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Outnumbered: Playing to Win

Written by DX
Last updated on 2006-10-13

  • Tactic Limits: Kill-based and/or Score-based games, with lives!
  • Tactic Caliber: Complex
  • Tactic Function: Universal
  • Recommended Fighting Stage: Progressive or later
  • Recommended Team Caliber: Advanced or higher

People tend to think that being outnumbered means automatic defeat. However, in Tactical Theory, being outnumbered is perhaps the best means of obtaining decisive victory! In fact, more severe gaps in manpower can allow the outnumbered team to build more massive lead margins. 5 vs 7 is a tough fight. 2 vs 10, however, should see the small team pull way ahead. Tactical Theory will show you how to win against seemingly impossible odds. Decisive victory snatched from the jaws of sure defeat!


You must be in the correct type of position to accomplish victory when outnumbered. Meaning do not try to hold in the wrong types of places. Get out of the open and into any of the following:

A: Large, semi-dense woodsy area, preferably on a hillside [best option]

B: Thick, dense grove of bushes, reeds, trees, etc. [second-best option]

C: Defensive Fortification [worst option]

What to do in each for a small numbers gap

Say that you are a team of 5 with 10 enemies after your souls. You are both Hardcore teams in the Fluid Era, with similar weaponry. Hopeless? Not for Tactical Theory scholars. If the enemy team gets arrogant, take the taunts with a grim smile, for they're in for a real shocker later. The central idea in this tactic is that you are already dead and your enemy has scored your team's manpower on their side of the board. 0-2, 0-5, whatever. You've got to fight like there's nothing to lose. Don't fight to survive, you are already dead. You can kill more enemies than they of you, simply because there's more of them. In a perfect total kill exchange, you'll have a tie score, if you can ge one more kill, you'll be one up. If you can get more than one extra kill, you'll have a sizable lead already. That's the kind of mindset you have when starting the Outnumbered strategy. Here's the breakdown for positions A, B, and C from above:

A1: Take up an Offensive Defense position and wait for the enemy. You need not conceal yourselves, but you do need plenty of room and plenty of trees. A hill would help. The enemy approaches and spreads into an opposing line. The initiative to attack is theirs, so prepare to counter some kind of Flank and possibly a Push as well. This means get into Swinging Pendulum formation, immediately. Choose a tree at the enemy center as your Anchor A, and position yourselves into a steep oblique line, Anchor B at the rear. The enemy will be drawn to attack left or right, and you are positioned to counter their attack in either direction. An enemy of this caliber may go for Anchor A, so that person should be prepared to fall back. Move the whole formation back if that happens. When one of your flanks is threatened, and that is going to happen, wait until the last possible moment and then swing your whole line around, pivoting from Anchor A to Anchor B. From there, if the enemy reverses the direction of their attack, reverse your pivot. If the enemy stays the course and tries to flank that same flank again, pivot again like the first time. Always swing back and around rather than forward and around, and always give plenty of ground when you do. If you forget to give ground, you'll get screwed. You want to remove the flankers temporarily from action by simply pivoting far and fast enough. Now, after a few pivots and a lot of moving around, one or more of the enemy may get slightly separated towards one of your flanks. That's the time for the active flank to break formation and attack. Your enemy is not dumb, but here they may be caught off guard. Take the isloated guys out, and you must do it quickly. Then, your whole line needs to run away a bit and then reform the Swinging Pendulum. Your enemy will give chase, but end up staring up the same obstacle, this time minus a guy or two. If you can't hit the enemies fast enough, then break off the attack and reform.

Repeat the whole process. By the time you lose everybody, your enemy should have lost most everybody as well. Your 5 lives should have been well-spent. But wait, wouldn't the enemy learn from the first time and do something different? Well, what can they do? You're back in Swinging Pendulum formation. They only way to break it is to attack it again. They might, however, know/figure out how to V-Split your defense. What the enemy would do is leave a single guy opposite your near-side Anchor, then split in half and press both flanks of your formation wth superior numbers. In that case, you've only got one option: Tactical Retreat. Run the heck away. However, not everyone would think to V-Split the defense, and most would not execute it well enough.

A2: If your enemy does not attack, take the initiative and attack them. However, be careful here-the enemy will be expecting a Kill Exchange and/or Adrenaline Charge. Don't give it to them. Give them a Swinging Gate Charge like at the Battle of Gettysburg. Choose an Anchor and then perform either a right or left wheel forward. The worst that can happen is that both sides swing around 90 degrees from where they were before. The best is if you can gang up on the targeted enemy flank and take out that portion of the line before their far side comes around. This may turn into Kill Exchange warfare. If so, make sure you get at least one enemy before getting killed yourself.

When your whole side is out, go refill, then seek a new position. This is a great type to return to if the game is tied, if you are losing, or if you've got energy you're willing to spend.

B: For this example, I will use a reed grove near an open area. This is the second-best position because you've got less options for battle moves, and less options for retreat. If you have two groves split by an open area, by all means set up a Split Ambush. If you've only got one, set up a normal ambush. The enemy probably won't fall for it, but try. When they come close, spring it and attack. If you don't get ay kills, retreat into the grove, don't risk anything. If you do get a kill or kills, retreat into the grove, don't risk anything. Force the enemy to come in and get you. Now why on earth would they do that? Well, if this is was not your initial starting position, you probably have a lead right now. The enemy is forced to attack, or let you sit there until time expires and win. If the game is a tie, the enemy will proceed with a cautious attack. if they are winning, you've got to move to a different area. So let's say they decide to come in for you. There's pretty much no way that they could utilize their numbers advantage, or even firepower advantage for that matter. The enemy is especially vulnerable to you here, as you could be hiding under or behind anything. Give them what they deserve.

When your whole side is out, go refill, then seek a new position. This is a great type to return to if you have a lead, or low energy.

C1: So you've chosen a defensive position. Let's say you were forced to retreat to one, since that's a terrible choice. However, you've got some wicked options if there's lots of heavy cover around the base. Being a hardcore team in the Fluid Era, you're going to do this differently than normal. This is a sweet time for a sweet trick. Let's try a Split Staggered Distraction Defenders' Ambush, a quadruple combo. Hide a man or two [remembering that you've only got 5] a short distance from the fortification. Do this twice, and keep them within a reasonable distance from each other and the fort itself. Put yourself in the fort and get down. Wait for the enemy to come up. They'll be rather cautious, but get a feeling of relief when they find an empty fort. Even I get that feeling. Spring your ambush and attack. Your teammates should wait a few seconds before springing theirs and attack from the flanks. If you can get a Triple Envelopment, I commend your team's cohesiveness and coordination ability. Either way, you should get at least a Flank, and at least a few extra kills. Feel free to Kill Exchange the rest, or go for more.

C2: Same scenario, but you're going to do a Split False Base Ambush instead. Everyone hides outside the base, and a good deal from it as well. The enemy comes in, suspicious, but finds the fort empty, and empty for real. You hit them now. You can get a Double Envelopment if you do it well. However, if you are spotted before the opportune time, form up for either a Swinging Pendulum Defense or do a Tactical Retreat. However, you're not doing an ordinary Tactical Retreat. Run like hell, and have someone drop back and hide. Sprinters' Ambush! Normally, such a good enemy would have that in their thoughts, but there's 10 of them and 5 of you. Their sheer numerical superiority is a distraction. They'll be chasing those poor fools who thought they could whip a larger side. Boom! At least one guy is gone. That drop behind [leaving 2 guys works better than one] should get at least that 1 kill, preferably engaging and doing a Kill Exchange for the 2nd.

Now the enemy just got pwned and they don't know where the rest of your team is! Ha! Capitalize on this by attacking right after your ambusher[s] is/are taken out. Attack hard, do a full Adrenaline Charge.

C3: Your third option is to hold the fort. Bad idea though. At least leave a guy or two outside the fort hidden somewhere, to rise up later and take the enemy in the rear when they surround the fort and engage you.

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