Principles of Defense in two books of war

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Principles of Defense in two books of war

Post by kwok »

Reposting to consolidate thoughts in this subforum.

About Strategic Defense:

Both Art of War and Clausewitz's Principles of War mention defense not as a skill with types of formation/standard but as an active tool/strategy rather than a passive tactic. In Art of War, defense is a mechanism to make a passive/defensive person in nature uncomfortable. Switching to physical passivity should be with aggressive/offense intent. Being passive strategically is allows the enemy to manipulate the advantageous to their favor (which is a principle worth reading into because it is a huge foundation in the arguments from the AoW).
In the example of PvP, passivity just gives the opponent time to observe and discover areas of weakness to exploit.
In the example of CompStomps, passivity allows the AI to send wave after wave and wittle you downs since AI essentially have limitless resource and psychological capacity.
So if you look back up to my tips above, this links to when I say "keep cost-damage in mind" because you are at a disadvantage. Art of War is about recognizing advantages and disadvantages, then manipulating circumstances in your favor.

Clausewitz's Principle of War mentions defense more as an advantageous state to be offensive. Defense is merely establishing the moment of battle where factors favor you. An active defense is attacking on your own terms and turf. This is the principle behind ambushes and why that type of asymmetric fighting works so well.
Linking this back to my tips above, this is why I suggest "don't be afraid to attack" and learn the typical paths of the enemy (which is much easier than AI). Defend by leaving an enticing ground you know you can win on open, then attack once the "attacker" falls into the trap. This actually brings me to a Japanese saying.

Tactics in Defense:
"A good fort always has a hole" -Japanese proverb on war
The idea behind having an opening in your defense is because the attacker will always try to exploit a weakness in defense. But, if you leave an opening, then the attacker is prone to try to attack that opening. Turn that opening into an ambush, and you will show you manipulated the circumstances suggested by the Art of War and decided the location of attack by Principles of War.

A CoH specific examples of defensive tactics is using something like a sniper for bait with AT in the back protecting it. The sniper counters inf but is a magnet for vehicles. When the enemy tries to chase the sniper, they run into the AT and lose both vehicle and inf. This is better than creating a defensive line of a sniper and AT because if the enemy recognizes that the defensive line contains both, they will choose the artillery solution and you will have lose both defenders. With a single sniper seemingly alone, the enemy will not want to waste arty on the sniper and send a vehicle thinking it is a cheaper but effective solution.

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