No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy:

You are making the assumption that a brilliant plan will always go as planned, and that if it doesn't, that reflects badly in the story on the stiff fool who detailed out a complex battle plan and then acts surprised when it doesn't go perfectly.

You certainly CAN make a strategist who creates elaborate plans and then invariably has everything go perfectly. It's a kind of clever. But if you describe a character expounding on the details of their plan before a battle, they will sound arrogant, and readers will EXPECT their plan to fail. Unless you're Emperor Palpatine, running both sides of a war, your enemy will do things you simply weren't anticipating.

  • To have a "Master" strategist, borrow a page from mystery stories. Don't tell your readers about the character's brilliant plan, but instead create a situation where the strategist appears to make a mistake, but in actuality it is how the plan was executed all along

Great leaders will have clever plans, and sometimes they will work. But the stuff of drama in a story is when the enemy has their own brilliant plans that don't line up with your strategist's preconceptions. Suddenly, the careful details are thrown out the window and the strategist must improvise on the fly to prevent catastrophe.

  • Responding to unforeseen enemy actions will not haremharm the rep of a "Master" strategist if it is due to unforeseeable circumstances (an ally betrays you, an enemy has a bigger force, or they introduce a new technology). But the strategist must come up with a brilliant fix on the fly to make the surprise enemy advantage go down in flames (sometimes literally)

So the key is to make a strategist dynamic, responding quickly to changing conditions to make a victory happenshappen. The more rigid a plan, the more vulnerable it is to the tiniest thing going wrong. If you can listen to a plan and not get a gut feeling "Ah, THIS is where it will blow up!" then it's probably flexible.

  • Focusing on the actions and suffering of individuals in a battle is a good way to introduce drama and suspense, while not questioning the ultimate competence of the overall commander.

And, of course, an overarching plan can have a single battle blow up, but then require a clever ploy to make the thing come back into place. But if your strategist constantly needs a main character to show up and fix everything, are they really all that clever?

  • Introducing a brilliant rival is a good way to permit a "Master" strategist to have things go wrong and still look fully competent. A potential fiasco salvaged into a modest win will be acceptable in the face of an enemy of similar (but slightly lower) cleverness.

No Battle Survives Contact With the Enemy:

You are making the assumption that a brilliant plan will always go as planned, and that if it doesn't, that reflects badly in the story on the stiff fool who detailed out a complex battle plan and then acts surprised when it doesn't go perfectly.

You certainly CAN make a strategist who creates elaborate plans and then invariably has everything go perfectly. It's a kind of clever. But if you describe a character expounding on the details of their plan before a battle, they will sound arrogant, and readers will EXPECT their plan to fail. Unless you're Emperor Palpatine, running both sides of a war, your enemy will do things you simply weren't anticipating.

  • To have a "Master" strategist, borrow a page from mystery stories. Don't tell your readers about the character's brilliant plan, but instead create a situation where the strategist appears to make a mistake, but in actuality it is how the plan was executed all along

Great leaders will have clever plans, and sometimes they will work. But the stuff of drama in a story is when the enemy has their own brilliant plans that don't line up with your strategist's preconceptions. Suddenly, the careful details are thrown out the window and the strategist must improvise on the fly to prevent catastrophe.

  • Responding to unforeseen enemy actions will not harem the rep of a "Master" strategist if it is due to unforeseeable circumstances (an ally betrays you, an enemy has a bigger force, or they introduce a new technology). But the strategist must come up with a brilliant fix on the fly to make the surprise enemy advantage go down in flames (sometimes literally)

So the key is to make a strategist dynamic, responding quickly to changing conditions to make a victory happens. The more rigid a plan, the more vulnerable it is to the tiniest thing going wrong. If you can listen to a plan and not get a gut feeling "Ah, THIS is where it will blow up!" then it's probably flexible.

  • Focusing on the actions and suffering of individuals in a battle is a good way to introduce drama and suspense, while not questioning the ultimate competence of the overall commander.

And, of course, an overarching plan can have a single battle blow up, but then require a clever ploy to make the thing come back into place. But if your strategist constantly needs a main character to show up and fix everything, are they really all that clever?

  • Introducing a brilliant rival is a good way to permit a "Master" strategist to have things go wrong and still look fully competent. A potential fiasco salvaged into a modest win will be acceptable in the face of an enemy of similar (but slightly lower) cleverness.

No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy:

You are making the assumption that a brilliant plan will always go as planned, and that if it doesn't, that reflects badly in the story on the stiff fool who detailed out a complex battle plan and then acts surprised when it doesn't go perfectly.

You certainly CAN make a strategist who creates elaborate plans and then invariably has everything go perfectly. It's a kind of clever. But if you describe a character expounding on the details of their plan before a battle, they will sound arrogant, and readers will EXPECT their plan to fail. Unless you're Emperor Palpatine, running both sides of a war, your enemy will do things you simply weren't anticipating.

  • To have a "Master" strategist, borrow a page from mystery stories. Don't tell your readers about the character's brilliant plan, but instead create a situation where the strategist appears to make a mistake, but in actuality it is how the plan was executed all along

Great leaders will have clever plans, and sometimes they will work. But the stuff of drama in a story is when the enemy has their own brilliant plans that don't line up with your strategist's preconceptions. Suddenly, the careful details are thrown out the window and the strategist must improvise on the fly to prevent catastrophe.

  • Responding to unforeseen enemy actions will not harm the rep of a "Master" strategist if it is due to unforeseeable circumstances (an ally betrays you, an enemy has a bigger force, or they introduce a new technology). But the strategist must come up with a brilliant fix on the fly to make the surprise enemy advantage go down in flames (sometimes literally)

So the key is to make a strategist dynamic, responding quickly to changing conditions to make a victory happen. The more rigid a plan, the more vulnerable it is to the tiniest thing going wrong. If you can listen to a plan and not get a gut feeling "Ah, THIS is where it will blow up!" then it's probably flexible.

  • Focusing on the actions and suffering of individuals in a battle is a good way to introduce drama and suspense, while not questioning the ultimate competence of the overall commander.

And, of course, an overarching plan can have a single battle blow up, but then require a clever ploy to make the thing come back into place. But if your strategist constantly needs a main character to show up and fix everything, are they really all that clever?

  • Introducing a brilliant rival is a good way to permit a "Master" strategist to have things go wrong and still look fully competent. A potential fiasco salvaged into a modest win will be acceptable in the face of an enemy of similar (but slightly lower) cleverness.
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DWKraus
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No Battle Survives Contact With the Enemy:

You are making the assumption that a brilliant plan will always go as planned, and that if it doesn't, that reflects badly in the story on the stiff fool who detailed out a complex battle plan and then acts surprised when it doesn't go perfectly.

You certainly CAN make a strategist who creates elaborate plans and then invariably has everything go perfectly. It's a kind of clever. But if you describe a character expounding on the details of their plan before a battle, they will sound arrogant, and readers will EXPECT their plan to fail. Unless you're Emperor Palpatine, running both sides of a war, your enemy will do things you simply weren't anticipating.

  • To have a "Master" strategist, borrow a page from mystery stories. Don't tell your readers about the character's brilliant plan, but instead create a situation where the strategist appears to make a mistake, but in actuality it is how the plan was executed all along

Great leaders will have clever plans, and sometimes they will work. But the stuff of drama in a story is when the enemy has their own brilliant plans that don't line up with your strategist's preconceptions. Suddenly, the careful details are thrown out the window and the strategist must improvise on the fly to prevent catastrophe.

  • Responding to unforeseen enemy actions will not harem the rep of a "Master" strategist if it is due to unforeseeable circumstances (an ally betrays you, an enemy has a bigger force, or they introduce a new technology). But the strategist must come up with a brilliant fix on the fly to make the surprise enemy advantage go down in flames (sometimes literally)

So the key is to make a strategist dynamic, responding quickly to changing conditions to make a victory happens. The more rigid a plan, the more vulnerable it is to the tiniest thing going wrong. If you can listen to a plan and not get a gut feeling "Ah, THIS is where it will blow up!" then it's probably flexible.

  • Focusing on the actions and suffering of individuals in a battle is a good way to introduce drama and suspense, while not questioning the ultimate competence of the overall commander.

And, of course, an overarching plan can have a single battle blow up, but then require a clever ploy to make the thing come back into place. But if your strategist constantly needs a main character to show up and fix everything, are they really all that clever?

  • Introducing a brilliant rival is a good way to permit a "Master" strategist to have things go wrong and still look fully competent. A potential fiasco salvaged into a modest win will be acceptable in the face of an enemy of similar (but slightly lower) cleverness.

No Battle Survives Contact With the Enemy:

You are making the assumption that a brilliant plan will always go as planned, and that if it doesn't, that reflects badly in the story on the stiff fool who detailed out a complex battle plan and then acts surprised when it doesn't go perfectly.

You certainly CAN make a strategist who creates elaborate plans and then invariably has everything go perfectly. It's a kind of clever. But if you describe a character expounding on the details of their plan before a battle, they will sound arrogant, and readers will EXPECT their plan to fail. Unless you're Emperor Palpatine, running both sides of a war, your enemy will do things you simply weren't anticipating.

Great leaders will have clever plans, and sometimes they will work. But the stuff of drama in a story is when the enemy has their own brilliant plans that don't line up with your strategist's preconceptions. Suddenly, the careful details are thrown out the window and the strategist must improvise on the fly to prevent catastrophe.

So the key is to make a strategist dynamic, responding quickly to changing conditions to make a victory happens. The more rigid a plan, the more vulnerable it is to the tiniest thing going wrong. If you can listen to a plan and not get a gut feeling "Ah, THIS is where it will blow up!" then it's probably flexible.

And, of course, an overarching plan can have a single battle blow up, but then require a clever ploy to make the thing come back into place. But if your strategist constantly needs a main character to show up and fix everything, are they really all that clever?

No Battle Survives Contact With the Enemy:

You are making the assumption that a brilliant plan will always go as planned, and that if it doesn't, that reflects badly in the story on the stiff fool who detailed out a complex battle plan and then acts surprised when it doesn't go perfectly.

You certainly CAN make a strategist who creates elaborate plans and then invariably has everything go perfectly. It's a kind of clever. But if you describe a character expounding on the details of their plan before a battle, they will sound arrogant, and readers will EXPECT their plan to fail. Unless you're Emperor Palpatine, running both sides of a war, your enemy will do things you simply weren't anticipating.

  • To have a "Master" strategist, borrow a page from mystery stories. Don't tell your readers about the character's brilliant plan, but instead create a situation where the strategist appears to make a mistake, but in actuality it is how the plan was executed all along

Great leaders will have clever plans, and sometimes they will work. But the stuff of drama in a story is when the enemy has their own brilliant plans that don't line up with your strategist's preconceptions. Suddenly, the careful details are thrown out the window and the strategist must improvise on the fly to prevent catastrophe.

  • Responding to unforeseen enemy actions will not harem the rep of a "Master" strategist if it is due to unforeseeable circumstances (an ally betrays you, an enemy has a bigger force, or they introduce a new technology). But the strategist must come up with a brilliant fix on the fly to make the surprise enemy advantage go down in flames (sometimes literally)

So the key is to make a strategist dynamic, responding quickly to changing conditions to make a victory happens. The more rigid a plan, the more vulnerable it is to the tiniest thing going wrong. If you can listen to a plan and not get a gut feeling "Ah, THIS is where it will blow up!" then it's probably flexible.

  • Focusing on the actions and suffering of individuals in a battle is a good way to introduce drama and suspense, while not questioning the ultimate competence of the overall commander.

And, of course, an overarching plan can have a single battle blow up, but then require a clever ploy to make the thing come back into place. But if your strategist constantly needs a main character to show up and fix everything, are they really all that clever?

  • Introducing a brilliant rival is a good way to permit a "Master" strategist to have things go wrong and still look fully competent. A potential fiasco salvaged into a modest win will be acceptable in the face of an enemy of similar (but slightly lower) cleverness.
Source Link
DWKraus
  • 13.5k
  • 2
  • 21
  • 63

No Battle Survives Contact With the Enemy:

You are making the assumption that a brilliant plan will always go as planned, and that if it doesn't, that reflects badly in the story on the stiff fool who detailed out a complex battle plan and then acts surprised when it doesn't go perfectly.

You certainly CAN make a strategist who creates elaborate plans and then invariably has everything go perfectly. It's a kind of clever. But if you describe a character expounding on the details of their plan before a battle, they will sound arrogant, and readers will EXPECT their plan to fail. Unless you're Emperor Palpatine, running both sides of a war, your enemy will do things you simply weren't anticipating.

Great leaders will have clever plans, and sometimes they will work. But the stuff of drama in a story is when the enemy has their own brilliant plans that don't line up with your strategist's preconceptions. Suddenly, the careful details are thrown out the window and the strategist must improvise on the fly to prevent catastrophe.

So the key is to make a strategist dynamic, responding quickly to changing conditions to make a victory happens. The more rigid a plan, the more vulnerable it is to the tiniest thing going wrong. If you can listen to a plan and not get a gut feeling "Ah, THIS is where it will blow up!" then it's probably flexible.

And, of course, an overarching plan can have a single battle blow up, but then require a clever ploy to make the thing come back into place. But if your strategist constantly needs a main character to show up and fix everything, are they really all that clever?