Saturday, 14 May 2011

Battle Tactics and Strategy -Timing

Timing is important. Delivery is important. When I look back at my life, all my successes and failures have been a case of me being the right man in the right (or wrong) place.

Which is why I attribute my failures at the hands of the grandmasters last night in 2v2 teams to just plain bad timing. It is now my firm belief that only gosu gamers play after midnight. Yeah that's right folks, I'm doing another starcraft segue.

On the flip side of the coin,, Shijinn and I would never have gotten so in the 2v2 league if not for our cunning 4minute attack timing which goes a bit like this:
1. Shijinn does a 2 rax bo to get marines out quick, I, rolling random get speedlings, lots or rines out just as quickly
2. Combine armies then attack with workers as meat shields at 4minutes
3. Win the game

It is surprisingly effective. Or was, until we started getting matches against 2v2 grandmasters. We had a huge winning streak and even in our placement we got placed straight into diamond, but then the gm's came and exploited every tiny eensy weensy micro mistake. Cest la vie.

But again, if not for our precious good timing, we would have never gotten the winning streak we did out of it. War is the same. Battles are the same.

Pre-emptive strikes that are never expected,  are effective. Surprise invasions can be quite effective, just ask Adolf Hitler, he delivered quite a few in his time (and also received a devastating one in return that destroyed his Third Reich).

That's war. Battles are exactly the same, but on a more personal level.
In war, the shock and awe element can be exploited to great effect, but when it comes to battles themselves, both sides generally know what to expect. The timing of attacks in battles all depends on the motives of the aggressor. Sometimes the chain of command demands a quick victory for political reasons or to prevent attrition (many of the German generals had this motivation when invading Russia in World War 2).

Often it is up to the general to decide what time of the day or night to attack. Historically speaking, the popular choice has always been at dawn. I'm not sure why. In fact I think it is rather silly because professional armies expect dawn attacks; they are trained for it. I'm with Sun Tzu on this one, war is all about deception therefore attacks should be conducted at the most obscure and unexpected times.

As a bonus, this also serves to break the morale of the enemy, as their sleep is constantly plagued by the nightmare of being woken up by the sound of gunfire and their mates screaming as they die. Good examples of this can be found in the trenches in World War 1, where the psychological integrity of soldiers was grimly tested and many attacks were at night at obscure times. In fact the first battle on the western front, the battle of Liege consisted of the Germans launching a night attack. What the Germans didn't account for was the fact that offensives with infantry against defensive lines in trench warfare is utterly futile.

Timing alone cannot win battles or wars but with the right conditions it is the difference between a quick and glorious victory and a long drawn out, bloody war.

On a much brighter note, I have 2 ideas on what my next blog post should be about:
a) a piece on Field Marshall Zhukov, whom I hold in regard as the best world war 2 general and the creator of the infamous russian reversal ("In soviet Russia, Russia invades YOU!!!!"
b) a religious article, because I haven't touched religion in a long time

What would you guys prefer reading/enduring?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. ahhh strategic planning + videogames!

  3. Awesome post man; really enjoy reading about battle strategies and historic battles - I pick Field Marshall Zhukov for your next article ;D

  4. Nice reading, keep it up!

  5. We should compete one time :)

  6. Your rush strategy made me laugh my ass off. You attack with the workers, haha. I would be so pissed if this happened to me. I guess it makes sense because speedlings+workers is a formidable early game force if you think about it abstractly.

  7. I wouldn't mind the religious article.

  8. I would like to read about the general.

  9. "Do you know the most important thing to remember when telling a joke? "Wh-" "Timing."

  10. Toss here, my life for Aiur!