(AWAP) Art of War v. Art of Pool - six kinds of terrain

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At it's most basic, the pool table is a small battlefield. An excerpt from "The Art of War" is provided with how it applies to the competition between opponents.

This segment is from:

Chapter 10 - Terrain

We may distinguish six kinds of terrain ...

(If this is the first post you've seen, read the AWAP Introduction & instructions post.)

This information considers how battlefield strategies and tactics can be used to win more games. If this seems interesting, read these AWAP posts.

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We may distinguish six kinds of terrain, to wit: (1) Accessible ground; (2) entangling ground; (3) temporizing ground; (4) narrow passes; (5) precipitous heights; (6) positions at a great distance from the enemy.

  • (1) Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides is called accessible. With regard to ground of this nature, be before the enemy in occupying the raised and sunny spots, and carefully guard your line of supplies. Then you will be able to fight with advantage.
  • (2) Ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy is called entangling. From a position of this sort, if the enemy is unprepared, you may sally forth and defeat him. But if the enemy is prepared for your coming, and you fail to defeat him, then, return being impossible, disaster will ensue.
  • (3) When the position is such that neither side will gain by making the first move, it is called temporizing ground. In a position of this sort, even though the enemy should offer us an attractive bait, it will be advisable not to stir forth, but rather to retreat, thus enticing the enemy in his turn; then, when part of his army has come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage.
  • (4) With regard to narrow passes, if you can occupy them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy. Should the enemy forestall you in occupying a pass, do not go after him if the pass is fully garrisoned, but only if it is weakly garrisoned.
  • (5) With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with your adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and there wait for him to come up. If the enemy has occupied them before you, do not follow him, but retreat and try to entice him away.
  • (6) If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy, and the strength of the two armies is equal, it is not easy to provoke a battle, and fighting will be to your disadvantage.

These six are the principles connected with Earth. The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.

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Depending on your skills, table options can be wide open, open, clustered, difficult, and do or die. These are some ways in which you can address these situations to make wiser choices.

  • A wide open table has only a few balls in easy to make positions. The pattern for the run-out is simple. Do not become careless. Ensure that every action is planned and executed under control.
  • An open table is one that can be run (dependent on the balls per inning average. The process to run-out should be started but will need back-up options if any shot gets out of line.
  • A clustered table means one or more balls are tied up in a group that prevents a run-out. When to open the cluster depends on table circumstances and opponent's skills.
  • A difficult table has multiple problems, such as balls in clusters, blocking pockets, and in dead zones. This type of layout requires a plan to develop properly that considers both offensive and defensive choices at each shot choice.
  • A do or die table occurs when you must run out to the end. If you don’t, you lose.

It is your responsibility to recognize the conditions and apply the correct tactics.

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