4 options post-successful Sealion

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cuprof
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4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by cuprof » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:11 pm

Hi all,

I'm playing as Axis in a standard (39+) v3.0 scenario against an opponent who is a better player than I am. However, he made a major mistake early (launched an early attack on Italy to knock it out of the war at the start and barely failed to succeed). With loss of one Axis BB, I destroyed 1 CV, 1 DD, 2 mech, 1 TAC of his - and almost all his forces were in the Med - all of which left him open to a successful Sealion. It is now March 1941 and only a single GAR in Northern Ireland remains (to be taken next turn). So the current setup is:
1) France, Great Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and (in about 1-2 turns) Greece and Egypt are all Axis controlled.
2) French armistice was accepted
3) Axis forces are on the move in North Africa and have captured the Suez
4) Malta is being bombarded and should fall soon
5) British navy is running scared from the subs I have because their morale is so low (-30) that I clean up any that show their heads. I'm actively hunting the RN at the expense sometimes of sinking convoys because I think effort is better spent destroying the RN in terms of PP.
6) Given how active I have been, oil is a problem - skirting 300 now.

SO, this is the most critical time for making big strategic moves. As I see it, I have 4 major options, which I list below with benefits/negatives:
1) Launch '41 Barbarossa. Benefits are that Russian morale loss of 20 won't happen again and the Russians are by far the biggest threat, and so need to be hamstrung while the time is right. Negatives are that (a) oil is low and will get much lower after the fighting and loss of russian trade oil; (b) it diverts attention fromthe UK just when I have the opportunity to basically knock them out of the game; (c) my forces are still scattered and winded and it will be difficult to launch a powerful punch until late June/early July.
2) Seal up the Mediterreanean, take Iraq, and launch a powerful '42 Barbarossa. This would entail conquering Portugal, Spain, Vicchy France/NA, Gibralter, and Iraq. It is a variant of the Fortress Europa strategy. Benefits are that (a) I can basically knock UK out of the game by hunting the RN while morale is low and by destroying her substantial force she has left in Iraq; (b) protects the Italian soft underbelly and allows all concentration of western defenses to be in the Atlantic seaboard; (c) gaining Iraq oil and not losing the Russian trade oil until '42 will mean oil should not be a problem in the game. Negatives are that (a) Russia grows stronger and a '42 Barbarossa will be more difficult; (b) doing all this conquering will lose a lot of oil, and wasn't that the reason we wanted to delay Barbarossa in the first place? (c) Conquering Spain and Portugal is no joke; I may get bogged down trying to reach Madrid for so long that I don't have time to reach all my other objectives.
3) Invade Canada and take Ottawa. Positives are (a) definitively knock UK out of the game, leaving Iraq wide open and meaning that I don't have much to fear from the West and can concentrate on the East. Negatives are (a) US will enter the war once Axis lands in Canada; (b) with only a few surface ships, it will be hard to hold the RN at bay and keep the troops in supply, so it is risky.
4) Feint at a Canadian invasion while doing (1) or (2) above. This might draw out the RN for subs to be able to destroy it.


Does anyone see other options? Which do you feel is best? (PS - i've already made up my mind about what I'll do, but will wait to relay it until the game has progressed further).

Also, I do have one important rule question: The manual says that convoys headed to Murmansk will instead go to a UK port if Great Britain and Norway are both Axis controlled. Does this mean that the UK gets the PP for those convoys, or do they still go to Russia? If the former, then it might make sense to invade Norway now to deprive Russia of the PP's. If the latter, it is a huge strategic mistake to invade Norway if GB is Axis controlled because hunting convoys near the US will become hard/impossible once the US joins. In any event, I think the convoy rules should be tweaked following a successful Sealion. Would convoy material really have been as effectively used in Canadian factories as they were in British ones? Seems very far-fetched. I'd suggest that convoy sizes to UK be reduced if GB is Axis controlled.

Cybvep
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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by Cybvep » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:34 pm

The manual says that convoys headed to Murmansk will instead go to a UK port if Great Britain and Norway are both Axis controlled.
The PPs go to the UK. Also, the manual is outdated here, I think. You don't need to control Norway :).

IMO going for 1941 Barbarossa with low oil isn't a great idea, BUT since it's March, you could save some oil, attack in June and make a decent, but not overwhelming Barbarossa.

Go for Iraq ONLY if you think that you can take it easily. Otherwise, you will lose more oil than you will gain and you will have to divert more resources to the Middle East, which is bad. Camping at Suez is not a bad option.

In case of 1942 Barbarossa, I'm not sure if you should attack Vichy. When the Allies do it, you will gain full PP revenue from Vichy French cities and won't have to waste time and oil to capture them. Also, controlling the western NA is not that important as long as you have Gibraltar. And the Allies will recapture the NA sooner or later, anyway. Just make sure that you will manage to evacuate your most precious units from Egypt/Libya in time :).

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by shawkhan » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:23 pm

Since the British are trashed, the time to take the ME is before the US enters the war and can intervene. If your opponent lost the inf divisions that start near Basra, I think it is a no-brainer to build on success. It would take minimal forces to complete Iraq conquest, especially if your Iraqi uprising is nearly unopposed.
Since your forces are scattered and low in readiness, a '41 Barbarossa would not be very effective anyway.
I would let your U-boats enjoy themselves until the US enters the war, upon which British morale recovers.
I myself would be tempted to pull a 'Supermax' and go for the Canadian conquest but it isn't really necessary to win the game at this point. Having the US enter early is a great way to blow the huge temporary advantage your successful SeaLion has given you, but the bragging rights would be phenomenal if you pulled it off.
You have lots of options at this point, it is nice to be you, hoho!

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by richardsd » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:57 pm

cuprof wrote:Hi all,

I'm playing as Axis in a standard (39+) v3.0 scenario against an opponent who is a better player than I am. However, he made a major mistake early (launched an early attack on Italy to knock it out of the war at the start and barely failed to succeed). With loss of one Axis BB, I destroyed 1 CV, 1 DD, 2 mech, 1 TAC of his - and almost all his forces were in the Med - all of which left him open to a successful Sealion. It is now March 1941 and only a single GAR in Northern Ireland remains (to be taken next turn). So the current setup is:
1) France, Great Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and (in about 1-2 turns) Greece and Egypt are all Axis controlled.
2) French armistice was accepted
3) Axis forces are on the move in North Africa and have captured the Suez
4) Malta is being bombarded and should fall soon
5) British navy is running scared from the subs I have because their morale is so low (-30) that I clean up any that show their heads. I'm actively hunting the RN at the expense sometimes of sinking convoys because I think effort is better spent destroying the RN in terms of PP.
6) Given how active I have been, oil is a problem - skirting 300 now.

SO, this is the most critical time for making big strategic moves. As I see it, I have 4 major options, which I list below with benefits/negatives:
1) Launch '41 Barbarossa. Benefits are that Russian morale loss of 20 won't happen again and the Russians are by far the biggest threat, and so need to be hamstrung while the time is right. Negatives are that (a) oil is low and will get much lower after the fighting and loss of russian trade oil; (b) it diverts attention fromthe UK just when I have the opportunity to basically knock them out of the game; (c) my forces are still scattered and winded and it will be difficult to launch a powerful punch until late June/early July.
2) Seal up the Mediterreanean, take Iraq, and launch a powerful '42 Barbarossa. This would entail conquering Portugal, Spain, Vicchy France/NA, Gibralter, and Iraq. It is a variant of the Fortress Europa strategy. Benefits are that (a) I can basically knock UK out of the game by hunting the RN while morale is low and by destroying her substantial force she has left in Iraq; (b) protects the Italian soft underbelly and allows all concentration of western defenses to be in the Atlantic seaboard; (c) gaining Iraq oil and not losing the Russian trade oil until '42 will mean oil should not be a problem in the game. Negatives are that (a) Russia grows stronger and a '42 Barbarossa will be more difficult; (b) doing all this conquering will lose a lot of oil, and wasn't that the reason we wanted to delay Barbarossa in the first place? (c) Conquering Spain and Portugal is no joke; I may get bogged down trying to reach Madrid for so long that I don't have time to reach all my other objectives.
3) Invade Canada and take Ottawa. Positives are (a) definitively knock UK out of the game, leaving Iraq wide open and meaning that I don't have much to fear from the West and can concentrate on the East. Negatives are (a) US will enter the war once Axis lands in Canada; (b) with only a few surface ships, it will be hard to hold the RN at bay and keep the troops in supply, so it is risky.
4) Feint at a Canadian invasion while doing (1) or (2) above. This might draw out the RN for subs to be able to destroy it.


Does anyone see other options? Which do you feel is best? (PS - i've already made up my mind about what I'll do, but will wait to relay it until the game has progressed further).

Also, I do have one important rule question: The manual says that convoys headed to Murmansk will instead go to a UK port if Great Britain and Norway are both Axis controlled. Does this mean that the UK gets the PP for those convoys, or do they still go to Russia? If the former, then it might make sense to invade Norway now to deprive Russia of the PP's. If the latter, it is a huge strategic mistake to invade Norway if GB is Axis controlled because hunting convoys near the US will become hard/impossible once the US joins. In any event, I think the convoy rules should be tweaked following a successful Sealion. Would convoy material really have been as effectively used in Canadian factories as they were in British ones? Seems very far-fetched. I'd suggest that convoy sizes to UK be reduced if GB is Axis controlled.
I think you should consider a 41 barbarossa, if you are not pressuring Russia from Persia then a 42 only barbarossa is tough, the Russians just get to many PP's

I would probably save some oil for a 41 barabrossa and take persia in the post barbarossa winter - also make sure no russian conoys get through

Crazygunner1
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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by Crazygunner1 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:34 am

Close the Med and take irak and persia. Save up for a powerful barbarossa in 42. Its to late for barbarossa in 41....you wont be able to destroy enough units in 41 barbarossa for it to be a success. You will also run very low on oil.

Let us know what you choose and how it went down?
Crazyg

Cybvep
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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by Cybvep » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:49 am

He cannot take Persia, because the Soviets will join the Allies and I'm sure that he doesn't want that. The Soviets will cancel the German-Soviet oil agreement if he conquers Iraq, so he will gain as much oil as he will lose. Iraq is worth it only if you can take it easily.

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by Kragdob » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:56 am

I would do 2) - you don't need to take Spain at this stage it only diverts your resources and 50% of Spanish income is not worth the cost of garrisoning all the country. Some option would be to attack Vichy France and later take Gibraltar the way you take Malta. Since it is before Turn 30 this might be a good option to secure NA from some surprising landing (and Free French goes to US force pool instead of landing in NA).

In the middle east I would secure Iraq and prepare for invasion of Iran on turn 50. It is worth to put considerable forces there and set up good defensive position north of Tabriz. If Soviet ignores the threat you might even go offensive against Caucasus and Georgia. Your main objective would be destroy all British forces in the region so reconquest would need to be done by USSR this fulfills second objective which is draw as many Russian forces from Eastern front as possible which may give you a hope to survive winter 1942/1943 almost untouched.

Anyway with UK eliminated and USSR facing Axis on two fronts this is a good position for Axis victory. It is very hard to do anything by Western Allies when they don't have any foothold on the other side of The Atlantic.
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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by Crazygunner1 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:06 pm

Cybvep wrote:He cannot take Persia, because the Soviets will join the Allies and I'm sure that he doesn't want that. The Soviets will cancel the German-Soviet oil agreement if he conquers Iraq, so he will gain as much oil as he will lose. Iraq is worth it only if you can take it easily.
As soon as he declares war, the oil treaty with russia is off. Thats when he will need it the most. If you take irak and persia when the time comes you will still have sufficient oil for all operations. Also to fend of the allies. The middle east is also another theatre the allies must retake.....fighting battles elsewhere as long as you can will increase the chance of a win

Cybvep
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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by Cybvep » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:31 pm

Exactly, as soon as he declares war. If he does this in 1942, that means that he still has many turns left. Therefore, if he can take Iraq easily, he should do it, but otherwise, it's not really worth it. As for Persia, attacking it before attacking Russia would simply be a waste, because the SU would join the Allies early :).

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by cuprof » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:26 pm

I think all the advice here has been quite useful. The game is still ongoing, but here's what has happened (it is now Jan 42) and my thoughts on it:
1) US joined late, in Jan. 3 UK DDs destroyed by subs (they got trapped in the St. Lawrence river) and some convoys taken, but those days are going to be gone fast because of the convoy trains being so close to the US (and their SACs) now.
2) Iraq fell in Nov. Even with minimum resistance, it took ~4 turns to take Iraq, and you have to be really careful not to 'step' into Persia and activate the USSR
3) It also took ~4-5 turns to take Spain, and a lot of oil for both Iraq + Spain. I agree with the poster above who recommended to take Vichy instead and leave Spain alone - it was a lot of effort + oil, and I could probably have taken Gibraltar the same way I took Malta. That said, it's finally done and the Med will be closed soon, which is an enormous advantage for the axis.
4) Oil is even more of a problem than before - it was down ~250 in Nov and in Jan is still only ~350. That said, my forces will be resting now (unless I decide to take Portugal to close that backdoor) and I get 6 oil from Iraq vs. 4 from Russia (which were lost once I entered Iraq), so there should be some in the tank + what I take from Persia once turn 50 (first possible entry of USSR) gets here.
5) My take is that a successful & fast Sealion pretty much wins the game for the Axis unless they took tons of casualties. I do have a few humble suggestions/thoughts about Sealion rules to those in charge of V3.+ (some of these may already be implemented?):
a) I think the manpower available to the UK should plummet after GB is taken over. All the UK forces would have had to be recruited from Canada and Australia, which had a combined ~15 million pop vs. 50 million in the UK. Perhaps to equalize the gameplay a bit, perhaps the US should mobilize for war if London falls.
b) The US convoy to the UK should not be a convoy after UK is taken over - it would have been shipped directly to Canada by land and so I think should just be added to the UK PP
c) The size of convoys to UK from places outside the US should be reduced, and the US one should be increased to reflect increasing concern about having a Nazi northern neighbor
d) I think the morale/efficiency penalty is very severe but probably about right if you consider the efficiency loss as being more a function of supply/ammunition problems (which would have been severe after GB fell) vs. a morale loss per se. I think it's tough to win as allies if sealion succeeds, but I think that pretty much accurately reflects what would have happened.

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by richardsd » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:03 pm

a successful sealion does not guarentee an axis victory

sounds like you didn't do a 41 Barbarossa - get ready for the biggest bear you have seen, if your opponent is good he will wait a bit before he unleashes it

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by cuprof » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:00 am

Well, I now agree with the Richardsd who said a successful sealion doesn't mean you will win as Axis. So it is now April of '43. I sealed the Mediterranean and took Iraq, so it seemed like I was in great shape. I launched Barbarossa in '42 but given how spread thin I was it was a weak launch. I tried to kill as many MECHs as I could but didn't kill many. The strength of my opponent surprised me - he had built tons of fighters and TACs, so I was spending almost all my PP just to repair my air fleet. I got a little beyond the harsh winter line then pulled back to exactly that spot, which was my plan to start with, although I had planned to kill many more units than I managed. He launched a counter-offensive that put my on my heels a bit. In the meantime, I laboriously worked my way up to Baku and am likely to take all that in a few rounds barring him railing in some MECHs, but my force down there is very large and has drained a lot of punch from my Eastern front. Why take Baku? Well, for one, it was a conquest of opportunity - my opponent never put strong forces down there and I had them there, so I felt that, despite the terrain, I should take advantage of it and grab the oil from him. But second, because, believe it or not, I need the oil - I'm not a great Axis player and my oil seems constantly low, despite all my attempts to rail units or keep them quiet when not needed.

Finally, my opponent just landed in the North of Scottland - a huge error on my part in not patrolling the north atlantic for a bit - and is working his way down against inferior GAR units. I had not been aware that scappa flow was a port into the UK, so he could land armor there immediately. I am VERY spread thin. So all in all, I'm not nearly as sure of a victory as I had been - in fact, if I had to bet, I'd say that I'll lose this game. I just had not expected the Russian bear to be as powerful as it was.

THUS - my strong suggestion is that, if you can manage it, launch a '41 Barbarossa following a successful Sealion. I have to say that I've played and won with the Allies, but playing the Axis is much more difficult (as it should be).
Last edited by cuprof on Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

richardsd
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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by richardsd » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:30 am

cuprof wrote:Well, I now agree with the Richardsd who said a successful sealion doesn't mean you will win as Axis. So it is now April of '43. I sealed the Mediterranean and took Iraq, so it seemed like I was in great shape. I launched Barbarossa in '42 but given how spread thin I was it was a weak launch. I tried to kill as many MECHs as I could but didn't kill many. The strength of my opponent surprised me - he had built tons of fighters and TACs, so I was spending almost all my PP just to repair my air fleet. I got a little beyond the harsh winter line then pulled back to exactly that spot, which was my plan to start with, although I had planned to kill many more units than I managed. He launched a counter-offensive that put my on my heels a bit. In the meantime, I laboriously worked my way up to Baku and am likely to take all that in a few rounds barring him railing in some MECHs, but my force down there is very large and has drained a lot of punch from my Eastern front. Why take Baku? Well, for one, it was a conquest of opportunity - my opponent never put strong forces down there and I had them there, so I felt that, despite the terrain, I should take advantage of it and grab the oil from him. But second, because, believe it or not, I need the oil - I'm not a great Axis player and my oil seems constantly low, despite all my attempts to rail units or keep them quiet when not needed.

Finally, my opponent just landed in the North of Scottland - a hugeand is working his way down against inferior GAR units. I am VERY spread thin. So all in all, I'm not nearly as sure of a victory as I had been - in fact, if I had to bet, I'd say that I'll lose this game. I just had not expected the Russian bear to be as powerful as it was.

THUS - my strong suggestion is that, if you can manage it, launch a '42 Barbarossa following a successful Sealion. I have to say that I've played and won with the Allies, but playing the Axis is much more difficult (as it should be).
Playing the Axis against anyone competant is very diffcult 8)

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by richardsd » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:35 am

sealion and the conquest of Iraq mens constant oil expenditure, hard to build up once you have the oil but are using your expensive upgraded AIR and ARM/MECH forces in a 42 Barbarossa - the game has a lot of balance factors :-)

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by richardsd » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:36 am

a 42 Barbarossa with limited oil should only concentrate on killing the front line heavy units and taking the lead cities to prevent the USSR getting to rial units dircetly to the front

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by Kragdob » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:40 am

cuprof wrote:Finally, my opponent just landed in the North of Scottland - a hugeand is working his way down against inferior GAR units. I am VERY spread thin. So all in all, I'm not nearly as sure of a victory as I had been - in fact, if I had to bet, I'd say that I'll lose this game. I just had not expected the Russian bear to be as powerful as it was.
If you allow 1943 reconquest of England then something is wrong with your strategy. With decent SUB force and several inf corps + some air support you should made it painfully expensive. Italians/Minor units (land and air) are best for it. Even if your enemy has CVs then they will be depleted after few turns and they have long way to ports to repair. If you block the landing then allied units will not even be able to attack you (you need to have a port to attack from landing crafts).

USSR with large air is a good strategy by your opponent. Your only chance is to match his FTRs with yours. With all Europe conquered you should have more PPs then USSR and with better tech you should be able to keep the front in stalemate long enough to ensure victory.

Yes - taking Baku is a very good option if USSR does not defend it.
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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by cuprof » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:46 pm

Yes, allowing him to get a toehold in Scottland has been by far my biggest mistake of the game thus far. I should have been patrolling the north atlantic but I'd pulled several subs back to base for upgrades and had taken my SAR from the airbase there to help scout in Russia, so it was really just lazy/dumb on my part.

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Re: 4 options post-successful Sealion

Post by GogTheMild » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:41 pm

richardsd wrote:Playing the Axis against anyone competant is very diffcult 8)
:D
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