Italy as an Allied NO

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

    We all complain the Allies don’t have enough NOs. I just wondered if anyone had considered a 5 NO for Britain, if either they or the US held Italy. (Could amend it to Italy and Greece, if you would rather.) Churchill was obsessed with the “soft underbelly” of Europe and capturing Rome was a big thing. Mussolini was Hitler’s real, true ally. Knocking out the capital of his nation meant added prestige and presaged Hitler’s own fall.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Hmm…that’s an interesting idea.  I’m not sure how it would affect game play, but from a historical viewpoint it’s a justifiable objective.  Churchill’s concept of Italy being a “soft spot” through which the Allies could invade Germany and German-held European territories from the south was pure fantasy (as anyone on his staff who could spot the Apennines and the Alps on a topographical map should have pointed out to him), but there were arguably some valid political and military reasons for invading Italy – or at the very least for trying to get control of the southern half of the country, which is pretty much what the Allies had to settle for in the end.

    1. An invasion of Italy in 1943 was within the capabilities of the Allies at that time, whereas an invasion of western France wasn’t (or at least not to the extent that the Allies felt that a cross-Channel invasion would have a decent chance of successs).  It was also a lower-risk option: an invasion of Italy which got bogged down (which is basically what happened, owing to Germany’s rapid takeover of the rest of the country and to Kesselring’s highly effective defensive campaign) was something the Allies could cope with, whereas a failed cross-Channel invasion would have been politically disastrous and a huge setback militarily.

    2. Setting foot on the Continent anywhere in 1943 was politically advantageous for the western Allies because Stalin had been demanding a second front since at least 1942.  Stalin felt – with some justification – that the USSR was bearing the brunt of the war effort against Germany, and he wasn’t satisfied by the Anglo-American argument that their strategic bombing campaign against Germany was “a second front” in and of itself.  So an invasion of Italy was good P.R. for the US/UK/USSR grand alliance, and it did genuinely draw into Italy substantial German forces that might otherwise have been used on the Eastern Front.

    3. Knocking Mussolini out of power, overthrowing Fascism in Italy and getting one of the two original European Axis powers (or at least its southern half) to surrender was good P.R. too, as far as the morale of the Allied home fronts were concerned – though one shouldn’t overrate those effects, since Italy was the least dangerous member of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo partnership.

    4. Gaining control of Sicily and the southern half of the Italian boot was helpful to the Allied naval situation in the Mediterranean, which was a vital sea route (via Suez) between Britain, India and Australia.  Not only did it get the Regia Marina out of the way, it also reduced the range at which Axis aircraft could operate into the Mediterranean.

    So yes, control of Italy as a NO for the Allies sounds valid to me.

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

    Morning Marc and thanks for your post.
    I get annoyed with the seemingly endless extra revenue Germany gets, once deep in Russia. If you compare the 70 it can earn compared to the measly 20 on which Russia is surviving, you can see how hard (and unrealistic)  it can be playing the Allies. The UK also often only collects just 40, although it probably soon rules the waves.

  • 2019 '15 '14

    I agree, the Allies should have a stronger incentive to actually knock Italy out of the war instead of just neutralizing them with convoy raids and then ignoring them. If included as an NO it might be cool to involve Sicily, to give it a reason for existing as a separate territory, and to make for a more historical invasion pattern creeping up the boot.

  • Sicily as an allied NO, that’s just cool.
    There’s a lot of axis NO’s to reflect ‘historical importance’ that make no sense at all in the game. Therefore the allies deserve some nonsensical NO’s as well, just to reflect historical importance. Sicily would fit perfectly in, because without a NO, the allies have no reason to invade it.

  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    At the very least controlling Sicily should be a prerequisite for invading Southern Italy. Perhaps UK Europe could get a NO that mirrors Italy’s for control of the Mediterranean (provided UK controls Gibraltar and Egypt) since it was such a vital supply route.

  • If Uk control all of this start territory in med and if allied invade sicily, Uk gain 5 ipc. If allied invade South Italy, Uk gain a 5 ipc more. This is my No for Uk in med.

  • 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    $5 NO for allied control of Sicily. AWESOME cool idea.

    USA (Patton) or UK (Montgomery) should be able to collect it, whichever gets sicily first.

    To balance that, how about giving Japan a $5 NO for control of Solomon Islands.  Add some more history to it

  • I think Allies are in desparate need of more balance in Europe so giving them ‘NO Sicily’ sounds like an effort to achieve that.

    Axis do not need another NO for balance reasons, which is already too much in their favor. However, since the very high IPC-value of the DEI already reflects the historic importance of those islands, why not remove this NO and give that to the Solomons…

    That’ll give Japan 15ipcs for controlling the DEI, but adds a +5 NO to the Solomons.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    I agree, the Allies should have a stronger incentive to actually knock Italy out of the war instead of just neutralizing them with convoy raids and then ignoring them. If included as an NO it might be cool to involve Sicily, to give it a reason for existing as a separate territory, and to make for a more historical invasion pattern creeping up the boot.

    I’m also wondering if this could also have a second benefit.  Young Grasshopper noted in a different post that whoever plays Italy in G40 – at least in his gaming group – tends to feel that he’s gotten stuck with an uninteresting power.  If Sicily and/or Italy were made NOs for the Allies for the purpose of giving them some badly-needed additional NOs, could this also result (either inherently or through the addition of a further HR element of some sort) in the role of Italy being increased and thus make playing Italy more interesting for whoever gets assigned to that power?

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

    Hi  all. Thanks for your posts.
    I do feel the UK needs an extra bonus and I believe most of us like the “No Subs in the Atlantic” best. I do feel however, if Germany is allowed to get so many NOs for the oil rich Tts, a balancing one is needed for the Allies. Italy, Sicily, Greece, they all work for me.

    ItIsILeclerc: I agree that Japan, could lose the DEI NO and one for the Solomons, so heavily fought over in WW2, seems a good swap. Problem with the DEI, is that they have got more and more wealthy IPC wise as the games have gone on. I would agree a NO for the DEI would be a fair thing, if the islands themselves were worth less.

    Good point Marc. Might make the Germans defend Italy with those reconstituted Stalingrad Pz and Pzg Divisions.

  • I don’t really think that the game is really designed to be fun for 1 person to just be playing Italy. We’ve found in our gaming groups that anytime you have more than 4 people playing the game total, at least 1 person always gets bored.

    Anyway, my point is that if you are going to develop rules to try and balance the game, worry about game balance, not how fun it is to play one particular power. If it turns out that having an incredibly weak and boring Italy is what it takes to have good game balance, then go for it.

  • I dont think there is a real need for a NO to invade italy, you get the bank of italy as a bonus.

    Germany is making 70 with all its NO’s, and having a load of progress into russia
    So does the US just for being at war.

    Germany actualy does not make that much money.
    Germany 70
    Italy 10
    That is 80 for the axis in europe.

    Russia 20
    UK  40
    That is 60 in europe, just 20 more from the US and you have the same income.

    That is if you dont abuse the Russian NO and give it another 15 in NO money from afrika and you dont just take norway from germany with the UK.

    Italy is already verry weak it cannot really contest the UK in the med, giving the UK extra money if they dominate Italy is just giving the allies even more free money.
    The UK hardly needs an incentive to attack Italy, it is the easiest target and ofcourse why not take them out fast. A better NO would be giving the UK money for having ships in the north sea that gives them an incentive to attack noway and contest the 125 SZ for russia giving the russians 5 extra money.

  • For the bank of Italy as a bonus… Italy have not a big cash at all… Italy buy every turn the max of unit i can. Is just my observation.

  • Customizer

    How about if you capture Sicily the Italian player has to toss a coin. If it’s heads the King arrests Mussolini and Italy becomes neutral.

    If Germany sends units into neutral Italy (or leaves units there on a German turn after Italy becomes neutral) then Italy joins the Allies.

    Maybe give the Axis one full turn to recapture Sicily before Mussolini gets the boot.

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