You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy’s weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid that those of the enemy. 

If we wish to fight, the enemy can be force to an engagement even though he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch. All we need do is attack some other place that he will obliged to relieve.

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 6: “Weak Points and Strong,” [10-11]. 

During the Hundred Years’ War the English practiced the chevauchée, a method of raiding and pillaging to force the French out of their strongholds to attack. The English often considered sieges too costly. It was better to raid for supplies and keep on the move.

You can use the chevauchée strategy on the tabletop, no matter the wargame, when confronted with a “redoubt”; any kind of strong point possessed by enemy troops: A wall, a ditch, a small tower, a bunker, a village.

It can be big or small, and it depends on the scale of the game, but in either case it redoubts can cost too much energy in time and troops to take.

Never attack a redoubt if you can help it. Instead, attack enemy forces around the redoubt.

Because at some point either A): You’ll force the enemy to come out an attack you, or B): You’ll destroy enough of the enemy outside the redoubt to force a victory for your side.

Beware: If the majority of your opponent’s forces are located within a redoubt (again, this depends on its size), you’re probably not fighting a pitched battle, but a siege.

If your okay with a siege scenario, that’s fine. Yet some wargamers like to disguise sieges as a standard pitched battle. So beware.


Next on the Art of Wargaming: “How to Defend a Redoubt.”