Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

Moderators: firepowerjohan, rkr1958, Happycat, Slitherine Core

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:03 pm

After coming back to the game after a long break (pre-GS 2.0) and just recently starting a PBEM game as the axis I've been thinking about the different Italian lab strategies. Italy has limited resources, so can't build units in all areas, and is hardly ever able to afford additional air, but starts with a TAC and FTR. I've read the lab strategy articles in the GS 3.0 manual, which gives some pointers, but here are some of my thoughts:

1) Infantry - a sound investment for any Italian Lab strategy, probably focusing on fixed defences, as Italian units will mostly be used in defensive situations. Benefits the Italian Mech unit too, and Italy starts with quite a lot of Infantry and can build more relatively easily. A strong candidate for the first Lab, to have upgrades ready by the time offensive operations in North Africa really kick-off.

2) Armour - Probably not worth it for Italy, though the restrictions on the max. number ARM units for Germany might make investing research in armour viable, if wanting to go armour-heavy (though how much ARM is practical, given oil consumption?), though Italy can probably only afford to build an additional ARM or two. Does benefit Mech units as well, though, to a lesser extent.

3) Air - if investing in any air labs, probably best to get this is early (first?)and focus on dogfight - outdated Fighters are near useless later in the game. Italy can rarely afford to build new air units, though, and German ones will still be better.

4) Naval - probably only feasible to invest in Naval if not putting Labs in Air, but, especially with the new Sub rules, could be worth it for Italy, if focusing on Subs. Subs are also cheap to research. ASW tech will also help the TAC unit (and even the FTR) vs. Allied Subs in the Med, leaving them with some utility at least, if not researching Air, but definitely not worth focusing in. Surface Ships not worth focusing in, but any research discoveries here will be still be useful for Italy.

5) General - Industry helps improve Italy's industrial base (and Max number of labs??), but has more benefit if the country is in the game for a long time, whereas Italy often gets knocked out quite in 1943. Might be worth a focus for the first level or possibly two, though, and putting a lab in this area quite early, if focusing on this.
Italy badly needs Organisation, as it's land units are fairly poor, but it's expensive to research, has more utility if Italy is also researching Infantry and maybe also armour, probably less worth it if researching air, as only benefits land units (I think!), but both INF and ARM benefit. Main benefit is not felt until levels 2 and 3, though. Radar, whilst not worth focusing on, improves surface naval units and also (I think) helps Subs to evade.

Does this analysis make sense? What order of lab assignments and areas of focus do others recommend?

Some ideas for initial lab strategies:

1) Air (Dogfight) - if the Italian FTR is to remain useful in an air superiority role, will need all the Dofight upgrades it can get, as early as possible)
2) General (focus Industry) - Italy will need the PPs to reinforce it's air and maybe even build an extra TAC or even a FTR, and if focusing on Indutry, best to do so quite early
3) Infantry (Fixed Defences)

or

1) Infantry (Fixed Defences)
2) General (focus Organisation) - to improve the INF, and even the ARM unit, even more
3) Naval (focus Subs)

Any problems with either of these? Any other suggestions? Is there a case for researching Naval earlier? Obviously it depends to an extent over the overall Axis strategy, though, I realise.

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:03 pm

Anyone?

dagtwo
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:53 pm
Location: Surrey, BC Canada

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by dagtwo » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:23 pm

Your analysis seems sound to me. The precise order of the labs depends on what you want and when. It takes a long time to get the Organization so you might want to start with General. Infantry is very slow so it might be next. Subs are the fastest and so they could be last. If you want to invest @ level 3 in anything you will have to buy either an Air or Armour lab. Otherwise you're limited to two labs each. You have to determine how long you think the Italians will last and what R&D advances will appear while they are still usable and affordable to you. Experience and experimentation will help you refine and change you lab strategy.

Good luck!
Hex grids Rule!

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:37 pm

Thanks Dagtwo! Does anyone else have anything to add?

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:38 pm

BTW didn't know there was a Surrey in Canada, my sister lives in the English country of the same name!

dagtwo
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:53 pm
Location: Surrey, BC Canada

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by dagtwo » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:43 pm

Yeah, I think the English expatriates looking South across the Fraser River from New Westminster were remembering the old country.
Hex grids Rule!

GogTheMild
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:44 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by GogTheMild » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:36 pm

Your and Dagtwo's comments seem on the money to me. Usually I go for a focus on Organisation rather than Industry, and usually I push this up to three labs, although I don't always get time for it to pay off :? . Sometimes my second purchase is navy, with a focus on Subs. In which case I tend to build a lot of subs. Six or more, inventively used, can drive the Allied player nuts. In a current game I have eight (on level 4, and Org has just rolled over to level 3) and am actively hunting the Allied DDs :lol: . (He didn't send enough air units to provide proper cover.) Reminds me of my AAR against Kragdob, although we all know how that ended. Obviously, if my overall Axis strategy had called for a lot of land units this would have been a poor decision. And if (when :cry: ) he breaks through the subs Sicily and Sardinia etc are thinly defended.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:45 pm

GogTheMild wrote:Your and Dagtwo's comments seem on the money to me. Usually I go for a focus on Organisation rather than Industry, and usually I push this up to three labs, although I don't always get time for it to pay off :? . Sometimes my second purchase is navy, with a focus on Subs. In which case I tend to build a lot of subs. Six or more, inventively used, can drive the Allied player nuts. In a current game I have eight (on level 4, and Org has just rolled over to level 3) and am actively hunting the Allied DDs :lol: . (He didn't send enough air units to provide proper cover.) Reminds me of my AAR against Kragdob, although we all know how that ended. Obviously, if my overall Axis strategy had called for a lot of land units this would have been a poor decision. And if (when :cry: ) he breaks through the subs Sicily and Sardinia etc are thinly defended.
I thought Organisation didn't apply to Subs, only land units? Or does it apply to everything?

Cybvep
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1259
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:38 pm

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by Cybvep » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:31 am

Organisation applies to EVERY unit. It is very useful in pretty much all situations, because it directly affects efficiency. Low organisation is the reason why Italians suxx so much.

IMO there is little hope of getting Org lvl 3 as Italy before the end of 1944 or sth, and by then it will be too late. Even small bonuses count, but as a rule of thumb, you gain Organisation as an additional bonus, not because you focus on it. You can, of course, but in most cases it will be waste IMO. Note that Italy gains +5 ORG if the Axis controls Athens and +5 ORG if it controls Suez, and since doing at least the first thing is not so hard, it's worth the effort. It's actually worth more than ORG lvl 1 :).

Subs can be useful for Italy. It's no longer so easy to produce many of them, but they can be a PITA for the Allies. And if you manage to take Gibraltar, combined power of the Axis navies can be a serious problem for the Allies. At the very least they will be forced to invest more PPs into naval units than they usually do, and if you delay their time-tables, that's even better.

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:48 pm

Cybvep wrote:Organisation applies to EVERY unit. It is very useful in pretty much all situations, because it directly affects efficiency. Low organisation is the reason why Italians suxx so much.
Oh, I didn't know that - the UI in the tech interface only lists land units, but I guess there wasn't space to display more! This makes Organisation better than I thought!
Cybvep wrote:IMO there is little hope of getting Org lvl 3 as Italy before the end of 1944 or sth, and by then it will be too late. Even small bonuses count, but as a rule of thumb, you gain Organisation as an additional bonus, not because you focus on it. You can, of course, but in most cases it will be waste IMO.
Yes, I can't see Italy lasting until late 1944! If picking General as a group for Italy, do you think it's best not to use one of the first two focus points on it? Or to put the focus on Industry, maybe?
Cybvep wrote: Note that Italy gains +5 ORG if the Axis controls Athens and +5 ORG if it controls Suez, and since doing at least the first thing is not so hard, it's worth the effort. It's actually worth more than ORG lvl 1 :).
Yes, those +5s are very nice, but depends on the opportunities...

Does anyone assign Labs to Italian air early on, to keep their airforce a viable force throughout the game?

Cybvep
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1259
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:38 pm

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by Cybvep » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:04 pm

In some of my games Italy lasted until early 1945 or even surrendered after Germany did, but those were rare cases. Anyway, during late-war they will be too weak to make use of these upgrades, so they won't matter.

Industry lab for Italy is ok - it's relatively cheap and gives you more war effort, which is always good.

As for the airforce, Italian FTR can be useful when employed against the Soviet Union in 1941 and 1942. If you invest in Italian air labs, maybe even longer. Italy doesn't have enough PPs to build and maintain many air units, but you can certainly afford 1-2 additional fighters as long as you don't have to repair them every turn. In fact, I don't think that the Italians should be used in heavy fighting at all (excluding the few last months, when it becomes obvious that they will surrender soon) - they just don't have the resources for it, so they can only be used as support. The good thing is that you don't have to waste German PPs for repairs.
In fact, I think that some players underestimate the importance of Italy. They are not strong, but additional PP and MP pools, separate from the German ones, and many additional units can relieve the German units from less important tasks in the East and in the Balkans, such as garrisoning and partisan hunting. If Italy surrenders in 1943, it's usually a bad sign for the Axis, because Germany becomes too overstretched.

GogTheMild
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:44 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by GogTheMild » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:46 pm

Cybvep wrote:IMO there is little hope of getting Org lvl 3 as Italy before the end of 1944 or sth, and by then it will be too late.
In my current game the Italians got lvl 3 Organisation last turn - 23 May 1943. It will come in very handy and make, IMHO, the focus on it very worth while. I agree with the rest of Cybvep's comments.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:10 pm

GogTheMild wrote:
Cybvep wrote:IMO there is little hope of getting Org lvl 3 as Italy before the end of 1944 or sth, and by then it will be too late.
In my current game the Italians got lvl 3 Organisation last turn - 23 May 1943. It will come in very handy and make, IMHO, the focus on it very worth while. I agree with the rest of Cybvep's comments.
Interesting - did you put 2 Labs into General too? What other tech areas did you build labs in/focus in (unless you don't want to give the game away to your opponent!)?

GogTheMild
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:44 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by GogTheMild » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:48 pm

Image

I also bought one Armour lab, but sold it once I had blitzkrieg level 1.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:33 pm

I forgot you can sell labs, do you get the full amount if PP back?

GogTheMild
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:44 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by GogTheMild » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:03 pm

No, you get half the going rate, with a minimum of 10.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:03 pm

GogTheMild wrote:Image

I also bought one Armour lab, but sold it once I had blitzkrieg level 1.
Was this partially so you could place the 3rd General lab (before you sold the armour lab)? Sneaky! :-)

GogTheMild
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:44 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by GogTheMild » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:08 pm

oxford_guy wrote:Was this partially so you could place the 3rd General lab (before you sold the armour lab)? Sneaky! :-)
Almost entirely. I had to buy a lab in a fourth area to be able to buy the third for General, and adding 1 to the attack value of the Italian MECH and ARM seemed the most useful of the options available.

I could have bought the Armour lab, then the third General, then sold the Armour lab back straight away for a loss of 6PPs.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

OxfordGuy3
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by OxfordGuy3 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:17 pm

GogTheMild wrote:
oxford_guy wrote:Was this partially so you could place the 3rd General lab (before you sold the armour lab)? Sneaky! :-)
Almost entirely. I had to buy a lab in a fourth area to be able to buy the third for General, and adding 1 to the attack value of the Italian MECH and ARM seemed the most useful of the options available.

I could have bought the Armour lab, then the third General, then sold the Armour lab back straight away for a loss of 6PPs.
Indeed! Though as level 1 Blitzkrieg gives both ARM *and* MECH a boost, it's not a bad idea to do this.

What order did you do your lab assignments in? Looks like:

General/Naval/Infantry/General/Naval/Infantry/Armour/General ?

GogTheMild
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Posts: 455
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:44 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: Italian Lab Strategies - Pros/Cons

Post by GogTheMild » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:39 pm

It depends. Probably about General/Naval/General/Naval/Inf/Inf/Armour/General.

You might want to have a look at the AAR of Kragdob wiping the floor with me before you decide that I am a good model to copy.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

Post Reply

Return to “MILITARY HISTORY™ Commander - Europe at War : General Discussion”