Note that I play 2nd edition. I don’t know how this compares to alpha+3.
The first thing that I look out for with the UK, is what is Germany doing? IF a serious sea-lion is posed, I move every available ship from the UK med-fleet (and the french if they survive) to Gibraltar, as well as every ratty old plane the UK has in the med. This requires removal of the Italian TRS+DD in SZ96 in the 2nd edition.
With this move and smart builds in London, Sea Lion will fail miserably. Italy on the other hand will be stronger in Africa but you can’t have both London and Cairo. Rest assured that you will take back the latter, if Italy takes it at all. If Germany continues on the Sea Lion Path, all the Gibraltar stuff moves north to fight Germans, who will fail, Russia will roll over Germany and it is game over very quickly for the Axis. EVEN if Lucky dicerolls hands them over London they will not be able to stop the Russians anymore because they will loose too much in the battle of London… Unless they roll SO DAMN Lucky that they manage to keep all their Luftwaffe + take London with their last tank :roll:
If Germany does NOT continue with Sea Lion (you can tell by their production), move the Gibraltar stuff + STR and FTR from London back into Africa, ending the Italian dreams there with moderate effort.
If Germany never poses/feighns a Sea-Lion threat, do a ‘Taranto’ or ‘Tobruk’ UK1. The specifics vary from the preferences from player to player but in general it comes down to attack as much Italian ships (or its units in Tobruk) with as much of your air/ships.
Personally I prefer to kill all Italian ships in SZ96 and SZ97 with all UK-ships that can get to them plus all aircraft that can get there. Note that the STR in London can get there and land in Malta as well as 2 FTR from London that can land on the CV if necessary. I personally take ships (even the CV) as losses, and land all surviving aircraft (which should very well be all) in Malta, but this may also differ according to your preferences.
If you fear/don’t know how to handle a ‘surprise Sea Lion’ from the Germans, seriously consider to consolidate around Gibraltar UK1, doing ‘Taranto’ (sort of) UK2. Taranto is most effective UK1 but loses not much of its effect if executed UK2.
Good luck and have fun playing!