The LePanto opening is a strategy for the Italian player in Avalon Hill's classic game, Diplomacy. The Opening was first published in The Hoosier Archives No. 43 (6 November 1971) in an article by Edi Birsan.

Italy, generally considered to be the weakest European Power on the board, is often a victim of a Turkish Navy. As such, Italy attempts to curtail Turkish expansionism by convoying a unit to Syria!

The Spring 1901 moves are as follows:
F Naples-Ionian Sea
A Rome-Apulia
A Venice Hold

Fall 1901:
A Apulia-Tunis
F Ionian C A Apulia - Tunis
A Venice Hold

Winter 1901 Adjustment:
Build F Naples

Spring 1902:
F Ionian Sea-Eastern Mediterranean
F Naples-Ionian Sea
A Venice Hold
A Tunis Hold

Fall 1902:
A Tunis-Syria (!)
F Ionian Sea C A Tunis-Syria
F Eastern Mediterranean C A Tunis-Syria
A Venice Hold

With some help from Austria-Hungary, the Turkish Player is now doomed.

There exist many variations, most notably The Key LePanto, which involves a pretend attack on Austria-Hungary, gaining access to Turkey through Trieste.

The LePanto is an essential opening for any serious player of Diplomacy to understand. The integration of strategic intent (confounding the future threat of Turkey) with tactical surprise (convoying an army to Syria, which appears to be a useless part of the board) is an enlightening experience, opening up the possibilities of the game to the novice.

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