Japan Attacking Northeast Russia Accompanied by Sealion

  • Operation Sealion is a good strategy that has a big problem after it is executed: a lot of your forces on mainland Germany, Poland, w/e were used to gobble up London and maybe Scotland, and therefore the Soviets can put pressure on you immediately after taking London using their buys for 3 or 4 turns and starting units.  However, if Japan goes all-in on those 18 inf 2 AAA (sometimes 12 inf 2 AAA, sometimes nothing because they retreat to Moscow), you can take some of the Russian income and force some of the Russian units to focus on Japan/China because they don’t want to lose the 9 IPC income from the Northeast territories, since that is 20% of their IPCs.  So Japan could divert Russia’s attention to two fronts, thus allowing Germany some extra lee-way in regards to Sealion.

    Btw, by all-in I mean every unit that can reach the territory would go there and attack it J1, though not declaring war on the Pacific allies and still attacking Yunnan and the other three Chinese territories in reach of the coastal units.  Japan wouldn’t declare war on them until J3, and on J3 they could ideally take all of the money islands and not lose much momentum at all.  Though a Korean or Manchurian IC would be best so they could flood maybe 3 mechs per turn to the Northeast or China.  Also I know the Mongolian rule would take place, thus resulting in 3 inf that could go to Moscow and 3 inf that could put up a minor roadblock in Northeast Russia/China, but those infantry do not really matter because they could easily be taken out right away using air power and starting land units.  Russia would lose more IPCs in the Northeast than the 9 IPCs of infantry they would be given over 3 turns.

  • An effective Sea Lion should:

    1. not tip Sea Lion on G1
    2. Germany still has 23-26 inf, 2 art, 2-3 tanks to stack in Romania, hopefully pushing Russia’s invasion to Finland/Norway and Poland
    3. can’t let your transports get sunk so Germany can hit all territories on the Baltic Sea on G5

    So, one issue is Russia usually doesn’t have anything in Amur on J1.  And using transports to shuck troops there means they’re not taking new territories like the Philippines or Money Islands OR reinforcing the Yunnan attack.  Also means UKPac and ANZAC can safely take Sumatra and Java/Celebes and hold for at least 2 but probably 3 rounds (so +12 for UKPac, +18 for ANZAC)

    My point being that you better not screw up Sea Lion if you do this because if it fails or even just if you lose all the German transports, the game could very well be over.

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    Russia gets 4 turns to get angry.  This transforms russia from a pushover to pretty much equal to what is left in Germany after the SL forces are delivered.  If you’ve bid or patched the game to make Russia survivable during a G2/Crussia, then by G4 Russia is even stronger.

    You want to avoid entry of the US into the war as long as possible if this is the plan, because they have several ways of boggling the SL if you J1’d or J2’d.  Attacking russia doesn’t affect this consideration since its a separate war declaration.

    Japan can only be assured to wipe out the Russian Far East Army if it’s standing on the coast.  If it’s anywhere else, you can chase it with all your forces but they can run so its destruction isn’t guaranteed.  Over many games you will note that the Japan forces that are fighting up there are stuck and air support cannot cover this area and other key areas at the same time.  Its a backwater, so whether you take it with 3 units or 50, they’re stuck up there until much later in the game on a slow walk, you get some modest income but all the other potential areas of attack are more lucrative and strategic and require your air force to hang out elsewhere.  Yes, you are compromising RUS income, but without Germany and Italy helping, it doesn’t have a decisive effect.

    In the Crussia strategy, taking these territories is key but doing so without compromising the rest of Japan goals is a challenge of timing and spreading out.  If you are attempting Sea Lion, you will see Russia has a lot more choices and time, which is a disaster for the Axis if London isn’t part of the bargain.

    Sea Lion has poor odds against a well prepared UK, plus there is a foolproof tell that SL is going to happen–the German player keeps his armor on west Germany and it doesn’t flood troops east.  He moves infantry west, not east, because he wants to focus cash on transports, not units to fill them, which he already has.  If the UK buys 2fig/1fig+6 Inf, and he has the 2 units from canada, your odds are uninviting no matter exactly how you prepare the invasion.

    If Italy could help, or Germany could drop a second round of troops, the odds increase.  However, the likely outcome on the odds is that you lose most of your German landers, your fleet is hardly invulnerable to counterattack and its stuck in the channel.  Anything short of taking London out is a total failure here, and its 85% likely to fail.  If the US is in the war, or enters the war (because you took London) there are a couple of rescue plans available and the US can hit your fleet from SZ 91.  As WS said, losing the transports, the bulk of your tanks, all the money to build navy, and facing an unrestrained Russian Bear means a quick Axis capitulation.

  • Viability of Sealion aside, I think Japan’s best option to support a Sealion is to blitz the Pacific hard in order to either delay America’s liberation of London or take advantage of America’s focus in the Atlantic.

    Russia is unlikely (and would be unwise) to send units east to save a handful of IPCs. While Russia losses 1-2 IPCs a turn, Japan is has to dedicate huge amounts of it’s land and air forces to chasing the Amur stack across Siberia. And what does that look like when you factor in build time and location? 2 less infantry on the Russia/German boarder on R6? 6 less on R9? It’s just not enough gain for the investment.

    Every turn delay to liberating London, on the other hand, keeps Atlantic UK’s entire income out of the war. It provides 8ipc per turn to Germany, which it can use much more efficiently than Japan. It keeps cash cows like Norway in German hands. A monster Japan is itself a huge threat of a victory city win, and forces the Allies to react accordingly instead of pounding Germany.

  • Japan can go full into USSR if Sea Lion is the objective, the problem is that Japan WILL lose in the Pacific and if Sea Lion fails, then the Japanese offensive was a waste of time and resources. For example, Japan going full into will look something like this; put a Major in Korea, a Minor in Manchuria, build up on these factories for one turn; invade USSR. Use 80% of the main attack force to go after the Eastern USSR army and the 20% against Mongolia when they join USSR. If you done this correctly, you will control the eastern sector of USSR, Mongolia, Northern China, and have an army threaten invading Moscow. This will force USSR to move from the west and force itself in the center. The problem will be US, they could double down in the Pacfic; thus forcing Japan to defend their island but that will delay the liberation of UK or they could double down in the Atlantic and thus the Pacific becomes a dead zone. Problems with this plan: If Sea Lion fails, then Japan is completely out of position against UK who would of secured the Dutch Islands and China who had enough resources to beef their military. So in short, Japan can help Germany more than you know but it will lose in the Pacific.

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    @weddingsinger Like others have said, I would always play Japan as Japan, with the strengths it has. You can take the Far East on T2 or T3. But keep your eye on the Pacific amd subjugating China and keeping our income high. That will bother the Allies more in the long run. Germany will have a strong Russia at it s borders, but ought to be able to challenge them and start pushing them back. Italy will be able to help, as Egypt will probably fall without any U.K. income. They can then send units into the Caucasus or towards India.
    Enjoy whichever strategy you elect to use, however.
    As an aside, most Axis players forgo Sealion these days, as Russia is the key to the VP cities. Winning there is easier.

  • '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17

    Regarding Sealion in general, I think it’s more important to credible threaten a Sealion than to actually pull it off. By threatening to invade the UK, the UK player has to spend their money defensively, on fighters and infantry for the UK proper.

    When you fail to threaten to invade, the UK player feels free to buy that factory in Egypt, or take other offensive actions elsewhere. By threatening to invade (and forcing the UK to spend defensively), you can bottle up the UK’s money and units in the UK proper rather than having the UK spend in Africa or Asia.

    But it’s the threat that’s the thing, not the actual invasion itself.


  • Here is the problem with the proper threat of Sealion. Any Axis and Allies player who wants to be taken serious are already going to to defend against Sea Lion regardless of G1 buy. For example, any UK player should already be beefing up London regardless of what Germany buys. I think UK players who don’t do that are playing the game too ignorantly. Unless the G1 buy is completely ridiculous for Sea Lion I.E. buying all AA guns, then you should always beef London.

  • '18 '17 '16

    The Axis have a huge advantage when the game begins. Going for an early Sealion invasion throws away that advantage regardless of whether Japan attacks Russia or not. All the Allies have to do is use the London Calling strategy in the first 3-4 turns and then wipe out the German fleet and retake London. Now the Allies have the advantage because the German player wanted to chase the shiny object across the English Channel. Don’t be that German player, go take Moscow and win the game.

  • That’s the point though. Sea Lion is an objective for Germany but there is no justification for doing while the USSR is still a credible threat because once you capture London, there is no way in hell you can defend against the US liberation and the Soviet invasion. Hence, just don’t do it. I am only suggesting that if one wanted to do an early Sea Lion, you will need Japan to put so much pressure on USSR that Germany can focus completely on US thus Japan will lose in the Pacific. I agree Sea Lion isn’t a wise move.

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