Assuming here we only speak of attack units:
Sure there is. Stances, if they work correctly, let you set up groups of units with specific behaviors and then leave them alone for a while. It eliminates micromanaging hundreds of units on multiple fronts which would get annoying very quickly.
I setup some control groups for attack units so I only have to manage about 3 attack groups which reduces the amount of attention needed for them... as far as they follow my orders and don't run everywhere. So they should be able to move a bit (lets say 1.5 to 2 * max attack range of any unit so that melee cavalry has a chance to chase down ranged units) and attack if enemies are close but otherwise approximately hold the position. Don't know which stance that is...
It's not always attack or idle. Sometimes units are intended for patrol/watch and you don't want them going all over the map on a wild chase.
I never want them to do that automatically. If I want them to attack I'd use attack move if available.
You might say we should have a patrol command then, but sometimes it's even more nuanced, there may be a dangerous area of the map, and you want units to defend themselves in a restricted space but not chase enemies into the dangerous area (e.g. not fall into a trap).
That is indeed a good point for stances. However, I'd try to build defensive structures in such a case and gather my units behind. An patrol order is IMO not that much needed but helpful and stances doesn't cover it as well IMO. Just to make sure we get each other right: I assume patrol (as attack move/auto explore/search and destroy/gather) is an player given order with vast help of the unit AI. In that cases effecting them by stances might seam useful in theory but as far as I thought about how that should be in detail (with the help of some others like e.g. feneur) in most cases it turns out it isn't. So the units with a patrol order should IMO act like said before as well (be free to move and attack but approximately hold the 'position' - in case of patrol don't run away to far from the 'patrol line')
Sometimes you don't want units to move at all, but still defend themselves as much as possible, which is what the stand ground stance is for. Another thing I use stand ground for is defending narrow passages, when there's no walls or gates - it prevents enemy units from coming through. It's also good for allowing a retreat of weaker units in a rout.
That way ranged units will rip your units away without much danger to themselves.
Good management of stances is essential in my experience, but it may just be my style of play.
Same in my case. I don't have any problem with stances to be implemented as far as they don't disturb my style of play. But 'as is' they mainly reduce my influence on the units (mainly because of the missing priority system and the stances implemented 'prematurely').
Stances are more useful than formations IMO, and we need them, but we need their behavior to be consistent and sensible too.
I agree that stances are more useful then formations. But AFAIK formations are planned to 'cheat' by disabling enemies to use focused fire (kill one unit after the other) and make them 'attack as one' (whatever that means?). My hairs raise thinking of such things... Perhaps open a discussion about formations as well and let the PPL explain their thoughts and ideas?
I'm not entirely sure I get you right. Are you agreeing that stances shouldn't interact with player given commands? If so I'm fine because it doesn't interacts with my style of play
I'm open to discussions about stance usage for commands making vast use of the unit AI like attack move/gather/auto explore/search and destroy/patrol (if those are implemented) but as far as I see this is only helpful in edge cases and mainly makes the player to click more (the stance buttons) so I'm not thrilled with that idea either.
Edited by FeXoR, 02 May 2012 - 01:26 PM.