Sea Lion: Is it worth it?!?!?!



  • My biggest problem with Sea Lion is that I still need success in Russia, generally two additional VCs.  London just isnt worth it to me, compared to Moscow.  With a G2 push into Russia, I can capture Leningrad and Stalingrad generally every game, and it just comes down to the tossup battle(s) for Moscow, and hoping that Italy has had some success in Egypt.  I think a worst case scenario would be a successful capture of all three Russian VCs but a stalled Italian operation in Africa, forcing Germany to hold all of Europe and also find a way to capture Cairo against India/USA/London.



  • @shadowguidex:

    My biggest problem with Sea Lion is that I still need success in Russia, generally two additional VCs.  London just isnt worth it to me, compared to Moscow.  With a G2 push into Russia, I can capture Leningrad and Stalingrad generally every game, and it just comes down to the tossup battle(s) for Moscow, and hoping that Italy has had some success in Egypt.  I think a worst case scenario would be a successful capture of all three Russian VCs but a stalled Italian operation in Africa, forcing Germany to hold all of Europe and also find a way to capture Cairo against India/USA/London.

    Before you can get to Moscow, an unchecked Allied effort in the west will take back Paris.



  • In a word - No.  I’ve tried Sea Lion several times and the only time it was worth it, the UK player didn’t see it coming and didn’t defend against it (those really don’t count).

    In the games where the UK player was not caught by surprise, Germany was successful in taking London but was left with a minimal ground force (usually only a tank or two).  The UK income was great, but did little to offset the 11+ transport loads of land units that were eliminated, not to mention aircraft casualties in the battle for London.  All those transports ended up being a big waste overall.  It became very difficult to defend London from a US liberation AND push hard against Russia who started out on the offensive - neither of which was helped by having a stack of transports.  Sure, they were great for taking Leningrad, but most turns they sat unused.

    I think the biggest problems with Sea Lion are the timing issues and two-front war it creates.  Taking London immediately brings the USA into the war and eliminates a large chunk of Germany’s ground forces.  By the time Germany builds up an invasion force for Russia, the USA shows up ready to liberate London and/or France.  This not only creates a two-front war, it also creates a situation where units on one front are not very useful on the other front.

    Faking Sea Lion initially and using the G1 naval build to jump start Barbarossa has been the most effective strategy for me so far.  With a well played Italy, Germany can crush Russia before the USA can liberate Paris.  It is a close race, but very winnable for the Axis, especially if the USA focuses on the Pacific too much.



  • Eclipse - thoroughly agree. Sealion should be a feint only, but it is a necessary feint. Moscow is the real prize.



  • And even the implied threat of 11 trns means Russia can’t move heavy in the north.  So even though they sit there doing nothing, they are protecting Scandinavia.

    Another nice thing about those trns, since you have so many if US tries to make a move on UK, you can throw 3-4 trns away in a rushed reinforcement.  Or they can try and slip past the US blockade and make it into the Med.  1 trn there to support the Italians makes it much easier for Germany to get troops into the theatre or even the Middle East.

    Trns are mobility.  Their mobility increases the threat of your army.  They are quite valuable.



  • There is a bigger picture to be seen here. It’s not just about what can be lost during Sealion and being stuck with useless transports, it’s also about knocking out an enemy power as early as round 3 and forcing the United States hand into Europe instead of a sure fire KJF strategy. The object of the game is to gain income from new territories which result in quality and quality of weapons that can be placed on the board. The reason why Sealion is worth achieving is, a United Kingdom that can’t buy or place units for a large portion of the game can be crippling to the allies in Europe, and it demands the Yanks attention in the Atlantic theater. You have to ask yourselves as the Allies, what axis strategy is going to be the biggest pain to deal with?, I say it’s Sealion.


  • Customizer

    Those TTs are definitely still usefull.  All buys in Wge and Ger make the Russian front 1 turn early by being dumped into Leningrad - it would be as though there were no interuption of buys on the Russian front.

    I would also point out that if you hold London, you no longer need to take Moscow, so you no longer need to actually beat Russia.



  • Mr. Grasshopper - I believe the biggest pain for the Allies to deal with is a continuous supply of Infantry, Artillery, Mech, and Armor methodically and inexorably dismantling Russia.  🙂

    To me, Sealion is more risky.

    Jimmyhat - yes to the flexibility of German (or any nation’s) Transports. Flexibility and versatility make each and every nation a more frightening monster. It’s why I like the German Minor IC in Greece, with an Airbase… for exactly that reason. It allows Germany to project power in the Med and Russia. It creates flexibility. It’s a nice place to build a Transport!



  • @Stalingradski:

    Mr. Grasshopper - I believe the biggest pain for the Allies to deal with is a continuous supply of Infantry, Artillery, Mech, and Armor methodically and inexorably dismantling Russia.  🙂

    To me, Sealion is more risky.

    Jimmyhat - yes to the flexibility of German (or any nation’s) Transports. Flexibility and versatility make each and every nation a more frightening monster. It’s why I like the German Minor IC in Greece, with an Airbase… for exactly that reason. It allows Germany to project power in the Med and Russia. It creates flexibility. It’s a nice place to build a Transport!

    If you ask any historian worth a grain of salt, they would say that the greatest mistake Nazi Germany made in the war, was not taking out London before turning on Russia. I believe the same is true in Axis and Allies.



  • A great point Grasshopper. But I’d respectfully argue that once the commitment to Barbarossa had been made, it was a series of mistakes in that particular campaign that prevented Germany from being successful.

    This is a Sealion thread, so I hesitate to elaborate… but will anyhow!

    1. The reliance on Italy in the Balkans set back the timeline of Barbarossa. That lost time resulted in a failed capture of Moscow.

    2. The lack of preparation for a winter war doomed hundreds of thousands of men, and was a factor in losing initiative in the winter of '41/'42.

    3. The insistence in the fall of '42 to invest, rather than bypass Stalingrad. It turned into a meatgrinder - and played to Russia’s strength in manpower. Russia lost a million soldiers, and Germany over 300,000… but Russia could afford to and Germany could not.

    4. The stubborn attack on the Kursk salient in July '43. It was the most heavily defended tract of land in the history of warfare, the German High Command knew it, and Hitler ordered it anyhow. It was a total failure, and the final breaking of Germany’s offensive force. From there it was a slow and brutal end.

    5. Throughout, Germany was riddled with internecine struggle - competing silos, competing interests. The factions fought amongst themselves, which Hitler partly cultivated to keep the focus off himself. Russia had no such problem… a single, streamlined Dictatorship - ruthless and unyielding.

    6. Germany relied on technology, and complexity in their engineering. Armored equipment was notorious for breaking down, and the vast number of different chassis/engine/armament types became a logistical nightmare. Russia’s forces had the ability to cannibalize their own vehicles to maintain their armored forces… and the T-34 and subsequent offshoots were notoriously reliable.

    In essence, Sealion wasn’t attempted because of the misguided change in strategy of bombing population centers rather than focusing on destroying radar, airfields, and planes/pilots. Secondly, a lack of shipping factored in. Even marshalling all available military watercraft and merchant shipping, the infrastructure simply wasn’t there to invade. This is well-chronicled fact. If Germany had delayed with Barbarossa to strengthen Sealion, Russia would have slowly become more powerful, and the US would continue to refine and perfect the shipping of supplies to Britain, and crept ever closer to entering the war.

    I don’t believe that Germany’s timing was off - very specific choices doomed the Eastern Front.

    Was that off-topic?  🙂



  • I still say Sealion is better. (lol)



  • Your response was perfect  🙂

    And I still prefer Barbarossa!


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