We will fight on the beaches…



  • In the games I’ve played, Sealion has been a popular German strategy.  While I realize that it is held to be suboptimal around here, no one in my group seems to be good enough with the Allies to take advantage of Germany’s being out of position.  It’s not very fun, especially in multiplayer where UK might be someone’s only major power, for them to be out of the game completely on turn 3 or 4, and from what I’ve read I don’t think it’s very historical either.

    I’m wondering if anyone else has come up with any ideas to defend London, aside from the turtling (buy inf and let them hit you) and waiting for America and Russia I’ve seen recommended so much.  I’ve tried a few things, from buying subs to bypass the Germans’ air defense to scaring the Germans back behind Denmark then blocking SZ 112, but everything has seemed low percentage or easily countered.  However, I now think I’ve come up with something that will give Britain a good chance to survive the first several turns, even in the face of invasion.  The main goal of this strategy is to survive until turn 5 or so, by which time the Americans can be in position to help (if Germany keeps banging its head against you).

    G1
    On their first turn, I assume Germany buys probably the most advantageous combination of units, 1 CV + 2 Tr.  They wipe out the Royal Navy’s Home Fleet, something like:
    2 subs, 3 tac, 3 ftr, 1 bmr –> sz 110
    1 sub, 1 ftr, 1 tac, 1 bmr, battleship --> sz 111 (send battleship to insure preservation of flexible planes, if y’all have a better idea for the BB let me know)
    2 subs --> sz 106
    Take paris, move units on the rest of Europe to set up for sealion.
    Move cruiser and transport to sz 112, fly as many planes back to W Ger as possible, place ships in sz 112.

    At this point it should be pretty clear that Germany is coming for England, however if they try to be mysterious and save all their money this strategy should still work.  If they are going full Russia you can just do Taranto or whatever other opener you feel like.

    UK1
    Buy nothing.  Unconventional, but I think I have good reason for it.

    • Hit Tobruk or Ethiopia if you like, but with this strategy you’re basically punting on the Med in the early game in order to stay alive long enough to work your way back there.

    • Hit Malta with the fighter there and the tac from Egypt.  Move your carrier and cruiser over to sz 92, leave the destroyer in sz 94 to block the Italians.

    • Bring the transport over from Egypt with the fleet, carrying an inf and the tank.

    • Send your sz 109 destroyer and your bomber to take out the sub(s) off of Canada.  If there are no subs here, great, go to sz 91 with the destroyer and leave the bomber. Send the Tr from 109 in noncombat.

    • Fly the Malta planes to the carrier, and the Gibraltar plane to London.  Move everything from Scotland into London.

    • Start sending the DD from S. Africa into the Atlantic.  It will arrive too late to prevent a G3, but every unit counts in this theater, and it could help against a G4, or at least help revenge-kill the Kriegsmarine.

    I1
    They do whatever, you’re not too worried right now.  If they spare your destroyer blocker, move it to sz 91 next turn.

    F1
    If the French fleet is still alive, the Italian player is dumb, but maybe they got greedy and sent everything to Egypt.  Send them to sz 91, get ready to join the British fleet.

    G2
    Traditional Sealion buy is all transports this turn.  If that’s what they do, great, just what you want.  If they get wise and buy bombers at the expense of transports, you can counter that as well.  They do whatever, get units in place for a G3 attack.

    UK2
    This is highly dependent on Germany’s round 2 buy.  You should have ~61 IPCs to spend, with more or less depending on whether or not you took Ethiopia or Persia, and if the Germans successfully convoyed you.
    Germans buy only transports:

    • Buy a battleship, a carrier, and 3 destroyers. If you lost a plane in the Malta attack in the first round and have 62 or more IPCs, swap one of those destroyers for a fighter.

    • The goal is to have a fleet in sz 110 large enough to fight off the Germans and prevent a landing from ever happening.

    • Move your fleet up to the Channel. When your units are placed, you should have 1 BB, 2 CV, 2 CA, 3 DD, 6 ftr, 1 tac, and you should have better than 80% odds if the Germans try a sea battle.

    • German unit assumptions: 1 CV, 1 CA, 5 tac, 5 ftr, 2 bmr, 13 tr

    Germans buy 2 or more bombers (and the remainder are transports):

    • You probably won’t be able to defeat them at sea, so buy 10 tanks and get ready for the landing. You should have enough to tilt the odds in your favor if they try to invade next turn.

    • Position the fleet for opportunistic strike on the Kriegsmarine, send planes to London.

    • German unit assumptions: 1 CV, 1 CA, 5 tac, 5 ftr, 4/5 bmr, 10/8 tr

    Regardless, send the transports from Gibraltar and Canada to England with their troops.

    G3
    They buy land units, either for a second wave or to shore up the eastern front.  If they have insufficient air power, they won’t be able to take out your fleet this turn.  If they have enough to scare off your fleet and you bulked up your defenses, you should still have about a 60% chance of repelling the invasion.  If they try to land in Scotland for a G4 Sealion, kill those transports and their small escort.

    After this point, the US should be getting ready to help, and Russia should be distracting Germany.  Even if your opponent tries some sort of crazy J4 opening, you now have a good chance to survive, and if they do the fashionable J1 then you might even have a few American units in London.  With Britain secured, reclaiming the Middle East will be an easier task than if there was no UK Europe economy at all.

    I hope that my strategy is sound.  Please let me know what you think.



  • Get 6 infantry and a fighter on London turn 1 no mater what, this is a very responsible purchase and I don’t suggest keeping money UK1 just in case a G2 SBR gets lucky and puts the UK behind for good.



  • This is a very interesting approach to playing the UK to prevent Sea Lion! Saving your IPC’s round 1 especially is something that could really throw off Germany/Italy, I really like that idea. That’s something you really only ever see from Germany, maybe Italy so it would be neat to see that thrown back at the Axis.

    However, I’d counter that preventing Sea Lion shouldn’t be UK’s only objective for turns 1-3 or 4. Giving up on the Med/Egypt and then especially the Middle East is great way to hand the Axis a victory. In my games lately, the UK player has basically been daring Germany to go Sea Lion to focus on the Med.

    Sea Lion really pulls Germany out of position and costs their almost their entire IPCs for turns 1-3. Russia should outnumber Germany on the Eastern Front come turn 4 and can make Germany pay. While the Sea Lion threat really focuses USA to focus Europe, liberating London is easy once the German navy is wiped. I’d suggest working on what you can do as USA/Russia to really hurt Germany for Sea Lion.


  • 2020 2018 2017 '16 '15

    I’ll get my two cents in before the really good players give their thoughts:

    1. is UK vulnerable to a G2 sealion if you don’t buy anything on UK1? Particularly if a lot of the Luftwaffe survives.

    2. if I’m Germany and I see UK buy 10 tanks, I’m ok with that. It will take you a long time to make use of them for anything other than defending against Sealion. Might it not be better to buy 4 ftrs and 6 inf? Still 10 units, 28 defensive pips vs 30 for the 10 tanks, but if Germany turns to Russia, those 4 ftrs will be a lot more valuable than just tanks.

    3. In the successful sealion scenarios I’ve seen, I lay the blame at the feet of Russia. Russia fails to apply enough pressure against Germany. If I sense sealion, I like Russia to move their inf and art to threaten Poland and/or Slovakia, and stacking mech and tanks and planes in St. petersburg that can threaten both Poland and Finland. I’ve won a few games pounding Scandinavia against an unprepared German player – it’s worth 11 to USSR, and denies 10 to Germany. Russia can really help the allies out by making Germany worry. A successful sealion is usually pyrrhic, and leaves Germany vulnerable to Russia. Finland and Poland either fall, get pounded, or are lightly defended. Or, germany changes their plan, but now relatively unprepared to invade Russia, leaving them vulnerable. Put simply, if you sense sealion, get all aggressive with Russia.

    Anyways, every strategy is best when it’s tried out in a game! Good luck!


  • '15

    I will just comment on the 10 tanks thing. As freh kinda said, just don’t do that. If you wanted to go full defensive on UK 2 after saving UK 1 (again, I’m not going to start to talk about that), then consider this:

    10 tanks = 60 IPCs, 10 hit points, 30 blips.

    6 inf + 4 fighters = 58 IPCs, 10 hit points, 28 blips.

    If you were hellbent on spending 60 IPCs, not 58, then you could upgrade an inf to a tank and still have 29 blips, very nearly the same power. But that’s assuming you don’t get SBR’d all to hell on G2… but now I’m talking about your suggestion, which I’m going to decline to do.

    Anyway, those 10 tanks are stuck on UK until a transport or transports move them off in 10 different transactions, otherwise known as “pretty much never”. If you build fighters, they are mobile, and don’t depend upon you having a navy capable of defending transports that you’re also spending 7 IPCs a pop on, which you probably won’t be doing because there are much better things to spend UK’s money on (middle east/directly supporting Russia with planes/a few subs stuck up Italy’s ass for convoys after you secure the med/etc), unless your games look a hell of a lot different than mine do.



  • I am conceirned abotu a G3 landing in scotland. If he lands 24 landunits there, ignores that he will lose his fleet (have not counted it out yet), and then attacks london on G4 with the 24 landunits +10 planes. He will just take london on G4. UK will have 10 landunits +7 planes on UK2 and will be able to build 10 more infs for a maximum of 27 units defending on G4. This will just make london fall.

    –----------------

    I will suggest a variant of this plan. Buy 2 ftrs on UK1. you will then have about 41+ ipc for uk2.

    If you then build landunits you can then
    build 2 ftrs and 7 inf or 1 ftr one tank and 8 inf for UK2.
    You will then have buildt either 4 ftrs and 7 infs or 3 ftrs, 1 tank and 8 infs.
    Both these suggestions give you more defence than the 4 ftrs/6 infs or 10 tanks

    If you go for building fleet, you will build 2xCarrier + 1 destroyer.
    your fleet will then be:

    3 CV, 2 CA, 1 DD, 8 ftr, 1 tac, for a total of 19 hit points, 49 blips
    instead of
    1 BB, 2 CV, 2 CA, 3 DD, 6 ftr, 1 tac for a total of 18 hits points, 47 blips.

    So by using your ic in round 1 and buying 2xftrs you are better off if you fight at sea, better off at land and also better off he germany lands in scotland and goes for london (since you now have 2 extra fighters). You also defend better against sbr on G2.



  • Limits, are you not forgetting something important?
    If GE1 and GE2 places warships and TRS in 112, and the UK retreats its ‘Force H’ (mediterranean fleet IIRC) back to London, buying only ships themselves as well, the Germans have a few good options:

    1. Ignore the RN placed UK2 and invade London from 109 (112 has a NB, so Germany can reach).
    2. If the UK divides the RN over 109 and 110, Germany can attack either and invade from there, leaving the other alone.

    In both cases: Buying ships makes the defenses in London that much weaker so The Luftwaffe doesn’t need to attack London and is instead free to attack the RN. The Wehrmacht should be able to crush London without aid from the Luftwaffe. Most likely, seeing UK1 buying nothing, GE2 doesn’t need to buy all TRS but can instead buy a few less of those to swap for some subs (for example).

    I think the only things London can do against Sea Lion are either (without going much into details):
    1. Prevent it all along, by buying max defenses (16INF +1FTR for example) and moving all med-stuff into Gibraltar UK1, moving it into London UK2 if Germany persists SL, or back east into the med if Germans back off.
    2. Learn to deal with Germany (particularly with Russia) after they took London.


  • '15

    @Kreuzfeld:

    I am conceirned abotu a G3 landing in scotland. If he lands 24 landunits there, ignores that he will lose his fleet (have not counted it out yet), and then attacks london on G4 with the 24 landunits +10 planes. He will just take london on G4. UK will have 10 landunits +7 planes on UK2 and will be able to build 10 more infs for a maximum of 27 units defending on G4. This will just make london fall.

    –----------------

    I will suggest a variant of this plan. Buy 2 ftrs on UK1. you will then have about 41+ ipc for uk2.

    Exactly what I came in here to suggest.  I am not of the belief that inf are necessary on UK1.  Two fighters is the most versatile purchase you can make.  Even if Germany bombing raids you on turn 2 (you could scramble 6 or 7 fighters btw) you should be in decent shape.

    The key is for the UK to do as much damage as possible so that even if Germany takes London, they are so spread that Russia and US are just too much to handle.

    What is the Russian player doing in these games?  Russia shouldn’t be “distracting” Germany, they should be moving into it.  On R3 they should be taking Finland, Poland, Slovakia and Romania and collecting around 60 IPC. Next turn they can buy 2 inf 1 art for Ukraine and Leningrad, and a mix of tanks and mechs in Moscow, and keep a steady flow of troops heading to the front line.  Germany won’t be able to recover from that if America has any kind of force in the Atlantic


  • '15

    @Nippon-koku:

    What is the Russian player doing in these games?  Russia shouldn’t be “distracting” Germany, they should be moving into it.  On R3 they should be taking Finland, Poland, Slovakia and Romania and collecting around 60 IPC. Next turn they can buy 2 inf 1 art for Ukraine and Leningrad, and a mix of tanks and mechs in Moscow, and keep a steady flow of troops heading to the front line.  Germany won’t be able to recover from that if America has any kind of force in the Atlantic

    Depending on Germany’s ability to push back, a mIC in western ukraine usually also ends up paying for itself in this instance.



  • Thanks for the responses.

    YG: I’ll have to look into the SBR scenario, hadn’t thought of that.  I might try Kreuzfeld’s changes below.

    Metz: Thanks.  I don’t intend to give up on the Middle East forever with this strategy.  As soon as the invasion danger passes, I would start pumping units out of S. Africa and Persia, and send some of this fleet back past Gibraltar.

    freh and tesla: You’re right, 6 inf 4 fighters is much better than 10 tanks.  I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

    Kreuzfeld: Hmm, I had thought that the first wave would not be big enough if it went to Scotland and wasn’t reinforced.  That’s concerning.  I appreciate your suggestions for improved purchasing choices!

    LeClerc: I am indeed forgetting something important.  I forgot to count spaces from 112 to 109.  I could put up a blocker in 119, use the Canadian destroyer perhaps.  I would count German sub buys out of the IPC allotment that I specified for bombers, and would be happy if they did so, as that’s less flexibility for Germany. I’m not discounting the inf/fighter buy completely, I’ll probably end up doing that more often (especially in 1v1) as it’s more proven, but it is frustrating to keep losing my capital like that, especially in big multiplayer games with less experienced allies.

    Nippon: About half of the time Russia tries to move into Germany, but Germany has been able to hold them off and retake the initiative in all but one game (and that was a solitaire game) and start moving into Russia.  The other half of the time, Russia moves its troops back on R1 in response to previous games having a brutal G2/3 Barbarossa, and was too slow in getting back to the front.  Also the US has been going pretty heavily pacific, but I’ve about decided that they should spend the first couple of turns in the Atlantic in most cases.


  • '15

    @NimitzLimits:

    LeClerc: I am indeed forgetting something important.  I forgot to count spaces from 112 to 109.  I could put up a blocker in 119, use the Canadian destroyer perhaps.  I would count German sub buys out of the IPC allotment that I specified for bombers, and would be happy if they did so, as that’s less flexibility for Germany. I’m not discounting the inf/fighter buy completely, I’ll probably end up doing that more often (especially in 1v1) as it’s more proven, but it is frustrating to keep losing my capital like that, especially in big multiplayer games with less experienced allies.

    I find that once everyone gets 5 or 6 games under their belts, the game stabilizes quite a bit. You have seen enough to learn how to defend against the most outlandish of strategies, which makes for longer games, which makes for more learning, which makes for better games, which makes for more learning, which…

    London is easy to stack up so high that Germany taking it is bad for them. Can you reliably (90-95%+ chance) stop Germany every game from taking London on G3 or G4? No. Can you make Germany reliably suck lots of ass for doing it? Yes.

    With this mindset, you’ll see Sea Lion go from happening in the majority of your games to something much less common.


  • '15

    @NimitzLimits:

    Nippon: About half of the time Russia tries to move into Germany, but Germany has been able to hold them off and retake the initiative in all but one game (and that was a solitaire game) and start moving into Russia.  The other half of the time, Russia moves its troops back on R1 in response to previous games having a brutal G2/3 Barbarossa, and was too slow in getting back to the front.  Also the US has been going pretty heavily pacific, but I’ve about decided that they should spend the first couple of turns in the Atlantic in most cases.

    If the UK does a good job making London as tough to take as possible Russia should have no trouble getting into German territory.  Teslas is correct: Germany can take London every time, but with some game experience under your belt Russia will always make sure this is a poor choice.

    My go to strategy with America is to spend 90% on the first two turns in the Atlantic and then go majority spending Pacific the rest of the way.

    My favorite first round buy for the US: 4 transports, 1 CV, 1 DD all in the Atlantic.  I also fly the tac from the WUS CV to SZ 101.  End of turn one there is already a force to be reckoned with in the European theater.

    Teslas, that’s a very interesting idea (the minor IC in WUK).  I’m gonna try that next time I run into Sealion



  • If you really want to mess with the Axis, dare them to do sea lion turn 2!

    Pull as much material as you can from UK and land in Gibraltar with fleet, this places you in a position to trade UK for Italy (even if you can’t take italy, they will be constrained by the threat) and permits America to enter the war on Turn 2. You get to watch Japan’s move to see if this puts them out of position, forcing them to wait a turn for the Sea Lion.

    If they take UK lightly (they forgo building the transport fleet since UK is a soft target), retaking UK should be easy. If they are careless, UK can retake itself and you basically gave Germany your IPCs to give USA their IPCs. Without the large fleet, they will have a harder time garrisoning UK.

    I use to do this In Europe 1940 (non global games back in the day).

    Its a gamble, but you are free to place ships/men in South Africa (I like transports for grabbing maximum force for Egypt).

    This gives you free reign on your IPCs turn 1, they are not stuck becoming troops. You can even build in Canada if you desire for the take back. Staging USA ships off Canada for take back.

    Food for thought.


  • 2018 2017

    The UK saving its money sounds kinda fun, but you may need to produce more than 10 units that second turn, and you’ll lose from your 61IPC’s the cost of repairing it both UK1 and UK2 if Germany bombs you.

    If you buy nothing, Germany can conquer you with just one transport and all the air.

    Germany doesn’t have to buy any transports the first turn, it can wait and keep that $$ and buy them later to keep you guessing.


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