How popular is the Sea Lion feint nowadays?



  • After Alpha +3 hit, for a very long time my go to G1 buy was an aircraft carrier, destroyer, and sub. i used this buy for ages until very recently when I finally decided to change it up. My G1 buy nowadays is 6 artillery, 2 infantry, and I’ve found that this makes my initial punch into Russia much more effective. I find myself missing the Sea Lion feint, and was wondering how popular an all-fleet buy on G1 still is (if at all). I’ve also considered doing a mixed fleet and ground buy, like a carrier, sub, and 2 artillery, but I suspect this may be the worst of both worlds and you end up doing neither a feint nor Barbarossa effectively.



  • I always do a fleet build G1, but I’m not the most confident when playing Germany. I’m always worried about a factory in Egypt on UK1.



  • @Young:

    I always do a fleet build G1, but I’m not the most confident when playing Germany. I’m always worried about a factory in Egypt on UK1.

    Interesting. Do you find that the UK doesn’t do the Egypt complex when you do the fleet build? Or, if they do, are your Sea Lion attempts successful?



  • I have only played Germany a relativly few times in comparison to the guys I play against and what I have seen ob this forum.  I have not tried the sea lion stratogy simply because the Soviet player I seen to always face just tears me up.  I know that it is my play and I could probably pull off the invasion of England but the Soviet player would really make me pay for it.  I don’t try it but if the UK player leaves an open window, it is worth the risk if I can get it “cheap”.  To explain, I always buy a transport or two early in the game…not as a feint but as a way to get troops to Lenningrad or Norway should the Allies try to take it or to reclaim it if they have.



  • I like to buy fleet G1 (carrier+) to keep UK honest for basically the same reason as YG. I want my German buy to partially control what the UK buys in the first turn.



  • I got absolutely devastated one match when Germany built an aircraft carrier on G1.  His tipped battleship retreated to join up with the carrier.  With protection from his planes, UK was unable to attack his modest fleet on UK1.  He was then able to proceed to Sea Lion despite a relatively conservative UK build.  His fleet was sufficiently powerful to delay the US counterstrike to such a time that he had Russia tamed.  I resigned around turn 5.  It was one of the most impressive Axis performance that I experienced.  The battleship was the key!

    There was a fair bit of luck on G1 that he neither won that sea battle nor lost his battleship, allowing the retreat back to protection.  I think it was about a 50/50 chance of that outcome, but the other outcomes would not be that disastrous.  He could have changed his plan to a standard Russia strategy with only a small impact on his chance of winning.


  • 2015

    @WILD:

    I like to buy fleet G1 (carrier+) to keep UK honest for basically the same reason as YG. I want my German buy to partially control what the UK buys in the first turn.

    This is why I think 2 fighters is an ideal UK1 buy.  Gives you flexibility for whatever Germany does.


  • 2018 2017

    I would offer that you not look at Sea Lion as a “Fake” so much as a “Play Option”.

    im not a football guys but this describes it well; “the ballcarrier in a true option running play is determined by reading the defensive alignment or the actions of defensive players.”

    On turn G1, do your BB hop SZ111 move, buy the carrier, and a transport or two.  This forces UK to turtle, they will need at least 6-10 additional men to have any chance of defending against all your planes.

    If UK keeps SZ106, he needs to put that inf+tank onto UK to bolster the defense.

    If UK buys a MIC with the intention of putting it in Egypt, a poor result during Taranto 97 or SZ 96 can become a disaster.  Egypt is very hard to hold if Italy has anything left.

    Now, with 29IPC, UK is in a very poor position.  He needs at least 6I + 1F to create a reasonable defense, and he cannot reasonably assume that Germany is only bluffing.

    If you do not set up Germany this way with a defensible and forward placed Navy with warships in SZ112 on turn 1, the chances of a successful sea lion plummet, as he can screen out SZ 112.

    Another approach is to save all your money, tempt UK into making a foolish buy (MIC Egypt, etc) then buy the whole invasion force as a surprise.  This will be especially devastating if they fail to buy anything turtly on UK1 and you SBR their factory, limiting what they can do to get ready.

    On G2, if UK looks well defended, your invasion force can be used to attack Novogrod instead (though this is easy to screen out).  Or, it can continue to threaten the UK and force further turtling.

    You only spent on 2 transports.  14 IPCs for the ability to alternately invade, threaten or increase against UK or Russia is a bargain.

    The key for Germany is to stay flexible and watch UK’s move.  If they turtle, good, abandon your invasion plans.  If they fail to properly buy and turtle, increase the pressure each turn.

    The key tells for UK are that all the German planes must be stationed in WG or HB the turn before the intended attack, and all the armor and infantry they intend to use as cannon fodder must be on the coast as well.  This ties up an immense attack force, so Germany will not gather these forces in anticipation unless they are going to actually attempt the invasion.

    Another tip with UK is that we have all become used to using the fighters on Malta and Gibraltar and Med to attack Italian ships, whereas they can perfectly reasonably all return to the London Defense (then 6 infantry, 4 AAA  1 mech, 1 tank and ~6 fighters with no spend…)

    The truly deadly sea lion comes when Italy joins and does a double attack.  This is easy to read…and wastes too many turns to be faked.

    It should also be mentioned that the UK is only worth the 8 IPCS.  Even if Germany takes the UK, it can become a pyrrhic battle where a raging Russian and US will quickly emerge.  Remember that the US immediately declares war in this one instance, and if you have no ready forces in SZ 101 you cannot take advantage of this development.

    Good Luck.



  • Okay I have to ask, because it seems like everyone does this, I really don’t understand why most players put the German battleship into 111 instead of 110. If I were the UK in this situation, I would scramble every time into 110 with all 3 fighters because there is no Allied destroyer. That means that every Allied plane that scores a hit is taking out a German plane, and that is just unacceptable for the Germans I find. It just amazes me how many people put the battleship into 111, does 110 get left alone when this happens? Or do you still attack 110 and the opponent just doesn’t scramble for some reason?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    Sealion…… what heartbreaker it is.  W/20+ bid now going to the allies it really isn’t a viable option anymore unless the UK really drops the ball Uk1.

    To keep it possible, I build 3 ftrs Ger1.  More fire power to spread around and can be useful even if you don’t do it.  Problem w/fleet build is many times the Allies adeptly counter leaving you w/pretty useless fleet.


  • 2018 2017

    “Okay I have to ask, because it seems like everyone does this, I really don’t understand why most players put the German battleship into 111 instead of 110. If I were the UK in this situation, I would scramble every time into 110 with all 3 fighters because there is no Allied destroyer. That means that every Allied plane that scores a hit is taking out a German plane, and that is just unacceptable for the Germans I find. It just amazes me how many people put the battleship into 111, does 110 get left alone when this happens? Or do you still attack 110 and the opponent just doesn’t scramble for some reason?”

    The conventional wisdom is that you wipe out all the fleets 110 111 106 easy-peazy (but not 109) and UK never scrambles.  the scramble is too risky and eliminates your best defenders.    Where you place the BB is important because he can counterattack you and sink it–the fun trick is to retreat it into SZ111 so its both protected by airbase and its all together and unscreenable.  You very much could do the same in SZ 110 and defend it from HB with Airbase, but that just moves everything over one space and costs extra.  If you are really lucky, you get to keep a couple of subs from the SZ111 retreat as well.

    If the BB simply sallies and attacks with the planes, it will usually get picked off.

    If you keep the BB and add a CV and the CA, you have a real, legitimate fleet and have it after you complete G1.



  • Eh, I donno… I feel like UK should absolutely scramble in that situation into 110 with no German Battleship. Yeah you might lose some fighters, but you’re definitely taking the Luftwaffe down a notch by doing so.



  • As recently as our last game, Germany only brought in 2 subs and aircraft into 110 and it was obvious to the allies that they should scramble because every hit with defending planes would go straight toward German air units. Well the Axis rolled great, and the Allies rolled crap… Germany lost zero planes and the Allies lost all three. Toranto was off the table and the Germans conducted a successful Sealion round 3 and the Americans were forced to spend in the Atlantic to liberate the UK which never happened, meanwhile the Japanese took Calcutta and turned their masive bank roll toward Sydney. After 9 hours the Allies lost of course (2-1 victory token house rule condition), and in the post game discussion we all traced to defeat back to the decision to scramble into 110. Obviously the dice gods were cruel, but after knowing what can happen in that case, I think we will leave our planes grounded next time… because a UK epic fail in 110 hurts the UK a lot more than a Germany epic fail in 110 hurts the Germans.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Karl7:

    Sealion…… what heartbreaker it is.  W/20+ bid now going to the allies it really isn’t a viable option anymore unless the UK really drops the ball Uk1.

    To keep it possible, I build 3 ftrs Ger1.  More fire power to spread around and can be useful even if you don’t do it.  Problem w/fleet build is many times the Allies adeptly counter leaving you w/pretty useless fleet.

    Not to mention, HOLDING London can be tricky, IMHO.  If you can’t hold it, then was the cost worth it?  Keep in mind, every plane you lose is one less to use against Moscow and Russia, if left alone long enough, can be a monster to deal with as well…  Especially if you don’t keep them out of Eastern Europe.

    Just my two IPCs…take em for what they’re worth.



  • @taamvan:

    “Okay I have to ask, because it seems like everyone does this, I really don’t understand why most players put the German battleship into 111 instead of 110. If I were the UK in this situation, I would scramble every time into 110 with all 3 fighters because there is no Allied destroyer. That means that every Allied plane that scores a hit is taking out a German plane, and that is just unacceptable for the Germans I find. It just amazes me how many people put the battleship into 111, does 110 get left alone when this happens? Or do you still attack 110 and the opponent just doesn’t scramble for some reason?”

    The conventional wisdom is that you wipe out all the fleets 110 111 106 easy-peazy (but not 109) and UK never scrambles.  the scramble is too risky and eliminates your best defenders.    Where you place the BB is important because he can counterattack you and sink it–the fun trick is to retreat it into SZ111 so its both protected by airbase and its all together and unscreenable.  You very much could do the same in SZ 110 and defend it from HB with Airbase, but that just moves everything over one space and costs extra.   If you are really lucky, you get to keep a couple of subs from the SZ111 retreat as well.

    If the BB simply sallies and attacks with the planes, it will usually get picked off.

    If you keep the BB and add a CV and the CA, you have a real, legitimate fleet and have it after you complete G1.

    I normaly put the BB in SZ111 and still hit 110, but because of the BB in 111 you dont need that many forces there and everything else hits SZ110. Sure uk can scramble they kill 2 planes i kill 3 and prevent him from doing taranto efficiently.
    Reason why the BB goes to SZ111 is that i normaly buy a carrier and i just retreat the damaged BB towards it. As i got a naval base and UK doesnt that damaged BB is dead next turn.
    This leaves me normaly with a fleet off western german that has, 1 BB, 1 CV, 1 CA, 1 dest, 1-2 subs
    VS UK fleet of 1 dest and 1 BB. I can take gibraltar next turn if i want, i can buy fleet and do sea lion. I can buy 1-2 transports and use them against russia. And his BB has the option to retreat or die on the spot for the loss of 1 sub at max.

    Using my BB in 110 means i lose a BB as well, this way i save the BB and as i do SZ110 really heavy he also loses the whole RAF for 2 planes of germany.  And there is the risk for him as well if i only hit 6 times, leave a plane alive and ill retreat, leave the BB alive and run the risk of my subs surviving ( 1 of them ) that scores a hit.

    So i help Italy, and give germany a stronger fleet at the cost of a little fleet.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    I used to build a G-fleet on G1, but changed to 3 artys 1 DD and a Ftr.
    I rather do invest on G2 in a G-Kriegsmarine.
    That way I can oversee evetything I need and invest my ipc’s in the right areas.



  • Normaly a fleet build or fleet + air build.
    Want to keep the UK guessing what ill do.

    Building fleet(dd+sub) + air(bomb) might give the UK a false sense of security and they dont build in london at all.
    then next turn 3 bombers kill the factory and you can build a few transports and sea lion them for half the price.



  • In the few competitive games I’ve played I bought the standard Carrier & 2 Transports.  The mistake I made is not keeping my German fleet together to complete one task.  I took Gib with part of it and tried to attack Leningrad with the rest.  Silly mistakes.  It needs to stay together and either complete a SeaLion, take Gib/help in Med, or attack Leningrad.

    Now if only I could figure out a way to get the Axis in to the Mid east.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    I haven’t even thought about a Sealion threat on G1 for…… many games now.  Maybe I should again.

    Need a destroyer and a sub.  To clear out the Baltic cheaply and safely, and/or to threaten Allied subs including the existing 2 Russian subs (one being in the Baltic).  The sub also threatens to disrupt the Russian NO on R2.  Cheap boats also threaten any remaining UK fleet more efficiently.  So really the whole purchase is for Russia, because the sub and destroyer are often used on the Russian fleet in the Baltic to clear the way for safer transporting.

    So I do mixed.  14 for Sub and Destroyer, and 16 on ground.  I’ve never lost as Axis (even with substantial bids to the Allies) (18-0), though I might be losing one to a top player in the league…

    My most recent win included a G1 attack on Russia and ignoring 110 and 111 both, and this was against a very good player who has a good record every year.  The UK isn’t worth as much attention as you might think…  Neither is Egypt… Russia is what matters.

    Usually scramble with UK like someone else said.  You aren’t helping Russia as much when you don’t scramble.  You only need one plane from the UK (the Scotland one suffices) to attack Z97 UK1 if you bid a sub to 98.  German planes are extremely, extremely valuable.  YG had anecdotal evidence of a dice disaster for the UK when scrambling, but this is not how you should make decisions.  I disagree that Germany getting diced hard in 110 is not a disaster for Germany.  If you don’t send a battleship to 110, I will almost always scramble 3 fighters.  I often do even if you do send a battleship.  Russia is what matters.  Take down German units at every opportunity, with any power possible.


  • 2015

    Interesting note on the SZ110 scramble Gamerman.  I’ve never liked a scramble there as the UK (unless Germany comes in too thin for whatever reason).  As valuable as German planes are, the UK needs to hang onto those planes to help defend the area as the US makes its way over.


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    More would agree with you than me  🙂


  • 2015

    Hmm, I never like to be on the side of popular opinion.

    Therefore I will add this: what you CAN’T do as the UK is put the blinders on and say “Under no circumstances am I going to scramble.”  You have to play it by situation.

    A recent example:

    Was playing Ike and he went for SZ 110 & 111.  Knowing I never scramble, he came light to 110 (I think it was something like 2 subs, 3 fighters, 3 tacs).  He had a terrible roll in 111 (had to back out and I actually kept a tipped BB), followed by a very rare scramble from me (which made sense based on the previous battle).  He only hit 3, I got lucky and hit 5.  All said and done, Germany had lost 6 planes, while the UK had lost none and had 2 BB’s remaining.  We decided to restart.  Allied victory!  8-)


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    Yes, that’s death, and that’s why you scramble sometimes


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @Nippon-koku:

    Was playing Ike and he went for SZ 110 & 111.  Knowing I never scramble, he came light to 110 (I think it was something like 2 subs, 3 fighters, 3 tacs).  He had a terrible roll in 111 (had to back out and I actually kept a tipped BB), followed by a very rare scramble from me (which made sense based on the previous battle).  He only hit 3, I got lucky and hit 5.  All said and done, Germany had lost 6 planes, while the UK had lost none and had 2 BB’s remaining.  We decided to restart.  Allied victory!  8-)

    I am under the impression that all scrambles need to be decided before any combat is rolled. Am I misunderstanding this?

    I get that a friendly game doesn’t always stickle for rules, but in this case I’m asking about the rule

    Marsh


  • 2015 Official Answers '11 '10 Moderator

    I don’t think he’s saying he made the scramble decision after 111.  I think he’s saying they rolled 111, and it didn’t go well, and then rolled 110 which killed Germany and they started over.

    Yes all scramble decisions are made before any dice


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