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Tactica Imperium passages

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This article collects all passages from the Tactica Imperium, an Imperial tome which collects martial wisdom and advices. Passages can be found in the rulebooks, Codices of the Imperial Guard, graphic novels, and several other places.

passage source
In any army balance is the key to success. A commander who puts his faith in heavy weaponry alone will be outmanoeuvred. A commander who relies on close combat without support will lose his force to enemy fire. Each element must work in harmony, so that the effectiveness of the army is greater than the sum of its parts. Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 9
Do not strike until you are ready to crush the enemy utterly, and then attack without mercy, destroy every vestige of resistance, leave no-one to work against you. Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 35
A good general does not lead an army to destruction just because he knows it will follow. Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), p. 4
Identify your target. Concentrate your fire on it to the exclusion of all else. When it is destroyed choose another target. That is the way to secure victory! Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 31
Always endeavour to fight the enemy on your terms. If you are powerful at close quarters then engage in dense terrain where your advantage will prove greatest. If you are superior at long range then fight the battle at a distance. If you have greater numbers then attack along an extended front. Use reserves to break through when the enemy's overstretched lines collapse. If outnumbered then concentrate your forces so that the enemy can fight only your best troops. No-one ever won a battle who failed to take advantage of his enemy's weakness. Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 65
An open battlefield is nothing but a death trap - in war any visible target is a casualty no matter how well protected it may be. Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 15
A commander must have the courage to see his plan through, for good or ill. Wars are won or lost when the battle lines are drawn. Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 21
If you are strong feign weakness. If weak, pretend strength. Whatever your position, conceal it from the enemy, and he will waste his armies fighting his own phantoms. Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 76
If the enemy comes on in a great horde, as Orks are wont to do, then try to direct them into a narrow defile or enclosed space, such that their numbers work against them. Crowded together those at the front will impede those behind, whilst the push from the rear will prevent those at the front from retreating or finding a better path. Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), p. 47
Attack the enemy where he is weakest. Where he is strong draw him on until he is trapped. Where he is unsure strike quickly and scatter his forces. Codex Army Lists, p. 6
The only justifiable risk is one that can do more harm to the enemy than it can to you. All risks must be calculated in your favour. Otherwise you are fighting for the enemy! Codex Army Lists, p. 4
The meaning of victory is not the defeat of your enemy but his utter destruction, to eradicate him from living memory, leaving no remnant of his endeavours, crushing utterly his every achievement and removing from all record his every trace of existence. From that defeat no enemy can ever recover. That is the true meaning of victory. Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Edition), p. 68
In war victory is one part planning and nine parts faith. [Needs Citation]
A good commander does not need to take risks - he merely waits for his foe to do so. [Needs Citation]
Being able to read the lie of the land is arguably the most important skill an officer can have. On the attack, a wise commander will use the terrain to mask his advance from the enemy’s sight. On defence, he will occupy positions that provide cover for his troops and a clear view of the routes along which the enemy is likely to attack. Using terrain well can give even an inferior force the chance of victory, while using it badly can lead to the defeat of all but the strongest attacker. [Needs Citation]
A battle is but one part of a larger whole. Any student of war will tell you that a wise commander will not commit to battle unless he has first ensured that it is a fight he cannot lose. But this still gives the battle an importance it does not warrant. Fighting a battle, even a battle you cannot fail to win, is the purest foolishness unless it advances the chances of ending the need for any further battles. Your primary aim must always be to win the war, not win the battle. [Needs Citation]
Do not throw your forces blindly into battle. Before committing your forces, examine the situation. Review your own strength, and that of your enemy. Remember your own objectives, and try to anticipate those of your opponent. Then select those of your troops best suited to the task in hand. [Needs Citation]
Myriad are the ways of war. The lightning strike, the tenacious defence, the cunning ruse; all have their time and place, oft as not dictated by the lie of the land or balance of forces that you find at your disposal. The art of war is learning how to bind the tactics, terrain and forces at your command to your advantage. [Needs Citation]
A warrior's faith in his commander is his best armour and his strongest weapon. Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook, p. 40
Preservation of life for its own sake is not to be commended where sacrifice offers a reasonable chance of gain. Non the less, the purposeless waste of life is equally to be avoided. The loss of trained personnel implies the loss of resources, equipment and knowledge. A true warrior does not belittle his value as a resource. The duty of the commander is to judge what means should be undertaken to achieve each objective. He must be aware of what is to be gained and what may be lost. A commander who places his troops in a position where he may likely lose more than he may likely gain risks more than the lives of his men. He risks far more: he risks failure. Loss is acceptable, failure is not. Imperial record COM 07/580.f402.P6 Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader