The purpose of this article is to provide a basis to use real world combined arms and armor tactics to improve game play with Steel Beasts. The primary sources for this article are US Army field manuals on tactics, operations, tank and infantry teams and task forces.
With this article, I hope to provide readers with a set of common terms to organize game play, discuss training, and to relate game play to the study of modern and recent military history.
DEFINITION OF TACTICS
This being a discussion on tactics, we’ll begin with a definition of term.
Here are two formal definitions of the term, one from a dictionary and the other doctrinal:
1. a. (used with a sing. verb) The military science that deals with securing objectives set by strategy, especially the technique of deploying and directing troops, ships, and aircraft in effective maneuvers against an enemy: Tactics is a required course at all military academies.
1. b. (used with a pl. verb) Maneuvers used against an enemy: Guerrilla tactics were employed during most of the war.
2. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) A procedure or set of maneuvers engaged in to achieve an end, an aim, or a goal.
Tactics is the employment of units in combat. It includes the ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other, the terrain and the enemy to translate potential combat power into victorious battles and engagements.
It’s also said that tactics, like many other disciplines, sculpting for example, is both an art and a science. A sculptor combines his understanding of his materials and tools with his appreciation of the principles of aesthetics, such as symmetry and proportion, in order to create an object of expression. Similarly a tactician uses his knowledge of his own and the opposing forces, of the physical and temporal dimensions of the battle space, and then he applies general principles of war, such as mass and economy of force, to determine the best course of action to accomplish his mission.
So then, for our purposes here, the term ‘tactics’ refers to the discipline governing the decisions on how to best employ forces in the battle space in order to overcome opposition to accomplishing a mission. Tactics is a discipline governing decision making. It is goal oriented. Starting with the strengths and weaknesses of a given situation, the tactician applies general principles to determine which possible courses of action are best to achieve his goal. So, in order to achieve that goal, the tactician must take accurate stock of the situation, develop possible courses of action, and then applying the general principles determine which course is most likely to be successful. This process is recursive, in that the evaluation and decision making must continue as the situation changes and develops.