Sealion 41! Barbarossa 42? - GS 2.00.11 - WAR IS OVER!

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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zechi
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Sealion 41! Barbarossa 42? - GS 2.00.11 - WAR IS OVER!

Post by zechi » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:56 am

Axis launch Operation Sealion on May 13 1941! (Turn 32)

My game with Massina becomes a very interesting game, so I think I should share it as an AAR.

Before I go directly into the action, a few comments on how the game played out until now.

1939
Massina played a normal opening, i.e. he captured Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands quickly and without anything special happening.

1940
Case Yellow was also played by the book and France surrendered quite early on May 18, 1940. I managed to destroy a German MECH. However, Paris fell one one turn earlier then I expected. I did only sent two British GAR as BEF and no other units. The Axis took quite a lot of air casualities and I got a few good hits against the German SUBs in the Atlantic. The Canadian units were sent to the Middle East instead of Britain, as intended to built a strong force there. I feared that this was an error, as the early French surrender would have made a Sealion in 1940 easier. I therefore horded my PP and built some ground units for the Brits. Nevertheless I also invested in LABs.

Sealion 1940 never came. Instead Massina choose to launch Operation Isabella and attacked Spain. Quickly the British sent a small Expedition Corps to Spain consisting of a few GAR from Britain and the Middle East and the Canadian INF was redirected to Gibraltar. My defense of Spain was very effective. Even after Madrid was captured I got garrisoned five Spanish cities with British GAR and Gibraltar with an INF. Furthermore, I got some very good hits on German SUB with my DD and managed to sink an Italian BB near Gibraltar. I also captured Las Palmas.

Massina also invaded Norway, the reason why his initial advance into Spain was not quick enough. The TAC needed for Norway were missing in Spain for a few turns. Nevertheless, as the British were occupied in Spain, I could not sent any forces to counter the Norway invasion.

Furthermore, Massina reinforced Libya with at least three German INF and some air units. The British in Norht Africa attacked Syria which was quickly captured.

Massina got quite frustrated with my good defense of Spain, as it was evident that he would not get drive the BEF out of Spain until early 1941. Nevertheless, a drove every British GAR out of the Spanis cities during the winter 1940/41 and lunched his attack on Gibraltar in early 1941.

In the winter of 1940 I decided to sent some more units to the Med, as I expected Massina to quickly attack Egyp as soon as Gibraltar was secured, to close the Med. I even bought a TAC and sent it with the Canadian FTR to Egypt.

1941
Massina had invaded Yugoslavia only with the Minor Axis units and I wondered why. My defense of Yugoslavia was quite good, as it hold out for three turns against minor Axis and I even captured the Yugoslavian oil field!

In early 1941 I got a fair weather turn in February or March 1941 and I did some recon with the British STR.I was shocked to see that several German units were waiting in French port cities! I quickly realised that Massina would most likely not attack in Egypt, but instead go for a Sealion 1941!, So I began some preparations and began producing a few British ground units. However, most RN forces are far away from the home isle and the RAF only consits of the ST and a FTR. In May 1941 the Axis finally captured Gibraltar and launched Operation Sealion. Here we go:

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As you can see the initial landing force has been cleverly positioned by Massina. I will not be able to cover all the beach hexes. Nevertheless, I have one MECH, one INF and two GAR in my building pool and I repair the bombed British MECH. The situation at the end of my turn:

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I will not be able to stop Sealion, but my plan is to definitely make it impossible for Massina to launch Operation Barbarossa in 1941 and I think I wil manage this.Then we will have a very interesting Barbarossa in 1942.

I also rush the RN towards the home isles. However, I'm reluctant to launch a naval strike against the SUB blocking the channel, as the Kriegsmarine (consisting of a two BB and one DD) is lurking nearby. Furthermore, the Luftwaffe can easily Bomb my naval force into oblivion. At least then the Bombers cannot target British ground units.

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However, I will more likely escort the convoys (two fat convoys are coming in) to quickly built more units in Britain.

The Axis also captured Gibraltar this turn, but I still hold Tangier!

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Last turn it was obvious that Gibraltar would fall, so I retreated the GAR defending Gibraltar (I exchanged it with the INF as the INF was down to 1 step) to the hex near Tangier. This blocks the ferry hex for the Axis, so that he cannot ferry the MECH over to attack Tangier.

Last but not least I begin to move the storng 8th Army towards the Libyan border. I also launch naval and air strikes against Tobruk:

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It seems only the Italian airforce stays near Tobruk and no sign of Luftwaffe units. This is good as a British FTR and TAC just arrived this turn and will soon be ready.

However, the most interesting part of this game has yet to come. Most likely there will be a Barbarossa 1942 and I have absolutely no clue what to do with the Soviets. Right now I did not built any units with the Soviets, but I did not got any good tech results with them. They will be on full war production from October 1941 on. Therefore I could have about 1500-2000 PP to spent on units in 1942. However, absolutely cannot predict how a Barbarossa 1942 will play out and what I should produce. Right now I think I could even try to defend at the borders, but I still fear to be overrun by experienced and bette equipped German units.
Last edited by zechi on Tue May 31, 2011 6:22 am, edited 8 times in total.

joerock22
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Post by joerock22 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:14 pm

This game shows that in GS 2.0, the British must be prepared for an invasion of England until Barbarossa is launched (much like the historical British had to do). Sending your ground troops to other areas of the map is a calculated risk that the opponent will not delay Barbarossa to launch Sealion. Personally, I think this is a good thing, even if we sometimes get games like this where Sealion is launched in 1941.

As for how to handle Barbarossa, I'd recommend investing heavily in air tech and building up the Soviet air force. The Germans can't really do much in Russia without air support, and even challenging them in the air is a good thing. I definitely wouldn't seriously fight the Germans until they reach at least the Dnepr, and probably beyond. So I'd keep the fighters on sentry until you're ready to engage him with the bulk of your ground forces. Hold your strong units in the rear and allow them to build effectiveness. I would also build a sizeable tank force and plan a fall/winter offensive on a weak area of his front. Spend the rest of your PPs on infantry (mechs?) to form a double line. Make sure you max out your labs and keep the maxed out as war effort increases.

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Post by richardsd » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:17 pm

I have to say I agree almost entirely - except I don't see how you can stop the Axis taking Iraq if they delay Barbarossa.

It's a big advantage know the Russian's won't do anything as you take Iraq and Persia.

zechi
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Post by zechi » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:54 am

Turn 33 - The Huns land in Britain! Homeguard takes heavy losses! 8th Army advances on Tobruk


At the beginning of my turn I get Level 2 Radar with the British and finally Level 1 in Fixed defense for the Soviets. I also bought a fifth lab for the Soviets. They have now 3 in Air and 2 in INF. The US also got their fifth lab.

The Germans destroyed the two Homeguard GAR next to London and even attacked London itself:

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The British Army goes for a counterattack against the Fallschirmjäger:

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I also decided not to attack with the RN against the expected SUB screen. My DD will try to escort two important convoys to Britain (which will give me about 100 PP). And be ready to evacuate the RAF from Britain if necessary. Some BB are also waiting nearby to counter any sortie by the Kriegsmarine into the Atlantic.

Near Tangier a British SUB engages an Italian BB for 3:0 results:

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The British Army advances towards Tobruk:

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Monty leads the way!

leridano
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Post by leridano » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:14 pm

Too bad we haven´t been able to see how you defended in Spain! Anyway, now that Spain has rail capability and that bad weather also affects to rough hexes in Spain, surely the spanish campaign is harder for the germans than it was used to. :)


    zechi
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    Post by zechi » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:48 pm

    leridano wrote:Too bad we haven´t been able to see how you defended in Spain! Anyway, now that Spain has rail capability and that bad weather also affects to rough hexes in Spain, surely the spanish campaign is harder for the germans than it was used to. :)

      I could not really benefit from this rule change in this game. Our game has been rather slow going as we are both quite busy at the moment and the rule change was implemented right in the middle of the invasion of Spain. I only had one turn were I could make some use of the rail capability in Spain. it allowed me to rail a British GAR into another northern Spanis city and to rail one other Spanish GAR one hex nearer to Madrid. I do not think that the rail capacity will make such a great difference.

      In contrast to our game Massina did not screen the area around Gibraltar with his SUB or the Kriegsmarine. Therefore I could easily garrison the southern part of Spain with British units without any nasty interferences by the Axis. I also had the benefit that I had already the Canadian INF and another MECH on the sea as Spain was invaded. Therefore I was much quicker to garrison some Spanish cities in Spain with British units.

      zechi
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      Post by zechi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:17 am

      Turn 34 - British HQ destroyed near London! Regia Marina takes heavy losses near Gibraltar! Attack on Tobruk begins!

      The Wehrmacht pushes forward but did not manage to take London or another city yet:

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      A counterattack with a British INF against the German ARM results in 2:3 results:

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      I now changed my defensive strategy and produced four more GAR, but placed them in the northern British cities. The Axis will have to fight for every British city!

      Near Gibraltar I sink the Italian DD:

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      The British BB got the expected 6:0 result against the DD, which ran into my SUB during the Axis turn. The SUB finished it off. The Italian BB is also under pressure!

      Last but not least the attack on Tobruk begins:

      Image

      Only some moderate success, but the Axis are not strong enough to stop the British here.

      I also got my first Dog Fight level with the Soviets.

      zechi
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      Post by zechi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:21 am

      Turn 35 - Axis advance slows down near London! Axis invade Portugal! Battle for Tobruk continues!

      Not much action in Britain:

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      and after my turn:

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      As you can see every British city is now garrisoned. Perhaps I will even try to build a second defensive line in Scotland.

      The Axis also invaded Portugal:

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      Nothing I can do here.

      Tobruk is now attacked from two sides:

      Image

      My British TAC is upgraded and back to 10 steps. Next turn it will be ready to strike.

      Peter Stauffenberg
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      Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:53 pm

      I wonder if this is a good strategy for the Axis. If they had combined the offensive in England with a similar offensive to take Egypt and beyond then I could have understood it.

      Right now it seems that the Germans will get most of England with a long struggle and get wiped out in Libya. So they won't have more oil than before.

      USSR can now prepare for a more forward defense and build air / armor units in addition to the best leaders. USSR can place lots of good offensive units before the Germans DoW them in 1942. The efficiency loss for the Russians in 1942 will be less so with Zhukov and the other best leaders placed on the map at the same turn of the DoW, it means the Russians can quickly engage the Germans in real fighting.

      So Germany will not be able to kill lots of Russian units while Russia is weak. They will instead be faced with a struggle for survival in the east from 1942. The only way you can get away with that is if you manage to completely cripple the British.

      So it will be interesting to see how this game progresses. In my view it's good news for the Allies that the Germans are occupied in the west in 1941 and not in Russia, but Massina might have seen something I haven't. :)

      richardsd
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      Post by richardsd » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:29 pm

      The Axis have a few choices still. I would have tested the Channel if I was the Brits. There is still a chnance that Aixs subs are waiting to move into the med and begin a late push for the Oil now that the Brits are committedin NA. Russian entry is still miles away.

      zechi
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      Post by zechi » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:03 am

      Turn 36 - London and Lisbon holds out! German Corps destroyed near Tobruk! Tangier captured by Axis!

      London defenders are stubborn:

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      They are brought back again to 10 steps:

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      The Axis still do not hold any city in Britain.

      The Axis finally capture Tangier, but Lisbon holds out with 1 step (good that I repaired it last turn!):

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      British Army near Tobruk manages to destroy a German Corps near Tobruk:

      Image

      Will the Axis flee or fight?

      zechi
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      Post by zechi » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:09 am

      Turn 37 - Axis struggle to capture London! Manpower shortage in Britain! Italians take heavy losses near Tobruk!

      The Axis still struggle with London:

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      I bring the INF in London back to 10 steps again. The Axis still do not control any city, which makes it very difficult for them:

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      The Luftwaffe is partially depleted. Would I have known that London holds out as long, I should have produce more ground units. Should London hold out a few more turns the Axis will be in trouble. They will never manage to take the other British cities before bad weather hits. Soon the US will enter the war and I could be able to support the British with ground units.

      Near Tobruk the British Army concentrates their attacks on two Italin INF:

      Image

      Massina retreated the Italian MECH, will he flee?

      Peter Stauffenberg
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      Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:35 am

      This looks to become a disaster for the Axis. London will eventually fall, but with many British units still in Britain and USA being able to send reinforcements it means the Germans can't muster a strong enough force to deal with Russia.

      In such a situation I think Russia could focus on building lots of armor units and some air. They will have a strong strike force for an forward deployment. I think Russia can go on the offensive immediately after they join the Allies. Germany will have some good units there for sure, but 3 Russia armor units can kill a German one despite having lower tech level

      A part of the Luftwaffe will be in the west. Spain and Portugal are open for Allied invasion as well and partisans will continue to spawn in Spain.

      So the mighty Germans will notice that their swings can hit hard, but it's not enough when they're attacked from 3-4 directions.

      Still, it's very good that this situation (Sealion 1941 and Barbarossa 1942) is tested out. With a perfect plan I think the Axis can benefit from it, but I believe Sealion 1940 and Barbarossa 1941 is better. Even better is maybe just Barbarossa 1941 and have hordes of subs killing escorts and convoys, but I guess play style will determine what strategy suits the Axis player best.

      zechi
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      Post by zechi » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:16 pm

      Turn 38 - Operation Sealion continues despite exhausted Luftwaffe! Tobruk encircled and Axis routed in Libya!

      London still holds out as the Axis concentrate on Southampton instead:

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      I reinforce the British as good as possible and hope to hold out a few more turns:

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      In Libya the Axis panic and flee:

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      British Army continues its offensive and destroy Italian INF and GAR. Tobruk encircled:

      Image

      Soon the Axis will be routed from North Africa.

      richardsd
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      Post by richardsd » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:13 pm

      This is now a disaster for the Axis unless they have a hidden naval invasion somewhere!

      Crazygunner1
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      Post by Crazygunner1 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:16 pm

      When i read your introduction i knew directly that this game was over....

      The axis can´t possibly win, even if they capture all of brittain, Russia will get to powerful and challange the axis alone without the help of US or brittain. Oil will be a problem for him how ever he twists and turns....

      With the Russians i suggest that you invest in fighters as Stauffenberg posted early, i see he got around 5 german fighters in total +2 from his allies, let say that 12-14 russian fighters will be more than enough to take charge of the skies depending on you research lvl. Also try and muster up between 8-10 tanks, together with supporting Mechs and infantry that will be enough to really stop the Axis and put them on the defense for the remainder of the game. After that you fill in with tacs and strat bombers to move forward and advance where ever you need to go.

      Aim to take back brittain with US forces as soon as possible, then you can start bombing germany after that....

      I see a slam dunk here....

      Really good job in defending and delaying.....are you just as good on the offense?

      zechi
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      Post by zechi » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:46 am

      Crazygunner1 wrote: With the Russians i suggest that you invest in fighters as Stauffenberg posted early, i see he got around 5 german fighters in total +2 from his allies, let say that 12-14 russian fighters will be more than enough to take charge of the skies depending on you research lvl. Also try and muster up between 8-10 tanks, together with supporting Mechs and infantry that will be enough to really stop the Axis and put them on the defense for the remainder of the game. After that you fill in with tacs and strat bombers to move forward and advance where ever you need to go.
      I do not think that I will have enough PP to buy such a big Army. Do not forget that I do not get any convoys or Lend-Lease from Persia until the Soviets enter the war in 1942. I do not even know if my oil level of 50 will change until 1942!

      The Soviets regain quickly oil, but not with 12+ Ftr and 8+ ARM in action ;)

      Also my Soviet tech levels are rather low. I have the maximum of 5 Labs right now (3 in AIR and 2 in INF), so my ARM rather suck at this stage of the game.

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      Post by trulster » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:08 pm

      Interesting game, I think though that as soon as the Russians realise there is no (or weak) 41 Barb they should put some research into armour, essential for an offensive.

      Peter Stauffenberg
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      Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:44 pm

      I think that the Russians should try to put resources into general as well. You need the extra levels in industry to get a higher tech max and production and even more important is to get to organization tech 3 from 1 to get +18 higher max efficiency (+8 for tech 2 and +10 for tech 3).

      I think you need to start up tech advancement quite early so I usually do the following with the Russians.

      1. General
      2. Infantry
      3. Air
      4. Armor
      5. Infantry
      6. Air
      7. Armor
      8. General
      9. Infantry
      10. Air
      11. Armor
      12. General
      13. Air

      Then sell air labs when air tech maxed out so you can get 4 labs in each of infantry, armor and general

      Crazygunner1
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      Post by Crazygunner1 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:10 pm

      zechi wrote:I do not think that I will have enough PP to buy such a big Army. Do not forget that I do not get any convoys or Lend-Lease from Persia until the Soviets enter the war in 1942. I do not even know if my oil level of 50 will change until 1942!

      The Soviets regain quickly oil, but not with 12+ Ftr and 8+ ARM in action ;)

      Also my Soviet tech levels are rather low. I have the maximum of 5 Labs right now (3 in AIR and 2 in INF), so my ARM rather suck at this stage of the game.
      Well you don´t have to have that army when he declares war....you get one fighter from the start and then another from siberian reserves. If you priorities the fighters witch is the most important thing, to deny germany airsuperiority, you will have plenty of time and PPs to build up the rest. Since you invested in fighter you shouldn´t be that far behind...? I suggest you use tanks mostly anyway despite your poor research supported by your mechs it will be enough to put up a good resistance. Fighters and tanks that´s how you stop them....Your tanks may not be the finest but the bring shock and awe to the table witch means that Massina has to be careful in Russia...

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