From: Vancouver, BC
I recently finished playing for the first time the Triple Alliance campaign, as the Central Powers against the AI set at Veteran level difficulty. It made a very enjoyable variation from the 1914 Call to Arms Campaign. As expected, Italy started as a neutral major but by spring 1915 it entered the war on the Central Powers side. This was obviously an advantage for the Central Powers, but not as large as I expected. The terrain along the French - Italian border is as mountainous as the Italian - Austro-Hungarian border but with no NM hexes near it for France to defend. Given the superiority in tech levels of the French, the AI was easily able to defend that frontier by diverting only a few corps. By 1917, once Russia was out of the game, I sent Austrian troops to attack along that border, but with limited success by the end of the game.
The bigger consequence of having Italy on the Central Powers side is that they can use the Italian navy to fight for naval superiority in the Mediterranean, making great use of all of the ports around Italy. I invested early on amphibious tech for Italy and used their troops to help conquer Greece, once Serbia was defeated. Greece also has four 10 strength ports which proved very valuable for keeping naval units in good repair.
A surprise was that Libya does not start this campaign as an Italian colony. So, once Greece had been conquered, I used my amphibious capability to send two Italian units to conquer Tripoli and then used Tobruk as a base to attack the British position in Egypt from behind. After Egypt fell in late 1917, I mounted a land campaign from Tripoli against Tunis and then Algiers with Italian and Ottoman forces. With naval superiority in the Med, France did not try to reinforce its position in North Africa. But given the lack of supply on the route from Tripoli to Tunis, advancing was slow. My long-term aim, once French North Africa was conquered, was to declare war on Spain and conquer the Spanish territory opposite Gibraltar to enable the Italian, Austria and Ottoman naval units to move into the Atlantic and relieve pressure on the German navy. Unfortunately, there were not enough turns left before the end of the campaign to carry out that attack.
Given that this scenario gives the Central Powers an additional Major on its side, the settings have been changed to accelerate U.S.A entry into the war. The joined the Entente in July 1916 and made their naval presence felt on the other side of the Atlantic within a few turns. By the last year of the war, USA troops were appearing on the front line of the Western Front. So, if you are interested to see what difference early U.S. entry into the war makes, this is a good scenario to play.