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Subject: Italy rss

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Matthew Taylor
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Is anyone else bugged by how the game handles Italy? Italy CAN NOT enter the war on the Axis side absent the conquest of an Allied capital, a diplomacy role, or whenever the Allies decide to attack at will.

It seems really odd that the Allies are free to attack a major neutral, but not the other way around.

What makes it more annoying is it is starting to look like a worthwhile strategy for the Allies to initiate the war against Italy in 1939, possibly the very first turn, certainly on the second turn if the allies draw the Saar Offensive and can arrange a move second / move first situation.

I can not really evaluate this with confidence though until we get a clarification on the interaction of belligerent and neutral naval units.
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Robert Crawford
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Attacking in Italy in 1939 is exactly what some, like Williamson Murray, think the Allies should have done. It might have distracted the Germans in their plans for a western campaign. And it might have brought to bear the Allies strongest asset--their fleets. Much better to battle the Italian Navy than to wait and battle each other at Mers-el-Kébir.

I'm eager to see how it goes in Victory in Europe.
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Matthew Taylor
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From a cold calculation with hindsight I can see it. But what would England and France have used as a justification to get their legislatures to go along with a declaration of war against Italy? I don't think it credible that England and France, already at war with Germany, would deliberately widen the war without fierce resistance from their legislatures.
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Alberto Natta
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I am somehow confident Italy would have behaved differently in the longer run if the Allies would have declared war on Italy.

The popular sentiment that evolved against the fascism over time would not be here, and the nation would have felt to be fighting to protect at first their very homeland and houses.
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ralph waldo
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We have dealt with an early attack on Italy in four of our games. If the French and British, somewhat unrealistically, ignore the dire situation in France, they can either defeat or maul Italy very badly, particularly if they each use a battleship+air to aid in their attacks upon the Italian North African forces.

We were beginning to worry that this was going to be a constant gimicky reality. While we are still a bit irritated at how difficult it is for the Italians to defend themselves at this stage of the game, we have now realized that the British can pay a mighty cost for investing in an early attack upon Italy.

The way the invasion rules work, it can be a bit easier to invade a lightly defended Britain than it might first appear. In our last game, Britain was completely conquered as a result of this strategy. In fact, I have come to realize that Germany must keep some sort of invasion force at hand at all times, if possible, and place steady pressure on the British to prevent the British and French from overwhelming the Italians.

I have not put my new German strategy into effect yet (bombers, subs, and naval investment), but I will let you know how it goes. Most WWII grand strategy games prevent the French from making suicide attacks against the Italians because such attacks would have been silly when France was fearing for its very survival.
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Charles Finch
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If France attacked Italy Vichy would likely have not been accepted, so a rule to have this cause only full collapse may be worth investigating?
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Rick Westerman
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I've only played a couple of games but I tend to agree with Ralph -- the Allies attack the Italians at the peril of losing Britain.

It is nice to have a game that allows for the possibility of an early Italian attack however I suspect that most of the time such a strategy will be overall negative.

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John Griffey
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Cohen wrote:
I am somehow confident Italy would have behaved differently in the longer run if the Allies would have declared war on Italy.

The popular sentiment that evolved against the fascism over time would not be here, and the nation would have felt to be fighting to protect at first their very homeland and houses.


This is exactly right. Any nation which believes itself the target of unjustified aggression will fight with righteous fury.

ITALY should get a second capital at Milan-Turin if it is brought into the war by Allied attack. ITALY then surrenders only if both Rome and Milan-Turn are enemy controlled. ITALY does not surrender if it is ejected from Africa and Asia and loses one mainland Italian area.
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Charlie Heckman
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AnimalMother wrote:
ITALY does not surrender if it is ejected from Africa and Asia and loses one mainland Italian area.


I think this is a reasonable and appropriate house rule. Certainly early aggression by the Allies would have stiffened Italian resistance.

- C
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Matthew Taylor
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Yeah, it is one thing to model a polity tiring of imperial over reach and surrendering when the costs are brought home, which is pretty much what the started a war, got kicked out of Africa and now its at our doorstep does.

Entirely different when two powerful enemies attack without anything the polity will see as provocation. I suspect the Italians might have had their own "Never Surrender" moment. Mussolini, for all we ridicule him today, was a pretty good orator if memory serves.
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Paul H
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westerman wrote:
I've only played a couple of games but I tend to agree with Ralph -- the Allies attack the Italians at the peril of losing Britain.



I take a slightly contrarian view here and offer that a trade of France for Italy often works in Britain's favor. Consider: without Italy the threat to Cairo is greatly reduced and relies on Axis diplomatic rolls and/or attacks on Turkey. The British fleet in the Med can be reduced to a single cruiser to watch the Vichy cruiser with the BB sent home to guard the Home Islands. And of course there is the added benefit of the resources of Libya and Sardinia which could be considered "unsinkable convoys".

There is a risk that Germany will build a sizable invasion fleet but that comes at a cost as well, yes? There is still the Russian bear to deal with...
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Ben
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I do not think that Britain has the luxury to 'trade' France for Italy.

Britain is bound to lose France anyway by the second or third season in 1940. And if France alows itself to distract with Italy, they will falter even earlier to the German rush and Britain will be in great peril to prevent a successful 'Sealion'.

With the 1939 OB and the limited CM that the Allies have early in the game, I do not see them having the resources to pull this off if the German player is half competent.
 
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Matthew Taylor
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I will probably try an Italy first strategy a time or two once the revised rules clarify the status of neutral fleets and sea control. It is crucial to know if a neutral Italian fleet can keep the allies off their cost and thus prevent an invasion on at DOW turn.
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Ben
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taylorsmatthew wrote:
prevent an invasion on at DOW turn.


An Invasion on the DOW turn will do the Allies no good, unless they are able to conquer all of Africa in the same turn as well or conquer Rome. Italy can protect Rome fairly easy by parking BB 'Roma' there.

This will not make it impregnable but will make it highly risky for the Allies. And I do not see the Allies having the resources to play high risk games in the early game phase with their slender armies and limited CM and the German Army charging through Western Europe.

'The Italian Job' might be a bit to big for '39 or '40 and might them well lose the game at a stage where their paradigma should be survival.
 
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Charlie Heckman
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A neutral fleet must be allowed to interdict a Sea Invasion.

I understand the concept of neutral fleets allowing other fleets to sail past, but a neutral Italian fleet is not going to ignore an incoming Sea Invasion force.

- C
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Matthew Taylor
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This ties into the whole question of what is a DOW. If a DOW is not until you actually attack, i.e. attempt to land the troops, then would a French fleet and Italian fleet colocated in a sea zone prevent either from claiming the zone as friendly? Imagine the French are there first and the neutral Italians move in second. Can they even do this? Would Italian neutrality prevent it since they can't fight? What happens next turn if the French try to invade through the zone?
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John Griffey
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The very first question in the official Columbia Games Q&A is, "What is a 'Declaration of War' on a neutral?" It is moving a unit into the neutral's territory.

1. Allied and Neutral Italian Fleets should be able to share the same sea zone.

2. The Allies cannot "Declare War" on Neutral Italy by Sea Invading through a sea zone containing a Neutral Italian Naval unit.

3. Player 1 or Player 2, whether Italian or Allied, on finding his Naval units in the same sea zone as units he was previously neutral toward, must either attack those units or move out of the sea zone.

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Charles Finch
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Point three would seem to imply that at the moment of the attack the sea zone becomes unfriendly , meaning you can't invade through it as well?
 
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Matthew Taylor
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AnimalMother wrote:
The very first question in the official Columbia Games Q&A is, "What is a 'Declaration of War' on a neutral?" It is moving a unit into the neutral's territory.


Correct - though this leaves unanswered the question of when a minor neutral's units are deployed, but not a factor with Italy.

AnimalMother wrote:

1. Allied and Neutral Italian Fleets should be able to share the same sea zone.


Perhaps, but the rules do not directly address this. In this event, is the zone friendly to the first fleet to enter, both fleets, or neither?

AnimalMother wrote:

2. The Allies cannot "Declare War" on Italy by Sea Attacking through a sea zone containing a Neutral Italian unit.


Why not? If the sea zone is friendly to the allies then a coastal zone is eligible for invasion even if the zone becomes contested as it does not loose its status as friendly until an enemy conquers it.

AnimalMother wrote:

3. Player 1 or Player 2, whether Italian or Allied, on finding his Naval units in the same sea zone as units he was previously neutral toward, must either attack those units or move out of the sea zone.


But which is the attacker? The second player to have entered the sea zone? The player who just invaded through? Remember that player 1 chooses which battles are fought in what order. If I was player one I would presumably fight that battle last to make sure the invasion goes through.

 
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John Griffey
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taylorsmatthew wrote:
AnimalMother wrote:
The very first question in the official Columbia Games Q&A is, "What is a 'Declaration of War' on a neutral?" It is moving a unit into the neutral's territory.


Correct - though this leaves unanswered the question of when a minor neutral's units are deployed, but not a factor with Italy.

AnimalMother wrote:

1. Allied and Neutral Italian Fleets should be able to share the same sea zone.


Perhaps, but the rules do not directly address this. In this event, is the zone friendly to the first fleet to enter, both fleets, or neither?

AnimalMother wrote:

2. The Allies cannot "Declare War" on Italy by Sea Attacking through a sea zone containing a Neutral Italian unit.


Why not? If the sea zone is friendly to the allies then a coastal zone is eligible for invasion even if the zone becomes contested as it does not loose its status as friendly until an enemy conquers it.

AnimalMother wrote:

3. Player 1 or Player 2, whether Italian or Allied, on finding his Naval units in the same sea zone as units he was previously neutral toward, must either attack those units or move out of the sea zone.


But which is the attacker? The second player to have entered the sea zone? The player who just invaded through? Remember that player 1 chooses which battles are fought in what order. If I was player one I would presumably fight that battle last to make sure the invasion goes through.


A Minor Neutral deploys its units the instant of the DoW against it. It deploys them anywhere in its own territory.

1. A sea zone with Neutral Italian Naval units and Allied Naval units is Allied controlled. A sea zone with Axis Italian Naval units and Allied Naval units is controlled by neither side.

2. It would be absurd to have the Neutral Italian navy do nothing as an Allied invasion armada sailed through them on the way to invade Neutral Italy. The original rule says the sea zones traversed by Sea Invading Armies must be friendly controlled at the start of the Sea Invader's "turn," i.e., of his move (7.5 Sea Invasion). This represents the need for a controlled supply line feeding the beachhead of an invasion. A sea invasion could not go forward with strong enemy naval forces on its supply line. Thus you cannot Sea Invade Neutral Italy through a sea zone containing Neutral Italian Naval units.

3. Whichever side, Axis Italy or the Allies, as either Player 1 or Player 2, is first to find he has Naval units in a sea zone containing enemy units is the attacker, if he chooses to stay in the sea zone.
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Matthew Taylor
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AnimalMother wrote:
A Minor Neutral deploys its units the instant of the DoW against it. It deploys them anywhere in its own territory.


Which implies that it could choose to deploy them where the attacker has moved, making the minor the attacker in that area as until the area is entered no state of war exists. This is of course a problem, but without that interpretation we create a new rule out of the ether that a state declaring war must have a CM available for a potential battle or we create a new rule that allows one to enter and then retreat when time for a battle. The simple solution is for a DoW to be issued, that is a player declares their intent to enter and then the minor forces are deployed before movement.

AnimalMother wrote:

1. A sea zone with Neutral Italian Naval units and Allied Naval units is Allied controlled. A sea zone with Axis Italian Naval units and Allied Naval units is controlled by neither side.


How about if the Italians were there first? Can the Allies show up then and claim friendly status?

AnimalMother wrote:

2. It would be absurd to have the Neutral Italian navy do nothing as an Allied invasion armada sailed through them on the way to invade Neutral Italy. The original rule says the sea zones traversed by Sea Invading Armies must be friendly controlled at the start of the Sea Invader's "turn," i.e., of his move (7.5 Sea Invasion).


Right, and if the state of war does not exist unit the invaders land on the Italian territory then clearly the sea zone qualifies as having been friendly at the start of the invader's turn.

AnimalMother wrote:

This represents the need for a controlled supply line feeding the beachhead of an invasion. A sea invasion could not go forward with strong enemy naval forces on its supply line. Thus you cannot Sea Invade Neutral Italy through a sea zone containing Neutral Italian Naval units.


I understand your historical reasoning, but the conclusion is unsupported by the text and in fact contradicted by it. If Italy is not at war and a chain of Allied fleets are present in the sea zones and that presence makes them friendly at the start of the Allied turn then the conditions for a Sea Invasion have been met.

AnimalMother wrote:

3. Whichever side, Axis Italy or the Allies, as either Player 1 or Player 2, is first to find he has Naval units in a sea zone containing enemy units is the attacker, if he chooses to stay in the sea zone.


I do not understand this sentence. By definition both sides will discover this condition at the same time. Only the Allies can initiate it by attacking though. The Axis can only initiate it by diplomatic event or by occupying Paris, London, or Moscow (and what does "occupying" mean, simply moving into for battle or winning the battle?). The Axis can not simply decide to attack the Allies with Italian units.

There is also the question of what happens if Allied and Neutral Italian fleets are co-located when Italy goes belligerent in the Diplomacy phase. Is there an out of phase battle? A mutual pinning at the start of next turn's movement?
 
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John Griffey
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AnimalMother wrote:
A Minor Neutral deploys its units the instant of the DoW against it. It deploys them anywhere in its own territory.


taylorsmatthew wrote:

Which implies that it could choose to deploy them where the attacker has moved, making the minor the attacker in that area as until the area is entered no state of war exists. This is of course a problem, but without that interpretation we create a new rule out of the ether that a state declaring war must have a CM available for a potential battle or we create a new rule that allows one to enter and then retreat when time for a battle. The simple solution is for a DoW to be issued, that is a player declares their intent to enter and then the minor forces are deployed before movement.


We've been over this before. An attacker/invader should have 1 CP available or be prepared to take a 1 step loss on each unit by retreating them in the first round of combat.

AnimalMother wrote:

1. A sea zone with Neutral Italian Naval units and Allied Naval units is Allied controlled. A sea zone with Axis Italian Naval units and Allied Naval units is controlled by neither side.


taylorsmatthew wrote:

How about if the Italians were there first? Can the Allies show up then and claim friendly status?


Yes, Neutral Italy is neutral so even if its units are there first they do not prevent Allied units taking control of the sea zone for the Allies.

AnimalMother wrote:

2. It would be absurd to have the Neutral Italian navy do nothing as an Allied invasion armada sailed through them on the way to invade Neutral Italy. The original rule says the sea zones traversed by Sea Invading Armies must be friendly controlled at the start of the Sea Invader's "turn," i.e., of his move (7.5 Sea Invasion).


taylorsmatthew wrote:

Right, and if the state of war does not exist unit the invaders land on the Italian territory then clearly the sea zone qualifies as having been friendly at the start of the invader's turn.


Indeed. That's why I recommend rule amendment 2, that Sea Invasions of Neutral Italy cannot traverse sea zones occupied by Neutral Italian units. Preparing to invade Italy is an obviously hostile act which the Italian navy would not tolerate.

AnimalMother wrote:

This represents the need for a controlled supply line feeding the beachhead of an invasion. A sea invasion could not go forward with strong enemy naval forces on its supply line. Thus you cannot Sea Invade Neutral Italy through a sea zone containing Neutral Italian Naval units.


taylorsmatthew wrote:

I understand your historical reasoning, but the conclusion is unsupported by the text and in fact contradicted by it. If Italy is not at war and a chain of Allied fleets are present in the sea zones and that presence makes them friendly at the start of the Allied turn then the conditions for a Sea Invasion have been met.


Indeed. The situation is a special case in need of a special rule.

AnimalMother wrote:

3. Whichever side, Axis Italy or the Allies, as either Player 1 or Player 2, is first to find he has Naval units in a sea zone containing enemy units is the attacker, if he chooses to stay in the sea zone.


taylorsmatthew wrote:

I do not understand this sentence. By definition both sides will discover this condition at the same time. Only the Allies can initiate it by attacking though. The Axis can only initiate it by diplomatic event or by occupying Paris, London, or Moscow (and what does "occupying" mean, simply moving into for battle or winning the battle?). The Axis can not simply decide to attack the Allies with Italian units.


If Italy goes Axis by Diplomatic dice roll or by combat fall of Paris, London or Moscow, then if the Allies are Player 1 of the next calendar turn's Movement Phase the Allies must attack Italian Naval units whose sea zone they share, or leave the sea zone. It the Axis are Player 1 of the next calendar turn's Movement Phase the Italians must attack the Allied units whose sea zone they share, or leave the zone.

If the Axis is Player 2 and is able to occupy Paris, London or Moscow by simply moving into it without combat, that capital instantly is Axis controlled and Italy instantly joins the war, and also may move as Player 2. If there happen to be Allied Naval units in a sea zone occupied by Italian Naval units, the Italians as Player 2 must attack or leave the sea zone.

If the Allies are Player 2 and attack an Italian unit by land or sea or invade an Italian land area, then Allied Naval units must attack any Italian Naval units whose zone they share or leave the zone.

If Paris, London or Moscow falls as a result of combat then Italy instantly becomes an Axis power. In this case, Player 1 determines the order in the Combat Phase of any combats between co-located Italian and Allied Naval units. The Italians, in this case, are the attackers.

taylorsmatthew wrote:

There is also the question of what happens if Allied and Neutral Italian fleets are co-located when Italy goes belligerent in the Diplomacy phase. Is there an out of phase battle? A mutual pinning at the start of next turn's movement?


There's no out of phase battle. If you're Player 1 and you leave your Naval units in the sea zone with now-enemy Allies or now-enemy Italians, you're the attacker and pin enemy blocks of number equal to your blocks.
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Stu Hendrickson
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its abundantly clear that this type of thing is contemplated within the scope of thegame. But, yes it bothers me how the inactive majors are handled. But some people really enjoy this kind of flexability. Basically, I have the same attitude of this as I do for Napoleonic Wars- if you are looking for a game that mirrors history, you are barking up the wrong tree. If you are looking for a huge variety of 'historical' options, this is for you.
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Austin Savatt
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Options are one thing, but rules that handcuff Italy into a position where it is being attacked feel odd. Advocating for "choices" comes at the expense of choices for Italy, who should be a rational actor, able to declare war of the player's own free will. But what we have instead is an Italy that sucks its thumb while the naval units in the Med surround it and prepare for an invasion in 1939.4. This becomes especially a nightmare if by a twist of fate the allies are player 1 in 1939.3
 
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Michael Dworkin
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Perhaps I am missing something, but don't most of these 'problems' center on Italian vulnerability to Allied first-strike positioning? And don't most of the other issues revolve around 'dual-occupancy' of sea areas in pre-war situations?

If so, don't most of these problems go away if one plays that Allied units can not enter into areas (sea or land) occupied by Italian units, as long as Italy is still neutral? Announcement of intent to enter those areas simply creates a state of war; handled with no need for special rules, since it is the same as announced intent to attack any other neutral. (Alternatively, each side can move through, but not remain in sea spaces occupied by other when Italy is neutral.

Symmetrically, Italian units can not enter into areas occupied by Allied units as long as Italy is still neutral; but is feasible if Italy is at war with Allies.

The Rome-specific matters seem simple: If Axis are Player 1 in 1939.3 (the first cards of the war) then Italian units can move to protect Rome (by land and sea zone) without needing any Command points. If Allies are Player 1 in 1939.3 they still can not invade because they will not have and an invasion chain at start of turn. They might occupy sea areas on 1939.3 and try to invade on 1939.4; but allows the Italians at least one turn (as Player 2 in 1939.3) and probably a second turn (as player 1 in 1939.4) to set up strong land defense in Rome and to create an overall defense that would require multiple Command points to overcome. Since the Allied cards for 1939 offer limited Command points and invasion of Italy would take 2 command points that would mean risking inability to respond to Germany and still be without a guarantee of success against Italy.

What am I missing?

What am I missing?
 
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