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A&A Global 1940 Essays: Sealion (Germany)



  • “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, we shall fight in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender, and if, for which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”- Winston Churchill

    In World War II, the invasion of Britain was foiled by Churchill and the superior power of the British Fleet. However, while faced with many of the same problems, the German player in Axis and Allies Global 1940 is equipped, at the start of the game, to break the British Fleet and conquer the United Kingdom.

    Operation Sealion- the German Amphibious Assault on England- is one of the most widely known strategies in Global 1940. Executing Sealion essentially boils down to three phases- building up your strength, the actual invasion, and consolidating your gains.

    Planning for Sealion

    Unlike Barbarossa, Operation Sealion is something that the German player must specifically aim for when entering the game. Germany can have no other goals or objectives until London falls. So, bearing all that in mind: what should Germany buy on G1 in preparation for Sealion? I think the best option is two destroyers and a strategic bomber. Why? Destroyers are cheap!  You’re going up against a huge fleet- having cheap ships is important, since they make great cannon fodder for more powerful ships (or aircraft). The reason for the strategic bomber is that they’re going to be necessary, not only to break the British fleet, but for air support during the actual invasion. With purchases complete, what should Germany do on G1 to start breaking Britain?

    As I mentioned in Essay#2, Germany can only muster one battleship for combat against the UK on G1. Therefore, it must rely on air power. Germany starts the game with 2 strategic bombers, 4 tactical bombers, and 4 fighters, all of which can attack sz110 and land in Holland/Belgium. Therefore, an attack using these units will give Germany 7 units attacking on a 4 and 4 on a 3, or a massive 40 on attack! This is facing 1 British cruiser, 1 French cruiser, 1 British battleship, and possibly 2 scrambling British fighters. That’s a mere 18 on defense, or 2 units at a 3, and 3 units at a 4. The chances are high that Germany will win this battle. The air units should land in Holland/ Belgium. So, right there, Germany has just eliminated a fair portion of the British Fleet. Except…that critical air power is no longer located in a position to help the exposed German battleship! That’s assuming there even is a German battleship left! The British seem to have won, don’t they? Those two destroyers are now toast…or so it seems. While it is true that the British can now move ships to plug the gap in sz110, or even send ships into the Baltic, they are in fact at a serious disadvantage. They simply cannot replace everything they’ve lost, whereas you can. Replacing the two cruisers (that’s counting the French one), costs sixteen. They could also replace one of the fighters they may have scrambled, or they could save up the ten IPCs. Replacing the battleship is also an option, but that battleship would be isolated. And that’s not the only reason the British are vulnerable. Germany now has somewhere around eight air units in a perfect position. No matter what moves the British make, they are vulnerable. The tac bombers and fighters can attack: United Kingdom, sz109, sz113, sz111, sz110, and sz112. The only two precautions Germany needs to take at this stage is to land their Poland tactical bomber in Western Germany, and (depending on casualties), move one fighter to Western Germany as well. Alternatively, they could just move their Norway fighter to Western Germany instead of sending it into combat. The reason is this: Britain has a destroyer, a cruiser, and a battleship in sz111, as well as a strategic bomber in United Kingdom, which can attack the two new German destroyers in sz113. Here, even if you fail in the defense and you lose the destroyers and air units, you’ve still gained something. One: These British units are off-position and poorly deployed. They cannot take part in any naval action in the Channel for at least a turn. Two: They probably won’t live that long, as you not only have a brand-new strategic bomber right next to them, you’ve also got a huge air force in Holland/Belgium. But, despite its tremendous effects, the sz110 naval battle is not the only preparation that Germany should take to ensure victory in a Sealion attack.

    #1: Move your sz124 submarine to sz119. If the sub survives UK1 (unlikely), it can convoy-raid Scotland for 2 IPCs. If it’s destroyed, then that’s one more British ship that’s not in the Channel.

    #2: Use your subs in sz103 and sz108 to attack the British destroyer and transport in sz109. Although scrambling a fighter will destroy the subs, it’s worth it for two reasons. One: that fighter isn’t in the Channel, and two, the destroyer can still be sunk. If the subs survive until the end of UK1, they can convoy-raid United Kingdom.

    #3: Similarly, use your sz117 and sz118 subs to attack the British destroyer and transport in sz106. Assuming the subs survive, they can cost the UK 3 IPCs.

    #4: Occupy all three French territories.

    The goal of these steps is to wear down the British economy, while also increasing the German economy by capturing all of France.

    So, what should Germany do on G2?
    If you followed all the steps in this article so far, you’ll have 4 IPCs left over from G1, plus your 30 IPCs income, plus 10 IPCs bonus income for not having Scandinavia under Allied control and not being at war with the Soviet Union. Not only that, but you’ll have gained 24 IPCs from France! That totals to 68 IPCS! What to do with them? Well, your Luftwaffe in Holland/Belgium should be fairly intact still, so I’d go with an aircraft carrier, a tac bomber, a fighter, and three transports. This will set you up for a G3 landing. In terms of combat, if you still have those destroyers and strategic bomber left over, use them to attack any British units left in the Baltic, or any British units in sz111. Use your strategic bombers to wreak as much havoc on the Industrial Complex in United Kingdom as possible. Any fighters/tactical bombers should be saved. If you have any subs left in the British home waters (unlikely), use them to attack the British home waters. They probably won’t survive, but they’ll do their purpose. Finally, move your sz114 cruiser into position.

    The Invasion

    So, by G3, the UK should be without much of a fleet, sapped of IPCs, and desperate to repair its IC. Therefore, it is vital that Germany strike! On G4, Germany has 4 transports. Fill each transport up with 1 infantry and 1 artillery. That aircraft carrier can be used to punch through sz110. If you still have that cruiser from sz114, you should save it for a bombardment. That bombardment shot should be targeted at an AA gun.  The goal is to save as much power for the beaches as possible. Expect your troops to have roughly 3 tactical bombers and 3 fighters worth of air support. If you have any strat bombers left over, use them to attack the British fleet, and use the carrier planes to attack instead. You should triumph!

    The Aftermath
    This is why I don’t personally like Sealion much. Both the US and USSR can declare war on you simultaneously now that London has fallen. The Americans will try to launch an amphibious assault, but Germany will have a hard time repulsing it for two reasons. One: they don’t have much naval strength left over, and two, they don’t know where the blow will fall! Will it be in England or France? Thinning out your defenses to cover both isn’t a good idea, so my advice is simple: Keep your units in London, but if the Americans do attack France, stockpile defenses (probably tanks) in Paris. The other threat is much more pressing: Russia.

    Part of Sealion is unavoidably neglecting the forces in the East: You can’t afford to crush England while keeping the East well protected. So, on G3, you must take action to prepare for the inevitable Russian blow. One: You’ll have a minimum of 49 IPCs to spend. So, spend it on tanks! Place six tanks in Germany, and that’s all you’ll be able to afford. In addition, purchasing for an invariably defensive war on the Russian front is not as easy as purchasing for Sealion. On G1, you received 19 IPCs from Paris, to be used against a foe who you could easily wear down, and who had no time to prepare. Here, your IPC gain from London won’t be much higher- maybe somewhere around 20 to 25 IPCs- and it has to be used against a foe who has had much more time to prepare than you. So, on G3, in terms of non-combat on the Eastern Front:

    #1: Activate Finland if you haven’t done so already.

    #2: Using ONLY ONE INFANTRY, activate Bulgaria. The reason for this is because you don’t want to move any more Romanian units than necessary.

    #3: Move any spare units in Germany into Poland. Then, move your Poland units south to Romania (if that means moving them into Slovakia/Hungary, then moving an equal number of Slovakia/Hungary troops into Romania, that will work, as well)

    #4: If that fighter and tactical bomber are still in Western Germany, noncombat the fighter to Poland, and the tactical bomber to Romania.

    Note that this plan is just an outline to be ready for Russian buildup, if Russia is concentrating heavily up north in Leningrad, then move more units to Norway and Poland then Romania.

    Ultimately, after a victorious Sealion, Russia is your most immediate threat, but America is ultimately your biggest threat. If they marshal their economy, and sacrifice some ground in the Pacific, they can reconquer the UK by means of amphibious assault- something that means the end for the Germans, and fulfill Churchill’s prophecy that “the New World, in all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue, and the liberation of the old.”

    Next time, in the last German essay, AxisAndAllies1940 will cover ways in which Germany and Italy can cooperate.



  • #2: Use your subs in sz103 and sz108 to attack the British destroyer and transport in sz109. Although scrambling a fighter will destroy the subs, it’s worth it for two reasons. One: that fighter isn’t in the Channel, and two, the destroyer can still be sunk. If the subs survive until the end of UK1, they can convoy-raid United Kingdom.

    No thank you.  The issue is… even if you hit once (44% chance if you take two subs into this fight), you only sank the destroyer and the transport survives.  You only have a 1 in 5 chance of sinking the transport, too (2 hits on your first and only roll).  UK can scramble up to 4 fighters if they want and know you can’t hit their fighter back.

    This is why I don’t personally like Sealion much. Both the US and USSR can declare war on you simultaneously now that London has fallen.

    The biggest part of a successful Sealion is Japan can’t bring the U.S. into the war.  If you’re able to take London, you’ll get their 30ipcs in your pocket (10 shiny new infantry in Berlin to counter Russia) and, if you’re going to be successful, simply wait until G3 or even G4.  Russia is only into the war one turn early, U.S. 2 (if Japan didn’t do a J3), at most, and UK no longer earns and you still have 6-8 transports that can keep bringing more infantry to London to hold it.  Or to turn and take Novgorod.  And the UK won’t be able to replace losses to Italy in the Med, etc.



  • On G4, Germany has 4 transports.

    Ok I’m assuming you meant G3 here but my point remains valid: How on earth can you expect to take London with only 4 transports?? I mean sure, it’d be fine if they put literally nothing on London but most people know that you have to fortify London on UK1 and even a little on UK2. Expecting your opponent to make a mistake or an oversight, especially one of this magnitude, is always a bad move, a bet that you’ll lose many more times than you’ll win



  • I guess you could start shuttling Germans on G2 (3 transports), G3 (4 more) to Scotland, but, yeah… that doesn’t seem like you’d end up with enough.



  • @weddingsinger:

    I guess you could start shuttling Germans on G2 (3 transports), G3 (4 more) to Scotland, but, yeah… that doesn’t seem like you’d end up with enough.

    The OP’s plan said for a 3 transport build (with other stuff) on G3. With only 8 ground units, you’re gonna take HEAVY air losses and you might not even take London at all. AxisandAllies1940, I would like to hear your rationale as to how 4 transports is sufficient


  • TripleA

    USA is always at war round 1 in my games and there are times I sea lion still. It is an all transport (usually -1 transport +1 dd) buy and all in.


  • TripleA

    It depends on what UK buys first round.  If they make it tempting, I can’t resist.


  • 2017

    @AxisAndAllies1940:

    Unlike Barbarossa, Operation Sealion is something that the German player must specifically aim for when entering the game.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement.

    Unlike Sea Lion, Barbarossa is something that the German player must specifically aim for when entering the game; not capturing London. Capturing London in the beginning of the game is mostly an object of opportunity. Sea Lion can be executed in the beginning of the game (G3) if the dice goes in Germany’s favor for specific battles and the UK player chooses to not defend London with a standard 6 infantry / 1 fighter purchase. I think the UK can get away with 2 inf / 2 fighters if they have both transports at Canada.

    My best Sea Lion games have been against players who have had a misconception that it’s “pyrrhic.” In many of those cases my G1 purchase was 6 artillery / 2 infantry. There have been a few games in which I bought Sea Lion useful items like 1 destroyer / 1 fighter / 1 bomber (or 2 bombers / 1 sub) and then the UK player scrambled in the opening G1 attacks. Even dice in those types of battles really favors Germany’s side for a potential Sea Lion because air is already being replenished.



  • This sounds less believable than a fairy tale.  You cannot build a strategy upon poor UK play.  Most experienced UK players buy plenty of land units and fighters and no ships.

    Ichabod is absolutley correct.  Sealion is never in Germany’s hands.  It is based upon UK purchases and dice roles.  Of course buying land units on G1 will dramatically reduce Axis chances of Sealion, but walking into a game with the mentality that you are going to take London or lose trying is not being flexible enough.



  • In 99.9% of games Germany has to take Lenningrad, Stalingrad and Moscow, it is a must. Then the question is do they go after London or Cairo after the fall of Russia. I have always felt Sea Lion was a end game type of move instead of a opening move.

    UK/USA are having to defend Cairo and keeping an eye on London. Also due to the map those forces are split and far apart so they cannot reinforce each other. If Germany has knocked out Russia and is collecting 70+ IPC they can then afford to devote resources for a Sea Lion operation. Of course this totally hinges on the “map” and where the UK/USA are on the Europe map. It might be a lot easier attempting to knock out Cairo BUT sometimes in that middle to late game UK homeland is not stacked up high with troops. UK has been dumping IPC into the middle east to stop the fall of Cairo.

    So, Germany has the ability now to drop all the IPC into a fleet because they no longer have to worry about Russia.

    Taking London on G3 or G4 is strictly a target of opportunity because of UK mistakes. It is just to annoy the Allies and delay the USA a few turns. Germany cannot afford to devote all their IPC at UK on G2 and ignore Russia.


  • TripleA

    I am on the triple a lobby often. I don’t take Allies less than 23 lately so I always get axis… About experienced of axis player you can get… Don’t plan on a sealion every game, do it for fun or if I’m gives you the opportunity



  • @Cow:

    I am on the triple a lobby often. I don’t take Allies less than 23 lately so I always get axis… About experienced of axis player you can get… Don’t plan on a sealion every game, do it for fun or if I’m gives you the opportunity

    This is a interesting topic but probably needs it own thread.



  • Its starting to feel like this guy is just trolling us with these “essays.” I mean come on, man. Many of these statements are way too out of touch. Can’t be serious.



  • @NotEvenJail:

    Its starting to feel like this guy is just trolling us with these “essays.” I mean come on, man. Many of these statements are way too out of touch. Can’t be serious.

    I would hesitate to jump so far so quickly. He/she probably is just discovering this forum and/or other sources of strategies, and their game group has probably been disconnected, if you will, from the most effective strategies that the wider A&A community takes for granted.

    I will note that in his first essay (the Barbarossa one) he mentioned how G40 had recieved “little attention on this blog”, which I take to mean the main axisandallies.org website (which most definitely does have a lack of G40-related articles, last I checked) as opposed to the forums. I knew about axisandallies.org the site long before I knew about the forums, so maybe that is what happened here.



  • I have no issue with a player who posts a essay on a particular tactic/strategy.

    The forums are used as a discussion point between fellow players to hopefully come up with a refined and better plan of attack.

    Now when it comes to the essay it self I do have issues with it. My main issue is that Germany is way to aggressive on the opening turn. Putting to many German units at risk on the opening turn and if the dice turn south….disaster.

    I also found it interesting that the next essay is on how Italy and Germany can work together to win the game. In my experience taking Southern France and Normandy and Paris on the opening turn is bad for Italy. Italy needs money…Let them have Southern France and Normandy while Germany looks Eastward for the real prize of Russia.

    Sea Lion tactics have been discussed at length on this sight. I have no complaint about the essays goal of achieving a successful Sea Lion attack. My issue is the big picture, Germany needs to focus on the real enemy which is Russia. Uk is a side show and will derail them on G2 if they focus on a sea lion attack. Germany cannot win the war knocking out London and letting Russia become so large Germany cannot ever contain them.

    Bottom Line

    Germany needs at a minimum 2 of the three victory cities in Russia and that is being generous that they took London and Cairo. A G5 attack on Russia in force has 0% chance of achieving those goals.


  • 2017

    @PainState:

    My issue is the big picture, Germany needs to focus on the real enemy which is Russia. Uk is a side show and will derail them on G2 if they focus on a sea lion attack. Germany cannot win the war knocking out London and letting Russia become so large Germany cannot ever contain them.

    Perhaps you’ve mostly seen some poorly executed Sea Lions? For me, usually I don’t have a problem pushing Russia back post-Sea Lion (outside of outlier dice battle situation like once the UK AAA shot down 5 planes during the G3 invaision…basic caveats).



  • @Elsass-Lorraine:

    @NotEvenJail:

    Its starting to feel like this guy is just trolling us with these “essays.” I mean come on, man. Many of these statements are way too out of touch. Can’t be serious.

    I would hesitate to jump so far so quickly. He/she probably is just discovering this forum and/or other sources of strategies, and their game group has probably been disconnected, if you will, from the most effective strategies that the wider A&A community takes for granted.

    I will note that in his first essay (the Barbarossa one) he mentioned how G40 had recieved “little attention on this blog”, which I take to mean the main axisandallies.org website (which most definitely does have a lack of G40-related articles, last I checked) as opposed to the forums. I knew about axisandallies.org the site long before I knew about the forums, so maybe that is what happened here.

    I didn’t mean to be harsh just speculating. I get it. This game is special because it has a lot more nuance than one would readily perceive.  I have no problem with the thread just made me scratch my head.


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