View Full Version : learning strategy via art of war and games.

05-23-2009, 04:40 PM
hi all
Im wondering if anyone here has any suggestions for me...
ive been reading art of war and book of five rings.
and now Im hoping someone knows of any board, video, or online games that
correspond to what Im trying to learn.
im running windows xp

01-30-2010, 06:04 AM
Hello xgenra.

I've read your post and have a few book and game ideas for you. First with the books.

On War by Carl or Karl Von Clausewitz is one of the most influential military startegy books of all time... if not the most influential. He covers a wide variety of military related topics from morale to intelligence to theory and science.

The Military Institutions of the Romans by Vegetius. It's been a while since I've read it but its a romanticized guide on roman military doctrine and studied by lots of scholars even of the medieval era.

My Reveries Upon the Art of War by Marshal Maurice de Saxe. Great military guide of a man who led countless armies for a good handful of nations while attempting to become ruler of his own kingdom.

The Instuction of Frederick the Great for his Generals by the King of Prussia who is my favorite general. He led a divided Prussia against Austria and built a kingdom that would eventually become the unifier of Germany.

The Art of War by Antoine-Henri Jomini. He was a general under Napoleon after Napoleon read this book. He was regarded as one of the most influential military writers of his day eventually being eclipsed by modern war strategy.

....And as for games the Total War series is generally pretty good although Empire: Total War was a little weak in the AI department. Medieval: Total War was superb and Shogun: Total War actually boasted a strategy engine based on Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin, Afrika Korps and Beyond Overlord are really good turn based strategy games. Although a bit slow of the modern gamer. You plan your turn ahead of time then watch it play out for a full minute. My favorite game of all time.

That's about it. Nice to meet you. I'm new to the forums and look forward to reading up on Sun Tzu.

03-30-2010, 02:48 PM
Board and video games aren't much different from real life situations or conflicts that Sun Tzu gives advise on in The Art of War.

For example, in Chapter 1, he talks about "All warfare is based on deception". For a game like The Settlers of Catan, Risk, or any online strategy game it couldn't be more true!

If you appear strong in a game you become a target. That's why the employment of a deception strategy is some important.

Chapter 6 (Weak Points and Strong) also talks about this strategy. The idea of attacking weak spots seems obvious, but the challenge is finding them.

Sun Tzu says the skilled warrior creates them by fooling their opponent.
The first key concept covered the idea that you must keep your enemy off balance. Keeping your opponent off balance will help mould and shape the conflict to fit your needs. Your opponent must never know what your strategy is. It must appear to everyone that you do not even have one, that way even the most skilled spies will not be able to figure you out. A lack of information leads to problems creating plans. When your opponent cannot properly plan, they cannot avoid having weak spots.

A very practical piece of advice from this chapter is that if you fool your opponent into defending their left, you must attack their right. If you have fooled your opponent into defending their back, then you must attack their front. If your opponent defends everywhere, they will be weak everywhere. By simply tricking your opponent into thinking you have a different plan, you have manufactured a weak spot.

I have written an e-book and online course all about The Art of War in a Modern Context. www.learntheartofwar.com

Check it out.