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How to set up and play Italy?

 
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How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 2:54:33 AM   
Grotius


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OK, that's a pretty broad subject line! But Italy is the power that puzzles me the most. I'm playing most optional rules, including Oil and Limited Overseas Supply. No Cruisers in Flames or Convoys in Flames.

I've been looking at various people's AARs for guidance. Mainland Italy I understand best. I'm setting up mainly in northwest Italy. Orm's game helped me understand the value of setting up the fleet in Spezia, and basing aircraft there as well. (My first instinct was to dump the fleet into Taranto, but WIF's sea area boundaries seem to make Spezia a better choice.)

But what to do about Africa? With the oil rules, I'm not at all confident I can keep a convoy pipeline open in Italian Coast and the Eastern Med. Even if the Axis eventually captures Yugoslavia and Greece, allowing just one convoy-hop to Africa (through Eastern Med), the Royal Navy is still much bigger and better-fueled than the Italian navy. And unless I maintain a convoy/transport in the Eastern Med, only the territorial units are in supply, and they only if I set up near or in Tripoli. I see people setting up the Italian HQ and other units around Tobruk, but if that convoy lifeline is cut, those units are toast, no? I guess the go-for-broke option is to assault Gibraltar, with help from the Germans?

In addition, Italy gets an Italian (non-territorial) unit in Africa, and it's out of supply no matter where I place it. Is it realistic to hope that I'll supply it via sea? It'd be great if it could overrun a French possession or three, but I have to feed it first.

Anyway, if anyone has thoughts on this subject, I'd be interested. I apologize if I missed some obvious strategy thread here; I did some searching here (and at boardgamegeek) and I remain unsure of how to set up or play. Thanks!

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 3:05:23 AM   
paulderynck


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A lot depends on when Italy decides to join in the war. Most Allies won't DoW Italy because they'll lose US Entry. So Italy has time to get things organized. If the RN sets up to strike them, then DoW the CW and get a Surprise impulse on them.

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 3:20:42 AM   
brian brian

 

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Italy achieves the most if it works in concert with the Germans, so first you have to decide what Germany is going to do.

Italy's greatest strategic asset is the surprise impulse, which can help it crack the Alps frontier or allow it to get ashore in Africa far from the Libyan border - closer to whatever valuable objectives you select. Which then means you have to carry supplies across waters contested by the Allied navies for less time. It is hard for the Axis to run supply in the East Med early on as you have determined, but if the CW lose their bases there it starts to get easier. Which will probably lead you to realize another key hex Italy can plan to take.

Italy can also fight much more easily once France is out of the war. So your decision is to enter the war early, or to wait.

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 4:09:54 AM   
paulderynck


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Italy has good NAVs early, but low range FTRs (except 1). Once they get into it with the CW they need to put the NAVs in the 1 or 2 box with their fighters. Moving the German NAV south helps too. If the Germans can send their 1940 6-4 fighter and/or the ME-110s south, then the CW CVPs may get wiped from the skies. Naval combat is all about air power (barring horribly endless bad split rolls).

Early on, the Italians have a good shot at controlling the Med with air power. The CW has a lot of fish to fry and not many long range FTRs to throw into the mix.

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 4:59:27 AM   
Grotius


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Thanks; lots of reassuring advice here. OK, I'll do my best. :)

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 6:08:34 AM   
Ur_Vile_WEdge

 

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Pretty much what Paulderynck said : You control the med by controlling the skies, and you do a lot of that with fighters and navs in the two box.

And yeah, that infantry in Africa is kind of a wash. About all you can do with him is stick him in Addis Abbaba and make it tough for the CW to attack if they decide to hit Ethiopia for some reason.

As for setup, You probably wanty to put at least some pressure on the alps. You won't be able to attack through any defense the French put up, but at least try to get them to commit 3-4 units to holding you off. And sometimes the French player forgets that your MTN can slip through Alpine hexes and leaves that one hex open....

As for the rest, follow Germany's lead. Remember, Italy's single biggest contribution to the Euroaxis efforts are action limits. You want to be building things that Germany isn't, supplement the grey guy's weaknesses. Italy often does the lion's share of the sub war, if you can get the sub war going.

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 11:55:22 AM   
AlbertN

 

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Usually I setup Italy to deal with France and leave the CW unmolsted for a long time.
The Italy lack air cover vs CW Carriers early on and the means anyway to truly hurt the brits.

On the other hand it can easily surprise the Frenchmen by landing in their Afrikan colonies (and that Resource in Algeria can come handy!) and advance up to Morocco to take a hold of it for your future European Bastion (if that includes seizing Gibraltar too).
It will add cheap Territorials to mix in with your regular forces (I think even a division counts to not have the territorial being alone vs regular troops).

If you play with Unlimited Breakdown, breakdown the Corp in AOI into 2 Inf Divisions, and send two cruisers to pick them up (Taranto and the other old one with 3 of range should do!).

In the first two turns, in one I sacrifice the Oil to have 3 BPs, and I build the Eirone (NAV3) and 1 pilot for it or eventually recycle a pilot of a crappy plane I do not need.
When hitting France if their fleet is in Marseille or Toulon, well Port Strike it! And if you advance well in the Afrikan colonies of theirs, you can get in Port Strike distance for Gibraltar for when the UK will eventually be DoW'ed.

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 11:59:16 AM   
Orm


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quote:

Orm's game helped me understand the value of setting up the fleet in Spezia, and basing aircraft there as well. (My first instinct was to dump the fleet into Taranto, but WIF's sea area boundaries seem to make Spezia a better choice.)

La Spezia is a better choice offensively for the fleet. The down side is that it is more vulnerable for port strikes there.

A AA counter at La Spezia or a fighter within intercept range of the port helps against port strikes. But especially aware for surprise port strikes while Italy is neutral.

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 3:38:06 PM   
Centuur


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Italy. Now that's a nice country to play (especially in a multi player game. Always have Japan and Italy as a player and Germany apart.

First: always set up the East Africa TERR aggresively! Djibouti is one hex away and Khartoum is also within reach. CW TERR are all around the globe (and so are the French ones), so they might be empty. Also: those TERR are in supply, since they draw supply from there own capital cities.

Second: if you get the fast Lybian TERR, set it up so it can run into French North Africa...

Personally, I go to war with Italy ASAP. Why? Because this game is all about economics and the Italians are desperate to get Adolfs build points and resources! You promise Adolf every type of support you have available, provided he goes for a Close the Med strategy. Mare Nostrum, you know...

Also: I would advise to go to war with France only in 1939. Sure, some people will say that the US entry will have to paid again, but usually, the CW will at some time get fed up with your aggression against the French and DoW you. Also, I believe the surprise impulse itself has more worth than the possible extra US entry chit drawn...

I used to stay put with the Italians in 1939 at first, but lately, I don't anymore. The Axis need to expand and for that, Italy is needed.

Set up is mainly some units at the French border and some at the border with Egypt. Fleet in La Spezia (with a FTR and/or AA gun in the hex adjacent).

Get the division on board of a cruiser and send it into the Western Med in the first impulse (so you can put an invasion in French North Africa underway). And if the CW is stupid enough not to garrison Gibraltar? Invade the place immediately (but it's a real stupid move by the CW, so it should not happen...).

< Message edited by Centuur -- 10/18/2014 4:39:51 PM >


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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/18/2014 4:27:19 PM   
Orm


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I would not mind playing Italy solo. With two other Axis player playing Japan and Germany. I have a friend who I actually think prefers to play Italy solo.

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/19/2014 4:49:57 AM   
Grotius


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I'm curious -- what does your friend do when Italy is out of the war by, say, 1943? Hang out and kibitz? How many people normally play a tabletop game of WIF, anyway?

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RE: How to set up and play Italy? - 10/19/2014 11:50:32 AM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grotius

I'm curious -- what does your friend do when Italy is out of the war by, say, 1943? Hang out and kibitz? How many people normally play a tabletop game of WIF, anyway?

I don't know. As far as I know it has yet to happen when he played Italy solo.

If I was Germany I suppose he would get control of one German front. There is also the option of taking over a nation whose player could not continue the game.

Just hanging out or begin a new game seems to be an option if it is a MWIF multiplayer net game.

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Have a bit more patience with newbies. Of course some of them act dumb -- they're often students, for heaven's sake. - Terry Pratchett

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