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Sealion and how to stop it

 
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Sealion and how to stop it - 5/21/2020 1:29:49 PM   
HamburgerMeat

 

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Based on a response from another thread, I'm wondering how many feel that a well-executed sealion is extremely difficult to hold off, even if the UK anticipates sealion from the beginning.

If a player is doing this even before France surrenders, this means it is unlikely he will have level 1 amphibious transports in time for the invasion. So he is likely using a combination of bombing southern England with whatever he has + paratroopers, and maybe some amphibious units. If it rains/snows the turn they get in their amphibious transports, then that makes it much harder to destroy them without airpower. Still, that seems like a big gamble.

If a player is doing this after France surrenders, then, if the axis player double chitted amphibious warfare from the beginning, it is likely they will have long range amphibious transports, which makes it much more tricky. UK players have to anticipate possible landings even around Edinborough, and if a single port is captured with 5 strength, the axis will be able to stream in troops via transport.

So what is to be done? Is rushing to level 2 anti-aircraft worth it for the UK player? What units should be built, and when? Does England need to spend all it's MPPs in preparation for a sealion attack, or is it free to research to some degree?

< Message edited by HamburgerMeat -- 5/21/2020 1:31:58 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 5/21/2020 3:01:09 PM   
Markiss


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I believe the current methodology is, on turn 1, operate most units from Poland west and attack France immediately, before they can even reinforce their half strength units. Poland will fall slowly, but France will be out of the war by early 1940, leaving all the time in the world for a perfectly choreographed Sealion.

I have not personally experienced this, as I played Fafnir from the Axis side, but many have. I don't know exactly what tech or units he is buying(and he is not telling), but he has his method perfected. He is unbeaten, as far as I know.

I would love to see someone come up with a way to stop his Sealion. There have been some game changes made to try and slow this down, like starting the French units on the Maginot line entrenched so France isn't such a pushover early. But it hasn't been enough to stop him, even though everyone knows what he is going to do.

Don't get me wrong, not every player is capable of pulling off a Fafnir-like strategy. It is highly aggressive and dangerous, and probably foolish for someone who does not know exactly what they are doing. But it certainly can be done, as he has shown over and over.

Lets come up with some ideas, then send some brave soul out to challenge Fafnir and try them out. What's the worse that could happen?



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RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 5/21/2020 3:32:12 PM   
Elessar2


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Increasing USSR war readiness if Poland isn't taken promptly would kibosh that little trick. IIRC older versions of SC had just such an event.

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RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 5/21/2020 3:51:01 PM   
PvtBenjamin

 

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Hamburger you are correct first 2 Brit chits on AA research. Buy all 3 AA units & Maritime. Obviously retreat BEF reinforce/upgrade HQ. BEF Army in London.

Its much more difficult to defend now because ships have no spotting.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Elessar2

Increasing USSR war readiness if Poland isn't taken promptly would kibosh that little trick. IIRC older versions of SC had just such an event.



+1

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4769900

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RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 5/22/2020 9:37:15 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Elessar2

Increasing USSR war readiness if Poland isn't taken promptly would kibosh that little trick. IIRC older versions of SC had just such an event.


This is still in place, and of course a landing in the UK will trigger a rise in Soviet mobilization too, so there is a risk involved.

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RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 5/31/2020 7:12:20 PM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Markiss

I believe the current methodology is, on turn 1, operate most units from Poland west and attack France immediately, before they can even reinforce their half strength units. Poland will fall slowly, but France will be out of the war by early 1940, leaving all the time in the world for a perfectly choreographed Sealion.

I have not personally experienced this, as I played Fafnir from the Axis side, but many have. I don't know exactly what tech or units he is buying(and he is not telling), but he has his method perfected. He is unbeaten, as far as I know.

I would love to see someone come up with a way to stop his Sealion. There have been some game changes made to try and slow this down, like starting the French units on the Maginot line entrenched so France isn't such a pushover early. But it hasn't been enough to stop him, even though everyone knows what he is going to do.

Don't get me wrong, not every player is capable of pulling off a Fafnir-like strategy. It is highly aggressive and dangerous, and probably foolish for someone who does not know exactly what they are doing. But it certainly can be done, as he has shown over and over.



I've just tried this a bit in hotseat, and I don't really see how to defend against it. I would certainly not clam to be an expert, though.

My method was on turn 1 to operate 2 German HQs from Poland to near the northern French border along with a motorised army and maybe a Corps, move (but not operate) all the air apart from one fighter, move the two Panzer units to places they can operate from on turn 2 (they can even attack on turn 1 and do this) while doing as much overrunning of Poland as you can - which is quite a lot, you have a Corps that is unopposed that can march as far as Kutno cutting off all of Western Poland...

On turn 3 you can very likely break the Maginot Line at Metz, which is its weak point as being a fortified town it's only Entrench 4 while the rest of the line is Entrench 6. You also get the benefit of the fortification as soon as you've taken it (unlike the rest of the front..)

If the Allied player has entirely anticipated this then it may take 2 turns to take Metz and if the weather is unfavourable then you can end up with something fairly slow-moving over the later autumn and winter, but the Allies find it very difficult to get any odds on a counterattack. So they lose some ground and units, and you get to Spring 1940 with the Maginot Line already broken at the time when normally you'd be thinking about invading the Netherlands.

Poland is not that hard to wrap up even if you are continually moving units away from it, so long as you keep a few sieges in place and supply lines broken, you can gradually batter your way towards Warsaw and Poland has neither the MPP nor the combat power to stop you.

The attack in the West could probably be even further improved by selling off some tech to do more Operate moves and buy upgrades to the HQs. The HQs really are the key, the Germans will have at least 2 good ones while the French are stuck with a half-strength Gamelin who's in the wrong place.


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RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 6/7/2020 10:43:19 AM   
Taifun


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So far, in my experience as allied player only once I was invaded in 1940 (by Fafnir the Master!). If you manage a good defense of France the German player usually ends July-August in control of the Coastal Channel ports. He will need an extra 1-2 turns to upgrade/replenish the air corps/paras and redeploy. That will leave 2-3 turns of good weather at most... With the new rule of no land spotting by naval units the invasion will be even more difficult. I think that the game now perfectly reflects the complexity of such an undertaking by the Axis player...

I recommend a couple of motor torpedo boats to help in the defense

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RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 6/7/2020 1:12:58 PM   
Markiss


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I tried a variation of the usual Sealion strategy in my current game against Fafnir.

My first purchase with the Germans was 2 pips of amphibious tech. As soon as I got the 1st one, I purchased a 3rd to get amphibs 2 as soon as possible. I attacked France in Spring '40 as usual, and took it about the usual amount of time. Nothing looks suspicious at all.

After France fell, Fafnir did what Fafnir does, and sent everything to the Med to wipe out the Italians early. In addition, he also did a side invasion of Norway, stretching his resources to the limit. At this point, I knew the UK had to be empty, as I had anticipated.

In early October, I got amphibs 2. This gave me 4 amphibious ships and 2 long range amphibious ships, in addition to my 2 para units. 8 units on the first turn makes for a devastating Sealion. It also gives you enough units to proceed with taking the rest of the UK without having to wait for a port to get to 5, and offering his navy a chance to stop you. Against a largely abandoned UK, I think Manchester could be taken in 4-5 turns by this force. You wouldn't even have to delay Barbarossa.

To make a long story short, I took London easily. Unfortunately, during the turn they were in the assault ships, Fafnir managed to use his maritime bomber to somehow pick my HQ out of a large group of ships and damage it. He used aircraft to kill it the turn it landed, and with out the HQ, the invasion ultimately floundered. If not for that bit of bad luck, it would have worked.

And even in failure, the invasion was highly useful, as he had to move all his navy and troops back to the UK to retake it. This set his plans back a long way, and if you can get Fafnir to change his plans, that is about as close to a victory as you are going to get.

A late Sealion with amphibs 2 is absolutely a viable strategy. If it can be done to Fafnir, it can be done to anyone. Watch out, you UK abandoners! You have been warned.

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Post #: 8
RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 6/7/2020 2:33:36 PM   
Taifun


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Congratulations Markiss for your daring Strategy!

You have played most of the regular players and surely know better what is the percentage of players that dare to launch such an invasion, but I guess that the figure is very low. I checked my files and it was not Fafnir (whom I played only once as Axis and I resigned as early as 1940) who sea-lioned me but the GREAT SUGAR. It takes an experienced player to manage the big gamble, with very as you mentioned, very early planning and preparations ...
Anyway, I agree that it is a viable strategy but as an Allied player you get always a few hints that the Fuehrer is planning to taste your cakes and tea:

- First you get a lot of info from the way he spends his MPPs and from the way he invest in Research (125 MPPs for Amphibious Warfare)
- The way he uses his Kriegsmarine early in the game is always a good source of info

... No-one should be a UK abandoner without checking the ports of Calais, Le Havre and Antwerp first regularly. An invasion of 6 amphibious transports takes space and should be detected in time approaching or embarking.

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RE: Sealion and how to stop it - 6/7/2020 6:03:01 PM   
Fafnir

 

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As always surprise is the best weapon and I did not expect such a late Sea Lion. I checked the ports earlier but not later again.
Since you had long range amphibious available you should have created them out of reach of my airforce.
Then it would have been successful. Nevertheless it gave you Yugoslavia, but the lost units in UK were missing to take Moscow before the winter.

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