To ensure that your whole host may withstand the brunt of the enemy’s attack and remain unshaken–this is effected by maneuvers direct and indirect. 

That impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against an egg–this is effected  by the science of weak points and strong.

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 5: “Energy,” [3-4].

During a World War II microarmor, the Bearded Bastard asked me: “Do you know the weak point of a tank?”

“Well,” I said, “according to the rules a tank’s armor is usually the thinnest on top and the rear.”

He shook his head. “I’m not talking about the rules.”

I had been still relatively new to wargaming. What I knew about World War II tanks came from what history I knew on the subject.

“Then the same holds true in real life. If a Sherman could get a rear shot on a German Tiger Ta…”

“No. No. No! What were the real objectives of the Battle of the Bulge?”

“Uh… Germany wanted to go on the offensive. They want to divide the allied armies in two.”

“Of course they did. But they had to rely on something else. And it was their weak point in their plan.”

“What?”

“Have you actually seen the movie The Battle of the Bulge?”

I had. And started thinking about it, and I eventually realized what The Bearded Bastard was getting at.

The weakest point on a tank isn’t on the tank itself.

Do you know what it is?

Next on The Art of Wargaming: “How to Fight Like a Barbarian.”