The German Lurch: Revised Edition
Written by DarthMaximus on 29-05-2009 at Axis and Allies.org forums
The Lurch is a mid-game stack based German strategy that is used to coincide with a strong push on Moscow by Japan. The goal of the Lurch is to gradually move your German stacks East eliminating trading territories for Russia as you continue to get stronger while Russia gets weaker. You are playing for control of Wrus and Cauc, which aren’t easy to get, but using a Lurch strategy you can attempt to claim them without a fight by manipulating your stacks such that any Russian advance can be easily countered, while your advances can’t be stopped because you are able to merge multiple stacks into a single targetted territory.
Unlike Classic where the Germans Lurched from EE to Ukr (to Cauc) and then to Kar, in Revised the Germans have 3 initial avenues to consider:
1 – EE to Kar
2 – EE to Belo
3 – EE to Ukr
Each one has its pros and cons, but all should result in the same conclusion, a German stack in Wrus or Cauc.
Before we get to Germany lets first talk about Japan briefly. If you are planning on using a successful Lurch you will need Japan, so they should be focused on Asia and getting to Moscow. You’ll likely need a few of Japan’s fighters in Europe so take Aus early (round 2 if possible) and make sure you always have ftrs in range of Ukr after J3. Your goal should be to have Chi, Sin, Bury, Sfe, Yak by the end of J3, one factory on the mainland, and 4 trns running your shuck from Japan. A 5th trn is a great bonus which you can use to pick up Aus/NZ/Hi. I think these are modest goals and definitely achievable in the vaste majority of games. The only issues that may arise would be an ultra aggressive UK 1 open and/or a possible KJF strategy, but then again if the Allies are going KJF you do not want to use a mid-game Lurch with Germany, you’d want to be much more aggressive.
As for German bids, you can use the Lurch with most land based bids, whether it is placed in Africa or Europe, but the Power Africa bid (2-3 units in Lib) tends to be a little better since it is vital that you are able to blitz Africa and gain its IPCs. You have to make sure you can take Egy and hold against any UK 1 counter.
Now to the Lurch. The theory of the Lurch is to leverage your initial IPC gains in the early rds (1-4) into a sizable attacking force that can be put into motion from round 4 on. You are ulitmately playing a position game rather than an IPC (or economic game). While there are periods where the Axis can out earn the Allies, it is very difficult to maintain this advantage against quality opponents. Time is typically on the Allies side, so the Lurch is designed to maximize this effect before the Allies can block the threat to Moscow and begin to close in on and cripple Germany. Your targetted time frame to take Wrus/Cauc should be between rds 6-9. Anything much later than this and it may be too late.
So, how do we go about employing the Lurch and leveraging these early gains to a positional advantage?
Lets start with the Purchases. Buy Infantry. Buy infantry early and often, an upgrade for an armor or 2 is also recommended, but with excessive Rt purchases you may be limiting your effectiveness. If you like to buy Rt, buy it early (rds 1-2) b/c you’ll need the mobility of armor later. 8 inf, 4 rt in rd 1 is a good foundation as is 12 inf, 1 rt, however you can’t go wrong with the Inf + Arm buys. Remember you aren’t really interested in attack you just want to project force to prevent an Allied stack and then you want to move your stack into the vacant territory, so you are more concerned with the cheap defense of Infantry and added defensive muscle of the Armor than the added attacking power of Rt. Armor is also vital to your initial defense of WE, so again don’t go Rt crazy with your buys.
Okay we know our buying strategy, what about the layout of Africa and Europe?
Africa is easy, use your bid in Lib and take Egy heavy. Surviving Armor should immediately blitz everything insight, while 2 more units can land in Trj in round 2. In round 3 you have a few options, positioning your fleet to help in Europe, getting out of dodge to take Mad and then perhaps a combination of Ind/Aus/NZ/HI, going around Afr to take Bra, reinforcing Perisa, or just safely remaining in the Indian Ocean and re-invading empty territories in Afr. While blitzing Africa you want to keep as many of these units alive as possible so you can ultimately get them to the Middle East as well. You’ll probably need to get them back Trj by round 4 otherwise they risk being trapped, which isn’t terrible since you can still cause some trouble in Afr, but it is always nice to have the extra threat to Cauc from Per.
Europe is a bit different and requires some patience. You aren’t planning on blitzing to Moscow so you need to set up your initial defenses and get into position to trade Kar/Belo/Ukr with your infantry and airforce. You also want the bare minimum of defense in WE b/c you want to maximize what you are sending East. This is where tanks come in handy, you usually don’t need all of them to deter a Russian move so you can spare a few for WE and their 3 on defense is enough to make any UK landings highly unlikely. How many units should you have in WE? You want just enough inf to survive the first wave of a UK attack and enough arm/ftrs to wipe out the entire land based attacking force. So if UK can attack with 3 inf, 3 arm, 2 ftrs, 1 bom, you’d want 4-5 inf with 8-9 arm/ftrs.
Now that we’ve got a basic plan for our early WE defense, lets get busy Lurching. First your EE stack, move everything that isn’t needed elsewhere to EE. SE can go to Blk if they aren’t needed in WE. This is the foundation of your offense, you will be using your infantry and ftrs to trade Kar/Belo/Ukr. Standard trading logic applys (2 inf + planes vs. 1 inf), however in trading Belo and Kar you can feel free to match inf for inf, so if you have to attack 2 inf, only bring in 2 and overload planes. You do not want to bleed off too many inf and you do not want infantry out of place depending on where you plan to lurch first. For example, a few too many infantry in Kar may hurt the potential to Lurch to Ukr and vice versa. You aren’t likely to be able to Lurch anywhere for the first 3 rds, infact I’ll work under the assumption that G4 is your first potential chance to move out. Side note: If at any time in the first 3 rounds you can safely move to Kar/Belo/Ukr please do so, it may require an extra “build-up” turn later but you’ve denied Russia a trading zone.
Okay, so we’ve got our stack of Infanty in EE, a few Inf/Arm/Ftrs in WE, and our arm are done blitzing Afr and heading back to Egy/Trj while Russia has a stack in Wrus trying to prevent further German aggression. How do we proceed? First, find the path of least resistance. I’ll go through each possible Lurch but you ultimately want to pick the easiest one or one that fits in with your Japanese strategy as well, and I’ll touch on that within each Lurch. These are listed in no particular order and I’ll give pros and cons for each so you can decide.
EE to Kar
Here you are lurching from EE to Kar. You are confident the Wrus stack cannot kill your stack, while you will still be able to tade Ukr with either Blk inf or EE reinforcements, while Belo can be handled from EE or your new Kar stack.
You can cut off the other Allies from reinfocing Moscow.
You are now able to trade Arch and possibly Nor assuming that wouldn’t drain too many inf.
You maintain a threat on Wrus.
You are vulnerable to both UK and US attacks as well as a Russian follow-up.
You only threaten a move to Wrus, so Cauc can potentially be lightly defended.
Russia could counter with a Ukr stack, so depending on your total forces in Kar (what you estimate could make it to Mos if you went to Arch) you may be forced to back track a bit.
Works well with a northern Japanese push via Bury to Eve or Novo or with Japan placing a major threat on Cauc via Per in an effort to split the Russian defense
EE to Belo
Here you are going to Belo first, and from there you can then expand to Kar, Ukr, or Wrus. You also maintain the ability to trade both Kar and Ukr.
It is typically the easiest lurch to make since it is only threatened from Wrus. (UK/US can’t attack via amphibious)
You are still in position to Lurch to either Kar or Ukr.
You can maintain Kar as a deadzone, which can cut off Allied reinforcements to Mos or at the very least force them to land directly in Arch
Time. It is usually the easiest Lurch to make, particularly early on, but will usually require a turn or two of build up once you hold Belo.
you won’t be able to trade Arch and Nor is a lost cause.
Works with any Japanese approach considering you haven’t committed yet as Germany.
EE to Ukr
Here you are going straight for the throat. No time to waste up north and you aren’t worried about the UK/US quite yet. You want Cauc or Wrus and you want them now!
If done right, you’ll get Cauc or Wrus.
You can use your Afr forces to help squeeze Cauc.
You can use your Med Navy to help boost your move bring your SE units into play.
SE armor can immediately reach Ukr.
Japanese ftrs can boost defense from Fic (or the India Sz).
Subject to a massive counter from Inf in both Wrus and Cauc.
Armor from Kaz/Per are also in range.
Nor and Arch are lost causes for trading and Kar may become a problem area since it would be extremely difficult to deadzone with only your EE reinforcements.
Any approach will work but South and Central are extremely effective. Some ftrs should always be stationed in the Fic/Ind region for added European defense. You also have the ability for a nice 1-2 attack on Cauc with Germany doing the heavy lifting while Japan can swoop in and claim the IC.
Now that we’ve decided on the path of least resistance, you have to execute the Lurch. You should have been buying mostly inf your first few turns along with a few armor, while blitzing Africa and waiting for Japan to get going and now its come time to make your move and start your expansion. There’s a good chance you may have to trade WE at some point since the UK and US have the potential to each shuck 8 units to Europe. You want to keep those units out of Russia so you can get Moscow to fall. You will eventually need your armor in WE to move to EE as you lurch beyond Kar/Belo/Ukr and this makes WE expendable. It is just too hard to try and defend all of Europe and threaten Moscow so you use your armor’s mobility and superior airforce to shift East and now Deadzone WE. A typical Lurch movement may look like this:
EE: 15 inf, 2 rt, 2 arm
Ger: 10 inf, 2 arm, 1 bom
WE: 8 inf, 8 arm, 4 ftrs, aa
SE: 2 inf
Ger buys 10 inf, 2 arm
Belo: 15 inf, 2 rt, 4 arm
EE: 10 inf, 8 arm, aa
Ger: 15 inf, 2 arm, 4 ftrs, 1 bom
SE: 2 inf
WE: 1 inf
Blk: 2 inf
Now if you can hold WE with just the 8-10 inf + ftrs you can do so, but you have to get as much Inf and Armor East as possible. But you also want to make sure the Allies aren’t going to be landing in Kar, so a little bait (like 1 inf) in WE can help the over all cause. Assuming you do deadzone WE, the Allies shouldn’t be able to land a massive force considering the threat you can provide: 17 inf, 10 arm, 4 ftrs and at this point (round 5 or 6) the UK and US should not be able to throw a total of 16 units at you so you can trade WE with your SE inf and planes while still sending the rest of your infantry East. The Allies may have the overall IPC lead or even army lead, but Russia’s army will not be more than Germany’s and once you add in Japan’s army it becomes problematic for the Allies.
Your next move should be coordinated with Japan. As Germany sends its massive stack to Ukr (combine the EE and Belo stacks) and Africa corps to Per, Japan should move its stack to Kaz (Per + Chi) or Novo (Chi + Yak) while landing supporting aircraft in Europe if needed. As much German armor as possible should remain in EE to maintain the threat on WE. You shouldn’t move your armor out of range of WE until you can take and hold Wrus or Cauc. Russia now has a huge decision to make which will likely cause them to vacate Wrus or Cauc since they should now be facing a German stack in Ukr as well as the prospects of a possible merger of a massive Japanese stack off the boarders of Mos/Cauc. If Russia leaves Wrus, then Germany can stack that (with J ftr support) and once again deadzone Kar, meaning no Allied reinforcements and if the leave Cauc you gain an IC which gives you more freedom to defend WE or Kar with your Ger and EE units since you can place new units directly into Cauc.
At this point, with Germany holding Wrus or Cauc, your only concern is holding Berlin and making sure no Allied land units get to Mos, while you wait to make sure Japan has enough to finish off Moscow if Ger starts the attack. If you’re looking for a Magic number to take out Russia’s stack you need Germany to have a 4:3 advatage in TUV and if you are planning a 1-2 attack you need Ger + ??? to have a 5:3 advantage.