of the game for all those turns as well … and not collecting its income, either.  It costs the Allies as much or more than the Germans.



  • So you’re saying that extra 60-90 IPC’s denied the Allies justifies Sealion?  Or are you just disputing one of my supporting points?

    I mean when you factor the 63 pts spend on transports which don’t have much use afterward, the 16 for the CV for which you also have very little use, and whatever casualties you suffer from the actual invasion it’s safe to say you just about break even for the whole operation, possibly with 15-20 total IPC swing to the Axis.  Do you feel this is more profitable a strategy for Germany to pursue early game rather than focusing on Russia?



  • @chompers:

    So you’re saying that extra 60-90 IPC’s denied the Allies justifies Sealion?  Or are you just disputing one of my supporting points?

    I mean when you factor the 63 pts spend on transports which don’t have much use afterward, the 16 for the CV for which you also have very little use, and whatever casualties you suffer from the actual invasion it’s safe to say you just about break even for the whole operation, possibly with 15-20 total IPC swing to the Axis.  Do you feel this is more profitable a strategy for Germany to pursue early game rather than focusing on Russia?

    Well, the 9 Tr can be used against russia



  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Well, the 9 Tr can be used against russia

    True, however a medium sized Russian stack sitting in Belarus can make it pretty hard for you to do more than snatch Leningrad for a turn on G5.  The Russian will be able to get away with splitting his stack between Belarus and Bryansk since the German army is smaller than his own by virtue of Sea Lion.


  • Customizer

    So you’re saying that extra 60-90 IPC’s denied the Allies justifies Sealion?  Or are you just disputing one of my supporting points?

    Not disputing - just pointing out a fact.  Sooner or later, Germany will be fighting those units that UK builds UK 1 and 2 anyway - likely in France.  To say that killing those units is a waste … well I don’t see it that way.  The only argument I would accept is that the timing is off.

    If you are ONLY talking $ then:

    Germany - likely casualties and $ spent:
    11 inf, 4 art, 4 tanks, 10 TTs, 1 CV, 1 fht

    $169

    UK
    20 inf, 1 tank, 3 fht, 1 tac
    $107 + $28 captured = $135

    • let’s say UK held for 3 turns for an average of $25 per turn of lost income

    $135 + $75 = $210

    True, however a medium sized Russian stack sitting in Belarus can make it pretty hard for you to do more than snatch Leningrad for a turn on G5.  The Russian will be able to get away with splitting his stack between Belarus and Bryansk since the German army is smaller than his own by virtue of Sea Lion.

    I can land with 22 units on either Nenetsia, Archangel, Leningrad, Baltic States etc…

    Or just buy lots of inf and get them up to the front 1  - 2 turns sooner than walking them.  That can make up for not having bought on the Russian front, too.

    Do you feel this is more profitable a strategy for Germany to pursue early game rather than focusing on Russia?

    I haven’t fleshed out post Sealion yet, so I can’t say.  It is not a game ender as the India Crush.  And in the linked game, I think the Allies have the advantage anyway.

    I do the game was not designed to allow such a high probability of Sealion - and I think there is something screwed up if I just lost the game by conquring UK - its like saying that taking Italy out loses you the game.



  • I agree about your point on the timing, hence the root of my question being was the G3 Sealion justifiable.  I think accomplishing it on G2 is a win-win for Germany.

    It bears worth noting that anywhere you drop that 22 unit stack is either open to counterattack from a Russian Belarus stack that should be large enough to wipe any combination those transports can drop off in a turn or has to bypass that stack to get anywhere valuable.  Using the TRN fleet to move troops to the front faster is undeniably useful, but whether you can take advantage of this for more than one or two turns is questionable in the face of a decent number of US bombers.

    I dunno, I guess I should rephrase my original statement a bit.  I don’t necessarily think a G3 Sealion commitment will outright lose you the game as Axis.  I’m more inclined to say it doesn’t put you in as good a position as a more Russia-centered approach.



  • Post Sealion, why does Germany have to stay in the UK and try and keep it?

    G4…empty the UK and head for Russia with transports and leftover Sealion stuff.

    Germany did much damage to UK (stole money, prevented buys). Say, “that’s good enough for now, I can’t afford to stay here” and turn it’s attention to the Russia problem.

    “And if you act up again UK, Germany will take you over her knee and spank you again!”



  • True, which is why both games the German player abandoned UK after taking it.  I think it’s absolutely a losing proposition to continue dumping points into the UK to hold it after taking it.  They barely have enough IPCs to cover all their continental shores, let alone lock down the UK in addition.



  • In our G3 Sealion game, the Allies resigned.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=20303.585



  • I love the post-Sealion Nenetsia dump because it makes the Russians scramble to defend their capital and takes pressure off of Berlin. Germany can follow it up with a southern thrust because the Russians won’t be as concerned with defending that area.

    Another possibility is diving into the Mediterranean on turn 4. You have to be sure that whatever’s there isn’t going to fall to attacks from American submarines and/or carrier-based planes that turn, but if you survive then you’ve gotten away and can start wreaking havoc. Make sure the Italians have all their business taken care of, reinforce Gibraltar, or push through to India and give Japan a hand. Make sure to leave 1 land unit in Egypt for the bonus.



  • If the med is clear you could also dump it into Africa to make sure its taken by the axis…just a thought haven’t played the axis yet in global though.


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