The Diplomatic Pouch Shortcuts

Italian Openings

A RomF NapA VenGamesOpening Name
-Ven -ION -Tyr 41 Player's Guide, Opening 3, Obrieni Attack, Tyrolia Attack
-Apu -ION HOLD 38 Player's Guide, Opening 1-Variant, Lepanto
-Apu -ION -Tyr 31 Player's Guide, Opening 1, Lepanto
-Ven -ION -Pie 28 Alpine Chicken, Italian Shuffle, Konigratz Freakout
-Apu -ION -Pie 16 Player's Guide, Opening 1-Variant, Lepanto
-Apu -ION -Tri 15 Player's Guide, Opening 4, Key Lepanto, Three Fleets Opening
-Tus -TYS -Pie 15 Player's Guide, Opening 2, Western Lepanto
-Ven -TYS -Pie 12 Alpine Chicken
-Ven -ION -Tri 12 Stab Lepanto, Austrian Attack
-Nap -ION HOLD 11 Naples Lepanto
-Tus -TYS HOLD 7 Unnamed
-Ven -TYS -Tyr 6 McGivern's Opening
HOLD -TYS HOLD 5 Unnamed
-Nap -ION -Tyr 4 Unnamed
-Ven -ION -Apu 4 Anti-hedgehog Lepanto
-Nap -ION -Tri 4 3 Fleets Opening
-Tus -ION HOLD 3 Unnamed
-Ven -TYS -Tri 3 Unnamed
HOLD -ION HOLD 3 Unnamed
-Nap -ION -Apu 3 Lepanto
HOLD -TYS -Pie 3 Unnamed
-Tus -ION -Pie 3 Unnamed
HOLD -TYS -Tus 2 Unnamed
-Nap -ION -Pie 2 Lepanto
HOLD -ION -Apu 2 Classical Lepanto
-Tus -TYS -Tyr 2 Unnamed
-Nap -TYS -Pie 2 Unnamed
HOLD -TYS -Tri 1 3 Fleets Opening
-Tus -TYS -Tri 1 Unnamed
-Apu -ION -Tus 1 Unnamed
HOLD -TYS -Apu 1 Unnamed
-Nap -TYS -Rom 1 Unnamed
-Nap -TYS -Tyr 1 Unnamed
-Ven -ION -Tus 1 Unnamed
-Ven HOLD -Tri 1 Unnamed
-Tus -ION -Tri 0 Unnamed
HOLD -TYS S Mun-Tyr 0 Unnamed

Excerpts from Diplomacy A-Z

A Ven-Pie, A Rom-Ven is a somewhat temporizing opening, generally seen as pro-T and anti-F. Both east and west options are preserved. See Konigratz Freakout.
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: F Nap-ION, A Rom-Ven and A Ven-Apu.
Richard Sharp's name for the opening F Nap-ION, Ven H and A Rom-Apu. See also Lepanto
The Italian moves for S02: F ION-ADR, F Nap-ION, A Ven-Tri. Even if A Ven-Tri fails, F02 gives the choice of (1) F ADR S Ven-Tri, F ION C Tun-Alb, or the less aggressive (2) A Ven S & F ION and F ADR C Tun-Tri, or the primarily positional (3) F ADR S & F ION C Tun-Alb, if Tri looks too secure. The point here is that a Lepanto start in 1901 does not preclude an attack on Austria as early as S02.
The opening A Ven-Pie-Tyr, A Rom-Ven-Tri. The point is to confuse/delay France, while delaying the attack on Austria for a season, allowing Italy the chance to see if the diplomatic and tactical position is right, and to persuade Austria that he is friendly. The risks are that (1) The failure to attack Austria right off may antagonize Russia or Turkey, (2) by violating Pie without disabling France you have stirred the hornet's nest without setting it afire.
(1) A lousy name for A Ven-Tri, A Rom-Apu, F Nap-ION. The intent is A Tri-Ser, a Key opening without the camouflage (and risk to Austria) of A Rom-Ven. A Apu is presumably heading for Tun, thus passing up one of the main values of the Key opening. See also Player's Guide Opening 4.

(2) A specific variation of the Lepanto series of Italian opening moves. Lepantos in general feature the Spring 1901 moves F Nap-ION and A Rom-Nap, followed by F ION C Nap-Tun in autumn, to secure a build of F Nap). The full Lepanto would then be pursued with the moves F Nap-ION, F ION-EAS and then F EAS C Tun-Syr (or Smy), thus embodying a four season strategy directed against Turkey (Italy's traditional rival for naval supremacy in the Mediterranean). Indeed, the Lepanto takes its name from the Sixteenth Century Battle of Lepanto in which an Austro-Italian fleet defeated the Turks. In practice, however, the Lepanto is rarely pursued beyond Autumn 1901, after which Italian players usually prefer to develop a more flexible strategy. As an answer to the Juggernaut, the Lepanto may be the best Italian opening, assuming as it does no grave threat from Austria. With this in mind, an American player, Jeff Key, developed the "Key Lepanto", in which Austria agrees to give A Ven passage through Trieste to attack Serbia (or Greece, through Albania). Unfortunately for agreeable Austrian players, most Italians allowed into Trieste refuse to move out in Autumn, with horrific consequences for beleaguered Austria. Consequently, despite the overwhelming popularity of the Lepanto as an opening, the Key Lepanto itself is rarely seen.

(3) The Lepanto was devised by Edi Birsan. The standard Lepanto involves A Ven H, A Rom-Apu and not, as stated, Rom-Nap. (See Lepanto.)

Named by Jeff Key, the inventor, an Italian-Austrian opening with A Ven-Tri-Ser (usually with Austrian support to foil A Bul-Ser), A Bud-Ser-Gre (latter with support from F Alb). Since Italy gets his build in Ser, he can do F ION-AEG/EAS. This opening is particularly valuable if Turkey opens F Ank-Con, since the traditional Lepanto is almost certain to be foiled. If A Bul-Gre is believed unlikely, Austria can step up the naval pressure on Turkey with F Alb-ION. Italy can readily stab Austria with A Tri-Vie, A Ven-Tri, or by gaining Turkish support for A Apu/F ION-Gre, plus A Tri-Alb to cut support.
Birsan's offbeat German-Italian opening: A Ven S Pie-Tyr, dislodging the German A Tyr, allowing it to retreat to whichever of Vie or Tri Austria leaves open. A Pie provides some assurance to Germany that the French A Bur will not be tempted to go for Mun, especially if Germany announces that he will open A Mun-Tyr.
An Italian anti-Turkey opening: A Rom-Apu-Tun, via F(ION). S02: F ION-EAS, F Nap-ION. In F02, the army is convoyed to either Smy or Syr. Alliance with Austria is essential, with a standoff in BLA in S01 very desirable. Popularized by Edi Birsan, it is probably the best known "named" opening. See also Player's Guide, Opening 1. The Lepanto can be turned from anti-Turk to anti-Austrian in 1902 using the Illyrian Opening.
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: A Rom-Ven, A Ven-Tyr and F Nap-TYS. F Nap-ION (the Tyrolian Attack) is more common.
The Lepanto opening with the Roman army moving to Naples rather than the standard Apulia. There is basically no difference between the two destinations for the army, but Apulia is generally regarded as standard Lepanto, with Naples being the variant.
The single most popular Italian Opening, with A Ven-Tyr, A Rom-Ven, F Nap-ION, giving the player the option of attacking Vie, supporting into Tri or going for Munich, in addition to helping Russia take Vie. More widely known as the Tyrolia Attack.
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: A Ven-Tri, A Rom-Ven, F Nap-ION). Also known as the Austrian attack.
Birsan's opening in which Italy takes Tri in S01 and allows it to be annihilated in F01. Italy then builds two fleets. This avoids the superfluous army that occurs when Italy selects France and Turkey as his first two victims. Details in DD#17.
A classic Italian opening featuring the moves: A Ven-Tyr, A Rom-Ven, F Nap-ION. One of the most enduring and popular combination of moves for Italy in Spring 1901, it is traditionally regarded as an attack on Austria, although it can also be turned against Germany if, perhaps with French support or encouragement, A Tyr attacks Munich in the Autumn. Indeed, this is very often an option, since most Austrian players have better things to do with A Vie than order to Tyrolia and A Mun-Tyr is hardly a common opening for Germany. But if the A Ven move can usually be expected to work, the popularity of F Tri-Ven with Austria has risen so dramatically with the Hedgehog Opening that A Rom will usually be stood off in the Tyrolia Attack. No matter: it protects Venice, and if by chance the move succeeds, Trieste or Vienna could be there for the taking. Providing as it does an option on up to three centres, this opening is clearly Italy's best chance of securing five centres in the first year. Also known as the Obrieni Attack
The very anti-French opening of A Rom H/-Tus, then to Tunis via F TYS, with A Ven-Pie-Mar/S French A Spa-Mar. In S02, F TYS can move to WES to convoy to Spain, or is in a position to directly block F Mar-LYO. If there are no eastern commitments, this will be a rare circumstance when building F Rom is superior to F Nap, as F Rom-Tus permits the piece to be used directly in F02.

Excerpts from the Player's Guide

OPENING 1: [A Rom-Apu; A Ven-Tyr; F Nap-ION]
This is the so-called Lepanto opening, designed to carry Italian power into the east rapidly. This was the first opening ever to be discussed in depth in an article. Edi Birsan's work on the subject is still considered a model effort.

In subsequent seasons, Italy orders: (Fall 1901) A Apu-Tun, F ION C A Apu-Tun, (Winter 1901) build F Nap, (Spring 1902) F ION-EAS, F Nap-ION, A Tun H, (Fall 1902) A Tun-Syr, F ION & F EAS C A Tun-Syr.

This is an attack on Turkey in alliance with Austria. It is often enormously effective. Turkey can block it by building F Smy and ordering F Smy-EAS. However, Italy can order F ION-AEG instead, threatening a convoy into Bul, Con, or Smy.

The order A Ven-Tyr is not favored in many quarters (the alternatives are A Ven H or A Ven-Pie). Of the alternatives, the first is too passive and indicates distrust of Austria; it does, however, have the advantage that A Ven H, A Apu S A Ven, F ION-Tun in Fall 1901 saves Ven if Austria puts two units on it and still allows Italy to build. The second alternative needlessly antagonizes France. It can be used, however, if there is an Anglo-French alliance for sure and Italy wants to help Germany.

A Ven-Tyr is positive and powerful. It allows A Tyr-Mun if there is an Anglo-German alliance threatening France. This will bolster the French defense and help keep the West stalemated. A Ven-Tyr may also stand off a German sneak attack from Munich. It also gives the possibility of A Tyr-Boh (and thence to Gal), adding to Austria's defensive line if this is necessary. On no account should Italy stab Austria. The short-term gains may be all right, but the long-term price is not something Italy would wish to pay."

OPENING 2: [A Rom-Tus; A Ven-Pie; F Nap-TYS]
This is an anti-French opening. It allows (A Tus-Tun, F TYS C A Tus-Tun), keeping powerful forces poised against Spain. France must also play a guessing game. If she moves A Mar-Spa but not A Par-Bur, she must now decide whether to order A Spa-Mar. If Italy then orders A Pie-Mar, the center is saved; if not, Spain is lost, and a fleet can't be built in Marseilles. (See 1966AA.)
OPENING 3: [A Rom-Ven; A Ven-Tyr; F Nap-ION]
This is the best anti-Austrian opening: there are those rare occasions where Italy will want to Attack Austria. A Ven-Tri may be stood off. A Ven-Tyr, A Rom-Ven concentrates two armies on Trieste and creates a guessing game around Vienna. The fleet can pick up Tunis or even move to Greece or the Adriatic. Getting Tunis is better; Italy needs a build.
OPENING 4: [A Rom-Apu; A Ven-Tri; F Nap-ION]
This is a variant of the Lepanto Opening (the Key Lepanto). It is followed in the south as before. But in the north by A Tri-Ser or A Tri-Alb. The purpose here is to get another army into the Balkans against Turkey. If Italy holds Serbia at the end of 1901, the purpose is to allow her to build two fleets. The second fleet is used to help France against England/Germany or to challenge England/France. Austria has got to have enormous trust in Italy to allow this movement, but that's Diplomacy.

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