Is it best for Italy to stay Neutral?


  • @david-06 Italy can send all $10 of their income to Germany , no ifs ands or buts. Once Germany is at war with a major power


  • Hey all,

    I and my gaming group think that its best for italy to stay neutral. Because you can get all 4 VP´s and are always a danger for UK. There is really no point for italy to attack. Only in late war and only if UK gives you the opportunity.

    This is a bit boring. I hope they will change this in Version 4. I heard that they will also change VC points.


  • If Italy stays Neutral, the best Germany can ever hope to do in the Mediterranean is build a factory in Yugoslavia / Greece , right? Doesn’t that kind of scupper their plans and give the UK too much leeway?


  • @aldrahill I think it’s fine. Germany doesn’t need to be in the med, also the axis can influence turkey


  • @aldrahill also look at German VP they don’t need troops in Africa or Gibraltar…

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @bretters said in Is it best for Italy to stay Neutral?:

    @chris_henry Italy can’t tie up the allies, instead Italy will tie up German resources to help defend Italy, not good!

    Totally agree! I just think this hurts more in the long run for a lot of trickle down reasons, this one you mention included!


  • @chris_henry sorry, what hurts?

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @bretters I meant Italy staying Neutral hurts more in the long run!


  • @chris_henry no, as I said Italy requires protection from Germany , this is good for the allies and bad for the axis, I believe the axis are better served by having a neutral invulnerable Italy (can’t be attacked) rather than a huge liability to protect! When neutral Italian resources (their income) can be shared with other axis nations, meanwhile protecting themselves without spending any money on themselves or requires extra protection from Germany because they are neutral!

    The point I believe we both make, is that it is a valid thing for Italy to be neutral and still collect victory points , and you say why it’s a bad strategy and I say why I think it is a good one! Ha

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @bretters Got it, sorry! I was definitely misreading your thoughts before haha!

    But yeah, seems we have different thoughts on the overall strategy on this as it pertains to the other members of the Axis alliance haha!

    My thought is this, which I know I’m belaboring: If Italy trades all 10 IPP to Germany/Japan every turn, they are also not making themselves any stronger. I guess to me, that means the Allies can divert almost all money to other theaters and not have to worry about the Med remotely as much. I just think the extra money here might hurt the Axis in the long run. This seems to be a bigger difference of opinion here, but I have a hard time believing the Allies won’t be able to divert resources elsewhere that they normally would have used in the Med, especially if they see Italy Lend-Leasing all 10 IPP away every turn! The Italians will have to attack defending units if they ever chose too. Just build militia/infantry in some places, with a few more ships if worried about it. But it won’t take more than 2 maybe 3 turns of shoring up defenses before you might even be able to stop using IPP there entirely.

    Plus, Italy’s units are now not being used to hurt the Allies directly. Also, and I guess this depends on how the Axis players typically play in different games, the Germans are going to have to be responsible for taking more minor nations alone when they may have had can opener affects from Italy before. I’m thinking of Yugoslavia and Greece specifically here I suppose. Now Germany will have to divert enough resources and lose men taking those nations alone, without any prospect of support from Italy, and thus losing more men that might be needed elsewhere! Not only that, but the Allies will still have a way into Europe via Greece/Yugoslavia that Germany will now have to defend alone, or the alternative is Germany not taking those minor nations and thus not having income from them.

    I guess to me, Germany is gaining 10 IPP a turn in Italian Lend-Lease, and won’t need to worry about propping Italy up. But the Allies are going to gain more than 10 IPP in resources to combat this German influx. No Allied territory in the Med will be taken, and no wartime bonuses threatened to alter Allied income at all, not to mention the Med convoy line being impervious to Axis raid attempts.


  • @chris_henry
    the focus italy needs to have to make itself strong is to buy militia and infantry to protect their capitol at Rome and their major factory in North Italy. If italy goes aggressive and hasn’t built enough defenses it will just lose any gains when the US/UK come back/into the med and conquer Rome! This doesn’t help axis aggression one bit and is a waste of money. As i said: Italy is much more of a liability and much less of an asset. Italy’s strength as well - lies in their navy, not their aggressive potential with amphibious assaults!

    Can opener effects from an Italy building milita and infantry to protect itself… i think not! you are way to confident in Italy’s aggresive potential while also defending itself. and if you are using Italy in an aggressive fashion and forcing Germany to play defense for Italy on the peninsula I wouldnt consider that a victory or smart decision for the axis either.

    Greece and Yugo start the game neutral: If germany doesn’t attack them than the allies have 0 places to attack in the med/southern europe.

    The med convoy line is very easy for the UK to protect. A threat to the convoy line that isnt easy to protect from will not be made.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @bretters Can opening was meant specifically for anything to be done in Yugoslavia, Greece, or maybe even France. Certainly not any further than that, like to the USSR or anything. My point on Yugo and Greece is just what you said. Yes, they can remain Neutral if Germany doesn’t touch them. My point was merely on potential IPP’s for the Axis that they won’t have, which furthers the IPP swing advantage even more towards the Allies, in my opinion, on top of the other parts I laid out. Same with my point on convoy lines. I’m very aware it’s easy to protect. But the point was that they don’t have to spend any resources of any kind protecting now, let alone risk losing any IPP from raid attempts. With Italy Neutral this threat is literally 0%. Resources spent on convoy protection can now be spent elsewhere instead!

    Just to be clear, I have no thoughts of Italy being some powerhouse. Quite the opposite in fact. We seem to be in agreement there. But a Neutral Italy doesn’t hold much Allied resources in the Med, making a lot more available in other active parts on the map!

    To me, a non-Neutral Italy, who focuses on a defensive effort to tie up Allied resources in a smart, efficient way is more beneficial than letting the Allies focus everything elsewhere. To you, it seems a Neutral Italy is best and you just deal with extra Allied resources elsewhere as they come and worry about that then. I certainly get why you might want to try that route, I really do! I just think we’re on different pages on what is ultimately helpful to the Axis cause!

    Like I said in the other thread, we may just have to agree to disagree on what makes the most sense! haha


  • @chris_henry I am thinking that Chris is right. So far, in the games I have played with my friends the german player runs Italy, we don’t even try to assign it… why? They simply do 2 things. Build troops and some ships when they can. They keep shuttling troops to north africa to force the UK to do the same. If they don’t keep up in the arms race then the UK risks the chance of falling behind and creating an opening for the Italians to finally strike. All in all, I think this is a flaw in the game design. Italy when played well in A&A G40 can be a powerful ally for the Germans. It can create leap frog scenarios in Russia, if the UK drops the ball for even 1 round a good italian player can take some major ground in Africa and also storm into Asia. We have been considering just creating Italy as a ‘major-minor’ nation ( which it basically is ). It can help Spain, win in Abyssinia, build BB’s and on it’s very last turn take 2 nations. 4 victory points and done…

    So my question has anyone developed any house rules that they think ‘work’ to fix this issue? So that Italy is an active participant in the game??


  • @vondox I’m sorry that is not the script I have seen Italy play by every game for us.

    Also… our group actually didn’t play Italy as unable to be attacked by the allies in the past, we recently discovered our wrongdoings with how Italy is supposed to be played (completely neutral unless italy declare war first on any country)


  • @vondox I see no flaw in design or need to house rule a “fix”

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @vondox I don’t think there’s anything to fix really, or that there’s an issue. I think it’s just the way the game is set up, and from there it’s just a matter of deciding what the best strategy is for you moving forward within the parameters of the game!

    I will say though, GW1936 is not A&AG40. I think an argument can be made that Italy has a much larger chance of running wild in A&A than they do in GW. They just don’t have the power to do that in GW, nor the means via bonuses or anything else to reach that point!

    Trying to go toe-to-toe with the UK in Africa seems like a large mistake to me. I think the best Italian use is projection of power, and not really power in practice. Once you give up that projection by actual conflict, the jig is largely up, as Italy will have a hard time replacing losses quickly enough to stave off the Allies!


  • @chris_henry lol I totally agree with you and I fee you summed up why I feel Italy should stay neutral but while staying neutral keep the threat alive even if the threat is small!


  • @bretters What attracted me to this game and still does is a more realistic representation of WW2. The special rules for Germany and other nations tries to capture the essence of the historical realities that were present. But Italy seems to run against the grain of that effort. The game is one by achieving victory points. Italy can score the maximum amount of VP’s by simply doing nothing the entire game and achieving it’s VP goals. While the Brits and the US are handcuffed through the entire game. There should be some ‘event’ or ‘trigger’ that allows the brits and the US to declare war. For example should the Italians reach x2 the number of IPP’s in units in N. Africa the British can attack them or if the Italians give any IPP’s to Germany or lend-lease that would be a trigger for the US. Lastly, just from a game play perspective it would suck to play Italy if the best strategy would be to just sit there and do nothing and as a result, win the game? How fun is that? Another solution would be to penalize all the ALLIES -10 IPPs for 1 round, maybe 2 rounds before that is lifted…


  • @vondox are you kidding me?winning the SCW is quite difficult for the nationalists and the more bship in the med point for Italy can likely only be achieved if Italy is spending their whole income on building battleships for the whole game , rather than doing something useful with their income (aka lend leasing it to Germany )

    Another one … it’s up to your play group if you will judge the winner of the game based on the victory points system or not, our group has mostly favored not counting victory points and a faction or side will concede the game in defeat prior to the end date.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @bretters said in Is it best for Italy to stay Neutral?:

    @chris_henry lol I totally agree with you and I fee you summed up why I feel Italy should stay neutral but while staying neutral keep the threat alive even if the threat is small!

    Haha for sure! After the last few messages, we might be more in line than we thought. I think my biggest issue is Italy trading away all their money and so not making themselves stronger. That’s where I think the Allies can then redistribute resources to other theaters and it might hurt the Axis more. But if Italy is spending on itself, even if staying neutral, that still forces the Allies to have to respond. They might not have to respond quite as powerfully, but any resources to be used elsewhere is a lot smaller at that point!

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @vondox I’d agree with @bretters first and foremost, than one of Italy’s VP’s is not so easily achieved, for the reasons he stated. Yes, it’s possible to achieve it while neutral, but probably unlikely.

    To historical realism, while I get your point, also realize the starting point of 1936. There was no guarantees at the time that Italy would join a future war. Italy wasn’t thrilled about fighting France and England, and were in fact on some what friendly terms to that point. England and France also were trying very hard to ensure Italian neutrality. So if we go off of the time frame, it’s not so unrealistic that Italy would stay neutral.

    But I do get the point that it can make Italy boring. That’s somewhat a given if they stay neutral for sure. It’s probably hard to house rule something like that. I wouldn’t necessarily say it would “break the game”, but I think they designed it this way for a reason. I think in a perfect world it would be fun to have to “guarantee” Italian entry into the war, but that’s just not the case here!

    I think your idea of penalizing the Allies is as close as you might get to finding a house rule that might work, though I think you need to make it a steep penalty. -10 IPP is what they suffer for attacking minor power neutrals. Attacking Italy would have to hurt more than that. You’d have to make it where the Allies are really desperate to want to do the thing that they are willing to pay the steep cost of doing so.


  • @chris_henry OR you can use my rules haha 😆 .

    Changes to Italy

    Italian VPs:
    3 | Neo-Roman empire: get 1 VP up to a maximum of 3 VPs for each of these territory groups Italy holds at the end of the Game: Yugoslavia and Thessaly, Western and Eastern Egypt, Gibraltar, Transjordan and Syria, Spain (NS allies to Italy in this Scenario.
    1 | Fascist Victory: NS wins the Spanish civil war.

    Italian Navy:
    Add 1 naval transport at SZ 81.

    Italian volunteers:
    While Italy is neutral during the Spanish Civil War, Add +1 to NS recruitment rolls.
    While at war, Italy get recruitment rolls for each home country territory they get.


  • @chris_henry

    Definitely agree about the possibility of Italy staying neutral in real life, how the French and British didn’t want to go to war with Italy and how it makes sense in game to allow for it.

    i assume its okay if Italy is somewhat boring if you are the German player and are benefiting from a “boring” Italy. but a boring Italy is better than a dead/surrendered one! Despite the benefits of neutrality I expect a person who is playing Italy and only Italy to play them aggressively.

    I also agree that it was designed this way for a reason and that Italy is not meant to be forced into a losing war in this game, which i why I do not believe the rules regarding Italy should be changed or house ruled.


  • @david-06 completely unnecessary to make these changes

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