The Italian Draw

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diplomatt13
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The Italian Draw

#1 Post by diplomatt13 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:08 pm

I hate Italy, but that’s what I got. It’s a weak starting position with no room for growth except Tunis. Austria is right on your border, and France and Turkey can get there quick. It has to have the lowest win rate. I don’t know how often it even draws. It seems like every game I’ve seen, Italy gets eliminated first or second. I don’t like the quick stab at Austria. It lacks integrity, and a good Austria can recover with revenge. You’ve screwed up your game and maybe Austria’s. I don’t like the Lepanto because I think it stretches you too thin, and invites the French to stab. I don’t like attacking France, because France is a good defensive position with room to grow faster than me. When I got Italy, I thought, crap, I’m probably not going to win, and most likely be eliminated. I decided to try for a draw and even voted draw the first season. My initial strategy was to be patient and friendly, see how things on the board shook out, and maybe hook up with the winning side. A draw is a draw, no matter how many are involved. For three years I preached peace and ended up with a 7 way draw. It’s better than being eliminated.

mhsmith0
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Re: The Italian Draw

#2 Post by mhsmith0 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:45 pm

As Italy, the LAST thing you want to do is to be cautiously neutral. Pick a side, run with it, expand.

Italy's greatest strength is its central location and ability to project force rapidly in almost any direction if it grows quickly (it can build fleets to send west against france or east against turkey, it can build armies to send north against Germany or east against Austria, and it's usually not THAT long before it can potentially threaten England or Russia).

Italy's greatest weakness is its lack of "easy" centers for expansion. Tunis gets you to four and after that, you need allies and a plan. Traditional successful Italian plans can include:
1) Working with England and Germany to dismantle France and take at least 2 of Marseilles/Spain/Portugal (this also has the advantage of creating a solid wall of defense to the west)
2) Working with Austria (and/or Russia) to dismantle Turkey, and then usually working with one of them to dismantle the other
3) Working with Russia and/or Turkey to dismantle Austria (and then trying to pry apart R/T, which is probably easier if you work with Russia to dismantle Turkey than the other way around tbh)

OTOH, "I'll keep Tunis and not really do anything for a while" is a great way to get swallowed up by a more successful neighbor. If France grows he'll send fleets east soon enough. If England conquers France he'll send his fleets east instead. If Austria grows, it's not that hard for him to attack you once he has breathing room. If Turkey grows, he can eventually force Ionian and then you die. The only powers whose growth is unlikely to be a direct threat to you (barring runs to solos obviously) are Germany and Russia... and even Russia can start swarming over the Balkans once he gets rolling, and those are centers you're going to need sooner or later.

Octavious
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Re: The Italian Draw

#3 Post by Octavious » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:21 pm

diplomatt13 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:08 pm
For three years I preached peace and ended up with a 7 way draw. It’s better than being eliminated.
It's really not.

On a positive note, if you start off with the worst strategy possible, your game can only improve :)
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GarlMargs
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Re: The Italian Draw

#4 Post by GarlMargs » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:06 pm

I disagree.

The starting position is actually decently strong, defensively. You can launch crippling attacks on France or Austria in 1901 and nobody can really retaliate against you unless you completely botch your orders or diplomacy. Italy needs to be ruthless enough to take advantage of this.

If you can't crack France's defenses as Italy, you probably didn't put the work in with England and Germany to convince them to join in.

If the Lepanto leaves you out of position by the time France would normally attack (1903-1905) then you probably a.) botched your diplomacy in the west and b.) partnered with a lousy Archduke who's pretty much left you to your own devices against Turkey so he can attack Russia.

If Austria recovers from the a stab and kicks your assessment, then it wasn't a very good stab. Maybe try to get Turkey and Russia on board or string Austria along until 1902 when he's out of position and you can land a knockout blow.

My theory is that a lot of people are just bad at the diplomacy aspect of Diplomacy and that's why they tend to fail as Italy.
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SuperSteve
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Re: The Italian Draw

#5 Post by SuperSteve » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:46 pm

If I had to play a game with my life on the line... I wouldn't choose Italy.

That said, if you aren't willing to attack France or Austria... I don't know what I could say to help. Seems like you are limiting your options down to... almost nothing?
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mhsmith0
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Re: The Italian Draw

#6 Post by mhsmith0 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:57 pm

SuperSteve wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:46 pm
If I had to play a game with my life on the line... I wouldn't choose Italy.

That said, if you aren't willing to attack France or Austria... I don't know what I could say to help. Seems like you are limiting your options down to... almost nothing?
If you're not going against France or Austria early, you're down to
1) attack Turkey with Lepanto, once that is done either cooperate with Russia or Germany against Austria or take A/I to the finish line
2) attack Germany, along with some combination of France/Russia/Austria. Note, though, that an early AIR that invades the west can result in a major reaction from E/F/G/T (I was France in a recent game when this happened... the final result was a 3-way F/A/T draw, and Italy and Russia were the first two powers to be eliminated), and I/F without at least consent from powers like Austria/England/Russia is somewhat difficult to actually turn into a major success against Germany.

So really if you eliminate France or Austria from your target list, you're down to attacking Turkey and hoping France doesn't grow fast enough to become a predator against you.

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