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Old 02-12-2020, 02:12 AM   #35
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default 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.
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