The Alpine Chicken

Black Coffee, 25 April 2019

Venice - Piedmont
Rome - Venice
Naples - Ionian Sea

The Alpine Chicken is typically an opening used by new players as it forms an effective defensive line which allows the player to play conservatively and carefully. If you’re a paranoid Italy and want to see how the board unfolds before striking, then this opening is for you. It can easily fend off any attacks from either side, allowing you to live a little bit longer. Albeit slow and takes a longer time to assert dominance somewhere on the board, it would lead you to decide on which direction to strike. The fleet would end up in Tunisia, which would allow you to have the option of going east or west. The army in Piedmont can either go to Tyrol for an offensive assault against Austria, or to Venice to play safe. While the army in Venice can go to Apulia to prepare for a late Lepanto.

I have noticed that it becomes tricky to find weak spots in the enemy’s defense to penetrate once you lose the element of surprise other Italian openings present. It may leave you with 4 units and a large struggle for positioning your units for assault and bargaining to get one person on your side. Playing defensively and conservatively is good, and I would recommend using this opening only if you’re sure that you want to expand your options. This opening would make you the target for negotiations, as other players would want to convince you to go onto their side. They see you made an enemy of no one, and they’ll want you to break your neutrality. A disadvantage of this opening is its slow start, which would be bad if the game is to end fast. Such examples of scenarios which would make this a bad move is if Russia and Turkey formed an alliance known as the Juggernaut. By the time Italy took action, their rapid expansion would deem Italian efforts to be suppressed. Although it still isn’t impossible to get through, but you might think to yourself: “If I did the Lepanto, this could have been over 2 years less than what it took.”

All in all, a decent opening which leaves a lot of options. If you think this game will last for a long time, I suggest you consider using this, you chicken!