UK: The Italian Fleet Gambit


  • I’ve thought of a good strategy for the UK to nullify the Italian ambitions in Africa.  If you build 2 bombers on UK turn 1 you can hit the Italian fleet on UK turn 2 with at least 3 bombers and 1 fighter.  Which will allow you to completely destroy the Italian fleet 4 out of 5 times before any of these positive factors are added:

    +If the Italian fleet moves to SZ10, you can hit them with the Australian fighter which should be landed in India or Madagascar.

    +If your SZ10 destroyer is still alive you might be able to get him in this fight.

    +If you land a fighter in Gibraltar on T1 you can use it to hit them anywhere or you might entice the Italians to move their fleet to SZ12, which brings us to:

    +If the Italian fleet moves to SZ12, you can hit add any fighters in Great Britian to the fight as long as the allies control Gibraltar or Morocco.

    +If you happen to fail in your task, chances are the Americans can finish the job.

    Now there’s really only two things the Axis can do to attempt to counter this:

    -They can keep the German destroyer with the Italian fleet, however since Germany goes before UK, Germany will have to anticipate this tactic before you take your first turn.  Germany typically uses their fleet to attack your starting units at SZ13.  This seems unlikely.

    -Italy can build a destroyer on their first turn.  Unfortately, this will kill your plans unless you moved a fighter to Gibraltar on UK turn 1.

    The advantages to this strategy should be obvious.  Without their fleet, the Axis lose Africa, without Africa, Italy’s production will drop to single digits practically taking them out of the game. Once the Axis lose their African territories, you can refocus all African units to India.  The threat of your bombers will force Italy to bank their production until they have enough to afford a very large fleet. At 10 IPC or less per turn, this will take them a very long time.

    Note:  I was naming sea zones by memory, I may have them wrong.  The locations I mean to reference are as follows:
    SZ10: The Mediterranean sea zone north of Egypt.
    SZ12: The Mediterranean sea zone south of France
    SZ13: The Atlantic Ocean sea zone west of Morocco


  • Wouldn’t it actually be titled “The British Bomber Gambit?”  😄

    If I’m the Axis and I know it’s coming, I think I have a counter.  But I’ll need to play it out first to see if it works.


  • Axis simply needs to capture the landing spots for British aircraft to foil the plan.  There are 3 of them, but Germany gets two turns and Italy gets one before Britain gets a chance to do much.
    G1: Take Egypt (2 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 2 Tanks, 1 Bomber)
    I1: Take Trans Jordan (2 Infantry, 1 Fighter, 10 worth of Bombardment if need be)
    G2: Take Gibraltar(1 Infantry)

    G1: Take Trans Jordan (1 Inf, 1 Tank, 1 Bomber)
    I1: Take Egypt (3 Inf, 1 Tank, 1 Fighter, 10 Bombardment)
    G2: Take Gibraltar (1 Inf)

    G1: Take Gibraltar (1 Inf)
    I1: Take Egypt (3 Inf, 1 Tank, 1 Fighter, 10 Bombardment)
    G2: Blitz into Jordan (1 Tnk)


  • Axis simply needs to capture the landing spots for British aircraft to foil the plan.

    Bombers from UK can always land in Caucasus. Even if you can’t use your fighter as UK, you can easily use the two US bombers to finish off a lone surviving battleship.

    This strategy is however a bit risky since you won’t have a strong fleet as UK which is a handicap and slows you down invading. I prefer using American aircraft to kill off the Italian fleet and the British to invade Scandinavia, Karelia and France! Typically I build a CV on the East coast, so you can have 2 ftrs+2bmbs on turn 3 targetting the Italian fleet, to which you can add a DD and/or an extra bomber built if needed.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well if UK builds 3 bombers on UK1 and even if the Italians take Jordan and Germans take Egypt, UK will land in Caucasus with 4 bombers and fighters and clean up. The only really positive thing is to build the DD and or CA and have the fleet together on I2, because on UK3 its all over so Id rather do it the other way and ignore Egypt and Jordan till turn 2 when i can take both with minimal loses and on I1 build a transport, so that i can land more boots for at least another turn or 2, followed by a destroyer on I2.

    The added cost of taking Egypt and Jordan on the first turn and getting huge combat loses does not warrant the value of postponing the death of Italian fleet if the UK player desires it. IN fact the additional sunk UK warships on G1 are of greater value to force them to build a fleet rather than buy bombers.

    In general i don’t like the very idea of having my enemy dictate what i must do out of fear of potential consequence and forcing my play into narrow low luck gambles on G1 and I1.

    I want to dictate what the UK player will be forced to do as a consequence of what i play, rather than the other way around.

    So if i saw those bombers then i guess the end is near, but i net more troops in Africa and force the UK player to postpone his fleet building thing till like 3-4 turns. I also think if i played with NO’s that Italy could afford a CV and fighter combo to protect her fleet.


  • The bombers from the UK can not hit the Italian navy in Sea zone 15 north of Egypt and land in the Caucasus unless they have the long range tech.


  • /a44bigdog

    You’re right on that, but every turn your fleet is in the East Med. you effectively can’t build naval units since they will be bombed in the Central Med. (except subs, of marginal use anyway). You can get one transport or destroyer in on turn 1 and protect it with your battleship but after that less than the whole Italian fleet would be wiped out. (Turn 1, only 1 UK bmb is in reach, turn 2 and on, both UK+US air).

    The normal Allied response to an Italian fleet hiding in the East Med. would be to land in Algeria with enough forces and then base aircraft there. Your fleet and land units also threaten Italy and force the Axis to try to defend vs. the invasion by withdrawing their fleet to the Central med. Basically, the only valid defence versus this KIF strategy is to have enough German air ready to strike the Allied fleet in combination with counterattacks by the Italians. If the Allies do a good KIF, the clock is ticking for the Axis and they must finish off Russia or at least be very close to doing so before Italy falls.


  • @wodan46:

    Axis simply needs to capture the landing spots for British aircraft to foil the plan.  There are 3 of them, but Germany gets two turns and Italy gets one before Britain gets a chance to do much.
    G1: Take Egypt (2 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 2 Tanks, 1 Bomber)
    I1: Take Trans Jordan (2 Infantry, 1 Fighter, 10 worth of Bombardment if need be)
    G2: Take Gibraltar(1 Infantry)

    G1: Take Trans Jordan (1 Inf, 1 Tank, 1 Bomber)
    I1: Take Egypt (3 Inf, 1 Tank, 1 Fighter, 10 Bombardment)
    G2: Take Gibraltar (1 Inf)

    G1: Take Gibraltar (1 Inf)
    I1: Take Egypt (3 Inf, 1 Tank, 1 Fighter, 10 Bombardment)
    G2: Blitz into Jordan (1 Tnk)

    On G1, Germany won’t yet have any indication of this coming, so I think it’s unlikely they’ll be taking steps to prevent it unless you foolishly announce your intent.

    Even if you do, I’ve never seen a German player take Egypt on T1.  I don’t seem to recall it being easy.  I don’t think Germany can get as much stuff in Egypt as you indicate.  IIRC, Libya begins with a German Infantry and Tank, so you can get 2 tanks, 2 infantry and a bomber.  You can also get the fighter from Romania, but you will probably want him to help your destroyer clear the way for the transport. Even if you win the sea battle, and the land battle; you still acted first.  UK could just go with their regular fleet build, you haven’t countered anything.

    I’m certain a turn 1 Italian Attack is unlikely.  With only 1 transport, Italy can only use two of their bombarding ships.  This makes a successful assault on Egypt highly unlikely.  Unless, of course, Germany attacks Trans-Jorden on turn 1.  I’ve never seen it done and it would have the same issues regarding Germany knowing UKs strategy in advance.

    Also, either Gibraltar or Algeria can be taken (or reinforced) on US1.


  • @mpc220:

    Wouldn’t it actually be titled “The British Bomber Gambit?”  😄

    If I’m the Axis and I know it’s coming, I think I have a counter.  But I’ll need to play it out first to see if it works.

    You won’t know it’s coming, since if you take steps to prevent it on G1, I’ll simply do something else.  😄

    I tried it once and it destroyed ‘The Warrior’ as Italy

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The bombers from the UK can not hit the Italian navy in Sea zone 15 north of Egypt and land in the Caucasus unless they have the long range tech.

    yes but only for one turn. doing that thing where you sacrifice most of the German Africa force on a bad gamble taking Egypt while ignoring up to 5 British warships and instead getting the opportunity to take out 1 UK fighter and some land forces, while you could just land more troops in Lybia and get to land 4 more troops on I2 and getting a crushing force against any British counter before losing your fleet on UK3 to the determined enemy bomber buyer and who now has wasted another turn not building any invasion fleet and has no ships left to do anything near the continent ,because he wasted his cash on bombers.

    Thats the trade off, and you can still build a cruiser of I2 and possibly ruin his plan or force him to do something else.

    Waiting till G2 and I2 will not get you the 2 IPC Egypt, but i rate the BB, AP, 2 DD and CA as higher valued pieces, than 1 tank, fighter, art, and inf.

    Also, building a DD on I1 and a cruiser on I2 could end the British idea completely, then Germany can build a factory in Africa rather than have Italy make transports. But of course UK can hit you on UK2.


  • @Imperious:

    Waiting till G2 and I2 will not get you the 2 IPC Egypt, but i rate the BB, AP, 2 DD and CA as higher valued pieces, than 1 tank, fighter, art, and inf.

    Well, I don’t think that killing the bb is a bad move, but you cannot do both z2 and Egypt without great risk for germans (a risk not needed because axis have a big advantage in 1941, the poor allies must take the risks). I think you must do one or another because you cannot have the bomber in 2 places, but:

    • You can attack Egypt with the bomber and still kill the z12 and z6 fleets without great risk
    • So, attacking Egypt is choosing between:
    • BB, trannie in z2 (27 IPCs)
    • 2 inf, art, tank, fighter (25 IPCs) + 2 from Egypt to germans + 5 for italians NO + 7 UK doesn’t get from NO and Egypt= 39 IPCs

    So, we have that from a pure economical point of view, it’s better attack Egypt. But from a tactical point of view is even better because it’s more difficult for UK reinforce Middle East (and Africa) than buying boats at home waters. After all, they are the only guys you’ll have in that area stopping the japs or italians for a while, even if you build saf IC. And if you don’t attack, you risk UK having Improved industry, IC in Egypt and ruining axis day, specially if Japan doesn’t attack indian fleet. You could of course fail utterly z12 and find too much figs attacking italian fleet

    Of course, I’d do both z2 and Egypt with LRA  😄 but it’s rare buying tech for G1 and rolling naval tech tree

    Anyway, I agree a thing with you: you can save the italian fleet, or escaping to Indian ocean or saving the money round 1, buying ac, dd I2 and landing german fighters in G3


  • This is the 1942 scenario’s board.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    • BB, trannie in z2 (27 IPCs)
    • 2 inf, art, tank, fighter (25 IPCs) + 2 from Egypt to germans + 5 for italians NO + 7 UK doesn’t get from NO and Egypt= 39 IPCs

    The attack on the UK BB and AP will result in losing a sub= 6 IPC lost

    The attack on Egypt will result is losing most if not all of your force:  2 tanks, 2 infantry, 1 art= 20 IPC lost

    If the Italians hit Egypt i assume one infantry lost if the UK Inf stay, so make it 23 IPC lost

    Also, i was assuming not playing with NO’s, but killing the 2 UK ships off Gibraltar will be good enough for Italy.

    Plus If Germany hits Egypt UK can kill the German transport for free losing another 7 IPC

    so now you lost 27 IPC and get a close shave attack on Egypt, when you could have just killed 27 IPC and lost just 6 IPC sub.

    all that traded for one turn. If on G2 you took Egypt and Jordan, the larger force would not be able to get destroyed, while your planes on G2 and G3 would be killing the British anyway, but at a lower cost net. The only thing you dont gain is that fighter, which could go to India, but Japan will still take it anyway.

    I would just rather keep my pieces. Karelia and Egypt on G1 is a huge gamble and loss for Germany just to gain a position.


  • Interesting opening, I had a friend figure this out recently.  This “UK bomber gambit” is devestating in the '41.  9 UK/US bombers are ready by turn 3.  Italian navy builds don’t help.  Every time Axis invest in the water it allows Russia to grow stable and stronger.  Besides if you don’t bomb the Italian navy off the map, you can always SBR the crap out of Germany and Italy- same difference, though the navy would be optimal.  I was wondering how this works in the '42.


  • Wait a moment, IL, I got confused and thought we were talking about 1941, and this is 1942  :lol: In that case, you could be right, because the setup is different. Not sure there, both z2 and Egypt will be better defended, but I agree in that Egypt is too much risky in 1942

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 62
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

73
Online

16.4k
Users

38.2k
Topics

1.6m
Posts