The thoughts of Scholar Tan

– A selection –

On the enemy: If the enemy be stronger in numbers, conspire to prevent him from fighting and use the time to discover his plans.

On planning: A plan is only as good as the planner – and the information he has at hand.

On supplies: Feed a soldier, win a battle.

On negotiation: Negotiation is a battle. Plan, skirmish, confront, retreat, outflank, advance, charge then be generous in your victory.

On leadership: He who leads best, leads least.

On espionage: A good spy is worth three poor generals.

On loyalty: If you want your troops to follow you into hell, show them you’ve been there yourself – on their behalf.

On courage: Courage is everywhere – but courage when it is needed is as rare as water in a desert.

On perseverance: Lose a skirmish, win a battle. Lose a battle, win a war.

On victory: Victory after battle is never as sweet as peace without a battle at all.

On numbers: Many is better than fewer, except where many cannot go.

On deception: To make a feint worthwhile, you must half-believe it yourself.

On bluffing: If you bluff, make sure your fallback position is extremely strong.

On retreating: Retreating is the tactic of the wise.

On terrain: Choose your battleground if you can. If you can’t, don’t let your enemy choose it.

On weapons: Poor weapons with good training are better than good weapons with poor training.

On weather: Weather is the same for your enemy and you. The better prepared has the advantage.

On tradition: Tradition is important, but not if it blinds you to possibilities.

On communication: Nothing is more important than communication.

On failure: Failure is the child of many, but seems to have few parents.