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-   -   [Basic] Skill of the week: Strategy and Tactics (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=147257)

jason taylor 06-18-2017 07:40 PM

Re: Strategy and Tactics -- and Operations
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym (Post 2105643)
Multiple layers of decision making.

Policy -- what's important to this nation (or group of nations.) How do we get it? Can we do so without fighting? Do we fight alone -- or with allies? What will we give up to get the support of allies? (& much more.)

Strategy -- since we've (presumably) decided to fight, how do we use fighting to attain our national goals? Which theater of operations do we choose (or are forced into by our opponents?) Do we go for seizing resources (oil fields, say) or destroy the enemy's forces or maneuver him out of the area without fighting? If we go after the enemy's military strength, which part do we go after first? What's important in this theater of operations, and how do we get it?

Operations -- the use of battle and maneuver within a theater of operations to gain the objectives decided on at the strategy level.

Tactics -- the use of firepower, maneuver, and shock on the battlefield to destroy enemy forces, capture key points (terrain) or otherwise win battles.

Examples -- early 1863, the Confederates, in Virginia.

Policy -- defend slavery by maintaining an independent Confederacy.

Strategy -- stand on the strategic defensive. Put the onus of continuing the war on the d--n Yankees. Make their army come to yours. Defend Richmond for its economic & political importance.

Operations -- if the Yankees can choose when & where to fight their firepower & numbers will swamp the Army of Northern Virginia. Therefore, don't give them that time -- let 'em get to a battlefield, let 'em prepare to attack -- then strike at them. Find isolated detachments and hit them by surprise & with superior numbers.

At Chancellorsville, send Stonewall Jackson around the Union right to bushwhack an isolated Union corps.

Tactics -- Get on their flank. Maintain surprise. Hit 'em with everything you've got like an avalanche.

Voila.

Policy: Contain and preferably eliminate expansionist ambitions of Axis powers.

Strategy: Prioritize European Theater conduct holding action followed by counteroffensive in Pacific. Seize necessary airstops to bring Japan within bombing distance, bypass islands that do not suit this priority.

Operations: Spruance orders Mitscher to accept temporary naval defensive to protect assault on Saipan, conduct limited counteroffensive and pursuit with Saipan remaining as priority.

Tactics: Intercept incoming strikes with fighters and shipborne antiaircraft fire, guided by improved sensory and communications technology. Then execute long range airstrike against enemy carriers.

Logistics: Prepare full scale airstrip on Saipan with mass engineering as soon as enemy are cleared.

Propaganda: Vulgarly nickname battle after an Appalachian blood sport.

fredtheobviouspseudonym 06-19-2017 04:48 PM

Excellent --
 
As they say, amateurs talk tactics, dilettantes talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.

jason taylor 06-19-2017 05:34 PM

Re: Excellent --
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym (Post 2105818)
As they say, amateurs talk tactics, dilettantes talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.

I'd say professionals talk strategy, tactics, and logistics prioritizing their conversation according to circumstance(with perhaps a decided emphasis on logistics). Educated amateurs talk strategy, tactics, and logistics with less quality but sometimes have something worthwhile to say and shouldn't always be underestimated. Just plain amateurs talk propaganda and should be tolerated indulgently as long as they are not doing any real harm.

acrosome 06-19-2017 08:47 PM

Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Strategy and Tactics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 2105627)
The purpose of sealift and railheads and contractors for the chow hall and whether or not the runway is long enough for a C-5 and how much tonnage the airhead can handle, etc is ultimately feeding the squads and their weapons.

And sergeants don't manage any of it. When this stuff is your primary concern, it's strategy. Again, as a rule of thumb.

A company is really the largest unit where you can expect to know everyone well. So, when you are worried about feeding your army, rather than feeding your buddies... that's sort of what I'm saying.

Icelander 02-10-2020 05:17 AM

Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Strategy and Tactics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil Masters (Post 2062811)
It was a small band of Ytarrian adventurers, whose leader had Tactics, fighting a couple of Bilit Island priests and the demons that they were riding - keen on blood and guts, less keen on organised warfare.

Really, it was probably too small a confrontation for Tactics skill to make much difference.

I've often given supernatural predators an effective Tactics equal to their IQ or Per (depending on how animalistic they are), specifically for personal combat where they have to make Quick Contests against someone using Tactics.

In point cost terms, it's One Task Wonder and it means they can't lead a military unit or come up with a tactical plan that gives them re-rolls, but they aren't completely hosed when facing anyone with even a modicum of professional training.

Pursuivant 02-12-2020 02:12 AM

Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Strategy and Tactics
 
Something that I've found confusing about Strategy and Tactic skills is their scale.

At a personal level, tactics is largely subsumed into weapon/unarmed combat skill, at least when using melee weapons or making unarmed attacks.

On the tactical combat map, some of what a real fighter would know via combat or Tactics skills is actually dependent on player skill in knowing which maneuvers or techniques to use and how to move their characters in order to take advantage of things like weapon Reach, Cover, and enemy side or rear hexes.

What I think of as Tactics is small unit tactics, limited to people or units you can actually see or directly communicate with, and limited only to immediately likely or current combat situations. Think squadron leader or platoon/company commander level.

Realistically, the nuts and bolts of moving troops or vehicles in combat is covered by skills like Leadership, Shiphandling, or Soldier. Vehicle skills should seriously influence your ability to engage in any sort of vehicular maneuver combat.

What I think of as Strategy is grand strategy - moving military units composed of multiple smaller units across a map in order to achieve some overarching geopolitical objective or deploying the resources of a country to order to defeat a rival or to achieve some other long-term objective. Think Grand Admiral/Field Marshall level.

In between, there are Logistics and Operations.

GURPS 3E World War II made an attempt to define Tactics and Strategy as I think of them and introduce Operations skill as a mid-level skill between Strategy and Tactics. Military Logistics, critical to anything other than small unit tactics, is presumably defined as some combination of Admin, Soldier, and Strategy skills.

There should be optional specializations of Tactics for various sorts of tactics, e.g., Aerial, Armored, Ground, Police, etc. Like other optional specializations, these would be Average skills. Such specializations are highly appropriate for narrowly-trained combatants, such as vehicle or small unit commanders.

Players who aren't familiar with Tactical Combat, or GURP combat in general, should be allowed to make IQ-based unarmed combat/weapon skills in order to get GM assistance with effective personal combat tactics. A successful roll gives you the benefits of the "Common Sense" advantage for that combat round - like doing AoD when you're injured.

Strategy could allow optional specializations in Operations or Logistics. Operations gives you the ability to achieve short-term strategic objectives using a limited number of units, including combined arms ops. Logistics focuses on supplying any sort of military force under combat conditions for the purpose of achieving a larger strategic objective. Staff officers are likely to have this specialization.

Strategy should take familiarity penalties if you are working with unfamiliar units, staff, command and control systems, or objectives.

Many skills might be complementary to Strategy skill, notably Administration, Area Knowledge, Geography, Intelligence Analysis, Leadership, Politics, and Propaganda, but even skills such as Cartography, Geology, Mathematics (Surveying), Meteorology, or Psychology.

Pursuivant 02-12-2020 02:33 AM

Re: Strategy and Tactics -- and Operations
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 2105672)
Tactics: Intercept incoming strikes with fighters and shipborne antiaircraft fire, guided by improved sensory and communications technology. Then execute long range airstrike against enemy carriers.

Below this level, you've got the small unit tactics used by individual units, like shipboard allocation of anti-aircraft fire vs. given sorts of targets and the choice to use AAA to defend one's own ship vs. defending vital elements of the task force. Or, for the air battle, the ability to line up planes in your squadron/group to best achieve their objective while not getting damaged by the enemy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 2105672)
Logistics: Prepare full scale airstrip on Saipan with mass engineering as soon as enemy are cleared.

Or, more broadly, get sufficient fuel, ammo, food, replacements, etc. to the task forces in time for them to launch their operations and keep the supplies coming at a sufficient level to sustain the desired tempo of operations. As a smaller objective, have sufficient personnel, equipment, and supplies available to quickly construct and supply multiple airfields on Saipan sufficient to allow USMC and USAAF units to conduct ongoing operations.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 2105672)
Propaganda: Vulgarly nickname battle after an Appalachian blood sport.

That was more the spontaneous reaction of USN fighter pilots who expected a hard fight and were amazed and delighted that the enemy mostly turned out to be hapless targets.
Propaganda is newsreels, training films, and newspaper articles which trumpet the victory, designed to make U.S. civilians buy War Bonds and to make green U.S. troops feel invincible.


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