Allied Strategy- London Calling


  • 2018 2017 '16

    There was a thread created a few days ago regarding Sea Zone 102. I made a bunch of posts in it about a strategy that I created. I made a video to demonstrate the strategy in great detail considering all of the choices and options available to the players involved. It is a long video (1:47) and I made a couple of small mistakes in rolling but nothing that would have changed the outcome of strategy.

    Basically the premise of the strategy is to dissuade Germany from doing Sealion and the video shows that when the Germans continue with their march toward London when the Americans initiate this strategy, they are doomed to fail. I know some of you will say that it will never work against a good player and that I have no idea what I’m talking about. You will see yourself if you try it and try ways to stop the allies from taking advantage of Germany, that Sealion is a bad idea with potentially disastrous consequences if you set it up in the first 2 turns like I did in the video. Yes you can purchase differently, yes you can play your pieces differently, but if you attack London you will likely lose your navy and much of your air force. I’ve tried this a number of ways with much the same result. In the video the UK actually defeats the Germans in London because I was playing Germany the way Pain State suggested would be successful, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and changed the result to show a German victory so I could demonstrate what would happen after Germany takes London.

    The whole point of the strategy, besides deterring Sealion, is to engage the Germans as much as possible on the western front and to eliminate as many units as possible to give Russia a better chance of winning Barbarossa. If Germany ignores them and goes after the Russians then they will be just fine. If you have a friend that loves to do Sealion every chance they get, then try London Calling and just maybe they will never try it again.

    For their part, the UK must place as many units on London as they can in the first 2 turns to weaken (or defeat) Germany as much as possible. Then the Americans can not only wipe out their navy, but as much of their air force as they are willing to expose. Not shown is saving the carrier instead of the bombers to entice the Germans into attacking them and losing more air. The UK should also put their all into attacking the Italians in the Med on UK 1. They shouldn’t hold back in London and worry about Sealion. There’s a good chance that if it happens then they will lose their income for a turn or 2 and Italy will get free reign in the Med. Germany will pay the price for their mistake so UK needs to make life as hard on the Italians as possible so they don’t become a beast while all of this other stuff is going on in the North Atlantic.

    Russia should build for offence because if they don’t then the efforts of the US and the UK will be for not. They need to be ready to jump on Germany at their earliest opportunity. If the German navy falls then they will be able to take Scandinavia and perhaps even keep it for the rest of the game.

    As always much depends on the rolls. If the Allies can’t can’t roll worth crap then of course this won’t work. If the rolls are close to even then they will succeed. If the rolls go for them then it could a short game depending on what happens in the Pacific. Here is the video;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ZYQ-C4i28&t=9s


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I’d have done a couple of things differently as Germany than what is shown. Mainly that I would strafe SZ111 with the BB so that I still had it to defend against a scramble and didn’t need to tie up more than one plane in that end. Of course, if the UK then used the BB to defend SZ110 perhaps that would have turned out the same. It also defends against the US planes in SZ110 later. I also wouldn’t do the two airbase strat. Two CVs and a DD could easily be done. With the 8 US planes, that would have worked out fine, most probably. (Haven’t finished the vid yet.) Another thing, I always send two subs to SZ106 G1 so the probability of that transport surviving is low.

    The other thing is that I rarely opt out of scramble in both SZ110 & SZ111 as UK.

    Not sure if any of those things would change the outcome yet.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    So you have to build the two Atlantic US CVs before Germany puts boats in the ocean. Is this then a strategy you recommend for every game? If Germany doesn’t go Sea Lion, do you then just use the CVs for your floating bridge? Or swing them around to the Pacific or change things up so you aren’t consistent?

    I’m inclined to say that your strategy does rather rely on sinking the German fleet in SZ110. That will probably happen if only 1 CV or airbase is around to defend the fleet but what if the defense is stronger? Yes, I know in your video there were two airbases but they couldn’t be populated. As you point out, the allies will be able to use those airbases later in the game, which is another limitation of airbases; they can be captured.


  • 2018 2017 '16

    Yes I would do it every time. It’s not a waste of money because carriers, destroyers, transports and bombers are what America needs every game. After people realize that Sealion is a bust when you place 2 carriers, a destroyer, and a bomber on the Eastern States then they will probably never buy those 9 transports again on G2. As far as what to do after that depends on what is happening on the rest of the board. How is Japan doing? What’s happening in the Med? Is Germany buying more bombers that will wipe out my navy? I would make my decision based on what is best in that particular game.

    One thing that I noticed afterwards is that the fighter and the tac bomber on Gibraltar could have landed on one of the American carriers in Sea Zone 104 if the Americans didn’t take 110. So when you add it all up that’s 5 strategic bombers, 2 tac bombers, and 4 fighters that can hit SZ 110. Can Germany build enough to withstand that?

    You talked about scrambling on the G1. I like to do that too but it’s very important to have 3 fighters on London G3 to force them to have enough strength in 110 to prevent the scramble. In the video you could see that there was very little chance of them taking London without taking their planes in on the assault.

    Last game I played the Germans took 2 subs to sz 106 and wiped out the destroyer and transport. That doesn’t stop London Calling that’s what the destroyers are for. I didn’t need them in the video but usually you will.

    I would not have bought 2 naval bases either, I just wanted to prove to Pain State that it was the wrong thing to do in this particular instance. Another place, another situation, air bases are an effective strategy but not when you need offence for Sealion and have to leave your planes behind because you didn’t buy boats to prevent the scramble. One airbase and one carrier might have been a better idea but it’s all a moot point because if Germany spent all of it’s money over there then London Calling has succeeded. While they only placed 2 infantry and 1 artillery to use against Russia, the Russians placed  1 tac bomber, 6 infantry, 4 artillery, and 11 tanks on the front lines with the sole purpose of kicking Germany square in the nuts as hard as they can. While Germany was chasing after a shiny object across the channel the bear was standing behind him sharpening his claws. For that reason London Calling will beat Sealion every time.



  • That whole scenario plus how Germany went about Sea Lion was foolish.
    Even if Germany can do Sea Lion turn 3, it must not. Take Scotland turn 3. You don’t want to bring the US into the war early. You don’t need 10 transports….strategic attacks on turn 2 by the Germans are vital…so Germany needs 3 Subs parked in 109.
    If you take Ireland, I am taking it with the Germans. Sea Lion is to prevent US bombers landing spots, taking out an economy in the UK and gaining a VC. I have a plan for the Italians that is pretty out of the box to help secure the European flank.

    There is no way UK should have had that many units in London…just being frank here
    UK does Taranto…Scramble…inflict as much damage to the UK as possible. Italy will recover, UK will not.
    Taranto is a waste of precious UK resources. To me Taranto is a gimmick.

    I also attack the French Fleet in the Med by the Germans turn 1…I leave 110 alone but take out 111. In every game that fleet in 111 has been irrelevant and by the time it could become relevant it’s too late because of my secret Italian strategy.

    Go ahead US go buy bombers…that makes me happy as an Axis player. Spend all your money in Europe…again Happy Camper…if you don’t think Japan will steam roll the Pacific…eh…you must be playing some novice players.


  • 2018 '16

    If Germany strategic bombs UK on G2 and neuters them then how do you still build max units on London. This is easily accomplished by a 2 bomber sub purchase on G1.



  • @seancb:

    If Germany strategic bombs UK on G2 and neuters them then how do you still build max units on London. This is easily accomplished by a 2 bomber sub purchase on G1.

    The video in fact shows a strat bombing of London on G2.

    There is no way UK should have had that many units in London….just being frank here
    UK does Taranto…Scramble…inflict as much damage to the UK as possible. Italy will recover, UK will not.
    Taranto is a waste of precious UK resources. To me Taranto is a gimmick.

    I also attack the French Fleet in the Med by the Germans turn 1…I leave 110 alone but take out 111. In every game that fleet in 111 has been irrelevant and by the time it could become relevant it’s too late because of my secret Italian strategy.

    Scrambling against Taranto is a good way to lose 3 Axis planes to kill ships that would die anyway on G2.

    I assume you mean that you attack 110 and not 111?


  • 2017

    If the UK comes with 7 units total; I’ll scramble for sure all day long. That’s about the 75-80% UK victory chance level.

    Usually the med is cleared that turn by Italy in clean up or real cheap for Germany.


  • 2017

    I don’t really think there a need to do anti-Sea Lion strategy studies. I enjoy executing Sea Lion, but it’s usually a “one trick pony” against someone who has an attitude against it and hasn’t seen it successfully executed. They test me by doing an unusual buy UK 1. When they do and other stuff went right G1, then I drop transports. Also, in my successful Sea Lion games, if Japan is left alone, I win on the Pacific Board. If Japan is prevented from a mid-game win (round 8-10), then Germany eventually stabilizes Russia and makes it to Bryansk before London is liberated. Sea Lion is super deadly when done right. But it’s never planned.

    UK just places 6 / 1 on UK 1. Period. No need to get cute about that. Perhaps the US flies it’s bomber to London if in the war for another hit point. But in any case, it’s just too costly for Germany to go through with Sea Lion regardless at that point whether or not the US has 8 planes that can wipe out the German fleet.

    A smart Russian player is going to be stacked on E. Poland; snatching up so many NOs; buying lots of tanks to where Moscow is safe for a very long time.


  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    J A P A N


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I think the point of anti sea lion strategies its that perhaps you can do something different uk1.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    @simon33:

    I think the point of anti sea lion strategies its that perhaps you can do something different uk1.

    I think that is exactely the point. It may allow UK to not do the 6 inf 1 fighter buy, maybe other stuff such as 2 fighter 2 inf, units out of south africa or even sub buys in the atlantic, more aggressive buys in other words

    The 2 carrier, destroyer and bomber buy for USA is a good buy round one. The carriers are easily moved to the pacific round 2 if you want to, so If no sea lion, you have this option.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Such a buy messes with my plan to hit Norway US3 and puts it back to US4. That’s a real problem because putting it back a turn means the Soviets can be hit G4 rather than having them hit the Germans. The good point is even a massive counter attack on Yanks’ navy is likely to be very costly for the Germans.

    I’ll have to have a think about it.


  • 2018 2017 '16

    If you don’t do the 1 fighter 6 infantry buy on the first turn then you will make it easier for Germany to take London and possibly hang onto it. The choice becomes tougher for Germany to do that because the cost to them will be very high. Maybe something like 1 fighter 4 infantry and then 1 tank in SA or something like that just to mess with him and encourage him to go for it.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    While I lack the expertise to comment on this strategy, I must say that I really like the well-chosen name you gave it.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    They played a game up at the store this weekend, with a new guy recruited out at the staff college, and they Sea Lioned him on Round 3.  I was up all Friday night couldn’t sleep–might have committed to the game if I’d only been signing up for 2-3 hours but then again, I would have been on his team and been like, UK1; 3 tanks and a factory for Egypt, round 1, I mean, I realize you’re new and all…

    I don’t understand what KGF, 102 or any US presence has to do with the viability of Sea-Lion, only its rescue plan.  If there is a J1 or J2, America won’t have a carrier that can sit in 102, because if they’re already at war, they can and should simply cross to 91.  (this because they don’t start with one).

    in straight G40;

    Are you the Allies; Yes
    Then KJF, 100% with the US and hold on with the rest.  KGF is much harder and splitting leaves you at less than parity with Japan, which otherwise, you can destroy or cripple.

    Did Germany buy transports or save money on G1? No
    UK can do whatever it wants, pretty much.  1-2 guys per turn might be nice.  I buy 2 arty or a factory.

    Did Germany buy 2 transports or save money on G1?  Yes
    Buy 6 men and 1 fighter.

    Did they buy lots of strategic bombers? Yes
    Well, not whatever UK wants, watch out for being bombed into submission on G2-4.  buy at least a few men for protection.

    Did Germany buy a pile of transports on G3 or later?  Or leave all its air on Western Germany where it can reach London?  Is Russia going to be frustrating enough to him that attacking UK somehow seems easier?

    Watch out, hes thinking about attacking you.    Hopefully you bought 6-10 extra pieces on rounds UK1-4.    You’ll need 15 or so guys and 2-3 air to dissuade this.  1 ship is nice, it blows his bombards.  Thank goodness you go after him in the turn order and this isn’t your first game.

    After G2-3, did Germany leave its air and tanks where its more convenient to attack Russia than UK?  Yes

    Hes bluffing.  UK,  Ignore him.  He can build all his transports late but he cant build all the men, tanks, planes and boats on one turn no matter how much money he has because he can only drop ten pieces, like you.

    Did Germany leave all its air and armor on West Germany?  Yes

    Hes about to attack you.  Turtle.



  • Very nice video GHG, I enjoyed it.

    I think you missed my point of the double AB plan but there is no need to go into that.

    Actually now that I think about it.

    There are at least 2 threads I could start on how bad you missed the point.

    and one thread on how 2 AB is a total waste of time, IPC and air power.

    Give me time….



  • Ok, Iam going to start this from going in reverse order based on GHG video.

    Why it is a total waste of time building 2 Air Bases to defend SZ110?

    Now the idea of defending SZ110 is to prevent the USA or UK from coming into that zone to contest the conquest of London. Deny them a immediate response and give Germany 1-2 turns to build units on London to hold it.

    The bottom line is the bigger picture of the war. The Europe map is really a struggle between Germany and Russia. For Germany to achieve a global victory on the Europe map they MUST take out Russia. UK/USA are the spoilers in this big picture plan. They are trying to distract Germany and attacking them in such a way to make the “gaze” of Germany turn west and give Russian some respite.

    So

    Is Sea Lion a total waste of time and IPC? Well, I would agree with GHG that Germany going all out on Sea Lion is most likely a doomed strategy for Germany.

    Thus if it is a doomed strategy you must go all out against Russia. That is Germany’s entire focus and just hold off UK/USA on the western front as long as possible.

    Waste no time or IPC against the UK/USA besides bulking up the fortress Europa against them and everything else goes all in on Russia.

    Now on G2 you still build the 8-9 TRS. Threaten Sea Lion and have the Allied players scampering around looking at You Tube videos on how to defeat it on Japans turn. You then take those TRS and move 18-20 units into Russia on G3. Make the Baltic sea a massive TRS shuck to Leningrad for INF and ART. That saves Germany 2 turns of movement to get INF/ART onto Moscow.

    Bottom line for me is then Germany MUST fake Sea Lion on G2 with the TRS purchase to make the UK/USA react accordingly. Which means their focus is saving or liberating London ASAP and not doing crazy plans like middle earth or sending 12 FTRS to Moscow.

    Fake Sea Lion, they have to respect it. Go all in on Moscow and crush them under your tanks.

    By doing this you buy Germany/Italy 2-3 turns on the Europe map by making the UK/USA doing all the moves necessary to save London and not doing crazy plans on turn 1-2 like killing off Germany early and the Allies winning the game on Turn 10.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    Agree, mostly.  Lots of games, the Allies intend to KJF, they put nothing in Europe, even so; Germany attempting Sea Lion is still not good odds or optimal move, though in that case, UK better be playing conservatively, since they will be all alone on that map to survive while Japan gets demolished.

    You don’t really have to bluff SL, though its not so bad most games.  If GER suddenly builds the transports, all UK has to do to neutralize that is to buy 1 full turn of UK defense right after you do it.  If you slowly build the transports, UK is even more flexible because he can do w/e in the ME while slowly countering you by buying 1-2 guys a round, or fighters, then he has choices all game.

    built (Air)bases are often a waste, because they are too expensive, aren’t necessarily used often, are subject to capture, and don’t fight.  The areas where they are these things, already have AB on them, for the most part.

    Germany is quite overpowered in G40 as written, which is why it sometimes feels like it can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time, smashing every opponent in turn.



  • @taamvan:

    You don’t really have to bluff SL, though its not so bad most games.� � �

    I totally disagree good sir.

    On G2 the game is still in the set piece portion of the game, where strategy videos are made and so forth. There are not strategy videos on how the Allies defeat the Axis on Game turn 19.

    So Germany builds the 9-10 TRS on G2 and UK call your bluff that your are going into Russia and not UK because Sea Lion is a total waste. Well, if UK does not spend their first 2 turns defending Sea Lion and Germany calls the bluff and goes into London, takes it, and has 9 units left….Lets just say strategy videos do not cover this scenario.

    Germany having a 9-11 TRS fleet in the Baltic is never a bad thing for them.

    SO bottom line for me.

    YOU MUST always bluff Sea Lion on G2 with TRS purchase and go through with Sea Lion on G3 if the UK thinks you are bluffing and does very minimal to defend London.

    The TRS purchase on G2 for Germany is not a waste. It is a very valuable asset that can be used against Russia and UK.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    I totally disagree with PainState. Bluffing SL without following through is a massive waste of resources which could be being used against USSR.



  • I’m with you, simon. I’d much rather have 13+ tanks rolling toward than 10+ transports sitting in the Baltic that can do basically nothing after Leningrad falls. A 70+ IPC bluff is in no way worth it IMO



  • @simon33:

    I totally disagree with PainState. Bluffing SL without following through is a massive waste of resources which could be being used against USSR.

    Fair enough.

    BUT

    If you do not fake Sea Lion and spend your G2 build on a all in tactic on Russia are you not letting the UK off the hook? Letting them build that factory in the Middle East, building up in South Africa or rebuilding their navy?

    9-10 TRS in the Baltic Sea is a serious threat to Russia also. You can get all your units from Western Europe to the Russian front on G3 OR if you are feeling really crazy you could stage the TRS in the North Sea and threaten to go south with all those TRS and hit Gibraltar and go all in with German Med fleet fully loaded with troops going at Egypt.

    With out a full commitment of the G2 TRS purchase you are letting the UK off the hook on UK2 to do what ever they want to do.



  • @Elsass-Lorraine:

    I’m with you, simon. I’d much rather have 13+ tanks rolling toward than 10+ transports sitting in the Baltic that can do basically nothing after Leningrad falls. A 70+ IPC bluff is in no way worth it IMO

    What?

    Hold on.

    Lets just say the Baltic fleet has no worries.

    You have Leningrad.

    You build 10 INF or 5 Inf/ 5 ART in Germany. You can shuck those 10 units + your 3 builds in Leningrad every turn. You have in essence cut down the time of travel from Germany to Moscow by 2 turns with Inf/ART with those wasted TRS.

    You see no benefit in this?

    FOOT NOTE

    My G1 build always has 1 DD in it. Germany needs a DD to stop those pesky Russian Subs.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Part of the problem is that the number of transports useful for taking Leningrad (2 to 5) is different from the number of transports useful for taking London (8 to 10). You get some use out of a massive transport stack against Russia on G3, but not enough use to fully justify the cost of the transports. 9 transports + minor factory in Leningrad cost 60 ipcs per turn to fill with a conservative mix of infantry and artillery, leaving you zero or negative budget for tanks, mechs, planes, ships, and the western front. Most turns, at least a few of your transports will sit empty if you bluff Sea Lion.

    A full Sea Lion bluff can make sense if the UK player is stronger (or rolled better on round 1) than the Russian player, or if the Russian opening is particularly vulnerable to a Baltic attack, but calling it mandatory is a big stretch. You’re transferring power from Britain (which is weakened by the need to place low-value infantry in London) to Russia (which is strengthened by Germany’s relatively inefficient purchase of 8+ transports.

    I often prefer a partial sea lion bluff, with 2-4 transports and perhaps a couple of extra planes. It should still deter a full Middle Earth opening, but I know I can use all of the assets at full efficiency on the eastern front if I need to.


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