|Ⅷ. VARIATION OF TACTICS|
|SUN ZI THE ART OF WAR|
SUN ZI said: Generally, in wax, the general receives his commands from the sovereign, assembles troops and mobilizes the people. When on grounds hard of access, do not encamp. On grounds intersected with highways, join hands with your allies. Do not linger on critical ground. In encircled ground, resort to stratagem. In desperate ground, fight a last-ditch battle.
There are some roads which must not be followed, some troops which must not be attacked, some cities which must not be assaulted, some ground wi-ich must not be contested, and some commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.
Hence, the general who thoroughly understands the advantages that accompany variation of tactics knows how to employ troops. The general who does not is unable to use the terrain to his advantage even though he is well acquainted with it. In employing the troops for attack, the general who does not understand the variation of tactics will be unable to use them effectively, even if he is familiar with the Five Advantages.
And for this reason, a wise general in his deliberations must consider both favourable and unfavourable factors. By taking into account the favourable factors, he makes his plan feasible; by taking into account the unfavourable, he may avoid possible disasters.
What can subdue the hostile neighbouring rulers is to hit what hurts them most; what can keep them constanuy occupied is to make trouble for them; and what can make them rush about is to offer them ostensible allurements.
It is a doctrine of war that we must not rely on the likelihood of the enemy not coming, but on our own readiness to meet him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but on the fact that we have made our position invincible.
There am. five dangerous faults which may affect a gerneral: If reckless, he can be killed; if cowardly, captured; if quick-tempered, he can be provoked to rage and make a feel of himself; if he has too delicate a sense of honour, he is liable to fall into a trap because of an insult; if he is of a compassionate nature, he may get bothered and upset. These are the five serious faults of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war. The ruin of the army and the death of the general axe inevitabie results of these five dangerous faults. They must be deeply pondered.