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Re: [SCA-JML] Fighting Tactics

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  • JL Badgley
    ... Well, the micro is a mirror for the macro and vice versa in most Chinese philosophy, isn t it? I recommend reading both Sunzi and Musashi, as I believe
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 15, 2011
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      On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 5:07 PM, Yves de Lyle <yvesdelyle@...> wrote:
      > I'm looking more at group tactics of the 3 man squad, and larger forces that
      > make up a war unit.
      >
      > For example see these...
      > http://www.flickr.com/photos/64070090@N02/sets/72157626966855004/

      Well, the micro is a mirror for the macro and vice versa in most
      Chinese philosophy, isn't it?

      I recommend reading both Sunzi and Musashi, as I believe both have
      thoughts that will apply. The problem with applying direct Chinese
      (or even European) field tactics, however, is that our range of
      weaponry and basic soldiers are different.

      In China, depending on the period, you expected to have various siege
      weapons, cavalry, etc. In SCA wars we have the foot soldiers, but are
      lacking the mobility of cavalry, and the range of the archers.

      In China the armies were more likely to train (and thus act) as a
      cohesive unit. In the SCA you usually have an army of individuals
      without as much cohesive training but probably thinking more freely
      about the situation.

      In real world battles, fear of death was a motivating factor, and many
      people ran away. Also, you did not usually have to kill everyone on
      the opposing side. In the SCA, we have very little fear of death, and
      we often go until everyone is dead--at the very least you rarely see
      groups run in fear.

      So, I'm not sure how well the actual formations will do in the SCA.
      However, the principles behind them might be applicable, and a lot of
      those principles seem to be similar between single combat and larger
      scale combat; you just move differently.

      -Ii
    • Solveig Throndardottir
      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! I suggest starting out by learning the games: go and shogi both of which will give you some ideas about what the generals
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 15, 2011
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        Noble Cousin!

        Greetings from Solveig! I suggest starting out by learning the games: go and shogi both of which will give you some ideas about what the generals were thinking. There are books covering specific battles which have map showing troop movements and reproductions of battle field paintings. The ones I have are in Japanese. Ii is right about the problem of people not running away. This problem is exacerbated by resurrections and the total lack of surrender both of which tend to move our battles into the fields of Valhalla and away from the plains and fields of actual combat.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar
      • Yves de Lyle
        Thank you all, Yes, I realize the difference between SCA and the real world, but I think it is worth the try and I hope to train a small unit with some of
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 15, 2011
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          Thank you all,

          Yes, I realize the difference between SCA and the real world, but I think it
          is worth the try and I hope to train a small unit with some of these
          strategies.

          Ii, I have read both Sunzi and Musashi, along with much of the Taoist,
          Buddhist, Confucian and Zen Philosophies. However, I need more practical
          examples to work from.

          I will investigate the books, and Shogi. I will dust off the rulebook for
          Go, but finding playing partners is difficult. Does anyone know of somewhere
          I could play on line?

          Yves


          On 15 June 2011 22:17, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > Noble Cousin!
          >
          > Greetings from Solveig! I suggest starting out by learning the games: go
          > and shogi both of which will give you some ideas about what the generals
          > were thinking. There are books covering specific battles which have map
          > showing troop movements and reproductions of battle field paintings. The
          > ones I have are in Japanese. Ii is right about the problem of people not
          > running away. This problem is exacerbated by resurrections and the total
          > lack of surrender both of which tend to move our battles into the fields of
          > Valhalla and away from the plains and fields of actual combat.
          >
          > Your Humble Servant
          > Solveig Throndardottir
          > Amateur Scholar
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • JL Badgley
          ... Look up i-go online I believe the KGS Go Server is where I used to play a bit. If you ve already read Sunzi and Musashi, I m not sure what to recommend.
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 15, 2011
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            On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 5:56 AM, Yves de Lyle <yvesdelyle@...> wrote:
            >
            > I will investigate the books, and Shogi. I will dust off the rulebook for
            > Go, but finding playing partners is difficult. Does anyone know of somewhere
            > I could play on line?
            >
            > Yves

            Look up "i-go online"

            I believe the KGS Go Server is where I used to play a bit.

            If you've already read Sunzi and Musashi, I'm not sure what to
            recommend. Have you read "Wujing Qishu" (Eng. title: The Seven
            Military Classics of Ancient China)? You might be able to glean
            things out of Japanese war tales or the Tale of the Heike (Heike
            Monogatari), but I don't know that they focus precisely on what you
            are looking at.

            Where are you at? Perhaps there are people you can talk directly
            with? I know that Viscount Sarek gave a wonderful talk about SCA
            group tactics at a university in Atlantia. His analogies to sawing a
            board were particularly insightful, I thought (basically that in
            line-to-line fighting, if you concentrate your attack on the middle of
            a force you are likely to get squashed between the two sides of the
            boards, but if you can put pressure at another point then you can cut
            off a piece of the board, and then work on enveloping around as that
            piece falls off). He also had some interesting thoughts about command
            and leadership (simply: your best fighter may not be your best
            commander)--unfortunately, I don't know that I have his handout any
            more.

            -Ii/Jing
          • Waffle
            Before I continue with this I want to express to you that I understand that I may cover some things that you may already know, and I do not intend to be
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 17, 2011
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              Before I continue with this I want to express to you that I understand that I may cover some things that you may already know, and I do not intend to be presumptuous, patronizing, or to belittle any knowledge, experience, or skills that you may already possess. Small unit tactics is one of my "things", and I want to assist you in any way that I can.

              The others are right about using Go and Shogi for learning strategy. Also, Sunzi and Musashi can be of great help. I prefer Musashi myself. Go Rin No Sho works extremely well for use in small unit, and large unit tactics. The key is to be able to envision the techniques he describes beyond the scope of single combat, and developing the ability, through training and experience, to perceive the actions of the enemy just before, or as, they commit them, and to react appropriately. The Ground book for basic unit development. The Water and Fire books for strategy and tactics. "You must study and train constantly to understand."

              The differences between SCA and real world combat are obvious to most of us. That being said, the other most obvious aspect of a Japanese small unit (I assume that is what you are planning, and I applaud you for it.) in an otherwise European world is shields. Both fighting along side and against them. Which changes everything when it comes to Japanese tactics. They just didn't encounter them that often. It's not impossible, but it does make things more difficult.

              I have found through my studies and experience that, generally, throughout history, and in almost all cultures, the basics of strategy and tactics, both large and small, are essentially the same. The main determining factors are training, technology, and terrain. In the area of small unit tactics especially, the old adage "No strategy lasts longer than the first engagement." applies. In the SCA you can pretty well apply that to "Lay-on". Using the type of battle formations you provided a link to looks very interesting, and I don't believe I have ever seen anything like them used. I have seen the standard European, Roman and other ancient formations used. I have even been part of a modified Zulu bull, but not the ones you provided. Those would be interesting to try.

              The basic essentials for success are cohesiveness through training, command and control, and the units' ability to recognize, and quickly adapt to, both subtle and radical changes in the battle.

              Studying and understanding strategy and tactics will be of great assistance in the process of developing a unit, but the above is what will make, or break, the day on the battlefield.

              Waffle

              --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Yves de Lyle <yvesdelyle@...> wrote:
              >
              > Greetings,
              >
              > I've just been reading *Fighting Techniques of the Oriental World*, which
              > has some battle formations and tactics as used by the Chinese & Japanese.
              > Can any one point me in the direction of more information about battle
              > formations?
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Yves de Lyle
              > (PS Sorry for the cross post)
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Yves de Lyle
              Waffle, I want warfare to be more thing, because it has interested me for too long, and testing it on the SCA field is one way to recreate it. I m thinking
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 18, 2011
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                Waffle,

                I want warfare to be more thing, because it has interested me for too long,
                and testing it on the SCA field is one way to recreate it. I'm thinking
                small units because I do not have access to more people. The idea of taking
                100 Japanese Samurai,Ashigaru, and the rest on to the field at Pensic in
                full regalia would be a moment worth crossing the world for. Regardless of
                the outcome.

                The Tactics described in the book come from some 22 Japanese Pre-battle
                formations, which have some similarities for Chinese formations, but sadly
                there is no reference I can find to an individual item in the Biography. I
                do realise that any tactics used will have to be adapted for SCA combat, ie
                we don't use horses for Cavarly, but we can use lightly armored pole-arms
                fighters to encircle and flank. However, this will need to be tested.

                My initial post was about the Chinese and Japanese Strategy & Tactics. I
                know the Chinese used shields, would like to know how it changed their
                tactics when compared to the Japanese.

                Lastly, thank you for another view on Musashi and your suggestions on
                what'll make the difference, which I'll have to consider...

                Cheers,
                Yves

                On 18 June 2011 00:57, Waffle <kegage408@...> wrote:

                > **
                >
                >
                > Before I continue with this I want to express to you that I understand that
                > I may cover some things that you may already know, and I do not intend to be
                > presumptuous, patronizing, or to belittle any knowledge, experience, or
                > skills that you may already possess. Small unit tactics is one of my
                > "things", and I want to assist you in any way that I can.
                >
                > The others are right about using Go and Shogi for learning strategy. Also,
                > Sunzi and Musashi can be of great help. I prefer Musashi myself. Go Rin No
                > Sho works extremely well for use in small unit, and large unit tactics. The
                > key is to be able to envision the techniques he describes beyond the scope
                > of single combat, and developing the ability, through training and
                > experience, to perceive the actions of the enemy just before, or as, they
                > commit them, and to react appropriately. The Ground book for basic unit
                > development. The Water and Fire books for strategy and tactics. "You must
                > study and train constantly to understand."
                >
                > The differences between SCA and real world combat are obvious to most of
                > us. That being said, the other most obvious aspect of a Japanese small unit
                > (I assume that is what you are planning, and I applaud you for it.) in an
                > otherwise European world is shields. Both fighting along side and against
                > them. Which changes everything when it comes to Japanese tactics. They just
                > didn't encounter them that often. It's not impossible, but it does make
                > things more difficult.
                >
                > I have found through my studies and experience that, generally, throughout
                > history, and in almost all cultures, the basics of strategy and tactics,
                > both large and small, are essentially the same. The main determining factors
                > are training, technology, and terrain. In the area of small unit tactics
                > especially, the old adage "No strategy lasts longer than the first
                > engagement." applies. In the SCA you can pretty well apply that to "Lay-on".
                > Using the type of battle formations you provided a link to looks very
                > interesting, and I don't believe I have ever seen anything like them used. I
                > have seen the standard European, Roman and other ancient formations used. I
                > have even been part of a modified Zulu bull, but not the ones you provided.
                > Those would be interesting to try.
                >
                > The basic essentials for success are cohesiveness through training, command
                > and control, and the units' ability to recognize, and quickly adapt to, both
                > subtle and radical changes in the battle.
                >
                > Studying and understanding strategy and tactics will be of great assistance
                > in the process of developing a unit, but the above is what will make, or
                > break, the day on the battlefield.
                >
                > Waffle
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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