Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.

Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle, we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight.

But if neither time nor place be known, then the left wing will be impotent to succor the right, the right equally impotent to succor the left, the van unable to relieve the rear, or the rear to support the van. How much more so if the furthest portions of the army are anything under a hundred LI apart, and even the nearest are separated by several LI!

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter VI: Weak Points and Strong, [17-20].

One flaw many wargamers experience at one point or another is paralysis by analysis. They try to prepare for every eventuality. They spend hours pouring over their army lists. They study the rules obsessively.

And when they meet their opponent at the tabletop, they try to defend everything to avoid losing. Nothing is quite secure enough. Moving forward is too risky.

A player like this might have the best units on the tabletop, but they’re afraid to commit. They’re afraid to lose.

In fact, they are so afraid of losing that they don’t play to win.

The solution is to attack. Even on defense, attack.

You can’t defend everything. You can’t anticipate all of your opposing player’s plans.

Yet you can attack. Attack. Attack!

Next on The Art of Wargaming:

How to Fight Like General Robert E. Lee.