Friday, 15 July 2011

Strategic Battles

Digging around for stuff to ebay, I found these...

Cue photo....

So they can go into the pile that are going on ebay this weekend to take advantage of the free listing.

Speaking of shopping, while searching through Oxfam today I found a couple of bargains.

The first was an aluminum make up case - I assume that was it's purpose as it has a mirror stuck to the inside of the lid - which is the perfect size for carrying tape measure, dice cubes, templates, superglue etc.

The second is the History of Warfare by John Keegan.

It is a book I read when it first came out but got lost to the book lending fairy. So I was pleased to find it again.

I was struck by something he wrote in the first chapter...

"In short, it is at the cultural level that Clausewitz's answer to his question, What is War?, is defective. That is not altogether surprising. We all find it difficult to stand far enough outside our own culture to perceive how it makes us, as individuals, what we are."

I got involved in a semi skirmish today over whether 40k is a strategic or a tactical game.

My personal defintion is that strategy is the plan and tactics are the execution of that plan.

Yet those who seek to denigrate 40k as a tactical game seem to ignore that there is an awful lot of strategy involved - indeed the mechanics of the game include strategic imperatives in the form of victory conditions and objectives.

But, of course strategy implies thinking, and as we all know - or the interwebz would have us believe - there is very little thought involved in 40k (though curiously the interwebz are keen to play up the mathematics of the game).

And, then it occured to me that perhaps people are not thinking in terms of single envelopments, refused flanks, oblique attacks etc. Maybe the people wishing to down play the strategic elements of the game are doing so because they are not employing strategy, prefering instead to engage in games that equate to the phalanx warfare of ancient Greece; with units lined up in such a way as to cover the entire table - or castled in a corner - either way the result is the absence of flanks. And with the netlisting, bring your A list, attitude so prevelant the skills of baiting, luring and sacrifice is perhaps underused.

In short perhaps battles in the 41st Millenium have become a ritualised affair - inspite of a wealth of tactical and strategic options available to commanders.

No doubt Clausewitz would have approved - given his formalised and formalistic military training - but perhaps the answer is not to dismiss the strategic elements within the game, but to exploit them.

Might I suggest that a good place to start would be having smaller games?


No comments:

Post a Comment