“A player who would keep all will lose all.”

May 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

This is a war of movement, albeit one arrested at times on a static front, as in the case of the defense of a mountain pass or fort. A war in which territory per se is of no interest: the sole concern is with the tactical or strategic positions that are necessary to an army or deleterious to its adversary. On occasion victory may be achieved without a major battle, even almost without skirmishes, on the basis of manœuvre alone. Sometimes, too, everything may be decided by a single frontal clash without any manœuvring at all. These extreme cases aside, however, the typical chain of events involves a series of movements, engagements, a major battle, renewed manœuvring, and so on. Within the main battle, manœuvre almost always takes the form of envelopment, retreat, and actions against enemy communications. It behooves an army not to be too sparing of troops or movement, nor yet to squander them. A player who would keep all will lose all. But players who blithely allow themselves to lose more than their opponents will not be able to contain their opponent.

— Alice Becker-Ho & Guy Debord, A Game of War

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