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Subject: Noob Player - What Italy needs to fear from allies in 1940 rss

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Ara Bulbulian
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As I'm trying to decide what to do with Italy, I realize how weak they are and it's making me a little nervous that the CW with maybe help from France might try and DoW Italy and port strike them or something even worse? So have some questions for others:

- What should Italy be most concerned about in 1940 from allies?

- How to best protect itself.

- Once at war with allies, how can it keep supply lines open? As playing with rules that need convoy to supply over seas.

- How much resources (and oil?) should Germany send to Italy? Starting from 1939?

- What are what some good Italian production pointers? I'm thinking beef up the navy (subs too).

thanks
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Andrew
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The biggest danger to Italy is any threat to its sealift. The second biggest is to the rest of its Navy. Italy's only real power is in its Navy, and its ability to transport corps around the Med (or beyond).

The greatest risk to Italy is usually in 1939. By 1940, France should either be Vichy'd, or too busy against Germany to regularly sortie their fleet. Most allied players will gladly throw away French ships to attrition the Italian Navy, but are somewhat less cavalier when it's an all British affair.

You should also ask for naval air support from Germany, in the form of whatever NAV he has, and any FTR capable of reaching the 2 box. The axis have several decent Fighters in 1940 that can sit in the 2 box, and you'll force the CW to either face you with CVPs and red factor twin engine planes, or to sit in the 1 or 0 box.

I would definitely focus on aircraft. Naval air is how you control the Med as the Axis. I'd also build some additional sealift. Having an AMPH is huge, since it enables better invasions for one, but I usually like to also have a TRS sitting in the construction pool in case I lose one.

Defending the Italian convoy lines is usually best done with NAV in the high box. Get enough of those out, and the British should think twice about coming raiding.

How many resources Germany can send depends on if you're playing with oil or not, but usually you want to send at least 2-3 per turn, from what I've seen.
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Andrew
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Also, one thing to watch for - if the CW parks his Carrier fleet off the coast of the port where your fleet is, you'll want to seriously think about declaring war on him first, and sailing out to attack on surprise. This may be what he wants - but you definitely don't want to give him free shots at both your TRS.

At a minimum, you'll want to move the 4 speed transport out of harm's way (such as to a port where his CVP can't reach).
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Ara Bulbulian
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Great advice. But where is a port in Med that is safe? Does having FTRs on the port help protect against port attack. Believe it does, unless not a surprise phase.
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Wendell
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abulbulian wrote:
Great advice. But where is a port in Med that is safe? Does having FTRs on the port help protect against port attack. Believe it does, unless not a surprise phase.
No port is fully safe, but ports that are out of British land-based air range are safer. Having FTR coverage for your port in fleet is a good idea.
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Andrew
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First, I'm talking about a situation where he's already sailed his carrier fleet. You would need to position out of range of his CVPs, which can fly their range from any hexdot of the sea zone they're in. So if he sails to the Western Med, you might run to Taranto or Trieste, for example.

And yes, you absolutely want FTR cover, though that won't really help on a surprise impulse. (Though, if you have an AA division, putting it on or next to the port will, as it can fire even in surprise, albeit at half value).
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Bruce Jurin
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Most Italian players actually DoW the Allies, so a surprise attack wouldn't happen. Indeed if you use frogmen, the CW may want to keep ships out of the Med because the frogmen surprise attack can be a nasty thing.

So my first point is that you may not be as weak as it looks. France and the CW are somewhat weak also. For any Italy that wants to stay neutral until France is Vichied, you must still be opportunistic; if France doesn't have 3 land units on the Italian border, you MUST attack; if the CW leaves a juicy fleet in Gibraltar you can hit with your frogman, you may want to hit them. If the CW is transporting resources through the Med and even lending to the French, you must stop this or you may find France surviving through 1941. Defeating France is the early game objective. Ironically DoWing is safer if it brings France down faster.

France can take naval impulses especially on long turns early, so you don't want to get into surface fights with them if you can avoid it. The CW actually is capable of being strong in any area until France falls, but not everywhere.

The biggest threat to Italy is the CW player that masses his carriers in the Med (Ark Royal, Furious, Courageous, Glorius; and my mid 1940 may be able to add Illustrious, Formidable, and Victorius), and as you said, threaten a port strike. I don't think trying to run away once they are committed helps – if Italy is neutral, it must take a combined and move one ship per naval move, so the fleet isn't getting anywhere.

Here again, your best defense is offense! If they move this carrier fleet out, be ready to DoW them and threaten to destroy those carriers. This threat may be potent enough that you don't need to execute, they may back down. So if the CW does this, or you are worried about it, the first strategy is to build planes.

The ability to do this counter-attack depends on the quality of your planes. Italy unfortunately may have more quality variation on starting planes than anyone. If you get the SM-79 or Z 1007 make sure you offer a sacrifice to the WiFFE gods, those planes are an absolute menace; curse with 4 letter words if you get the CA-133. But there are other good Italian planes. Indeed, the Italians have better long range bombers and ATR's than the Germans (of course not better than the JU-88). Your fighters are horrid but they are better in ATA than the CW carrier planes. Your NAV 2's are also solid, a Gabbiano has a ATS of 2 and an 11 range although it is dead meat in ATA combat.

So what is the key to safety for Italy early? Whether you are in the war or not, the key to safety is AIR CONTROL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN! Build a Nav on the first turn, you get a 9 range 3 ATS plane; build your LND-3s and get some of the goodies. You may also want some fighters.

If you have two of these good Navs and a good LND-3, most CW players will not attack without fighter support. As Italy, one of the toughest choices is whether to let those long range bombers out without air cover or have them go to the one box to be covered by the Italian fighters. There is no easy answer to this.

However, if you find the CW hitting hard, convince Germany to send ME-110's. These planes can get to the 2 box and they will kill enemy carrier planes. These will force the CW carriers out of the Med until they can get land based fighter cover. But at this point, the 'middle-game' has started.
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Ara Bulbulian
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Wow, lots of great stuff!!

I did build (Sept/Oct) the good Nav for Italy, it cost me all my BPs .
Given I'm still learning WiF, have some question about the Med and controlling sea areas in general. It's Nov/Dec 39, Italy is not at war with any nation.

- once at war when do I send my air and or navy to sea boxes to protect as Italy

- should I always try and send FTRs with my NAV, but it limits the BOX range?

- should I send ships and/or subs with my planes as well? Cost Italy oil?

- send planes out each impulse to protect convoys for NA units (playing with supply rule overseas needs convoy)

- offense or def with Italian subs in 1940?

Any help is much appreciated.
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Andrew Pleass
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lots of very good advice here and I would only add that if you a worried about a CW DOW & port strike then

A. have your sea lift TRS & Amph split and in different ports
B. remind the CW players how many chits he might have to pull on the US entry!
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Andrew
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Again, my usual recommendation is to just DoW the British if he sails out, for the very reason Bruce states.

You would only be able to move away one unit, if you don't DoW, which should be the 4 speed TRS, if you're not willing to declare war.
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