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Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing invasions?

 
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Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing invasi... - 9/21/2017 12:47:49 PM   
OxfordGuy3


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It seems to me that navies are basically a bit useless at preventing invasions (taking defending against a classic Sea Lion as an example, or an invasion of Sicily from Tunisia/Malta), at least ones where the invader can move their amphibious transports from their origin port to the unloading hex in one turn. As there is usually no period where the invader's transports are in open sea for counter-attack during the defender's turn (because they can unload in the same turn that they move to the unloading hex, unless they get surprised by a sub or something like that), the only opportunities to damage/destroy the transports would seem to be:

a) By attacking them in port on the turn they embark, with ships and/or air (though this seems relatively ineffective and means leaving your navy and/or airforce in very close proximity, which potentially leaves them prone to counterattack by enemy subs/air etc.

b) If they try to invade next to a port hex in which you have a ship, then that ship gets a shot at the transport - BUT this is risky for the defender, as leaving a ship in port in range of enemy bombers is likely to result in serious damage to the ship.

c) Block all routes to potential invasion hexes with naval units at sea - even more non-viable than b) - ships not in port are likely to be seriously damaged or sunk by enemy bombers, subs etc., also, if these units are spotted (easy to do with air), there is no surprise for transports and they can either try to move around them or even through them (though would risk taking damage and losing AP), they don't block completely.

d) Try to surprise transports by using numbers of submerged subs - less risky than c), but the transport would actually have to accidentally enter the exact hex that the sub is in to be surprised by it and get attacked and the invader could possibly sweep for subs with destroyers/MTs on the invasion turn, so that they could be avoided (though risky to the DD). Also the number of available subs (for the allies, anyway) is quite limited.

NB: one thing the defender's ships can be quite useful for is to scout the potential invasion jump-off ports/cities each turn to see if they contain any enemy transports, so that you get some warning, though this too can be risky if the port ends up containing a sub or enemy warship and you suffer a surprise attack!

Have I missed anything? Or are there any better ways of using your navies to defend or otherwise assist against invasions that I've missed?

The naval aspect of Strategic Command is probably the one I'm finding hardest to master, don't think I'm the only one, though!


< Message edited by oxford_guy -- 9/21/2017 12:49:01 PM >
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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 2:25:48 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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Win the war at sea and you can easily stop invasions. Otherwise if you are outnumbered it should be risky.

The key to winning the war at sea is to provoke a smaller force into trying to attack your larger force. For example send out some German subs in the North Sea. Pretty soon some allied DD's show up to attack them. But you had your BB', BC's and CA's a little farther back and sink those DD's. You then pull back and leave the sub screen. Once the allied DD's are gone it gets easy to defeat the rest of the allied fleet.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 2:37:14 PM   
OxfordGuy3


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That doesn't really work so well against a human opponent (which is all I'm really playing currently) and I still don't see how that helps with preventing invasions. The axis can have zero warships and still the Royal Navy can't do much to stop an invasion (assuming the axis have plenty of air units), unless I'm missing something?

< Message edited by oxford_guy -- 9/21/2017 3:44:40 PM >

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 4:11:46 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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a) is fine since your ships are safe until he actually spends the money for amphibious transports. Probably too expensive to be just a bluff at that point so you can confidently throw everything in the kitchen sink. You're playing for time anyway. If you're the UK, you're just happy to set back barbarossa time table. If you're italy, you hang there until a german HQ operates on the scene with renforcements.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 4:40:24 PM   
OxfordGuy3


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KorutZelva

a) is fine since your ships are safe until he actually spends the money for amphibious transports. Probably too expensive to be just a bluff at that point so you can confidently throw everything in the kitchen sink. You're playing for time anyway. If you're the UK, you're just happy to set back barbarossa time table. If you're italy, you hang there until a german HQ operates on the scene with renforcements.


Yes, but attacking the transports in port leaves your ships with just half their remaining APs, which might mean they can't get back to a port (or at least not that is out of range of being bombed by the Luftwaffe to hell), which potentially leaves them open to attack by air/subs etc. Probably still worth doing in this case, though, especially if it's something high value in the transport (not a Garrison!), though damage inflicted may be quite small?

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 4:51:40 PM   
James Taylor

 

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If you use your ships in a screening action with teched anti-air and covered by fighters that have decent/comparable level advanced aircraft, then you might be able to hold off an invasion.

I'm assuming you mean the British isles using the RN.

Don't be afraid to counter with your carriers after you've used your teched/escorted SBs and decimate their fighters that just intercepted as a pre-emptive tactic.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 5:42:00 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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So where is your air force and carrier planes at? Why are the German bombers getting free runs at your ships? Why aren't you bombing the transports on the turn they are created as they can only move one hex?

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 8:02:14 PM   
FriendlyKomissar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Goodmongo

So where is your air force and carrier planes at? Why are the German bombers getting free runs at your ships? Why aren't you bombing the transports on the turn they are created as they can only move one hex?



Weather for one. Seen bad weather over the channel where it is not possible to bomb transports. If blocked off by all the subs there is nothing you can do to stop them. The Kreigsmarine will take a hammering but, once the ports get taken that is pretty much that.

Plus in say, early 1940 the UK has only 2 fighters, easily overwhelmed by the luftwaffe is the axis player is willing to take the hit.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 9:12:37 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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If you can't bomb the transports then their planes can't bomb your ships in the channel. You also have 3 or 4 CV's that can be switched to fighter only. Not to mention that you could have built another fighter or two by then. You use your fighters to hurt their bombers and your fleet to stop the transports. No one said it is easy but many have played the allied side and stopped or so hurt the invasion that it failed. And we're taking about 3-5 transports here that will have major supply issues when they land unless you leave a port open or something.

Finally, a UK invasion is pretty dumb as it speeds up SU and US forces/entry. I really believe it is much harder for the Axis to actually win if they do Sea Lion.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 9:34:55 PM   
OxfordGuy3


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Goodmongo

So where is your air force and carrier planes at? Why are the German bombers getting free runs at your ships? Why aren't you bombing the transports on the turn they are created as they can only move one hex?


Well obviously that's the idea, but they can still be in port that turn, which reduces damage taken considerably, the distance isn't far to the UK...

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/21/2017 11:19:31 PM   
FriendlyKomissar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Goodmongo

Finally, a UK invasion is pretty dumb as it speeds up SU and US forces/entry. I really believe it is much harder for the Axis to actually win if they do Sea Lion.


I agree with that actually. Seen US/USSR readiness increase massively because of Sealion. Instead of getting around 60mmp a turn as USSR getting 200mmp a turn in 1940. Stick it all into research and when Axis declare war they are in for a real amount of trouble.

Nothing better than a failed sealion though :)

quote:

And we're taking about 3-5 transports here that will have major supply issues when they land unless you leave a port open or something.


Thats a bit harsh leaving a port open. Usually I prefer to defend London but if they go for Plymouth in strength, using paratroopers there isn't much you can do to stop a beachhead. But that refers back nicely to point 1 regarding US / USSR readiness

< Message edited by FriendlyKomissar -- 9/21/2017 11:21:43 PM >


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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/22/2017 1:12:35 PM   
James Taylor

 

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If the Axis get a foothold on the Island, use your strategic bombers first, carriers second to degrade any port's supply level.

No supply - no progress!

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/22/2017 4:48:37 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: oxford_guy


quote:

ORIGINAL: KorutZelva

a) is fine since your ships are safe until he actually spends the money for amphibious transports. Probably too expensive to be just a bluff at that point so you can confidently throw everything in the kitchen sink. You're playing for time anyway. If you're the UK, you're just happy to set back barbarossa time table. If you're italy, you hang there until a german HQ operates on the scene with renforcements.


Yes, but attacking the transports in port leaves your ships with just half their remaining APs, which might mean they can't get back to a port (or at least not that is out of range of being bombed by the Luftwaffe to hell), which potentially leaves them open to attack by air/subs etc. Probably still worth doing in this case, though, especially if it's something high value in the transport (not a Garrison!), though damage inflicted may be quite small?



Without both aerial and naval superiority you won't be able to prevent a landing from happening if the enemy is really committed to it. But if you have one of the two you still have the tools to derail the landings or at least make the enemy's victory Pyrrhic. So what if you lose ships in the process? The war is decided in Russia.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/22/2017 7:46:43 PM   
FriendlyKomissar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KorutZelva
So what if you lose ships in the process? The war is decided in Russia.



In my experience, even if the Soviets hold the line, in order for the allies to keep the axis busy saving as much of the Royal Navy is imperative to future strategy.

While it is temping to throw it all away trying to save the UK, it is much more valuable to save it. That way when combined with the U.S. later on there is a much better chance of power projection to make a second front either directly in France or trying to liberate the UK (which is hardly worth doing, given its so easy to defend from a German point of view)

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/22/2017 8:04:13 PM   
Sugar

 

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Not that I`d agree with Korut`s thesis, but what`s the point in saving ships, if the Axis can win the war without ever getting wet feet?

Necessary to launch amphib. landings successfully is Air Superiority, and that`s difficult to achieve without bases in Europe, so I guess it`s more important to prevent a successfull Sealion than to save ships.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/22/2017 10:15:51 PM   
FriendlyKomissar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sugar

Not that I`d agree with Korut`s thesis, but what`s the point in saving ships, if the Axis can win the war without ever getting wet feet?




The point I was trying to make was, if the Axis get a solid beachhead in England - there is nothing you can do to stop them. 3 Paras, 2 Tanks, 2 Armies and 1 HQ will be enough. Nothing the UK can produce in early 1940 can stop that. You can make the Axis pay in the long run by putting up the USSR/U.S. readiness early.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Sugar

Necessary to launch amphib. landings successfully is Air Superiority, and that`s difficult to achieve without bases in Europe, so I guess it`s more important to prevent a successful Sealion than to save ships.


Once Sealion has been achieved (especially if every Axis sub is used in the Channel) there is no point in throwing ships away. I didn't say save all the ships, by all means attempt a valiant defence but there is a point where the loses just aren't worth it. It is tempting to throw away the whole RN in an attempt to make Sealion as costly as possible but this is a very short term strategy that will cause pain in later years. This is because if you lose the Royal Navy the entire burden to fight falls on the U.S. Navy, instead of building armies/air units/tanks they will be forced to build a full navy. And even that isn't large enough if the Axis dominate the Atlantic.

A Successful Axis Invasion of the UK does not mean they have won. As others have said the main fight is on the Russian Front. To keep the pressure on the Axis player, as they will have to guard against a large allied navy so they won't be able to focus all attention on the USSR. Or maybe they do let their guard down and that gives you an opportunity to strike in 1943/44. It is very much a long term strategy.

You are correct that Allied Amphibious landings in Europe need Air Superiority or at least locally. This can be achieved by the use of aircraft carriers as when fully upgraded can pose quite a threat. These can support an initial beach-head before normal air units can be operated in. Again, save the carriers early on and you can use them later.


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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/24/2017 3:30:12 AM   
Leadwieght

 

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It's true that a successful Sealion is NOT the end for the Allies. I am in two PBEM games where my Axis forces have not only taken Britain, but also conquered the British Empire (thanks to the re-location of the British capital to Alexandria, which I then took). When you take the Empire you not only get amore plunder than you do for conquering France, but also Ports and Resources in the British Isles and elsewhere will build up to higher levels.

In one of the the games, I'm about to launch Barbarossa and will PROBABLY win, but in the other it's basically an even fight in mid-1942. And that's due in part to the survival of much of the Royal Navy. Because of that, I couldn't get to Belfast before US forces showed up in strength, took out the Republic of Ireland and began to build up forces there. And since so many forces were tied up in England and finishing off Egypt, Barbarossa was weak and now I'm struggling to hold back the Russians. I'd say the odds are still about 50-50.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/24/2017 9:20:48 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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I don't know why people assume an aggressive stance translate into losing everything. You don't have to hang around more than you have to.While the invasion is starting the invader as a choice of using his air force to support the amphibious landing or target the ships. He'll probably pick the former, which means its as good as a time as any to get some shots in with your ships. If he doesn't, you are afforded crucial time to stall the invasion on the beaches.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/26/2017 3:50:42 PM   
nnason


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All,
Great discussion.
Oxford guy has some excellent points in the top post as do others in their comments. I wanted to make the following points.
1. For both sides sea invasions require intel on where opponents are. Just bumping up against an opponent waists power. Strat Bomber and Maritime bombers are really great for this. Carriers can do also but I can never remember the key strokes to do carrier recon. (and couldn't find in in the manual.) Silent Subs can also do recon but also can waist their attack.
2. For both sides you have to invest and invest early (based on when you will attack or think you need to defend) to build up your Navies, air, amphibs, and plus-ups. If one side is significantly stronger than the other that dooms the weaker side. Of course there are lots of places to spend MPPs and your overall strategy affects where you do.
3. For my part I think early Sealion doesn't work as brings in USA early and Axis can't be sure capital will go to Cairo. And if Brits don't surrender then their fleet will come back with USA for early D-Day while your Russian campaign has already suffered due to your Sealion prep. Later Sealion will succeed if Russia is on its knees, Axis Navies are intact, and Germans still have northern France.
4. Navies are important but success depends on your investments.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/26/2017 4:22:56 PM   
OxfordGuy3


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quote:

ORIGINAL: nnason

All,
Great discussion.
Oxford guy has some excellent points in the top post as do others in their comments. I wanted to make the following points.
1. For both sides sea invasions require intel on where opponents are. Just bumping up against an opponent waists power. Strat Bomber and Maritime bombers are really great for this. Carriers can do also but I can never remember the key strokes to do carrier recon. (and couldn't find in in the manual.) Silent Subs can also do recon but also can waist their attack.


Use the shift key for carrier recon with it's air wing, you should be able to tell if it's activated as the cursor over the selected hex goes red with a ? in it


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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/26/2017 8:17:59 PM   
James Taylor

 

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And remember that using your CAGs for recon eats up supply!

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/27/2017 12:45:16 AM   
nnason


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Oxford Guy thanks and good comment SeaMonkey.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 9/27/2017 8:32:52 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Taylor

And remember that using your CAGs for recon eats up supply!


You can do this while right next to a port and not have to worry about dropping below 9 supply.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 10/7/2017 1:04:51 PM   
majpalmer

 

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In three games I've had navies stop amphibious invasions.
Game One: Axis, conquered the UK, used submarines, surface, and air to annihilate amphibious transports coming from the US and headed toward Devon and Cornwall.
Game Two: Axis, conquered Egypt which forced the RN from the Med,used Italian navy to annihilate Allied transports trying to invade Algeria. For some reason the AI never seems to invade Morocco.
Game Three: Ditto, Game two.

The only game I invaded the UK as the Axis in 1940, I didn't even have an amphibious transport. I seized a port with two airborne units and ferried troops across, despite the presence of the RN.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 10/7/2017 9:04:49 PM   
OxfordGuy3


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quote:

ORIGINAL: majpalmer

In three games I've had navies stop amphibious invasions.
Game One: Axis, conquered the UK, used submarines, surface, and air to annihilate amphibious transports coming from the US and headed toward Devon and Cornwall.
Game Two: Axis, conquered Egypt which forced the RN from the Med,used Italian navy to annihilate Allied transports trying to invade Algeria. For some reason the AI never seems to invade Morocco.
Game Three: Ditto, Game two.

The only game I invaded the UK as the Axis in 1940, I didn't even have an amphibious transport. I seized a port with two airborne units and ferried troops across, despite the presence of the RN.


Yes, but everything is easy vs the AI

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 10/11/2017 9:29:37 AM   
The Land

 

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I wonder if a naval equivalent of Interception and Escort might be a good idea. E.g. if you move a suitable target within a certain distance of a naval unit, the naval unit has a chance to engage the target, and in turn be engaged by an enemy naval unit within range. So if you land transports next to a port that has a battleship in it, the battleship can (probably) do serious damage to the transports before they land. If the transports had a carrier supporting them, then the battleship would be engaged by the carrier, and if it survived it would then engage the transports. Just as with interception you'd have the option to not have your ships sortie.

However this would need a fair bit of thinking so that ships only attempted to engage targets that are suitable for them (e.g. no subs trying to engage destroyers or destroyers engaging battleships), and what the right ranges were (1 hex for subs, 3 for capital ships, 4 or 5 for carriers?)

This would help address a number of issues with naval combat that stem from the fact that the game presently models naval units very similarly to land units.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 10/11/2017 9:43:00 AM   
OxfordGuy3


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quote:

ORIGINAL: The Land

I wonder if a naval equivalent of Interception and Escort might be a good idea. E.g. if you move a suitable target within a certain distance of a naval unit, the naval unit has a chance to engage the target, and in turn be engaged by an enemy naval unit within range. So if you land transports next to a port that has a battleship in it, the battleship can (probably) do serious damage to the transports before they land. If the transports had a carrier supporting them, then the battleship would be engaged by the carrier, and if it survived it would then engage the transports. Just as with interception you'd have the option to not have your ships sortie.

However this would need a fair bit of thinking so that ships only attempted to engage targets that are suitable for them (e.g. no subs trying to engage destroyers or destroyers engaging battleships), and what the right ranges were (1 hex for subs, 3 for capital ships, 4 or 5 for carriers?)

This would help address a number of issues with naval combat that stem from the fact that the game presently models naval units very similarly to land units.


If you try to move an amphibious transport next to a naval unit in port, think the naval unit will already fire at the transport before it can disembark, though leaving naval units in ports within air range of the enemy tends to be very bad for their health...

The problem is more that naval units nearby (but out of range of enemy air) can't intercept amphibious transports as they cross the sea (assuming they can cross and land in one turn), only when they're in port on the turn they embark, which doesn't seem very realistic. In real life, the Royal Navy likely would have slaughtered any attempted invasion of the UK, as well as re-supply/reinforcement attempts.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 10/11/2017 9:49:28 AM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: oxford_guy

The problem is more that naval units nearby (but out of range of enemy air) can't intercept amphibious transports as they cross the sea (assuming they can cross and land in one turn), only when they're in port on the turn they embark, which doesn't seem very realistic. In real life, the Royal Navy likely would have slaughtered any attempted invasion of the UK, as well as re-supply/reinforcement attempts.


Yes, that's exactly the issue my suggestion is trying to solve.... :)

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 10/11/2017 10:48:25 AM   
Sugar

 

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quote:

In real life, the Royal Navy likely would have slaughtered any attempted invasion of the UK


In real life it takes 1.5 hours from Dover to Calais, not much time to intercept.

Not the RN stopped Seelöwe, the RAF did. That`s the reason why Churchill named it their Finest Hour. This fact is represented perfectly in the game as it is now.

The RN is not useless, however, but it`s limited due to the lack of speed and range, compared to aircraft.

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RE: Are navies basically a bit useless at preventing in... - 10/11/2017 11:51:35 AM   
The Land

 

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quote:



In real life it takes 1.5 hours from Dover to Calais, not much time to intercept.

Not the RN stopped Seelöwe, the RAF did. That`s the reason why Churchill named it their Finest Hour. This fact is represented perfectly in the game as it is now....


If only an amphibious invasion was as simple as steaming from Calais to Dover!

In reality, the English Channel would be full of invasion shipping for most of a day. For Operation Overlord ships left in the morning of June 5th to commence the landing before dawn on June 6th. A 1940 Sealion would have been much slower, as towed invasion barges are even slower, indeed sometimes unable to overcome the currents in the Channel - I have seen 2-3 days mentioned. Overlord required close to 6,000 vessels, not counting the naval escort. The 1940 Sealion plan involved 2,400 barges. So there is plenty of time for the RN to intervene and there are plenty of targets. Also, a fair part of that "plenty of time" is at night when there is no realistic prospect of the Luftwaffe intervening (not that the Luftwaffe had a great record of attacking warships, of course, but at night they wouldn't even try).

It would only take a handful of the Royal Navy's 200 or so destroyers to cause serious damage to the invasion force. Of course each destroyer only has several hundred rounds for its guns, so that might be a limit on how effective they are. Barges or landing craft do not even require the use of munitions to destroy, they can be swamped by the wake of a destroyer going at 30 knots, or rammed.

Then there is the need to keep supplies flowing to the fraction of the assault force that manages to land, despite increasingly bad weather (again, stopping the Luftwaffe intervening), despite the Royal Navy's significant submarine fleet lying in wait outside whichever port has somehow been captured intact, despite the RN having dozens of cruisers and destroyers that it can afford to lose to mines or bombs if it has to...

In short, a 1940 Sealion is basically a myth. The Kriegsmarine and Heer said "this is only possible if beaten down in its morale and in fact, that it can no longer display any appreciable aggressive force in opposition to the German crossing" because they knew they were setting an impossible bar to meet, and could blame the Luftwaffe instead of owning their own inability to conduct an impossible operation. Churchill and the RAF found the myth suited their purposes - it made the Battle of Britain a victory instead of an irrelevance.

(in reply to Sugar)
Post #: 30
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