When the general is weak and without authority; when is orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixed duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.

When a general, unable to estimate the enemy’s strength, allows an inferior force to engage a larger one, or hurls a weak detachment against the powerful one, and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank, the result must be rout.

These are the six ways of courting defeat, which much be carefully noted by the general who has attained a responsible post.

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter X: Terrain, [18-20].

In games with more than one player per side, Blowhard Von Blowhard always wanted to be the Commander-in-Chief, the Boss, the Grand Poobah.

He’d be the first to reach into the box of miniatures and pluck out the C-in-C miniature from the unwashed masses and take command (often raising brows from the owner of said miniature, as Blowhard Von Blowhard never painted his own figures, but that is another story…).

If anything, Von Blowhard was an absentee C-in-C. He spent much of his time pontificating about politics, at least until a player on his side did something he didn’t like. But hardly ever communicated his plan with his allied players. The result was chaos.

Humorous, laughable, chaos—even though I often ended up on his side.

I have to thank Blowhard Von Blowhard. If The Bearded Bastard taught me how to be humble, Blowhard Von Blowhard taught me not to take the game so seriously…

Next on The Art of Wargaming:

The Jewel of the Kingdom.