I have yet to see an article on the pouch that even thinks of an Austrian-French Alliance. But, why not? The only spaces separating them are Pie, Ven, and Mun. The system is easy enough: Austria builds Armies, and France builds Fleets.
There are two obvious targets the partners can work against together right away: Italy, or Germany.
BAM! Italy is doomed. France and Austria gets two builds, and can move on to the next objective.
Austria should get Germany to threaten Russia to keep the Tsar from attacking Austria, whose back is exposed to any army in Gal. Turkey should be encouraged to fight Russia. The most important talks however are with Italy. ITALY SHOULD NOT MOVE INTO TYROLIA OR PIEMONT. Get Germany to Anschluss and encourage Italy to try a Lepanto or delay any attack on France.
France for his part has to keep the English and Germans at bay and keep them from getting alarmed at the allianceís success. Try to get a DMZ with Italy in Piedmont; Italy will usually not move into Pie after the DMZ is made.
Okay, now we should have 5SCs each, two badly placed fleets (F Por, F Ven), and 4 suspicious neighbors. Problems! Problems! Thatís what you get from choosing Italy as your first target! The first objective is finishing off Italy. This should take about 2 years. Austria should defeat the Turks and France has to take down either Germany or England. This is admittedly harder done than said. But, after those obstacles have been overcome the rest of the game should be pretty easy.
(Note: this has created a good amount of three way draws F/A/R.)
Bam! Germany is up for grabs and unlike having Italy as the first target, France and Austria are in a better position to attack the second target (Italy) with F Gre and F Spa(sc).
Austria has to be careful with Russia. The number one thing is that Russia doesnít move into Gal. It would be encouraging if he moves into Sil but, this is not needed — when does Austria attack Germany in the early game? Tell Germany that you moved into Tyr to stop Italy, the rat. Italy however is still encouraged to Lepanto. DO NOT LET HIM MOVE INTO TYROLIA. Tell him that France is planning to have a fleet in Spa(sc) if he moves into Pie. Suggest to him to hold and tell France the reaction if he agrees or not.
France: The key to the whole plan is to not alarm the Germans. Act at ease in the spring tell him you will move into Bur to prevent him from stabbing you.
Now there are a ton of opinions with having Germany as the first target, but Iíll just highlight one. France should attack England to keep him away from the German goodies and defeat him, afterwards France should be huge and ready for the end-game push. Austria should keep Italy around to defeat Turkey, then turn around stab him, and Austria shall be ready for the end-game push. Another way is to all-out attack Italy first and have Russia vs England and Turkey.
An Austria/France alliance isnít the best but, play well it is a game winner. Having Germany as the target usually is the better idea but attacking Italy first has merits. I would like to get some reports over the effectiveness of the alliance. Till then Happy Stabbing!
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