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Strategy Article


The Sealion Opening


Edi Birsan


The Diplomatic Pouch S1997


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The basis of any good opening is a set diplomatic workings that support a dynamic thrust to control the flow of the game and to dominate a neighbor. Standing alone as a tactical exercise all openings fall short, it is the diplomatic framework that the players must achieve that make the opening work. This is even more so in the case of the Sealion Opening named after the German invasion plans of England in World War II.

Diplomatic Framework[]

The German player must be confident that Russians are absorbed in the South and ideally having a major blowout with the Turks over the Black Sea. The German player also has to be focused on a quick take down of England and the demilitarization of the lowlands so that he can turn quickly east after the strike.

The French Player wants to see the Italians going on a long slow road to the East, hopfully a Lepanto type opening. He also wants to see the English go down like a rock and is willling to take the lead in this and the initial risks.


Spring 1901[]


F Brest to the English Channel
A Paris to Picardy (or Burgundy depending on the Germans)
A Marseilles to Spain


F Kiel to Denmark
A Munich to Ruhr
A Berlin to Kiel

Fall 1901[]


F English support German F Denmark to North Sea
A Picardy to Beligium
A Spain to Portugal


F Denmark to the North Sea
A Ruhr to Holland
A Kiel to Denmark

Winter 1901[]

Germany can build an Army and a Fleet, France can build a Fleet and an Army but all the forces they need are already in play for the next move.

Spring 1902[]


A Holland to Yorkshire, convoyed via F North Sea


A Belgium to Wales, convoyed via F English Channel

At this point the game for the English is over. If the English use their fleets to dislodge the Germans they can still retreat to threaten the English center and the French crush first London and then walk up the Island. If the English go after the French then the Germans walk around the Island.

Either way, England is crippled quickly, the Lowlands are demilitarized and the French-Germans have three units each to pursue their next targets.

The opening is clean, quick, and deadly with a little imaginative diplomacy on the western side.