From: Marseilles, France
ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
Oh, and what about Malta? Is it simply ignored until Gibraltar falls?
Well, in my opinion, Malta is critical for the Allies to have, when they want to invade Italy.
For the Axis, the importance is much lower, so they can try to take it if it is weakly defended, but it is not worth a major assault.
Except when the balance of forces is shifting in the Med, it can be valuable to try to conquer it, to delay the Allies offensive over Italy.
If the Axis is in a Gib + Med Strategy, it is obvious that Malta is secondary, really secondary, and will be conquered easily whatever its defenses, when the Med will be closed.
If the Axis is in a Barb Strategy, I'd revert to what I wrote at the beginning : Take it if there is an opportunity, but not gear a full scale offensive just for it. Defending strongly Sardinia is also a good Italia offensive brake, and the Axis should focus on that rather than try to conquer Malta.
So, the Axis need to be able to take advantage of a weakness in the CW defense (both corps being face down due to arriving here for example).
When the Axis is on a Barb Strategy, as the Axis I view the Med theater as a tree falling, when a woodcutter is working to cut it. That is, you know it will fall, whatever you do, you know it, the only thing you can do is delay it, and the more you delay it, the less impact its fall will have on you.
For me, the Axis (in a Barb strategy) need to delay the allies in the Med. If you manage to delay the fall of Italy to 1944, it is a really good thing. If you manage to delay it untill late 44, it is nearly a winner. The longer Italy is on its legs, the longer the German has his arms free to bash on the Russians, or the Wallies if they invade.
Delaying them is quite easy. Each impulse gained is a victory. This may be hampering their naval rebases by leaving SUBs at sea in the return to base phase, so that their offensive deployment may get screwed, keeping key places like the southern Sardinian city a long time, having Malta, making them pay for evacuating you from N Africa, less defending the spots in Italy where you would prefer them to land (Bari area seems the best, from the Axis point of view, because it is far from everything critical)...