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The Lamps Are Going Out» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Analysis: CP Italian Strategy rss

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Mike Richardson
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So in my latest game I decided to have a look at the possibility of a CP major offensive to knock Italy out.

Now there is a 93.3% chance that Italy will enter on the TE side sometime in 1915 (2 event cards out of six, with four draws) so the idea is to build up CP forces in Austria and hit Italy the moment it declares war.

So here is the situation at the beginning of the summer 1915 turn...

Italy is still neutral. Serbia has just fallen.
The TE tried an invasion of Gallipoli but unfortunately for the Allies, Bulgaria declared war in the same turn (Spring 1915) and now the beachhead looks untenable with a Bulgarian army aiding the Turkish defence.

Next turn, 1 Ge + 1 artillery and 1 AH + 1 artillery will be moved to Austria giving a total of 5 armies + 2 artillery massed on the Italian frontier. If the TE evacuates the Gallipoli beachhead that potentially frees up a Turkish army to join the attack on Italy.

For the CP, the problem is this strategy will unleash major attacks on both eastern and western fronts, so it is gambling on a quick victory.

The strategy on both those fronts will be to build trenches to replace the armies sent to Italy.

Will the CP be able to knock Italy out? We shall see...

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Mike Richardson
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Balkans, summer 1915
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Wendell
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In my first solo run of Lamps, the CPs did in fact knock out Italy...
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Mike Richardson
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Well that went well. A bloodbath on the Isonzo for little gain. Where have we heard that before.

The initial Austrian attack with four armies plus two artillery (and Front Line Formations) resulted in zero spent Italian armies due to exceptional die-rolling (or a tenacious defence depending on your view) and a slugfest resulted as, like a true WW1 general, the CP poured more and more resources into the mix, at one point having ten armies, elite mountain, six artillery plus air.

Finally Venetia fell but in Winter 1915 the Russian army crashed through into Galicia, and in Spring 1916 took Hungary, although the Austrians managed to retake it.

So at the beginning of Summer 1916, the grand Italian offensive yielded just one area.

Allies have 5 armies plus two trenches plus air defending Italy.

Romania and Bulgaria have joined the war. It is all quiet on the Western Front, there is a British army in Greece, and the CP are frantically redeploying eastwards to fend off the Russian advance.

I think if the initial attack on the two Italian armies by AH fails, then abort. I acually think this strategy could work but the mountains do make life difficult.

The CP now has several fronts to juggle thier armies between with the most urgent need being the east, but, ominously, TE forces are being built up in the west as well (currently 9 armies plus 3 artillery v 7 Ge armies).

The game is nicely poised...can the CP make a comeback on the eastern front? We shall see....


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Mike Richardson
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The situation at the beginning of the summer, 1916 turn. The net is closing on the CP.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Great report, Mike! Thanks so much.
I've lost many a fine army on the Isonzo myself!

Hermann
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Mike Richardson
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It's the beginning of the summer 1917 turn and the CP is in the driving seat having redeployed eastwards and pushed the Russians out of Galicia and taken four areas in Russia, so when the right event is drawn it will trigger Russian collapse.

The CP lost Belgium but that is balanced by holding Venetia and knocking Romania out of the war. So one gain from the Italian strategy seems to me to be that even if the CP doesn't knock Italy out, which is a long shot, it gives them more strategic felixibility. They can potentially afford to lose Belgium and still win. As things stand, with Russia (4), Serbia, Romania and Venetia the CP is on target to win, although events in Africa or Greece could shift the balance.

Also with the USA track on 3 there is no chance for the US armies to be a factor in this game and a possibility they may not come in at all which would yield a further VP.

On the down-side, with tanks and P3 (RAF), the W Allies can neutralise the trenches and put pressure on the western front which is going to need reinforcing.

The CP strategy now will be to hold what they have for the 7VP win. Can they hold on, or will the TE break through on the western front and steal the win? We shall see...


Western Front, summer 1917
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Mike Richardson
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Eastern Front, summer 1917

If Russia collapses soon through the revolution, this will allow the CP to redeploy forces to the west and beef up up the defences for the win...provided the TE doesn't break through first.

Note the combination of Inspired Leadership, artillery and Stosstruppen. With air superiority as well, this combined arms attack force was able to slice through even the strongest of Russian defences.
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Robert Factor
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Some outstanding advice in your thread, Mike. Been giving me strategic ideas in my own plays. Keep it coming.
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Mike Richardson
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Thank you Robert. I very much intend to continue exploring strategy in this outstanding game...
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Mike Richardson
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In the end, the Russian Revolution occurred in Fall 1917 allowing the CP to redeploy their forces westward and a last gasp Allied attack against Hanover failed so at that point the Allies, with little prospect of US entry resigned the game.

Now I am mulling over what to do post-Russian collapse as the Allies.

This was an unusual game in that all the tech cards were drawn by mid-1917 giving a more fluid feel to proceedings, and with an early Russian collapse and no US entry, this CP strategy of going after Italy proved to be a success even though it only yielded one area. It also drew significant TE forces away from the Western Front. The CP advantage of interior lines worked a treat in this game. Now I need to consider how to counter this strategy better with the Allies...to be continued...

Mike
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Kirk Uhlmann
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Great reports, Mike. I really enjoy reading about the different strategies used.

Kirk
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