Formations

Formations have an importance in the game for performing realistic and strategic tactics. Can you stick a female worker in a testudo formation or do the priests take the front position in the formation? I think not! That is why we need to specify what is allowed and in what position for each entity.


Category

BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: The entity will occupy this position when in formation.

Each entity that can enter a formation is assigned a category. The entity's category defines what position it takes in the formation. These are the categories available:

  • protected - takes the safest position in the formation (usually in the back or middle).
  • melee - takes the position to shield the protected/ranged entities from attack. Usually melee type units.
  • ranged - takes the position that is most optimal for using a ranged weapon.
  • lead - takes the position of leadership. There is only one (if any) of these positions in each formation type.

Current

BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: The name of the formation the entity is currently using, or its default when it is first spawned.

List

BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: List of formations that the entity is allowed to perform.

This defines what formations the entity may use. If this is not defined, then the unit may not enter a formation.

More information on formations:

A formation is a collection of specific units that receive special bonuses.

Note that formations differ from groups (multiple units selected at the same time which can be commanded as one). A formation is a special state applied to a group of compatible units. 

Formations are used for strategic military engagements, have distinct limits on the number and type of units that can enter them, and distinct advantages to doing so. This encourages use of small, tactical formations for specific purposes, more effective than a larger, unruly mob.

Bonus


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: The attribute that is bonused.

This defines what attributes may be bonused.

Typically the following attributes could be affected:

Move.Speed
Health.Hitpoints
Health.Regen
Armour.Value
Vision.LOS
Attack.Accuracy
Attack.Damage
Attack.Speed
Attack.Range

BonusValue


BRIEF DESCRIPTION:: The value of the bonus

This is the percentage of the bonus. If it is a value of .2 that gives a 20% bonus.

Penalty


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: The attribute that is penalized.

This defines what attributes may be penalized.

Typically the following attributes could be affected:

Move.Speed
Health.Hitpoints
Health.Regen
Armour.Value
Vision.LOS
Attack.Accuracy
Attack.Damage
Attack.Speed
Attack.Range

PenaltyValue


BRIEF DESCRIPTION:: The value of the penalty.

This is the percentage of the bonus. If it is a value of .1 that gives a 10% penalty.

The penalty should always have less effect than the bonus. It's a give and a take situation that must give more than it takes, otherwise nobody will use the formation. We take in order to preserve balance and historical accuracy in military tactics.

Width


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: The width of the formation.

Theoretically, we would not need this for attributes of formations, but we will need it for groups that do not use the Formation.Order attribute.

Required


BRIEF DESCRIPTION ::The number of units required to make this formation.

This specifies the minimum number of required units before it drops to the previous formation.

Next


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: Points to the tag of the next formation after the formation cap is reached.

In order to preserve the shape of the formations and their filling order, it is necessary to have a progression of formation 'shapes'. 

Prior


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: Points to the tag of the previous formation if the number of entities in the formation is not met.

As the number of entities decreases, the formation must change to compensate for the 'gaps'. This points to the previous formation which has the proper configuration for the smaller quantity of entities. If this attribute does not exist, then it it means the formation is disbanded if the requirements are not met.

Movement


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: The group form it takes when they are moving to a waypoint.

When a formation is ordered to a waypoint, this attribute specifies what formation/group pattern they form when going to that destination. When they arrive at the waypoint, they revert back to their original formation.

Note: this only affects movement to a waypoint; the formation does not change when ordered to attack. It retains its formation while it advances to attack.

If this attribute is not specified, it retains its formation even in movement (such as testudo or phalanx).

Category


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: The entity allowed at position.

This specifies what entity may go in what position. 

Some positions may be filled by multiple entity categories. The precedence of what goes in what position is: lead=>melee=>ranged=>support. 

So if a ranged unit is in a slot that a melee unit can fit in, then it bumps it to another ranged position. If there is no position available the ranged unit gets bumped out of the formation or the formation goes to the Next formation where an open slot would be available.

Order


BRIEF DESCRIPTION :: Entity position fill order.

Order defines the fill order of the entities. The engine needs to check if the entity is allowed to partake in the formation, then it checks to see what Formation Category it is, then it checks the positions to see if there is an available slot in this following order. If there is, it's added, if there isn't, it's not allowed to be added.


_FORMATIONS_

‚ÄčHistorian Article: Basic Formations and Movements

1. FORMATION CHARACTERISTICS

SPEED
* Formations can only move at the speed (MR) of the slowest unit within them.

MOVEMENT INTERRUPTION
* Moving formations, commanded over distance to go from point-to-point, are incapable of attack while moving (unless it's a special unit trait - Parthian cavalry archers, elephants, chariots).

IDLE ORIENTATION
* Idle formations will orientate themselves with the vector from their prior waypoint

ATTACK
* The formation's Attack command targets an area, and not a specific unit.  The units in a formation will then advance (if needed and if allowed by their AI stance) and attack according to their optimal RPS dynamics vs. their enemies in that area.  

CONTROL
* Most Formations can be constituted without being placed under control group numbers (Ctrl+...num). 
* Units can be added to formation by using a GUI 'join' command.

FORMATION POSITIONS
* Melee - Foot Hackers.
* Protected - Units that should be protected - Healers, Female Citizens, etc.
* Ranged - Ranged Units.
* Lead - Hero units (and later in Part II, morale units)

2. FORMATION TYPES

BOX
Minimum Number Required: 9
Available to Classes: Unit Mechanical, Unit Military, Unit Support, Hero
Bonus: Melee Armor.
De bonus: Movement Rate.
Special: N/A.
Explanation: The Box Formation is typically used to surround units within it that are weaker, more vulnerable, or of high value to the player.  A formation with a defensive posture, that is good to use as a 'last stand'.

CLOSED COLUMN
Minimum Number Required: 9
Available to Classes: Unit Military, Unit Support, Hero
Bonus: Movement Rate.
De bonus: Melee Armour.
Special: Width of 3 max
Explanation:
- Basic formation for rapid unit distance movement.
- The strongest units assemble to the front of the column.

CLOSED LINE
Minimum Number Required: 9
Available to Classes: Unit Mechanical, Unit Military, Hero
Formation Category Positions
* Melee = front.
* Mobile = front.
* Protected = back.
* Ranged = middle/back.
Bonus: Pierce Attack, Melee Attack.
De bonus: Movement Rate, Pierce Armor.
Special: Depth of 3 max, Closely Packed Together.
Explanation:
- The basic battle line.
- Strongest units form to the front rank; if mixed hacker and ranged, melee to the front.

OPEN COLUMN

Bonus: Pierce Armor.
De bonus: Melee Armor.
Special: Width of 3 max, Loose formation.
Explanation:
- Like closed column, but staggered for protection against ranged attack and splash damage

OPEN LINE
Bonus: Pierce Armor, Crush Armor.
Debonus: Movement Rate, Melee Armor.
Special: Depth of 3 max, Loose formation.
Explanation:
- Like closed line, but staggered for protection against ranged attack and splash damage

SKIRMISH
Minimum Number Required: 9
Available to Classes: Unit Ranged
Bonus: Movement Rate, Attack Rate, LOS.
De bonus: Melee Armor.
Special: Evades Enemy, max depth of 2 (terrain permitting).
Explanation:
- Resembles an Open Line
- Limited to ranged units
- Ideally, these guys will run up to within their range of the enemy, fire their weapon, then retreat then continue the cycle.

FLYING WEDGE
Minimum Number Required: 9.
Available to Classes: Unit Mechanical, Unit Military, Unit Medic, Hero
Bonus: Movement Rate, Melee Attack.
De bonus: Pierce Armor.
Special:
- Semi-unique to the 'barbarous' Galatians and Turdetani.
- Protected go to the back middle.
Explanation:
- A break-through formation, mainly used by hackers.

TESTUDO
Minimum Number Required: 9.
Available to Classes: FootSword
Bonus: Armor
De bonus: Movement Rate.
Special:
- Unique To Romans.
Explanation:
- The turtle formation.
- Unable to attack while in this formation.
- Ultra high resistance to attack.
- Cannot enter Flank.
- Retains its formation in movement, and very slow

PHALANX
Minimum Number Required: 12
Available to Classes: Foot Spearman
Bonus: Armor
Debonus: Movement Rate.
Special: Unique To Temenids.
Explanation:
- The standard phalanx of the Temenids era
- Retains its formation in movement, and slow