Via Trollsmyth I discovered the new-this-month gaming blog I Fly By Night. The article on abstract tactics is great: it conveys in concrete terms how you can have meaningful tactical decisions in combat without needing to pin down the location of every combatant on a grid. He points out that real-world tactics have always been abstract due to the inevitable fog of war, and then gives examples of using manœuvers to gain tactical advantage in RPGs with abstract combat systems.
The example manœuvers given are translated into (A)D&D mechanics, but my thought while reading something like this:
Player: "Rats! They're moving before we're ready! I'll rush my shot to get ahead of them, and maybe blunt their attack." i.e. getting inside of the enemy's decision loop - maneuver for disruption. GM: "OK, take a -X, but you'll go before them."
… is just the sort of thing that Tricks in Savage Worlds are good at modelling.
When I ran our first one-shot of Savage Worlds, we had a really hard time coming up with the game-world actions the characters could take that would justify invoking the Trick rules. Next time I run SW, I'll have Clash's post on abstract tactics printed out for my players.
In general, this is really good material for anyone running or playing in a game that features combat. A lot of people complain about combat in earlier editions of D&D being boring dice-rolling exercises that amount to nothing more than "hit, hit, miss, hit", but they don't have to be. For all that D&D and other game systems' rules mostly focus on combat, creatively approaching challenges is one of the most important parts of playing a roleplaying game and one which doesn't disappear when combat begins. Thinking in terms of objectives and manœuvers helps to maintain that creative engagement with the world even when the great weight of a complex combat system is bearing down on the game.