More old notes from the list - this time on an early invasion in Italy (66245):
"Early on, the Western Allies should think of themselves as fencers, not swashbuckling pirates armed with cutlasses. Think the point, not the blade. Precision, not strength. You can make one man do the work of 10 (German ones).
You will use your small (albeit chrome) units to launch attacks in areas the Axis have problems marshalling forces in, while your sealift allows you to quickly focus on a new area (or abandon one the Germans mass against). Forex, Norway and Finland are good areas to mess with right as a Barb41 begins (or even before). The German is hogtied into doing lands and cannot react to your advances, but letting your bombers into the Baltic is equally unsavory.
If the EuroAxis does gang up on you in a theater, you've usually saved some poor damn Russian, which is important. Simply repeat to yourself "I am Eduardo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" over and over, AND USE YOUR RAPIER TO MAKE SURE EACH KILLING SWIPE OF THE AXIS CUTLASS IS DEFLECTED SOMEWHERE LESS VITAL!!!
If you continue to do this by 42 (possibly) or 43 (definitely) you will have opened several "annoying fronts" along with a huge reserve force (and huge air force) in the UK or Morocco.
Then BOOM! Land on the Axis with both feet in a strategic front like Italy or France. I've seen every Axis unit in France flipped on the impulse the invasion occured (this is harder to do in 42 but still possible). Overwhelming air power, huge BB cruising offshore and enough Arm and HQ to blitz key hexes, many of which might be OOS.
If you hammer Italy this way, she'll keel over after a bit and die; just remember, here it is FAR BETTER to get ashore early. Often you can wait in France, after all, God's air force is on your side and HQ can stay in the UK and play OC on invasions.
But in Italy, if you wait ONE TURN, the Axis can often forestall your attacks. As the US doing a Italy First, I've been able to paradrop and invade max stacks into Sicily on the 2nd impulse of entering the war, along with an OC. If you do this properly, it can be devastating, but your CW buddy has to really pull his weight, because you bought chrome and ships for the most part.
Last game as Italy, I put all my naval air power in the WMED and based Paras in Algeria for a threat to Gib. It was a bit lame but it worked. I gained a 2 turn respite to stock Sicily and the key hexes of Italy to the gunwales. Then my aircraft went back to guarding the coast and before you knew it, bad weather set in. I kept building grunts and AC, and by invasion weather in 43 I could shrug off all but the most determined Allied assault, and it was going to be very bloody for them (in particular Allied air power in the Italian Coast was limited).
Italy lived throughout the war, it was an armed camp with mech, HQ, AA guns, artillery and all sorts of toys scattered over it. I could not prevent the Allies from invading but I made it so risky that they elected not to and instead funneled their forces elsewhere (France & Turkey). 2 turns is all I needed to live for 15 turns more, and that was 15 turns with Italian AC flying all over the Axis world doing the bidding of their Germanic masters.
As the Axis, if you see a US with several Amph, all Para, Mar and invaders ready by SO41, and CW TRS hanging around the closest Canadian port, be wary. A dead giveaway is an overabundance of Atr, late war you can never have too many, but if you see 3-4 hanging around the MAT area or in the UK, expect an imminent attack when the balloon goes up.
Same thing with an early OC build, but this is more rare.
The only thing I would caution you with is, don't forget your main objective. I've seen Allied player lose focus and get bogged down in a minor theater, continuing to commit too many forces to it (usually this is land units, because AC can just rebase out). Then they find themselves out of position during ideal campaign weather.
On invasion turns, your strat bombers should help out with ground strikes or carpet bombs. I've covered elsewhere your magical ability to include paratroops with each attack [* see below]. If you keep your threat dynamic, the Axis will slowly crack and you'll gain superiority in a major theater. Usually this means your air power begins to dominate obscenely. Once that happens you press remorselessly on the Axis strongholds. Forex, you have the ability to carpet bomb a triple stack AND ground strike it AND slam it from 2 hexsides with a decent attack. This is something the Germans never had at any point, and stopping something like this require 3 good fighters (one for carpet bombing, 1 for paradrops and 1 for ground strikes). Add in night missions and it complicates it for them even further.
But then, at this stage your intent is to overwhelm the defenders anyway.
> I've become an absolute take out Italy fanatic at this point. It
> has taken plenty of games for me to be so sold on this idea
> however. At WIFCON 2003 Germany did a 41 attack on Russia and as CW
> I built for 41 CW offensive operations.
I would agree with this strategy, I think a 41 assault on Italy is a great idea...IF its in the cards. Depending upon what the Axis builds and how they play, you may find yourself still on the defensive. That's why I prefer a joint US-CW attack on Italy a couple turns later. More options for the allies and harder to stop.
However, to do the bang-up job on Italy I described earlier, the CW must be aggressively defensive in the Med before the operation begins.
+ hold Malta
+ grab Tunisia
+ occupy Oran, as much of Algeria as possible.
+ garrison Morocco
+ wage incessant war in the Western Med
+ gobble up as many of the Italian surrender objectives as you can, or at least prepare for it.
Depending upon a number of factors (luck, Axis builds, etc.) you may not be able to do all these things. If they are doing a Med build you may be able to do little or none of these things.
If you can do most of them, then a US-CW Italian invasion can proceed immediately, with devastating consequences for the Axis. If you can grab Tunisia, then consider the US OC, because a fast TRS can drop Clark or whoever off there or in Malta for the double invasion attack(s).
Unlike France, an Allied incursion here is hard to kill, you are constrained by the cuttable rail link to Sicily. Plus the Allies can base in good terrain with BB backing them up. If the Italians garrison Sicily, then each one killed hurts their garrison ratio. But the Germans won't want to be there because the bastard Allies might cut them off so they can't rail out when Italy goes down.
Worst of all, unlike France, its a BAD thing to let them grab most of Sicily. If they get enough troops ashore, Italy is kaput. In France you just rail more troops and stabilize the line.
Oh, and don't forget the effect it has on Axis production when half the Italian factories stop working...its as good as 4 good strat bombing hits a turn.
An Allied invasion of Italy can be a disaster for the Axis in 42, and will do more to save Russia than any other option the Western Allies can come up with this early, assuming the EuroAxis are competent."
* Re PARAs (68773):
"One last little item: the Allies have a second ability the Germans can never equal: paradrops. If you've built well, you can have 4 FF ATR on map, enough to ensure that EVERY attack you make will have 2-3 Para in them, ideally. A French ATR is worth 2 Brit or US ATR for mission purposes (not for reorg), yet they (and FF TRS/AMPH) are the most overlooked units in the Western arsenal.
What I am saying here is, 3 FF ATR and George behind your lines can fly 6 paradrops (3 impulses worth if each one has 2 missions). This continual bonus addition to your battles is easy to achieve, and requires the German to have even higher FTR density in his hexes to protect them. Somehow I don't think that's the case. Use them lavishly."