Italian strategy: The minor nation that tips the balance?

  • So kind of new at G40, and I f***ing love it. It just takes ages to gather the squad and have a game more. So in the meantime I would love to hear about your experiences with the Italian nation and what role it had to play.

    In the two games we’ve had so far, it seems that the Italian development within initial rounds have had a huge impact on overall balance. We did not play both games to the bitter end, since the weekend was over and we had to return to reality.

    In the first game, Italy conquered Egypt since UK didn’t prioritize it properly and was managed by a rookie player. Italy also won an against odds battle of Gibraltar against US, and could start cashing in on a lot of NO’s. Italy was doing well, Axis looked overall comfortable.

    In the second game, Italy didn’t receive a lot of backup from Germany, who prioritized Operation Barbarossa over Sealion, which meant UK was free to produce from South Africa.
    In J2 everyone was brought in to the war. US chose to prioritized everything on the Atlantic Ocean and sent a bigass fleet into the Mediterranean Sea.
    Japan had gone rogue in the pacific with 70-75 IPC income but was not really close to changing general balance, and US/UK had control of Africa and could start conquer European and middle eastern areas. Allies looked overall comfortable.

    These scenarios makes me think that it is so essential for axis powers to create an overall strategy that puts pressure on UK and at the same time not activate the US, for Italy to grow and change balance – what do you guys say?
    And is it the simple winning recipe to make US prioritize Atlantic campaign 100 %, or does it have any counter-strategies?

    Feel free to Discuss:
    How important is the Taranto raid for balance between Italy/UK?
    How important is Egypt to conquer/defend?
    How could/should the Germans support Italy? Would love to hear tactical options possible in the first couple of rounds

    Hope to hear all of your experiences and inputs!

  • '17 '16 '15

    Hi Duke

    Check out the Germany and Japan playbooks. They’re stickied on this board. YG has videos he made, but I don’t see where those are at. Just ask him or search the forum.

    Here’s YG video:

  • '21 '20 '18 '17

    1.  Send in all the UK stuff (or not, you can leave the carrier back if you like you’ll lose more planes).  Even fighters can make it from London, surprisingly.

    Even if the Germans add a scramble plane, the Italians will lose all their fighters if they scramble, and also the ships.  SZ 96 is dead also, leaving Italy with only 3 warships and 1 transport. Â

    This severely limits Italy in most (80%) of games, so strategizing with them has to be ad hoc.

    Doing this on UK1 means you have fewer fighters to work with, and you cant make a Red Sea Grand Fleet, but overall it is the most obvious and solid move.

    1. very, but unless you screw up or Germany uses ships to help Italy, the worst thing that should be happening is that the Axis take Egypt, barely, and you liberate it with troops flowing up from South Africa built from game start.

    2. You have a ton of choices.  You can take over southern france on G1 and help.  Your German navy can come around the corner and enter the med, but its pretty much trapped in there.    A bunch of German planes can fly down there, blasting every allied strong point.

    However, all these choices detract from your Russia Push and Bomber Pile, so you are using them to gain some oil money at the expense of wasting some time and confronting a more prepared Russia.

    *) Rebuilding Italy’s navy or buying your air back tend not to be the strongest move.  The strongest move in my opinion is to create a few mobile teams (armor+mech inf) to punch through Russian blockers and open the door for German armored spearheads.   If the Russian player cant protect his second line with a screen of infantry, he also cant stack behind that line to counter attack you.

  • '21 '18 '16

    agreed with Taamvan. Italy should do the light lifting so Germany can punch through. If UK doesn’t kill your navy, you need to attack Egypt ASAP and get your fleet in one group for safety sake. Most good players are going to nerf your navy on turn 1, if they don’t consider yourself lucky.
    Germany can help with preventing this by showing a sea lion with transport carrier purchase G1. This will make UK reconsider scrambles and the Taranto raid. It’s a coin flip.

    Enjoy your game and make your own grooves.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    For what it’s worth, my opinion is that Italy’s role depends totally on the level of support and emphasis that Germany is willing to provide to the Mediterranean theatre. With German air and possibly naval support, Italy can be a serious player. If Germany instead chooses to focus first on Russia, Italy is best served by delaying the UK in Africa as long as possible and otherwise using its power to assist Germany. Using Italian tanks and mechs to move ahead of a German stack and secure landing zones for German planes, clearing blockers, fighting small fires, and otherwise focusing on defending Europe against the olive drab menace.

    My first turn build with Italy of course depends on what the UK does, but I typically go with a tank and a mech, or two mechs, to augment the existing tanks that Italy has and make it that much harder for the UK to stop Italy’s can opening efforts. However, the essence of playing Italy well is understanding that it is the Axis power that must respond to the Allies and taking advantage of opportunities provided by Allied mistakes.


  • '19 '17 '16

    Taranto is very important. While you can alternatively whack tobruk,this is not nearly as strong and also makes it more difficult to hit Ethiopia.

    Scramble decisions vary a bit in balanced mod because you don’t need to kill the French fleet if Vichy will be activated.  Otherwise scramble usually doesn’t enable the control of the med objective so might not be advised since the Luftwaffe can do the job.

  • '19 '17 '16

    Fair point. Non standard German openings can change things a bit or a lot. Leaving the SZ110 fleet alive really only makes sense if there is a bid of a fighter on Scotland.

  • '18 '17 '16

    You’re observation that Italy tips the balance of the war is spot on Duke. In my games I have found that if Italy has a strong game then the allies will lose every time. That’s not to say that Italy will be the ones doing the damage, just more of an indication of how bad things are going for the allies and how much they can affect their ability to withstand the German/Japan onslaught.

    I know a lot of players will advocate a kill Japan first or kill Germany first strategy, but I find that I have the most success when I play a kill Italy first strategy. Get those guys out of the way and make it a 4 (or possibly 5) on 2 fight. There is a lot of money at stake around the Med and it’s enough to tip the balance of the game in either direction. Even if Italy simply holds their own and doesn’t lose much ground but ties up U.K. for the whole game that should be enough to allow their big brothers to win the game.

    In the process of playing a KIF strategy you don’t have to commit as much resources to accomplish the task as you would by taking on Japan or Germany first  so you can play a more balanced game on both halves of the board. Killing them first won’t guarantee you a win of course but it will give the allies at least a chance of winning the game.

  • Do people see Italy as an Axis minor? I don’t, I know it’s the poorest major power in the game but it’s still a major power. My two cents on this debate is you either take Italy and have it support Germany when it invades USSR or you use Italy as a naval power to keep India and UK from linking up or you can take a more questionable route and try to do both.

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