The army commander makes it appear that there are more soldiers


May 29, 2022

Another challenge for you all . . .

I am fairly sure this comes from a series of books, not a single book. It MIGHT be part of the 'Foundation' series, but I am unsure.

It is a sci-fi book, set in the future and the action is occurring on another planet in a jungle setting. There is a small army group who are outnumbered by enemy soldiers. The critical aspect of the plot is that the commander of the soldiers has his soldiers move around through the jungle, appearing to surround the enemy soldiers, making it seem like they are a larger force than in actuality. From memory, this idea of trying to appear to be a larger force than in actuality, in order to capture the enemy soldiers, re-occurred a few times and was an important part of the plot.

That is all that I remember.

Thankyou for your help.

Im pretty familiar with Foundation and it doesn't strike me as an Asimov.

There’s a good chance I was reading the ‘Foundation’ series around the same time, which is why I might be confused. Thankyou for taking the time to clarify.
I'm pretty sure this is one of the Dorsai stories by Gordon R. Dickson. Perhaps Tactics of Mistake (1971)?

Hello @otistdog

I checked a couple of synopses of the book you suggested; however, it is NOT the book that I am trying to find. Nonetheless, it seems like an interesting book and it is one I will consider for future reading.

Thankyou for your suggestion and for taking the time to respond.

Peter (bassguy)
Last edited:
Too bad. I'm almost certain that there is a scene such as you describe. However, there are probably several stories that make use of the trope.

It would no doubt be helpful to anyone trying to help you if you could provide some more details about the story you seek. Have you reviewed the standard advice for book search questions? There are many questions that can help to drag additional details from your memory.
There's a series by Joel Rosenberg - The Metzada Mercenary Corps, it's about a number of Jews who colonise an arid planet and, to survive, they form companies of tough mercenaries.

As generations pass they are hired out eagerly throughout the galaxy, however their intelligence services always investigates first to ensure they're on the good guy side.

Their commanders employ unorthodox tactics and ruses to prevail, their planet population depends on them winning.

I'm fairly sure that scene is in one of the books....(but it's been a long time since I read them).
Last edited:
Hello @otistdog

First thing I did when I came to these fora was to read the standard advice questions.

The challenge for me is that I read all of these books as a kid and young adult in the late '60s and early '70s. For over 10 years I was reading 3-5 books a week, every week. I cannot begin to imagine how many books in total I read during that period.

There's a few books, such as the one indicated in this search, where I have only a snippet of memory (as described above) and unfortunately that is all that I remember about the book.

Similar threads