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Sealion 40 - a Kriegsspiel PBEM game


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Hi all

Just letting those interested in taking part know, there is a globally-involved Kriegsspiel game starting up through facebook (just type Sealion 40; it's a private group). It's dedicated to re-enacting Operation Sealion (1940), Hitler's abandoned planned invasion of England. The game will be at command level so no individual troops are involved or required athough you can show off some minis to while the time before kickoff.  The event is due to kick off around autumn northern hemisphere time, and is expected to run through several months. Commitment is a priority. There are already forty-five signed onboard. There are expected to be eighteen roles for either side with six required umpires so there will probably be double-ups involved with a consensus decision involved. I have never played a Kreigsspeil game but that's not going to stop me from involving myself. I expect it's somewhat similar but nowhere near like TEWTS (Tactical Exercises Without Troops). Lol. Cheers.

Edited by b20f08
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi again

Update: All positions have been filled since a couple of weeks now. But there are reserves (just in case). On the British side, two of us are from Oz; the majority of our group however are from the UK (stands to reason) with one from the USA and Netherlands and Malaysia. The three services (Navy, Army & Air) have formed their own chat groups (again, makes sense). A bit of role playing to initially get acquainted has occurred. Orbats and orders from the Game Master are currently being issued being fed piecemeal to the various groups and subgroups as they are completed. I got a role within the British air group while the other Oz player is part of the British army group. Been a really fun but steep learning curve HISTORICALLY speaking. Got a historical 2IC to help out because of the importance of the air group I belong to (11 Group RAF bore the main brunt of the air assault by the Germans).

For the record, they held a similar What-If at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in the 1970s. Many of the key players from the war assumed the key roles of this kriegsspiel. And the result then was a massive defeat for the Germans. This time round, and I am just speculating, we are playing a slightly modified scenario with a few wobblies likely thrown in to prevent the game from following the historical records. At least, we will see more naval activity within the Channel than actually occurred for the time.

Anyway, will post regular updates as they seem significant. Cheers.

PS: Downloaded and tidied up the PDF outlining the planning behind Operation SEALION. FYI.

German Plans for the Invasion of England rewrite from PDF.pdf

Edited by b20f08
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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a quick drive-by post.

Not much happening at the moment as we are waiting on timelines and other necessary stuff from the gamesmaster. Lot of chat by some of us on the British side with some advocating going on the offensive and not waiting for the Hun to hit first. I have been enjoying this lull as we await "kickoff" (soon), learning heaps of stuff that I never knew before. Even got a biography to read which in itself is a major achievement as books these days tend to make me fall asleep. Coming up with suitable tactics is part of the fun I suppose. Been reading up on the efforts of the AA Command (Ack-ack as they called it then). Amazing what these part-timers (women were involved in AA too) were able to achieve with such limited resources. Too often the Few references the brave pilots but equally applies to these gunners who had sweet eff all but still managed to shoot down a fair few enemy planes. Not to forget the ROC and the Home Guard (yes, even Mr Godfrey contributed). I've even been inspired by the account of the 6th AA division who had a small flotilla of steam paddles deployed in the Channel on anti-mine duties. Stuff for a solo naval skirmish game mayhaps? But that's for a later date.
Sharing files between our various services within our side is helping our case in many ways. Lots of information to wade through and filter so that we have some idea on how to play this invasion game. Do we go with the Stop Lines? How will our GDA handle aerial bombardments? How will we sustain repeated attacks and destruction of our Chain Home radar assets? Do we meet them over the sea? Can we hurt their invasion fleet buildups? And so on. Interesting stuff.

450px-OperationSealion.svg.png

What they can do to us.jpg

Supplement to London Gazette 1947.pdf

Edited by b20f08
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  • 1 month later...

Quick update. Timetable for starting in earnest is now October. Games Master is flat out churning new information for both sides. Just received Tides and Moon schedules for the period. Previously received lists of ports/harbours and towns. No M1 or Ring Road back in July 1940 so we have to obtain old maps of the region at that time. Apparently old Esso maps do the job just fine. Lol.

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  • 3 months later...

Just received the first practice scenarios (there are nine in total).

"Finally, it has begun" to requote a paraphrased famous movie line.

Good opportunity to familiarise oneself with writing up orders for formations and establishing links with our umpires who up to now have been barred from interacting with any of the playing groups. Our specific air group (Fighter Command - consisting of five players) has three scenarios to actively participate in - a request has arrived for fighter escort for a Bomber Command bombing mission on German ports: Emden (daylight) and Hamburg (night); shuffling fighter squadrons around after a week of Luftwaffe raids on airfields and radar stations (nearly all the damaged or destroyed radar stations and airfields are in 11 Group's AO!) and disclosing their operational status to the umpire; a request for light bomber air support for a planned armoured counterattack to retake Folkestone. 

The usual background information is provided for these scenarios (mostly for the naval contingents of both sides) such as weather, dates and a brief overview of the situation in those dates.  

This is not a Role Playing game. It's more like a TEWT (Tactical Exercise Without Troops) but at a higher command level. All the gaming is done by the various umpires assigned to each playing group (air, naval, ground) who report back the results. What you provide those umpires (and their interpretation of your orders) therefore demands a heightened sense of awareness and clarity from the active player when writing out orders. And you can't necessarily act independently: you are part of a chain of command and therefore must communicate or liaise with others in your command group if wanting to pursue an independent course of action. The emphasis is on teamwork and close cooperation is definitely touted when playing this sort of command-level game. Very interesting.  

Edited by b20f08
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  • 2 weeks later...

I guess that's why you need to practice. Rules are being revised to take into account certain anomalies that have arisen from our first day of orders. 11 Group are currently patrolling their areas with tiny flasks of hot toddy; the remainder are either relaxing or else sitting ready to go once the call comes through. The hot toddy helps to steady the nerves....🙂🥳 Commanders though are drinking something more substantial for their substantive roles - triple distilled Irish whiskey! 🧊🥃🥴

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  • 2 weeks later...

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