War is not a game of chance, as so often asserted. The saying is true only when the game is undertaken by those unprepared for it by previous study. There are games in which there is a large element of chance; but we see-proofs every day of that element being discounted, or neutralized, by the superior skill of one or the other of the players. Ordinary participants in the game, guided by a few fixed rules, are often surprised to find that, although favored by fortune at the outset, they yet lose the game. The skill of their opponent had offset the advantages which in the beginning had been all their own. The truth is forced upon them that a superficial knowledge of a few elementary rules of the art is no match for an opponent's familiarity with the principles on which the rules are founded, and an automatic readiness to apply them.
The same may be predicated of the great game of war. A knowledge of the principles of the science, combined with skill in the application of the rules deduced from them, will reduce to a minimum the chances of defeat, and enable an adept in the art to convert the errors of a more powerful adversary into a means of success.