The Art of War Summary


1-Sentence Summary:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles, and your victory will be undoubtable.

Background Information

The Art of War is a compilation of the teachings of Sun Tzu (AKA Sun Wu), a military advisor who lived ~450 years before the Current Era. The Art of War was then studied, tested, and edited by military theorists, like Sun Bin. Its principles remain respected, partly because they aim to achieve a mutually beneficial, thriving community.

Sun Tzu Art of War Business Strategy


If your goal is to start an excellent business or significantly increase profit, you need wise mentors. With Game of Business, you can immediately benefit from the mentorship of the most experienced strategist.



Sample Art of War Updates

This version of the Art of War summary is derived from earlier translations of the original text, such as Lionel Giles' translation (see Figures [1, 6]).

Updating Principle 10-1.2
Figure 1: Updating Principle 10-1.2
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Figure 2: Updating Principle 1-2.2
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Figure 3: Updating Principle 1-2.4
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Figure 4: Updating Principle 3-3
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Figure 5: Updating Principles 5-[14, 16]
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Figure 6: Updating Principle 1-10

This is a list of four sayings in the Art of War that can be used as a brief summary of the Art of War:

Attack Strategically: Predict Victory
Progress Strategically: Predict Success


If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles; if you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory won, you will also suffer a defeat; if you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will be defeated in every battle.

If you know your customers and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred challenges; if you know yourself but not your customers, for every success gained, you will also suffer a failure; if you know neither your customers nor yourself, you will succumb in every challenge.


Make Tactical Arrangements: Secure Yourself Against Defeat
Make Tactical Arrangements: Secure Yourself Against Failure


One may know how to win without being able to do it.

One may know how to succeed without being able to do it.


Evaluate Terrains: Know How to Win
Evaluate Activities: Know How to Succeed


If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will be undoubtable; if you know the weather and know the terrain, your victory will be limitless.

If you know your customers and know yourself, your success will be undoubtable; if you know the environment and know the situation, your success will be limitless.


Attack with Fire: Remain Secure and Intact
Progress Fervently: Remain Secure and Intact


Enlightened rulers lay their plans well ahead; good generals cultivate their resources.

Enlightened mentors lay their plans well ahead; good leaders cultivate their resources.


Art of War Chapter Title: Art of War Section Title
Game of Business Chapter Title: Game of Business Section Title


Art of War Principle

Game of Business Principle



The Art of War Strategy Overview

This is a general summary or overview of the Art of War:

There are Five Factors governing the art of war: Moral Influence, Nature, Terrain, Leadership, and Method.
There are Five Factors governing the Game of Business: Moral Influence, Nature, Domain, Leadership, and Method.

Attack the enemy when they are unprepared; emerge where you are not expected.
Pursue customers when they are adaptable; emerge where you are not expected.

Be thoroughly acquainted with the dangers of wars, so you can thoroughly understand the profitable ways of waging them.
Be thoroughly acquainted with the dangers of businesses, so you can thoroughly understand the profitable ways of conducting them.

Let your great object be victory, not lengthy operations.
Let your great object be success, not lengthy operations.

The best strategy of all is to remain intact rather than allowing damage.
The best strategy of all is to remain intact rather than allowing damage.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
If you know your customers and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred challenges.

One may know how to win without being able to do it.
One may know how to succeed without being able to do it.

In respect of Method, we have Measurement, Estimation of Quantity, Calculation, Balancing of Chances, and Victory.
In respect of Method, we have Measurement, Estimation of Quantity, Calculation, Balancing of Chances, and Success.

Control a large army by dividing its numbers, and operate a large army by instituting signs and signals.
Control a large company by dividing its numbers, and operate a large company by instituting signs and signals.

The energy developed by good troops is as the momentum of round stones rolled down high mountains.
The energy developed by good associates is as the momentum of round stones rolled down high mountains.

Attack places where the enemy must hasten to defend; advance swiftly to places where you are not expected.
Create tools and services that customers must hasten to adopt; advance swiftly to places where you are not expected.

Change is a constant factor.
Change is a constant factor.

If you started after the enemy, to reach the goal before them, take a circuitous route and entice them out of the way.
If you started after opponents, to reach the goal before them, take a circuitous route and entice them out of the way.

In maneuvering troops, use strategies to manage mood, psychology, strength, circumstances, and military interactions.
In maneuvering businesses, use strategies to manage mood, psychology, strength, circumstances, and business interactions.

Students of war who are unversed in the art of varying their plans, even though they are acquainted with the Five Strategic Considerations, will fail to make the best use of their people.
Students of business who are unversed in the game of varying their plans, even though they are acquainted with the Five Strategic Considerations, will fail to make the best use of their people.

When an army is defeated and its general killed, the cause will surely be found among the Five Dangerous Faults.
When a company fails and its leader dismissed, the cause will surely be found among the Five Dangerous Faults.

The Four Branches of Military Knowledge enable armies to conquer.
The Four Branches of Business Knowledge enable businesses to acquire customers.

To ensure victory, troops must be treated with humanity, and united through training.
To ensure success, associates must be treated with humanity, and united through training.

Generals who have attained responsible posts must be careful to study the Six Types of Terrain.
Leaders who have attained responsible posts must be careful to study the Six Areas of Activity.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will be undoubtable; if you know the weather and know the terrain, your victory will be limitless.
If you know your customers and know yourself, your success will be undoubtable; if you know the environment and know the situation, your success will be limitless.

Skillful generals use strategies depending on the battleground.
Skillful leaders use strategies depending on the situation.

If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if otherwise, stop still.
If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if otherwise, stop still.

If instructing officers and troops to accomplish tasks, do not let them know the intentions; instruct them to gain advantages, but tell them nothing of the dangers involved.
If instructing associates to accomplish tasks, do not let them know the intentions; instruct them to gain advantages, but tell them nothing of the dangers involved.

If the conditions are met to launch an attack with fire, use the Five Ways of Attacking with Fire.
If the conditions are met to progress fervently, use the Five Gains of Progressing Fervently.

Enlightened rulers lay their plans well ahead; good generals cultivate their resources.
Enlightened mentors lay their plans well ahead; good leaders cultivate their resources.

Given that victory can be decided in a day, to remain ignorant of conditions simply because one grudges spending a small portion of daily expense as compensation for services, is the height of negligence.
Given that success can be decided in a day, to remain ignorant of conditions simply because one grudges spending a small portion of daily expense as compensation for services, is the height of negligence.

Intelligence is an extraordinarily important resource, because on it depends an army’s ability to make decisions.
Information is an extraordinarily important resource, because on it depends a company's ability to make decisions.


These are chapter summaries or lessons of the Art of War:

How many chapters are in the Art of War? thirteen (13)


There are Five Factors governing the art of war: Moral Influence, Nature, Terrain, Leadership, and Method.
There are Five Factors governing the Game of Business: Moral Influence, Nature, Domain, Leadership, and Method.
There are Seven Considerations to forecast victory or defeat.
There are Seven Considerations to forecast success or failure.
In addition to profiting from my suggestions, use any helpful circumstances beyond the ordinary rules.
In addition to profiting from my suggestions, use any helpful circumstances beyond the ordinary rules.
Warfare is based on deception.
Business is based on clever resourcefulness.
Attack the enemy when they are unprepared; emerge where you are not expected.
Pursue customers when they are adaptable; emerge where you are not expected.
You are more likely to win if you plan.
You are more likely to succeed if you plan.


The cost of developing an army of many people will reach a significant total each day, from the following expenses:
  • Chariots,
  • Wagons,
  • Soldiers,
  • Supplies,
  • Entertainment,
  • Transportation,
  • Security,
  • Maintenance, and
  • Miscellaneous.
The cost of developing a company of many people will reach a significant total each day, from the following expenses:
  • Offices,
  • Workshops,
  • Associates,
  • Supplies,
  • Marketing,
  • Transportation,
  • Security,
  • Maintenance, and
  • Miscellaneous.
Be thoroughly acquainted with the dangers of wars, so you can thoroughly understand the profitable ways of waging them.
Be thoroughly acquainted with the dangers of businesses, so you can thoroughly understand the profitable ways of conducting them.
Get food from the enemy.
Learn from customers.
Use the enemy to augment your strength.
Use customers to augment your strength.
Let your great object be victory, not lengthy operations.
Let your great object be success, not lengthy operations.


The best strategy of all is to remain intact rather than allowing damage.
The best strategy of all is to remain intact rather than allowing damage.
Use strategies dependent on the ratio of the number of troops of your army to that of the enemy to prevent your army from being overtaken by a larger one.
Use strategies dependent on the ratio of the number of associates of your company to that of opponents to prevent your company from being overtaken by a larger one.
Generals can bring misfortune on their armies by hobbling them, causing restlessness in their officers' and troops' minds, and shaking their officers' and troops' confidence.
Leaders can bring misfortune on their companies by hobbling them, causing restlessness in their associates' minds, and shaking their associates' confidence.
Victory lies in the knowledge of the Five Predictors of Victory.
Success lies in the knowledge of the Five Predictors of Success.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
If you know your customers and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred challenges.


One may know how to win without being able to do it.
One may know how to succeed without being able to do it.
Victories of clever warriors bring them neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage, because they excel in winning with ease.
Successes of clever businesspeople bring them neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage, because they excel in succeeding with ease.
In respect of Method, we have Measurement, Estimation of Quantity, Calculation, Balancing of Chances, and Victory.
In respect of Method, we have Measurement, Estimation of Quantity, Calculation, Balancing of Chances, and Success.


Control a large army by dividing its numbers, and operate a large army by instituting signs and signals.
Control a large company by dividing its numbers, and operate a large company by instituting signs and signals.
The possibilities of combining direct and indirect methods are inexhaustible.
The possibilities of combining direct and indirect methods are inexhaustible.
Good warriors will be ardent in their attacks, and precise in their timing and accuracy.
Good businesspeople will be ardent in their pursuits, and precise in their timing and accuracy.
The enemy acts according to appearances of skillful warriors.
Customers act according to appearances of skillful businesspeople.
The energy developed by good troops is as the momentum of round stones rolled down high mountains.
The energy developed by good associates is as the momentum of round stones rolled down high mountains.


Attack places where the enemy must hasten to defend; advance swiftly to places where you are not expected.
Create tools and services that customers must hasten to adopt; advance swiftly to places where you are not expected.
Those generals are skillful in offense whose enemies do not know what to defend; and they are skillful in defense whose enemies do not know what to attack.
Those leaders are skillful in progress whose associates know how to proceed; and they are skillful in defense whose opponents do not know what to pursue.
Manage the enemy's weaknesses, and move more rapidly than the enemy.
Manage associates' strengths, and move more rapidly than your customers.
If we wish to fight, the enemy can be compelled to an engagement; if we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us.
If we wish to contend for superiority, opponents can be compelled to an engagement; if we do not wish to contend for superiority, we can prevent opponents from engaging us.
If we are able to attack an inferior force, our opponents will be defeated.
If we are able to resolve more customer inquiries than we get, our customers will be secured.
Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling the enemy to make these preparations against us.
Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible challenges; numerical strength, from compelling opponents to make these preparations against us.
If we know the place and time of battles, we can plan adequately and be ready to fight.
If we know the place and time of future activities, we can plan adequately and be ready to advance.
All people can see the tactics whereby I win, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
All people can see the tactics whereby I succeed, but what none can see is the strategy out of which success is evolved.
Change is a constant factor.
Change is a constant factor.


If you started after the enemy, to reach the goal before them, take a circuitous route and entice them out of the way.
If you started after opponents, to reach the goal before them, take a circuitous route and entice them out of the way.
To benefit from natural advantages, we must use local guides.
To benefit from natural advantages, we must use local guides.
Decide whether to concentrate or separate your troops, based on your circumstances.
Decide whether to concentrate or separate your associates, based on your circumstances.
In the art of maneuvering, they will win who have learnt the use of indirect and direct strategies.
In the game of maneuvering, they will succeed who have learnt the use of indirect and direct strategies.
In the art of handling large masses of people, the troops should form a single, united body, so the brave cannot advance alone, nor the cowardly retreat alone.
In the game of handling large masses of people, the group should form a single, united body, so the brave cannot advance alone, nor the cowardly retreat alone.
To effectively communicate, make much use of torches and drums, and flags and banners.
To effectively communicate, make much use of exciting activities and announcements, and signals and signs.
In maneuvering troops, use strategies to manage mood, psychology, strength, circumstances, and military interactions.
In maneuvering businesses, use strategies to manage mood, psychology, strength, circumstances, and business interactions.


Students of war who are unversed in the art of varying their plans, even though they are acquainted with the Five Strategic Considerations, will fail to make the best use of their people.
Students of business who are unversed in the game of varying their plans, even though they are acquainted with the Five Strategic Considerations, will fail to make the best use of their people.
The art of war teaches us to rely on our readiness to receive the enemy, and the fact that we have made our position unassailable.
The Game of Business teaches us to rely on our readiness to receive opponents, and the fact that we have made our position unassailable.
When an army is defeated and its general killed, the cause will surely be found among the Five Dangerous Faults.
When a company fails and its leader dismissed, the cause will surely be found among the Five Dangerous Faults.


The Four Branches of Military Knowledge enable armies to conquer.
The Four Branches of Business Knowledge enable businesses to acquire customers.
If you nourish your troops, and occupy positions where supplies are abundant, the army will be free from disease of every kind; this will result in victory.
If you are careful of your people, and occupy stable positions, the company will be free from disorder of every kind; this will result in success.
If there is rain upstream of a river that you wish to ford, causing the river to swell and foam, wait for the water to subside before trying to ford the river.
If there is much uncertainty about an obstacle you wish to cross, causing inconsistencies to appear, resolve the inconsistencies before trying to overcome the obstacle.
The Six Dangerous Configurations of Terrain should be left with all possible speed, and not approached.
The Six Dangerous Situations should be left with all possible speed, and not approached.
The Four Ambush Configurations of Terrain must be carefully found and examined.
The Four Ambush Situations must be carefully found and examined.
If you have no plans and underestimate the enemy, you are sure to be captured.
If you have no plans and underestimate your opponents, you are sure to be overtaken.
To ensure victory, troops must be treated with humanity, and united through training.
To ensure success, associates must be treated with humanity, and united through training.


Generals who have attained responsible posts must be careful to study the Six Types of Terrain.
Leaders who have attained responsible posts must be careful to study the Six Areas of Activity.
The Six Distinct Calamities are ways of courting defeat that must be carefully noted by generals who have attained responsible posts.
The Six Distinct Calamities are ways of courting failure that must be carefully noted by leaders who have attained responsible posts.
They who know the Responsibilities for Victory, and put their knowledge into practice, will win their battles.
They who know the Responsibilities for Success, and put their knowledge into practice, will achieve their pursuits.
If you treat your troops with care, they will follow you through the most threatening dangers.
If you treat your associates with care, they will follow you through the most threatening dangers.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will be undoubtable; if you know the weather and know the terrain, your victory will be limitless.
If you know your customers and know yourself, your success will be undoubtable; if you know the environment and know the situation, your success will be limitless.


Skillful generals use strategies depending on the battleground.
Skillful leaders use strategies depending on the situation.
If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if otherwise, stop still.
If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if otherwise, stop still.
Rapidity is the essence of war; use the enemy's unreadiness; make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.
Rapidity is the essence of business; use associates' readiness; make your way by unexpected routes, and pursue unguarded spots.
If you place armies in positions with no escape, they must confront death, so officers and troops will apply maximum effort to win battles.
If you place companies in positions with no escape, they must confront failure, so leaders and associates will apply maximum effort to overcome challenges.
The principle on which to lead an army is to establish one standard of courage that all must reach.
The principle on which to lead a company is to establish one standard of courage that all must reach.
To muster their troops and bring them into danger: This may be termed the responsibility of generals.
To muster their groups and bring them into danger: This may be termed the responsibility of leaders.
If invading enemy territory, penetrating deeply causes cohesion, whereas penetrating shallowly causes dispersion.
If encroaching competitive domains, penetrating deeply causes cohesion, whereas penetrating shallowly causes dispersion.
Excellent generals should not ignore any of the many varieties of battleground.
Excellent leaders should not ignore any of the many varieties of situations.
If instructing officers and troops to accomplish tasks, do not let them know the intentions; instruct them to gain advantages, but tell them nothing of the dangers involved.
If instructing associates to accomplish tasks, do not let them know the intentions; instruct them to gain advantages, but tell them nothing of the dangers involved.


If the conditions are met to launch an attack with fire, use the Five Ways of Attacking with Fire.
If the conditions are met to progress fervently, use the Five Gains of Progressing Fervently.
The army must know the Seven Strategies for Attacking with Fire.
The company must know the Seven Strategies for Progressing Fervently.
Enlightened rulers lay their plans well ahead; good generals cultivate their resources.
Enlightened mentors lay their plans well ahead; good leaders cultivate their resources.


Given that victory can be decided in a day, to remain ignorant of conditions simply because one grudges spending a small portion of daily expense as compensation for services, is the height of negligence.
Given that success can be decided in a day, to remain ignorant of conditions simply because one grudges spending a small portion of daily expense as compensation for services, is the height of negligence.
What enables wise rulers and good generals to achieve victories beyond the reach of average people, is foreknowledge.
What enables wise mentors and good leaders to achieve successes beyond the reach of average people, is foreknowledge.
When the Five Kinds of Spy are used together, none can discover the system; it is a supreme system and is generals' most precious asset.
When the Five Kinds of Information are used together, none can discover the system; it is a supreme system and is leaders' most precious asset.
One cannot make certain the truth of intelligence without subtle ingenuity.
One cannot make certain the truth of information without subtle ingenuity.
The end and aim of the Five Kinds of Spy is knowledge of conditions; this knowledge can only be derived, in the first instance, from Converted spies.
The end and aim of the Five Kinds of Information is knowledge of conditions; this knowledge can only be derived, in the first instance, from Converted information.
Intelligence is an extraordinarily important resource, because on it depends an army’s ability to make decisions.
Information is an extraordinarily important resource, because on it depends a company's ability to make decisions.


Table 1: Strategies dependent on your condition
Your Actual Condition Strategy
Capable Seem incapable
Able to advance Seem unable to advance
Near your goal Seem far from your goal
Far from your goal Seem near your goal
Table 2: Strategies dependent on disadvantages of the enemy
Concluded Disadvantage of the Enemy Strategy
Greedy Hold out baits to entice the enemy
Disordered Capture the enemy
Irritable Irritate the enemy
Underestimating Encourage the enemy's arrogance
Table 3: Strategies dependent on advantages of the enemy
Concluded Advantage of the Enemy Strategy
Poised Be prepared for the enemy
Strong Avoid the enemy
Relaxed Tire the enemy
United Separate the enemy
Table 4: Strategies dependent on the ratio of the number of troops of your army to that of the enemy
Ratio of Your Army to the Enemy Strategy
10:1 Surround the enemy
5:1 Attack the enemy
2:1 Separate the enemy
1:1 You can engage the enemy
~0.7:1 You can avoid the enemy
~0.3:1 You can flee from the enemy
Table 5: How skillful warriors simulate appearances
Actual Condition Simulated Apearance Dependency
Superbly organized Disordered Organization
Courageous Fearful Fund of a potential energy
Strong Weak Tactical arrangements
Table 6: Outcomes resulting from actions
Outcome Action
Overwhelm the enemy Avoid being overwhelmed by the enemy
Cause the enemy to approach of their own accord Hold out advantages to the enemy
Make it impossible for the enemy to come Provide incentives for the enemy to stay
Table 7: Strategies dependent on the enemy's conditions
The Enemy's Condition Strategy
Relaxing Tire the enemy
Well-supplied with food Starve the enemy out
Comfortably encamped Force the enemy to move
Table 8: How to prevent the enemy from engaging us
Desired Outcome Strategy
Discover the enemy's plans and the likelihood of their success Scheme
Learn the principle of the enemy's activity or inactivity Rouse the enemy
Learn the enemy's characteristics Compel the enemy to reveal themselves
Know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient Carefully compare the enemy's army with our own
Table 9: Strategies to manage the enemy's conditions
Control Factor Concluded Condition of the Enemy Strategy
Mood Keen spirits Engage the enemy
Mood Sluggish and inclined to return home Attack the enemy
Psychology Organized Disorganize the enemy
Psychology Calm Irritate the enemy
Strength Far from goals Be near your goals
Strength Toiling and struggling Rest
Strength Lacks skills Use your skills
Circumstances Banners and flags are orderly Do not approach the enemy
Circumstances Gathered in calm and confident arrays Do not attack the enemy
Table 10: Strategies to manage military interactions
Enemy Condition Strategy
Encamped on high ground Do not advance against the enemy
Superior Do not oppose the enemy
Simulates flight Do not pursue the enemy
Keen temper Do not attack the enemy
Offers benefits Do not accept the enemy's gifts
Returning home Do not interfere with the enemy
Surrounded Do not close all the enemy's outlets
Desperate Do not press the enemy too hard
Table 11: Strategies for five terrains
Terrain Strategy
Difficult Do not settle
Central Join your allies
Dangerously Isolated Do not linger
Constricted You must strategize
Desperate You must fight
Table 12: Strategies with the best chances of achieving desired outcomes
Desired Outcome Strategy
Succeed in accomplishing the essential part of our plans Temper our expectation of advantage by blending considerations of advantage and disadvantage
Protect ourselves from misfortune Always be ready to seize an advantage when amid difficulties
Table 13: Strategies that apply to the enemy
Desired Outcome Strategy
Make the enemy succumb Intimidate the enemy
Keep the enemy engaged Harass the enemy
Make the enemy rush to any given point Hold out deceptive allurements to the enemy
Table 14: Strategies for preliminary analysis
Subject of Analysis Observed Condition Conclusion
Terrain The enemy is near and remains quiet The enemy is relying on natural strengths of their positions
Cunning The enemy keeps aloof and tries to provoke battle The enemy is anxious for you to attack
Encampment The enemy's encampment is easy for you to access The enemy must have a reason for staying
Surroundings There is movement around you The enemy is approaching
Surroundings Many obstacles of bundled grass appear along paths The enemy wants to make us suspicious
Animal Behavior Birds suddenly rise in flight An ambush is likely near
Animal Behavior Animals are startled An enormous attack is near
Animal Behavior Birds gather around an area The area is vacant
Dust Dust rises high and is concentrated Enemy chariots are arriving
Dust Dust rises low and over a wide area Enemy infantry is approaching
Dust Dust branches out in different directions The enemy is gathering firewood
Dust A few clusters of dust rise and settle The enemy is encamping
Enemy Messages The enemy speaks humbly while increasing their preparations The enemy will soon approach
Enemy Messages The enemy speaks ardently while driving forward as if approaching The enemy will soon retreat
Enemy Messages The enemy proposes a truce without negotiating conditions There is a plot
Enemy Messages The enemy gives compliments and gifts The enemy wishes for a truce
Movement Enemy, light chariots are first to take positions on the flanks The enemy is forming for battle
Movement Enemy soldiers and chariots quickly take positions Enemy reinforcements have arrived
Movement Half the enemy troops are seen advancing while half retreating The enemy is luring you
Movement The enemy's banners and flags are often shifted The enemy is in disarray
Movement The enemy approaches angrily and maintains their position for a long time without either advancing or retreating The situation demands vigilant attention
Enemy Behavior Enemy soldiers display laziness The enemy is hungry and short of food
Enemy Behavior Enemy soldiers who are sent to gather water begin by drinking themselves The enemy is suffering from thirst
Enemy Behavior The enemy sees potential advantages and does not attempt to secure them The enemy is exhausted
Enemy Behavior Enemy soldiers clamor at night The enemy is afraid
Enemy Behavior Enemy officers are angry The enemy is weary
Enemy Behavior The enemy kills their horses for food The enemy has no provisions
Enemy Behavior The enemy puts away their cooking tools, showing that they will not return to their camp The enemy is in a desperate situation
Generals An army is disorderly Authority of the general is weak
Generals Officers and troops are whispering together in small groups and speaking in subdued tones Officers and troops have lost trust in their general
Generals Generals give rewards too frequently Generals are out of ideas
Generals Generals give too many punishments Generals are in dire distress
Generals Generals begin boastfully, and then become afraid Generals have a supreme lack of intelligence
Table 15: Strategies dependent on the type of terrain
Terrain Observed Condition Conclusion
Accessible All Be first to occupy positions that enable you to observe changes and manage supply routes
Entangling The enemy is unprepared You may rush forth and capture the enemy
Entangling The enemy is prepared, and you fail to capture them Withdrawal will be difficult and your position disadvantageous
Equitable The enemy offers us attractive baits Do not rush forth
Equitable All Entice the enemy by retreating, and attack after half of the enemy troops have been drawn out
Constricted You occupy the terrain before the enemy let the gaps be strongly protected and await the arrival of the enemy
Constricted The enemy fully protects the terrain they control before you Do not follow the enemy
Constricted The enemy weakly protects the terrain they control before you Follow the enemy
Key You control the terrain before the enemy Occupy positions that enable you to observe changes and manage supply routes, and there wait for the enemy to arrive
Key The enemy controls the terrain before you Retreat and lure the enemy away; do not follow them
Distant Your strength is equal to that of the enemy It is difficult to provoke enemy engagement, because moving is not advantageous
Table 16: Strategies dependent on the battleground
Battleground Description Strategy
Dispersive When you are fighting in your own territory Do not engage in battle
Easy When you have penetrated shallowly into enemy territory Do not halt
Key Ground the control of which gives great advantage to an army Do not attack
Accessible Ground that everyone can freely traverse Do not try to block the enemy's path
Central Intersection of important paths, so it gives supremacy to the army that controls it Join your allies
Serious When your army has penetrated into the heart of enemy territory, leaving several fortified cities and towns in their rear Gather the enemy's resources
Difficult Area that is hard to traverse Keep steadily advancing
Constricted Ground reached through narrow gaps, and from which we can only retreat by tortuous paths, so that a small number of enemy soldiers would suffice to defeat a large group of our people Strategize
Desperate When we can only be saved from death by fighting without delay Fight
Table 17: Strategies dependent on the battleground, if your army is invading
Battleground Description Strategy
Dispersive When you are fighting in your own territory Inspire your people with unity of purpose
Easy When you have penetrated shallowly into enemy territory See that there are close connections between all parts of your army
Key Ground the control of which gives great advantage to an army Hurry forward
Accessible Ground that everyone can freely traverse Keep vigilant eyes on your defenses
Central Intersections of important paths Consolidate your alliances
Serious When your army has penetrated into the heart of enemy territory, leaving several fortified cities and towns in their rear Ensure continuous supplies of food
Difficult Area that is hard to traverse Keep pushing on along the paths
Constricted When you have risky areas behind you and narrow gaps ahead Block any way of retreat
Desperate When you have no place of refuge Fight as if retreat is hopeless
Table 18: Strategies to attack with fire
Belief Conclusion
Fire appears inside the enemy's encampment Prepare quickly to attack
Fire appears inside the enemy's encampment, but the enemy soldiers remain quiet Wait patiently and do not attack
Effect of fire brings practicable opportunities Quickly attack
Effect of fire brings no practicable opportunities Quickly stop attacking
Means are available for attacking with fire Begin attacking at a favorable moment—do not wait for fire to appear in the enemy's encampment
You start an attack with fire Be on the side of the fire from which the wind is blowing—do not attack the side of the fire that is in the direction in which the wind is blowing
Wind rises and lasts during the day Wind will likely fall during the night



If your goal is to start an excellent business or significantly increase profit, you need wise mentors. With Game of Business you can immediately benefit from the mentorship of the most experienced strategist.

Mentors help you understand the importance of learning, because if you want to learn, it is fun; if it is fun, you will do an ample amount of it; and if you do a sufficient amount of it correctly, you will master it.

Game of Business transforms the principles in Sun Tzu Art of War from military strategy to business strategy, so that Art of War's framework to master basic strategy for military can be used to master basic strategy for business (see Figures [1, 6]). To make the mastery of basic, business strategy a fun and useful experience, each set of principles in Game of Business forms a unique, business strategy skill.

Example Skill (Chapter 13: Using Intelligence)—Use foreknowledge to achieve extraordinary success: No relationships are more intimate than those with discoverers of useful information. No rewards should be more generous than those for discovering useful information. Hence, enlightened mentors and wise leaders use the highest intelligence for investigation, and thereby achieve great results (see Chapter 13; Principles 5, 10, 11, and 24).

The knowledge and reasoning of Sun Tzu Art of War show an ability to consciously combine mastery of military strategy with creative imagination, making an "art" out of war. After strategizing his way to victory and securing his people's safety, Art of War's author, Sun Tzu, had the time, freedom, and energy to present his discoveries. He learned that to persevere and overcome in your struggles is not Supreme Excellence; Supreme Excellence consists of achieving success without struggling. If your ultimate goal is to balance your time, freedom, and energy, applying the principles in Game of Business will help you achieve Supreme Excellence.

Sample Principle Transformations

Transforming Principle 1-3
Figure 1: Transforming Principle 1-3
Transforming Principle 3-3
Figure 2: Transforming Principle 3-3
Transforming Principle 9-4
Figure 3: Transforming Principle 9-4
Transforming Principle 5-14-16
Figure 4: Transforming Principles 5-[14, 16]
Transforming Principle 10-1.2
Figure 5: Transforming Principle 10-1.2
Transforming Principle 7-17
Figure 6: Transforming Principle 7-17