The Art of War is an ancient treatise on military tactics written by the famous Chinese tactician Sun Tzu over 2000 years ago. The manuscript has been read by countless military leaders and has inspired such monumental figures as Mao Zedong and General George S. Patton. Although the document is actually quite short, it relays a large amount of straight-forward and solid advice that sets a mindset rather than suggests detailed and specific strategies. Because of this, it is very flexible, and the advice has been used in a number of fields separate from the study of warfare, such as business and politics. Perhaps, then, the old master could have some advice for players of the popular first-person shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
All warfare is based on deception.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles
Of course, it is one thing to talk about deception, but actually accomplishing it can be an art form in itself. Fortunately, the score streaks in Black Ops 2 will lend players a lot of assistance in this regard. Sun Tzu placed a lot of importance on the use of spies. “Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge… Hence the use of spies…” Knowing what the other team is doing, and where they are at all times will give you the upper hand in every game mode. The UAV and Orbital VSAT score streaks allow players to do just this. Those red blips on the minimap will help to guide you around the other players and hit them in their backs, and also help you to prevent them from doing this to your team. Sun Tzu said, “O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the fate of our enemies in our hands.” Using the Counter UAV score streak and perks like ghost will also help to keep your intelligence better than that of the other team and to keep you one step ahead at all times. Always remember “Spies are a most important element in warfare, because on them depends an army’s ability to move.”
The clever combatant imposes his will on his enemy, but does not allow his will to be imposed on him.
By controlling the opposing team, players can force opponents to play on their terms and cause their opponents to become predictable or make mistakes. Always look to take advantage of the high ground. Sun Tzu wrote, “It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes down hill.” Although skill and quick wits may allow players to overcome an uphill battle, generally those shooting from above will have a greater field of vision and easier targets to hit. Take advantage of high positions, and shoot at opponents as they move between cover. Of course, when camping for too long in one spot, your tactic will be predictable and easily overrun. When facing an enemy who is above, try to sneak around, and do not engage them directly, or, as Sun Tzu advocates, “retreat, and try to entice him away”. Always try to fight from an advantageous position. “With regard to narrow passages, if you can occupy them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy.” Choke points are another important terrain feature that players can use to “impose their will.” By securing narrow spots on the map that the opponents will be forced to travel through, one or two players can take on a whole gang of opponents. This tactic works especially well in the Domination game mode. By defending narrow points, teams can free up more players to go on the attack and capture. Pin doorways down, shove grenades down hallways, and keep the bullets flying down any narrow passages that lead to your flags. Think “300” and you have the right idea.
If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.
Although camping in one secured location was an effective strategy in earlier Call of Duty games, the newer installments have map designs that really inhibit such tactics. Instead, move from cover to cover, only holding a point for a short time before you can get flanked or sniped. Use a high up spot to hit enemies as they come out from their spawn, and then move. When they come back and expect you to be there, hit them from behind. Learn to know when to move forward and when to hold on to that spot. It is better to be outnumbered but in cover than to get caught in the open. Once again, always try to keep yourself in an advantageous position. Use the UAV to know when the opponents are coming, and secondary grenades like smoke or flashbangs to cover your movements in combination with the counter UAV or Ghost and Dead Silence perks.
Last of all, always remember, “What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease… Thus he wins his battle by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy who is already defeated.” Limit stupid decisions as much as possible, and be flexible. Sun Tzu advocated flexibility and cleverness in all tactics. Often times it is the team that makes the simplest mistakes that loses. Not getting to the choke points or high grounds first, charging straight in over and over, and just being predictable are all quick ways to lose.
So the next time your history professor assigns some reading, maybe you should pay attention. You never know what you could learn. Stay sharp out there gamers, and happy hunting.