The Fake Lepanto

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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby I Love Italy » 08 Nov 2016, 02:19

Carebear wrote:
I Love Italy wrote:
Carebear wrote:Used Key Lepanto first or second game here with complete unknown. We took it to two way draw.


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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby Pete the Great » 01 Sep 2020, 13:08

I was in a oldies game as Austria where Italy convinced me to try the Key Lepanto. I was fairly new to on-line Diplomacy at that time. We ended in a 3 way with England. Definitely not for the faint of heart for either player. I was on pins and needles through 1902 or 03. Once we got into Turkey and later Russia the shoe flipped and it was Italy who was a nervous wreck. However, we stayed with it and it worked.

Bottom line is any opening/alliance can work if:
1) Your willing to work to make it happen
2) You find the right person to work with
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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby FloridaMan » 17 Oct 2020, 22:22

Pete the Great wrote:Bottom line is any opening/alliance can work if:
1) Your willing to work to make it happen
2) You find the right person to work with

This. I think both the Lepanto (the typical variant where Italy moves fleets East in order to convoy to Turkey or Syria) and the Key Lepanto (where Italy moves through Trieste) can work very very well.

The problems are that:
1) To defeat a strong Russian-Turkish alliance, you need very good coordination; and
2) A lot of players are just temperamentally very flighty and impatient, unwilling or unable to be disciplined for long enough to actually see this alliance through, since it won't usually net them instant gains.
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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby condude1 » 19 Oct 2020, 19:04

FloridaMan wrote:2) A lot of players are just temperamentally very flighty and impatient, unwilling or unable to be disciplined for long enough to actually see this alliance through, since it won't usually net them instant gains.


I'll add to this that, in general, it works really well for Italy to just stab Austria. Moooost of the time, the expected value from just stealing the scs is higher than trying to go through with the alliance. It's not flighty or impatient, merely calculating.
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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby FloridaMan » 19 Oct 2020, 22:22

condude1 wrote:I'll add to this that, in general, it works really well for Italy to just stab Austria. Moooost of the time, the expected value from just stealing the scs is higher than trying to go through with the alliance. It's not flighty or impatient, merely calculating.

I disagree, but of course, our experiences may be different. I've noticed a significant tendency for Italians who turn on Austria to, in turn, get eaten by the Juggernaut that everyone already knew was in existence. By killing off Austria, Italy tends to be eliminating its only ally.
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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby condude1 » 21 Oct 2020, 07:45

FloridaMan wrote:
condude1 wrote:I'll add to this that, in general, it works really well for Italy to just stab Austria. Moooost of the time, the expected value from just stealing the scs is higher than trying to go through with the alliance. It's not flighty or impatient, merely calculating.

I disagree, but of course, our experiences may be different. I've noticed a significant tendency for Italians who turn on Austria to, in turn, get eaten by the Juggernaut that everyone already knew was in existence. By killing off Austria, Italy tends to be eliminating its only ally.


I guess it really depends on the board. Germany's an ally too, and a strong Italy and a Germany with all quiet on the Western Front could hold back a Juggernaut. It depends how totally Austria is fooled too - if Italy can take, say, Greece, Trieste and Vienna with a stab, it's easily worth it. If you can just get Trieste... not so much.

I think it's just super context dependant, and I was probably too generalizing with my initial comment.
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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby FloridaMan » 21 Oct 2020, 15:21

condude1 wrote:I guess it really depends on the board. Germany's an ally too, and a strong Italy and a Germany with all quiet on the Western Front could hold back a Juggernaut. It depends how totally Austria is fooled too - if Italy can take, say, Greece, Trieste and Vienna with a stab, it's easily worth it. If you can just get Trieste... not so much.

Good points, all, I think. If you've been skillful enough as Italy to do all that, I should probably start taking notes on this stuff... :)
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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby condude1 » 21 Oct 2020, 20:09

FloridaMan wrote:
condude1 wrote:I guess it really depends on the board. Germany's an ally too, and a strong Italy and a Germany with all quiet on the Western Front could hold back a Juggernaut. It depends how totally Austria is fooled too - if Italy can take, say, Greece, Trieste and Vienna with a stab, it's easily worth it. If you can just get Trieste... not so much.

Good points, all, I think. If you've been skillful enough as Italy to do all that, I should probably start taking notes on this stuff... :)


Hey hey hey, I never said I'VE taken those centers - I'm actually pretty bad as Italy. Just saying that the stab in the Lepanto is reasonable in a lot of cases.
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Re: The Fake Lepanto

Postby Malarky » 05 Nov 2020, 22:29

I'm trying to work out if the OP (which was a long time ago) was about the Austro-Italian alliance or the Lepanto opening. I think it was the alliance... This is why I don't like alliances named after openings :roll:

As with everything else in Dip, the Austro-Italian alliance comes and goes. If Italy doesn't attack Austria, where are the next SCs after Tunis coming from?

Attacking France is pointless unless it's part of a larger A/G/I alliance. Attacking through Piedmont is such a long time in being successful, and the alternative is to throw fleets west. Which opens the back door for an Austria who has been given free reign to work with Russia or Turkey; or for Turkey to send fleets through the Med; or for the Juggernaut to roll through Austria and the Balkans.

Working with Austria is potentially useful. When it was invented (I think it was Edi Birsan? I should probably go and look but I'm not going to) the Lepanto opening was all the rage. Perhaps because Italy and Austria were overcoming the pressure of the Venice/Trieste border. Perhaps because Turkey never opened with A Smy-Syr to block it ("Goffy's Opening" - yes it's traditionally called the Desert Rat opening but as Andrew Goff is the only person I know who actually uses it...). Hopefully because people actually thought it was a good idea - which it was. Today, though, I think most people would say it's a slow burner. Given that a lot can happen before an army lands in Syria, just keeping the alliance going for that time can be tough.

Jeff Key's version (the Key Lepanto, who'd'a thought it?) is quicker and potentially much more effective. As someone said, though, it means that Italy and Austria are lying to potential allies. And it's risky. The Key can become the Stab Lepanto pretty easily. Austria should see it coming, in fairness, as to make it work, Italy should probably order A Ven-Tri, A Rom-Ven... but it can work even without the latter order - Italy just needs to build an army in Venice. It takes a brave Austria to go with this. And it becomes a little messy in 1902: Italy's in Serbia and isolated. Austria's in Greece. To keep the tempo flowing, Italy really ought to have foregone Tunis, and yet Italy will often convoy A Nap/Apu-Tun in Fall 1901, and this means that she doesn't get her fleet into the Aegean early enough. When Turkey could be facing three units surrounding Bulgaria, she's facing two.

Add to this that Austria should really be in Serbia, simply because that SC affects so much that goes on in the Balkans, and it's not hard to see why the Key Lepanto can break down.

Austria/Italy is a good alliance, but it takes a lot of trust, no matter what the opening. Austria needs to establish herself early on, and that means taking Serbia and Greece. Anything less, while not fatal on its own, is a sign that she's not quite sure of Italy. That can be the opening that Turkey and/or Russia need. So the 'safe' Austrian opening that has a bounce on the Venice/Trieste border is a waste of time. Ideally, Austria should be ordering F Tri-Alb, A Bud-Ser so that she can order A Ser S Alb-Gre in F01.

That opens up Trieste in S01... so Austria can fall into the trap of ordering A Vie-Tri. This is usually a mistake against a moderately decent Italy. Italy's better off with the Obriani Opening: A Ven-Tyl, A Rom-Ven - if she's going to attack Austria. If Austria recognises this she may well use A Vie-Tyl; fine - but what about Galicia? A War-Gal is so useful for Russia, whether it's part of an attack on Austria or not, that Russia should be looking to do it, especially if she's ordering F Sev-BLA. Does Austria really want a Russian army in Galicia?

This, of course, is the Austrian dilemma: Does she defend Trieste/Tyrolia or Galicia? Does she defend either? There's no right answer, so Austria has to trust that either Italy or Russia will be allied with her, as they probably both promised. Of the two, though, Russia is more likely to be scrabbling for an SC in 1901 - Italy has Tunis, after all, whereas Russia may not get either Rumania or Sweden. Russia can guarantee Rumania if she succeeds in ordering F Sev-Rum, A Mos-Sev and A War-Ukr in S01, but that's possibly letting Turkey take the Black Sea and isn't as flexible as A War-Gal. And, if Austria has the gall to open with A Bud-Rum, Russia runs the risk of getting nothing if she doesn't use A Mos-Ukr, A War-Gal.

If Austria wants to prevent a Russian unit in Rumania, then, she needs to open with A Vie-Gal. That is a potential bounce that is more useful to Austria than Russia.

Both Austria and Italy need allies in 1901. There's no reason, therefore, that they can't ally together. One way of achieving this, without the Key Lepanto and it's threat of the Stab Lepanto, is for Austria to consider the Modern Borders opening. This is a true Andrew Goff innovation: in it, Austria cedes Trieste to Italy. There's no Austrian nailbiting over whether that Italian army that moved to Trieste in S01 will follow through with the promise of A Tri-Ser in F01; here, Austria has said: "Look, we need allies, We can ally together. If you agree, I'm prepared to let A Ven-Tri happen. Take Trieste, just work with me."

For Austria, there's no worrying about whether Italy will move to, or out of' Trieste: she'll take Trieste and sit there. Austria can then cover Galicia, and take Serbia and Greece. Just one build but she has an ally in Italy. With a guaranteed build in 1901, Italy can then forego taking Tunis and push east. Tunis can be her 1902 build.

The only downside for Austria is that she can't build an army in Trieste in 1901 and move it to Albania in S02. This means she is less secure than otherwise. But, on the other hand, Italy is onside. Down the line, Italy can move out of Trieste and let Austria have it back. By then the alliance should have established itself. Sure, somewhere along the way it will break (assuming that both players aren't looking for a 2-way draw and are genuine Dip players), but, if it establishes the alliance, then this is as good an idea for Austria as it is for Italy.
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