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"Tactics or Techniques?" Topic


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451 hits since 24 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 8:02 a.m. PST

The venerable 3:1 rule for overwhelming force is based on an assumption of two forces with roughly similar composition, material condition, and skill.

Do you prefer tabletop games that emphasize TACTICS where roughly similar forces compete for similar or asymmetric objectives or TECHNIQUES where heterogeneous and dissimilar forces try to leverage their unique capabilities against each other?

Obviously, the reality of wargaming isn't a dichotomy, but a continuum along multiple dimensions.

I have two main preferences:

Tactics Plus – Forces with similar capabilities but one significant difference in composition such as the infantry/cavalry ratio.

Techniques Extreme – Skirmishes with very different individual combatants.

PJ ONeill25 Oct 2017 10:38 a.m. PST

I play mostly Regimental level ACW and lean towards Tactics.
I enjoy it when the use of good tactics overshadow all the other qualities units have.

RudyNelson25 Oct 2017 3:56 p.m. PST

Tactics is a function of low level command. How to maneuver and deploy units on the battlefield. Merging of units depending on size is an upper level operation and not a tactical one.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Oct 2017 5:10 p.m. PST

I try for the best of both: Maneuver to get the best use of different systems. Probably more focus on Tactics

UshCha Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 12:13 a.m. PST

Tactics, massiely asymetric warfare is not my interest.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 6:07 a.m. PST

Do you prefer tabletop games that emphasize TACTICS where roughly similar forces compete for similar or asymmetric objectives or TECHNIQUES where heterogeneous and dissimilar forces try to leverage their unique capabilities against each other?

Are you saying that symmetrical warfare involves tactics and asymmetrical warfare involves 'techniques?'

I don't see the basis for determining the differences… Both would seem to be the same thing--methods used to win combat--rather than two ends of a continuum.

I have two main preferences:

Tactics Plus Forces with similar capabilities but one significant difference in composition such as the infantry/cavalry ratio.

Techniques Extreme Skirmishes with very different individual combatants.

Beyond the scale, where one involves units of men and the other individuals, what possible difference could you see between tactics used in a combat and 'techniques.'

In fencing, techniques are skills developed. Tactics are methods used in the bout to gain an advantage. Skills can allow you to use particular tactics, but they not the same thing or at opposite ends of a single continuum.

The Mongols were excellent horsemen with a bow. Techniques--involving particular technologies. Tactics is what they did with the horse and bow on the battlefield…in asymmetrical warfare.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

Asymmetric warfare was not common because enemies always tend to mimic each other over time. In the Hyborean Age you get to indulge in asymmetric warfare to your (or Howard's) heart's content. It is great fun.

There are some limited exceptions, due to disparate economies, but the differences are in proportion rather than "ingredients". The Swiss resorted to infantry blocks, because they were commoners with very few nobility. So their infantry blocks received all the attention and training. The Scots were similar, though they had a larger proportion of nobility (men-a-t-arms) than the Swiss, as far as I have been able to tell. Also, the "double pay men" (the officers) led from the rear in a Swiss army, and in a Scots army they formed the leading ranks. So, different while fighting tactically almost the same.

English armies of the HYW did not morph to look like French or continental ones, simply because the proportion of commoner to noble remained unchanged, with the commoner (yeoman) dominating as the most economical force multiplier. It was the French who morphed to become more like the English. What had begun as an almost all mounted army turned into a foot force which included archers (a half measure, curtailed before it got too dangerous!).

The Hussite wars used war wagons as a force multiplier, without which the Bohemians would have been swept from the field. Asymmetric warfare was a necessity not an option.

In the perennial clashes of east versus west of the crusades, neither side mimicked the other much. And the battles were more asymmetric than otherwise. That is what I enjoy about the crusades more than anything else: the clash of the armored bastion against the swiftly moving foe probing flanks and shooting, shooting, shooting: then the armored fist flashes out (hopefully, if you're the crusaders) at the opportune moment and sweeps all before it. Had the crusades lasted beyond the initial incursion and hunkering down behind fortifications, i.e. if the Franks had obtained anything like a parity of numbers, the two sides would have become almost exactly alike in composition.

USAFpilot26 Oct 2017 6:32 a.m. PST

Some modern definitions of the words "tactics" and "techniques" from a dictionary and US military doctrine:

Tactics
Merriam-Webster:
"the science and art of disposing and maneuvering forces in combat"
"the art or skill of employing available means to accomplish an end"

JP 1-02:
"The employment and ordered arrangement of forces in relation to each other. See also procedures; techniques."

Techniques
Merriam-Webster:
"a way of doing something by using special knowledge or skill"
"the way that a person performs basic physical movements or skills"

JP 1-02:
"Non-prescriptive ways or methods used to perform missions, functions, or tasks. See also procedures; tactics."

link


So, no matter whose definition you use; your's, Merriam-Webster, or JP 1-02; for wargaming I prefer the idea of tactics over technique.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

Are you saying that symmetrical warfare involves tactics and asymmetrical warfare involves 'techniques?'

No. If you read the part you quoted, the TACTICS token was defined to include asymmetrical objectives.

Both would seem to be the same thing--methods used to win combat--rather than two ends of a continuum.

So you would use the same methods with similar forces on either side or very different force compositions.

Mick the Metalsmith26 Oct 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

I like both. Why limit myself to just vanilla? I also like underdog situations.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 7:25 a.m. PST

So you would use the same methods with similar forces on either side or very different force compositions.

No, I might use different tactics…using different technologies.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 4:01 p.m. PST

Tactics.

Ottoathome28 Oct 2017 4:34 a.m. PST

I prefer to play with toy soldiers with my friends but I don't hold it against them that they sometimes go fhew, fhew, fhew, which is clearly the sci-fi "shooty noises" instead of the proper "pow, pow pow, " proper to musket period "shooty noises."

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