• a lot of people view italy as something useless, thats main purpose is only to take cairo. so i thought i would ask the internet what they thought. what do you use italy for in your games??

  • Italy has 3 very important things to do.

    1 - Take Cairo (and North Africa)

    2 - Punch a hole in the Eastern Front for Germany on turn 4.

    3 - Take over the oil fields in the Middle East.

    Once you do these, the sky’s the limit for Italy.

  • Italy is a bit on the backfoot in this game. Italy needs to take cairo and help on the eastern front. Before This though, Italy needs to secure a stronger economy. I have always said it would be best if Italy spends the first 2 turns taking down Yugoslavia and Greece, respectively, and occupy Bulgaria. This way the have a bit more purchasing power they can make a bigger impact in this game.

  • a) taking a lot of territories in europe takes away money from germany, which is generally a bad idea.
    b) how can cairo ever fall to italy? you guys really need to explan. i count on average 4 defending airplanes in cairo, with sufficient troops to atleast hold it against, if not counterattack, italies’ 8 soldiers…

    so basically, have sufficiant forces on southern italy and deal as much damage possible to the allies. that’s my plan with italy…

  • Clear the British navy with planes. Take Cairo with that airforce. Build a minor IC then fight to take South Africa. Then fortify and have your planes have a hissy fit on Stalingrad and Moscow.

  • Well, I used to have all sorts of trouble getting off the ground with Italy.  Usually they were more of a hindrance to the axis then a help.  Since then as Germany I have been doing a sealion attack which my opponent has yet to stop, that takes all the pressure off Italy when UK is trying to hold their captial, I would suggest trying this to ease pressure on Italy.  If that doesn’t work, my second piece of advice is to have Italy forget about Africa and concern itself with defending Italy and having a strong mobile can opener working to assist the German drive.

  • @frontovik,
    I really don’t know how your games go, I rarely see more then a single fighter in Egypt. Usually, as Jimmy said, Germany is threatening London(well said as always jimmy 🙂 ) so Britian is loathe to spend IPC’s in Africa, usually husbanding it’s resources for a major defense until America can get there or the threat to London evaporates. So taking Cairo isnt that much of a stretch for Italy if Germany is being played well.

    As for taking the territories in the Balkans, I think it’s better for Italy to have an economy that is easier for it to defend. Taking large tracks of Africa is good, but one major naval push by an allied player and Italy will be cut off from this income. Not that an allied player couldn’t convoy raid the Balkans, but it would be much more difficult. Italy can defend the Balkans more readily then Africa, not having to transport troops there across a potentially hostile Med.
    With this secured, Italy can send reinforcments to the eastern front and “can opener” for Germany.

  • @Clyde85:

    I really don’t know how your games go, I rarely see more then a single fighter in Egypt.

    The way I play UK, I land the Tac in Egypt, and bring over the Malta and Gibraltar airplanes, then put an airbase on Egypt so I can scramble in defense of the fleet.

  • I think that those forces would be better spent trying to keep London. The fighter in Gibraltar should go to London on the UK’s first turn. I like to send the malta fighter along with the fleet in SZ98 to SZ92 so it can be in position to block naval movements into SZ110 by turn 2. The fleet may be sunk, but it will be better spent trying to save London then bullying the Italians.

  • IMO - Italy’s main disadvantage is the starting IPC. They really do have a lot to do, but with the starting IPC - they’re at an disadvantage and relies heavily on Germany strategy for what to do.
    But if punching a hole in Africa and perhaps the Middle East - they can become a real powerhouse, exactly because Allies might also underestimate them as well and focus more on Germany/Japan.

  • Take Cairo ASAP then push for the middle east. Take Iraq and get the infantry for being pro-axis. Put a minor IC in Iraq and push on Stalingrad from the south or move east to put pressure on India.

  • Customizer

    In my latest game, a sort of odd thing happened with Italy.  They sent a few tanks and 1 tac to help out the Germans on the Eastern Front.  They were meant to soften up the Ukraine defense so Germany could take that minor IC on it’s next turn.  However, Italy got lucky with the dice and ended up taking the Ukraine instead so it was Germany that had to go and back up the Italians.  Now Italy has a minor IC right there in Russia and is threatening Stalingrad and Moscow.  They are actually closer than Germany is.

  • I utterly disagree that Italy is worthless - quite the contrary - they are a necessary and strong ally for Germany if played wisely.

    Here are some basics - remembering that every game will be different. This is not a step by step roadmap, but a basic outline.

    • Assume you’ll start with only 1/2 of your fleet. It helps absorb the shock every time Taranto happens.

    • Take S France for the IPCs.

    • Harass N Africa as much as possible, but concentrate mostly on getting your NOs as early as possible - inflate your economy because it will shrink again.

    • Let Germany take the Balkans, and build (over time) a German Minor IC and an Airbase in Greece. You won’t be sorry. This allows the ability to build Italian Subs or Destroyers without fear… 6 aircraft is a nice cover for your fleet. The nice part is… Germany can now build the occassional Sub or Destroyer in the Med themselves. Fun.

    • Aggressively push land units East toward Russia. When the time comes for all out assault on Russia, Italy punches holes and Germany either uses mechanized forces/aircraft to push through them deep into Russia, reinforces the newly conquered territories with German land and air forces, or both. This is critical, and here’s why - 1) Italy’s small number of forces are conserved to attack again the next round, and 2) Italy maintains a decent economy.

    • Don’t be afraid to make a couple of nice naval infrastructure purchases the first couple of times you have good money from your NOs, before the Allies have cranked up their pressure on the Med. In a recent game I purchased 2 Destroyers, then 2 Subs on back to back turns. Then, I continued to feed a naval unit per turn. With your early aircraft (including a Turn 1 Fighter purchase), you’ll be just tough enough to be a credible deterrent to Allied Med interventions. Try it, and see. The rest of your money goes into Infantry-based land purchases. Slowly build up your underbelly defense and push a few continuously toward the front with Russia.

    • Know when to pull out of Africa. Bring your precious Artillery and Armor home! Forget about contesting Britain for control of Egypt, unless your opponent isn’t utilizing resources properly - then, do it by all means. Personally, against a competent player I expect to get my butt kicked out of Africa. That’s ok… accept it as part of your master plan. You’ve got them right where you want them…

    I’ll include a map of a current game I’m in, to show what this basic strategy looks like in the long term. Please take a look at the number of Italian territories in Russia - I’m spending 30 Italian IPCs this turn (Turn 13!) without benefit of one single territory in Africa. Almost every single territory owned in Russia by Italy was the result of exactly what I detailed above - attack Russian picket lines, reinforce with Germany. Repeat. Repeat. Germany has plenty of IPCs… the issue is keeping Italy relevant by allowing them some Lebensraum.

    What would I buy with 30 IPCs right now, on Turn 13? 6 Infantry, an Artillery, and a Destroyer sounds nice. Germany will build another naval unit the next chance they get as well. With the air power of both nations, the Med becomes a dangerous place for Allied navies.

    By the way, a critique of the game I’m in won’t necessarily show me winning… but it does show the best Italy I’ve played to date.


  • hmmm, a ftr I1.  I like the purchase because in a pinch it can be used to help clear the English Channel in preparation for Sealion.  However my normal I1 build is 1 art save 6.  I save ipc’s in case I have a horrible round, then I know I will have enough IPC’s for a CV I2.  That Italian Carrier really helps keep the fleet alive.

    I also don’t concern myself with Africa as Italy.  I have actually abandoned Libya to the French before. (they don’t collect so I wasn’t too worried)  I like to send everything I got as Italy into the Middle East.  I will try and hold Egypt, but there’s no reason to go further south, the real money is in the Middle East and controlling that area forces India to pay attention to you and opens another front against the Russians.

  • Two great points, JimmyHat.

    I always want to build an Italian Carrier, but when the time comes to pull the trigger, I feel like I can’t afford the cost. One of these days I’ll finally do it.

    And if you’re playing against an opponent who allows you access into Egypt (I’m never that fortunate), then yes! The Middle East is the direction to go, absolutely.

    The I1 Fighter is a replacement for the one I lost defending the fleet in the Taranto battle. 2 Fighters and a Tactical bomber are a great combo stationed in S Italy. They have excellent range.

  • I have a few objectives that I like to go for with Italy

    Main objectives:

    Achieve NOs as soon as possible which means clearing out North Africa then the middle east

    Stacking the hell out of Gibraltar. The allies can only get to your home territories and your NO territories by getting into the Med and its gonna be a hell of a lot harder for them to fight in North Africa if they cant bring ships in to help. Im fine with them landing in Morocco

    Secondary objectives:

    Push south into Africa depriving UK of precious IPCs hopefully reaching as far as south africa. With a small mechanized force and some air power you can make quick work of the UK african troops

    Branching out from the Middle East I like to both harass India and provide support to Germany in Southern Russia.

    Tertiary objectives:

    Once Gibraltar has a fairly big stack I like to branch out and land troops in Brazil, Panama, Mexico or the West indies. Just by forcing the US player to divert resources to this area gives me more time to stack Gibraltar and prepare for defense. This is coupled with helping Germany in the Battle for the Atlantic

    My Italy is usually all over the place so the way I achieve this explosive growth is typically by having German planes back up newly taken italian territories with german planes similar to how italy can openers for Germany on the Eastern front

  • i agree w Xandax, Italy’s low income tends to hold them back. IMO if Tobruk, Italian Somaliland and Sardiana were given values of 1 and Sicily a value of 2 to raise Italy to 15 IPCs, it would help Italy as it has a few more bucks to spend and help it expand but not too much to unbalance the game

  • I agree that Italy really only becomes effective once its economy has reached the 15IPC mark. However, I think Italy is better served getting to this level by attack and occupying Yugoslavia, Greece and Bulgaria. Its 5IPC right on Italy’s doorstep, much eaiser to hold then Africa, and gives Italy bases closer to the SU.

  • Clyde - I love the idea of Italian economy in the Balkans, but the German Minor IC/Airbase in Greece causes a lot of trouble for the Allies, so I prefer to let Germany take all of it: Yugoslavia/Balkans on G1, Greece on G2, build Minor IC on G3, build Airbase on G4 - and now you’re in position to help Italy maintain fleet and provide air cover in the Med before the US has had a chance to do much.

    I maintain that timing and initiative are two of the most important concepts to master in this game, and the German move/infrastructure into the Balkans creates a thorn the Allies have to deal with. Once it is up and running, Germany can focus solely on units - infrastructure is done.

  • what do you do with italy???

    Secretly make a deal w/US player. Make horrible attacks w/both navy and ground units. Save all your IPCs from the start (don’t buy anything), so when the US sacks Rome they get all your $ and effectively bring you to the allies “winning” side.
    Screw the Krauts :evil:

    Oh crap, that’s almost how it went down.

  • @WILD:

    what do you do with italy???

    Secretly make a deal w/US player. Make horrible attacks w/both navy and ground units. Save all your IPCs from the start (don’t buy anything), so when the US sacks Rome they get all your $ and effectively bring you to the allies “winning” side.
    Screw the Krauts :evil:

    Oh crap, that’s almost how it went down.

    How much real money will the US player give you? If none being on the “winning side” isn’t worth it.

  • @Dylan:

    How much real money will the US player give you? If none being on the “winning side” isn’t worth it.

    I suggest you make your own deal, then we can re-name you “Benedict the Canadian” 😄

  • Stalingardski- I see your point, the new rules on scrambling aircraft do make that a powerful. I think having the Italians take south France, at the very least, would help off-set handing the Balkans to Germany. I still think Italy taking Bulgaria is a good idea, they could always use the extra troops if nothing else.

  • In my games, Italy is used mainly to defend. If a tanranto raid happens, the Egypt is practically mine since the Brtish NEED to bring the gibralter fighter to the fight, and if the aircraft carriers is destroyed then the fighter is dead anyways. I clear the rest of the British fleet and secure the Med.

    Depending on how Italy is doing, I may or may not send the tank and mech from Tobruk with the inf and arty in Libya into tunisa to get the north africa NO.

    Its far more important to get the Middle East, to collect the money there, and threathen both Calcutta and Stalingrad.

    But once Italy has around 30 IPCs per turn I start sending Infantry and Artillery into Paris. If the Americans and British land it lets me counterattack easily. With Italy defending europe, i let the Germans focus 100% on Russia.

  • Wow KillOfreeze, as UK I always attack Tobruk and never do that Taranto raid.  The UK odds on Tobruk are sooo much better than that fleet battle, and Africa can be easier to defend if you kill the Italian Army that starts in Africa.

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