Makes total sense to me. Not odd at all IMO.
Noob questions on kgf/shuck shuck
As the topic states, I have a few questions with the kgf/shuck shuck strategy. I’ve read Don’s second essay, and seen to agree with it, with a few exceptions because of new version. Do here are the questions I have.
Concerning shuck shuck: As the US how many fully loaded transports do I need to make the first landing in Norway? France? Algeria?
1b) How many fully loaded transports do I need to build every turn (i.e. 1 infantry 1 art or 1 inf 1 tank)
1c) how many transports would you say is enough? Is 12 (6 going, 6 returning) Overkill?
How large of a combined Navy do I need to defend against luftwaffe/ kill med fleet?
Lastly, what can Great Britain do to help support this strategy in both India and Atlantic?
Sorry for the several noob questions, I’ve barely played any games yet, and haven’t found an up-to-date guide on second edition shuck shuck
IMHO, we don’t need much transports to take landing in either place, but for efficient landing average of 8 transports would be ideal. 12 is really good if you can have it.
How much Navy depends on the number of lufwaffee. I think you need to have enough carrier + fighters plus some destroyer fodder to stand the attack.
And yes, I believe UK can help both, but usually after successful defend of India. There are also scenarios when India falls sooner and UK commits a full Altantic coordination (sometimes UK + US in Pacific also works)
Good questions, El Capitan!
For any beginners reading this who haven’t read Don’s essays, the shuck-shuck technique involves building two (or more) fleets of transports that can repeatedly swap places with each other to deliver a steady stream of ground units across an ocean to the front lines. For example, if you have an American fleet off the coast of Eastern Canada, and another American fleet off the coast of France, the American fleet that starts in Canada can deliver American troops to German-occupied France, and the American fleet that starts near France can return home to Canada so that it’s ready to make a delivery next turn. In theory, this is much stronger than just piling up transports for a one-time delivery, because if Germany manages to repel your initial assault, then they will often have a lopsided pile of high-value troops in the contested zone (e.g. mostly artillery and tanks) that you can then immediately attack again, at a profit, before Germany gets a chance to feed in additional defensive infantry. It’s usually easier to wear down Germany by attrition than to come up with a stack that can wipe Germany out in one fell swoop.
In my opinion (and I think most of the regulars would agree with me here), the shuck-shuck is still quite useful in 1942.2, but it is not nearly as powerful as it was in Original or Revised. The problem is that there are no high-quality shuck-shuck routes that touch the Eastern United States. From New York, you can only shuck-shuck to Morocco or French West Africa. Those can be useful delivery spots for turns 1 and 2, but you rarely need to make repeated deliveries to Africa. There is one strategy for long, slow games that involves marching American troops on land from Morocco all the way to Persia, but it usually won’t come up in beginner games, which tend to be faster and more aggressive.
What most 1942.2 players do is march their troops on land from the Eastern US to Eastern Canada, and then run the shuck-shuck out of Canada. Relative to A&A Revised, this slows your shuck down by one full turn, since you have to build the units in the Eastern US, then walk them to Canada, and then ferry them the turn after they reach Canada. From Sea Zone 10 (Newfoundland / Prince Edward Island), you can shuck-shuck to your choice of Norway, NW Europe, France, or Morocco, which is pretty good.
Assuming you want to use the Eastern Canada shuck, there’s no fixed number of transports that you need, but you want to think about what your goals are. Are you just trying to be a nuisance, e.g., take Norway for the income and force Germany to either give up that income or waste a couple of troops re-taking it? You can probably do that with as few as two total transports (one in each fleet), assuming you have a loaded carrier available to provide air support. Are you trying to take and hold a major territory like France, so that Germany can’t take it back from you? You need as many transports as you can usefully fill. Assuming America is collecting something like 40 IPCs, that means you can fill about 5 transports a turn – for example, 6 infantry, 3 artillery, and 1 tank will cost you 35 IPCs. So, for that shuck, you’d want a total of 10 transports – 5 in each fleet. You want to leave at least some buffer in your income, i.e., don’t bother building an extra transport if you’ll have to commit 100% of your income to fill it, because then it’s too easy for Japan to ruin your shuck by forcing you to respond to a threat in Alaska, Hawaii, etc.
If you see that Japan is threatening American territories, it usually makes more sense to plan on a 4x4 shuck (8 transports) or even a 3x3 shuck (6 transports) so that you can build infantry to defend the Western US and still invest in the occasional sub or fighter for the west coast. Similarly, while you are purchasing your fleet of transports, you will need to have more modest goals. E.g., if you are buying 2 transports a turn for 14 IPCs, that only leaves the US with 26 IPCs to buy ground troops, so you can only fill about 3 transports per turn while you are ramping up.
Defending against the Luftwaffe and killing the German Med fleet are two different objectives. You really want to kill off the German Med fleet with the British air force sometime in the first three turns unless your opponent goes crazy and buys multiple additional ships for the med (not recommended). If you are only fighting the one German battleship, you can probably kill it with something like 1 bomber + 3 fighters. So the German Med fleet should be introduced to the sandy part of the Mediterranean seabed well before American ships can arrive off the coast of Rome.
The Luftwaffe starts off with 6 fighters and 1 bomber. To defend against that starting air force, you don’t need a huge defensive fleet – 1 carrier with 2 fighters, 1 battleship, and 2 destroyers should be plenty. Unless you are defending an enormous stack of transports (e.g., six or more), it’s usually OK if the Luftwaffe trades off evenly against an American fleet. The Germans need to keep at least some planes available to fight against Russia, so if they lose their entire air force over the Atlantic, that will buy Russia some critical extra turns, during which you can rebuild the American Atlantic fleet.
If Germany builds extra planes (it’s not unreasonable for them to get as high as 8 fighters and 4 bombers), then you’ll need more defense. In practice, this usually means combining the British and American fleets. You can do that by building a new British fleet and then quickly moving the American fleet on top of it, or by building British carriers and flying American fighters onto the British carriers. Sometimes it helps to build off the northwest coast of London, because that can be out of range of German fighters. It’s a relatively safer place to build, and then once your fleet has enough defensive firepower, you can move it into the Channel or the Baltic Sea to cover your transports during an amphibious invasion.
India usually doesn’t see much of a role in an Allied shuck-shuck, although sometimes Japan will use a shuck-shuck to move infantry from Tokyo to Yunnan (only 1 fleet needed) or Burma (2 fleets needed, but it’s immediately adjacent to India).
Thanks for the quick reply! Don’s essays said abandon the Pacific entirely, which I am hesitant about. Would you say move the San Fransisco fleet through the canal to get the battleship, transport, and destroyer to help with shuck shuck? This would leave the Hawaii fleet (if still intact) to discourage Japan from pestering you. The reason for this being since shuck shuck takes an extra turn to get going, I don’t want to waste a turn building that fleet when I could be building transports.
Well, Japan will almost always sink your Hawaiian fleet on J1 unless they are doing something very specific, like an all-out blitz against Alaska or India. And if Japan is massing for an early, strong attack on Alaska or India, then you may need both of your Pacific fleets to respond to that threat. However, if Japan really does leave you alone in the opening, then, sure, send your San Francisco fleet through the canal.
Note that if you abandon the Pacific entirely, then sooner or later you will probably have to defend the Western US land territory. One way to do this is to build your troops in Los Angeles to begin with, march them north to Western Canada, and from Western Canada to Eastern Canada, where they’ll be ready for the shuck-shuck. As long as you keep up a steady stream of new infantry, you get to defend Los Angeles with the same infantry that will later be delivered to Europe. The downside is that it’s slower by one turn (your first deliver to France can’t/won’t occur until America’s fourth turn), but if you’re facing strong Axis power projection in both theaters, then it may be the only way to get the defensive fleet you need in the Atlantic without losing Los Angeles. In other words, against a strong opponent, you may not be able to build a fleet that can safely dock off the coast of France until turn 4 anyway, so you’re not necessarily losing any time.
I agree with Argothair that you should not start the shuck until US4 (preferably you open up the shuck with UK4, then supplement on US 4).
Anything earlier than that typically gets wiped out with little gains. When you start a KGF stack in France, you are committed to that strategy and must ensure it does not fail. There are plenty of other places the strat can fail, but getting France wiped out seems like a game ender to me. At that point regaining a foothold is really hard as you have to hit France hard (taking losses) then deal with the 13 unit Berlin/Italy hit on the following turn.
If you can gain a slight advantage in units in France then you must be patient. Keep shucking until you know you can take Berlin. When I take Berlin I typically sacrifice the 4 UK transports in the med by pushing them into the Baltic for an amphibious assault on Berlin, while the rest of UK walks in from France. Fight till you are down to your fighters then leave. US will hopefully finish the job.
The West coast US troop production is brilliant.
The proposed shuck is far too slow. Germany only needs to beat Moscow, as soon as it falls, it can handle the other two allies.
Landing in France is far more costly to the allies than pushing them off. How damaged would Germany have to be that it couldn’t get 10+ men and 10+ planes together to push these landings off so that it isn’t getting hit from 2 places. And even if Paris Allied troops survive, they can’t combo with the next wave of the shuck because it can only reach france, not another objective.
Its a pretty solid plan in a game that goes past turn 8-12…with an eye to an unlimited time frame and Moscow alive on US6. I suppose esp once you get the lightsaber of US bombers together, then it could do some real $$ damage. But the USA positioning is so slow that this strat doesn’t even get started by the time the 4 hour time limit has run.
I suppose the idea was not to have a 4 turn game, but something much longer.
How does one kill Germany in 4 turns or less?
Will Germany really have enough forces between the beginning and T4 to take out Russia? The idea was upon landing in France, Germany cannot continue to support the eastern front with new troops without risking Berlin.
I have never played, nor understood, how this game can be a 3 hour tournament game.
Yeah, it does feel like the design of this game has gone in the opposite direction you’d need for a tournament game, compared to A&A Revised. A tournament game should have faster shucks, fewer starting units, and clearly marked intermediate victory cities that are hard but not impossible to capture within the first 5 turns.
Compared to Revised, 1942.2 has longer shucks, more starting units, and a more confusing set of victory cities. India is a good VC because it’s strategically important, and it’s hard but not impossible to take. That’s pretty much it, though. Leningrad and Stalingrad frequently change hands for any or no reason, taking and holding France is not realistic before turn 7 against even a moderately strong German defense, and the Pacific (as we have discussed at great length in other threads) is a huge mess.
That said, I don’t think I agree with taamvan’s tactical analysis, here. An Allied stack in France can link up directly with a shuck from Eastern Canada to NW Europe if desired, and it’s also often possible to combine the shuck with the French stack to attack Italy or Berlin (if you’re willing to stretch out your transports and disrupt the shuck in order to win a factory). As the Beninator points out, if you start landing troops in France on turn 4, then Germany has to start committing troops on turn 5 in order to re-take France, and Germany will also often spend some troops garrisoning NW Europe, Italy, Norway, etc. Collectively that means that Germany is now sending on the order of 15-20 IPCs to the eastern front on turn 5, instead of 35-40 IPCs. By turn 7, if you’re doing the shuck right, then that may drop to almost nothing.
If Russia goes totally unaided, then 4 turns of German production will be enough to capture Moscow – but if you’ve got a stack of even 6 Allied fighters that are helping West Russia hold out a little longer (to help protect Russian income), and then those fighters shift at the appropriate time to protect Moscow, then Germany might not have enough material available on the eastern front to take Moscow.
It sure its true that if you can get the fighters to Moscow, the fall becomes later and less certain, which is a good thing.
I don’t intend to play only a 4 turn game, but the Allied strategy has to start affecting $ or piece allocation at that juncture, or there isn’t enough time for longer-game strategy to develop properly.
Maybe, it would be more flexible to drop that first wave on London or Norway so it can’t get imm. killed. There is a tension between having the stacks moving back and forth and having them ready to strike and take the VCs.
That’s part of why I still play 1942.2! For all its many flaws, there are some very interesting tactical puzzles around how to optimize the shuck that I am still wrestling with and still enjoying.
Like, on turns 1 through 3, you can unload some troops in Morocco or Norway, to sort of chip away at Axis income. You can unload them in London, to help prepare for a larger ‘D-Day’ later in the game. Depending on how and when you make these runs, you might need to risk (or sacrifice) transports, or you could wind up with a transport that’s temporarily out of position, or with some troops that are isolated and unable to link up with the main body of your invasion force. You can try to run a ‘triangle’ for the first few turns, from the Eastern US to Morocco to Eastern Canada, so that you’re unloading troops in Africa on the first few turns, even as you’re setting up your main shuck from Canada to France. If you do run the triangle, you have to decide when and how to pull the plug on the triangle shuck and convert to a 100% Canada <-> France circuit. And of course you don’t have to go on any of these ‘side quests,’ but if you don’t do any of them, then you risk Germany getting too big to stop when the main force does show up. So there are all these case-by-case trade-offs that are really interesting (for me) to try to optimize each game.