An Overview of Principles


Art of War in Middle Earth

Overview of Principles

The following is a quick overview of Sun Tzu's Thirteen Principles and will include links to the various Topics I discuss here.

Foundations of War

Principle I:  Laying Plans

A focus on the dliberations a general must make before ever taking to the battlefield.


Principle II: Waging War

A discussion of the costs, logistics and politics of waging war.  Most of this is beyond the scope of the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game or War of the Rings, though some correlations can be drawn.

Principle III: Attack By Stratagem

Basic principles of strategy which provide the foundation for much of what follows.



Where the earlier Principles focused on planning for war and laying the foundation of strategy at a higher level, we now start to address more specifics of carrying out war beginning with the discussion on Tactical Dispositions.  Chang Yu summarizes the next three Principles as follows:

Tactical Dispositions treated the offensive and defensive; Energy deals with the direct and indirect methods.

The good general acquaints himself first with the theory of attack and defense, and then turns his attention to the direct and indirect methods.  He studies the art of varying and combining these two methods before proceeding to the subject of weak and strong points. For the use of direct or indirect methods arises out of attack and defense, and the perception of weak and strong points depends on the above methods. Hence the present chapter comes immediatley after the chapter on Energy.

Here is where more game-related correlation begins to appear.

Principle IV: TacticalDispositions

This chapter focuses on discovering the capabilities and dispositions of the enemy while conceling yours.

Conceal your dispositions, and your condition will remain secret, which leads to victory;

show your dispositions and your condition will become patent, which leads to defeat.

- Tu Mu, commentary on Sun Tzu

Wang Hsi remarks on this chapter by stating that a good general can "secure success by modifying his tactics to meet those of the enemy."

Principle V: Principle Of Energy


Principle VI: Weak Points And Strong


TBD (I'm still thinking of an overview title for these three)


Principle VII: Principle Of Maneuvering


Principle VIII: Variations In Tactics


Principle IX: The Army On The March


Principle X: Principles Of Terrain


Principle XI: The Nine Situations


Principle XII: The Attack By Fire


Principle XIII: The Use Of Spies