Attack on France
by Michael Adams
reading issue 35 of Spring Offensive last night I read the article espousing an
Italian attack on France (How
to Play Italy by Scott Kauzlarich), not Austria. I then tried to think of
the best way to pursue such an attack. Moving A(Ven)-Pie; A(Rom)-Ven/Tus;
F(Nap)-TYS appears to be rather obvious, and doomed to failure. France knows you
are attacking from the start, and can always take measure to defend Marseilles,
say from Spain. The only way you will get Marseilles is if you are playing your
Mother and you tell her you wont try and take it. (If you order A(Rom)-Ven,
something you could try on a gullible player is telling him that moving to
Piedmont was only a feint, you really are going to stab Austria by moving to
Tyrolia and Trieste in the Autumn.) This opening is not without its uses,
however, as you can often stop France getting a build from Spain by not going to
Marseilles, or supporting Spa-Mar if the French player is going to try a
self-stand-off to protect Marseilles and still gain Spain.
opening has its uses, but would make little progress without the help of Germany
or England in the French campaign. An opening I thought of last night seems to
have better prospects against France, and is more flexible. The opening proceeds
01: A(Rom)Std.; A(Ven)Std.; F(Nap)-TYS
01: A(Rom)-Tun; F(TYS) C A(Rom)-Tun; A(Ven)Std.
02: A(Ven)-Pie; F(TYS)-GoL; A(Tun)Std.; F(Nap)-TYS
this stage of the game you should have no enemies, as you have not attacked
anyone, and if you have done your diplomacy right everyone should be leaving you
alone. If after the first or second turn you discover that someone is attacking
you, you are in a position to face them as you have not gone out on a limb. Let
France know a fleet build in Marseilles would be an act of war, and an army
build in Marseilles where he has another home centre vacant seen as a sign of
distrust. Point out to Turkey that you have not moved to the Ionian, and
encourage him to attack Russia with Austria's aid. Make sure Austria knows you
are protecting his back against any fleets from the Western Powers. Try and
wring an agreement from Turkey to limit himself to say two fleets - if he is
going after Russia that is all he will need - and try and get an agreement to
declare the Ionian Sea a demilitarised zone.
you trust Germany not to spill the beans to France, you might let him know you
plan to attack France in 1902, and offer him Paris, Belgium and Brest. If the
German helps you and your attack comes by surprise, you should have Marseilles
and the Iberian peninsular by the end of 1903. The other thing you could do to
divert France's attention from his border
with you is to encourage him to attack England with Germany, but approach
Germany about combining against France "some time in the future".
you diplomacy is succeeding Austria should be involved in the East, and France
in the north. In Spring 1902 you swoop into the Gulf of Lyon and Piedmont,
giving a supported attack on Marseilles in Autumn 1902.
A Reply from
states that the straight forward attack on France is "rather obvious and
doomed to failure." Not necessarily. It does give France warning, but there
isn't a good way around that. In order to defend itself France needs to have Mar
occupied by one of its units by the end of W01. Ideally that would be a brand
new fleet, but the only way that is to occur is for France to either not go to
Mar or bounce A Pie out. If France moves back into Mar, Italy's best move would
be to not try for it, thus "blocking" the southern fleet. On the other
hand, if France leaves Mar open (intending on building a southern fleet) then
Italy should move into Mar thus sneaking a second build. What this basically
means is that France and Italy have to make a guess and who wins obviously has a
big edge in the resulting conflict.
don't think you will retain the element of surprise by moving, and keeping a
fleet in TYS. Such a fleet is only useful against France, thus a decent French
player would be expecting an invasion, but without the worry about losing Mar,
thus it is able to safely build a southern fleet.
if you are planning on attacking France you have Austria as an ally, and have
keep R/T/A from quickly organising into a two-on-one. To do otherwise is asking
for trouble before you are able to deal with it.
is a different approach that may retain the element of surprise:
1901: A(Ven)Std.; A(Rom)Std.; F(Nap)-ION
1901: F(ION)-Tun; A(Ven)Std.; A(Rom)Std.
1902: F(Nap)-TYS; F(Tun)-WMS; A(Ven)-Pie; A(Rom)-Ven
have put off committing yourself as long as possible, and have minimised the
amount of warning that France receives. There is some room for the armies to
move about, the limits on that depend on what you can negotiate. The main thing
is to make the Fleets move to Tunis seem convincing. The best way to do that is
not to have an army available to convoy. A set of "mistake" orders (A(Rom)-Apu;
A(Ven)-Apu) in the S01 could pull that off, or an arranged bounce with Austria
is also a possibility.