Recovering Italy after Taranto… Can it be done?


  • Fantasy:  Of course, in most games, your Italian fleet in SZ 95 performs heroically and handily defeats the vainglorious British attempt to dominate the Med on UK1, which then on I1 goes on to destroy all the surviving French and UK ships giving your side a +5 NO for the rest of the game, stymying Allied attempts to sink your precious Italian transports through a never-ending series of battleship 4s.

    Reality:  Okay, so the UK just bombed your capital ships to hell and gone, and you’re sitting with:

    2 FIGs in Italy and a DD, CA in SZ 97

    vs.

    The French DD/CA, with the UK’s loaded CV (probably with 2 FIG) in SZ 93, and with really bad luck you may even have a UK CA surviving in SZ 95…

    What’s a fascist Italian to do on I1?  Probably scream and cry for Hitler to come bail them out.

    Germany is literally forced to come into play at this point, and probably sacrifice most of what’s left of their airforce (at least 3 planes, if not more) killing SZ 93 on G2 for Italy.  Which they may or may not wish to do, as it softens (if not cripples) their airpower needed for Sealion, if they wish to take that route, not to mention it simply saps them of a lot of expensive air units they’ll need later.  Germany probably doesn’t want to bail Italy out entirely just so Italy can possibly get a +5 NO for a few rounds later (not to mention Italy’s NO is completely unable to be maintained once the US/UK show up off Gibraltar/Egypt in force).

    Usually with Italy I’ve thrown what I’ve had available at SZ 93 plus the FIGs to soften it up for the German strike on G2, so its not so unfair.  But it still seems like a waste, and I’m left with virtually zero supporting pieces on the FIRST FRICKING TURN.  As most people have seen, armies with a lot of 1s and 2s but no 3s or 4s tend to go nowhere fast.  1 ARM and 1 ART in Africa without air support or more reinforcements is a BAD idea, and generally Italy’s African forces are trapped and killed by the UK even before the US enters the war.  But how to reinforce if you can’t have a working navy?

    Rather than trying to compete navally on I1, with minimal resources available, why not just build a fighter, and move everything to Alexandria, including 2 more INF on the surviving TRN?  Italy usually has enough local superiority with starting troops to take Egypt for at least one turn on I2, and once its taken German and Italian planes landed there can prevent the UK from trying anything for at least a few more turns.  By then Italy can have a minor IC in Egypt to maintain the balance against incoming UK forces from India and S. Africa, with Egypt as the bottleneck preventing Indian fleet getting into the Med.

    Germany can build a minor IC in Yugoslavia on G2, and with subs produced in the Med can probably clear it without spending too much, especially if they control the Atlantic off England/Gibraltar to keep reinforcments from coming in (well, at least till turn 4 when the US shows up).  As long as Italy has some capability of reinforcing Egypt to match UK’s input from India and S. Africa, Italy can force a stalemate with the extra NO income without needing to buy too many naval units.  And if Italian carriers become necessary, you should still have some fighters lying around to land on them.


  • In my games Italy usually doesn’t have enough force to capture Egypt because the UK flies 3 fighters and a tac to Egypt via British Somaliland. Britain alone is enough to hold off Egypt indefinitely unless Germany does Sealion, and even then the supporting air force causes problems. Usually Italy can’t get anywhere at all by the time the US gets there.


  • @larrymarx:

    In my games Italy usually doesn’t have enough force to capture Egypt because the UK flies 3 fighters and a tac to Egypt via British Somaliland. Britain alone is enough to hold off Egypt indefinitely unless Germany does Sealion, and even then the supporting air force causes problems. Usually Italy can’t get anywhere at all by the time the US gets there.

    This happened to me pretty much every non-alpha game I played, and there’s no chance a fleet-less Italy is going to take Egypt with that kind of air force sitting there.  It’s one of the few reasons I like the alpha setup as there’s fewer planes for India to send to Africa.


  • Well, I pretty much answered this in the topic I posted on removing the Gibraltar naval base. Short answer: no, it can’t be done.

    I’ve played this game a long time and come up with some unconventional strategies that have turned the tide before, going without bids on earlier editons and winning handily and consistently. However, I am completely stumped on what to do after this attack.

    I did the Yugoslavia IC. It’s too slow. I’ve played Japan perfectly and rushed them over to Africa after taking out India. Too slow. I’ve seen Sealion done hard and soft, and have no bearing on the Axis getting pounded because Italy is the weak link. Any babysitting Germany does is pointless because it weakens them against Russia, and does nothing to stop the US onslaught.

    Even if someone does come up with a great strategy, what does that do for us? It locks us into one strategy and counter-strategy. It’s not fun and this needs to be addressed.


  • Have you tried the following:
    Taking Gib and stacking it with German/Italian planes?
    Building a German Fleet in Z112, taking Gib, and entering the Med?
    Blocking Z91 US fleet from reaching Italy?
    Having Japan attack North America?

    Also, have you tried playing on after Italy falls?


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Have you tried the following:
    Taking Gib and stacking it with German/Italian planes?

    What a horrific waste. Destroyed as soon as the US enters the war, and it’s better than killing Axis ground troops for their IPC value.

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    Building a German Fleet in Z112, taking Gib, and entering the Med?

    That’s German troops not on the ground. They’ll never get to Moscow and struggle to defend themselves.

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    Blocking Z91 US fleet from reaching Italy?

    It dies when the US enters the war. If Italy blocks other zones, US air power should be enough to dislodge it, and the planes certainly aren’t needed for the later ground assault. At the worst, the transports break off and land in Normandy for a turn while other US ships clear sea zones.

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    Having Japan attack North America?

    The US is forced to build tanks and planes for a turn. Which end up in Europe as soon as Japan sees how pointless their feint was. As they are getting pushed back in Asia by turning around. Oh noes.

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    Also, have you tried playing on after Italy falls?

    Why bother? US has a steady troop flow that Germany can’t interrupt and can now start building tanks right in Italy. Game over.


  • How? American planes can’t reach it if Morocco and Algeria have fallen. Every 2 units transported there requires a 7 ipc transport. Additionally, once in Z91, germany can hit with with subs and bombers from Z112 and West germany.

    That’s fine. Germany has more ground units and money than Russia anyway; it can afford to help out Italy.

    How? The only planes that can reach Z92 are bombers, which shouldn’t be able to land if Gib and Morocco and Algeria have been taken.

    Japan being pushed back in Asia? By a 10 ipc ANZAC, a 1 ipc China, and a 5 ipc India? Doubt it.

    Why bother? How many troops can the US build by turn 3 to get to Gibraltar, along with transports. US has 106 ipcs. It needs at least a CV for fleet defense, leaving it with 90 to spend. With that, you can buy 6 loaded transports, or 12 troops. Not hard to defead(or even defend Italy; which should be making at least enough to build 9 inf and move them to Rome. German forces in WGer can also help.)

    How about this: we play a forum game, which will be the best way to test this. You play allies, I play axis.


  • Even if America takes Italy, she can only build 3 units per turn therein.

    If you play with upgrading foreign territory into major IC… that’s just ridiculous. America could take Norway easier and pump 10 units per turn out.
    Going into Italy, they could potentially have 2 majors pumping 10 inf and 10 arm for 80 IPC a turn. Germany won’t ever keep up with that.

    No, I’ve never played with foreign majors, and never will.


  • If you’re really curious for some serious input Mr. Sgt. Then we can switch our factions in our upcomming game.  While I’ve never been Italy yet, I’m eager to try it.  🙂

    I personally do not favour a turn 1 attack on Italy as the brits for reason’s I need not repeat here (as I’ve posted long about that in the “taranto standard thread”), but without having been subjected to it, it doesn’t look to me at face value an instant loss to Italy.  Sure the luftewaffe must come to your aid and crush the brits ending their naval power in europe, and if the brits go hardcore africa with indian planes then Japan’s job is a lot easier, but it looks like all that does is put you at a moderate disadvantage.

    I would try leveraging my starting forces as potential threats to launch a large attack keeping the brits from moving too fast in north africa and try to make up the difference by working closer with Germany in europe.  I’d try to have normandy left for me and move through greece threatening the “money” targets in Russia.  While dropping off a few inf in north africa, far enough away that the brits can’t (hopefully) sink the trans on it’s first run.  🙂

    I would compare it to anzac in the pacific.  In Japan hits you hard and has transports place to at least threaten landings, then while your options are limited, but you can still be a drain on your enemy’s war effort.  Italy is by far the weakest axis power and will almost always have to react instead of dictate the war.  More, cheaper, troops and forcing to allies to spend more on fighting you then it’s worth in the long run become your important goals.  I think I could make a run of it, so if you’ll switch with me, Blitz, I’ll put my money where my mouth is.  😉


  • You’re on, kungfujew…  I had a big reply all typed up and ready to go and the x50 error on the wonderful Axis and Allies website nulls all my typing AGAIN.


  • All we need is a player for Russia.  🙂

  • TripleA

    no thanks i do not like multi player games.


  • Multiplayer ios the only way to go.  That way your fighting both your enemies and your allies mistakes.  🙂


  • @SgtBlitz:

    Fantasy:  Of course, in most games, your Italian fleet in SZ 95 performs heroically and handily defeats the vainglorious British attempt to dominate the Med on UK1, which then on I1 goes on to destroy all the surviving French and UK ships giving your side a +5 NO for the rest of the game, stymying Allied attempts to sink your precious Italian transports through a never-ending series of battleship 4s.

    Reality:  Okay, so the UK just bombed your capital ships to hell and gone, and you’re sitting with:

    2 FIGs in Italy and a DD, CA in SZ 97

    vs.

    The French DD/CA, with the UK’s loaded CV (probably with 2 FIG) in SZ 93, and with really bad luck you may even have a UK CA surviving in SZ 95…

    What’s a fascist Italian to do on I1?  Probably scream and cry for Hitler to come bail them out.

    Germany is literally forced to come into play at this point, and probably sacrifice most of what’s left of their airforce (at least 3 planes, if not more) killing SZ 93 on G2 for Italy.  Which they may or may not wish to do, as it softens (if not cripples) their airpower needed for Sealion, if they wish to take that route, not to mention it simply saps them of a lot of expensive air units they’ll need later.  Germany probably doesn’t want to bail Italy out entirely just so Italy can possibly get a +5 NO for a few rounds later (not to mention Italy’s NO is completely unable to be maintained once the US/UK show up off Gibraltar/Egypt in force).

    Usually with Italy I’ve thrown what I’ve had available at SZ 93 plus the FIGs to soften it up for the German strike on G2, so its not so unfair.  But it still seems like a waste, and I’m left with virtually zero supporting pieces on the FIRST FRICKING TURN.  As most people have seen, armies with a lot of 1s and 2s but no 3s or 4s tend to go nowhere fast.  1 ARM and 1 ART in Africa without air support or more reinforcements is a BAD idea, and generally Italy’s African forces are trapped and killed by the UK even before the US enters the war.  But how to reinforce if you can’t have a working navy?

    Rather than trying to compete navally on I1, with minimal resources available, why not just build a fighter, and move everything to Alexandria, including 2 more INF on the surviving TRN?  Italy usually has enough local superiority with starting troops to take Egypt for at least one turn on I2, and once its taken German and Italian planes landed there can prevent the UK from trying anything for at least a few more turns.  By then Italy can have a minor IC in Egypt to maintain the balance against incoming UK forces from India and S. Africa, with Egypt as the bottleneck preventing Indian fleet getting into the Med.

    Germany can build a minor IC in Yugoslavia on G2, and with subs produced in the Med can probably clear it without spending too much, especially if they control the Atlantic off England/Gibraltar to keep reinforcments from coming in (well, at least till turn 4 when the US shows up).  As long as Italy has some capability of reinforcing Egypt to match UK’s input from India and S. Africa, Italy can force a stalemate with the extra NO income without needing to buy too many naval units.  And if Italian carriers become necessary, you should still have some fighters lying around to land on them.

    You could just use a couple german subs on G1 to take out the british DD, AC and tac bomber outside the Med, best case scenario is you get one or two hits, one on the destroyer and/or one on the carrier forcing the plane to land on UK1. It may be suicide but it helps out the Italians greatly if it works.


  • 2 SS will likely only get 1 hit before dying. They damage CV, which will repair from Gib on UK’s turn, allowing it to continue with the raid


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    2 SS will likely only get 1 hit before dying. They damage CV, which will repair from Gib on UK’s turn, allowing it to continue with the raid

    true, but if the carrier is hit im fairly sure the plane must land and cannot attack on UK1, better than nothing


  • @sammyDAbull2:

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    2 SS will likely only get 1 hit before dying. They damage CV, which will repair from Gib on UK’s turn, allowing it to continue with the raid

    true, but if the carrier is hit im fairly sure the plane must land and cannot attack on UK1, better than nothing

    It lands in Gib, which has an airbase.


  • @sammyDAbull2:

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    2 SS will likely only get 1 hit before dying. They damage CV, which will repair from Gib on UK’s turn, allowing it to continue with the raid

    true, but if the carrier is hit im fairly sure the plane must land and cannot attack on UK1, better than nothing

    The plane on gib is the same distance from Taranto as the carrier.  It makes absolutely no difference whether the Tac is on the carrier or on gib.  The UK is completely free to attack with the plane from Gib.

    Why would you think a combat move on one powers turn would affect what units can be used on the enemies turn?

    EDIT POINT -

    Ok, I see your confusion.

    The plane on the carrier has to land at the end of the combat move phase of the turn in which it no longer has a legal landing space.  Specifically, if germany torps the carrier, the tac lands on Gib during noncombat during G1.  Not UK1.  on UK1 the tac is available to strike as desired.


  • @kcdzim:

    @sammyDAbull2:

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    2 SS will likely only get 1 hit before dying. They damage CV, which will repair from Gib on UK’s turn, allowing it to continue with the raid

    true, but if the carrier is hit im fairly sure the plane must land and cannot attack on UK1, better than nothing

    The plane on gib is the same distance from Taranto as the carrier.  It makes absolutely no difference whether the Tac is on the carrier or on gib.  The UK is completely free to attack with the plane from Gib.

    Why would you think a combat move on one powers turn would affect what units can be used on the enemies turn?

    EDIT POINT -

    Ok, I see your confusion.

    The plane on the carrier has to land at the end of the combat move phase of the turn in which it no longer has a legal landing space.  Specifically, if germany torps the carrier, the tac lands on Gib during noncombat during G1.  Not UK1.  on UK1 the tac is available to strike as desired.

    yes that’s exactly what im talking about, are you sure it means the attacker’s non combat and not the defender’s?
    even if im wrong about that, which i think i am now, i still think throwing a couple subs at those ships may help italy get a leg up in the Med


  • @sammyDAbull2:

    yes that’s exactly what im talking about, are you sure it means the attacker’s non combat and not the defender’s?
    even if im wrong about that, which i think i am now, i still think throwing a couple subs at those ships may help italy get a leg up in the Med

    Yes, I am absolutely sure.

    And no, that’s not a good use of German subs.  it’s possible that you’ll sink the destroyer, but it’s less likely that you’ll ever sink the carrier which means it’s repaired at the beginning of UK1 (which means Germany accomplished nothing), and probably certain that both subs die.  And that’s at the expense of clearing out other UK ships which means Germany will probably lose her fleet the next round.


  • @kcdzim:

    @sammyDAbull2:

    yes that’s exactly what im talking about, are you sure it means the attacker’s non combat and not the defender’s?
    even if im wrong about that, which i think i am now, i still think throwing a couple subs at those ships may help italy get a leg up in the Med

    Yes, I am absolutely sure.

    And no, that’s not a good use of German subs.  it’s possible that you’ll sink the destroyer, but it’s less likely that you’ll ever sink the carrier which means it’s repaired at the beginning of UK1 (which means Germany accomplished nothing), and probably certain that both subs die.  And that’s at the expense of clearing out other UK ships which means Germany will probably lose her fleet the next round.

    ok, it’s not the best use, but ive managed to wipe out most of the UK navy and make this suicide attack, so i still think it’s marginally viable, ive been lucky a couple of times and even taken everything but the plane out with those two subs. im just throwing out ideas is all


  • It still doesn’t matter the USA can build a massive fleet and either take Rome or move into Africa(I have seen both done in a single turn). Its still game once Italy falls as the USA can pour forces into Germany and even a few tanks a turn still saps German forces.


  • the USA can build a massive fleet and either take Rome or move into Africa(I have seen both done in a single turn).

    Do you mean building the fleet and taking Rome and Africa in the same turn? I must be misunderstanding this post.


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    How? American planes can’t reach it if Morocco and Algeria have fallen. Every 2 units transported there requires a 7 ipc transport. Additionally, once in Z91, germany can hit with with subs and bombers from Z112 and West germany.

    That’s fine. Germany has more ground units and money than Russia anyway; it can afford to help out Italy.

    How? The only planes that can reach Z92 are bombers, which shouldn’t be able to land if Gib and Morocco and Algeria have been taken.

    Japan being pushed back in Asia? By a 10 ipc ANZAC, a 1 ipc China, and a 5 ipc India? Doubt it.

    Why bother? How many troops can the US build by turn 3 to get to Gibraltar, along with transports. US has 106 ipcs. It needs at least a CV for fleet defense, leaving it with 90 to spend. With that, you can buy 6 loaded transports, or 12 troops. Not hard to defead(or even defend Italy; which should be making at least enough to build 9 inf and move them to Rome. German forces in WGer can also help.)

    How about this: we play a forum game, which will be the best way to test this. You play allies, I play axis.

    OK, I’ve changed my mind. I think I can make time for a forum game. Like I wrote in the other thread, It’s been many years since my last forum game so I’ll have to be shown how to do the forum dice rolling. Some of the conventions seem to have changed also (looks like loss order is assumed for simple battles…) but I suppose I can figure that out. Alpha is fine by me. No tech I would assume.


  • @deadbunny:

    the USA can build a massive fleet and either take Rome or move into Africa(I have seen both done in a single turn).

    Do you mean building the fleet and taking Rome and Africa in the same turn? I must be misunderstanding this post.

    Well, if I had written it, I think I would have been referring to SZ 92 which is where the US may want to be at the end of turn 4. It can dump troops into both Italy and Egypt. Maybe as a turn to take away victory cities? Otherwise, I’d just go straight for Italy and reinforce it next turn.

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