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Enable Italy?


Jon Patrick
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I was thinking this morning of how to make the game more interesting....

Has anyone tried the strategy of allowing Italy to take France? Germany already has the MPP advantage, and the baltic states will join germany and boost their mpp's even farther...

As I've played the demo, Italy is like the poor cousin to Germany. Bad leaders, bad troops, and an untenable situtation in North Africa. So, *what if* Italy plunders France, invests in an airfleet and Industrial Research?

They then declare war on Vichy France and use a few German armies to loosen it up, take Vichy and have MORE MPP's. Bombard Malta to rubble.. and then repair the fleet and clear out around egypt.

Then, move the airfleet and a few armies to the other side of egypt....ultimately opening up a southern front to take the oilfields of russia.

I haven't played this out... but it seems that it would allow italy to be more of any equal in mpp's to germany, give the russians a true second front to worry about... hmmmm. Shame you can't invest in HQ technology.

What are your thoughts?

Jon

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i have, its really not that hard, however for you to be successful with the strategy, you need longer then the demo allows. i use germany to take out brussels so the lower countries surrender. then i keep a few german units there so the french and british dont break out and i start preparing for the UK invasion, when italy enters the war, i surround the Southern most French city, wait to have enough MPP to buy a leader. after the leader is built, taking that city is a piece of cake, then i use the rest of Italy's MPP in the next few turns, and concentrate on Paris. The few German units i used to gaurd the lower countries should be free to leave withou having to worry about the french getting through, all while my german friends are taking out the british homeland. REMEMBER, HQ's are everything, you need atleast 2 for UK invasion, and one for the german home gaurds. like i said you need time for this to work perfectly. when the demo ended, i took paris with italy and germany had london and was on its way to manchester, however, USSR stared to mobalize for war, hope this helps

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Hubert: If England is so easy to capture then the game is over before it starts!! Italy could not beat a dead horse much less France. We saw Italy's efforts at conquest in Africa and Greece. It just can't be that easy.

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The axis AI actually did this in one game! I doubt the Italians occupied Paris as part of some strategic plan, but it happened and they got the plunder. With FOW on I couldn't tell what they were doing with the cash windfall and the demo ended before I could find out. This would be interesting to try as part of a Med strategy, where the Germans continue through Spain and a super-charged Italy goes through the Balkans and Turkey.

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I went ahead and tried it, and it was unimpressive at best, but fun. I know it's a 'gamey' concept, but it's a *game*, and without the plunder of France, Italy can't generate enough MPP's to successfully take North Africa and roll through Turkey and into southern Russia.

I ignored the southern part of france in my strategy.. no matter your expenditures there it becomes vichy france anyway.... I invaded brussels just like always, using german military might to plow into france and surround Paris. I also transported a few new armies and one airfleet to attack norway (german, of course!)

After I destroyed the Paris Garrison, I moved my one italian unit onto paris, and the french folded! Italy was enriched 1000 (approx) mpp's. I invested 1 in industrial tech, and airfleet, a HQ, and an army.

I then watched as NO change to my industrial tech occured, 3 battleships and an airfleet couldn't DAMAGE malta, and the aircraft carrier promptly wiped out my North African divisions!

However, the *seed* of something interesting is there... German, after the Yugoslavians are taught some respect, and our allies in Bulgaria join forces, German will be averaging over 300 MPP's, my subs will continue to damage the English economy, Vichy France will fall so that the Allies average only about 150 MPP's, so *by itself* Germany is outproducing England 2-1.

Italy, with the additional MPP's, begins to generate about 200 mpp's itself. not a lot, but I'm thinking a greecian invasion could help a lot...

Again, *gamey*, but I'm having a ball with the whole concept!!

Jon :cool:

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1 industrial tech isn't going to make a lot of difference quickly.

If you want to see results spend the whole 1000 on research - I think you'd see ssmoething more for your efforts then.

I haven't tried researching industrial tech yet - jet fighters are so much more fun when they fly out of Middle Wallop and Tangmere to bombard Manchester!! :D

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I've been playing a full war scenario (I'm reviewing the game), and in my current game I let Italy take France, pumping up their research after they did so. Doing so slowed me up a bit, though, so my attempts to Sea Lion were for naught, and I wasn't quite prepared for the Soviets' entry. But things are going alright now (March '44)--I may not have made it as far as the Germans did historically, but then again I'm still in the game... Also, the Western Allies foolishly tried to kick off an invasion early, in '42 (understandable, as I hadn't really garrisoned the coast yet), but I was able to fight them off, more or less. Now I've got a large force of Italians in France (with a few German units), fending off the continous attempts by the Americans and British to land (I've adopted the strategy of leaving an undefended beach hex next to an invasion fleet, but surrounding that hex with units--keeps the Allies from building up a huge fleet, as the AI is a sucker and will always land in the pocket). I took Vichy down, and now am marching with an Italian force on Alexandria, and the Italians hold the southern end of my line in the USSR.

So, I'd say this is a reasonable strategy!

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I rate the amusement/entertainment factor for this game at 8-9 -- can't wait for the full campaign version (gasp!). It brings me back to my wargaming roots (well, maybe to the trunk -- I have a copy of AH's original hex Gettysburg).

Congratulations to the BattleFront team for building an intuitive user interface for this simulation. By combining the best of many such treatments of this genre, you have made come true a wish I've had for many years now -- to computerize our old table-top games.

Why not an Italian victory -- afterall, why do you think we enjoyed Diplomacy so much!

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"Why not an Italian victory -- afterall, why do you think we enjoyed Diplomacy so much"

you know, I never played this game. The last wargames I can remember playing were Axis and Allies in the mid-to-late 80's and Decision in the Desert on my Commodore 64.

It's been a long time, and I'm glad to have found SC.

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Originally posted by Bill Macon:

The axis AI actually did this in one game! I doubt the Italians occupied Paris as part of some strategic plan, but it happened and they got the plunder. With FOW on I couldn't tell what they were doing with the cash windfall and the demo ended before I could find out. This would be interesting to try as part of a Med strategy, where the Germans continue through Spain and a super-charged Italy goes through the Balkans and Turkey.

Bill;

Happened to me once in the older Beta version as well. The AI seemed to spend a fair amount on Research with the Italians getting jet level 1 before the Beta ended!

Marc

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I didn't like reading in Scott's summary that the Allied AI kept on launching invasions toward France, only to get their collective butts kicked. I wouldn't want to see the AI in some type of "Dieppe Loop" without having the for sight to change it's strategy. If the Allied progress is stalled by these fruitless attacks, it could make for a lousy game. If my evaluation of Scott's report is wrong, perhaps he can be kind enough to elaborate on what the Allied AI is doing and if they have a shot at beating him in spite of these failed invasions.

[ July 28, 2002, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: J Wagner ]

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The Western Allies did eventually stop those "Dieppe" like raids (good analogy, that), but by the time they did it was too late--I was too strong all over Western Europe to make an invasion easy. Now, to be fair to the AI, I was playing at fog-of-war, so it likely couldn't "see" into the interior too well, and may not have seen the traps set. Hmm, come to think of it the invasions stopped about the time the Americans got a decent level of plane development (must've been 13 or so, based on the jet sound)--it seems like the higher your various air-related techs, the longer your "viewing range" behind enemy lines? I'm not sure what tech does this, but by the end of my game I coudl see well into the UK.

The AI's problem, in this case, was starting its invasion too early (I should know about this, as I did the same thing against the AI, and got trounced much more thorougly than the I beat the AI this time--the danger of not reading the docs and *fully* understanding what HQs do!).

As for screenshots, I don't have any place to host them (the "Image" code down below wants a URL), so won't be able to provide any... (actually, haven't taken any yet--just lots of save games).

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Thanks for the reply Scott...I guess what I'm hoping to see from this game is an innovative Allied AI strategy that does not necessarily mean it's a forgone conclusion that they will invade France...perhaps an invasion of Greece, Norway, Yugoslavia, of even Italy would be nice. In other words, I hope the AI will look at all offensive options and not be so keyed on France as it seemed to be in your game. It will make replaying the game too predictable if that's the case.

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I gave France to Italy once. There were two problems: 1) Germany loses all the Atlantic ports, so no u-boat campaign since you can't get subs past England even against the AI; and 2) although I'm not sure what happens to a conquered country if the Major controlling power falls, Rome is very exposed and easily taken and I worry that the Italian collapse will leave France suddenly Neutral, or even worse pro-Allied.

I do think that giving the Italians some minors is a good idea. Germany is going to get Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Finland automatically, and possibly Spain and Turkey depending on how the game goes (plus whatever they conquer, of course). The Italians only receive 110 MPP's a turn, which just a little short of being useful - once they are over 125 MPP's a turn they can build a corps in one turn, or half an army or a research point. The 250 odd MPP's they receive for conquering a minor will speed up their army builds and thus their Mediterranean Campaign. I always give them Yugoslavia, Greece if I get that far, and whatever bits of Vichy happen to fall into my hands. Yes, German MPP's are better but a stronger Italy is a much bigger asset than another 20 or 30 MPP's a turn in Berlin.

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As originally posted by Old Patch:

The 250 odd MPP's they receive for conquering a minor will speed up their army builds and thus their Mediterranean Campaign. I always give them Yugoslavia, Greece if I get that far, and whatever bits of Vichy happen to fall into my hands. Yes, German MPP's are better but a stronger Italy is a much bigger asset than another 20 or 30 MPP's a turn in Berlin.

I don't usually go so far as -- "giving" them Yugoslavia, but Italy CAN conquer Greece in one turn, so that Xtra plunder helps to get a HQ or purchase Industrial Tech.

And very true that those apparently insignificant 20 or so MPPs can be far more effectively used in Italy than in Germany, though this does seem to be counter-intuitive.

One thing though -- in the Demo there is the tendency to strip forces from Libya and leave Sicily and the Italian mainland undefended in order to go marching over hill & dale.

This will not be possible in the campaign game as long as Britain maintains her fleet and a decent land force in Egypt -- invasion (or even, the threat of one) would seriously disrupt Italian plans and perhaps require German assistance. I just don't see a competent British player leaving ONLY the one corps in Egypt. ;)

And I just can't see how Italy can even send an expeditionary force to fight in southern Russia (... other than against the fairly predictable, non-invading AI in the Demo), as some players have reported doing. They simply do not have enough MPPs to go around, and still defend the homeland.

They will also need some "gifts" in order to rebuld the fleet after the INEVITABLE naval war with Britain, and at least enough to invest in Industrial Tech.

Because their HQs are so weak, they will never be able to run riot on their own. But, potentially, with research, their fleet and an improved jet-air force could cause tremendous difficulty in the Med for the post '42 Allies.

I have said it before -- the Italians could very well be THE difference in Germany surviving to the end of '46.

For anyone to overlook the Med would be a grave mistake, a possibility especially likely since there aren't that many major resources to grab -- it is more a defensive, harassing stance, but, a critical one. ;)

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And I just can't see how Italy can even send an expeditionary force to fight in southern Russia (... other than against the fairly predictable, non-invading AI in the Demo)
I actually decided to try this recently. Op moved 2 armies, an air fleet and a HQ to Warsaw on turn 1 of Barbarossa after securing Yugoslavia and Greece. The Italian objective was Kiev, which freed AGS to focus on Odessa and moving east. It worked fairly well. Even though the Italian mainland was lightly defended, any invasion attempt to move transports within spotting range of the cities gives you a turn to redeploy experienced forces or build new ones, so that's an acceptable risk. If you keep the Italian effort focused in Russia and prepared for a rapid redeployment, it can be a useful expeditionary force. Gain some experience and be prepared for Turkey or Spain. :D
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On second thought, let me clarify that Germany took Yugoslavia and Italy took Greece prior to Barbarossa in late 40. The Italians aren't that good to do it all that fast. Also, this wasn't on default settings, so the extra MPPs needed to do all this needs to be weighed. It's still a fun idea.

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in the demo i have no problems with Italy. After the fall of fracne i surrond Athens by amphib ops, and take it in one turn they get between 390-400 mpps for it,with it i buy a HQ. then i usley declare war on Vichy having germans take Vichy then algiers with the Italins. so the get Vichy giving them Exsess of 200 mpps per turn, Demo ends with me attacking the brits in NA with 4 armies 2 corp And an HQ, plus most of the IT navy. With the edisson of a strat bomber and air fleet, or a carrier

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