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.


CHAPTER 2: WAGING WAR


This chapter is mostly concerned with the cost of war, but there are a few gems we can use for our personal growth.

 

When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

This is probably one of the more pertinent pieces of advice. Although there are a few circumstances this isn’t true, you should not attack an enemy in an entrenched position. If last week was about flexibility, this week is about patience. Let’s say you know the enemy is all camped up around A in Widow’s Court. They have sightlines into mid, courtyard and cathedral. What they don’t have is three guys all staring at the capture point. Wait out the time, let them get lazy and impatient. Once that overtime bell chimes, take a route with lots of cover and difficult sniper lines. And then aim at the most obvious routes a lazy, impatient player would take to get onto the point. You’ve just greatly upped the ante on a team who shines in low pressure situations by forcing them to make clutch plays in those final seconds. Now do it again. Force them to change their strategy and get uncomfortable. Do that, and they beat themselves.

A lesser tidbit is that prolonged engagements are bound to result in more mistakes being made. Learn how to close out the game; be calculated and efficient.

 

Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

There’s nothing wrong with rushing a team full steam ahead. What is wrong is when you just do it willy-nilly. Sure, quickly closing the gap might be the best chance you have at victory, but if you aren’t examining the why or how beforehand, you’re more likely to crash and burn. The second half of the passage, Sun Tzu makes a bold statement. Cleverness and deception rarely result in long, drawn out engagements. While attempting to run through walls face first might be an incredibly dumb idea, outwitting your opponent and approaching the wall from unconventional locations is most certainly not.

Also, keep in mind that speed can come hand in hand with experience. You and your trials team might not be adept at shotgun rushing the team after that first downed orb, but with dedicated practice (read: SKIRMISH/ELIMINATION) you too can become the Juggernaut, bitch. Identify the problem, practice the solution, and refine, refine, refine. You can never perfect a tactic against an unpredictable enemy.

 

Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s own…

This applies much more to the non-Trials maps, as heavy/secondary denial there is less impactful than in other game modes. Resource denial is a huge part of success in a war of attrition, which some game modes can become depending on a team’s strategy. One man with heavy is a threat. Six men is a slaughter. That’s why you see a lot of players holding out on using their supers until heavy spawns. It solves the issue of playing rocket Whack-a-mole for the next 2-4 minutes by just denying the enemy that opportunity altogether. Think of it this way: killing three people at their heavy means saving up to 9 or more lives on your team. Ball don’t lie, and neither does my math.

 

In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

 


TLW:

Don’t play with your food. Be quick, be concise, be ruthless, be unforgiving. The more time you give the enemy, the more time you give them to mount an offensive. Strip that away, back them into a corner and crush them.