Why Sealion Doesn't Work (Maybe) (edit - in 1942 Online)

  • (continued)

    Convince anyone? Why bother? Even if it were TripleA in which player options aren’t crippled, who’s serious enough to run projections and do mathematics? You don’t have the first idea of what serious play even is.

    But you do, because you’re top platinum? Please. The “don’t think about things” champion.

    Nah, if the game was serious enough, if you even wanted to be a CONTENDER, you need a team. I’m not even talking CHAMPION, just to be in the running.

    Like what?

    1. You need a numbers team. People that understand the mathematics and methods of a system, that can run proper analyses and make recommendations. Experienced industry professionals too.

    You don’t need a “team” if you can take advantage of already researched information. You can look at books that tell you the odds if you don’t want to work them out for yourself, but you need technical expertise from somewhere. But Axis and Allies? Nothing like that out there.

    But you’re an experienced industry professional? Show me the experienced industry professional that says you don’t need to think about details; I’ll kick that ass so far, Earth will have a new satellite.

    1. You need a breaker team. People that understand how the system can be broken, that look not to the intent of rules, but how they can be exploited, and not just the “rules” that are written, how systems can generally be exploited.

    Kiddie stuff like trying to draw out the game in 1942 Online so an opponent misses a log-in, sure, whatever. I’m saying you have a team that monitors inputs and outputs to the system, determines for real how 1942 Online’s PRNG can be exploited. Not because you’re interested in trying to exploit the system, oh no. But you need to know what to look out for. You play a pickup poker game for a few thousand dollars, you have people walking around behind you while you’re looking at your cards and you let it happen, then you just have no business in that game, better get out before you’re plucked. That’s just how it is. You have a real team, a good team, that team is prepared.

    1. You need a support team. People put serious time in, you can’t expect them to handle that load and also be doing all the cooking and cleaning plus never mind their work and family obligations on top. Doesn’t matter you have the top analytics team in the country, whatever time they’re spending on cleaning up or cooking or picking up the dry cleaning is time they’re not performing their role.

    2. You need financials. You can hire support staff, you can order delivery instead of cooking, you can cover travel expenses or whatever else, but only with money. If you have a pretty serious group they might foot the financials themselves, just eat the cost, do their own support, etc. But if not, you have to look to sponsorships, prize winnings (which often aren’t guaranteed), and supplemental income. And of course that means possibly another whole load of responsibilities ranging from marketing to facilitating communications to networking.

    3. Hierarchical command. Because we are not wasting time in a committee. And command is not going to be someone that’s too stupid to understand the importance of details.

    But you say the meta is so good and smart? We can dispense with most of that because you just don’t need any of that?

    Let’s go with that fairy tale for a moment. 1942 Online’s been out for going on two years or whatever. So we know it was demonstrated mathematically, covering all contingencies, why Allies are or are not disadvantaged against Axis. We also have a final answer to whether or not 1942 Online’s PRNG is, in any way, broken or exploitable. We have documentation and mathematics, and I don’t mean BAD documentation and BAD mathematics, I mean GOOD documentation and GOOD mathematics, right down the line. These are topics that are naturally going to be of interest, these are the first things that the first and second teams I spoke of would look at, just naturally.

    Except it’s been two years and none of that’s happened. You hear of either of those being done? Should give you a clue about how “serious” the game really is. But there’s this fantastic secret team of next-level players and who knows what they’ve come up with? Right. By the way, I’m Batman.

    But you don’t need a team for 1942 Online like that because . . . oh wait. Because it’s NOT A SERIOUS GAME. I don’t mean the compromised gameplay, I just mean people don’t take it seriously. They really don’t. Don’t take my word on it, think about how things would be different if players were serious. If you can’t picture that, my bad for assuming you could.

    I see some players talk about “top ten in the world” or “blah blah whatever”. And I think some really sold themselves so hard on this idea, they really think the game is serious or whatever.

    But to me? I see a lot of players shouting “serious!” but ACTUALLY serious? Talking out the details is a “waste of time”? You know who says that? It’s not anybody on any part of a good team, and I mean ANYONE. Even if someone’s just there to clean the toilets, they know better than to say stuff like that.

    No, the sort of people that say that are the losers that never learned to understand the importance of details, or people that are trying to sell you something, take your pick. They’re the ones that fight against understanding details. They demand my time? Whatever.

    Or wait, there’s a secret Team Evil, and someone’s spreading disinformation, trying to undermine potential good players . . . but wait. If they were actually competent at being evil they would know better than to put out a bunch of weak stuff like “don’t think and you’ll be a champion!” So even if there IS a secret Team Evil, if that’s what they’re up to it’s still nothing to be excited about. Little sad, actually.

    Now me, I take my time and write out some of the details, math, and projections, get told it’s a “waste of time” or whatever, then what? You think I have to running after people, hat in hand, please respect me? You kidding? Oh you’re not kidding, it’s just that I can’t take it seriously. I suppose you expect me to apologize now. Maybe share some of my cookies. Look pal, get your own cookies. My cookies are for me and my buddies only, and you’re not my buddy, pal.

    Tell me about how I should be “convincing” whoever. What do I get out of it? The respect of players whose acquaintance I want to cultivate? Who? Money? Where?

    Far as I’m concerned, if there’s ever going to be players that can operate as part of a real team, they’re going to need to understand the numbers, and how things really work. I’m doing my part to build that future, a future in which there’s actually a strong meta and competent players. And if I’m not “simple” about it, if I’m not dogmatic, if I don’t kiss ass, so what? I’m not trying to sell players on joining my team or whatever stupid thing. You really think I want to network to try to build serious prize money and sponsorships for a niche interest market, you better think again. If there’s going to be a team, it’s going to be like-minded players drawn together by mutual interest that have a strong interest in working together. Or if it’s corporate and a corporate sponsor wants me to earn top platinum a bunch of times, I’ll just do it then.

    You want me to spend hours a week playing ranked . . . for what? Prop up the legitimacy of a bad rank system that I don’t even believe in? I already said k-values were too high for provisional and too low for regular, and don’t even get me started on rank degradation, 24 hour clocks, never mind all the UI shortcomings, and I’m not too hot on the developers either. For you, maybe ranked is a big deal. For me, it’s nothing.

    I understand what I’m saying right now, it’s probably totally incomprehensible to you. I wouldn’t usually want to lay it out like I’m about to, but here we are.

    Suppose, in just one week, I could have every single platinum player say aardvark is a god. Don’t argue with aardvark, don’t waste aardvark’s time, aardvark is always right. I imagine maybe that’s what you want for yourself, but I don’t need that, I don’t want that.

    For me, that would be one week of not baking cookies, or cleaning, or doing chores. Miss out on some TV programs. A movie or two. I know you don’t care. But I care. That’s the point. I care about stuff you don’t care about. I don’t care about stuff you care about. Different priorities.

    You think it’s worth a week, two weeks, whatever? For me it’s not even worth one minute.

    No amount of flaunting rank would help me build the sort of community I want to see. None of it would produce players that I thought worth being on a team with. I don’t need to deal with kids trying to “challenge” me or whatever thing because I’m on top. I don’t need any number of mindless drones nodding their heads with whatever I say. I want thinking players, if they disagree that’s fine, but I want to know why they disagree, I want to dig into the details, pull out the numbers. That’s what I think is fun and interesting.

    Do I care about top platinum? I don’t. Look through my posts. Where do I ever say rank is important? I say rank is NOT important a lot, and I mean just that. Other players are like “what’s your rank”? Or they lead supposed reasoned arguments by saying they’re top rank. But not me. Never. You may remember when I was on Discord (ugh) I deliberately deranked from platinum to wood to get the wood badge, and why? It was a pain in the butt, took a load of time, but that’s how I do, and I wanted to make it clear to anyone. I don’t respect titles, I don’t respect rank, I don’t care about your experience, I don’t care about your history. Can you perform here, today, now, can you think, can you operate as part of a team, can you communicate? That’s enough. If you’re a wood league with a good mind, you won’t be wood for long if you don’t want to be. Then you see silver or gold players that are strong but never bothered to rank up and you really realize how little rank actually means. Then you see the “top platinum” players saying “don’t think! thinking about details is a waste of time! this is how top platinum players are!” It’s enough to make you, I wouldn’t say sick. Bored. Indifferent.

    So there you are, going on again about top platinum, like you actually think I’m interested in all that. So how do you explain me being platinum in both Axis and Allies to begin with, then deliberately deranking to earn the wood badge in Discord? Queuing all those games, ugh. Did I mention I don’t like 1942 Online’s UI? I had to WORK for wood, and I did it. Can you even comprehend that sort of thinking? Probably not.

    If I wanted to boast of having high rank I could just have sat there and said “check me out, I’m platinum!” But I wanted wood to make a statement. And when whoever was on Discord said I couldn’t just HAVE it, I had to EARN it, that I needed to show a screenshot of actual wood rank, I actually spent my own REAL TIME to EARN THAT WOOD BADGE. Doesn’t sound like something you’d ever do? I get that. I’m saying you don’t get me. That’s what I’ve been saying right along.

    So you kids can go on about how I need to “convince” whoever. You put up a few thousand dollars guaranteed and/or show there’s players that can actually operate as a team, then I’m interested.

    @quintin said in Why Sealion Doesn't Work (Maybe) (edit - in 1942 Online):

    the only documented case of what he’s advocating against a decent opponent.

    Thread title is "Why Sealion Doesn’t Work (Maybe) (edit - in 1942 Online) "

    “Doesn’t Work” =/= advocating.

    If you miss the details because they’re a “waste of time”? In the title of the thread, “Doesn’t Work”, at least get that much.

    @quintin said in Why Sealion Doesn't Work (Maybe) (edit - in 1942 Online):

    waste of time

    @quintin said in Why Sealion Doesn't Work (Maybe) (edit - in 1942 Online):

    Same as in your example where the US player would reactively defend W-USA, only buying stuff after J sends troops in range.

    Except that wasn’t my example, I wrote US1-3 fixed infantry buy. You’re the one that’s slapping on straw-man “reactive” non-arguments that has entirely nothing to do with anything I’ve been saying ever, just like you’re saying I’m arguing FOR Germany Baltic fleet, and whatever other nonsense.

    @quintin said in Why Sealion Doesn't Work (Maybe) (edit - in 1942 Online):

    Luckily for allies UK doesnt need to get any inf until after G commits and flushes his G1 buy down the toilet. You reactively get the inf. Same as in your example where the US player would reactively defend W-USA, only buying stuff after J sends troops in range.

    At that point its fine if UK doesnt get a navy until UK2/UK3 since G isnt progressing with the actual axis wincondition: pressure on Russia.

    The posts would be a lot more convincing if you had tried and won with this against plat rated opponents.
    If anyone is curious there is a match on youtube where aardvark tries this. Not exactly a fair example since he failed SZ7, but its the only documented case of what he’s advocating against a decent opponent.

    Let’s see.

    1. Misses the point of UK building air. I already addressed it. No counter. No engagement. Nothing. Just totally misses the point.

    2. Oversells Germany “flushing down the toilet”. Again with the hard sell, Quintin, seriously. But as I already explained in the body of this thread, if UK placed less at India, has no pressure in Atlantic, Germany has better logistics to Karelia. It’s not fantastic. But it’s not awful. And if UK has no pressure in Atlantic, Germany has more freedom. If the Allies don’t think about the position at all other than kneejerk mass infantry overprotection of London, then you get all sorts of stuff like Germany uniting off France.

    But I said that didn’t happen in this thread? But why? Because the Allies do certain things - which doesn’t include UK just blowing all its IPCs on infantry in some non-thinking kneejerk response. I gave the details.

    1. Again, there was no “my example” where US is reactively defending against Japan invasion. Just a straw man.

    2. “At that point its fine if UK doesnt get a navy until UK2/UK3 since G isnt progressing with the actual axis wincondition: pressure on Russia.”

    Which again completely ignores natural development.

    If you assume Germany is incredibly stupid and self-destructs, great, Allies control Africa, Allies control Europe, Allies control Pacific, fantastic, uber, supreme.

    But if you assume Germany is not incredibly stupid, if the Allies don’t apply pressure, then the Allies get stalled out in the Atlantic while Japan builds up. And to TRY to be perfectly clear, I’m not talking about this boring brute force brainless stupidity buildup that some players apparently assume is the only thing their opponents are capable of. Japan takes Asia, it takes Africa, it builds a fat income while Germany stalls in Europe. “Pressure on Russia” is not a timed stack pushing with Germany trying to choke off Russia’s income; Germany accepts Russia has more income in exchange for controlling UK/US in the Atlantic; Germany’s naval costs in the Atlantic are offset by Germany not needing to build nearly so many ground units to defend. It is not the same as the 11 inf 2 art G1 buy into timing pressure at all; it is a longer Axis game that wins on attrition, and if the Allies don’t play accurately in Africa and Europe, if they misallocate forces, the Allies will NOT recover the timing, and the Axis WILL win.

    And if I didn’t explore exactly how that happens in this thread? Excuse me if I say that spelling out all the details is not my job. Because it’s not. If someone’s interested, sure, if it’s relevant, sure, but my point to begin with was competent Allied play prevents that from happening.

    1. Posts would be a lot more convincing, platinum whatever, already been over it. Don’t care, not interested. But I’m just saying that because I’m scared? Right, so I hopped in a time machine and posted on various forums saying hey let’s play out some analytical games weeks ago, so I could point to those threads now and say “hey look, I really AM interested in discussing and analyzing mathematically good play”. Whatever.

    2. Not exactly fair? Sigh. This is how you think. There is “fair” there is “platinum” there is “rank” there are all these hierarchies and things that have nothing to do with anything in actuality but in your perception shapes everything.

    Look. I bought the German carrier to begin with because I thought it would be a fun line for viewers. Not because I thought it was mathematically sound. Just as I did a R1 retreat from West Russia to mass-fortify Karelia with a Baltic attack - not because I’m scared of losing. But because it’s FUN, you know? I refused to use calculation tools for the match, and I didn’t write out any projections either. Why? Because I’ve throttled players with numbers before. It’s just as exciting as watching paint dry. For the players that watch and understand exactly what’s going on, I play a line they’ve seen a hundred times before and if I play it more accurately, so what? Still boring.

    And do I say Sealion works? Read the title of the thread. (Answer is no). Do I say R1 Baltic attack and retreat from W Rus to Karelia works? I sure as hell didn’t. Probably I wrote a book in the comments saying “this isn’t a solid line, don’t try this at home”.

    So I got bent at the sea zone, and what? Then I had a shortage of brain cells and placed the carrier in the Baltic, which was obviously dumb because the UK battleship was still alive. I mean, really, that was just bad. Obviously I wasn’t thinking. And you know? TTG was such a good sportsman, he said do you want to do over? And I said no.

    You know why?

    Same reason I’d fight with two hands and a leg tied behind my back, which is exactly what I’m doing if I’m not using calculation tools or running projections. Because it’ll be fun, to watch and to play. And I expect ol’ TTG found, even in concurrent games where he could replicate my tech from one game to another, I didn’t just roll over and die.

    The real fact of the matter is - there’s no use in someone complaining things weren’t “fair”. If they got the 6% result, if they got the 2% result, it happens. A player has got to be able to handle that stuff in stride and not worry about “fair” or whatever. (And if it’s weird to the point that maybe “fair” IS a question, well, I did talk about having analytics and breaker teams. But I digress).

    And if I failed the UK battleship battle? So what? It’s the risk I took. Probably I kept the cruiser back, sent all the subs, played greedy and took subs before fighters. I don’t remember what it was exactly, but I’ll bet it was greedy, and you know why? Because I usually play greedy, I think it’s fun. If it works, great, fast game. If it doesn’t work, great, interesting game.

    And if I felt the games were played out and resigned both instead of playing it out? So what? I like to play things fast. Do I really need to run Japanese air all over Europe, AGAIN? Do I really need to throttle Axis with attrition, AGAIN? Once the position’s developed to a certain point, whether it’s “winning” or “losing” or “uncertain”, the key decisions are made and it’s just a matter of accurate play along predetermined lines based on game mechanics. Eurgh.

    1. A decent opponent? By your standards? I know, we all have to judge the world through our personal lens, of course I can’t expect you to have the same standards I have. It’s not about “higher” or “lower”, just different. But if you must (shrug)

    I keep a record of the 1942 Online players I’ve played. Out of I think 780 or so players on my record, I found less than 0.5% interesting enough to consider it worth my time playing them again.

    It’s very rare, that I find players I consider competent, and the list shrank over time, not grew. How could it shrink? If I played with someone again, I’d watch their plays and look at the notes I took from previous games. Was it really that they understood the German-Japanese cooperative timing? Was that Buryatia fortification a lucky fluke or a calculated gamble? If they’re good at slow-stack mechanics, are they also good at fast-stack mechanics? You can tell by their play, and it’s not just one thing. You look at the pacing, you look at their contingencies, you see how the parts of what they do interact with other parts, how they interact with other players, and you get a pretty good idea, especially if you’re paying attention.

    TTG’s a content creator, and I respect that. I think generally games should be entertaining to watch, I think a lot of players in the meta have this really stolid boring (and wrong) idea of what “good” play is. Being a (self-proclaimed) nice aardvark, of course I want interesting games for the viewers.

    But I’d watched some of TTG’s games on Youtube before he played me.

    So here I am (self-proclaimed) nice aardvark. On the one hand, let’s give them a show. But am I so nice that I’m going to throw away an opportunity that comes in less than 0.5% of games? Am I going to come out of retirement to install 1942 Online whose altered mechanics I don’t care for, for a community that really hasn’t been supportive (or even comprehending), to play against TTG, and waste not just one, but two games, refusing to use calculations or projections against a player, not pursuing the mathematically correct lines of play, giving up taking a closer look at opponent responses under mathematically correct and fully analyzed lines of play, possibly getting, from an “interesting” opponent, something I’d never considered? Perhaps (and probably) not, but would I give up on that possibility?

    To you, maybe that was a game where I was trying my hardest against a proven opponent to demonstrate German Baltic fleet is viable. But that has nothing to do with reality.

    You can dig through old posts on Steam, I’ve been saying Baltic fleet isn’t good for almost two years now. Like what, suddenly I forgot all the mathematics and projections I’d ever explained, and thought German Baltic fleet was a great idea?

    I remember TTG saying on Reddit that I just wanted to be “different” or some such. I believe I replied that I don’t claim to be different (I don’t), I don’t claim to be original. I’ve said before, I’ll say again. you look at Don Rae’s essays, all the same stuff, the same approaches, same ideas. Different application maybe, but Don’s essays were for an earlier version. And if I wanted to say but I haven’t read anyone else write what I do? Nobody goes into the details like I do? So what? Crack open a mathematics textbook. It’s all there. Tactics, strategy? That too.

    All I say is players should build on the basics, understand the mathematics, understand the principles, then simply apply. And often, the application is not what supposedly “top platinum” players say, it certainly isn’t “a waste of time” to look at the details, because that’s simply not what the mathematics supports.

    Sure, for real-life applications, you’ve got to understand the importance of observational versus theoretical, but for an abstract construct with a very limited ruleset, the applications are simple, and you can’t and shouldn’t ignore them any more than you should ignore the odds when playing cards or dice or any such thing. You try to claim “a winner is a winner”, see how long that holds out in Vegas. No system, just ride that raw luck, see how long that lasts.

    And I think I made the point on Youtube comments too; it’s not even R1 Baltic attack and retreat from West Russia to fortify Karelia is “new”. Nor is German Baltic fleet “new”. Maybe it’s exciting for the kids, but for those that understand the game mathematically it’s simply another application of core principles that transposes into very much the same lines over time.

    Sigh, people saying what I’m trying to prove, or what I’m trying to do, or what I’m whatever, without any regard for what’s actually happening. And if I were #1 ranked platinum, there would just be so much more of it. And if people said shut up, don’t backtalk aardvark he’s #1 platinum, even worse. Then I have to explain how thinking is important, the shortcomings of the ranking implementation, how the last thing I want of anyone is that they just “shut up” (so long as they can actually follow and maybe even contribute meaningfully to a discussion anyways), players get angry that I’m asking them to be nice to other players, and just so much whatever.

  • 2022

    I agree that the video is a low blow.

    Aardvark, your posts are so long and meandering that it is difficult to engage in this format. Maybe in a discussion or actual play game, your views would be clearer.

    Principles, logic, and math are all useful towards the goal of becoming a stronger Axis and Allies player. But these hypotheses are empirically tested through actual games and whether it leads to better outcomes and more wins. Quintin and I generally aren’t commenting with the same degree of specificity as you are. Such detail distracts from the main insight.

    Back to the original topic. Germany “sealion” attempting to take UK capital early (rounds 2-4) is a weak strategy that has a low axis win rate. This is because germany pays a high opportunity cost of less pressure on Russia and because Allies can powerfully repel this line. Starting with buying 8 inf into UK round 1 and following up with merging us and UK fleets round 3. By round, germany’s fleet is dead barring extraordinary circumstances.

  • @boston_nwo

    For the lead-in, nicely said, and fair enough.

    But discussion and actual play games don’t make my views clear.

    With discussion, it’s something like

    “Why did you leave an infantry at Buryatia?”
    “To pressure Japan”
    “Sure, but why won’t Japan just hit Buryatia with infantry from Manchuria and a fighter?”
    “But that’ll tie up Japanese air”
    “What else is Japan going to use it for?”
    “Hawaiian Islands, cleaning up UK’s fleet”
    “What does UK plan to do with its fleet?”
    “I don’t know, you tell me.”
    “What do you want?”
    “I hadn’t thought about it”
    “So you left an infantry at Buryatia without really thinking through the details. But if UK does this, and this, and this, then Japan cleans up UK’s fleet, hits Buryatia, and can counter any US1 push to Iwo Jima”
    “Iwo Jima? Why?”
    “US can interdict both of Japan’s sea zones from there, destroying any new unprotected submarine builds. Japan can unite its fleet at one of Japan’s sea zones to protect newly built subs but that locks Japan’s navy to that sea zone, meaning its transports aren’t free to develop Japan’s position in Asia. So Japan doesn’t want that to happen, but Japan can prevent it anyways.”
    “But then US has a carrier and fighter and sub at Hawaii, that’s worth 30 IPCs”
    “Yes, but Japan doesn’t care because 1942 Online’s altered mechanics mean UK and US can’t work together for KJF properly at all. Here, I’ll give you a link”
    “This is a lot, I can’t . . .”
    “It’s okay. So anyways, what was your projection on G4’s attack into West Russia?”
    “I mean, you just completed USSR’s combat phase; we’re in noncombat now. What were the expected percentages and contingencies off Germany’s expected responses?”
    “Germany’s fourth turn?”
    “Yes, you know how many USSR units were lost at West Russia and Ukraine. You can project Germany’s builds and counter. It’s okay, you don’t have to do full builds, but you do need to have at least the most probable and an estimation of risk.”
    “Germany knows you lost four units at West Russia and did badly at Ukraine. USSR’s defense is tight given regular dice, with unfavorable dice we know Germany will try to choke off USSR’s income quite early, because why wouldn’t they? If you keep that infantry at Buryatia, it’s not going to be able to reinforce West Russia on R4, which means you must have calculated the G4 projections.”
    “I didn’t.”
    “What I think happens - Japan has no reason not to hit Buryatia, so it does, with enough that probably the USSR infantry dies and even if lucky doesn’t inflict significant losses to Japan. Germany tries to choke off West Russia, and who knows how the dice will go, but right now, just off what we’re seeing, we expect Germany to do well. The USSR infantry is wasted on Buryatia, and though infantry are cheap, it’s still 3 IPCs worth of unit that you won’t get back, in a bad-odds defense, for no positional advantage.”
    “But I have three infantry at Yakut”
    “All right, so let’s say you commit 12 IPCs of units to slowing Japan from conquering 1-2 IPCs worth of territory for perhaps one turn. You weaken your stacks in Europe for later, and you will want those numbers when the time comes. Even then, what is the opportunity cost of the units you commit to the east? Do you just keep that infantry on Yakut? If Japan drops more units to Soviet Far East and/or Buryatia, and again why wouldn’t they, how do you fight off even three Japanese ground units plus three air units? 3 IPCs of infantry were already lost at Buryatia, now another 9 IPCs of infantry at Yakut, and again, we expect Germany not to hit West Russia right about then because . . .?”
    “Oh, I remember, you mentioned this, UK and US just fly in fighters.”
    “Yes, and I also mentioned the more fighters UK and US build, the less transports and escorts they have in the Atlantic.”
    “So I retreat from West Russia”
    “Yes, so USSR’s position collapses, Germany gets more income to feed into its superior stack sizes and logistics, you used 12 IPCs of units to protect 3 or 4 IPCs worth of territory for 1 or 2 turns against Japan whose stack sizes weren’t the immediate threat, granting Germany which is the immediate threat 4 IPCs of solid income as Belorussia is no longer contested and West Russia is contested. I don’t say that’s wrong, but you see how that’s against just about every principle I explained about stack building and bleeding, the expected projections of KGF and anti-KGF, so what is it that USSR gains, precisely, with that infantry at Buryatia?”
    “It can’t make that much difference.”
    “Well, here you see in the sixtieth percentile it makes a twelve percent difference in expected outcomes for a major stack battle of 250 IPCs. Now you see how close this is to what I said was the general tipping point, and how the two-peak model and Germany’s being able to retreat then move up reinforcements is not the same as USSR’s having to defend a major stack and if losing it probably lose the game outright. The projection supports Germany attacking, even if Germany gets bad dice it can still retreat and expect to win the game, if Germany gets good dice then the game basically ends right there. So why would Germany not attack? What advantage do we gain from leaving an infantry in Buryatia that offsets that twelve percent swing in projected outcomes?”
    (Fudging the numbers, but it can actually be calculated.)
    “I’ll move that infantry out of Buryatia.”

    Long and meandering, yes. But it’s all relevant (and by the way, far from complete). And that’s if you have a player that already knows all the basic theory and some simpler applications.

    If it’s not discussion but actual games, players only see what happens after the fact, not the reasoning. That game where US bought six battleships and blew Japan out in the Pacific, people don’t understand battleships are bad, they don’t think about Japan spending 60 IPCs on industrial complexes it didn’t even use, they judge by results. “Wow, battleships”. I don’t like calling it post hoc as that comes off as dismissive, and how else can players judge results except through their experiences? But it is what it is.

    Keep it short? But that leaves things unaddressed.

    Suppose I just kept it short and said UK1 eleven ground units, no consideration of UK2, G3, whatever. Just boop, G2 London probably doesn’t happen, left it at that. Short. Simple. But also inadequate.

    What if I then say UK1 eleven ground units, UK2 three ground units save 19 IPC, UK3 fleet drop carrier, destroyer, transports, US3 reinforces, UK4 the Australia transport makes joins the rest of the fleet. Then I say UK transposes out of excess land units on London with five transports offloading from London a turn into a slightly altered version of the same basic KGF used against a 11 inf 2 art buy, only of course now Germany’s down a load of ground units. Doesn’t that seem plausible?

    But it’s not. Because when UK doesn’t put the pressure on Germany, Germany has any number of options including Baltic fleet reinforcement and unification of the Baltic and Mediterranean fleets. G2 control of the Atlantic means the Allies cannot be certain they can hit the Baltic sea zone with destroyers, as Germany has a load of navy and air in range to blow up any destroyers in range. So Germany can safely build cheap subs at the Baltic sea zone which prevents the UK3 fleet from being built, because even with US3 reinforcement it’s still a losing stack battle for UK/US. And yes, Germany doesn’t want to trade with UK/US, yes, Germany wants to bleed out USSR’s stacks, but where in this projection are the Allies slowing Japan? They’re not. There’s no easy obvious Axis victory, but at least the game proceeds exactly as the Axis could reasonably hope for; UK/US are delayed in Europe, Germany continues to fight off USSR in Europe, though USSR has more income in Europe, Japan starts bleeding out USSR and grabbing income from Africa and the Pacific and masses its air in Europe. We can’t say the Axis win, but they’ll certainly have an opportunity. We can’t say the Allies lose, they’ll have counterplay, but it’s by no means assured Allies will win either. Eventually UK/US can overpower Germany in the Atlantic. But when Japan flies in a monstrous air force with Germany maintaining a fair-sized air force of its own, the Allied fleets get locked unless the Allies lock themselves to the Finland/Norway sea zone (preventing UK from trading Baltic, NW Europe, and France) or UK/US build even more defensive escort, both options work for the Axis. It’s not that the massive Axis air armadas are cost-efficient against USSR ground units, but with UK/US cut off, USSR is alone. Using Axis air to threaten UK/US at sea while also beating down USSR on land is ideal for Axis.

    Why give the Axis the possibility of winning in the long game when you can crush them in the short game? I’m not saying the Axis have fantastic chances in the long game, everything I wrote about Japan not being able to help Germany properly with 1942 Online’s altered mechanics still applies.

    Must all details be explained? If not, why would a player think a UK1 infantry buy should be avoided? A player might think they can just cleanly transpose out of excess infantry on London, except they don’t know that maybe they can’t.

    But though you’re absolutely convinced there must be a counterexample, you can’t come up with one? Okay. But the farther you get from using actual numbers, the more nebulous things get. It’s no longer a discussion, it’s just people venting their personal opinions in others’ general direction. No change, no growth, just people firmly convinced they’re right.

    If someone said UK1 all infantry buy means Germany successfully captures Washington, I’d say that was wrong, but absent evidence, and respecting everyone’s opinion, that opinion has got to be given equal time. And if only top platinum players can talk the discussion is limited, and who’s even to say that the top platinum players are really good anyways?


    Better outcomes and more wins. Details detracting from insight.

    The obvious analogy is an engineer that explains actual practice to an academician. The “simple” guide being less confusing.

    But engineers don’t disagree with academicians on principle. They have real practical reasons or they wouldn’t object.

    How do you get “more wins”? In a weak meta? You know your opponent will mess up. All you need is wait it out, they overextend over and over, you smash their stack or bleed them out, the game ends. Easy. Just go for 99.999999% defenses all the time, you’re still going to win. And if you go with 95% defenses? In theory that means you lose more because your opponents were either smart enough to realize at least they had one chance and they took it, or the opponent is so bad they didn’t understand the odds and took a bad attack but won, but whatever, you lost. So just go 99.999999% all the time, every time. Unless you can stick more 9’s at the end.

    But what happens if you have a strong meta? Your opponent isn’t going to mess up. You can’t wait it out. Your opponent is going to try to choke out your income, they’re going to threaten a win by attrition, or they’re going to block off your stack unification and ram stack building / bleeding mechanics down your throat until you choke. If you try to go 99.9999%, or 99%, or even 90%, you’re committing a load of units to one area; your opponent WILL drive into the opening that leaves elsewhere, and you WILL lose as income and attrition put the squeeze on, 90% becomes 85%, then 75%, and so on, until retreat, then the position keeps deteriorating. So instead of trying for 99% all the time you have to do things like 85%, 71%, look at the tempo of the game, the projections, think about your best chances. You just don’t have the luxury of surety.

    If you want to focus on wins, all right. But what’s the target audience? What’s the expected scenario? If a genuinely strong player plays a scrub, is the game really decided by a scrub’s bad-odds reversal, like the “theory” might say? Or in practice will the strong player probably punish a scrub’s overextension first, then the scrub’s position deteriorates, then the stronger player wins in the end anyways?

    If players want better outcomes and more wins, should they train to handle stronger opponents, or not?

    When I put it like that, the answer seems pretty clear. But -

    The simple guide being less confusing? Simple is good.

    But what insights are really gained from keeping it simple? If it can be kept simple, okay, but what if it can’t be kept simple?

    You saw the complications I addressed about just one infantry in Buryatia, but I could go on for fifty pages explaining the exact significance of that single Buryatia infantry, and when I say fifty, I mean that’s just where I’d stop, feeling I made my point. No need to actually write out another five hundred or even five thousand pages.

    By the time you really understand the significance of a single infantry on Buryatia, you understand Axis and Allies itself.


    But if I make references like “judge a lone infantry on Buryatia by its IPC value, do you? And well you should not.” “I don’t believe it.” “That . . . is why you fail.” - simple, memorable, even funny. But is it entertainment or insight? What of that tells you to leave the infantry at Buryatia or not?

    “Hypotheses are empirically tested through actual games”. Sounds impressive, and true to boot. So why not.

    It sounds impressive, the same sort of thing professionals write. But cutting and pasting phrases from a professional document doesn’t mean whoever’s doing the cut and paste job is a professional on the cut and pasted subject. Yes, they might be. But they might not be.

    Who’s formulating the hypotheses? How does the process of formulating hypotheses work? What are these hypotheses, exactly? Why is it those hypotheses and not others? What is the acceptance or rejection process? What is the procedure for testing hypotheses? What are the acceptance criteria? The rejection criteria? What is the system for peer review?

    Top platinum players? That presupposes platinum players have high competency. But I question that. What of high initial k-values and low k-values later? What of the 24 hour limit on ranked games? What of the awkward UI that means player skill doesn’t necessarily directly translate to performance? What of players that drag out their turns trying to get an opponent to miss a login? Or what if a platinum player decides simply to lie, and not only lie, but to get others to lie, to spread disinformation that weakens the meta - not necessarily because they’re pathetic losers that place too much importance on rank, but just for the fun of it because they’re trolls.

    How are hypotheses formulated? People just come up with whatever idea? Players will disagree over what is and what isn’t a valid hypotheses. For one player they’d say “it works, therefore end of discussion”. Another would say “but what of opportunity costs”, yet another “what happens to the position four turns from now”, and yet another “nothing of value is being tested because this should never happen in the first place”. Then say four others will agree with the first player because they’re “friends”, four others disagree with the first player because they’re “enemies”. No method, just madness.

    When is something accepted, when is it rejected? Is everyone responsible for their own findings? No pretense of quality control, everyone rules over their own personal fiefdom of empirical truth? Or is it a matter of votes so a popularity contest?

    Or say everyone’s trained, everyone agrees to abide by a code, everyone agrees to record proper documentation, there is regular peer review, no corruption - how does that happen?

    Dealing with numbers has issues, but so does not dealing with numbers.

    @boston_nwo said in Why Sealion Doesn't Work (Maybe) (edit - in 1942 Online):

    Back to the original topic. Germany “sealion” attempting to take UK capital early (rounds 2-4) is a weak strategy that has a low axis win rate. This is because germany pays a high opportunity cost of less pressure on Russia and because Allies can powerfully repel this line. Starting with buying 8 inf into UK round 1 and following up with merging us and UK fleets round 3. By round, germany’s fleet is dead barring extraordinary circumstances.

    By what round Germany’s fleet is dead? Which? The Baltic? Mediterranean? Both?

    Also would you care to specify USSR’s first round?

    Yes, I know 🙄

    If USSR first round is specified then it goes against “keep it simple”.

    But if USSR first round isn’t specified I can have USSR do whatever stupid thing. I probably wouldn’t leave two fighters sitting alone on Karelia or build a USSR battleship, but USSR triple attack, bomber buy, Buryatia fortification, all fair game.

    Similarly, I can do UK and US battleship buys. I can have the Allies abandon Africa, I can bleed USSR units to the east.

    Straw man army? Not at all.

    Suppose we’re talking “highly skilled” players, whatever that means. Germany could capture London, the player at least notices that much and defends. But then you don’t need to tell that player to build on London. They know. Merging UK and US fleets on UK3/US3? Again, they know. If Germany gets lucky or does Atlantic shenanigans that’s just when the Allies unite their fleet in KGF, hard for the Axis to stop but not impossible.

    So we’re not talking highly skilled players as they didn’t need to read that in the first place. We’re talking intermediate players that have some idea of what’s happening? Raw beginners?

    Intermediate player pulls a USSR triple attack. Why not? Maybe they heard about W Rus / 9 to Ukr and don’t like it. Doesn’t USSR have to weaken Germany’s stacks? Doesn’t USSR want income? A triple attack can secure that income. They’re not thinking about USSR producing 7 units a turn and Germany 13, how a triple attack into failure or even German counter simply cuts USSR’s numbers to threaten off Germany’s stack on later turns. Stack building and bleeding, timings, projections with numbers, they’re not there yet. Heck, maybe even “advanced” players aren’t there yet. Who says when someone’s advanced? Me? You?

    Or the beginning player sends units into China and east Asia. Hopefully not. One would hope. But why not? Nobody said they shouldn’t. And let’s face it, Flying Tigers, pretty cool, yeah? Don’t want to just let Japan walk all over east Asia unopposed. So why not.

    Battleships? I put up a couple guides on Steam, in one I wrote don’t get battleships, there were so many helpful players that popped in to tell me how GOOD battleships really were. Have I ever considered you can absorb hits with battleships round after round? Saves a lot of IPCs, you know. (They can naval bombard too.) In a way, it’s touching. It’s a testament to the faith people have in themselves. And it’s always nice to see sincere players wanting to help one another. Doesn’t that just make you feel more positive about life in general?

  • @aardvarkpepper

    I think one combination the “sealion” build for uk works with is for japan taking india in round 2.

    for this you use the battleship to take trans-jordan, to block troops from

    as UK fortifies London, it leaves India weak. if UK tries to take Borneo in r1, then Japan should buy 1 bomber, 2 transports, send everything it can to Burma (1 tank, 2inf, 1art), and attack china to get the us fighter, and uk fighter if it lands there (1 bomber, 2 fighters, 1inf, 1 art).

    if uk is really stupid and doesn’t kill one of the transports japan starts with, then put two more units in burma in r1

    leave one lot of US troops untouched. and don’t build industry complex - you can use India’s.

    you land all your aircraft in Thailand. or on a aircraft carrier in the adjacent sea zone.

    the r2 battle, Japan can attack India with 1 tank, 4inf, 1 art, 5 fighters, 2 bombers. if the r2 attempt doesn’t work, you have 4 more units landing in Burma to finish things off in r3. then you backtrack and clean up whatever mess Russia potentially caused you.

    I think the other aspect is that even if the r2 battle for England is low-ish odds (2-1 against), if Germany does win the battle and take england, then the chance of winning the game goes up a lot.
    if you take a game with 2 good players, the odds are likely something like 50-50 anyway.

    I think it’s a better counter for Russia to not attack Ukraine in r1. and instead attack Baltic states, belorussia, and West Russia - chance of getting 30 ipc and has a better chance of those 3 battles being won cheaply. this increases the risk for Germany that Russia can take Germany in r3 after sending everything into England. this means even if Germany wins and gets all uk income, they risk handing the uk income + german income to russia.
    (note, I’ve seen this happen as well when Germany goes super aggressive for russia - building in karelia and caucusus, uk takes Germany after they take russia)

  • @bob-loblaw
    I did not see enough in your post to change my mind about how it plays out. I’m open to the possibility Sealion works (hence the ambiguous title), but as far as I see, the evidence is against.

    “As UK fortifies London, it leaves India weak.” Rather than starting with unsubstantiated assertion, start with positions, numbers, and walk through the options.

    But it’s not “unsubstantiated assertion”? Well, let’s flip it. Say I claim UK can fortify London and NOT leave India weak. We wouldn’t be having a discussion, we’d just be bouncing unsubstantiated assertions off one another, you know?

    Other things that we could look at - landing all air in Thailand or adjacent sea zone, J2 capturing India, acceptable odds for Germany capturing London on G2+, USSR not hitting Ukraine on R1 and instead doing a USSR triple open, timing on Allied counters into Berlin.

    If you’re up for working the numbers, let’s have that discussion. I’ll post later with some numbers on the India situation. I’m not saying I’m going to break it all down, but I’ll put some stuff out there for discussion.

  • In this post I address only some of why I disagree with “as UK fortifies London, it leaves India weak”, in context of a Germany first round Baltic buy threatening invasion of London, using the LHTR setup, regular dice, and playing to win.

    What is a reasonable R1 open? I say 9 Ukr, remainder W Rus, intending to destroy the German bomber on Ukraine, then either retreating to Caucasus if USSR has a lot of units remaining, or capturing or clearing Ukraine if USSR has few units remaining.

    (bob-loblaw mentioned hitting Baltic States, Belorussia, and West Russia, which I disagree with. Any USSR triple attack risks bad dice leaving an opening for Germany. Leaving Ukraine in particular gives Germany attacks into both West Russia and Caucasus.)

    Noncombat moves an infantry to join the US fighter in China, moves units in northeast Asia towards Karelia, lands fighters in Archangel.

    Investment of a USSR infantry may either preserve a valuable US fighter or pose some risk to Japan’s air. The odds of destroying Japanese air are not great, but considering opportunity costs and the risk, Japan may choose not to hit that territory at all.

    Units in northeast Asia push towards Karelia. They’re needed to threaten/reduce the Axis defensive stack that will build up on Karelia.

    Fighters land in Archangel because there’s no other good place for them to go. First, assuming capture of Ukraine, which is reasonably likely:

    If we assume Germany builds a Med carrier to join its Med fleet and properly carries out other Med clearing attacks so UK can’t clear with good odds, even both USSR fighters on Caucasus would be of little use.

    Assuming instead the German Med fleet is used to capture Trans-Jordan (and destroy the UK destroyer), 2 UK fighters and 1 UK bomber have less than 3% to mutual wipe with the German battleship, followed by a USSR fighter on Caucasus picking up the undefended German transport before G2.

    There is some chance Germany may attempt to capture Caucasus even with USSR capturing Ukraine, but that has bad outcomes for Germany if capture of Caucasus fails. The UK destroyer in the Mediterranean can be used as fodder, reducing the cost to UK air. Without German ground reinforcements in Africa, Germany in Africa is much easier to control.

    Assuming USSR does not capture Ukraine, that could break down into either bad dice (which happens, there’s no great outcomes for Allies in that event but oh well), or neutral-good dice in which USSR destroyed the bomber and retreated a chunk of units to safety. Depending on W Rus outcomes, maybe USSR will want to land 1-2 fighters on Caucasus for “safety”, but there is reason for USSR to calculate things out and NOT land fighters on Caucasus.

    Why land USSR fighters on Archangel? USSR doesn’t know what Germany will do exactly, or what openings UK may carry out, and in 1942 Online can’t even know whether the USSR submarine will submerge as it’s submergence is controlled by the UK player, and unlike the board game the Allies can’t even respond appropriately and select casualties after seeing dice rolls which is ridiculous but I digress. Anyways for the first few reasons is enough; it may be that the German Baltic transport survives, and a single USSR fighter (at least) should be left to pick the transport off, as that means 2 less units can be moved from Berlin to Karelia next turn. Yes, it’s that important.

    But also, the USSR fighters and USSR submarine can pose a threat to German Baltic navy builds, and USSR fighters on Archangel can reinforce London in case of a German Baltic build. (There’s also the possibility of countering Buryatia if Japan plays very badly, like bad enough to win awards for being bad.)

    The takeaway here is two USSR fighters on Archangel is very reasonable, and should even be expected. Even if there aren’t two fighters on, there should certainly be one. If there aren’t any fighters on Archangel, it amounts to either assuming the Allies had middling-lousy dice so both USSR fighters had to land on Caucasus - yet not COMPLETELY lousy dice or landing USSR fighters on Caucasus would just see the territory overrun by Germany anyways, destroying both USSR fighters - OR assuming the Allies player is completely incompetent.

    The assertion we’re looking at claims the Germany player builds a Baltic fleet, and that threatens London enough that India is left underdefended. But let’s think about what, exactly, that means. What the risks are.

    Let’s say Gemany does not hit the UK battleship/destroyer. That would leave UK with battleship, destroyer, two fighters, and bomber to hit Germany’s Baltic fleet. How does that play out?

    1. Germany uses cruiser to block, buys carrier for Baltic sea zone, buys mass transports to “force” UK defense of London. This leaves UK with a free shot, with a USSR followup, and thanks to 1942 Online’s rules changes Japanese fighters can’t land on a German carrier, not that they would have range, but whatever. Also notice how in the board game the player could see a G1 carrier/mass transport buy, see the Sealion incoming, then just choose to submerge the USSR submarine for an odds-on attack against Germany’s very expensive Baltic fleet. Yes, 1942 Online rules changes and defensive profiles are lame, but oh well. Anyways, with both UK and USSR having pretty decent shots at the Baltic sea zone, probably it ends badly for Germany.

    2. Germany buys carrier and destroyer for Baltic sea zone, then as above, and with both UK and USSR threatening the sea zone that doesn’t necessarily end up well for Germany either. Veterans of the board game will probably roll their eyes as they lament how stupid it is that Germany can’t assign casualties after seeing roll outcomes, so preserve that destroyer against a possible USSR threat, nor can Germany fine-tune matters so a single fighter is lost first instead of BOTH fighters then the carrier, and there’s a lot of defensive profile lousiness that shows up here but again oh well. Anyways what with 1942 Online rules changes and defensive profile limits, Germany’s chances still aren’t great.

    3. Germany buys even more defensive fleet, which means it buys less transports, then the threat on London is less, and what with up to two USSR fighters and the US bomber landing on London and the German Med fleet being cut off, the threat against London is not so great, certainly to the point that UK can afford to buy three ground units for India.

    . . . and at some point Germany has to think about the UK East Canada fleet, the US East US fleet, and how it will allocate its attacks against the UK battleship/destroyer/transport/USSR submarine fleet. Whatever isn’t hit has to be dealt with, and that affects both the G2 threat to London and any potential G2 build that may want to double down to hit London.

    What this all means is, players can look at the board and play against players that don’t play correctly, and think it works out so a Sealion threat must be over-reacted to, forcing early Japanese capture of India. But it doesn’t work out that way at all.

    One of the nastier things I haven’t gotten into is what happens if UK doesn’t even need to buy ground for London (or at least, can split between ground and air). Fighters are pretty potent defenders for London, but those fighters also threaten any German navy.

    The worst-case scenario, and what I think can pretty much be forced, is Germany spends a lot of resources on transports that can’t fight. Granted those transports improve logistics to Finland and Norway, and some nice things come out of that, and there’s improvement of timing to Karelia. But a German Baltic fleet also has to be protected against an ever-increasing threat from the Allies, and if Germany doesn’t escape in the first couple rounds, there’s not much Germany can do except cower in the Baltic waiting to be sunk. They can’t escape from the Baltic as they run right into US naval/air buys mobilized on US’s East Coast sea zone, and US ramps up pretty quick.

    In the meantime, sure, Allied naval transport timings in Atlantic suffer, and there are other small compensations. But most of those compensations are lost in the end; Germany just doesn’t have the mass of ground units it needs to protect key locations, and UK/US air assets that were used to threaten/destroy Germany’s Baltic fleet can be used to defend territories in Europe/protect the Allied Atlantic fleet.


    Besides USSR being able to defend London, USSR may also protect India. I’m not saying it’s a great thing for USSR, but if Japan does too much rushing, USSR can stick a wrench in the works. If Germany had a solid ground game then maybe Germany could pry an opening in Europe while the Allies are committing to India. But if Germany built a load of Baltic navy, then things may not work out so well for Axis. The Allies control too much of the timing, and the Allied counter for one transposes into the Allied counter for the other.

  • @aardvarkpepper

    regarding the threat, if ussr doesn’t conquer Ukraine, then Germany can send the following to the uk on r2
    4 infantry
    4 tanks
    6 fighters
    1 bomber

    that is 38 attack power…

    uk starts with
    2 infantry
    1 artillery
    1 tank
    2 fighters
    1 bomber
    1 aa gun

    that is 18 attack power (+aa)…

    on this simulator (https://sinclairtarget.com/axis-and-allies/), this gives 99% chance of victory. so uk has to do something to respond to the german build. so uk fleet re-building in round 1 is pretty much off the table.

    so, as a guide we could say that at least 20 defence power needs to be added to uk starting units.

    • list item

    hence, sea lion does delay a kgf strategy (eg build carrier, destroyer, 3 inf for india).

    if you add…
    the 2 ussr fighters and the us bomber…
    add the tank from Canada (assuming Germany didn’t destroy your transport)…
    ussr takes Ukraine in round 1, reduce german force by 1 fighter and 1 bomber

    chances of success are still 73%

    so a really aggressive build in India is off the table (eg 3 fighters is something you might consider for a kjf strategy) - already the sea lion has an effect on what is built in india

    if uk buys 1 fighter and 1 infantry in London, the chances drop to 34%

    that is a pretty big risk to lose your capital!

    also, the expected defender loss is likely to be all/most of the ground troops, and some fighters/bombers…so you probably won’t have a strong force to counter with, and have to rebuild.

    if they buy 4 infantry in uk, chances of r2 win drop further to 13%…

    interesting…if you keep the above the same but ussr doesn’t capture Ukraine. the odds are still 50% for capturing London
    ie the following battle is 50% chance of success
    4 infantry, 4 tanks, 6 fighters, 1 bomber vs
    6 infantry, 1 artillery, 2 tanks, 4 fighters, 2 bombers, 1aa gun
    (the simulator I use doesn’t account for cruiser bombardment, so odds are a little higher, something like 55%, as reducing uk to 5 infantry is a 67% chance of victory)

    that is the best defence you can get while putting 3 tanks in India.

    so it is very risky to build up india if Germany goes sea lion. if you do 3 infantry, then you can add 3 more infantry to uk, and the odds go down to 12%.

    So, it seems like the best thing ussr can do in round 1 to make sea lion have low chance of r2 capture is to take Ukraine, and land its 2 fighters in archangel. if ussr doesn’t do both, then sea lion might make some sense.

    I note this strategy doesn’t stop german assault on either Egypt or trans-jordan or caucusus with that battleship (as it is obvious that allies can always stop the battleship + transport from getting to uk).
    so you can still use the bomber in r1 to attack Egypt, then land in Italy for uk assault.

    given the standard Egypt battle has around 55% chance of german victory, this goes well with sea lion, as it is hard for uk to reinforce when defending sea lion.

    I do like the idea of submerging the ussr sub - gives the option to attack Baltic fleet with sub+2 fighters…
    but…in order for it to work, you would need to kamikaze the uk planes into Baltic fleet in round 1, and basically try to destroy german fleet in uk+ussr combo…
    if uk gets 2 hits, then ussr has 64% chance of destroying the Baltic fleet. if uk gets 3 hits, then ussr is basically certain to clean up.

    That battle would be expensive, and pretty much offsets the cost Germany spent on the sea lion strategy (uk probably loses 32 ipc from planes, and ussr maybe loses the sub…so 32-38 ipc lost compared to germanys 35 ipc spent in r1 on transports and aircraft carrier). so not really a point against the sea lion if this is the counter used…just a large ipc trade each way…

    also, you would need to buy 7 inf and 1 fighter as uk if you tried this counter, just in case the battle goes badly (eg uk planes only get 1 or 0 hits)…then nothing gets placed in India…

    further, the ussr fighters are not being used in r2 to attack eastern Europe.

    in more simple terms, if uk build 7 inf and 1 fighter in uk, then Germany odds of winning fall substantially.

    the other aspect of sea lion is Germany can potentially have another shot at london in round 3, as there usually isn’t much that can attack the german ships after the first battle in r2.

    that means another potential round of “weak” buying in India.

    btw regarding the ussr Baltic opener, even though it is 3 battles, two of them have >90% chance of victory (3inf, 1tank, 1fighter vs 3inf) and (8inf, 3tanks, 2artillery vs 3inf 1art 1tank), and you prevent Germany from putting 9 infantry + multiple tanks in karelia, which means you have the option to counter attack in round 2.

    It’s also same amount of ground troops are destroyed (2 tanks, 1art, 7 inf), and you only give up 1 tank, 4 inf, 1 art in belorussia + Baltic open compared to taking Ukraine, where you normally give up 3 tanks, 3 inf, 1 art (ie everything you sent in).

    i also leave caucusus moderately defended in baltic opener with 4/5 inf and no aa gun as this tends to suck Germany into trying to take caucusus in round 1 with “too many troops” and adjacent tanks, and they can’t hold it against a counter attack (and ussr can’t build more than 8 units, so not being able to deploy doesn’t matter). it can even suck in the battleship as well which protects Africa a little longer.

    in my view, Baltic opener is an easier round 2 battle. plus you have the chance of 30 ipc for round 2 purchase.

    the main risk for Baltic opener is leaving sea lion option available, or Germany pulling max troops into Ukraine to charge at russia. (something like 7inf/5tanks/4 fighters). but even then you have a half decent chance of attacking this in r2, particularly if you build 2 tanks, 4 inf in r1. depending on West russia battle, could be able to attack with 10 inf, 2 artillery, 5 tanks, 2 fighters. has 40% chance of victory. probably also means that 2 rounds of attacking then retreating will do enough damage to reduce the threat to russia

  • For readers catching up, this is for LHTR setup regular dice.


    Re: “G2 4 inf 4 tank 6 fighter 1 bomber vs London”

    How does that happen, exactly?

    Suppose we assume the German Mediterranean fleet is blocked or destroyed. Suppose we also assume USSR destroyed Germany’s bomber and possibly a fighter on Ukraine. To invade with the listed forces Germany must buy three transports, a carrier, bomber, and fighter, which is 16 more IPCs than it has to spend.

    But even with those assumptions made, Baltic fleet defense is minimal; the Allies may destroy the Baltic fleet outright, with UK then USSR followup as I described earlier.


    Re: “uk fleet re-building in round 1 is pretty much off the table”

    It’s nice to have an early UK fleet, but not essential. But Germany dumping a load of IPCs into Baltic fleet that can be cut off then destroyed is a real issue for the Axis. Germany needs ground units. The German position at Karelia collapses, then the Allies pile in.

    There’s some cute things Germany can pull off with improved logistics to Norway and Finland, and improved logistics to Karelia helps some too. Axis Sealion can be a fun line to play, but if the Allied player is competent, games of Sealion should lose.

    Remember, where you mentioned pulling a USSR triple attack open, I said use 9 Ukr remaining to W Rus open. I don’t like a static boring meta, but if you’re playing to win, you have to acknowledge the strengths of the line. Destroying the German bomber removes a lot of options, that’s why USSR should do it.


    Re: “you can add 3 more infantry to uk, and the odds go down to 12%”

    As I mentioned, I believe those numbers are quite optimistic as I believe the underlying premises behind those numbers are not sound.

    But what happens when UK does add infantry to London? Not much. UK wants to get to the point where it’s dropping 6-8 units from London to Europe every turn. London gets emptied out anyways; if UK is pressured to build ground on London on turn 1 it just means it builds less ground somewhere down the line. Meanwhile Germany’s stuck with a big fleet it can’t defend - especially in 1942 Online with its rules changes forcing players to allocate hits automatically and not being able to respond appropriately, inability to use allied carriers, etc.


    Re: “but…in order for it to work, you would need to kamikaze the uk planes into Baltic fleet in round 1”

    That’s not an issue.

    Re: “expensive, and pretty much offsets the cost Germany spent”

    Also not an issue.

    The problem for both Axis and Allies is how to break the major enemy stack. For Axis early game, this is the combined Allied stack on West Russia. For Allies early game, this is the combined Axis stack on Karelia.

    Germany’s Baltic navy, including German fighters, is vulnerable to destruction. Normally UK cannot pick off Germany’s fighters, as German fighters on territories are protected by a stack of German infantry. German air is difficult to deal with; they threaten Atlantic shipping, they threaten territories in Europe.

    But now UK has an opportunity to blow up things that could threaten the Atlantic navy, that also threaten territories in Europe.

    How would UK normally try to break apart Germany’s major stacks? It normally can’t. German fighters are protected, loads of German infantry are running around. But by dropping a load of IPCs on transports that don’t fight, and tying defense to a sea zone that has no good escape zones, Germany invests heavily in a war it shouldn’t be fighting and cannot win. There are compensations to Germany for building a Baltic fleet, but I say they’re not enough.

    I say the cost to UK is not an issue because German Baltic fleet gives UK an opportunity to directly attack valuable German units relevant to Europe. The cost to UK is well worth it.


    Re: “the ussr fighters are not being used in r2 to attack eastern Europe”

    Well identified. But apply that level of thinking to what happens with a German Sealion build.

    If we’re building optimistic scenarios (which I think is the case if viable Sealion is being claimed), then I could say R2 hard counter into Karelia is still an option.


    “the simulator I use doesn’t account for cruiser bombardment”



    “3 fighters is something you might consider for a kjf strategy”

    I wouldn’t say 3 UK1 fighters on India is a good move. Yes, I know there’s a video, and I expect that video was based off advice given by veterans in the community, but I don’t think that line of play properly considers how much 1942 Online’s changes damage KJF.

    Without going into the details much, changes, and restrict UK so its best options are usually to put out max ground on India and fighters on London, flying to West Russia then India. UK can switch out builds later but that’s how it starts.


    Re: “If ussr doesn’t (take Ukraine and land its 2 fighters in Archangel) then sea lion might make some sense.”

    There’s a few other things USSR can do, but essentially, yes.


    Re: “regarding (triple open into Baltic States, Belorussia, West Russia) . … prevent Germany (stacking Karelia, so possibility of R2 counter into Karelia”, “>90%”

    The question is not only USSR’s initial odds of success, but the resulting position and Germany’s counters.

    1. German stack on Karelia, two things to consider. A) Germany captures Karelia and Baltic States, then moves tanks into Karelia during noncombat. B) Germany builds tanks on Berlin and counters any USSR push into Karelia. USSR will have lost a lot of units on the R1 open so will be very hard pressed to do a R3 counter against the G2 capture.

    2. Germany doesn’t have to no-brainer all-in on Caucasus. Germany has a couple juicy options, attacking West Russia with intent to retreat, trying to blow up those pesky AA guns. Or Germany can use its Med fleet to help capture Caucasus; successful capture means Germany almost certainly keeps its Med fleet for the start of G2, which gives Germany a lot of good options to keep that fleet alive for long-term control of African income and/or improved logistics against southeast Europe. Or some combination, depending on dice outcomes.

  • @aardvarkpepper

    just on your alternatives re Baltic open…

    attacking West russia…
    on Baltic opener (well the way I do it), Germany can only send Ukraine ground units (3 inf, 1 art, 1 tank), as the 3 inf in belorussia are gone + 2 extra tanks from territories behind
    and ussr will have 2 aa guns, 3 tanks, 2 art, 5 inf normally in west russia (sometimes 6 or 4 inf).
    I doubt a smart player would send in fighters+bomber to this battle with 7 ground units…high chance of losing 1 air to aa gun, and unlikely to kill anything except inf from west russia in an early retreat.
    doing the simulator for 3 tanks, 1 art, 3 inf, 2 fighters vs 3 tanks, 2 art, 5 inf, 2 aa guns gives with a retreat after round 1 gives an average ussr ipc loss of 10 ipc vs a 16 ipc lost for germany. adding/subtracting air units just raises/lowers both sides average loss, but the difference is still in ussr favour by around 6 ipc on average. if you are ussr, you want germany to fight these type of battles

    regarding your karelia counter. you are right that germany can put a lot of tanks in karelia in non combat. I think they can get either 5 or 6. but germany can do this anyway with Ukraine opener, as Ukraine has only 1 tank (same as Baltic states).
    so you prefer germany can put 5 tanks and 9 inf in karelia, plus have 4 tanks in Poland, small inf in Ukraine and belorussia? rather than 3-5 inf and 5 tanks

    ussr cannot counter attack karelia cost effectively when Germany outnumbers ussr infantry. and germany can go hard for west russia in r2 if it wants to (9 inf, 9 tanks, 5 fighters), particularly if ussr didn’t take belorussia in r2 to block the 4 tanks from poland.

    it also becomes cost effective to attack w russia and retreat early, as you have 9 inf to absorb hits.

    and regarding the use of med fleet to attack caucasus in r1, this allows uk fleet in India to move to make it nearly impossible to take Egypt in r2, and cause headaches for defending Italy…ie send cruiser, aircraft carrier and both fighters to sz 17, and take the transport to sz 17 and dump 2 more inf in egypt…
    of course, this is risky for india defence. but you can always send the fleet + troops back to India as you control the canal

    not destroying the fighter in egypt also gives uk the option for an even odds battle against japan in sz 37 (1aircraft carrier, 1sub,2cruisers,2 fighters vs 1aircraft carrier,1battleship,2fighters) for a kjf strategy…in fact you could use the result of that battle to decide whether the US goes kjf or kgf.

  • @bob-loblaw

    Re: “ussr will have 2 aa guns, 3 tanks, 2 art, 5 inf normally in west russia (sometimes 6 or 4 inf)”, “attack Baltic states, belorussia, and West Russia”, “ussr Baltic opener . . . two of them have >90% chance of victory (3 inf, 1 tank, 1 fighter vs 3 inf) and (8 inf, 3 tanks, 2 artillery vs 3 inf 1 art 1 tank).”

    . . . and 1 inf 1 art 1 fig vs 1 inf 1 tank at Baltic States, I assume.

    Superficially, the numbers seem to check out. But take a good hard look at the numbers, and not just the net IPC changes, but the resulting positions, counters, and followups remembering dice variance.

    Saying you’ll have 5 infantry at West Russia? Reasonable, but not something to depend on. Sometimes 6? If you get lucky. Sometimes 4? Perhaps, but also you might see 3, 2, or less.

    And what happens in case of cascade failure? Suppose you do a bit badly at West Russia. You’re prepared for that? But suppose you also do badly at Belorussia. Now Germany has more to counter with, and there’s nothing USSR can do about it once the triple has been committed to.

    Nothing can counter super bad dice, but a Ukr/W Rus open is slightly less vulnerable.

    "I doubt a smart player would . . . "

    You really think Germany would hesitate to destroy both USSR’s AA guns, three tanks, and two artillery, and cut off UK fighters flying from London to West Russia, along with a possible G1 tank build for quick early pressure and possibly even a J1 Manchuria IC to pump tanks on the timing - along with G2 starting with control of Karelia?

    “a retreat after round 1”

    Instead of assuming Germany stupidly overcommits tanks and loses them to an easy counter that can’t be punished, or assuming Germany needlessly exposes air to AA guns, how about assuming Germany correctly calculates the balance of ground and air that has about a 85%+ probability to capture West Russia and destroy all USSR’s valuable ground units? Not overkill, not underkill, but just about right, and if the attack on West Russia isn’t favorable then of course Germany doesn’t hit that and goes to Caucasus - but again, Germany doesn’t overcommit.

    You’re assuming Germany does a 1-turn attack into West Russia then retreats after exposing German air to AA fire, without Germany even attempting to blow up USSR’s valuable tanks. What was it you were just saying about smart players? So it won’t just be a 1-turn attack, right?

    “so you prefer Germany can put 5 tanks and 9 inf in Karelia”

    Let’s not get sidetracked. There’s a lot that could be said about R1, G1, builds, attacks, counters, contingencies, percentages - but suffice to say I don’t say Ukr/W Rus is SAFE (in fact, I don’t think it IS, and that’s one of the reasons I push for preplaced bid which the developers won’t do but eh whatever).

    But I do think Ukr / W Rus open has better outcomes than a triple open.

    As to “you prefer Germany can put 5 tanks and 9 inf in Karelia”, do you think there’s a perfect answer? What would that be?

    You do R1 tank build and retreat tanks from Ukraine for a heavy R1 counter to Karelia? Even then, how do you answer G1 tanks mobilized on Berlin? I don’t say G1 super heavy tank build, but just say Germany sticks two tanks on Berlin. Pretty good odds that means G2 captures and secures Karelia, especially if Japanese fighters are in range, which they may well be. But then you do an attack/retreat into Karelia to strain German logistics? Very well, then on G1 Germany sees USSR lined up with that mighty counter and instead just doesn’t do a heavy push to Karelia, then Germany captures and holds Karelia on G2.

    Plainly, I’m saying if the Axis player is competent, Allies won’t have easy answers. Won’t matter if it’s USSR triple open or Ukr/West Russia, it won’t be easy. If it were, wouldn’t be much of a game.

    If you want to go into R1 W Rus/Ukr open and the Karelia game, let’s have that discussion, but that’s a thread of itself.

    “med fleet . . . allows uk fleet in India to . . . nearly impossible to take Egypt in (g2)”

    I believe this is another topic better covered in another thread.

    But I will say, before starting another thread, think on it a moment. If Germany’s about to smash the **** out of Europe, it doesn’t need to push in Africa, and there’s a decent chance something like that gets lined up after a USSR triple open. Also, you’re not considering what happens if Germany lands a chunk of air in Africa, and of course why would you because you probably don’t see it much. And maybe you’ll pull the ‘UK builds an Atlantic fleet if Germany puts fighters in Africa’ and I’ll shrug and say I don’t care because if UK dropped a carrier and a fighter I’ll reposition air on G2 (even better if I have the bomber) and blow up UK’s fleet at low cost to German air if they dare to drop, and if they stand off then I’ll just continue shenanigans in Europe. Then you can come back and say something else and I’ll say something else and that’s how it goes. But on balance, the question is what is gained and what is lost?

    “not destroying the fighter in egypt . . . sz 37”

    You want to roll the dice on UK1 vs Japan’s East Indies fleet, go for it. I think it’s a bad deal. Which is another thread.

    Yes yes, you have ideas and you won’t be dissuaded, and that’s fine. Either you’ll try it over and over and fail when you come up against decent competition and you’ll change your mind, or you’ll try it against decent competition and win and maybe do a writeup and I’ll change my mind. But either way we’re not there right now.

    But before you get into future writeups:

    1. I don’t worry too much about IPC swings. I tend to think about things in terms of unit counts, positions opening up, and other less-tangibles. Yes, keeping an eye on IPC changes is important, but it’s definitely not the only thing to keep an eye on by far.

    2. Don’t just think about 95% or whatever. Think about the resulting position. Think about the opportunity costs. Think about dice swings. Cascade failure. Concentration of force versus spreading out.

    3. It is not safe to assume an opponent will not attack because of negative IPC expectation. No, really.


    At Belorussia you look at 3 inf 1 tank 1 fighter vs 3 inf, see 95% win, looks super good, right? But actually it’s not that hot, as the above link and some thinking shows.

    4.58% no attackers survive (disaster)
    5.56% attacking fighter survives (lost 15 IPCs of units for 9 IPCs of units and didn’t gain any income from capturing territory. Unless you want to lose the fighter, which is amazesauce for Germany so I assume you don’t do that.)

    (Calculation aids state 5% loss. But there are different degrees of loss; here there’s at least a 10% of a strictly unfavorable outcome. That’s one thing players using aids often may miss.)

    15.1% attacking tank and fighter survive. Which is where the situation becomes barely tolerable; at least you capture the territory and trade off 9 IPCs of attackers for 9 IPCs of defenders. But the tank is lost on the counter.

    But what happens after the German counter? Pretty good chance that 6 IPC tank dies in exchange for perhaps a German infantry. Let’s say the tank has 2/3 chance to destroy a 3 IPC infantry (I know tanks hit 1/2 the time, but let’s just use 2/3 for Reasons), so USSR expects to gain 2 IPC from possibly destroying a German infantry, 2 IPC from the territory, meaning net gain 4 IPC in exchange for a 6 IPC tank.

    Yes, USSR does have positional considerations that offset the 2 IPC difference, but the positional pressure isn’t all that great. Germany has much better options when USSR is spread thin, and if as already mentioned there’s some level of cascade failure then USSR will be in big trouble.

    Now let’s look at West Russia.


    Let’s say 20.22% for 4 inf 2 art 3 tank 2 AA or less. Reasonably likely, and I’ll use 4 inf 2 art 3 tank 2 AA as the baseline. Germany’s counter is up to 3 inf 1 art 3 tank 4 fighter 1 bomber, without giving up attacking the UK battleship/destroyer.


    But also G1 capture of West Russia prevents Allied fighters from landing on, keeping it in play.

    If you’re thinking “nah, Germany needs to maintain its air force to threaten Atlantic shipping” - as I’ve written in other threads, I use Japanese air for that when going anti-KGF. Germany still does well to have some air, the more the better, but smashing all USSR’s tanks and preventing fortification of West Russia? Maybe that’s only 20% to have favorable odds of all that following a USSR triple open as was described, but that’s still more than the odds Germany has against a Ukr/W Rus open.

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