A Key Lepanto Double Cross

by Doug Friedman

The scenario is a traditional Key Lepanto opening. Italy has been given Serbia by a gracious Austria, and an intelligent one at that. You (as Italy) can now march troops through Trieste into the Balkans, in an attempt to smite Turkey, but you start having second thoughts. How will Turkey react? You don't want to loose this chance, but don't want to create an Italy vs. Austria war that thus kills both Italy and Austria. What do you do?


The answer my dear Italy, is elementary. You are watering at the mouth over these unguarded Austrian centres, but know that a 1901 stab is the stupidest thing since putting Braille on the drive-thru ATM at the bank. Assuming that Austria has organized a spring bounce with Russia in Galicia, you canít rely on Russian help, Germany will be risking suicide if they help you out, and  Turkey wonít be able to get there in time to help... or will they?


Turkey and Italy have been always told that they could never be partners. Turkey will be so hyped up on their "golden armies of enlightenment" that a T/I alliance will seem like a piece of cake. When Italy says "I'll get Austria, you get the Balkans" Turkey will be too overwhelmed with joy to see that an Italian-Turkish alliance is just plain bad. Or maybe they will say to themselves that "once Austria is weakened, I can just stab Italy, and thus begin my stroll down the yellow brick road to that 18-center win." Well this is all extremely true. That is why no one in their right mind would participate in a I/T as Italy.


Well, obviously I am not in my right mind. So, Italy opens Venice - Trieste, Rome - Apulia, Naples - Ionian. (a Key Lepanto, right?) If only you knew how right you are. Here comes the first trick. You use your Turkish ally to bounce you in Serbia, thus giving you Trieste with no stab!  Turkey will be happy to do this, since it benefits them as much as you. FIRST MISTAKE!!  Turkey denies Austria a build, but only gets one, themselves. Most of the time they are only counting on one build anyways so there is no mistake, but I just felt like typing that. The above, in conjunction with a convoying of Apu - Tun. Dude, two builds! This is just a simple foiled Key Lepanto, due to the cunning of Turkey. This is no foiled Lepanto, itís an Austrian Lepanto.


Your builds in 01 are army Venice, and fleet Naples. Austria is pissed because, their plan to smite the big bad wolf Turkey is held back a year and with their army in Greece they support you into Serbia, and have their Albanian army hold, because its spring and you have convinced them that Trieste should be used to let TWO armies into the Balkans to fight Turkey. This is just an act of fate, enlightening us as to the real way to take Turkey! Along with a Nap-ION, ION-EMS, it is the ultimate Key Lepanto.


Wrong again. Instead of moving the Ionian Sea to the EMS, or Aegean, you move you clever little green fleet into the Adriatic, and along with a Nap - ION, a Venice - Tyrolia, and Trieste - Budapest, or Vienna) whichever seems more open. Do not accept the move to Serbia because a move to the Adriatic will tip you off; why not go all the way? Also, the Austrians are not that stupid, they will see you stab coming from a mile away. Yup, yup, yup they know that after you use their support to get into Serbia, you will stab them by supporting yourself into Budapest with your army in Trieste. They wonít let this happen; they will move their fleet to Trieste to bounce you. If Austria doesn't think this at first, they will out of a Turkish (they're your ally remember) mouth. Turkey will spill all of your "plans" to Austria, and that will be the Austrian defeat. You can take Trieste with relative ease, by convoying your Tunisian army to Trieste with Tyrolean support. Having Turkey convince Austria to go to Trieste in spring 02 is imperative so that a convoy from Tunis could not be disrupted.

The only way this plan could get foiled would be a G/A or R/A. If you snuff out an R/A, then you are free to go west (with an I/R). An I/R is the sole reason Italy is not diminished every single game, whatever you do it needs to be in conjunction with an I/R. To stop a G/A just foster a E/F, or convince France to go east (which would set him up for an Italian attack anyways).


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