Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Battle Tactics, Part Two...

Next up in micromanaging your troops in battle is the use of formations.

Have you ever noticed your troops splitting into multiple groups to move around obstacles? Or that your army is strung out in a long line, and the flanks are getting picked off?

Chances are adjusting your formation would have helped in that situation. The mouse scroll button is the default button for changing your formation. You can adjust the length of your lines, making them shorter or longer at will.

If you are attacking a wide area, and you aren't currently facing any opposition, use the mouse scroll button to make your lines longer, bringing the lines closer together, allowing all the units opportunity to fire.

Shortening the lines will allow your army to move smoothly through the tight areas found on some maps, Mediterranean for example, which has many mountainous and forested areas. Large armies will have a difficult time moving through such terrain. Shortening the lines has a slight disadvantage though. While it concentrates your firepower onto a smaller area, conversely any army attacking it will be targetting a smaller area. I find that the turnover rate for cavalry is rather high. :P

There are other formation types than just the line formation. Subtle variations of the line formation is echelon left and echelon right. I've not used these before, but I would guess that there are situations for both. Envelope formation surrounds the attack point with your army, while the Refused formation forms an arrowhead, with your siege safely protected by the army aiming outwards.

There you have it folks, nothing big, but sometimes it can be just enough to pull your ass outta the fire.