Player Comments

Comments on General Strategy/Direction for Italy in Modern

"A linchpin of Italy's play (indeed any nation's play) must be to generate 'safe centres', supply centres which don't need to be defended, freeing up units to create a strong attacking force elsewhere. Without easy access to corners or board edges this is difficult for Italy but one route towards this is to get control of the TYS and the Ionian Sea and the GoL?), and to keep non-Italian fleets out of the Adriatic. Then most of Italy consists of safe centres, and Monaco, Marseilles, Croatia and Serbia could later become so as well). It's not easy though." - Toby Tyrrell

"Italy should head east East EAST!!!" - Stephen Breininger

"Initially, grab as many neutral SC's in the east and hold them, ally with the north, and push west." - Chris Fridrich

"(Italy should) Primarily go east. Italy tends to grow quickly but, once the easily taken SCs are gone, Italy has to break out of the Med or be stifled while other powres outgain her. The only real possibilities are a land war to the east or a sea war to the west. Of the two, the land war is easier to pursue given the difficulties getting around the Iberian peninsula with any significant force." - Pitt Crandlemire

"Head northeast. It's where you can get the most dots." - Alexander K. Woo

"Italy should not go North. Italy should either go East or West. Probably East. It would be very desirable to make an alliance with either Turkey or Egypt to carve up the other. Since Egypt is unlikely to want Italy getting that much, the I/T alliance looks better. Turkey can let Italy take the Egyptian provinces in return for Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. As long as Italy does not get a fleet through Cairo, this should be pretty secure for Turkey. Of course, in practice, the I/T/E triple usually resolves itself with one of the three dominating.

Going West? Spain is too far away. France is closer, but Lyon, Paris, are too far North. Besides, France is such a wimp why worry?" - Rick Desper

"Go west initially, while establishing herself in the Balkans. If Germany is weak, go north. Otherwise, take out Spain, then France or Britain in the west, while working with Germany in the east." - Ian York

"My feeling is that it is a balancing act in the early to mid-game, grabbing SC's on whatever front you can, and that the best long-range results are achieved by eventually holding the Balkans and working north through Germany and Poland." - James Gemmill

Comments on Italy and the Land Power/Naval Power Question in Modern

"(Italy should be a) Land power if possible, naval if necessary. The Modern variant has a higher proportion of landlocked SCs than Standard, and there are already lots of naval powers in the Med." - Alexander K. Woo

"At first, your armies should number just enough to protect yourself. A large Navy will be necessary for you to gain a leadership role. Later on, you will be using more and more armies (Your fleet will probably be trapped into the Med Sea by Spain." - Stephen Breininger

"Both (or she doesn't survive), and builds should be fairly balanced in the first few years until the breakout period. There may be a slight leaning toward fleets in order to secure the Med." - Pitt Crandlemire

"Italy is basically a land power which depending on the situation, requires only minimal fleets to protect herself from the Mediterranean Powers, but you definitely don't want to go without a navy!" - James Gemmill

"It depends on alliances. If Italy can ally with one or more of the other Med powers, then she can be a land power. Otherwise, Italy is forced to be a naval power and ally with Germany." - Chris Fridrich

"My thinking is based around the fact that Italy is primarily a Med power, & is unlikely to be eliminated by a (northern) land power. Therefore to establish itself Italy must take control of the central Med by building a significant navy. Building armies should only be done if easy gains are to be made in the Balkans or across the Alps (into Germany or France).

In the early game, security depends on naval power. Growth will come mostly from gains made by armies in the Balkans, but further development will rely on the mobility & flexibility provided by a strong fleet arm." - Ian York

Comments on Italy and the Eastern Med Area in Modern

"If Italy can actually take the Eastern Med, he's golden. As preparation, he can try to sneak up on Greece or Libya. Perhaps assistance from Ukraine or Russia can be found? The one thing Italy must _not_ do is let a strong Eastern power arise." - Rick Desper

"Ionian, Maltese, Adriatic, and Tyrrhenian are Italian only. Period. Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean should be used as points of cooperation with Turkey/Egypt for an attack on the other." - Pitt Crandlemire

"It depends on how friendly Egypt and Turkey are. Italy should provoke a conflict between E and T otherwise, she's got REAL problems." - Chris Fridrich

"Try and get involved in the East Med as soon as possible. By the time you arrive, Egypt and Turkey will be vicious enemies. If Egypt has the upper hand, try and take away Libya. If Turkey has the upper hand, go after Greece. If you can control the East Med Sea, then you will be well on your way to victory. " - Stephen Breininger

"Do everything you can to start a vicious ET conflict. Then keep the balance of power, only interfering if you stand to gain greatly (e.g. Eastern Med plus one of Greece & Libya)." - Ian York

"Italy can enter this arena only if a secure alliance is obtained from Spain. A French alliance is not the same thing, as it is Spain who can really hurt you with his fleets. Thus you must be pretty sure he is your friend. Then you must deal with Turkey and Egypt. If your heart is set on the East, then perhaps Turkey is a better friend, he having the opportunity to be distracted elsewhere. Not so Egypt. What's he going to do after you've both conquered Turkey? Odds are he's going to go for the Balkans and that's you're turf. Thus Italy should only become involved in this sector as a secondary player, aiding Turkey or Egypt in their goals, and picking up what you can." - James Gemmill

"I think this is in many ways the most crucial point for Italy. An Egypt-Turkey alliance is bad. Very bad. Do anything to make sure one doesn't happen. If one happens, get help from Spain and Ukraine ASAP. Remind anyone who's tempted to attack you by land that the ET alliance is the most dangerous in the game. Point them to the Modern Hall of Fame, if necessary...

Now, assuming that Egypt and Turkey go to war with each other, you need to keep the balance of power between them. One fleet in the Ionian Sea giving support to the right side at the right time can make a crucial difference. If Ukraine threatens the balance by attacking Turkey, you need to warn him off, attacking him if necessary. Again, a 2 unit intervention can be crucial.

If you are forced to choose sides in the Eastern Med, take Turkey's side; you can get help later against Turkey, but not against Egypt who will be very safe in his corner with Turkey gone. Don't forget that you will need to modify the land based strategy somewhat and build a few fleets, because you will end up with a naval war against your ally at some point." - Alexander K. Woo

Comments on Italy and the Western Med Area in Modern

"Preferably, Spain is fighting France. Or Spain is fighting Britain. The Western Mediterranean area seems to stay empty until the later parts of the game; make sure that the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas are acknowledged as yours; you shouldn't have any trouble. However, make sure that a proper counterbalance to France or Spain (whoever is doing better) develops in the north; you'll need a land power (Germany?) to balance France, or a naval power (Britain?) to balance Spain." - Alexander K. Woo

"At least for the short term, Italy should ally with Spain if at all possible and take out France." - Chris Fridrich

"Ligurian should be left vacant by both Italy and France, anything else is an act of war. Gol should be ceded to France/Spain. The Western Mediterranean should be used as point of cooperation with France/Spain for an attack on the other." - Pitt Crandlemire

"Italy should look to make sure neither France nor Spain becomes too dominant early. It's probably not worth trying to take Morocco." - Rick Desper

"The Western Med is a bit more tricky than the Eastern, but basically is the same strategy. However, in my opinion, there are fewer rewards and too many players at the table for my liking." - James Gemmill

"Hopefully you and Spain will be allies. It is very easy to be caught up in a deadlock in either end of the Med Sea though. If Spain is growing well and seams to be on good terms with Britain, watch out!" - Stephen Breininger

Comments on Stalemates/Bottlenecks and Italy in Modern

"If Britain takes over Iberia then Britain cannot form a stalemate line to keep Italian fleets out of the SAO/NAO etc unless Britain has armies in Spain as well as fleets. In general I think it is better for Italy if Britain beats Spain rather than vice-versa." - Toby Tyrrell

"There are several bottlenecks which can allow Italy to seal up the Med against a strong foe. Alternatively Italy may want to rapidly advance beyond them to prevent being caught behind a stalemate line & missing out on a solo win.

Notable bottlenecks are the Straits of Gibraltar (F Mor s F SOG can delay a northern power from entering the Med). A land based power can't dislodge a supported unit in Cairo, & even then can't advance westwards if Alexandria & Aswan are occupied; however this blockpoint may conversely stop Italy from entering Asia. Istanbul is third blockpoint, usually holdable from the south-west - important in keeping Black Sea fleets from entering play in the south.

Finally, the Eastern Med can be an important space in the late game. If Italy is confined to the Med it may find an exit using convoy through EME, which borders 7 land zones - perhaps your land-based foe has not occupied them all..." - Ian York

Comments on Winning with Italy in Modern

"Keep fighting balance between Egypt and Turkey. Grab Balkans. Take a few French, Polish, or Ukrainian SCs, upsetting balances of power as little as possible. Take out Egypt with Turkish help, then Turkey with Ukrainian or Russian help. Meanwhile, stock up on armies and beat your big northern ally, whoever it is, to the 33rd SC without attacking him directly. Don't bother with attacking Spain unless you can do it with only the fleets you have left over from Egypt and Turkey. Those fleets should be at least enough for you to defend against Spain..." - Alexander K. Woo

"In the Modern variant I think whoever can get undisputed control of the Balkans will stand a good chance of winning the game. Certainly Italy is in a good position to go for them and will most probably need them eventually in order to win the game." - Toby Tyrrell

"Secure the Med, then breakout via land war to the east or sea war to the west. Germany must be an ally for a sea war and probably should be for a land war. France well could be for a land war. Britain should be a silent ally in a land war in order to keep Germany in check." - Pitt Crandlemire

"Expand into the Balkans working with Germany while your fleets take out Spain. Britain is likely to block your path at Gibraltar, so invade France while Germany is distracted in the north-east.

Pay attention to benefiting from the ET conflict. A strong eastern power is likely to emerge, coming into conflict with Britain &/or Germany. You will need to stab one of these two, while keeping a strong eastern force to hold your possessions in Egypt & Turkey against your eastern rival." - Ian York

"I would start a war between Egypt and Turkey, and one between France/Britain and Spain. While E/T are fighting, take Greece if possible without offending the Turk. Make sure Egypt goes down. Turkey is doomed half of the time anyway. If you can arrange it so U/E are attacking Turkey, so much the better. You can ride in as the white knight, and grab a lot.

With Egypt gone, you can seal Asia Minor off. Push at least one fleet through Red Sea. Who's the Western ally? Spain or France. Let them continue to grow while you push back Eastern power (Ukraine or Russia - if Poland, so much the better).

You now need to do two things to win: 1) attack Western power and take Morocco, Monaco, Marseilles, and maybe a couple more SC's, and 2) push through Asia Minor and invade Ukraine territories. If you have more success on one front, you can reduce your requirements on the other front. I don't think Italy can win by just attacking one of the two fronts. It is too difficult to push North, in general. But it is possible to win without getting North of the SAO or North of Kiev.

One power that Italy should keep an eye on is Britain. If Britain is strong, it is less likely that the center of Europe is filled with armies. (Contrast this to Poland or Germany). If Italy can push North through Switzerland to Munich, this is beautiful. But it is very difficult to do, so probably should not be attempted lightly." - Rick Desper

"Go after the Balkans, then Egypt, then Turkey, then the world." - Stephen Breininger

Comments about Italy and North Africa in Modern

"Africa is much more desirable than in the standard version." - Michael Gates

"Take it if no one wants it. Otherwise, let Spain and Egypt fight over it." - Alexander K. Woo

"First go after Tunisia, then head east into Libya then into Egypt." - Stephen Breininger

"Tunisia is the only North African center that is Italian; Morocco is Spanish/British and Libya is Egyptian. Italy's alliances determine if she makes a move in North Africa." - Chris Fridrich

"Get a fleet in the Maltese Sea early. Depending on who your first target is, keep them out of this region until you need a build. Bouncing Spain out of Tunisia or Egypt out of Libya is more important than actually occupying the region yourself. If you are after Spain, get a second fleet into TYS quickly to win you Tunisia & join the race west for Morocco & the Straits." - Ian York

"The only given is Tunisia. Libya can be a bargaining chip with Egypt, going to him in exchange for a firm alliance. Morocco must be taken at the point Italy tries to break out to the west, which is not likely to happen until 1998/1999 at the earliest." - Pitt Crandlemire

"Italy should take Tunisia in the first year - unless Spain is contesting Tunisia, but Egypt is not contesting Libya. Italy should not overly obsess about the two close North African SC's. The game for Italy is to be won and lost in the Balkans. Italy might even consider throwing Tunisia to Britain if that will complicate the Western situation." - Rick Desper

"Only Tunisia can be considered Italian by right. Anything else is a bonus. It is best to allow Egypt into Libya and just forget about Morocco, letting Britain and Spain fight over that. Attempting to go for Libya is a bad option: it is hard to defend and will of course make Egypt feel threatened, not a good move if that makes him ally with Turkey." - James Gemmill

Comments on Austria and Switzerland and Italy in Modern

"Definitely get Austria! should also try for Switzerland, but don't make enemies over it." - Stephen Breininger

"Germany and France can be expected to fight amongst themselves and it is best to leave them to it and avoid getting involved by competing for Switzerland." - Toby Tyrrell

"Support Germany into Switzerland in Spring '95, take Austria in the Fall. This gives Italy the position to attack the Czech Republic, Hungary, or attack Germany in Munich, Saxony, and/or Switzerland."- Chris Fridrich

"Switzerland should be given to France in exchange for help against Spain. Italy can usually force its way into Austria early in the game. A deal with Germany might involve Italy holding Austria & Croatia while supporting Germany into the Czech Rep & Hungary. This offers a good opportunity for a joint IG venture east." - Ian York

"I think the key is to bargain with Germany in order to keep France out of SWI. You agree that Germany gets SWI while Italy gets AUS. Germany is more vulnerable than France is this situation, and therefore a more reliable partner. AUS is more defensible than SWI." - James Gemmill

"Austria borders two home SCs and is pretty crucial to security. Switzerland will likely be contested between Germany and France; if so you can ignore it; if Germany ignores it though, you need to make sure France doesn't get too strong in the area. If they're working together against you, beg for help elsewhere..." - Alexander K. Woo

"Italy should lay claim to Austria and let Germany/France determine the future of Switzerland; support for one of the other if they can't come to arrangement can also be a significant bargaining chip in the formation of an early alliance. Of course, the support should only be given to Germany..." - Pitt Crandlemire

"Italy should take Austria, if at all possible. Austria borders three other 'natural' Italian SC's (Milan, Venice, Croatia). Letting Germany in is not tolerable. If Germany is a pest, it might be possible to get support either from the French in Switzerland or the Poles in the Czech Republic. As for Switzerland, since France starts with two armies on the province, it is unlikely that Italy could take it without German help. If Germany offers the support, consider it." - Rick Desper

Comments on Italy and the Balkans in Modern

"Croatia is definitely Italian. But don't get your fleet stuck there. Negotiate hard with Turkey over Serbia, & with everybody over Hungary. An army in Croatia gives you a great deal of power. Your Adriatic fleet can win you Serbia too, but is needed south quickly in the Ionian to keep the ET conflict where it belongs (in the Eastern Med)." - Ian York

"The thickest concentration of neutral supply centres is in the Balkans and so it is a good idea to go for power there." - Toby Tyrrell

"(Italy should handle the Balkans) with an iron fist! Seriously, Italy should be able to take Croatia and Serbia by the end of the second year - often by the end of the first year. The most immediate problem is perhaps Turkey, who can take Greece and/or Bulgaria. Ukraine can take Rumania and/or Hungary. However, both Turkey and Ukraine have the problem of dealing with another power breathing down the respective neck. It is extremely rare that Turkey can focus on Italy before Egypt. Similarly Ukraine is too intertwined with Poland and Russia to move quickly. However, if U/P ally quickly, Italy would have to be extremely good to avoid being quickly rolled West." - Rick Desper

"Grab, grab, grab... at the very least, Croatia and Serbia should be Italian in 1994/1995. Hungary in 1996 (or used as a trading chip with Germany or Poland). Greece in 1996 or 1997. Rumania/Bulgaria as soon as practical." - Pitt Crandlemire

"I think it is important to get Ukraine involved. Ukraine makes a good Italian ally: A non-naval power who has lots of problems of his own in the early going, but who is conveniently located on the Balkans doorstep, and someone who probably desires your friendship to offset his Turkish problem. You should be able to get Croatia and Serbia without anyone's help, by which time you will know whether Ukraine is in a position to help you. If not, try Poland." - James Gemmill

"(Italy should) take as much as she can grab. Cro, ser, and hun are easily attainable; depending on alliances, rum can be taken away from U, bul can be taken away from T, and/or gre can be taken away from E/T. Of course, Italy may very well end up supporting one of her allies into either rum/bul/gre. At the very least, hun, cro, and ser are Italian." - Chris Fridrich

"Go full force. Claim the advantage of proximity to grab as much of the Balkans as possible without actually threatening anyone's home SCs." - Alexander K. Woo

"The Balkans are yours! But how to handle them depends on who you are attacking in the East Med. If you are attacking Turkey, you can use the Balkans as a launching point against Turkey. Work with the Ukraine in this area. Chances are, you will be fighting Egypt instead! Promise Turkey he can have the naval ports of Greece/Bulgaria/Rumania/Odessa. You will need to go after Croatia/Serbia/Hungary. Insist that you be the one who will move into Egypt, Turkey gets the Middle-East! Then when you are in the Balkans and in Egypt, crush down on Turkey." - Stephen Breininger

Comments on Early Allies for Italy in Modern

"France, Germany, Turkey and/or Ukraine. If Egypt wants peace, great! Demand Greece." - Rick Desper

"Spain, Ukraine, Britain, and Poland should make good offensive partners." - Michael Gates

"Befriending both Spain and Egypt is ideal as both France and Turkey are sandwiched between hostile enemies (France: Italy and Spain, Turkey: Italy and Egypt). This troika quickly brings peace to all of the Med waters allowing all three powers to concentrate and expand relatively easily northward." - Chris Fridrich

"#1 SPAIN as a neutral ally, #2 either Turkey or Egypt (probably Turkey)" - Stephen Breininger

"#1 Germany, #2 France" - Ian York

"Everyone should be your ally. Why not? You're going for neutral SCs. You do have to make sure that the Egypt-Turkey alliance or the France-Germany alliance don't happen. Pick Turkey over Egypt and Germany over France if forced to choose. Spain and Poland are unlikely to attack you." - Alexander K. Woo

"In press games I think the best allies would be Ukraine and Germany (against France and Poland?)." - Toby Tyrrell

"Initially Germany for the AUS/SWI question, an anti-Turkish Egypt and a friendly if distracted Spain (would be the best allies). Towards the mid-game, Ukraine becomes your best friend and the others less so. However, being in the middle, Italy *must* be active diplomatically, as you will perceived, by reasons of your central position, as having your fingers in everybody's pie. Thus arrangements/agreements must be made, and your neighbours sized up before you make any decisions on how to open." - James Gemmill

Comments on Egypt and Italy in Modern

"Egypt has the potential of being a problem. What Italy must avoid is a two-way attack early. Usually there is an Egypt/Turkey war. If E/T ally, Italy must sell soul to France or Spain." - Rick Desper

"Egypt will usually challenge for power in the Med, but it is very hard to wipe out a skillful Italy. The best strategy may well be to ally with Egypt (but that will limit progress to the east), or else to try and maintain some sort of dynamic stalemate with Egypt if you have enough fleets. However allying with Egypt is probably too limiting and the temptation to stab is probably too great for you to leave an empty flank against Egypt." - Toby Tyrrell

Comments on Ukraine and Italy in Modern

"Ukraine will be an excellent ally in a game with press, as long as you can persuade him/her to let you have most of the Balkans. A joint Italy/Ukraine attack on Egypt would be formidable, and I/U could also in some situations gang up on Poland." - Toby Tyrrell

Comments on Britain and Italy in Modern

"In press games, allying with Britain might work well, as long as it doesn't make Britain too strong." - Toby Tyrrell

Comments on France and Italy in Modern

"I think the I/F alliance is a Good Idea." - Rick Desper

Comments on Spain and Italy in Modern

"Keep Spain away from you.

A: This could be achieved by teaming up with France and going directly after Spain. If Germany and France get into a battle abandoned this plan, and make peace with Spain. But the question is, who will benefit most from this attack? Probably France, unless you stab France in the back (at just the right moment). But this plans will keep you 100% occupied, and unable to get involved with the East Med, which is where your best chances lie. SO instead...

B: Work with Spain as an ally. Point out the stalemate line in the Wmed and try and convince him to focus on Britain. You will head East!" - Stephen Breininger