Is IT Broken?

By Randy Lawrence-Hurt

For quite some time, the Italy-Turkey alliance has been regarded as very bad for Italy, and not to even be considered, unless Austria and Russia are definitely hostile. Even then, it is warned that Turkey should not be trusted to be a good ally, as his only means of advancement lies through Italy. This entire method of thought has been supported by such greats as Edi Birsan; the article in which he mentions this may be found at Now, far be it from a mere Diplomacy semi-newbie such as myself to contradict Mr. Birsan, but I do wish to suggest a possible situation or two, when the IT could be the best alliance for Italy, and might even be very beneficial. So, please, take a few minutes here to read my simple thoughts, and consider my point of view; it could prove worthwhile.

First, let us consider the problem of an Austria-Russia alliance;  while not, in my humble opinion, very common, it is VERY powerful, and truly leaves Turkey and Italy no choice but to ally, simply to survive. Even then, they are in trouble, unless they manage to see and stop the AR very soon, preferably by 1902. If they can get England and/or Germany to help in the north, then they should be fine, and the AR can be fought off. That then leaves us with a seven or eight center Italy, and a seven or eight center Turkey; fairly well matched, in other words. By this time, the west will have resolved itself, and will be looking into moving towards Italy, and the former-Austria. A stalemate line can usually be set up very quickly by the IT, following the famous St. Petersburg-Portugal line, and the opportunities for stabbing by either power are no greater than with almost any alliance.

Second, a defense of the infrequent, and generally frowned-upon Italy and Turkey ALlied for Years, hereafter known as the ITALY. I feel this is probably one of the best alliances for Italy in the beginning, and also has good long-game potential. But don't take my word for it (well, actually, I'd like it if you did, but knowing you people, that'll never happen); let me explain. At the beginning, the ITALY is in the position all allies love; close enough to be able to actively help each other, but not so close that they pose an immediate, and un-ignorable threat. By the time they do become adjacent, they're equal in size, and each have other means of advancement anyway (Italy towards France, Turkey towards Russia). In the second place, the Austria-Italy has become so common that it's instinctively assumed by the Turkish player, and 90% of the time blocked. Plus it's boring for the Italian, so that's two strikes, and it's out.

Obviously, certain precautions must be taken by Italy, to insure her safety. Turkey must agree, and stick with the agreement, to posses no more than two fleets at any time. No more than that are needed for protection of his coasts, should Italy attempt a stab, and more would only be needed for an assault on Italy. Italy must also never let her guard drop toward Turkey, as, though they will both have armies on the continent, Italy will be forced to concentrate slightly more on fleets, and so will be a little more vulnerable than is usual (or desirable) with allies. Still, I think the ITALY to be the best alliance for Italy, with great possibilities for drawing, or even solos (see game regularflavor on the DPJudge for an example of Italy taking the ITALY to a win. Granted, Italy had the assistance of France as a very reliable ally, which allowed him to turn on Turkey far more effectively than usual, but as an example of the early alliance being effective, it will suffice).

Randy Lawrence-Hurt

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