Help:Battle Formations

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When you take control of a battle, you can get a sophisticated deployment done, no matter what the individual troop leaders have chosen as their unit settings. The only exception to this are heroes, who do not always follow the orders of the battle commander.

The availability of some advanced formations depends on the leadership skill of the battle commander. Peasant militia units often do not follow the formation settings, because they are too disorganized.

Both the marshal and vice marshal can set the battle formation for the army. However, there is only one setting for the entire army, that both the marshal and vice marshal can change. The specified formation will be used by both the marshal and vice marshal. If one of the two sets the formation and the other changes it later, the most recent settings will be used.

Offensive Formations

Infantry Charge

Attack in force with all infantry units deployed up front, archers behind them and cavalry in the back so they can charge into the melee.

Cavalry Charge

In this formation, cavalry units are deployed up front to open up the battle with their powerful charge, with infantry following up to finish the job. Archers are deployed further back to offer support fire.

Archer Opening

This formation has a line of archers at the front, who will open up with missile fire. Infantry is deployed behind the archers, stepping through their ranks after the first volley to protect them and engage the weakened enemy.


Sets your attacking force up in mixed waves of roughly equal strength. This strategy can be very successful against an enemy who has his units strictly concentrated on single combat lines.

Soften and Charge

A more complicated strategy that begins with an archer opening, followed by a cavalry charge, all to soften up the enemy before the infantry mops them up. If you have many archers and some cavalry against a mostly infantry opponent, this formation can break them up before the real battle even begins.

Careful Attack

A fairly complicated setup, where infantry charges in waves while archers hold their ground and support them. Cavalry adds to the melee, charging from the back. Only useful for a well-mixed army.

This is an advanced formation that changes the units' formation settings.

Weakening Skirmish

An attack in waves where units charge in groups to deal maximum damage, then withdraw quickly to preserve their strength. Good to soften up the enemy prior to a main attack on the next turn.

This is an advanced formation that changes the units' formation settings and withdraw limits.

Defensive Formations

Infantry Wall

Deploy all infantry units in one strong row, in order to stop the enemy dead in his tracks. Mixed infantry reinforces the wall while softening up the approaching enemy. Archers stand behind the wall, showering the enemy with arrows as he approaches. Cavalry is deployed far back, charging in once the melee is underway.

Fortification Deploy

This formation is for fortifications. It deploys most units atop the walls, including archers. Cavalry is kept back inside the fortification in order to charge out in order to break the enemy ranks apart.

Mixed Lines

A defense in depths that will break the enemy charges by taking them in multiple waves. The first few lines in this defense are almost certainly doomed, but by the time the enemy reaches the 2nd or 3rd line, he will be too weak to continue fighting.

Delay and Wound

If you are not fighting to win but to do maximum damage to the enemy, this is a good formation. Your men are set up in multiple waves with an attempt to ensure that you do as much damage as possible and force the enemy to fight as long as possible. Good for causing maximum damage to a much stronger enemy who would win anyways.

They Shall Not Pass

This formation deploys all units in box formation for maximum resilience and staggers them for maximum defensive value - infantry back, archers right behind them, cavalry in the rear. The purpose of this setup is to last as long as possible, exhausting the enemy. It is quite useful to break the impact of charge formations.

This is an advanced formation that changes the units' formation settings.

Strategic Withdraw

A formation set for dealing some damage to the enemy and then withdrawing quickly. Units are deployed with archers up front and others behind them, hoping to engage the enemy in one large melee where every unit has the best chances to retreat without being slaughtered.

This is an advanced formation that changes the units' formation settings and withdraw limits.

See Also