Thursday, May 8, 2014

Decisive Action: the Basics

I'll be out of town next week, so chances are there won't be any posts until the following week.

Decisive action is the heart of my theory on how to win line battles. Traditional military thinkers base much of their conclusions on mission objectives and success on much larger scales. Much of that rarely applies to even the largest Belegarth battle, where the primary objective is annihilation of the enemy, regardless of casualties. Even for objective play, like capture the flag, causing attrition in the enemy ranks usually overcomes concerns related to the objective. They can't capture your flag if they are dead.

The theory of decisive action is all about swaying the tide of battle in your favor and preventing the enemy from doing so. Whether it be a well timed rush, successful flankers, or careful line positioning, the goal is to out kill the enemy. One flanker making it into the enemy's backfield can kill a disproportionately large number of enemies, getting him there is decisive action.

At its simplest form, decisive action is attrition, merely out fighting the enemy till they reach the breaking point. In a stand up fight with equal numbers and skill, decisive action usually starts with the first person to claim victory against one enemy, now free to help his allies. This allows the team to quickly build up an advantage and outpace the enemy, as freed fighters group up and kill individuals faster.

At its most complex, decisive action is a combination of all of the different decisive actions across the whole line. At this point, victory is determined much by how well a team prevents decisive actions. Proper use of reserves can prevent a flanker from having a full run at your backfield or stop an onrush through a gap. It is this type of action that wins the race of attrition.

The types of decisive action can be broken down into the following:

Attrition--killing more than you lose.
Flank Crush--Flankers rolling around and causing a spike in attrition.
Envelopment--Surrounding the enemy.
Minor Breakthrough--One or two fighters getting through the line.
Major Breakthrough--Whole section getting through the line.
Overrun--entire line pushing through the enemy.

Causing and preventing each of these will determine the outcome of battle. Over the coming weeks, I'll look more in depth at each one and how to cause/prevent it, and how the different roles on the battlefield come into play.

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