Italy: restoring the Roman Empire!

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SpaceViking

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Want a tough challenge and fun playthrough? Try playing Italy in a 1933 start with the goal of "restoring the Roman Empire". Well, restoring it within reason.

First off in general you want to be a total backstabber and bully. Pick off the little guys, abuse your allies. Don't get involved with the big powers...until later. Italy has enough IC to build an effective military but not big enough to go too crazy. Work toward making carriers and better SUBs as that is your only hope in facing off eventually with the UK navy. I only went for INT and NAV for airpower. And I did the GAR->INF->MTN chain as the Italians have a good tech team for developing MTN and they really can't afford the oil that later INF uses. You will need extra transports as you will be shipping units around a lot. A LOT! Do NOT use the event that lets you reorganize your military as the gain in units is not offset by the weakness of all your divisions later. Build some GAR with MPs.

The general course that I find works best goes like this (my ideas mixed in with what I did in a recent run):

Do the usual starting stuff. Push down dissent, build some industry, etc. Push toward War, Intervention, and Central on the diplomacy sliders in that order. Put in one of the guys who helps with foreign IC once you start war as you will need every scrap you can get.

Get directly involved in the Spanish civil war. Do offer aid to the Nationalists but don't control their army. Then claim all of Spain and directly invade the Republicans in the south. Once you and the Nationalists finish them off stab the Nationalists in the back by DOWing them and then all of Spain is yours! When I tried this it was almost cheating because just as I was moving units around to invade the Nationalist part of Spain they demobilized. Oops on their part!

Next up: Greece and Yugoslavia. If you bring sufficient units to bear you can take them both out quickly. I can hear the allies fretting in Paris and London but they won't get involved.

Here I made a mistake. I should have immediately attacked Hungary and Romania as my troops were right there but I waited too long and Romania joined the Germans. I did get Hungary a bit later, though.

When the Germans invade France...wait. Do not ally yourself with the Germans! Eventually they will (hopefully) form Vichy and THAT'S when you pounce. I screwed this up and forgot about the French victory locations in North Africa. The French got some revenge on me by catching one of my fleets and in a titanic battleship battle they sent 13 of my 18 size fleet to the depths with a loss of just 3 on their side. I had a fleet with 2 carriers but some French subs got the jump on them earlier and damaged one of the carriers so they were off being repaired in Genoa. I finally got the one lone Italian MOT unit into North Africa and it drove across the whole of the north taking all 3 of the victory locations. There was then a second big naval battle when the French Fleet in North Africa fled to Syria but my carriers got the better of them and sank several BBs and CAs with no damage to me.

The Germans started Barbarossa in late 1940 in my game right around now. It was here that I grabbed Hungary as they had not yet joined the Germans.

OK, so what's left? The middle east and the eastern empire (i.e., Turkey).

I took on the French Mandate for Syria next. The only place to invade is at Beirut which is also where the still large French fleet fled in my game. I sent all my big surface ships there in one big fleet to do shore bombbardment with my NAVs provided air support and it was anticlimactic as they just folded. There was only a single unit in Beirut and I think that was the only province I had to take.

Then Turkey. I attacked from the west (the eastern part of old Greece) and the south (Syria). They quickly fell.

And here in my game I made my next mistake; I attacked Russia! The Germans were winning and it looked like I could take the whole area around Baku which I did. Unfortunately this also triggered The Bitter Peace I think. And to top it all off the events of that took away all the land I had gained here. Grrr.

I got my first few ARM divisions around here.

The Germans screwed me over here by attacked Iran and Iraq taking away my hopes of oil from them. Sigh.

OK, so all that is left is the UK in Egypt/Sudan and in the Middle East. I attacked from Libya and from Syria and drove the UK towards the Suez canal where my forces coming from the two sides met. A lot of the UK forces got trapped in that one dead end area in north Africa and in Gaza. Gibraltar went down easy as there was only one unit there and I attacked with 9 MTN divisions all with ART. I hadn't even realized the US had joined the war until that as I caught 11 divisions of US air in Gibraltar. OUCH! The British ships in the Med fought bravely but they only had 2 carriers and by this time I had 4 and I won all those battles.

At this point the UK was busy taking all of southern and eastern Africa away from me and I was shuffling units around to fight back for them. The Mediterranean was all mine.

Wait, what about Portugal? Oops, I forgot all about them. I kind of meant to take them out after Spain but maybe it was just as well as it would have meant more beaches to protect.

And what about the rest of Gaul (N/W France) and England and even Germanica? Remember the "restore the empire within reason" goal. The Germans would crush me and I could not take on the UK because of distance.

At this point I counted it as a "win". I don't think the allies could muster enough forces to take me on in Spain (their only direct access to me) as I had 6 divisions with artillery guarding each beach. The fighting in Africa would have gone on forever. Oil was a concern but I was thinking of going for the Arabian peninsula next. I still have the save games and might pick it up again or even replay it trying to correct my mistakes.

If I were to start again I might try an "alternative history" and fiddle with the initial setup a bit. Get rid of Mussilini and make one of the Italian leaders into a Stern Imperialist to fit the idea better. Turn on tech team takeover and eventually after the nationalism dies down make some of the Spanish and other provinces into Italian cores (kind of like they are won over to the Roman Empire idea similar to what the Germans do to Austria).
 
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SpaceViking

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Do NOT use the event that lets you reorganize your military as the gain in units is not offset by the weakness of all your divisions later.

Out of curiosity I went and looked up this event.

command = { type = strength_cap which = infantry value = 70 }
Wait, just infantry?

I reloaded an old save game where that was still active and tried it. Yup, it sets all your INF down to 70 strength but not MTN! OK, this now is almost a cheat. Take the event to get 19 free divisions and convert them all to MTN. I don't think it affects GAR (or CAV or MOT or other infantry-ish divisions) either.

I think if I were to replay and now choose this event the game would be a LOT easier without so much need to shuffle troops all the way across the empire.
 
Last edited:

tioperete

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When you upgrade to MTN, don't the divisions maintain the strenght cap?

This event should be deleted from DH, many other countries had binary divisions
 

SpaceViking

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Hmmm. Not sure if they maintain an existing cap. The MTN and GAR that I had did not get their strengths reduced to 70 while all the INF did.

OK, I went back and loaded that save game. Chose the event. And watched one INF division that was almost updated to MTN. And ... it kept the 70% strength when it upgraded.

So, back to "Don't do it!" for this event again.
 
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Dr. Intolerance

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Why is this event so bad? Don't it mean more infantry divisions because the strength is less in each? I never heard of strength altering the numbers for battles.
 

SpaceViking

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All the Italian infantry units are stuck at 70% strength. It's like they start every battle having taken 30% casualties. It really, really hurts them.