Italy has the fastest and cheapest units in the game, but are, on a whole, also the weakest individually. Italy also makes use of the Dual-Purpose 90mm Cannon with variants in vehicle-towed, truck, and bunker forms. The 90mm gun acts as both an Anti-Tank gun and an Anti-Aircraft gun, like the German Flak 88 mm. It is a fearsome weapon with Recon support.
One of Italy's more significant advantages is that almost all of its upgraded units don't actually cost extra, save for the initial research investment. For example, the 'Granatieri' Infantry cost the same amount to manufacture as the 'Bersaglieri Infantry'. Also, Italy can invest in upgrading its Armored Recon, much like the U.K. does. Presenting a few different playstyles in a single build is difficult but Italy can either bring a fleet of light tanks or a focused assault with advanced units to its enemy.
Lastly, Italy is one of the two factions, besides Japan, to incorporate an Infantry Recon unit, and one of only two factions to have access to a unique unit: the brutal but short-ranged Flamethrower Tank. (The other being the U.S.A.)
The Italian military is not without its shortcomings, however. As stated above, the offensive and defensive strength of Italy's units are atrocious when used individually. But whereas Germany might send 2 or 3 tanks, Italy already has 30 of these units lined up. These 'tank rushes' are susceptible to being shelled or bombed to bits, as even just one artillery bombardment can shatter Italian units. Thus, a reliance on ruses such as Radio Silence, Camouflage Net and Decoy Rushes becomes imperative.
Italy can be a very good faction, if you know how to handle it. Italy can turn the tide: if it produces too much units at the beginning while another faction owns light units, Italy can make into the enemy base and destroy all production buildings.
During the time of World War 2 Italy was a country under fascist rule, and the leader, Mussolini, saw the power of the Roman Empire and saw how powerful it was, well that was what he wanted, to rebuild the Roman Empire. he failed at it miserably, Historically, Italian units were under-equipped, poorly supplied, and horribly led. This was not due to lack of courage Italian soldiers lost whilst in combat; the combining of little or no motivation and poor equipment proved to be the ultimate demise to the Italians. Although the weapons at their disposal were less powerful than other armies had, the Italians still fought hard and bravely - sometimes even besting their German counterparts in courage.
In-game, Italy's units are weak, but also very cheap, making them very plentiful. It is possible to use a tank rush using Italian Carro M13s. these can be made quickly, cheaply, and can easily overrun early enemy positions. Some Italian units can multitask. For example, some Italian AA guns can be used for anti-tank duty. The Italian war machine did produce some advanced weapons; the 90mm AT/AA gun was best in its class and the P26 Carro was a very fast heavy tank. In having two tanks at the infantry barracks and a useful prototype base, Italy has some interesting options to consider.
Italians have the poorest tanks, but they are very cheap, and their production can be very easy, as even some Italian tanks can be deployed from their barracks. However, even mechanized artillery can take out their tanks, and most mechanized artillery aren't good against tanks. Their counter-part is France; as Italy attacks, France waits and defends.
- Italian light tanks are built from the barracks as opposed to an armor base. The commander may have a sizable rushing force in a matter of 2 minutes.
- The Italians have the largest artillery and AA in the game. They can be built early, and are only rivaled by enemy prototype artillery/AA.
- Italy is one of two factions that have recon infantry, the other being Japan. Recon infantry can hide in spots recon vehicles cannot.
- Italy might seem the weakest, but when used right they are a great "spam" army. In other words, Italian units are cheap and quick to produce into great numbers.
- Despite Italy's weak units, prototypes are very powerful. A player may have to choose between a rush and building a prototype base immediately.
- Italy is probably best used as a "guerrilla war" nation. Italian tanks are cheap and very fast, so quick strikes against supply lines can hinder and harry the enemy. It can run in, destroy a supply depot or administrative building, and run before the enemy has time to react. Doing this to a country like Germany or the U.S.S.R. can really hit them where it hurts.
- Italy can be a strong defensive faction when paired with a teammate that you have chemistry with, since sharing units in defense can make you more of a reliable 'cornerstone' kind of army.
- Due to Italy's fast tanks, that are also cost effective, using them to harass enemy supply lines by either sitting a tank on the supply line, or just using it to destroy the supply depot. It costs the enemy the price to rebuild the supply depot, or to defend it, which buys you and your team valuable time to build your own supply infrastructure and forces. This tactic is also cost effective, as an Italian light tank costs just $10, and a medium tank costs $15. Using such extremely cheap units to destroy a structure that cost $40 or more is Italy's true strength.
- Also, when fighting against the Italians, when you destroy their units, they will give you less points because of the cheap prices.
- Preforming a fake rush in one area to draw attention and forces to one area, while you launch a real assault under a radio silence to attack your real now undefended target is an effective tactic that can easily be mastered when playing as Italians. This tactic can be used to destroy your opponent, or to target your opponents supply infrastructure so that when you are sufficiently built up for your main offensive, you have the numbers to overwhelm their defensive positions.
- Although Italy is often seen as a weak nation, it has its strength in unconventional warfare, appear weak to draw your opponents into traps and kill zones using numbers and firepower and make use of the 90mm guns that you can deploy.
- With Italy, only fight when it benefits you; running is some times the best option.
- No mercy, if you can exploit a weakness in your opponent do so. For example, building Italy's bomber can catch your opponent with their pants down as most players when fighting Italy do not build their AA as most players will be expecting a flat-out rush.
- As with all factions in ruse, if you follow the Art of war success will come easier. Sun Tzu's says: "Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected." This is most relevant with Italy as the speed of tanks makes this possible. Use Blitz and Radio Silence to sneak into undefended areas, do damage, and than fade away to strike again in some where different.
- If you are doing a rush, you will have to choose between either building M13s right away or spending some time researching M15s. If you are playing in 1945 Mode you may choose to build a prototype base and immediately produce P26s. However, each one has their drawbacks, as the M13 is very weak and the M15 needs some time to research, and by then the opponent may have already built a sizable defense. As well as that, if you are producing P26s, there will only be a very small amount of tanks able to fight, perhaps only two or three. If you are playing on a small map, then it may be all right to make as many P26s as you can
- Italy may seem weak, but don't underestimate their air force, which actually rivals the United Kingdom in strength. With Italy's advanced fighters and well placed AA support, you can quickly dominate the air.
- If you're playing in 1939, building an artillery and aa base over an armor base is a smart alternative, since the M75 is better than the M13, saves a lot of money (assuming you were going to deploy both an AA base and armor base), and allows access to the longest ranged artillery in the game: the Obice 210mm.
- In some strategies, players might want to have 4+ AA Prototype units, -10 Carro P25, and More, or less the army contains 25+ AA/AT Truck units to utilize the few chances of a large Italian force compared to larger, more powerful units.
- Italy is also one of the two factions that don't have an advanced anti-tank gun, the other is Japan, but makes up for it with the AA 90mm and Breda 90/53.