Devices, such as computers in the Internet can communicate using formations in 3D space.
Different formations have different properties of information flow - speed and security.
If we disable (install a backdoor that can turn computer off or report) few internet nodes, we can split formations and disorganize them, making them uncoordinated. Then we can press on with attack advantage and defeat more numerous forces with ours smaller, but better coordinated system.
If we engage and tie part of enemy forces, we can defeat larger opposing force at once. For example with well-thought and well-executed DDOS attacks from fortified (well secured: with proper firewall, minimalistic, designed to last for long, internet nodes).
Reserve forces can help to disable and counter opponents that engage and tie our forces. Often best as second wave attack, after opponent reveals itself first.
After certain time of combat and analysis, more dedicated forces can engage and disable most problematic opponents, revealing themselves from reserves, like ninja from the shadows.
For example, simplest attack plan:
We have 12 computers.
* initial 3 computers open attack, in attempt to disrupt formation.
* 3 next computers tie half of the opposing forces.
* initial 3 computers press on with formation disrupting assault.
* 6 next computers, in 2 units of 3 wait for proper moments (proper moment is either stalemate or when we start to lose - when computer fails to send periodic ping signals, or when enemy reinforcements arrive) to engage most problematic opponents, either as disabling forces, or as engaging forces. we do not have to use all forces sometimes, when we are losing too bad.
Mega-LAN star-topology style stands no chance.... perhaps.
How such combat can look in practice?
Hacker overwatches attacked and attacking system, by checking reports - pings, network traffic, backdoor reports and formations (which system communicates with which), perhaps more.
See also: Shapes, Forms, 108 Number & Strategic Botnet, Form 4x3, Everyday tea for information problems, or DDOS attack (for everyone), Packet Flooding & DoS attacks.