How to save Italian fleet


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I like Germany to capture and use Southern France for that express purpose jwo1984.


  • Customizer

    Me too. I have often dropped subs in the Med for Germany to help out the Italians and even harass the US fleet when it gets there. I have also put German transports there to help Italy clear North Africa and get that land unit into Egypt when it falls.
    Never really thought of putting an aircraft carrier down there though. That could open up some interesting possibilities. Might even make the Americans wary of going to SZ 91.


  • '14 Customizer

    Great idea for Germany to produce subs in the Med. Remember subs can move through Gibraltar without the need to control it.


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    I usually scramble the air force at Taranto as well, same reasoning, kill off whatever you can and Germany can always rebuild.

    Currently tossing a Minor complex there next to Italy for the Germans so that both powers CAN build naval there, not sure if it’s a good strategy or not, but it’s close enough for everyone to defend and it might be able to turn the tide in the Med.

    Love the idea of sending two subs to SZ 91.  Usually send 1 to SZ 106, but yea, that transport/destroyer combo isn’t the greatest odds anyway, and that cruiser is way more deadly.

    Trying to figure out some way to not cripple myself but yet still sink the French navy with Germany round 1.  They become a nuisance sometimes (especially with that fighter for support.)



  • Actualy i give them a target 2 tempting not to attack as germany.

    buy 1 AC + 1 dest.
    2 subs -> gibraltar cruisers
    2 subs 1 BB 1 fig 1 tact 1 strategic  vs the fleet of scotland
    1 sub  All air vs the channel fleet. This is optional.
    Land at least 1 fig in south italy.
    Optional -> sink the france fleet with 1 fig 1 tactical 1 strategic and land them in south italy.

    Target is to strafe the fleet of schotland get idealy 3-4 hits and then retreat to the SC off denmark. with 1 damaged BB.

    So this gives the UK 2 options.
    Attack your damaged BB and have a decent chance of sinking that fleet.
    Attack Italy and leave itself wide open for Sea lion, his BB cant repair and next round it will be dead.

    And even if they sink italy fleet next turn they will lose a lot of money in convoy zones the turn after.



  • ShadowHAwk, I have to applaud that strafe on the Scotti fleet (will try it out next time I’m Germany). I often build a carrier for the Germans G1, then NCM the BB to sz 112 anyway, so this fits into that very well (carrier/DD build). The DD could also help track down that pesky Russian sub that convoys Norway. I rarely use the German BB on G1 because I don’t like to sacrifice it in the battle, or have it be a sitting duck off the coast of the UK damaged (so this basically lets me bake my cake, and eat it too lol). I can also see how it makes the UK think about sending everything into the Med, or should they go after this new target. Either target is costly to the UK.

    IMO keeping the German BB alive seems to help later in the game, because the allies have to deal with a real naval or Sea Lion threat. That naval threat could delay them a round getting to the European coast too (need to build more boats lol). It can also make it difficult for the Allies to sink your Baltic fleet later, which is the life line for Norway. Besides, if they do send everything to the Med you can convoy the crap out out of UK for a turn, maybe two. Using the BB as a hit and run opens up a lot for the Axis IMO.

    I know that the UK could attack your German fleet (sacrificing the damaged Brit BB), but if they don’t I was just wondering how successful you are in taking out the British BB on G2 (it would probably be damaged). It really only has a couple options with having only 2 moves. Sz 109 w/a pair of destroys (1 from Canada if it survives), and what ever UK builds there would be my guess (probably a couple ftrs to scramble). The German would have good odds hitting sz 109, but It won’t be cheap, and the Germans may also need to clear the Med. I could see the Luftwaffe taking quite a hit which is never good for the Germans.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    Actualy i give them a target 2 tempting not to attack as germany.

    buy 1 AC + 1 dest.
    2 subs -> gibraltar cruisers
    2 subs 1 BB 1 fig 1 tact 1 strategic  vs the fleet of scotland
    1 sub  All air vs the channel fleet. This is optional.
    Land at least 1 fig in south italy.
    Optional -> sink the france fleet with 1 fig 1 tactical 1 strategic and land them in south italy.

    Target is to strafe the fleet of schotland get idealy 3-4 hits and then retreat to the SC off denmark. with 1 damaged BB.

    So this gives the UK 2 options.
    Attack your damaged BB and have a decent chance of sinking that fleet.
    Attack Italy and leave itself wide open for Sea lion, his BB cant repair and next round it will be dead.

    And even if they sink italy fleet next turn they will lose a lot of money in convoy zones the turn after.

    UK might try to stack 92 and finish off the pesky subs, this depends on where the germany air is positioned and how much air germany lost in the channel.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    Actualy i give them a target 2 tempting not to attack as germany.

    buy 1 AC + 1 dest.
    2 subs -> gibraltar cruisers
    2 subs 1 BB 1 fig 1 tact 1 strategic  vs the fleet of scotland
    1 sub  All air vs the channel fleet. This is optional.
    Land at least 1 fig in south italy.
    Optional -> sink the france fleet with 1 fig 1 tactical 1 strategic and land them in south italy.

    Target is to strafe the fleet of schotland get idealy 3-4 hits and then retreat to the SC off denmark. with 1 damaged BB.

    So this gives the UK 2 options.
    Attack your damaged BB and have a decent chance of sinking that fleet.
    Attack Italy and leave itself wide open for Sea lion, his BB cant repair and next round it will be dead.

    And even if they sink italy fleet next turn they will lose a lot of money in convoy zones the turn after.

    Even though it is optional, it looks like GE should not attack SZ110:
    If UK scrambles, GE looses 6air, to the UK only 3 (remember, the scramblers cannot hit submarines). Isn’t this a killing blow for any subsequent Sea Lion/Barbarossa?
    But not attacking 110 leaves an undamaged BB+2CA in the channel. Combined with the (likely) damaged BB from SZ111, doesn’t this also provide the UK with an excellent deterrent against Sea Lion?
    Even with GE 2SUB + 3FTR + 3TAC versus UK BB + 2CA + 3FTR, the projection of survivors is 1 German aircraft. So 5 German air lost to 3 brits.

    I still think the best way to get the brits into their most cautious mode, is GE buying nothing GE1. If the Uk gets agressive, GE2 can produce a deadly force for SL GE3. Even Barbarossa is still a very good option.


  • '14 Customizer

    How does this work with Low Luck?  Does TripleA group the planes and ships separately for low luck?



  • In terms of Low luck, the presence of a dd on defense makes all the difference.

    Without a DD, sub hits and air hits must b rolled separately, and so it can mess up the LL rolls.

    In LL the scram against 110 is really strong, as u can choose to take hits against the UK boats but G cannot take air hits against subs.


  • '14 Customizer

    I guess you could send 2 subs, battleship, 3 fighters, 3 t-bombers to 110 and 2 subs 1 fighter, 1 t-bomber and 2 s-bombers to 111. Your more likely to lose 1-2 planes in 111 but you should be safe from losing planes in 110 unless all the fighters hit.



  • Exactly my point.
    Though it hurts, the BB is required for attacking 110 to prevent a catastrophe for the Germans.

    I have yet to meet the Brit who is willing to take the risk of scrambling 110 if Germany attacks it with 2subs 1BB 3FTR 3TAC (projected hits inflicted: 4, but 5 may be the best to acknowledge).

    Of course, this is all LL-talk. If you are playing with the dice and your opponent is a gambler, he/she might scramble anyway and loose the game right there. Or win it, if the dice seem to hate you (http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=32089.0)…

    If you know your opponent won’t scramble, consider building an AB in Holland instead of the CV. With that base, Germany can has 1sub 1CA 1BB 3FTR and a TRS in the channel 8-).


  • '14 Customizer

    Very interesting… I might have to try that.  If your going to build an AB you might as well bring the cruiser along for the battle too in 110.



  • Unfortunately, the CA and TRS can’t reach 110. Just realized they start in 114 :-(. It can get there GE2 though.


  • '14 Customizer

    ItIsILeClerc - lol, I knew that smacks head



  • @ItIsILeClerc:

    I still think the best way to get the brits into their most cautious mode, is GE buying nothing GE1. If the Uk gets agressive, GE2 can produce a deadly force for SL GE3. Even Barbarossa is still a very good option.

    But what’s stopping UK from doing the same thing?  Buy nothing, run Taranto, and wait til UK2 to respond to a Sealion threat.  Seems like a lot of German initiative is being sacrificed with little payoff.



  • @MistuhJay:

    @ItIsILeClerc:

    I still think the best way to get the brits into their most cautious mode, is GE buying nothing GE1. If the Uk gets agressive, GE2 can produce a deadly force for SL GE3. Even Barbarossa is still a very good option.

    But what’s stopping UK from doing the same thing?  Buy nothing, run Taranto, and wait til UK2 to respond to a Sealion threat.  Seems like a lot of German initiative is being sacrificed with little payoff.

    The fact that the UK only has 1 major IC in London stops it from doing the same. Germany has 2 (WGermany + Berlin) and can squeeze out 20 units GE2 after not building anything GE1. UK however, will face major defeat if it can only place 10units UK2.



  • If you are known in your play group for launching nasty surprises against the UK, the best thing UK can do is play very cautious with the pieces it has that can reach London.

    So far I have experienced two possible strategies for the UK to ward off a disaster (GE occupying London with a rather large garrison, very difficult for the USA to liberate -even more so if Japan can put a lot of pressure on the USA in the pacific):

    • Build and bring a LOT of units to Gibraltar UK1 -> London UK2. This may either save London or get GE a pyrrhic victory easily overcome by the USA. Works against both focused and surprise Sea Lions. Note: UK has to treat ‘GE building nothing’ as a focused SL!

    • Make London have 5 to 6 aircraft (no more of 4 being ftr/tac), ready to strike UK2. If GE tries to launch a surprise Sea Lion (i.e. builds a lot of TRS but does not have a lot of escortships GE2), UK can build 2CV in the channel -providing a landing spot for the shorter ranged aircraft- and kill the invasion fleet. This works only against nasty surprises and gives UK more units to fight with in the Med., possibly even doing a ‘Taranto’, but not in the most optimal strength ratio.

    In my experience, the top possibility for the UK is the only ones that can ward off disaster should GE build nothing GE1 and it does NOT work if UK launches ‘Taranto’, so go ahead and punish the allies if they launch it. Maybe next time they will be more cautious, leaving more toys for Italy to play with  😉.



  • @cyanight:

    I guess you could send 2 subs, battleship, 3 fighters, 3 t-bombers to 110 and 2 subs 1 fighter, 1 t-bomber and 2 s-bombers to 111. Your more likely to lose 1-2 planes in 111 but you should be safe from losing planes in 110 unless all the fighters hit.

    But it does not help the italian fleet at all.
    You do a normal opening and the UK does not scramble and sinks italy instread.
    The whole point of using the BB in 111 is that you can strafe it and the UK BB cannot repair. Neither does yours.

    Having a decent fleet with a damaged BB that UK might sink might entice them to actualy attack said fleet and do a mutual annihilation of the fleets and his airforce leaving the italians in a safer position.
    They have 2 BB ( 1 damaged )1 CA 1 Dest 2-3 figs and 1 strat  VS 1 sub, 1 dest, 1 ca 1 BB ( damaged ) 1CV and 5 figs (or tacticals if you dont have all those figs )

    Also against this treath the UK has to do something that fleet can become 2 big to handle if they leave it alone and where are they going to run? You can take gibraltar next turn as well, giving italy at least 1 of its NO’s.

    Why even bother attacking 110 anyway? where is that fleet going to.



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    @cyanight:

    I guess you could send 2 subs, battleship, 3 fighters, 3 t-bombers to 110 and 2 subs 1 fighter, 1 t-bomber and 2 s-bombers to 111. Your more likely to lose 1-2 planes in 111 but you should be safe from losing planes in 110 unless all the fighters hit.

    But it does not help the italian fleet at all.
    You do a normal opening and the UK does not scramble and sinks italy instread.
    The whole point of using the BB in 111 is that you can strafe it and the UK BB cannot repair. Neither does yours.

    Having a decent fleet with a damaged BB that UK might sink might entice them to actualy attack said fleet and do a mutual annihilation of the fleets and his airforce leaving the italians in a safer position.
    They have 2 BB ( 1 damaged )1 CA 1 Dest 2-3 figs and 1 strat  VS 1 sub, 1 dest, 1 ca 1 BB ( damaged ) 1CV and 5 figs (or tacticals if you dont have all those figs )

    Also against this treath the UK has to do something that fleet can become 2 big to handle if they leave it alone and where are they going to run? You can take gibraltar next turn as well, giving italy at least 1 of its NO’s.

    Why even bother attacking 110 anyway? where is that fleet going to.

    It really depends on what Ger buys G1 and how well it did in sz 106 if you want to say that the damaged UK boat can get away.



  • Germany’s ability to pull off Sea Lion (or threaten SL) relies on a couple things IMO.

    1. How well the opening attack goes on the British fleet, and if both BB’s were sunk (or one sunk, the other crippled). This has a major impact on how well UK can def the sea around her Island Kingdom.

    2. How many planes Germany/Britain lost in the opening round.

    3. If the German BB survives the first turn. w/o the BB the German fleet could be sunk before, or during the SL attack. Generally speaking if the Germans sacrifice the BB they aren’t thinking SL IMO

    #3 is why I liked the hit & run w/German BB. You get to use it in the battle, but have the chance to pull it back to your naval base (repairs) and add to your fleet in the right situation. Need to be careful not to over kill sz111 trapping your damaged GE BB in sz111, but if you do at least the back bone of the British fleet is gone. To me sz110 isn’t optional. If you want to threaten SL then you need to take out the Royal Navy. Make that Island look vulnerable if they send the RAF to the Med.

    I think if you are going to attempt a h&r then sz111 would be so much better then sz110. There is no UK naval base for sz111 (Scapa Flow not represented ), so the UK can’t auto fix their BB at the beginning of their turn, and run it 3 spaces to safety. This gives the Germans a pretty good chance of finishing it off G2 when it is still damaged. If sz110 is left untouched then they will merge both fleets together (probably sz109), so IMO sz110 is a must hit for G1.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    …and wait til UK2 to respond to a Sealion threat

    That makes Sealion more plausible. Germany takes UK and all that cash and UK has even less units on the board.


  • Customizer

    Okay, here is my problem in trying to save the Italian fleet:
    Say Germany buys nothing on G1 and sends the Luftwaffe, subs and BB after the Royal Navy. UK thinks “Oh my God, Germany’s going to invade London!” So, the UK plays conservatively, does NOT do Taranto, leaves blockers in SZ 96 & SZ 99 to protect Egypt and buys a typical defense buy for London (I usually go with 6 infantry and 1 fighter). UK also pulls everything from Scotland into London and does NOT scramble. Now, let’s assume the Italian DD in SZ 96 didn’t hit so the Malta fighter survived and landed on the carrier in SZ 98. The fighter in Gibraltar flies up to London. Now England has at their disposal 5 fighters and 1 Strategic bomber in London plus 1 fighter and 1 tac on the carrier in SZ 98.
    Or, let’s go a step further and say the fighter/tac landed in Egypt and the carrier moved to SZ 81 so the Indian fighter and tac could land on it. All together the RAF is now at 7 fighters, 2 tacs and 1 bomber.
    ROUND 2: Now Germany says “Forget you, I’m going after Russia.” and buys a bunch of land units and aircraft accordingly. He pulls what is left of the Kriegsmarine back into the Baltic to hide from the RAF in London, with the exception of subs of course. So all Germany has in the way of navy is 1 BB, 1 CA and 1 transport, which is in no way any kind of Sealion threat.

    Now, what is to keep England from sending all that air power down into the Med and totally pasting the Italian fleet? Italy will take some losses in trying to clear out the British ships in the Med and the French. Even if they don’t go after the French, then the French may even attack the Italians, which could cost Italy further losses. What ever is left of Italy’s navy will be easy pickings for that monster RAF. The London planes, at least the fighters, may not get at the Italians until round 3, OR, if the Italians lost enough ships in battling the UK and French ships, the London planes may not even be needed. UK could finish them off with the planes from Egypt and India along with the strategic bomber from London.
    Either way, the end result is all of Italy’s ships sitting on the bottom of the Med. That means no more progress for Italy. Even if they managed to land troops in Egypt, Trans Jordan or Syria, they won’t last very long. The UK will mop them up with a few land units and overwhelming air superiority.
    Any ideas on how to stop this?



  • I don’t have ideas on how to stop this. Italy’s navy cannot be saved indefinately imho.

    What I do know is that the London defense in your post is not enough to stop Germany from taking London with 20 units surviving (with LowLuck system)…
    Downside for the Axis with this, is that Russia will much likely be strong enough to contest Eastern Europe for a while (but not strong enough to threaten Berlin). Upside is that London is firmly in axis hands and the Italian Navy is still largely intact.
    If Italy sails out its remaining TRS (with/without protection) it can bring at least 4 more land units into Africa and (combined with its airforce) become dangerous for the UK there.
    UK should have a hard time deciding between keeping the RAF in Egypt for defense or using it in killing the Italian navy but loosing precious RAF units. Possibly tipping the balance in favor of Italian ground/air forces in Africa.

    Egypt can of course now be reinforced from India but their resources may be a little… limited  😉

    So the bottomline is that maybe the UK must weaken Africa even further to keep London alive or at least make a German victory there at least a pyyrhic one (so that it can be easily liberated by the USA, spelling doom to the Axis cause).
    I say maybe because this is a scenario that I have not seen played out till the end. I have seen the Germans up until their noses in trouble because of roughly 200 IPCs worth of units not active against Russia (compared to throwing everything into Stalin’s face) but that was with London liberated again.
    Now there is 221IPCs worth of units less against Russia: 2 turns worth of IPCs spent on ships only + all German forces in London that will become POW’s because USA will sink the Kriegsmarine before extraction is even possible. But Germany can still decide that it doesn’t need such a large garrison in London, buying more land units against Russia and surviving Sea Lion with 11-15 units.

    Very interesting things to try out 🙂


  • 2018 2017 '16 '11 Moderator

    How bad would it be to divert the German Strategic Bombers away from the British fleet, instead hitting SZs 91, 109 and 111?  Instead, sending the bombers after the French navy in SZ 93?

    You may even be able to send 2 or 3 German fighters to S. Italy to use for Cover Air Patrol which means the British can attack, you can scramble to maximize dmg to them, and not lose the Italian Air Force (which I suspect is one reason England hopes for scrambles, to destroy those planes as well.)

    Just a thought…feel free to poke holes, I didn’t test it, just thinking about it.


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