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The Arctic Anti-Sealion Approach



  • Note: I haven’t tried this yet, but I have a game tomorrow where, if the opportunity presents itself, I  will. Do you think it will succeed?

    So suppose you are Russia, Germany has built the usual AC and transports on G1, and on R1, you save 19 IPC and buy whatever you want for the rest. Then, if and only if Germany drops 10 transports for Sea-Lion on G2, you on R2 build 2 BB and 1 AC in the Arctic, Z127. Meanwhile UK is delaying Sea-Lion with the usual moves & buys, but a G4 invasion is inevitable.

    On R3 you move your fleet (2BB, 1 loaded AC, 1 sub) to 111, 112, 124 or 125, whatever zone is free. Meanwhile the Baltic fleet moves to Z114 as a blocker for a turnaround invasion of Novgorod.

    Would Germany then still go through with Sea-Lion on G4? I think they will, they invested so much in it.
    If they don’t, you win. If they do, you blow their transport fleet out of the water with the Arctic Russki’s. BOOM!



  • Interesting idea.



  • Yeah, go ahead and spend your precious russian IPC in fleet -  Krauts will parade on trafalgar square, while moscow is defended with one-gunned conscripts

    😉 See you tomorrow


  • Customizer

    It is an interesting idea and it would be nice to see Russia get some naval use for a change.  Also good to show solidarity with their British allies. 
    Still, even if Germany goes with Sealion, Russia still can not attack Germany until Round 4.  In just about every game I have played, if Germany decides to go with Sealion, it is usually round 3 or 4 (one time round 2 because UK player left London ridiculously under-defended).  So, even if Germany waits until round 4 to invade England, the Russian fleet can not stop it because Germany goes before Russia.  Yeah, you may sink the German navy but the damage will have been done.  London is now a part of the Reich!
    Also, like soldaatvanoranje said, you would be leaving Russia woefully under-defended.  Even when Germany goes for Sealion, they can still afford to buy troops and tanks preparing for Barbarossa.  So while you may sink the transport fleet and stop a sea invasion of Leningrad, Germany’s other land forces will steamroll across your border and you won’t have near enough to stop them, much less counterattack.  What’s more, the German player could end up turning it around on you with their navy and Luftwaffe and end up sinking the Russian fleet first.  Then all those IPCs are spent for nothing.
    You know, I usually play Germany when my group gets together.  Now I am hoping our Russia player tries something like this.  I will be in Moscow in 3-4 rounds, less with open territories.  The Reich is expanding!  Leibensraum!



  • I dont like the Red Fleet idea - too easy to sink or block.

    If Russia spend $48 on four Bombers, they will hit the German ships with the same punch as the fleet proposal, only surviving Bombers may be put into good use the next turns too.

    To give the Red Bombers a landing space, UK needs to occupie neutral Spain or Portugal in T3.

    T4 Germany take UK, then Russia sink as many ships as possible, and surviving Bombers land in UK owned Spain.
    If German ships survived, then US will hit them with a large Bomber force from EUS, and land in Iceland or Spain, depending on where the nazi fleet is.

    Must playtest this some day, man



  • Good idea with the bombers, hadn’t thought of that yet! and you only have to buy them R3 so you can have 2 normal turns of purchases, with only saving 11 IPC. And easier than Spain as a landing spot….Northern Ireland!



  • If Germany goes for sealion G1, than why not save all your money for 3 rounds and decide what to do with $111, (or $123 if Japan attacks) when you are about to enter the war. $123 could buy Russia a game ending fleet and it would have the surprise element with it.



  • @Young:

    If Germany goes for sealion G1, than why not save all your money for 3 rounds and decide what to do with $111, (or $123 if Japan attacks) when you are about to enter the war. $123 could buy Russia a game ending fleet and it would have the surprise element with it.

    Mmm, you may have a lot of cash but you still can place ‘only’ 16 units, so keeping that amount of money is rather senseless.

    Personally, i think these are all fun ideas, but in the end Russia needs to build up (cheap) forces for the bad times to come. UK will solve its own problems (with help from USA if needed, they can afford it)

    In fact you could consider to bring a bit of help to China, a few Russian units (a couple of tanks and mechs and perhaps some air force if Germany keeps calm) can do alot of good there, and can return reasonably fast if need be.

    Edit: kinda like the bomber idea though, always felt that a few bombers can be of great use for Russia.



  • I think you’d stand a better chance buying 1 trn 1 dd and perhaps a BB.  This way you can invade, the fleet is actually a threat.

    The dd also helps against the Germ subs which are going to be in the area, but perhaps a CV is a better support unit than the BB.  It can get your aircraft in the Arctic more landing options.

    I think the most use you’d end up getting out of this fleet is to place the combined Russian fleets in sz 112(after the capture of Denmark a round earlier!) and be an expensive block that the Germans have to break through.

    However I do not think Russia will gain the same value they will have lost in the naval purchases.



  • I did a Russian fleet one game. I had 2 turns of builds, carrier, destroyer transport twice.
    Fleet was 2 carriers 2 fighters, 1 Tactical, 2 dd, 1 sub, 2 transports. I moved it to sz 111.

    The German player built a second carrier to combat that threat.
    German force was 2 carriers, 4 fighters, BB, CA.

    I didn’t like the Russian odds. So I took Norway and kept 125 open, netting 11 extra ipcs.
    I had originally hoped to help the USA fleet, but decided not to. Since I only spent 2 turns and was defensive, I didn’t lose Russia after UK fell.

    My feelings about a USSR fleet were mixed. I had to try it once.

    Other thoughts: (just a draft of an idea: not tested. This is a mental exercise, I need to set up board)
    USSR builds:
    2 carriers sz127 save 5;
    2 carriers, 1 dd save 2;
    1 carrier, 2 transports spend 9 on infantry;
    3 transports, 4 infantry and 1 artillery,
    land units from then on.
    Move strong force towards Finland: 10-12 land units by turn 3.

    Meat and Potatoes:(moves)
    Turn 3 pull the UK planes out of London (5 fighters, 1 tactical), land on sz101 USA carriers (as they entered war turn 3).
    Build 4 UK subs, split between 110 and 109 if Germany has a DD.
    Russia turn 4: Move 5 carriers, 1 DD, 1 Sub,2 transports (2art,2inf) to sz 112. Take Norway (first) and or Denmark. Take Finland in force.
    If Germany blocks at 126, you clear with air/sub(if not going to convoy later) and land 1 transport there to seize Norway, then noncombat fleet to 112 Keep 1 transport and 2 units there as well for later. You can stage some fleet at 126 if preferred.
    UK 4. Attack German fleet with 4 subs, and 5 air units. Land 5+1(France) air units on Russian carriers from USA carriers after they move to sz 91 (surprise) USA also moves 1 dd to 104 as blocker. You may now sink the German fleet as they may not have seen the USA carrier moving planes in range.

    Now Germany has to hit 5 carriers with up to 9 planes and a DD to get Norway back. They likely lost their fleet to UK counter-assault. Without transports, Norway is Russian for 2 turns.

    If German fleet survives, its a hard fight against the USSR fleet.
    (Germany assumes no air lost to Sea lion: 11 air, carrier, BB and CA versus 5 carriers, 1 DD, 1 sub and 9 air. I see USSR winning.)

    Lets assume this: UK falls, large German force stuck on London, Germany cannot turn fleet (if alive) around to hit USSR as way is blocked.
    Germany is forced to go Land route, USSR has not built much force and some is diverted to Finland.
    Less likely: Germany could take London with a smaller force, save some transports inside for fight with Norway later in which case, USSR could move fleet to sz91 for Italian convoy raiding later.
    Germany could build a navy turn 4, you would have to stage in sz 125 on turn 3 to prevent this and be bait??

    Options this presents:
    USSR fleet threatens West Germany directly and by providing cover for USA transports. (USSR fleet is the second “anchor” fleet USA needs to maneuver North). This permits a turn 5 assault on W. Germany/Norway by USA forces.

    Alternative threat: Turn 5: USSR can take W. Germany(5 transports), [Holland or Normandy 1-2 transports], USA and UK can land air and land units before Italy can hit, giving USSR the ability to produce next to France or Germany.

    Conclusion:
    Its risky, if Germany plans on building navy turn 4 or grabs London turn 3 your plan is in jeopardy. Fleet could still assist USA later.
    Germany could scrap Sea Lion and go Russia first, but then London is still yours and USSR fleet is likely still alive.

    Its crazy, but that’s why I like it. It even has a sneak assault on the German navy potential.
    It could play out many ways, USSR could be left too weak, Shrewd German could counter effectively if they predict your plan.

    Any comments?



  • James,

    Good thought experiment you have going on.  Most of the time doesn’t Germany fully commit to Sealion on G3 by either doing a direct G3 attack on London or landing is Scotland, right?  If that is the case, they can see that on R1 and R2 the Russians have only purchased naval units (meaning a theoretical 26 ground unit deficit vs. max defend build) why do Sealion?  On Italy round 2, you could use the Italian air force to clear the blocking Russian BB in the Baltic Sea and then amphibious assault Leningrad.  Without those R1 and R2 ground builds, I would think Russia would be relatively easier to take down.  Especially when done in conjunction with Japan doing a max push into Russia which is what I think I would be doing with them if I saw the Russian build naval forces en mass.

    Just my thoughts on what I would do if Russia made the builds you describe.



  • @special:

    Edit: kinda like the bomber idea though, always felt that a few bombers can be of great use for Russia.

    Agree. A Red Northern Fleet can only be used against the German navy, but a Red Bomber Force can be used against both the German navy, the Italian navy, the Japanese navy, SBR German, Italian and Japanese facilities, and do strafe attacks. Much better use of the resources.



  • @gsh34:

    James,

    Good thought experiment you have going on.  Most of the time doesn’t Germany fully commit to Sealion on G3 by either doing a direct G3 attack on London or landing is Scotland, right?  If that is the case, they can see that on R1 and R2 the Russians have only purchased naval units (meaning a theoretical 26 ground unit deficit vs. max defend build) why do Sealion?  On Italy round 2, you could use the Italian air force to clear the blocking Russian BB in the Baltic Sea and then amphibious assault Leningrad.  Without those R1 and R2 ground builds, I would think Russia would be relatively easier to take down.  Especially when done in conjunction with Japan doing a max push into Russia which is what I think I would be doing with them if I saw the Russian build naval forces en mass.

    Just my thoughts on what I would do if Russia made the builds you describe.

    I tend to agree, it would be easier to take Russia first, would that be dangerous leaving UK alive, if USSR provides them a fleet to protect their builds. That seems like it gives both US and UK quicker and stronger strikes against Europe then would otherwise occur. I suspect even with no real land unit builds until turn 3, that Moscow could hold until turn 6 or 7, maybe longer maybe not.

    That gives the allies a 3 turn window of opportunity to get entrenched in Europe and put some heat on Berlin/Rome. Key to this opportunity will be whether USSR can knock down the German factory on W. Germany turn 4…That severely limits what the Germans can build in Europe for defense. I could see USA knocking it down turn 5 if recaptured, and UK grabbing it turn 6…etc. Keeping Germany with only 10 unit builds turns 5-8.

    Oh well, its just a crazy Russian navy idea. Not sure I will ever try it. You are basically screaming, take me! take me!. Certainly a magnanimous move to spare the British player and allow him to play sea lion free. I’d like to be that nice guy.


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