When writing a military campaign, does one need to know tactics? I have no knowledge of military tactics. I'm writing a western that has it in the story. The six-man army has to free a Mexican leader from the French. My version of the Magnificent Seven.
(The following is a further attempt to put off dealing with a currently intractable plot problem in my WIP. [/ wink])
Trying to describe "six against many" in a credible way demands having tactical background information on hand when shaping the story. Otherwise, the results will read like someone writing about baking a soufflé in a covered wagon rolling over rocky ground - a leeeeetle short on credibility.
Consider this basic tenet of military doctrine. "Defenders almost always have the upper hand". (Yes, there are exceptions, some are obvious)
The hostage-holders have all the time in the world to dig in, fortify, lay in provisions, and don't have to move around to repel attacks. The attackers have to carry everything with them (or cache it nearby, a limitation in itself), they can only carry so much (how much does enough ammunition to blow the Federales or whoever into history weigh? How mobile is anyone carrying that weight?). Options for protection from the defenders' fire is limited(!) or the attacker(s) can't move - hard to achieve the mission goal that way.
(Yes, this is almost necro-posting, and AFAIK the OP gave up on the project, but at least I managed to do something other than stare at
The telegram to Sheriff Zager said, “Looking for Beale tally book. In house?”
Gus shrugged. “You think it’s there?”
“Unless Mr. Nielson performs a miracle—“
“Which Sheriff Giddens might bring him to doing.”
“Unless a miracle happens, searching Beale’s place is our best hope.”
Nodding, Gus said, “’fraid you’re right, Mister Deputy Detective."
Gus' thoughtful expression changed to a grin.
“I don’t know about you, but I sho could stand to wrap me around a hot dinner.
“Show what a fine person I am, I’ll buy you dinner, too.”
“I recall a certain deputy, not to name names, who warned me about folks being tricky if they worked at it. I was told the worst sort were tricky, and didn’t have to work at it.
“Why is it you don’t look like you’re workin’ hard, Deputy Mallory?”
“You’ll find out.” Gus laughed like he’d heard the funniest joke of the day. I wondered what my dinner was going to cost me.
- - - - - -
I haven't a clue as to what Gus Mallory's "free" meal is going to cost Cade Miller.