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Sun Tzu in xwings.


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#1 Torresse

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

ok So I was reading a thread about a guy speaking about how something was really weak in the game and many other misguided tactics and i wanted to start trolling the thread, but I delete the post before I ever post it (every time I read the topic)

So the idea behind this thread is to quote something from Sun Tzu and apply it to xwings. I want to dissect the Art of War and help enlighten people…

So let me start it off. This is my favorite quote from The AoW:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself,
you will succumb in every battle”

I see this as very practicle and applicable. Its important to know your enemy (his abilities, his movement capabilities) Its important to be able to judge your enemies craft and anticipate where it is going to go. Also knowing how your unit works in synergy with itself, and where your ships are going to go is important. If you dont know how far your ship will fly, then you can be defeated easily to someone who does.

I look forward to reading more posts (including some obvious like the above, but also some that require greater insight).


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#2 Englishpete

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:38 AM

Another follow on from what you say is that don't always do the logical and expected. Sometimes pulling a manuevere that is contrary to what you should do, will throw your enemy off balance.

X-Wings are especially good for this as if you do end up slightly out of position they can take some punishment.

Also, don't be afraid to use one ship as bait to draw the enemy in, whilst your others line up for the kill shots. Skywalker with R2-D2 is very good for this.

Most people want to kill Luke and target him without regard for other ships. Use that, If Luke draws in 3-4 ships from an imp player, use your other ships to fire down 2 of them or two others whilst Luke keeps em busy.

I have found in most minitaure games that being predictable is being dead.


To every man upon this Earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?
(Horatius: Captain of the Gate)


#3 CPTMcMurphy

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:41 AM

The planning phase is by far the most stratigic part of the game.  I will admit the first few movement phase are generic as you close the distance, but after that the planning phase can make or break your win.  If you understand how your opponent's ships can move and how your opponent may choose to move, you can effect their fire lanes.  If you planned well, you can strip shots away from your opponent while keeping your ships lined up for that potential kill shot.  This concept is more so important for Rebels since they run fewer ships and can't afford as many lost ships.



#4 Englishpete

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:52 AM

I am stating the obvious here, but kill ships, focus on one until it's dead, then the next and so on. Wounded ships, in general, do not lose their potency from a firing viewpoint.

My regular player pal uses the Falcon with Han and a Weapons Engineer and two Rookie X-Wings.

The Falcon is a beast to kill, but only puts out 3 shots, he can re-roll them, but it's only 3 shots.

When I fly imps against him the X-Wings get the attention, I have managed to kill both in two rounds for the loss off two of my five fighters.

Then its even odds against the falcon.

Facing 3 shots not nine is much better.


To every man upon this Earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?
(Horatius: Captain of the Gate)


#5 Cid_MCDP

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:29 AM

Great thread idea, man! 

I was always a big fan of- 

It is just as dangerous to overestimate your opponent as underestimate him.

I have a tendency to overthink things, not just in miniatures games, but also in real life. Since I read it, that quote reminds me not to give the other guy too much credit. 



#6 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:48 AM

My favorite part of the Art of War is the section of the opening chapter beginning with "All warfare is based on deception."  It's particularly valuable in X-wing because many of the game's principal mechanics are based around hidden information.

The math guy in me also loves this: "Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all!" It's a reminder that navigating by your gut in the heat of the moment is unreliable at best, whereas planning carefully beforehand and understanding what the elements of your force can and can't do means you're able to make good decisions throughout an engagement.



#7 flvolunteer

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

In addition to the "wars is deception" tenent mentioned by Vorpal I also try to remember "just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions."  Having a plan is good, but it can't be so rigid that you're unable to adapt to the actions taken by your opponent, the dice failing to inact your genius, a mistake, etc… This also ties in with the more modern "no plan survives first contact" premise.  The inverse of this is, of course, knowing when to trust a course of action and not dump everything because of a minor bump in the road toward victory.  

Great thread!


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#8 hothie

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

I had to dust off my copy, but I noticed there is an entire chapter devoted to maneuvering.

"Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous."

In my playing of Wave 2 ships, I think this saying illustrates the difference between Wave 1 and Wave 2. With Wave 1, flying in formation was your best option for the most part, especially for Imperials. With Wave 2 we now have faster ships and the Boost action, so the squads I am seeing tend towards better individual fighters rather than a strength-in-numbers squad flying together. I know that isn't quite what he intended with this saying, but it just seems to me that Wave 2 now has made our "armies" into "undisciplined multitudes." Don't get me wrong, I think playing with more individual fighters is fun and challenging, and it has taken the game in a different direction, so I like it. It just seems that the formation flying we saw with Wave 1 is gone now that we have some Wave 2 ships and abilities to add to the mix.


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#9 Duraham

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

quite a large proportion of sun zi's art of war actually talks about how to maintain discipline in your army, and how important it is. since your pilots will do exactly the maneuvers and actions you tell them to do, well it makes pretty much quite a big portion of the stuff irrelevant.

 

more applicable stuff should be the 36 strategms, and the famous wind forest fire mountain (swift as wind, silent as forest, fierce as fire, immovable as mountain). put it in context, picture a typical 8 TIE swarm. it moves very quickly, especially with speed 5 forwards. it is silent as the forest, with everybody using focus for defensive purposes (or evade for that matter), change the focus for an offensive use and it becomes fierce as fire, and if you are able to maintain your formation well enough it becomes immovable as a mountain, so tadah, instant army of imbaness.

 

trust me, im asian.

 

EDIT: actually, sun zi's stuff is either captain obvious, or way too general to the point where you could loosely apply it to just about anything, something like a horoscope. like this horoscope-y reading about your personality:

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic

*taken from cracked.com*
 



#10 heychadwick

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:52 AM

I can agree about not being too predictable.  I have become overly fond of the Koiogran Turn lately and my opponent last night was able to figure out exactly where I would be to take me down.  That and my dodge dice sucked!

 

It's why the Ion Cannon is so good.  You know exactly where your opponent will be next round.



#11 flvolunteer

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:25 AM

Duraham said:

actually, sun zi's stuff is either captain obvious, or way too general to the point where you could loosely apply it to just about anything

It  may be "obvious," but it's also been ignored many times over the millenia since it was written, to many a general's (and player's) peril.  And I think it's broad applicability and the ease at which it can be understood is why it has garnered so much popularity (e.g. in modern business).  The "36 Strategems" certainly does warrant inclusion in any library on strategy and tactics along with Col. Hackworth's "The Vietnam Primer," "Napoleon's Military Maxims" (or similar collection of his writings), FM 7-8, etc…   And they should sit alongside books on battles throughout history to learn how the various strategems and tactics affect the battlefield when put into action.

As for the OP intent, I think the RE:'s have clearly demonstrated that "The Art of War" does have elements that can be considered to improve play in X-Wing or any tabletop game.   Perhaps a thread on the 36 would also be beneficial.


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#12 mrfroggies

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:47 AM

“Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him"

For X-Wing I read this to be that you are dictating where the battle takes place.  Forcing a player to break up their formations to move around asteroids, or forcing them to do a K-Turn to get back into battle which leaves them open to attack.

Another one I really like is this.

“To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”

I'm primarly a Rebel player, but I make sure I play Imperial from time to time to refresh my understanding of what those ships can do.  It's one thing to know their stats, but it's another to play them.  






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