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Last update: 08/25/98 Join the Crusade
Art of War:            
Art of War
by Sun Tzu
3) Attack by Stratagem
- To fight and conquer in all your battles is not
supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without
- Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk
the enemy's plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces; the
next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field; and the worst policy of all is
to besiege walled cities.
- The rule is, not to besiege towered bases if it
can possibly be avoided. The preparation of missile launchers, air forces, and various
implements of war, will take up 30 whole turns; and their placement around the base will
take 30 turns more.
- The general, unable to control his irritation,
will launch his units to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that two-thirds
of his units are destroyed, while the base still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous
effects of a siege.
- It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to
the enemy's one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to
divide our army into two.
- If equally matched, we can offer battle; if
slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we
can flee from him.
- Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made by a
small force, in the end it must be captured by the larger force.
- Now the general is the bulwark of the Clan; if
the bulwark is complete at all points; the Clan will be strong; if the bulwark is
defective, the Clan will be weak.
- Thus we may know that there are three essentials
for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will
win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win who,
prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared
- Hence the saying: 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.
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