Chapter: Variation in Tactics



When in difficult country, do not encamp. In country where high roads intersect, join hands with your allies. Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions. In hemmed-in situations, you must resort to stratagem. In desperate position, you must fight.


Setting up camp takes time. Whilst encamped, soldiers are in relaxed disarray. Packing up also takes time. Camps are hence vulnerable to attack and cannot respond or move quickly.

Holding crossroads allows you to command multiple routes. High places are easier to defend. High routes are often ways between more comfortable low places. Hence if you hold high crossroads you have great advantage. Use of allies to hold these places allows the main army to continue without loss of resource.

Even pausing in dangerous places, where you are particularly vulnerable, gives greater opportunity for the enemy to find and attack you.

When you are hemmed in, with few ways out, you have fewer mobility options and hence a greater need for deception or other strategies.

When your back is against the wall, you have no option but to fight. The above options suggest ways to avoid this worst-case situation.