@anzacguy That is a big question in a little sentence. I will try to answer as concisely as possible, but it is impossible to answer in specifics.
Italy is the only Axis power that depends totally on the actions of the Allies to decide its course of action. If the UK does things right, Italy has very limited options.
Assuming the UK does things right, Italy can and should provide ground forces to free up German resources for the destruction of Russia. After defending itself, Italy should position itself to help with the defense of West Germany, Southern France, and Normandy (assuming Germany or Italy was dumb enough to take Normandy).
Second, Italy should annoy the heck out of the UK by depriving it of its NO for as long as possible, maximize its income, and force the UK to try to neutralize that income. The best options for doing this are taking Cyprus if you have a surviving transport – this is very difficult for the UK to recapture without costing it extra resources. Taking African territories works only in the short term.
Finally, the Italian fast movers should move in advance of German forces to clear blockers and also allow German planes to land with the German stack that moves into the territory captured by Italy. The presence of defensive fighters can make a German stack feasible in circumstances where Russia might have odds of 50% or better when attacking the stack.
If the UK does things wrong (or just gets really unlucky)…
Italy might have navy play. Boost your income as much as possible and keep the UK tied up by taking its territories and forcing it to fight in Africa instead of reinforcing Russia. Keep can opening for Russia. With your boosted income, you can also keep building ground forces that can move to Europe or invade Africa.
Now, for ANZAC. Like Italy, it’s sucking hind tit. It has to support the major powers that keep it alive while not dying and thwarting the enemy as much as possible.
There are two schools of thought here – that ANZAC should turtle and that ANZAC should fight for possession of the Dutch East Indies. BOTH are true – ANZAC should do everything possible to not die while fighting for the DEI. To do these things, it needs US support. US fighters can reach Queensland from Hawaii in a single move. ANZAC ships can strengthen the US fleet to make it safe from Japanese attacks. The US can can open for ANZAC transports to let them take territory.
A major factor here is when Japan makes its move – with J1, ANZAC has less options than with every other Japanese opener. With J1, ANZAC should activate Dutch New Guinea on J1 for its NO. Without J1, ANZAC typically activates Java for income and possibly ferry fighters towards India via Java while building more defenses. (Whether or not to do this also depends on what’s showing for J2.)
A major limitation on ANZAC is factory capacity – there is one IC, and it is not in the best location. Some folks will tell you to build an IC with ANZAC, but timing is everything – too early, and your income will never support the enhanced capacity. Too late, and you’ll be giving initiative to the Axis powers. Also, the right blend is important – too many ground troops and you can’t help much. Too few ground troops and you’re a liability to the Allies.
A general rule of A&A combat is that fighters are sexy, but infantry holds off hits on more expensive units while they kill attackers…the more infantry you have, the longer your fighters live.
So, if you send a fighter off to India, it needs to be replaced but you also need to keep the infantry up. Combined with you factory limitations, this typically means you might build something like a fighter and two infantry, or a transport and two infantry, or a destroyer and two infantry.
Both of these minor powers require great skill to play properly – they both depend on balance and judgement of the enemy. Properly played, they can and have turned the tide of games.