coined in the short story
) Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
. Originally, it was simply a mantra
, used by the children
fighting in the battleroom
themselves in null gee
. Its first lesson was:
Do not hold onto your preconceptions when you enter this room
In a later battle, Ender finds that the room is stacked against his army (Dragon Army). The enemy armies (Griffin and Tiger) is placed defensively around their gate - winning would normally require "killing" all 41 enemies, and then sending 5 warriors to capture the enemy gate.
The enemy's gate is down
Dragon Army crosses the battleroom in a mass formation. The warriors on the edge are prefrozen, providing cover for the boys inside. Despite a massive crossfire, Dragon Army does not suffer significant damage - until fragmenting, scattering warriors in all directions, firing madly, sowing confusion. Griffin and Tiger massacre Dragon Army, but lose. In the confusion, 5 warriors had dived straight at the enemy gate, capturing it, despite having done little damage to the defenders.
There is a way to fight, and a way to win. They are not necessarily one and the same
This is the true lesson of "The enemy's gate is down" - that victory is the goal. This is a lesson for warriors as well as strategy gamers. Remember that there is a game being played, and that you win the game by winning, not by playing.
Games where this clearly holds true (a small sample