Welcome to the exploration into Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Yes, you and I are about to delve into passages of a new chapter each article of the 2500 year old military treatise on how to kick ass and take names with your brain thumbs. I won’t be covering the entire chapter, but I strongly encourage you to go out and read the book for yourself. There is much, much more to be learned from every line.


THE RECAP


Chapter 1: Flexibility is key.

In the Crucible, just as in life, being flexible directly correlates into your success rate. If you are more willing to alter your approaches or play style, you are more likely to throw off your opponents or counter their strategy. Be the force dictating the pace of the game, don’t be dictated to.

 

Chapter 2: Calculated aggression is paramount to victory.

The best players don’t just win, but they win fast. Quickscopes, two taps, multi-kill supers. Passive play doesn’t get you any closer to victory, despite you minimizing losses. Be proactive or aggressive, seek out kills, and hone yourself into a lean, mean, killing machine. Rumble is the perfect platform for nurturing your killer instinct.

 

Chapter 3: The easiest path to loss is attacking an entrenched enemy head on.

The enemy team is holed up in one area. An area they are covering incredibly well from several approaches with snipers or scouts/pulses. How do you win? Attack them from a different angle. Play the point, play the objective, utilize your use of grenades and supers (and occasionally heavy). Take their greatest strength and turn it into something mediocre at best. Again, it is your responsibility to dictate the pace of the game to your liking.

 

Chapter 4: Learn the meta. Understand the meta. Play the meta.

Don’t handicap yourself because of your own misguided notion of ethical game play or an inflated ego. Find the best, play the best, give yourself the best chance at winning the game. You are not on the same level as the top 1% of the 1%. You do not have the luxury of doing whatever you feel like and expecting to win the game. Put in the time and the effort and put away your pet guns for when Mayhem shows up on the list. You want to win? Play to win.

 

Chapter 5: Understand the difference between flanks and fronts and how to utilize them properly.

Flanks and fronts are fluid concepts. Just because you manage to get behind a team does not mean you flanked them. It just might be that you changed the front from your teammates to yourself. Understand when and why you should be flanking or assaulting the front. Then execute. Always think first, fire later, whether that be consciously or subconsciously. Try your best to be aware of it though.

 

Chapter 6: You’re only as good as the stupidity of your opponents.

Until you rank among the Destiny pantheon, your number one priority should be to minimize your mistakes and maximize capitalizing on your opponents’. Some strategies only work because your opponents are a bunch of sandbags. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. That does mean you shouldn’t use them on opponents with brains. Adjust your tactics and approaches accordingly as your opponents’ relative intelligence increases.

Chapter 7: Don’t just know how to move. Know when to move, the best way to position yourself, and the best way to use your mobility, or lack thereof, to your advantage.

Intimate knowledge of guns, classes, and maps is paramount to winning engagement after engagement. Pay attention and review your matches. See *where* you die. See *where* you get kills. Seek those engagement spaces where you come out on top more often. Lure players into them. Find what works for you and perfect it.

Chapter 8: Know how to exploit opportunities when they present themselves.

This ties in to only being better than your opponents are stupid. When they do finally make that mistake, know exactly when and how to capitalize on them. This comes from striking a balance of knowing your own personal strengths and weaknesses. First, know yourself. Then, know your enemy. Finally, find victory. Don’t skip leg day.

Chapter 9: Find positions of power and hold them.

As you gain more map knowledge, you should naturally discover areas you find yourself having the most success. Or areas you find yourself having the most difficult time assaulting. These are positions of power and should be points you need to be controlling as much as possible. These positions can change based on map type, but are generally transferrable between them all. At the very least, concepts of verticality, headglitching, and traffic lanes can begin to sink in during your analysis.

Chapter 10: Some ground is meant to be given up. Some is meant to be contested. Some is meant to be ignored. Learn which is which.

Just because you spawned on A point doesn’t mean it’s the most important spot on the map. Or even that you should actively attempt to control it. Know when to push into territory, how to hold it, and when you need to back off and give up ground. This sense of flow and push/pull will carry through to all game types and even games outside of Destiny. Master it here and you set yourself up for a strong career of success.

Chapter 11: All swords are tempered in the fire of the forge. Throw yourself into the fray, do not be afraid to temper yourself. We all start out brittle and frail.

The only way you’re going to get better is if you give yourself an opportunity to improve. If you’re always hanging back and letting the enemy come to you, you will never gain the knowledge and understanding of how to finish and enemy or close out a game. You’re hampering yourself and creating unnecessary plateaus by being overly passive in your play. Seek out kills, nod your head and acknowledge getting outgunned, and then learn from it. Go back work on winning those same engagements.

Chapter 12: If there is nothing to be gained by doing something, don’t do it.

Don’t waste your time. If you want to get better at the Crucible, partaking in activities or practices that are counter to this are hurting you far more than you believe. Developing bad habits is one of the best ways to never “git gud”. It’s much easier to create good habits than it is breaking bad ones. Start early, practice often, and stamp out the bad earlier rather than later. Work on it today, don’t put it off to tomorrow.


TLW:

Again, thank you all for reading along, I had a lot of fun putting this all together.

If you have suggestions for future Book Club articles, feel free to email keen@cruciblebootcamp.com and I will consider writing a series on it!