Some of you forum OGs might remember a really old thread called "Minecraft: The Art of War", which detailed how to fight wars on Minecraft servers and other-such. This post is going to be that, but completely different (that doesn't make much sense, does it?).
This is not a copy. The only thing that has been used from the original is the title. Also, the original was in the same structure as Sun Tzu's book The Art of War, hence the title. This is not, however it is very much in the same spirit. This applies mostly to factions and anarchy servers, but there may be other applications too. In this guide, we will follow your steps from the moment you step foot on a server, to the time you defeat your enemy. This is written for version 1.16. but will be updated as updates are released.
Also, please bear in mind that I cannot update around the clock - I am very busy, and the summer holidays are the time I will work most on this. Every time I add a section, I will write it down in the replies. Let us begin.
Who am I and why should you listen to me?
My name is Jalkar_the_Melon. I have studied military strategy for many years, and have recently applied and adapted my knowledge to Minecraft. I've fought wars on towny servers, factions servers, even some anarchy servers. And through it all, I have come to appreciate two things: one, that humans are capable of amazing things. The power we can hold is truly awe-inspiring. Second, that there are those who will seek to use said power for things it is not for. People who will seek to dominate, rather than nurture. People who will seek to tear down, not grow. People who will seek to be proud, not to be humble.
Yet even though those people exist, so do those who wish good upon all. These people will challenge the unrighteous acts of others! They will not sit back and watch the world grow evil. At first, they may do so quietly, gently, softly. But if met with resistance, the two sides may rise up against each other. This is called war.
People say war is an inherently bad thing. And while I agree to that on some counts, I do not on others. Although war is ugly, and many die, it also brings out the best in people. This is why you should listen to me - I have this experience. I have seen so much of war over the past 4 years (when war in Minecraft has really become a thing, if not well-known until you're in the midst of it). I have seen so many battles, and seen so many defeats and victories. I'm just counting it up now, and I think I'v fought about 10 wars, with something like 80% victories. I remember one defeat in particular, but that's a story for another time.
Anyway, that is who I am. That is why you should listen to me. Now this probably came across a bit cocky, but please, hear me out. I'm trying to make the point that I'm not some uneducated idiot who is writing a strategy guide because that's what the cool kids do. Thank you for reading a bit about me. Let's get on with the guide, shall we?
What does it mean to win a war?
This is an important question. Before we look at how to win a war, we need to understand what winning a war looks like. First off:
Winning a war IS NOT:
Getting an opponent to surrender
Making an opponent ragequit
Destroying all of your opponent's bases
Winning a war IS:
Making it so that your enemy is not able to strike back at you in any way
Think of it like a game of chess. It's not about taking your enemy's queen. It's about manoeuvring them into a checkmate. Let's see how to do that.
1) War on an individual level
Wars are complicated. VERY complicated. But for beginner commanders, I would suggest that before going to war, you should know about war on the individual level. In other words, combat in Minecraft.
Minecraft combat is actually pretty complex. This guide isn't going to go over basic things like how much damage a sword does - that's not the point of this guide. Instead, I want to evaluate different things in PvP - equipment, movement, and a ton more!
1.1) Equipment in PvP
Swords: Swords are the main melee weapon in PvP. If you come across an enemy, chances are they will be using swords. Swords are fast and durable melee weapons. They are fairly cheap to make. For large forces, iron and diamond swords are recommended.
Axes: Axes are the second main melee weapon. They are slower and less durable than swords, but they deal more damage. They also have the ability to sometimes disable shields. Often axes are used by tanks and juggernauts. It is almost never worth crafting diamond axes - iron axes are, considering how common iron is, far more worth it.
Trident: Tridents are versatile weapons that can be used in both ranged and melee combat - they can also be thrown underwater and won't lose momentum. They deal a lot of damage but are extremely rare and are normally only given to commanders and high-ups in armies.
Bow: Bows are the primary ranged weapon you will come across. To fir a bow you will also need multiple arrows, unless the bow has infinity, in which case you only need one. The more you draw back a bow, the more damage it deals. Bows can also fire tipped arrows, which give special effects to the target.
Crossbow: Crossbows are ranged weapons, but can be preloaded and fired when the moment arises. They can shoot fireworks too! They do slightly more damage than regular bows, but are far slower to load. Bows are generally thought of as better weapons.
Fishing Rod: Fishing Rods, or just rods, are used to catch enemies off guard at mid-range, and to start a combo (a chain of hits). They are annoying to deal with and knock you back a little, but deal no actual damage.
Armour: Armour allows you to absorb part of the harm from most kinds of damage. It is vital in PvP, and is often one of your priorities in Multiplayer. Iron armour is the most cost-effective, but diamond and netherite are good if you can get your hands on them.
Shield: Shields allow you to block some of the damage you receive head-on. They don't block damage from behind or the sides though, and can be disabled by axes.
Food: Food allows you to both heal, and to sprint if your hunger bar is above 6. Food is vital in Minecraft PvP, and some foods are better than others - rotten flesh won't do!
Milk: Milk can be used to remove status effects from potions, tipped arrows, or attacks. It will also remove good effects though, so use it wisely.
Blocks: Blocks are used to create barriers, defences, and to alter terrain. They are useful in PvP for tripping your enemy up, which can lead to easy combos.
Potions: Potions are hugely underrated in the Minecraft PvP meta. They allow you to apply effects to yourself, and when brewed into splash potions, you can apply them to others as well.
Ender Pearl: Ender Pearls, often just called pearls, are items that allow you to teleport. However, doing so costs a few hearts each time and has a small chance of spawning an endermite.