"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy." -Sun Tzu, The Art of War
In Sun Tzu's book, The Art of War, he goes over many various concepts of war, and has two chapters titled "offensive strategy" and dispositions". It is from those two chapters that I've been given inspiration for two articles labeled "Offensive Strategy" and "Defensive Strategy". Any phrase in quotation marks is credited to Sun Tzu, who I've found out through my studies may not even exist.
The first thing you must do is purge you mind of all assumptions and previous beliefs about your personal concepts of offense. Offense is NOT attacking; offense is the struggle of one force against another towards a means, in which you are the acting role and the enemy is the reactive role. You don't have to attack, nor assault, to be "on offense". You just have to make the enemy react to you. You could easily do this from any role, and any location on the map. The following is based off of Sun Tzu's "Five circumstances in which victory may be predicted", which means five different ways you know you'll win.
"He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious."
Simply put, know when to give up. Lose a fight by running away only to win shortly after. Vash, one of the top MLG players out there and a prominent trash talker ("Take lessons Zyos!"), has a problem with this rule of offense. There were several moments in St. Louis where he would rush in, die, respawn, rush in, and die again. Instead of stopping and thinking "hey, maybe I'm doing something wrong", he merely got frustrated and tried the same thing again. Thinking "I should have had a better shot", or "they got lucky" is foolishness. The only times you can ever think that and possibly be justified in doing so is on defense. When you are attacking someone, you are setting everything up beforehand. You wouldn't try to grab a flag when their base is full of enemies, don't try to attack someone when you will be in danger. If someone who does as well as Vash can ignore this rule and do so well, think for a moment how powerful a force one could become if they paid attention to all rules of offense.
"He who understands how to use both large and small forces will be victorious."
The monster that is Team 3D has yet to lose a halo championship. Many people say things such as "they aren't really that good, they just have great teamwork". That isn't true. Teamwork is important, and team 3D does have a lot of it, but that isn't the only reason they win. They actually understand the game, they aren't just getting lucky. If you look at 3D's history, you'll find that the ogres tore it up 2v2, and the entire team was good at 1v1, and none of them are bad at free for all, despite that they rarely come out on top at MLG's FFAs.
The point is, they know how to play in all sorts of circumstances. If you play your friends 1 vs. 3, you will play much different after a few games. The reason is because different rules apply for different circumstances. When attacking four vs. one, you don't attack all from the same direction; you surround, then engage. There's no point in endangering everyone when you can easily kill from saftey. When attacking one vs. four, you don't engage head on; you attack from the shadows with grenades, and try to pick off as many as you can. The moment they turn to attack you, you flee to saftey. If you understand how to use your team safely and effectively, you will prevail. I'll most likely be going over this in a later article (or video).
"He whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious."
If your team works together towards the same goal, you will do much better. Keep in mind the end of the game at all times, but you have to work together for the short game benefits as well. A team that has four people doing four different things at once can still do well, but if each member's main goal is to keep everyone out of the hill in a KotH game, they will do much better. Coordinate your team for the same goal. If you are trying to get the power weapons, make sure your team divides up equally in going for them. If you are trying to gain map control, make sure you can all protect one another. Work together, even if you are at a distance.
"He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious"
A few people out there are probably enraged by this advice. In all actuality, the above statement literally means "camping". People HATE camping. They call people names when they do it, they yell at them, they'll say things like "hey, roasting enough marshmallows there" and other goofy phrases. Oddly enough, people get mad and act in a similar fashion when I use the rocket launcher, the pp/BR ("noob combo" as a few affectionately call it), energy sword, or anything else that is powerful.
You know what that is? A clue. The first rule when observing anything is to watch for the same reaction to different stimuli. When you find out what all the different stimuli have in common, you will quickly find the reason for the reaction. In this case, the reaction is anger and taunting. What causes it? Powerful strategies and weapons that prevent them from winning, or at least winning easily. There are a few chivalrous players out there that really don't touch the rocket launcher/sword/whatever. To them, I say congrats. You have managed to stay happy yet only being level 12.
If someone yells at you for a strategy you have, do it AGAIN. Perfect it. Make them yell MORE. If they complain every time you pick up a weapon, that is a weakness. Use it! You both have the goal to win; there is no reason to give the enemy an advantage.
A few use this logic to condone cheating, but anyone with half a brain can know that cheating is wrong. Cheating has no "balance" to it. A rocket launcher can easily cause a suicide, and has very little ammo. A sword can not attack from a distance, and a sniper has only four round per cartridge. Pushing a stand-by button, using illegal mods on X-box Live, or anything else of the sort has no counter and ruins the game for everyone.
"He whose [teammates] are able and not interefed with . . . will be victorious."
Something you can easily fathom. If a team is made up of good players and nothing interferes with them, they'll win. Everyone knows this, even if not in those words. What makes it important is that you have to make a conscious effort both in game and out to know what exactly is the "interference" that harms your gameplay. It's simple enough in theory, simply saying that interference is "anything that hinders a team's progress towards victory". But that leaves a lot in the shadows. Team iGS (my favorite!) knows, and acknowledges, that Team 3D's predominant strategy is to get map control, and then worry about the objective. Because of this, iGS altered their playstyle to go against them. They would pick up small scraps of time in KotH games, or go out of their way to simply move the flag a few inches out of the base to throw team 3D off. It almost resulted in Team 3D's defeat in the finals at St. Louis, simply because iGS looked and found exactly what interfered with everyones gameplay when playing against Team 3D. Team 3D ALWAYS had map control, and thus beat out other teams. Finding and eliminating all interference will result in victory.