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World in Flames» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Is Sea Lion a viable option? rss

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Matteo
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Hello everybody!

Since we're soon going to begin a new global campaign and I could be the german player, I was wondering if Sea Lion is actually a viable option. I won't probably choose it anyway, because I'm still quite new to the game to try such a feat, but I am curious. I see it mentioned often in this forum, but I never read a game report where it was attempted. So, have you ever performed or witnessed a succesful invasion of Great Britain?

Thanks, Matteo.
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Wendell
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I have certainly heard of them but haven't seen one in a game I've been in. Much will depend on what rules you are using and on objectives - but yes, Britain can be invaded though conquering it is tough and German units there run the risk of ending up in a really big POW camp...
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Matteo
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And can you remember if those SL you heard about were succesful or not?
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Wendell
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teobius wrote:

And can you remember if those SL you heard about were succesful or not?


Define "successful"? Many SL's don't actually conquer the UK, but DO inflict a great deal of damage on CW production and force the liberation of Western Europe to begin in Britain instead of France. That may or may not be successful depending on the Axis' perspective.

I have never heard of the CW being conquered though. Tough to get to Canada!
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Jesper Noget
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I guess you could conquer Great Britain? Conquest of CW as major power is tough with all these home countries spread around the globe :-)
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Wendell
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Pectin wrote:
I guess you could conquer Great Britain? Conquest of CW as major power is tough with all these home countries spread around the globe :-)


The Axis can conquer the UK - which means taking Belfast too. Part of what makes conquering the UK hard.
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wifwendell wrote:
Pectin wrote:
I guess you could conquer Great Britain? Conquest of CW as major power is tough with all these home countries spread around the globe :-)


The Axis can conquer the UK - which means taking Belfast too. Part of what makes conquering the UK hard.


A friend of mine once stumbled upon what appeared to be the strangest rules question ever during a Sealion at a WiFcon. He was the American, and was witnessing a dedicated Sea lion that was ready to conquer the UK..only Belfast was left. He proposed to take the optional to claim Northern Ireland, thereby taking the UK's last factory and incompletely conquering it with the United States! As a bonus, since all of the Uk would be conquered by the US, the Germans would have to teleport home immediately! After much checking and debate it was determined to be illegal even though there was no rule in the rulebook expressly forbidding it. He still took Belfast, allowing Germany to incompletely conquer the UK, and later came back to liberate the UK and win the game.

Long and short of it, a dedicated Sea lion is not only possible but likely to succeed against an incautious CW player. An easy first start on a Sealion is to invade Ireland when the CW fleets are over committed and then clear out the sea lanes west of the islands. At that point, unless the US is about to enter, its pretty tough for England to survive.
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Oh, yeah, since I often play the CW I will also throw out my optimal first step for defending against a Sealion invasion: build every armor and fighter you own, before building any other land or air units.
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Wendell
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philreh wrote:
A friend of mine once stumbled upon what appeared to be the strangest rules question ever during a Sealion at a WiFcon. He was the American, and was witnessing a dedicated Sea lion that was ready to conquer the UK..only Belfast was left. He proposed to take the optional to claim Northern Ireland, thereby taking the UK's last factory and incompletely conquering it with the United States!


If I had been there I would have poured derision on the very idea... and pointed out that the rules specify you can only be conquered by a country at war with you - so the US can't conquer the UK.
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Marco semori
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Don't try it if you are in team with me!!
As I saw in our previously game (for Teobius our mighty and successful game), a really good point is to fake a SL to make the CW player keep his units in Britain and build few naval force.
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Bruce Jurin
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Sea Lion is absolutely viable and I have seen it many times. Harry Rowland used it at one of the WifCon's I attended, for instance. I agree with Wendell that the rule set matters, perhaps quite a lot.

There are two versions of Sea Lion. In my experience, the most common method is to Vichy France fairly quickly, collapse it, conquer Spain, and take Gibraltar. You then let the Italian Fleet out into the Atlantic (and of course put the CW in a tough spot defending everything).

The other method, which under RAW 7 rules is much harder in my opinion, is to simply cross the channel once France is down (or even before!)

In either case, the key obviously is using the AMPH and Para's along possibly with some divisions to get a foothold. That isn't really the hard part,the hard part is keeping a small foothold from being wiped out before it does any damage.

A Sea Lion is very hard if the CW is leaving forces around in England for that reason. But if a CW player is leaving skeleton forces behind to reinforce other areas like Africa, it can be pulled off.

Be warned that the new rules using o-points make Sea Lion MUCH easier! Indeed, it is one of the most important changes in the rules. With the ability to do things like take a combined but use a few more lands or air missions, watch out! Or a land with some naval moves to move amph's! Very dangerous!

Specifically, get the initial landing using an o-chit, back it up with aircraft and maybe defensive shore bombardment. Have the amph return to base next impulse, reorg it. Reinvade a second hex using support from the landed troops.

If Gibraltar is taken,the Italian Trs is very important for reorging anyone landing that had to flip. Obviously you are always reorgning your ATR's.

The main issue for me playing the CW is if France falls while Germany still has its o-chits or lots of o-points, I'm gearing for a Sea Lion. So if you are playing a heady Germany, don't strip England thinking it can't be done! It can and it has!
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Jason Johns
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devil
wifwendell wrote:
I have certainly heard of them but haven't seen one in a game I've been in. Much will depend on what rules you are using and on objectives - but yes, Britain can be invaded though conquering it is tough and German units there run the risk of ending up in a really big POW camp...


Wow, Wendell,

This is like seeing the mythical unicorn. You've never seen a SL? Perhaps you are not the WIF demigod I once thought you to be.

devil


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Patrick Sloan
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Most SLs I have witnessed have never turned out well for Germany. It usually ends up with OOS units. the UK navy can usually handle most invasions. However, I would try it if the CW player leaves a small naval, AC units and defending land units AND they have already sustained heavy losses elsewhere.

Do it! It's only cardboard! laugh
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Wendell
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iamspamus wrote:
devil
wifwendell wrote:
I have certainly heard of them but haven't seen one in a game I've been in. Much will depend on what rules you are using and on objectives - but yes, Britain can be invaded though conquering it is tough and German units there run the risk of ending up in a really big POW camp...


Wow, Wendell,

This is like seeing the mythical unicorn. You've never seen a SL? Perhaps you are not the WIF demigod I once thought you to be.

devil


Axis players know better than to try it against me...
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Roberto Amestoy
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I have made SL once, I didn´t conquer UK, but I disrupted his production

and destroyed the factorys. The Comeback of the Allies wasn´t quite so

powerful because of the lack of british units.

I also build always the german and vichy fleet, then take vichy and

get a nice and powerful surface fleet. This serves first to make sweat

the British player, and you could use it very aggresively to force the

allies to mantain a powerful fleet in UK. This could help the other

axis player.





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wifwendell wrote:
philreh wrote:
A friend of mine once stumbled upon what appeared to be the strangest rules question ever during a Sealion at a WiFcon. He was the American, and was witnessing a dedicated Sea lion that was ready to conquer the UK..only Belfast was left. He proposed to take the optional to claim Northern Ireland, thereby taking the UK's last factory and incompletely conquering it with the United States!


If I had been there I would have poured derision on the very idea... and pointed out that the rules specify you can only be conquered by a country at war with you - so the US can't conquer the UK.


This was a few years ago, and it's entirely possible that this rule was added because of this event, because Michael Panzer and other Wif-gurus could not find of or think of a rule preventing it (except common sense, of course). Still, it was a fun moment, or so I hear.
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Breunor wrote:
(snip)

Specifically, get the initial landing using an o-chit, back it up with aircraft and maybe defensive shore bombardment. Have the amph return to base next impulse, reorg it. Reinvade a second hex using support from the landed troops.


Unless I am missing something, the only way to voluntarily get a flipped AMPH in a sea zone back to port is to abort the entire sea zone. In that case, you wouldn't have either dsb or supply (probably), making the land units very vulnerable. Am I missing something?
 
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Jesper Noget
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Can a sealion be pulled off without the help from the Italian SCS. They add shorebombardment, ships that can take eventuel casulties, two TRS and some flexibility with regards to activity limits.

Meaning can you successfully conduct a sealion operation, meaning that you disrupt CW production severely and do some damage, without taking gibraltar via Spain?

Yours,

Jesper
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Bruce Jurin
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philreh wrote:
(snip)

Unless I am missing something, the only way to voluntarily get a flipped AMPH in a sea zone back to port is to abort the entire sea zone. In that case, you wouldn't have either dsb or supply (probably), making the land units very vulnerable. Am I missing something?


Thanks Phil, you are correct of course under the standard rules Sorry, we were playing then with some optional rules we were testing. Obviously, it is very risky to rtb the whole box but if you have air superiority over Southern England you may risk it since you won't be flipped by GS (you hope).

BTW, one item I do with a Sealion is keep supply with a TRS instead of a CP in he North Sea.

Pectin/ wrote:


Can a sealion be pulled off without the help from the Italian SCS. They add shorebombardment, ships that can take eventuel casulties, two TRS and some flexibility with regards to activity limits.

Meaning can you successfully conduct a sealion operation, meaning that you disrupt CW production severely and do some damage, without taking gibraltar via Spain?



Yes, Harry Rowland did this at a Wifcon, I did it once. But you really need the CW to strip England. It may need somne luck - the best here is try it near the end of the turn, hope you get the end of turn after landing, have initiative and go first next turn. Although this may seem 'risky', the cost of a few units relative to destroying a bunch of CW factories makes it often a worthwhile gambit.

As Wendell said, if the CW is really active and worried about a Sea Lion, it is very hard to pull off.

It is really useful to learn the pressure points. If you have a CW player who thinks England can't be invaded, it is really important as Germany that you learn the mechanics of pulling of a Sea Lion - you have to be able to punish him if he basically sticks his chin out and says 'hit me if you dare'.

You also need to learn how to do things like screen France and attack Russia in 1940 if the Soviets are too far in the Far East, the CW moves Wavell out of Egypt into France on the first turn, etc.

My guesstimate is that about 10% - 20% of Sealions are without taking Gibraltar, but those are mostly whenthe Cw is basically 'asking for it'; at least with standard rules.


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Lincoln Thomas
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Hi all
First entry in this forum.
Read this and wanted my two bobs worth.

I'm playing my 2nd game of WiF ever and as the Germans my Axis friend and I are giving the Allies the run around.

Japan invaded Indo Netherlands first turn and took resources off CW's then invaded India. This put CW on the back foot and had to move troops into India to counter attack as he is losing resources very early in the game.

To compound CWs problems we thought of Op Sea Lion. Not to invade, just being annoying tieing up his troops having to constantly deal with me.

First up I used Marines to invade Norwich. I could only do this as he moved his fleet away from the seas zone to deal with the Italians in the Med (Completly different story as Italys invaded Greece and Turkey taking Istanbul.)



CW shit himself and through everything at my marines and he rolled a '1'. Suck eggs Transported in some more troops 2 divs and a corp and a fighter as his fleet hadn't returned. This took 2 impulses. Then his fleet returned and marines where stuck. But so what they where on British soil and I was happy

Next turn he cleared me out after a good roll. But it wasn't over yet. Just as he thought he was free I flew in the Paratroopers onto the south coast overrunning a spitfire group. CWs weren't happy again. In fact he was quite miserable.



And thats where we are up to. I am planing on keeping this up, dropping in paratroops or marines when his fleet moves. He wants to fight in the med against Italy but his fleet keeps getting tied up. His troops are tied up in India atm and he can't move troops out of Britian as I keep invading.

Also he is aware of what I'm up to now when he saw me rebuild my marines straight after they died. So he has had to adjust his plans quite significantly. He is frustrated as all hell. India is falling to the Japs, Med is ablaze with Italy and Britian keeps getting invaded.

But soon the worm will turn. USA are in the war and Germany is now invading Russia. But its great seeing CWs face go red with anger as German troops keep arriving on his shores.

If you get a chance to do it Op Sea Lion is a lot of fun and watch the CW's lose their feeble minds dealing with it.

Well I got good value out of that two bob.
Cheers!
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Wendell
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LincolnT wrote:
Japan invaded Indo Netherlands first turn and took resources off CW's then invaded India.


This is certainly a short-term problem for the Commonwealth. But it will bring the US into the war much earlier than usual so long-term, it's very risky for Japan.
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