Therefore, soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of discipline. This is a certain road to victory.

If in training soldiers’ commands are habitually enforced, the army will be well-disciplined; if not, its discipline will be bad. If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain be mutual.

–Sun Tzu, The Art of Wargaming, Chapter IX: The Army on the March, [43-45].

Many lessons can be gleaned from The Tale of Blowhard Von Blowhard, many of which already appear here in The Art of Wargaming.

Von Blowhard’s biggest fault was believing that only he, himself, was right, and then expected others to fall in line. The kind of behavior might work in the “real world,” but among the feudal princes of wargaming, it only causes resentment.

Von Blowhard assumed everybody else was a moron who had to be enlightened.

I watched as our little group of wargamers almost fall apart because of Von Blowhard’s incompetent shenanigans and overbearingness. He just could not grasp that you have to earn people’s respect in order to lead them.

And to earn their respect, you must have something to offer that benefits them, and have a certain amount of confidence in them.

And that goes with any social group.

Next on The Art of Wargaming:

Mastering Terrain on Tabletop.