Can England defend Sealion against determined Axis Player?

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Kragdob
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Can England defend Sealion against determined Axis Player?

Post by Kragdob » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:58 pm

This topic was inspired by Supermax AAR where he presents Axis defensive strategy that is based on total conquer of England.

I think current changes make very good job of Allied Player fearing loosing UK so he must quit all crazy offensives and focus on defending Sealion which, if successful, can deny Allied ability to win the game.

Since some says that England cannot be defended against determined Axis Player it seems crucial for me that game allows determined Allied Player defend against equally determined Axis Player.

So, can England be defended or not?
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:01 pm

I think this depends on how you prepare. If you send a large force to France and lose these units then you will lose Britain too. If you only send a token force and know how to defend with the French then I think taking Britain will be very hard for the Axis. They might get ashore, but taking both London and Liverpool can be tough. UK can also send the Canadian units to Britain instead of Egypt and build corps and mech units to quickly get rid of Axis invaders.

I think a good UK strategy is to save PP's before the fall of France and only build some labs. Try to stay away too much from the battle in France and only use your fighters when the odds are ok (like depleted Axis fighters). Repair the air units and build land units with your PP reserve if you suspect an Axis landing. Make sure your RN doesn't stay within Luftwaffe range. You can use subs to spy on the Kriegsmarine to get an early warning.

I think you need 2-3 mech units outside Luftwaffe range to strike at Axis units on the shore. Fortunately the Axis will most often have 6 range for fighters and 8 range for bombers so you should be able to place your offensive units outside this range.

Still, if the Axis player goes all out then he will take Britain, but he will have to build a big navy for it and that means he's weaker elsewhere. You can use the opportunity to crush the Italians in Libya since the Axis will focus on England.

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Post by richardsd » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:59 pm

for various reasons I am quite keen on Sealion.

as Staffenberg said, the two key rules in defending are:

1. not lose BEF units in France
2. have couple or three MeCH's in England if you think Sealion is a possibility

now you probably can't stop a totally committed Axis, but you sure can make them pay - a lot!

a successful Sealion is still no guarentee of an Axis victory either

its also worth noting that protecting the RN is very important even if you lose Britain, better to lose Britain and make the Axis pay a bit than lose Britain and the RN! thats a lot off PP's and tiem you need to conserve

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Post by JimR » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:35 am

Even if Britain cannot be defended against a determined Axis player, the Axis player in question will be making strategic choices that foreclose other possibilities. Such an Axis player's Barbarossa will be anemic or weak, if Barbarossa happens at all. And this opens up opportunities for the Soviets.

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Post by zechi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:19 am

Against a determined and capable Axis player the British cannot prevent the invasion. As several others already pointed out, the British can make it very hard and costly for the Axis, but the Axis will sooner or later overcome the British defenses.

I don't know what Supermax revealed in his AAR, but his Sealion was a long and hard struggle with the British. It did take hime more then a year to get fully control of the British Isle. He invaded in June 1940, but London did not fall before 1941 (or perhaps late winter 1940). I organised a second line of defense in Scotland, which was cleared up in Summer 1941, which of course ruined any further war plans against the Soviet Union in 1941.

I was in a similar situation at least four times and I won every game with the Allies rather easily as the Soviets are in the end to strong and will overcome the Axis (with some sideshow support by the western Allies in other theaters). The Soviet PP income is impressive from the start if the Axis do not do a Barbarossa. Of course the British also suffer from the invasion and are quite weak.

However, Supermax is a clever player and he also got impressive German techs (especially he got lucky with Dog Fight). If I remember correctly Allied techs have been reduced and as Soviets and US cannot get as many Labs before they activate, this makes it really hard to get on par with the Axis. But we will see how the game plays out.

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Post by Kragdob » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:09 am

I'm not saying that there is some imbalance in the current setup (let's see how Zechi will handle supermax) but if Axis player can do Sealion with 90% chances then with proper Lab strategy and the fact that Soviet will be 2 Dog Fight level behind Axis till 1944 it is much more tempting to play defensively than doing regular (and more risky) Barbarossa.

I'm just loudly wondering if Sealion is not too cheap for Axis - in my opinion chances for success against fully prepared* Allied Player should not be more that 50/50.

* Fully prepared = no losses in France, Canadians and whole (intact) RN in UK
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Post by zechi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:26 am

To be frankly, the current "Sealion Scenario" is unrealistic, as the odds for the real Germans to do a succesful Sealion were very slim according to a majority of historians. Some even claim that "Operation Sealion" was in fact a bluff and the Germans never really intended to invade.

Two major factors for Sealion are from my point of view not simulated very well in GS.

Firstly, the Germans will usually have air superiority from the start, as they will have 3-4 German FTR + 1 Italian FTR against usually 2 British FTR + CV. As the British cannot repair their airfoces as the Germans can, the RAF will not hold out very long against the Luftwaffe if they engage. There is no real Battle for Britain at all.

Secondly, the Royal Navy is not really a factor in a Sealion Scenario in GS. If the British use the RN to interfere they will normally not be able to breach the SUB meat shield and cannot interdict the invasion forces. Furthermore, as the Axis will have 3-4 German TAC +1 STR + 1 Italian TAC, they will easily take out the RN with their airpower. This will delay operations in Britain usually for 1-2 turns, but if the RN gets destroyed or disabled this is worth it.

However, I think Sealion should be an option for the Axis in 1940 to make the game more interesting, even if it is unrealistic. Nevertheless, the invasion should be perhaps a little bit more difficult for the Axis. From my point of view Sealion should be a 50:50 chance to suceed if both sides play it out perfectly.

Furthermore, I want to point out, that Sealion becomes not necessarily harder for the Axis if the British do not sent a BEF to preserve their units. Without support of the BEF, France will fall usually earlier and the Axis will have more fair weather turns to do Operation Sealion. From my point of view the best outcome for the Allies is to delay the Fall of France as long as possible (At least till late June, better till July/August 1940) and to evacuate the BEF in the right moment. If the Allies succeeds to preserve the British units in France and to delay the Fall of France as long as possible, then Sealion will be hardest for the Axis.

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Post by Kragdob » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:51 am

zechi wrote:To be frankly, the current "Sealion Scenario" is unrealistic, as the odds for the real Germans to do a succesful Sealion were very slim according to a majority of historians. Some even claim that "Operation Sealion" was in fact a bluff and the Germans never really intended to invade.
I agree but I think that 'tuning' this part of the game adds more flavour than is lost due lack of historical accuracy :)
zechi wrote:Firstly, the Germans will usually have air superiority from the start, as they will have 3-4 German FTR + 1 Italian FTR against usually 2 British FTR + CV. As the British cannot repair their airfoces as the Germans can, the RAF will not hold out very long against the Luftwaffe if they engage. There is no real Battle for Britain at all.
I agree that Axis have greater air superiority that they really had but also some historians say that Goering stopped attacking UK air industry/infrastructure just when it was to collapse so the air superiority is not that ahistorical.

On the other side maybe UK should get another fighter (Polish, Czech and other airmen that fleed to UK after France fell contributed vastly to the victory of Battle of Britain) when France falls?
zechi wrote:However, I think Sealion should be an option for the Axis in 1940 to make the game more interesting, even if it is unrealistic. Nevertheless, the invasion should be perhaps a little bit more difficult for the Axis. From my point of view Sealion should be a 50:50 chance to suceed if both sides play it out perfectly.
My thoughts exactly.
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Post by zechi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:07 pm

Kragdob wrote:
zechi wrote:However, I think Sealion should be an option for the Axis in 1940 to make the game more interesting, even if it is unrealistic. Nevertheless, the invasion should be perhaps a little bit more difficult for the Axis. From my point of view Sealion should be a 50:50 chance to suceed if both sides play it out perfectly.
My thoughts exactly.
The problem I see with a more difficult and more risky Operation Sealion will be, that the game could then be over very early. If the Axis fail with Operation Sealion, they will most likely also do not have the chance to do a decent Barbarossa or challenge the British in the Med. Then the Axis collapse will be probably very early. Therefore, Operation Sealion could become to risky to even try it, which could lead to the situation that most players will avoid it completely.

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Post by Kragdob » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:00 pm

zechi wrote:
Kragdob wrote:
zechi wrote:However, I think Sealion should be an option for the Axis in 1940 to make the game more interesting, even if it is unrealistic. Nevertheless, the invasion should be perhaps a little bit more difficult for the Axis. From my point of view Sealion should be a 50:50 chance to suceed if both sides play it out perfectly.
My thoughts exactly.
The problem I see with a more difficult and more risky Operation Sealion will be, that the game could then be over very early. If the Axis fail with Operation Sealion, they will most likely also do not have the chance to do a decent Barbarossa or challenge the British in the Med. Then the Axis collapse will be probably very early. Therefore, Operation Sealion could become to risky to even try it, which could lead to the situation that most players will avoid it completely.
Your point is valid but what I mean is that 50/50 should be only against fully fortified UK so if you send some troops to Middle East or loose it in France then the Axis chances should increase significantly.

I'm not very experienced player so I don't know if such balance exists already or not and this is why this topic was created.
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Post by leridano » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:17 pm

I think the question here is that now with the new USSR entry at war dates, the germans have a wide margin for operating after the fall of France in may-june 1940. So they have 2 years in which obviously the british can be overwhelmed by continued german attacks. Do we really think that USA and USSR would have stood impassive seeing how the germans "comfortably" make their invasion of UK without being disturbed? May be we can include some chances for an anticipated entry at war of USSR or USA if London is captured?

On the other hand, although this is only a game and there should be reasonable chances for the Axis to succeed with Sea lion, may be we could make Sea lion a little bit harder for the germans. This way, we could reduce (only in 1940) from 10 to 6 hexes the rule that allows contested amphibious landings from a friendly port. So in 1940 it would be 6 hexes, in 1941 it would be increased to 8 and in 1942 and for the rest of the game it would be 10 hexes.
Kragdob wrote:On the other side maybe UK should get another fighter (Polish, Czech and other airmen that fleed to UK after France fell contributed vastly to the victory of Battle of Britain) when France falls?.
This sounds good to me and it won´t affect at all to game balance. British fighter unit will spawn at half strength after the fall of France. For compensating this the germans would also receive a german fighter at half strength. It would only have to modify general.txt file.



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    Post by Cybvep » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:35 pm

    Sea Lion isn't implausible if the Axis has air superiority. Remember that historically the Germans lost the Battle of Britain and this was the main invasion deterrent. Also, the new DD vs SUB rule gives the RN a fighting chance against the German subs early on, when they are the strongest. Of course, it's still easier to perform the invasion than it would be IRL, but I think that it's necessary due to gameplay reasons. We don't want the game to end in 1940, after all.

    One thing which could be considered is to make the transports more vulnerable to ships, so that the players would be more careful with massive invasions without naval supremacy.

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    Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:49 pm

    One thing we could do is to spawn a new British fighter with the strength of the French fighter in Liverpool if the French armistice is accepted. This unit could simulate the pilots and air units that fled from Poland and France to Britain to fight on there. We could make this fighter Polish to simulate the contribution of the Polish pilots through the war.

    By doing so we help the Allies try to save their French fighter and fly it to Britain instead of sacrificing it just prior to the fall of France.

    Or we could spawn a Polish fighter in Britain at the fall of France with strength 3 regardless of the fate of the French fighter. This means saved British PP's can be used to build up the depleted fighter. We need to spawn the fighter maybe near Liverpool so it can't be taken out by the Luftwaffe.

    Amph range can be a variable dependent upon tech instead of a fixed value of 10. The range could be 6 + tech in surface ships. That means Germany will have a range of 7 at the start of Sealion. I think it's better to link better performance to tech rather than a fixed game year. It means you can get the extra performance earlier if you put focus on that tech. Or later if you ignore it.

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    Post by pk867 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:42 pm

    Hi I do like the link between amph distance with the Surface naval tech increases.

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    Post by Crazygunner1 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:16 pm

    I invite every player to do Sealion against me....in my book that is a sure receipt for Allied Victory, you simply cannot afford spending that amount of PP and oil on England as an Axis player without having to face the consequences later in the game. Placing cheap defensive leaders in key cities, having 3-4 mechs ready to strike will most likely repell the invaders or atleast prevent them taking a port before fall and winter. You could bring home the second sub from the Med and attack the Kriegsmarine, that will surely "stirr" up things.

    What seems to be standard procedure strategy wise lately, is the Morris inspired BEF in France, so almost all allied players overextend and send troops to France, then complain about operation Sealion being to easy.

    Placing another fighter gives the UK a total of 5 fighters on the map witch is way to much, even with 4 fighters as now, the Axis are having trouble. Axis cannot muster up the PPs to construct those fighters needed to compete with RAF. Hard pressed Axis economy has to priorities ground units. As it is now i usually don´t even have to construct more fighters at all with the UK or US, since those 4 is enough....so my question, why add another fighter?

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    Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:30 am

    Remember that the Axis get a Finnish, Hungarian, Romanian and Italian fighter and even a Romanian and Italian tactical bomber. OK, they have to pay a bit to get some of them to max. I don't feel that the Axis are struggling in the air.

    A British fighter at 3 steps will still have to be built up to 10 steps and that will cost quite a bit of PP's. The Gibraltar fighter starts only at 5 steps. The Canadian fighter will have to sail across the Atlantic before helping Britain. So it's not easy for the Allies because their air assets are spread out all over the map.

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    Post by joerock22 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:40 am

    And let's remember that the Allies did win the Battle of Britain historically. Currently, in the game the RAF has virtually no chance to beat the Luftwaffe. The best they can hope for is to do a little worse than breaking even. Adding a Polish fighter would give the British a better chance.

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    Post by Crazygunner1 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:32 am

    Stauffenberg wrote:Remember that the Axis get a Finnish, Hungarian, Romanian and Italian fighter and even a Romanian and Italian tactical bomber. OK, they have to pay a bit to get some of them to max. I don't feel that the Axis are struggling in the air.

    A British fighter at 3 steps will still have to be built up to 10 steps and that will cost quite a bit of PP's. The Gibraltar fighter starts only at 5 steps. The Canadian fighter will have to sail across the Atlantic before helping Britain. So it's not easy for the Allies because their air assets are spread out all over the map.
    What do you mean they have to be transported? It´s not like i have ever sunk the canadien fighter. Have you?

    The only one of Axis minor fighters that is remotely effective is the finnish one, the other fighters are usually not faring well even against the Russians after 41. Many experienced player just put them on sentry somewhere to prevent partisans from spawning in a city or strat bombers to make 2 runs. They are not cost effective. Better to use PPs and oil on german fighters that are effective or in such case if the italian fighters are good.

    Also what good would another fighter be, you spend valuable PPs to repair it in order to prevent a Sealion? That is another ground unit transfered to a fighter instead. But that fighter won´t make the difference between success or falure for UK since they lack the tech and forces on the ground to repel the invaders not aircover. This will only succeed in taking a higher toll on the Axis PPs but the outcome will be the same.

    Think the balance is good enough as is...or even still think it´s too easy to play allies.

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    Post by Crazygunner1 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:48 am

    joerock22 wrote:And let's remember that the Allies did win the Battle of Britain historically. Currently, in the game the RAF has virtually no chance to beat the Luftwaffe. The best they can hope for is to do a little worse than breaking even. Adding a Polish fighter would give the British a better chance.
    Well they won it narrowly and if Hitler hadn´t intervened at the critical moment they would have colapsed and Luftwaffe have superiority. RAF didn´t win becuase they had the same amount of planes against the germans but because they had shorter to the battlefield and could stay up in the air almost more than twice as long as the german fighter cover. Also wounded RAF planes could set down somewhere in England and be restored to fully operational fighters again while the german fighters where lost and the pilot to or captured. They had radars that warned them early when germans planes arrived in the channel so well coordinated fighter resistance could be made.

    In this game you don´t need airsuperiority to be successful on the ground...

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    Post by joerock22 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:54 am

    Crazygunner1 wrote:Well they won it narrowly and if Hitler hadn´t intervened at the critical moment they would have colapsed and Luftwaffe have superiority. RAF didn´t win becuase they had the same amount of planes against the germans but because they had shorter to the battlefield and could stay up in the air almost more than twice as long as the german fighter cover. Also wounded RAF planes could set down somewhere in England and be restored to fully operational fighters again while the german fighters where lost and the pilot to or captured. They had radars that warned them early when germans planes arrived in the channel so well coordinated fighter resistance could be made.
    I know all that. The trouble is we can't really simulate that in this game. So we have to give the RAF a chance through numbers instead of these advantages.
    In this game you don´t need airsuperiority to be successful on the ground...
    True, but it certainly helps.

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