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02.16.2014 , 10:32 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Dormancy View Post
Armonddd, you are a better Sun Tzu scholar than me. I like the quote because, regardless of context, the point is not to charge at a bomber, but to let it come to you... or at the very least, ignore the bomber completely.

Post #1 asked about mines and defeating bombers, and nothing about Domination or Deathmatch. The answer is to remove the bomber from its position of strength, be it through ignoring it, luring it out, or as you said, bringing an AoE ion railgun and friends.
It's important to separate domination and deathmatch when regarding bombers. In deathmatch, the bomber is already in a position of weakness: his abilities are not, overall, very useful, as they can be easily avoided. In domination, it is important to quickly and efficiently remove the bomber from play. You absolutely cannot afford to wait for the bomber to come to you, to ignore it, or to wait for it to come to a position of weakness, because as long as he holds the point, he is in a position of greater strength than almost any other a pilot could hope to attain.

Mistakenly following Sun Tzu's advice regarding temporizing ground instead of his advice regarding entangling ground and fortified locations results in fullstopping 20 km out from a satellite in the hopes that the bomber will leave his position of advantage and engage you on your own terms.

The Art of War 3:3-5:

"Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces; the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field; and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities. The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided. The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take up three whole months; and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more. The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege."

I am not the scholar you credit me to be; I had to do some digging to find this passage, which I think much more appropriate to dealing with bombers (specifically) than the passages on temporizing and entangling ground.

You must first try to predict and prevent the enemy's strategy; failing that, you must distract his reinforcements; failing that, you must engage his forces; failing that, if no other options are available, you must fight him at his advantage.

If you can predict where the enemy is going, you should send your best pilots there. I know certain names that can be relied on to head to a certain point immediately at the start of a match or on respawn; I myself try to mix it up often. I also know that pubs tend to favor Kuat Mesas A and Lost Shipyards B, and imps tend towards Kuat Mesas C and Lost Shipyards C. If they find several of our players already there (generally the barrel roll scouts), they may reconsider that point. Bombers especially seem likely to change their flight path if the point will not be taken by the time they arrive. This wastes their time and engine power, which is a huge advantage for your team.

Because GSF is not as strategic a war game as, say, Civilization, you will not fully accomplish Sun Tzu's goal of disrupting the enemy's strategy. You cannot, in this early engagement, prevent the enemy from fielding forces in critical areas or disrupt his supply lines or what have you. This is because GSF is a tactical, not strategic, game. Sun Tzu's advice is still mostly sound, however.

If you cannot stop the enemy from engaging you, you must prevent him from bringing his full force to bear. It is worthwhile to send a scout, strike fighter, or gunship to scare the bomber on its way to the point, unless doing so would compromise the point. I'm of the opinion that a satellite cannot be more compromised than by the arrival of a full strength bomber, so forcing the bomber to arrive with reduced shields and hull (and possibly forcing him to field a repair drone early) is a large advantage for your team. In a more general sense, Sun Tzu is also telling us that we should distract fighters on their way to an objective so our forces already there are at less of a disadvantage.

The next tactic is to engage the enemy. This is, perhaps, the heart of GSF. Shooting things is what we do every day.

Finally, Sun Tzu warns us against assailing a fortified satellite. Once a bomber opens shop on a node, it takes a lot of time and resources to remove him -- time and resources that could be spent capturing another satellite. If my opponent holds A and C, and I find a bomber at A, I am liable to turn tail and head for C without engaging the bomber at all. It's often a faster way of capping.

If you've read all this and haven't picked up The Art of War yet, I highly recommend it. It's a very important and thought-provoking book that covers all manner of statecraft, which I think is a very important topic in the modern world. It's also flat-out interesting, especially seeing how it still applies today.
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