Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive a wedge between the enemy’s front and rear; to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions; to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad, the officers from rallying their men.

When the enemy’s men were united, they managed to keep them in disorder.

When it was to their disadvantage, they made a forward move; when otherwise, they stopped still.

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter XI: The Nine Situations, [15-17].

New wargame rules hit the market every month.

Become a skilled wargamer doesn’t mean you’ve never lost; but you’ve a grasped of tactics and strategy. However, to able to divide-and-conquer, put your opponent into disorder, knowing when to attack and when to defend, requires you know the rules of the game.

New rules hit the market every month. And then there’s all of those older sets you would have liked to play but haven’t, or maybe you’ve played only once or twice.

It pays to quickly master a new set of rules. You’ll have an early start over your fellow wargamers.

Try this:

For your first game, launch an all-out attack. Commit your reserves. If you’re in a multiplayer game, convince your allies do to the same. If you lose, that’s okay, because you learning the rules. And the only way to do that is to “trigger” as many situations where the rules are invoked.

For your second game, play defense. Form a battle line and let the opponent come to you. Only attack if you need to seize an objective.

Now you should have an understanding how the rules handle offense and defense. Some rules favor offensive tactics over defense, and vice versa.

By third game, resort to conventional tactics depending on the situation on the tabletop.

After your third game, you should have a decent mastery of the rules. You might have discovered some loopholes and deficiencies in the rules which you can either address or exploit for fun and profit.

Or, another way is to type up your own reference sheet of the rules…

Next On The Art of Wargaming:

Fight With the Sun at Your Back.