Tournament rules but with Italy neutral for 2 rounds

  • Yesterday I play 2 games but my buddies insisted Italy starts neutral for 2 turns to be “historically accurate”.  Albania was not aligned with Italy and no mines are active in the sea zone.

    The first game I played Russia and Austria comes on fully on the attack since he did not have to attack Venice.  I had taken Mesopotamia on round 1 but could not reinforce because of the onslaught.  Britain took Afghanistan and pushed troops up to Sevastopol and landed some troops in Karelia as the game progressed.  On turn 3 Austria saw the stack of Italian in Venice and ran home, leaving about 10 units in Ukraine.  Italy did not advance, just dug in.  America reinforced them and they were never in danger of falling.  Russia fell to Germany on turn 7, but swallowed up massive amounts of troops.  France and Britain were in Kiel and we called it a game to try to get another one in.

    The second game I played Austria and tried to learn from the first game and left behind 1 infantry and 2 artillery in Trieste as a start to a defense and attacked Albania, Serbia, and Romania.  I sent in 24 attack points on Albania and Serbia, 36 to Romania and but everything else in Galicia.  I built 6 infantry and 2 artillery, planning to use just builds for Italy and everything in the Balkans heading East.
    I should have won every territory on turn 1.  No hits in Albania, 1 survivor in Serbia and maybe 3 left in Romania.  My dice rolls have consistently been bad playing 1914.  😞

    Russia reinforced Romania and built up in the Ukraine.  Enough forces were in Poland to remain contested at the end of Germany’s 1st turn.  They and Britain took Mesopotamia.  Britain took Arabia and Afghanistan.

    Turn 2 I again calculated what was needed to win and attacked all 3 Balkan states with an extra infantry.  I won Romania and Serbia, still contested in Albania!  1 survivor.  I was weak against the Ukraine but attacked to try to lock them down.  I had survived by avoid direct battles with Germany in the first game.  We traded losses but each had significant forces there.

    Russia stayed in the Ukraine but did not fight.  They sent a few troops to reinforce Mesopotamia.  The Turks worried about economic collapse but Egypt was being neglected, even drained for southern Africa.  The Ottoman went in and it was mutual annihilation.  They also had defeated the Russian cruisers on turn 1 with out a loss.  The Turk sailed SZ 19 to meet up with the Austrian fleet that had sent 2 units to Ankara on the transport while the rest blockaded Suez before Italy plants their mines on turn 3.  Normal France/Germany stuff out west.

    Turn 3 peace with Italy is a thing of the past.  I choose to protect Trieste and have to leave Tyrolia empty, can’t guard both.  Launch another headlong charge at the Russian, reinforced by the troops form Romania.  Serbian forces go to Albania which finally falls.  I kill 20, lose 24.  I have 5 units left in all of Russia.  And 2 units in Ankara with a transport.  I hop on the boat, landing in an empty Egypt.

    Russia can stand and fight in the Ukraine or fight the Germans in Moscow next turn.  They stay and get 4 Brits to stand with them.  Germany is strong enough to slaughter those that survived me.  Next turn Moscow!  I really started a trend in Egypt, suddenly everyone is sending a boat with vacationers to Cairo and they hate I got there first.  Frenchmen with a bombard come in and I kill them with no losses.  Then the Brits kill my Artillery but I slay them too.  Then the Italians, I fall.  The Italians also march a single unit into Tyrolia and bring everything else to Trieste, I barely manage to stay alive.

    Turn 4 Germans say they are on the way, so I don’t spare anything for Tyrolia and bring my build and guys from Albania to try to destroy the Italians in Trieste.  Did I mention I don’t roll good in 1914?  Ouch.  I take Sevastopol with my guys in Russia so I can get some points.

    Germany conquers Moscow on turn 4 and collect the IPCs.  France beware, but he has to save Austria also. 
    Russian units in Mesopotamia suicide against the Turks.  Germans not quite dead yet in south Africa.  France and Italy attack the combined fleet in SZ 19.  French navy gets sunk for an Austrian tip and lost 1 Turk cruiser.  The Italians follow up and survive with a tipped battleship.  Had they lost, 4 transports in SZ 17 would have been guarded only by mines.  I did mention my dice rolling, right?

    Turn 5 finally regains Trieste because they retreated, Germans are massed to go through Switzerland.  Still Italians are in Tyrolia.  Look away and look back, they are replaced by Germans.  The Ottomans are contesting Mesopotamia and worried by the buildup in Egypt, Americans are in Spanish Morocco.  They move all but 2 infantry to Trans-Jordan and build 4 artillery for pre-emptive shots if attacked.  They win Mesopotamia.
    The American sail right up to Constantinople and take it.  Ottomans are out of the game!  No one is adjacent to take it back.

    Turn 6 Austria sends it builds to Ukraine to patch up Russia.  Austria is back to their original borders plus the Balkans
    France sails to Romania.  The Brits sail into Ankara to cement political collapse of the Ottomans.  These sneaky people pull what is left out of Egypt so the Turks can’t suicide attack them.  No one is left standing next to an Ottoman, they die without a bang.  The British are also pushing toward Moscow but the armies are small.
    Germany advances into Burgundy.

    End of the turn we call the game because we have been playing both games for 14 hours.  The Germans are allowed to attack Paris.  70 hits!  His rolling has been making up for mine bad rolls all night.  I did tell you I can’t roll well playing 1914, didn’t I?

    I know my friends will try to play this house rule every time.  If they do, the next time the CP fleets should be in 17 not 19, troops could still be landed in Egypt from 17.  I still need to hold troops back to attack Venice on turn 3.

    And buy new dice.

  • Customizer

    Do you play it that Italy does nothing while neutral, i.e. Italy cannot buy new units or move what they already have?

    In my view this is essential for a workable neutral Italy; as far as the powers of the day were concerned mobilization was the equivalent of a declaration of war, so as soon as a power starts moving and building it should be considered at war for all purposes.

    Also, it’s rather unfair that Italy can build, yet Austria cannot attack it. Therefore, if Italy can build/move R1/2 then Austria has no reason not to attack Venice R1 to prevent an Italian buildup, which of course renders the rule obsolete.

    If you’re going to make Italy neutral for two turns, then Turkey should be neutral at least until the beginning of its first turn.

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