The natural formation of the country is the soldier’s best ally; but a power of estimating the adversary, the forces of victory, and of shrewdly calculating difficulties, dangers and distances constitutes the test of a great general.
He who knows these things, and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice, will win his battles. He who knows them not, nor practices them, will surely be defeated.
If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler’s bidding.
The general who advance without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, who only thought is to protect his country and do good services for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter X: Terrain, [21-24].
The Bearded Bastard did not covet fame. Nor did he fear disgrace.
Cannon Fodder Joe did not covet fame. But he was disgraced.
Blowhard Von Blowhard coveted fame and feared disgraced.
I did not covet fame. But I felt disgraced from the defeats of The Bearded Bastard.
I am no Jewel of the Kingdom.
There are better wargamers than I, who, when they say, “It’s just a game,” they mean just that.
Next on The Art of Wargaming:
Naming Your Armies and Commanders.