How to deal with the Italian fleet in UK1?



  • There are several choices to make if you are the UK player concerning the Italian fleet. These next seems to be the best ones in my opinion, but feel free to give your insight…

    Which is best and why in your opinion?

    1. Attack two: Taranto and Malta;
    2. Attack only Malta and place your carrier next to Gibraltar (and buy an airbase there);
    3. ???

    In the first case, how many ships and planes do you use in the attack (knowing that the Germans always place an extra fighter in Italy)?

    Thank you!


  • 2020 2018 2017

    1. Yes, this is the standard move.  Bring everything, including fighters from London.  They will have to land on crete or Syria, some will have to reserve carrier spaces to land.  Even if the Germans add a fighter, they only get 6 hits (BB+CA+3 planes) and they will lose both the fleet and the planes most of the time.

    If they don’t have the extra fighter, you don’t even need to sacrifice the carrier, though it is 2 free hits…

    1. It sounds like you are suggesting moving everything over to SZ 92 during NCM, which is the opposite move.  that’s a NO Taranto scenario.  Sounds great, only danger here is that even if you have the SZ 91 cruiser and everything gets together, depending on where all the German planes were set up, they can all hit your new combined fleet.  That may be exactly what you want after seeing how much damage the German air force took during the opener, or it may finish off the rest of your stuff without having crippled Italy at all.

    2. attack Taranto and Tobruk.    This is devastating because you’ve killed both the Italian fleet and army in one shot, but you have to do 2 risk battles without overwhelming odds, and you cant attack the Italians in east Africa on UK1.



  • Thanks for your insight!

    1. Yes, UK can put up to 8 units to defend its fleet near Gibraltar in SZ92: carrier + TB + 4 Fight + 2 Crui. The Germans could attack but that is a very risky business. Usually they have about 9 planes in reach, but only if Italy takes Algeria…

    2. We usually take all our Italian units out of Africa, I find the UK too strong to challenge. So we scip attacking Tobruk…



  • What I usually do is if my cruiser survives from sea zone 91 I would attack the Italian destroyer and transport at Malta with the cruiser and the fighter from Gibraltar and have the fighter land on Malta.  Than in the Taranto raid I would have the British bomber from Uk and have it land on Malta, Have two fighter from Uk also in the raid and have them potentially land on the carrier if it lives. Than also the fighter from Malta and have it land on Malta. Than the carrier and tactical, destroyer and cruiser from sea zone 98 in the raid.  Have all planes land on Malta except the two planes from U.K they will have to land on the carrier.

    So basically what you have is:
    1 fighter + 1 cruiser vs 1 destroyer = 95% chance you succeed.
    3 fighters + 1 tactical bomber + 1 bomber + 1 destroyer + 1 cruiser + 1 carrier
    vs
    1 cruiser + 1 battleship +3 fighters
    = 94% chance you succeed

    First round you should lose 3 units and they should lose 3.6 units.
    So, you lose the carrier plus destroyer, they lose the battleship and cruiser plus maybe one fighter.
    Nest round you lose maybe 2 units so you lose the 2 fighters from U.K and have the cruiser live since the fighters are gonna die anyways.
    You can also do this with only sending 1 fighter from the U.K so only one fighter sinks after your carrier dies but your cruiser dies as well and your planes live and land on Malta. You would only do this because the Luftwaffe or Italian air force will probably blow the cruiser up anyways. If you send 1 less fighter though you always risk losing the battle. If you send 1 less fighter your winning percentage goes down 15% from 95 to 80.



  • Okay thanks!

    I think I still prefer the Gibraltar move though. The range of strategic possibilities is broader that way.



  • I have found it very successful to retreat the main Med fleet into the Red Sea on UK1, reinforcing it with a couple of planes from India.  With the additional airpower, Italy has trouble making headway in Africa.  Additionally, UK can quickly conquer Iraq. Subsequently an airbase allows the UK fleet to move back into the Med.



  • Okay thanks!

    And what do you as to the build up of the allied fleet in the Atlantic? Do you also plan to land in France or Spain?



  • The problem with dealing with Italian navy on your first turn is you have to see what Germany is doing. If it is obvious that Germany is going to Sea Lion, you have to worry about that.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    was thinking last night the big problem with having the british meet up inside the med with the airbase is that Italy wouldn’t have been attacked and thus the german air can hit you AND/OR/THEN the Italians can attack with bb 2 ca 1 dd 1 sub 2 fighters 1 bomber and you gets sunked

    if you scramble/fill Gibraltar with fighters and they die they cant defend London either



  • Italy can do nothing because they will be blocked by the UK destroyer and UK is before Italy.

    The Germans could strike with their airforce. It depends on how many aircraft Germany wants to take to sink the UK fleet in G1… Most of the time half their force is out of reach, even if Italy takes Algeria…


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @taamvan:

    was thinking last night the big problem with having the british meet up inside the med with the airbase is that Italy wouldn’t have been attacked and thus the german air can hit you AND/OR/THEN the Italians can attack with bb 2 ca 1 dd 1 sub 2 fighters 1 bomber and you gets sunked

    This is actually the biggest problem with doing Taranto - your UK med fleet is in sea zone 97, the Luftwaffe takes off from W Germany, destroys your fleet in one pass with just a scratch to the Luftwaffe, and lands back in W Germany. Now you’re down your UK fleet and must build another while Italy gets to cash out on its NO for turns and turns until you can get a new fleet to the Med.

    It’s better to let Italy cash out the NO the first turn by moving your med fleet (except two blockers to keep Italy from closing the Med by taking Trans Jordan) to sea zone 81, build the IC on UK1, bring in the India and South Africa ships and India planes to sea zones 81 and 78, and finally move back in on UK2 and drop a naval build in sea zone 98. Now your fleet is so large that while the Luftwaffe can destroy it the Luftwaffe is at least mostly dead afterwards. Italy collects 5 IPCs for the NO instead of 20-30 and you are set up for massive convoy disruption on Italy in sea zone 97. Plus, you don’t lose 40-50 IPCs worth of units because you were impatient.

    As far as the argument goes that you’re weakening India by pulling the planes and ships, A) nothing can save India if Japan is dedicated to killing it, B) those ships from India are at best speedbumps to Japan, and C) once the Med is secure you can send planes back towards India.

    Marsh



  • When you do the Taranto raid if they bring up planes, make sure you only lose the fighter(s) from the U.K and the ships, as the ships are going to die anyways and if they don’t bring up planes make sure you let your fleet survive and maybe lose a plane or two they weren’t gonna land on the the carrier so if the Luftwaffe does attack or the small Italian airforce, they will pay with a lot of planes which will cost them on the Russian front.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    Mr. Tolstoy,

    You can’t block SZ 92 since 93 and 94 both go there.  You can’t spare any blockers to die if you are trying to get the whole fleet together, and some of it is already likely dead.

    On UK1, the UK gets together in SZ92.  Then Italy then Germany get to kill all your stuff.

    Mr. Marsh has the on-point answer we discussed a few months ago which was that with NOTARANTO you can build a pretty cool fleet up in the Red and move it to the Med.  That’s harder to defeat.  Setting up for all the stuff that didn’t die during Taranto only to get destroyed on I2 is a bad idea.



  • @Marshmallow:

    This is actually the biggest problem with doing Taranto - your UK med fleet is in sea zone 97, the Luftwaffe takes off from W Germany, destroys your fleet in one pass with just a scratch to the Luftwaffe, and lands back in W Germany. Now you’re down your UK fleet and must build another while Italy gets to cash out on its NO for turns and turns until you can get a new fleet to the Med.

    It’s better to let Italy cash out the NO the first turn by moving your med fleet (except two blockers to keep Italy from closing the Med by taking Trans Jordan) to sea zone 81, build the IC on UK1, bring in the India and South Africa ships and India planes to sea zones 81 and 78, and finally move back in on UK2 and drop a naval build in sea zone 98. Now your fleet is so large that while the Luftwaffe can destroy it the Luftwaffe is at least mostly dead afterwards. Italy collects 5 IPCs for the NO instead of 20-30 and you are set up for massive convoy disruption on Italy in sea zone 97. Plus, you don’t lose 40-50 IPCs worth of units because you were impatient.

    This is super interesting.  It leaves Germany with very little to do with it’s air force on G2, which feels really bad for them.  It reminds me of how I play Pacific Allies vs Japan’s ridiculous air force - either give them no good targets, or so many at once they can’t hit them all.

    My one question - with most Germany players doing some Sealion threat (at minimum saving their G1 buy, or actually buying TTs), can the UK still get away with building an IC on UK1?  And if not, could you adapt this to build the IC on UK2 and move the fleet to the med UK3?  Italy collecting the NO twice isn’t ideal but it beats them collecting it the rest of the game.



  • @taamvan:

    Mr. Tolstoy,

    You can’t block SZ 92 since 93 and 94 both go there.   You can’t spare any blockers to die if you are trying to get the whole fleet together, and some of it is already likely dead.

    On UK1, the UK gets together in SZ92.  Then Italy then Germany get to kill all your stuff.

    Mr. Marsh has the on-point answer we discussed a few months ago which was that with NOTARANTO you can build a pretty cool fleet up in the Red and move it to the Med.   That’s harder to defeat.  Setting up for all the stuff that didn’t die during Taranto only to get destroyed on I2 is a bad idea.

    You forget that there’s a french fleet in 93 blocking any direct attacks I1. If assuming that in G1 sz110 and sz111 is hit, then there can be 1 CV, 2 destroyers, 2 cruisers, 1 tactical and 1 fighter in sz92 while there can be 3 fighters on Gibraltar with an airbase. That is 10 units for the German air force to kill. Even if Germany attacks it and wins, it will be with heavy loses to the air force.

    Or, am I missing something?



  • @rydbirkjr:

    @taamvan:

    Mr. Tolstoy,

    You can’t block SZ 92 since 93 and 94 both go there.   You can’t spare any blockers to die if you are trying to get the whole fleet together, and some of it is already likely dead.

    On UK1, the UK gets together in SZ92.  Then Italy then Germany get to kill all your stuff.

    Mr. Marsh has the on-point answer we discussed a few months ago which was that with NOTARANTO you can build a pretty cool fleet up in the Red and move it to the Med.   That’s harder to defeat.  Setting up for all the stuff that didn’t die during Taranto only to get destroyed on I2 is a bad idea.

    You forget that there’s a french fleet in 93 blocking any direct attacks I1. If assuming that in G1 sz110 and sz111 is hit, then there can be 1 CV, 2 destroyers, 2 cruisers, 1 tactical and 1 fighter in sz92 while there can be 3 fighters on Gibraltar with an airbase. That is 10 units for the German air force to kill. Even if Germany attacks it and wins, it will be with heavy loses to the air force.

    Or, am I missing something?

    Yes, thank you. Because the French fleet is in SZ 93, so one British destroyer in SZ 94 does the trick. 😉 If the cruiser in SZ 91 is still alive and you attack SZ 96 with you planes, you can have about 8/9 units defending Gibraltar/SZ 92… That is usually enough. I dont think the German players wants too lose most of its airforce in G2, and if it does I dont think it will be a disaster for the allies to trade part of the British fleet and airforce for the Luftwaffe.



  • Retreating to the Red Sea seems like a good option. The downside seems to me that Italy can block the British way into the Med. At Gibraltar British options seem more attractive:

    1. Converging with the US fleet
    2. Threatening to land in Italy or France
    3. Pressure on the Italian fleet
    4. Landing you airforce to help in the above mentioned


  • 2018 2017 '16

    I try to wipe them all out by the second turn using every boat and plane from London to Calcutta. If you can eliminate them all on the second turn then Italy will only be able to move troops down to Africa once during the game (probably with only 1 transport by then). U.K. will be able to secure the continent that much quicker and move on to other tasks like resupplying India and being a general nuisance to Italy and Germany on the continent of Europe until America arrives to the party. Sure, it would be nice to save your U.K. fleet, but why give Italy any chance to make a serious impact on the game? Scuttle them hard and fast and start counting your money. Just don’t forget to leave some aircraft in range of the Italian coastline in case they start to think they can rebuild any boats.


  • 2017 '16 '13 '12

    @Tolstoj:

    Retreating to the Red Sea seems like a good option. The downside seems to me that Italy can block the British way into the Med. At Gibraltar British options seem more attractive:

    1. Converging with the US fleet
    2. Threatening to land in Italy or France
    3. Pressure on the Italian fleet
    4. Landing you airforce to help in the above mentioned

    I agree. Add to that list that by bringing the planes closer to the UK you make Sea Lion a lot more difficult, which allows you to avoid “turtle infantry builds”.  The airbase at Gibraltar (depends on where the German air is located) has long term benefits. It’s a tremendous force multiplier (protects 91 and 92 with same units). You can reinforce Egypt immediately with air.

    If Germany makes a build that isn’t suited to Sea Lion, then it seems better to simply strike 97 to finish the Italians (goes long way to secure Egypt) and scratch the German air force.


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