Monday, 3 March 2014

Winning A War

In Use Of Weapons, it is a thing of beauty when Zakalwe takes charge of a war run by incompetents and turns it around. A province with a dozen important religious sites is about to fall. Defending the province will only get the sites damaged or destroyed whereas surrendering the province now means that they will be regained intact with much new treasure when the war is won.

Surrendering the province will also stretch the enemy's supply lines while the rains start behind them. Enemy commanders will know that the surrendered province is a trap but will be ordered in anyway, which will demoralize them. Also, by stopping the bombardment of roads, Zakalwe ensures that the roads will fill with refugees, slowing enemy troops further. But bombing some bridges and the enemies' oil refineries will make their commanders advance more cautiously even if, as believed, they have great reserves of fuel. In any case, Zakalwe distrusts his side's intelligence about enemy fuel and thinks that the enemy are equally uninformed.

When the enemy Imperial Court and their high command meet, Zakalwe proposes dropping an otherwise defunct and useless spacecraft on them, pretending that it is the first in a series of new missiles, then offering to negotiate with the commoner's parliament while the enemy are riven by civil war.

One man turns everything round - but then is told that larger scale politics require his side to lose.

No comments:

Post a Comment