I've seen lots of Axis & Allies discussion refer to "shuck-shuck" in passing. I understand it has something to do with the US and UK supporting Russia in northern Europe using fighters and transports. Due to my inexperience with the game, I can't really figure out what's going on beyond that.

What is "shuck-shuck"? How did it get its name?

How exactly does it work?

Why is it such a fixture in A&A discussions?

4 Answers 4


According to 'Axis & Allies: Countdown to Invasion' article on the Wizards of the Coast website:

"2. The North Atlantic

The United States starts with a pair of fully loadable transports on turn 1. Where can they offload? Just two territories in the Eastern hemisphere, really. They can make it to the United Kingdom and Africa in one move, either preparing for D-Day or launching Operation Torch. Because they can't motor back and forth from Washington to Normandy (what many longtime players call the "shuck-shuck"), they must coordinate with their allies."

There was also an interesting 'How to prevent Shuck Shuck?' forum discussion about combating the 'shuck-shuck' strategy.

Hope that helps!

  • Dave (dmw71)

The shuck-shuck strategy is an application of the so-called "infantry push" mechanic.

America holds the balance of power in this game. Nevertheless, the Allies can lose if America spends her building points on say, airplanes, and gets unlucky. See Can the U.S. Open With an Air-based Strategy in Allies and Axis?

The strategy for a "guaranteed" American win was expounded by Don Rae: http://draidin.com/websites/AAEssays/Index.html. Since infantry are the most efficient resource, the secret is for America to manufacture mostly infantry (and transports), and dump them in key spots in the Atlantic. This could be North Africa or Norway. If you fancy an invasion of France that might work. But the whole idea is to build up an impenetrable defense line that the Germans can't cross. Once this is done, the superior number of Allies' IPCs will prevail, unless they are VERY unlucky.

  • Anyone reading this should consider that it largely varies depending on which A&A edition you play. And it's not 'guaranteed' Try it out and then play as axis ;)
    – quinestor
    Sep 3, 2013 at 13:11
  • @quinestor: "Guaranteed" as by Don Raw. Which is why I put it in quotation marks.
    – Tom Au
    Sep 3, 2013 at 17:45
  • Under the classic rules A&A, this made sense, to buy US infantry and reinforce Russia, or threaten France, or land in Africa. The dynamics under more recent rules have changed things alot, but the fundamental idea, of having UK, US, and Russia gang up on Germany, defeat it before Japan busts out, still makes sense strategically. Trying to have the US fight Japan + German simultaneously is brutally hard.
    – code4life
    Oct 15, 2017 at 0:59

Shuck-shuck is when the US player uses a fleet of transports to move land units (mostly infantry) from Eastern Canada (and Western C, in most rule variations) to Europe, usually Finland. The idea is to get a constant stream of US land units into Europe where they can fortify Karelia, shift to defend Russia, launch minimal-force attacks into Ukraine, or whatever is needed.

After a few turns, US can have 5 trans, and build say, 8 inf, 1 arm per turn to load them. These can be spread between East US and West US however the player wants (again, assuming rules allow pickup from W Canada). On the non-com phase, move the land units to East or West Canada respectively. On the next turn, these units will be picked up by transports in the UK SZ, from E Canada SZ, and returned to the UK SZ where they can be unloaded in Finland, or alternatively in WE, if an attack is viable. Another alternative is to land in Algeria, or Spain, depending on strategy, from the Spain SZ.

I think the poster above accurately pointed out where the term comes from (this guy Don, who wrote some essay about A&A strategy - http://donsessays.freeservers.com/). He said the process makes the sound "shuck shuck", whatever that means.

  • He actually says that the player says 'shuck, shuck', which will become recognized as a death chant signaling germany's doom. It's psychological warfare against the players.
    – atk
    Jan 19, 2014 at 5:06

Shuck Shuck gets its name from the sound that transports make when they land troops. the spelling I think is what throws people off, spelled how it sounds would be like Shoook shoook

  • Think of the sound of sliding 5 transports and 9 land units across the board and then sliding the transports back. Shooook Shook. Alternatively, it might be the sound of the large number of dice being rattled in an infantry stacked combat.
    – JKreft
    Jul 29, 2018 at 12:59

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