Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

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Re: Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

Postby Nibbler » 22 Mar 2017, 20:00

dubfin wrote:
Nibbler wrote:So, why would Italy keep to the Key Lepanto agreement? Well, it gives her 5 SCs in 1902. She gets Serbia and Tunis. Austria gets just Greece. Italy now has a numerical advantage over Austria, is in an excellent position to progress with an ally against Turkey, and has a unit or two spare to keep France at bay.

This isn't to say she should be going after France just yet. She probably can't afford to do that but she also can't afford for France to get a free ride. So Italy should be working hard to keep France off balance with her diplomacy.

Does Italy have anything to lose by playing the Stab Lepanto rather than sticking to the Key? Well, SC-wise no. She may get Trieste rather than Serbia. She may even grab BOTH if Austria is daft enough to allow Italy to get into a position to try this. If she gains Trieste, then she is strategically better placed than with the Key.

The difference this time is that she has tried herself down to a conflict with Austria. A clever Russia and Turkey will happily leave them to it. Unless Italy is confident of bringing one from Russia or Turkey with her against Austria the longer term outcome of the Stab Lepanto could well be disastrous.


I was really talking about a situation where the Key Lepanto works. That means in S01 Austria is in Gal, Rum, Alb. Austria does not gain only one center but two if not three. If you are afraid of a Juggernaut you obviously won't stab your ally - but in that case the Key Lepanto was the wrong opening to begin with.

France is always a topic to deal with but you have to fight someone in the beginning and in my opinion this should not be France. If you have a weak Russia and a weak Turkey distrustful of each other and distrustful of Austria but both without a reason to distrust you - isn't an alliance with Russia a better option than an insanely powerful Austria that has no Joker in his back as you have?

The Key Lepanto doesn't start with Austria occupying Rumania, at least not classically. Of course, Bud-Rum is one way to do it but there's a big hole in that plan: Sev-Rum. At that point, Bud bounces and it's unlikely Austria gets more than one build, if any.

The Key Lepanto starts with Austria ordering F(Tri)-Alb, A(Bud)-Ser and A(Vie)... well, anywhere except Trieste. Let's say A(Vie)-Gal for the sake of argument.

Why these moves? Because it guarantees Austria a build (assuming Italy doesn't break the Key in the lock). Without an army in Serbia, Austria can't guarantee Greece, which is the whole point of the Key Lepanto in the first place. Alb S Ser-Gre is the only way to get past Turkey ordering Bul-Gre.

This then frees Italy's army in Trieste to move to Serbia. Of course, Turkey could just order Bul-Ser but that doesn't affect Italy: if Italy bounces back to Trieste she still gets that SC.

And Austria doesn't get any build unless either Russia is completely useless and doesn't cover Warsaw or Rumania.

Come S02, then, Austria has four units: F(Alb), A(Gre), A(Gal) - say - and the new unit she's built. Italy has FIVE units; if we assume a working set of moves in F01: F(ION), A(Ser), A(Tun) - convoyed there from Naples or Apulia, perhaps - plus two builds, one of which will have been a fleet in Naples.

Again, Italy 5, Austria 4.

Importantly, the Key Lepanto is anti-Turkey. The idea with any Lepanto is that Turkey can't hold Aegean Sea. A/I have two units bordering Bulgaria, at least three fleets and a free move to EMS.
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Re: Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

Postby Paksos » 01 Aug 2017, 21:52

I expect in most cases, for a Key Lepanto to work well, it would help to have Germany as an arbiter pointing out to Italy in no uncertain terms that if they stab Austria then Germany will start sending that army in Munich south against them.

Sooo they can either have Serbia and 1-2 allies or Trieste and 1-2 enemies.
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Re: Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

Postby DQ » 02 Aug 2017, 04:15

Paksos wrote:I expect in most cases, for a Key Lepanto to work well, it would help to have Germany as an arbiter pointing out to Italy in no uncertain terms that if they stab Austria then Germany will start sending that army in Munich south against them.

Sooo they can either have Serbia and 1-2 allies or Trieste and 1-2 enemies.


The issue with that is Germany is almost always going to be otherwise occupied, and a savvy Italian can factor that in.

Stabbing Austria while R/T are still alive and not fighting each other is just cutting your own throat, in almost all cases. The reason is simple - Italy can't hold the land against Russia AND the sea against Turkey, especially with a hostile stub Austrian around looking for revenge.

No, the time to stab is later, as Italy, if you can get Russia on board at the critical moment to slip into the Black Sea, The early tempo gains you realize getting essentially two extra units on the front are tremendous, but neutralized (as pointed out up-thread) by savvy kibitzers who don't want to see Turkey out in 1903. So you have to be ready/willing to pivot, if the blitz doesn't work out. But its still an amazing way to maximize your force as A/I, and given almost any northern pressure on Russia, will at the very, very worst prevent R/T from advancing from the shores of the Black Sea.
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Re: Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

Postby el Swine » 27 Aug 2017, 14:31

Hello.

I was quite surprised to find this discussion thread. I wrote that article (Tony Swinnerton here) a long time ago. I did it because I've always favoured bold, risky play and the Key Lepanto is about as risky as you can get.

For me, the risk of the Key Lepanto blowing up in your face (through either Italian opportunism, or Russia/Turkey getting wise to the gig and blocking it) is worth it to see if it comes off or not.

And the key to it is the negotiation, not the mechanics of movement. You have to sell it to everyone involved.

If I were in Italy I'd go for it, and I'd keep my word. Playing Italy is hard, often boring and usually fruitless. Especially if you're playing with experienced players. The Key Lepanto has been a successful play for me in getting the most out of playing Italy.
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Re: Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

Postby General Karthos » 29 Aug 2017, 22:43

The problem with a key Lepanto is that a clever Turkey orders Bul-Ser, bouncing Italy out of Serbia and keeping him in Austria. It weakens Austria, and while Italy was going to be stronger than usual either way, now he owns an Austrian center which he may not be keen to give up. I've tried to play the Key Lepanto three times, once as Italy and twice as Austria. As Austria, it worked once, the other time Italy just stayed in Trieste, and when I played Italy I got bounced in Serbia. Notably, the one where it worked was a face-to-face game; the other two were not. I think that the raw emotion and short time to talk in face-to-face really helps to sell it.

The Lepanto variant that I like a bit more is the "Blue Water" Lepanto (and I've had some success with it) where Austria puts a fleet into the Ionian that Italy then forces to retreat. The Turk can't block both the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean unless he either manages two builds and recognizes what's happening or knows the attack is coming.
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Re: Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

Postby el Swine » 30 Aug 2017, 08:08

General Karthos I agree 100%

Key Lepanto worked for me face to face, not online. Human interaction is a big part of it. You also get to see and read peoples reactions to your "sell" so generally you can work out whether it's going to work or not
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Re: Key Lepanto - why should Italy stay true to his word?

Postby markleadon » 03 Sep 2017, 23:55

Not sure if you are allowed to name the game but as Austria I offered Italy the key lepento. It's now 1905 and still alive. Best way to stop a juggernault although as Austria you need guts
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