Late Game Italy Strategy



  • Ok so I am a experienced AA 1940 Global player and I love playing as Italy. I have mastered early game (take Cario I1 0r I2, Double or triple Italy income by I3, and force UK out of Med). I usually buy a fighter I1 and a minor IC I2 or I3 to put in cario but after that I’m kinda lost. I have tried taking Africa but my units end up far away from the war (in south Africa) that they become useless or UK follows behind me and takes everything back. I have also tried taking the middle east but the western front is always wide open for a US invasion of North africa. I have played as Italy 5+ times and I always peak by I3 and fell off By I5 and Germany has to come and help me.

    1. I am looking for new strategies
    2. Are there better buys I should be making? I never know what to buy with Italy… Navy? Airforce? Army?
    3. Would it help Italy at all if Germany took southern France so Germany could build a small navy in the MED?

    Thanks!!



  • Much depends on what UK does before Italy’s first turn. If you are attacking, and getting Cairo on Italy’s first or second turn then it makes me think that the UK player is asleep at the wheel.

    Anyway I generally find that Italy’s navy is trashed in the first turn, and getting into a naval race with UK/US isn’t a good idea. I like a strong Italian air force, and some mech to help out in Russia or in the Middle East where you can collect some income (oil NO’s). Having Italians in Russia/Middle East is much better then getting your but kicked in Africa. Could even let Italy get the Ukraine IC if it looks like they will  
    be able to supply it (rare). Need to bolster the homeland, and help defend the French coastline mid game.

    Fighting for Italy’s Med and 3 corner NO’s are also important if you can. The North African NO is prob not worth going after IMO because the US can retake all those territories easily, and collect extra income (French). I think it is ok to pressure the UK in Africa, mainly to draw UK income away from the Atlantic. As you noted holding it is another story.



  • @Gen.:

    Ok so I am a experienced AA 1940 Global player and I love playing as Italy. I have mastered early game (take Cario I1 0r I2, Double or triple Italy income by I3, and force UK out of Med).

    If you are actually able to pull this off, your opponents are very poor ones. Play online for some stronger opponents and you will never again see the opportunity to take Egypt on I1 (and it will be extremely rare to have the chance to do so on I2 either). A good UK player can always hold Egypt - the only question is how much will it cost him to do so.

    I usually buy a fighter I1

    never a bad choice

    and a minor IC I2 or I3 to put in cario but after that I’m kinda lost.

    Against good competition you won’t be buying ICs with Italy anywhere, ever.

    I have tried taking Africa but my units end up far away from the war (in south Africa) that they become useless or UK follows behind me and takes everything back. I have also tried taking the middle east but the western front is always wide open for a US invasion of North africa. I have played as Italy 5+ times and I always peak by I3 and fell off By I5 and Germany has to come and help me.

    1. I am looking for new strategies
    2. Are there better buys I should be making? I never know what to buy with Italy… Navy? Airforce? Army?

    Against solid Allied play, Italy will normally be fighting for its life for most if not all of a typical game; a US player not going full Pac will typically have an armada within striking range of Rome (west of Gibraltar in SZ91) on the turn after it enters the war in Europe.

    If the Allies are weak in Europe I generally try to float a small navy in the Med to force UK units to defend Egypt, or to grab Gibraltar, or to grab Cyprus to deny the UK N.O., or sometimes to invade the Middle East through Syria. Strike where the enemy is weak is a good rule of thumb.

    If the Allies are playing a Europe-first game, then Italy should be building mostly infantry to defend Rome with the occasional sub or DD to harass or block Allied fleets. A mobile unit or two sent towards Russia as a can opener is usually worthwhile, and mixing in some artillery with the defensive infantry allows for stalling counterattacks if Allies land in France.

    1. Would it help Italy at all if Germany took southern France so Germany could build a small navy in the MED?

    Opinions on this differ wildly. Personally I am of the opinion that Germany has bigger fish to fry, though others have found success with that strategy. I think there is at least one thread specifically devoted to this topic.


  • '15

    I’ll echo what Bill and Elk said: no way you’re taking Egypt that early in the game with good UK play.  Hell, with good Allied Europe play Italy can be held out of Egypt routinely.



  • I also like playing Italy. I’d be interested in more details about a strategy that enables so many huge gains early in the game. That might help with suggestions for what to do in later rounds.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    1. If your fleet is lost on turn 1, focus on mechs and armor, and on infantry to protect the atlantic wall or rome so Germany doesn’t have to.

    2. the italian units in North Africa are pretty much trapped.  If you try to help them out, you’ll divert alot of resources.  Attacking through Syria is far superior to trying to march up and down the Maghreb because you can fly there and take or protect Iraq and get some oil.

    3. Malta is a ripping base for the allies, Cyprus is a free LZ for their planes.  Gibraltar is indispensable to the allies and they can’t use or build bases there if you own it.  (UK integrity is lost if you take any).  Holding Gibraltar is a different matter; its best if you are able to threaten it with a real chance of taking it than it is to try and fortify and hold because you can’t hold it after US4.

    4. Your fleet will almost always get trashed.  Protect it with the german planes.  Once your fleet is gone or diminished, you better hope that the UK is equally trashed or you’re locked out of the med.  If your fleet is pretty much gone, don’t sacrifice the rest–-keep it as a “fleet in being” threat.  Try to maintain the Med Integrity NO using planes, not ships.  If you leave SZ 97, you are pretty vulnerable.

    5. the most direct strategy is the “Barbarossa Can Opener”.  It is not really dependent on how much $$ you have or whether you navy survives or not.    Bring the Italian Armor from Albania and North Italy.  Rescue the Armor from Tobruk if you can and help it get back to Europe.  Add Armor and Mech every turn.

    Have this force hide behind/among the German forces on the Russian Front.  At a critical moment, Russia will have to try and protect either Belarus, Western Ukraine, or Bryansk or retreat to Moscow without a fight.  Since Italy goes before Germany, you can

    a) attack the Russian blockers with the Italians.  on the imm. following German turn, have the Germans run their Armor+Mech stack through the gap to hit the Russian reserve stack.
    b) even if he tries to block you in force, you’ll have 3 armor, 3 mechs, 2 fighters and a strat bomber that can attack a blocking Russian army.  In most cases, this will force him to retreat instead of standing behind or at the battle line because you can attack him twice.
    c) once the Italians take a zone, the Germans can land their entire Air Force there moments later.  If you don’t think the German spearhead could survive a counterattack (since its only armor and mechs), instead have the Italians take the zone and then move ALL of the German planes and land forces there, the Russians will not be able to counter this.

    In most cases, Russia is simply cooked after this move and unless they are rushing in planes and land forces from UK, its over.



  • One option with Italy is to simply not spend your income at all until you need to. It trades off the power projection of those units (which isn’t much for Italy since it can’t easily project power) in exchange for not getting stuck having purchased the wrong units. If you can make it to I4 without spending any money you can drop a decent fleet in the Med if the Allies sleep on locking it down - which they’re more likely to do if they don’t see you actively contesting it.



  • Thanks Everyone for your thoughts! This really helped!
    Elk: I’m not sure if i’m ready for online play! I have only been playing for about a year…
    I wouldn’t say that the Uk players are bad it is just that no one pays attention to Italy so I can get away with a lot.

    Thanks again everyone!



  • @Boondock:

    I also like playing Italy. I’d be interested in more details about a strategy that enables so many huge gains early in the game. That might help with suggestions for what to do in later rounds.

    Italy is a reaction country. What I mean is everything depends on what the Uk does the turn before. With that being said my main goal as italy is to double Italy IPC and you can do that by collecting NOs (clearing Med and capturing Greece, Southern France, and Gibraltar). I always ask the Germany player to put a fighter in southern italy so i have the ability to scramble 3 fighter for when Uk does a Taranto raid.

    It is easy to take territory in africa but it can come back to bite you. I also ask the germany player to give me southern france (which you can take with N Italy troops) adn bulgaria for the extra IPC adm troops. I relocate my airforce to Tobruk so i can use it to Egypt. If yo have any navy left a Navel Bomdarment is nice to use. After that its about holding off untill Germany captures the rest of the VP needed to win



  • @Gen.:

    Italy is a reaction country. What I mean is everything depends on what the Uk does the turn before.

    Indeed. I’m gonna have to agree with others who’ve said your UK opponent might be asleep at the switch. A solid UK player will do everything possible to make sure it’s a tough slog for Italy, which is what makes it such a fun country to play.



  • Yeah the UK can’t do much about Germany early on, so generally focus is on Italy.

    We all place a German air unit in Rome on G1, but rarely does the axis scramble into sz97 unless the UK comes in light (don’t want to give up the Italian air force too). A typical Toranto run, and the axis counter generally leaves a weak Italian navy, but no ally naval units in the Med (only the RAF to deal with). So Italy has a good chance to get the “No allied surface ships in the Med” NO for a few turns. The 3/4 corner NO is obtainable, but costly. The axis will have S France and Greece easy enough, and only need Gib or Egypt. You have to weigh out if taking Gib is worth possibly loosing a transport and inf, and if the allies can get it back right away. Going after Cairo is defiantly a goal, but the UK has a few tricks up her sleeve, and the RAF will end up in Egypt to bolster it on UK2.

    The Italians can pressure Egypt (if they still have the Torb force), by moving into Alex, as long as the Germans are willing to fly in enough planes to to defend them. This will allow the Italians to strike next turn by land and sea, or to simply bring in their own air and reinforcements if they don’t have the strength to take out the UK force.

    As the UK, if it looks like the Italians are hell bent on attacking Egypt, besides pulling in all available units I’ll build and IC or AB on UK2 to make them re-evaluate (if London isn’t under siege). Obviously an IC will let me build more units before an IT3 attack, but I have found an AB will play spoiler too. An AB will allow me to scramble into the weak Italian navy when they attempt the amphib part which will force them to re-evaluate. If the Italians don’t use plane(s) in the navy battle, I can scramble to kill their navy so the amphib part doesn’t happen (I usually have the Pac dd nearby to come into the Med on UK3 to aid in the scramble, and to have an allied surface warship in the Med). If they do put planes into the navy battle, I don’t scramble because they can’t win the land battle w/o air……so then we have a stand off and an arms race…that Italy can’t win.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Gen.:

    I always ask the Germany player to put a fighter in southern italy so i have the ability to scramble 3 fighter for when Uk does a Taranto raid.

    I would also ask the German player to land the fighter from Slovakia Hungary in Tobruk on G1, to make it much harsher for the UK if it decides to take out most of the Italian forces in Africa on UK1.

    Marsh


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @SubmersedElk:

    A good UK player can always hold Egypt - the only question is how much will it cost him to do so.

    I agree with this –Italy by itself cannot force the hand in Egypt.

    However, a G3 Luftwaffa strafe of Egypt can make holding the territory untenable for the UK (the setup for this is the entire Luftwaffe landing in Southern Italy on G2). If the UK has put all its eggs in the Egypt basket, Germany can crack that basket wide open and clear the way for Italy to collect oil revenue.

    Marsh


  • 2020 2018 2017

    It sounds really awesome too, and since Germany has so many planes, they can decimate the UK position or force them to fall back.  It IS awesome.

    However, the planes leave at a crucial time and cant be used to support either Sea Lion or Barbarossa, and 3-4 African IPCs and 10 IPCs in oil (and to Italy) are not enough to make up for letting Russia run wild.  It is awesome to deny the UK Persia Base by which they would reinforce Russia, but if you sent all your stuff to the med, Russia wont need help to hold out.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan:

    It sounds really awesome too, and since Germany has so many planes, they can decimate the UK position or force them to fall back.   It IS awesome.

    However, the planes leave at a crucial time and cant be used to support either Sea Lion or Barbarossa, and 3-4 African IPCs and 10 IPCs in oil (and to Italy) are not enough to make up for letting Russia run wild.   It is awesome to deny the UK Persia Base by which they would reinforce Russia, but if you sent all your stuff to the med, Russia wont need help to hold out.

    First, I screwed up. Germany lands the planes in Alexandria on G2 after Italy occupies it on I1. Mea culpa.

    On G3, Germany strafes Egypt. The planes land in Axis-owned Greece. On G4, the planes can support efforts in Russia or make it back to Europe to dissuade the Allies. UK is still too weak at this point to mount any sizable fleet effort that can withstand the Luftwaffe, especially if they have been working hard to protect the Middle East.

    When the planes leave, it is not a crucial time for Germany. The Royal Navy has been decimated in the Atlantic. If you are planning a G3 Barbarossa, those planes have nothing else to do on G2. As for Barbarossa, a G3 Barbarossa does not require much (if any) air support – Russia does not usually make a major stand right on the border with Germany.

    I have yet to see Germany win a game with an early Sea Lion, so I’ll just outright discount that objection because I would never do it unless I could get it really cheap (like, I don’t need to build ANY transports and don’t have to lose many planes). But yes, if you are doing Sea Lion this is NOT compatible with that module 🙂

    Also, I’ve never seen Russia run wild early except following a Sea Lion attempt – if Russia wants to do active forward defense right on the border, Moscow will be easy because vital Russian troops will die at the border.

    Marsh



  • @Marshmallow:

    @SubmersedElk:

    A good UK player can always hold Egypt - the only question is how much will it cost him to do so.

    I agree with this –Italy by itself cannot force the hand in Egypt.

    However, a G3 Luftwaffa strafe of Egypt can make holding the territory untenable for the UK (the setup for this is the entire Luftwaffe landing in Southern Italy on G2). If the UK has put all its eggs in the Egypt basket, Germany can crack that basket wide open and clear the way for Italy to collect oil revenue.

    Marsh

    I agree that G2-G3 that the Germans could spare the Luftwaffe. I’ll have the Luftwaffe sink what’s left of the UK Med navy on G2 (post Taranto), or lend some planes to defend Italian gains in Africa (low risk). I’m not to sure I would risk German air to sweep a well defended Egypt though???

    Germany is toast if they loose air superiority early.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    I think most people agree that Seelowe is too costly and not rewarding enough.  If you traded all your $$ for ships and all your air for destroying the UK, you’ll still probably lose the whole game.  And the conservative UK turtle makes your odds of actually winning the London battle not so great.

    You do make a good point Mr. Marsh, especially if you had an airbase in Greece as part of your other plans, you could fly home on G3 and then re-disperse/focus during G4.  But as I see it, you can’t really wait that long to enter the war against Russia.  Letting it have 4 turns of 37 income turns it from a wimp to a real challenge.

    Usually we’ll declare on G2.  Under your plan, the planes cant help at all then and are about to leave the area, so probably not going to attack with just ground forces and then show the opponent that your planes are OOP

    So if we go G3, we are only attacking a few border territories.  Russia may lose 1-2 income.  Planes landed.

    On G4, you are not able to threaten; Gibraltar, any kind of Sea Lion (so UK, seeing you move off on G2, can spend however it likes), reformed fleets in the UK close seas, Russian backing stacks, the far north, Baltic fleet, etc.

    That’s where things get sticky.  I like your idea for starting a long(er) game, now Italy has some $$ and you are only 1 (or maybe 1.5) turn slower attacking Russia but you’re kicking butt in Africa.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @WILD:

    Germany is toast if they loose air superiority early.

    Losing a lot of air power in a strafe of Egypt does make it harder to win.

    Marsh


  • '15

    I’m not big on a German strafe of Egypt either.  When I play as the UK I use the transport in SZ98 to grab the inf and AA off Malta and drop them in Egypt via SZ81.  Also, I’m a fan of using the India transport to take Persia UK1, so another two guys can be dropped over in Egypt on UK2 if needed.

    Not only is the extra protection nice in general, but Germany has to think long and hard about whether or not it’s worth the risk.



  • @Nippon-koku:

    I’m not big on a German strafe of Egypt either.  When I play as the UK I use the transport in SZ98 to grab the inf and AA off Malta and drop them in Egypt via SZ81.  Also, I’m a fan of using the India transport to take Persia UK1, so another two guys can be dropped over in Egypt on UK2 if needed.

    Not only is the extra protection nice in general, but Germany has to think long and hard about whether or not it’s worth the risk.

    Agreed, not willing to risk the Luftwaffe to AAA and inf. A loss of just 3 planes is too much IMO. Now if the Germans were able to get a couple inf (Afrikorps) into Alex via Italian transports (or build their own transport off S France) that is a different story.



  • Just wondering how many people give S France to Italy for the income, but build a German minor on Greece or Yugo to produce some navy in sz97. The S France sz93 has no air cover in the Med, so it is difficult to drop a lone German transport there unless the Italians move some navy to sz93. The RAF is generally hanging out in the Med, and can easily pick off weakly defended naval units. SZ 97 is protected by the Rome AB, so you can drop both German and Italian naval units into the same sz.

    We saw this (German IC built for Greece or Yugo) more before Alpha+2 placed a minor IC on S France (and Normandy). I think that giving S France a minor IC was done to allow the Germans to place ships into the Med w/o paying for an IC. Same for the minor on Normandy, it allows the Germans to drop subs or other ships into the Atlantic. It kinda back fired though, because those ICs are targets for the western allies to produce their own units. It also makes liberating Paris a bad move for the allies in most games because of the loss of US/UK production in Europe.

    Ironically in the Global42 version neither S France or Normandy get a minor IC at set-up.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Gen.:

    Thanks Everyone for your thoughts! This really helped!
    Elk: I’m not sure if i’m ready for online play! I have only been playing for about a year…
    I wouldn’t say that the Uk players are bad it is just that no one pays attention to Italy so I can get away with a lot.

    Thanks again everyone!

    In the games I play Italy is seen as the weak axis link and so the first to defeat. Italian efforts to contest Africa and the Med are doomed, despite G2 air attacks on the UK Med fleet, which achieve a worthwhile delay in allied offensive plans. In such games Italy’s true contribution to the axis cause is can-openers on the eastern front (while defending Rome). The sooner Italian resources are focused accordingly the better for the axis cause.

    WILD BILL raises the prospect of G naval builds in the Med, which I have seen others promote via Greece or Yugo. IMHO G’s first priority is taking Moscow. North Sea naval builds can become effective for defence of the northern European coast, although every ipc is a distraction from the eastern front. G naval builds in the Med are even lower down the priority list.

    Of course after the fall of Moscow all options are on the table.

    But there are so many variables in this wonderful game that what is true in my games may not be in yours. 🙂


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15

    This thread reminds of my recent game (though I played no more than 3 games total…) and during this game my opponent stopped me from taking Egypt early effectively. Some of my Italy troops turned into eastern front as can opener with considerable success, getting much needed income while helping Germany to move forward.  Because of the threat from UK/US navies, I end up splitting some income from Germany to boost up the Med Navy in order to keep the Italy Navy alive.  The Navy lasted till around round 22  before it was trashed by Allies (there were so many planes around and I miscalculated the attacker point). Germany was still getting pretty strong in late game actually, and captured most of Russia factories, but it was too late -I made some mistake in Japan side as well and I admitted my loss when both Japan and Italy were suffered.

    Overall it was not a successful attempt for Italy but I feel there is perhaps some light on this strategy… need more play to find out though.


  • 2017 '16

    I would actually love the challenge of playing Italy in a Global 40 game and seeing what I can do with them… unfortunately, I do not have Global, nor do I have anyone around me who wants to play Global… I have a hard enough time finding anyone to come over for 1942.  But the thought of playing Italy in Global, is a challenge I’d love to face.


  • '15

    @WILD:

    @Nippon-koku:

    I’m not big on a German strafe of Egypt either.  When I play as the UK I use the transport in SZ98 to grab the inf and AA off Malta and drop them in Egypt via SZ81.  Also, I’m a fan of using the India transport to take Persia UK1, so another two guys can be dropped over in Egypt on UK2 if needed.

    Not only is the extra protection nice in general, but Germany has to think long and hard about whether or not it’s worth the risk.

    Agreed, not willing to risk the Luftwaffe to AAA and inf. A loss of just 3 planes is too much IMO. Now if the Germans were able to get a couple inf (Afrikorps) into Alex via Italian transports (or build their own transport off S France) that is a different story.

    Exactly.  I’m always surprised at how many people are willing to lose chunks of the Axis air force (Egypt strafe, Szechwan strafe, etc.) to take out some infantry.


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