Ender's Game

good strategies? Bad strategies? How should commanders utilize their toon leaders? Should soldiers only follow orders?

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In the world of warfare, soldiers do what they're told. It doesn't always mean that their leaders (commanders) have made the right decisions, but it is imperative that they follow them.

After their first battle as an army, Ender knows that he has trained his soldiers well. He tells his boys to be at practice fifteen minutes after leaving the battleroom, after a quick breakfast--but he then immediately has his toon leaders tell the rest that they can have extra time. In this scenario, Ender is thinking strategically about the morale of his soldiers. He wants the discipline to come from him, the commander, and the leniency come from the toon leaders. He thinks that this will make their toons, and thus the entire army, more united and better able to work together.

Ender admires Bean's good qualities. He wants to make sure that Bean knows that the game, the battles, and the rankings are not important in themselves. The games are only important because they help the teachers and officers decide who might make good commanders for the Fleet later on. Ender notes that most of the students do not understand this point; they think that the game is important, as though the standings are primarily what will determine who will be promoted. Like many people, most of the boys forget the purpose of competition in a game, focusing too narrowly on the immediate objective of winning. The games are an important part of Battle School and this book, but in actuality, most of the individual skills have nothing to do with the kinds of skills that will be needed for fleet commanders or for Ender as their leader. The leadership and tactical skills that Ender is developing are what the other leaders will need as well.