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How to stop italian can opener



  • Basicaly the last few games i have been playing the bigest problem was that italy can Can-Open for germany.
    This allows for a verry quick move into russia that is nearly impossible to stop.

    UK cannot get to the italian units because they are proteced by the german stack.
    Russia cannot get to the italian units because they are proteced.

    This can-opening prevents russia from an effective defence. The allies need someone to go between italy and germany to allow for blocking areas and to slow the german trust down a little.

    Putting the UK after Italy adds some other problems for the allies, with 3 transports holding the middle east will be difficult. But that can be sorted with a much smaller bid then that is now needed to stop the axis.
    You can blunt italy all you want once russia is on its back germany can rush over 40 fast units and the middle east will fall.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Italian can-openers are a for nightmare for Russia. I think these are Italy’s optimal role, not adventures in Africa and the middle east.

    I can think of four “solutions”, some mix of which can win the game for the allies, but am sure you will know all this SH. Nevertheless:

    1. Minimise Italian income and so restrict the number of units they can send east. Convoy disruption in sz97 is the key.

    2. Reinforce Russia with allied units, sufficiently such that Italian can openers are of limited value. A strong middle east, potentially with three allied factories, can cause G real problems through the Caucasus, with mechs and air reinforcing Moscow as necessary and inf and art looking to deny G the Volgograd and Caucasus NOs.

    3. Draw G units away from R by threats elsewhere. Norway is always a key one.

    4. When it comes to it save the Russian stack to help defend the middle east.

    I am sure you will read that list and think it tells you nothing new. But then I don’t think there is a magic solution. It is about doing each of the above as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    I will read your other replies with interest.



  • I usually buy 1 mech + 1 tank on I1 because they are so immensely useful for so many rounds as they open paths up through Russia.  The only ways to stop Italian canopeners are:

    1)  Hope that Italy loses enough of their units from the small battles.  Usually they run out of units around Round 10 or so if they don’t have a factory further east.

    2)  Have a big enough stack of units to prevent the Germans from proceeding further.  This usually only happens if Germany is spending too much on fleet or forces to stop the Allies from amphibious assaults.

    1. Wait until the German/Italy forces split and hope to wipe out the smaller of the stacks.

    2. Have ANZAC or French forces hit the Italian canopeners when they head down to the Middle East.

    I do not like using more than 1 Russian unit to block forces, and often I will just let the Axis completely move into territories uncontested.  If they have a small group that splits too far away from the main stack, you can counterattack with a few fast moving troops and your planes.

    I avoid trading 1 for 1 with the Germans since that makes for a tough defense in Moscow.  You cannot prevent Russia from falling, just slow it down and hope that the other Allies will prevent the forces from moving all the way to Egypt.  Since it is much easier to use battle calculators in TripleA than Face-to-Face matches, the Axis can be much more careful in their push eastwards and avoid making big mistakes.  This is why the Axis can win 55% of their matches even with a +25 bid for the Allies.


  • 2018 2017

    The best way to stop Italy from doing this is to make sure they have no money and no options.  This is why the bid consistently goes into the med, because an Italy with no navy and/or a damaged airforce cant make any $$, whereas Italy can make 20-30$ if it gets into the oil.

    1. Do Taranto.  If you add the sub to the bid, you can attack with 1 fig 1 tac 1 ss 1 ca 1 sb 1 destroyer and you can keep your carrier.  If they have 3 planes to scramble, this may be a little light so you can also bring 2 fighters from London.    If you do that, I’d suggest losing the fighters as casualties first so that the carrier can remain alive.  If the CV is alive, you have another DD and another CA to make a mini fleet and then can use your factories to make it more of a threat as time goes on

    2. if Italy has no destroyers left, they cannot hit subs at all.  If they have no transports left, they cannot break integrity or gain their NOs.

    These two are key if UK cannot actively contest the med on the surface because there are too many Germany and Italian planes waiting to hit them.  The UK can spend the early game working on regaining integrity, eventually they will run out of ways to contest it…If UK is getting $5 extra and Italy isn’t their power levels diverge over time…Same with USSR $5 bonus, those are both great ways to keep the Allies powered up…

    1. The Italian units trapped in Africa are dead meat.    They are mostly a way of tempting you to commit more forces to Africa, which without a significant commit and sea superiority, are just stranded.    This means that Italy doesn’t need to waste $$ rebuilding rescuing or reinforcing those and can instead build 4 armor + 6 mechs, which is plenty enough when you add the airforce, to kill as many as 8 blockers.

    If Italy is allowed to rage, it becomes a mini tank power that makes defending Russia difficult and so USSR just has to keep falling back and hiding.  If Italy is constrained to 10$ and then convoyed for the rest, they become a liability because they can barely defend themselves, but you’ll need a UK fleet to stay alive to make this happen.  Last game Italy had $3 income and was even able to burn down the Northern Italy factory.

    You will probably not be able to ever attack the can opener units directly you will have to make sure they never exist in the first place and that Italy is more concerned with losing everything than helping Germany.



  • Even if Italy is reduced down to zero income, they still have a formidable can-opening force with 3 tanks, 1 mech, and 3 planes after their I1 turn.  Russia doesn’t want to put 5 or 6 ground units in front of the advancing Axis units since Italy will just wait for the Germans to clear the zone.

    Weakening Italy means that Germany will have to divert more forces to protect Rome, which is a very good thing, but nevertheless, it has minimal impact on the can-opening aspects heading into Russia.


  • 2018 2017

    Of course that is true ABH, but it is better than a force twice that size coming up and then in waves.    Saying that Italy is unstoppable sounds awkward as well.

    Reducing their income takes time, I had several early victories in my pocket before I was able to stand on SZ 97 by UK3-4.  If the carrier doesn’t live, then its even harder.



  • @Arthur:

    Even if Italy is reduced down to zero income, they still have a formidable can-opening force with 3 tanks, 1 mech, and 3 planes after their I1 turn.  Russia doesn’t want to put 5 or 6 ground units in front of the advancing Axis units since Italy will just wait for the Germans to clear the zone.

    Weakening Italy means that Germany will have to divert more forces to protect Rome, which is a very good thing, but nevertheless, it has minimal impact on the can-opening aspects heading into Russia.

    So basicaly other then having luck the allies cannot stop the italians can opening and so cannot stop germany from birdcaging russia and winning the game.

    Would removing the can opener from italy balance the game more then any bid would?


  • 2018 2017 2016

    You may wanna try a BM game and come to the conclusion that even an Italian can opener is not a garant anymore to win as Axis. 😉


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    If you save the Russian stack for defence of the middle east, the loss of Moscow does not of itself win the game for the axis.

    However, as AetV suggests, that will be truer with balanced mod.



  • Just giving the allies more income does not really balance the game it just creates an unbalance somewhere else.

    And that mod does more then adding income last time i checked some verry weird units where added.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    The only unit added was/is the Marine.
    Income is increased through NO’S. So you do have to do something to gain them.

    I understand your problem with the Ita can-opener, but that is not a one way Route.
    You will appreciate them when you are playing the Axis side.
    As Russia you are more challenged and i am confident that you will find sooner or Laterne a way to play top notch with Russia and any Axis player will be challenged to hold ground against you.



  • @aequitas:

    The only unit added was/is the Marine.
    Income is increased through NO’S. So you do have to do something to gain them.

    I understand your problem with the Ita can-opener, but that is not a one way Route.
    You will appreciate them when you are playing the Axis side.
    As Russia you are more challenged and i am confident that you will find sooner or Laterne a way to play top notch with Russia and any Axis player will be challenged to hold ground against you.

    Well that is why our games are so balanced we dont really use italy to can open for germany a lot. This makes the russian front a lot more stable and doable for russia, at least you get some extra rounds. Just having more units as russia does not help that much, or more money. Ideally you want someone that can take out the can opening option.
    Maby shuffle the order of play a little, let france go before italy and UK right after italy. Need to add a few units and move a few in the med but this should only be like a 20ish bid maximum.

    Im thinking more of finding a way to balance the game in a way that does not add extra income and as little changes in pieces as possible.
    And preferably more fun play for italy so it isnt a boring support germany country.

    And yes the marine is the goofy unit.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @ShadowHAwk:

    Well that is why our games are so balanced we dont really use italy to can open for germany a lot.

    Mmmm! So it seems to me that your dislike of can-openers is that you are not used to them? Rather than finding a way to undo these can opening possibilities I think you should embrace them.

    Can-openers add another layer of opportunities and threats.

    Embracing them will allow you to learn new challenges and solutions, rather than continue as you previously have with this core concept unexplored. 🙂



  • @ShadowHAwk:

    And yes the marine is the goofy unit.

    Would love to see you say that to a marine’s face.



  • Without the ability to can-open, there would be little incentive for the Axis to buy anything besides infantry and artillery in the European side of the board.  That could be a long, boring game with a creeping doom strategy of slow moving units hitting Moscow around G12-G15.  Has anybody tried predominately purchasing slow troops for Germany?  I am curious if it bogs down or has eventual success.


  • 2017

    @Arthur:

    Without the ability to can-open, there would be little incentive for the Axis to buy anything besides infantry and artillery in the European side of the board.  That could be a long, boring game with a creeping doom strategy of slow moving units hitting Moscow around G12-G15.  Has anybody tried predominately purchasing slow troops for Germany?  I am curious if it bogs down or has eventual success.

    Newer players do that sort of thing. It doesn’t work nearly as well, because one of the main Axis advantages in Global are the can-opening possibilities which render Russia easily bypassable. If you take that away then vanilla Russia could fight Germany a lot easier. It would bog the game down and be boring as you said.



  • @regularkid:

    @ShadowHAwk:

    And yes the marine is the goofy unit.

    Would love to see you say that to a marine’s face.

    No problem every marine will agree that attacking a 20000 strong entrenched prepared force with 500 men is borderline suicide.

    The unit is goofy not the military branche. You get a few 100 men on a cruiser or BB at best and expect them to win vs a division or more. Even modern marines would not win that battle VS WW2 divisions. Not because they are bad but because of sheer number, if everybody shoots just 1 bullet you only took away 0.5% of the enemy forces if everybody hit if only 0.5% of their forces hit you lost your complete force. So its is nothing against the quality or training or bravery of the marines its just numbers.

    @Adam514:

    @Arthur:

    Without the ability to can-open, there would be little incentive for the Axis to buy anything besides infantry and artillery in the European side of the board.  That could be a long, boring game with a creeping doom strategy of slow moving units hitting Moscow around G12-G15.  Has anybody tried predominately purchasing slow troops for Germany?  I am curious if it bogs down or has eventual success.

    Newer players do that sort of thing. It doesn’t work nearly as well, because one of the main Axis advantages in Global are the can-opening possibilities which render Russia easily bypassable. If you take that away then vanilla Russia could fight Germany a lot easier. It would bog the game down and be boring as you said.

    Even without can-opening germany can make some headway VS russia but it is slower, it would take time for the UK to set up its forces to protect against the can-opening things.
    You still as germany need mechs and tanks just because you need to reinforce your spearhead, the can opening just prevents russia from seting up a defence before moscow.
    You cant stack bryansk so your whole front collapses if you try to defend bryansk germany will take moscow if you dont they will take the southern flank

    But doesnt the current meta also make the game boring, germany will crush or birdcage russia and russia cannot do anything about that. This can opening makes playing russia also boring and does not give the allies any real alternatives.
    Would having a stronger italy make a difference there, for instance having italy dominate the med for a few turns or having its fleet mainly intact make the game more fun for the axis.



  • but you’re wrong. ship bound marines/landing parties, played a huge (sometimes decisive) role in World War II engagements.

    Take, for example, the Battle of Madagascar between British and Vichy forces. . . from Wikipedia:

    The French defence was highly effective in the beginning and the main Allied force was brought to a halt by the morning of 6 May. The deadlock was broken when the old destroyer HMS Anthony dashed straight past the harbour defences of Diego Suarez and landed 50 Royal Marines amidst the Vichy rear area. The Marines created “disturbance in the town out of all proportion to their numbers” and the Vichy defence was soon broken.

    There are more extensive discussions of this issue in other threads, with many additional illustrations. Suffice it say there is ample historical justification for the marine unit. And they’re hella fun to play with.



  • @regularkid:

    but you’re wrong. ship bound marines/landing parties, played a huge (sometimes decisive) role in World War II engagements.

    Take, for example, the Battle of Madagascar between British and Vichy forces. . . from Wikipedia:

    The French defence was highly effective in the beginning and the main Allied force was brought to a halt by the morning of 6 May. The deadlock was broken when the old destroyer HMS Anthony dashed straight past the harbour defences of Diego Suarez and landed 50 Royal Marines amidst the Vichy rear area. The Marines created “disturbance in the town out of all proportion to their numbers” and the Vichy defence was soon broken.

    There are more extensive discussions of this issue in other threads, with many additional illustrations. Suffice it say there is ample historical justification for the marine unit. And they’re hella fun to play with.

    Sure they can be fun to play with, guadecanal shows that it is effectively impossible to sustain a combat effective force with destroyers let alone transport them.

    But that is outside the scope, baring lucky dice rolls you cannot stop italy can-opening. And without this ability germany would be slowed down considerably and the game would be a lot more in balance. And it isnt a free extra income for the allies its an option they really have to work for to get operational.



  • I have been talking about italian canopeners for years. My version has an even bigger italian presence. On G1, I hit Yugo, on I1 I activate Bulgaria. This way, I will have 3 tanks 1 mech 3 ftrs AND 3 extra infs. Russia has to put 10 units in front of it to stop the stack. With the fodder Italy has, It can be Italy that takes the terr, so that Germany stacks it and put Luftwaffe there. The great thing about having Italy controlling the terr is that Italy can build an Airbase for luftwaffe if Luftwaffe really need that extra range for an extra juicy allied target.



  • @Kreuzfeld:

    I have been talking about italian canopeners for years. My version has an even bigger italian presence. On G1, I hit Yugo, on I1 I activate Bulgaria. This way, I will have 3 tanks 1 mech 3 ftrs AND 3 extra infs. Russia has to put 10 units in front of it to stop the stack. With the fodder Italy has, It can be Italy that takes the terr, so that Germany stacks it and put Luftwaffe there. The great thing about having Italy controlling the terr is that Italy can build an Airbase for luftwaffe if Luftwaffe really need that extra range for an extra juicy allied target.

    Im more looking for ways to stop it not to enhance it 😄


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    Quite! But Kreuzfeld does illustrate Italian can-openers creating another layer of opportunities and threats. Very interesting Kreuzfeld. 🙂


  • 2019 2017 2016

    I’m probably doing it wrong but I don’t find Italian can openers that awesome a threat. Their main use is opening up Rostov so the Germans can blast into Stalingrad and the Caucasus. If you need planes to secure your spearhead it probably isn’t very strong.



  • @simon33:

    I’m probably doing it wrong but I don’t find Italian can openers that awesome a threat. Their main use is opening up Rostov so the Germans can blast into Stalingrad and the Caucasus. If you need planes to secure your spearhead it probably isn’t very strong.

    It basicaly gives germany 1 round of extra NO for not at war,
    That round you cannot defend the north and bryansk can also not be defended.

    Landing planes is nice, ensures that you can move up faster but not the main advantage.



  • Capturing Stalingrad and the Caucasus is an 18 PU swing for the Axis.  Getting to those territories quickly is almost as valuable as capturing Moscow.  My German spearhead is usually too weak to push into Moscow until G10 and needs the plane support to prevent retaliation from Russia, but I am often looking at an “economic” victory by getting the Axis income to match that of the Allies.


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