Is there a word, phrase or expression that can be used to describe the following kind of situation:
The arrangement of well placed pieces on a chess board; one guarding the other, which in turn is being guarded by another etc., forming a type of layered structure of "Where one falls, another shall take its place" scenarios. A reliable withdraw, so to speak, in case things go south.
I'm interested in a general term that can portray the perseverance of the whole, in spite of the loss of individual elements. Not much on the topic at Chess exchange, so EL&U felt like the second best option.
Looking for something more specific than strategy, and the only other thing that comes to mind is last stand. However, the latter has a note of finality to it, presents the option of not being able to endure the odds, and fails to convey the desired meaning of "outlasting" one's opponent.
I believe some examples are in order:
Player A's _____ won him the game.
If it wasn't for the commanding officer's ______, the mission would have gone FUBAR