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Gameplay Feature: Battalions and Formations


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If vanilla version do not add battalions I hope to gether team to do it. Here's how Delenda Est would do battalion and formation.

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Battalions

Troops are no longer individuals, they are part of a group or battalion. Guys, I will give you the rundown of how it would work.

Training

Soldiers are trained in battalions and live and die in battalions. A battalion of melee infantry would have 24 soldier for example. They are trained 1 battalion at a time. Shift-train queue up 5 battalions in a row and give a "batch" discount not unlike the batch discount game already has. The soldiers exist the building together as a battalion and head off to rally point.

Cost

A battalion of soldier (Spear Infanrty, 24 soldier) would cost roughly 600mc1IVBW.png500c74X0Gq.png10Fo3YSzo.png, so 1 large house or 2 small house have pop for 1 battalion. In a 300 pop match player might have 20 battalions to manage instead of 200 separate units.

Extra Units and Upgrades

A battalion will have 1 or more extra eye candy soldier to help distinguish each battalion.

  • Default: Bannerman. He come automatically with the battalion and cost nothing extra. He does not fight and does not die until the last soldier in the battalion dies, then the Bannerman dies. Enemy soldier ignore him like he is just a ghost actor. This is the Aquilifer for the Romans for example.
  • Upgrade: Noise Maker. Upgrade battalion with a noise maker dude that either reduce nearbly enemy attack (intimidation) or increase his own battalion's attack (courage) or some other bonus unique to civ's Noise Maker. For example for the Celts this would be the man who blows the Carnyx (intimidation). For the Romans this is the man who plays the Cornūs (courage). Athenians, Spartans, Thebans get a flutist who plays the Aulos and make the battalion march faster.
  • Upgrade: Officer: Upgrade battalion with a officer unit who does fight. He is tenacious and have double health of soldier in his battalion. He is the Centurio for the Roman civs, the Polemarch for the Spartans, etc.
  • Heroe: We can have heroes trained with a bodyguard so that they are their own battalion (like Octavian Augustus comes within a battalion of Praetorian Cavalry, Leonidas comes within a battalion of Hippeis Spartans, Xerxes come in a battalion of Apple Bearers, etc.), we can make heroes train as individual and then you can attach him to a formation, or we can do both depending on each hero. A hero in a battalion is treated by the enemy just like any other soldier in the battalion. Hero takes his/her place right in front of the bannerman on the right corner of the battalion (the place of the "officer").
  • Reinforce: If near a barracks a low strength battalion could be reinforced with new free soldiers (they appear behind bannerman and assume their place in line). Can be done with a aura.
  • Promote: Each battalion accrue Experience. When battle is over player can promote the whole battalion at once if that battalion has accrue enough Experience.

Selection and Movement

Selecting any soldier in the battalion select whole battalion. Soldiers in battalion will squeeze together to fit the battalion through narrow pathways. When sent over long distance, battalion form into column to snake around obstacles and through narrow paths.

Resource Gatherers and Builders

Having battalions does not abandon the citizen-soldier conceptual. Battalion can still gather resources and build building. When a battalion of citizen-soldier are sent to gather from trees, they will march to the forest and then disperse to nearby trees to chop. If sent to gather on a farm the battalion march to the farm and then spread out to the farms for how many slots are available.

If there are too many soldier for gathering slots some soldier will just stand guard near his gathering comrades. Same for building.

User Interface

Every battalion that is created gets automatically a ctrl-group icon on left of screen. Ctrl-groups can be made by the player for multiple battalions if player wishes. These get a different icon, along the left of screen.

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Formations

How do they work? Is no longer a mystery. ;)

  • Soldiers fight in formation and generally hold the shape of the formation within parameters. The more men in the formation the closer they hold the formation. As men die, the formation cohesion is less.
  • Number of formation buttons are reduce
  • Formations give bonuses and penalties
  • Can be altered with a small numnber of Formation Modifier
  • Most civ will only have 3 Formations for their Battalions and then 3 Modifiers

Formations and uses

Column
  • Civilizations: All
  • Unit Classes: All
  • Auto/Manual: Automatic, when distance between waypoints is long, is applied to the battalion
  • Modifiable: Yes
  • Bonus: 1.25x Speed
  • Penalty: .5x All Armor, so vulnerable to ambush
Battle Line
  • Civilizations: All
  • Unit Classes: Infantry and Cavalry
  • Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is the DEFAULT battalion formation for these classes of units
  • Modifiable: Yes
  • Bonus: +2 Frontal Hack and Pierce Armor, +1 Frontal Crush Armor
  • Penalty: .9x Speed
Wedge
  • Civilizations: All
  • Unit Classes: Melee Cavalry
  • Auto/Manual: Automatic, this is when Melee Cavalry are task to CHARGE
  • Modifiable: Yes
  • Bonus: +1.25x Charge Bonus in addition to regular charge bonus if charge is initiate at "sweet spot" distance, not too far not too close to target
  • Penalty: -1 Pierce Armor, makes the cavalry more vulnerable to missile, which is usually not
Testudo
  • Civilizations: Rome
  • Unit Classes: Melee Infantry
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Modifiable: No
  • Bonus: +3 Hack Armor, +4 Pierce Armor, +5 Crush Armor
  • Penalty: .25x Speed, Soldiers within it can only respond to direct melee attacks
Sparabara Wall
  • Civilizations: Pers
  • Unit Classes: Archer Infantry
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Modifiable: No
  • Bonus: +5 Frontal Pierce Armor
  • Penalty: Is a stationary formation, will not move when in this formation
  • Abstract: The famous Persian archery shield wall; Great for archery duels
Formations Modifier
When a formation above is chosen, the Formation Modifiers available for that Formation are become available (unavailable modifiers are greyed out)
Close Order
  • Civilizations: All
  • Formations: Column, Battle Line, Wedge
  • Unit Classes: All
  • Auto/Manual: Auto, this is the DEFAULT modifier for formations
  • Effect: Units are spaced close together, but their shields do not touch or overlap
Open Order
  • Civilizations: All
  • Formations: Battle Line, Wedge
  • Unit Classes: All
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Effect: Soldier are spaced farther apart, with additional space between files and rows
  • Benefit: Reduces effects of incoming splash and trample damage
  • Penalty: -1 Hack Armor removed (but any Crush and Pierce bonus remain)
Locked Shields
  • Civilizations: Athen Spart Mace Sele Ptol Cart Theb Epir
  • Formations: Battle Line
  • Unit Classes: Spear Infantry and Pike Infantry
  • Auto/Manual: Manual
  • Effect: Units are spaced close enough their their shields overlap, creating a shield wall
  • Bonus: +5 Frontal Armor Bonus in addition to regular frontal bonus for Battle Line (for a total of +7); Units in 2nd rank can attack through the front for spears, units in 2nd and 3rd rank can attack through front for pikes.
  • Penalty: .75x All Armor from Flanks, .25x All Armor from Rear, .8x Speed
  • Abstract: This is the Hellenic and Hellenistic "phalanx" for hoplite-style spear infantry. It is the "syntagma" for pike-style spear infantry. Later, in Part 2, this is the Shield Wall for the Germanic culture (Germ, Alamm, Goth, Frank)

Army Behavior

When 2 or more battalion are selected, Army Behaviors kick in.

  • When send over long distance, they form column together and snake their destinatio.
  • When the player task multiple battalion to an area they will automatically arrange in a classic "battle formation" (melee infantry in middle, cavalry on wings, archer in back) when they arrive, or...
  • We could add Army Formations if we wanted to that show up in place of battalion formations in UI when multiple battalions selected.
  • Either way, when move command to somewhere, they end up organized, not a mess.


Anyway guys, this is how it could work. I think it is very simple and add very uniqueness to the game as well as fresh historical combat.

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Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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If vanilla version do not add battalions I hope to gether team to do it. Here's how Delenda Est would do battalion and formation. Battalions Troops are no longer individuals, they are part of a gro

Example of hero trained with bodyguard battalion (Option 1) or Example of a hero attached to a battalion by the player (Option 2) Screenshot: Hero with bodyguard battalion in Close Order formation.

That's exactly how I've imagined the battalion system and how it should work. Looks very promising.

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I am pleasantly surprised by how good the implementation sounds. The only thing I would argue against is the name of the Spartan officer. Polemarch is an Athenian term and hardly had any military background. Strategos is a more appropriate generic term for a leader.

Perhaps rather than giving an armour debuff to units in the column formation, flanks should simply be a more present relevant part of the weaknesses of formations.

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The only thing I would argue against is the name of the Spartan officer. Polemarch is an Athenian term and hardly had any military background. Strategos is a more appropriate generic term for a leader.

You are right, could use different terms for Greek civs:

Chiliarchès: ‘commander of thousand’; officer.

Dekarchos: ‘leader of ten’; junior officer; squad leader.

Dilochitès: double-file leader; junior officer.

Dimoirites: half-file leader; NCO.

Hègemon: commander.

Hekatontarchès: ‘commander of hundred’; officer.

Hèmilochitès: half-file-leader; NCO.

Hyparchos: cavalry commander.

Ilarchès: ‘wing commander’; cavalry officer.

Lochagos: unit commander; file leader.

Polemarchos: senior officer.

Somatophylax: ‘body guard’; elite Macedonian infantry guard; senior Macedonian general.

Stratègos: general; commander.

Syntagmatarchès: batallion commander.

Tagos: Thessalian commander-in-chief.

Taxiarchès: regimental commander.
Taxiarchos: regimental commander.
Tetrarchès: commander of four files.
Xenagos: mercenary commander.
Zooiarchos: elephant commander.
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Example of hero trained with bodyguard battalion (Option 1)

or

Example of a hero attached to a battalion by the player (Option 2)

MPfVdYm.png

Screenshot: Hero with bodyguard battalion in Close Order formation.

Option 3: Allow both options (can train with a bodyguard or without a bodyguard; can attach hero to battalion later if player wants)

Regardless of option imp[emented, heroes can still be single soldier in Atlas editor for scenarios. :)

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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I'd like to see how it works, I have no fear it won't work for battles (providing they can leave out or bend formation to surround outnumbered ennemies) but I don't really see how it would work with resources.

Let's say you put an 21 soldiers battalion on a mine, say with a 24 gatherer limit. Can you add some 3 random citizen to gather at full rate? Are female unit behaviour changed or still ordered individually? Can you mix some archers and spearmen for a quick local defense?

Maybe this preceeds some gathering changes. Those idle soldiers waiting for an attack could spend their time in a more usefull manner (building defenses, scouting around, hunting...).

Anyway I'll watch how things go. It looks far different from the current game, implies a lot of changes, and you know, people are affraid of changes :) it requires some time to think out of the box.

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I'd like to see how it works, I have no fear it won't work for battles (providing they can leave out or bend formation to surround outnumbered ennemies) but I don't really see how it would work with resources.

Let's say you put an 21 soldiers battalion on a mine, say with a 24 gatherer limit. Can you add some 3 random citizen to gather at full rate? Are female unit behaviour changed or still ordered individually? Can you mix some archers and spearmen for a quick local defense?

Maybe this preceeds some gathering changes. Those idle soldiers waiting for an attack could spend their time in a more usefull manner (building defenses, scouting around, hunting...).

Anyway I'll watch how things go. It looks far different from the current game, implies a lot of changes, and you know, people are affraid of changes :) it requires some time to think out of the box.

if another RTS had that feature and was one of top feature of that game, I think can work, I prefer create battalion from trained units a create , and when you need citizen soldiers , only disband battalion, and all are single again.
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Female citizen would be single units, yes. And Darc is right that the resources would have roughly same number of slot as number of soldier in typical battaliion. And people would need to adjust their thinking for concept: You don't have 250-300 unit, you have something like 70-100 -- battalion is one 'unit'. So you have 20 battalion of soldier (each battalion 10 pop) and then 50+ single support unit (healers, citizens, traders, etc.). I could even see traders being like a battalion where you can train or group them into convoy or caravan for boost in speed and protection.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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if another RTS had that feature and was one of top feature of that game, I think can work, I prefer create battalion from trained units a create , and when you need citizen soldiers , only disband battalion, and all are single again.

for the record, I agree with Lion.Kanzen here. While battalions would make the battles look great, and I LOVE the idea of banner units and noisemakers, I think individual units makes the game more charming. If you play Age of Empires, where each unit is an individual, the player feels more "connected" persay with that unit, and will tend to micro more effectively, to make sure the least number of units die as possible. As opposed to a Rise of Nations player, who will just send units willy-nilly, because they can create a large army on a short notice due to its batallion system. Also, it is a lot more impressive to build a large army from individuals then a bunch of large units. If the battalion system was implemented as a mod, that would be awesome, but I think it should not be in vanilla. I love the idea though! Well done! :clapping::thumbsup:

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for the record, I agree with Lion.Kanzen here. While battalions would make the battles look great, and I LOVE the idea of banner units and noisemakers, I think individual units makes the game more charming. If you play Age of Empires, where each unit is an individual, the player feels more "connected" persay with that unit, and will tend to micro more effectively, to make sure the least number of units die as possible. As opposed to a Rise of Nations player, who will just send units willy-nilly, because they can create a large army on a short notice due to its batallion system. Also, it is a lot more impressive to build a large army from individuals then a bunch of large units. If the battalion system was implemented as a mod, that would be awesome, but I think it should not be in vanilla. I love the idea though! Well done! :clapping::thumbsup:

On contrary, I care not for 300 individual soldiers moshing around battlefield. I don't care if a single soldier live or die. A whole battalion dying I would care about. Also, with battalion system we can have named legio and regiment, with authentic shields and banner. I would care about a unique battalion with a name ("Sons of Ares", "Legio XII Victrix Gemina") more than hundreds of individual no-name soldier. :) See what I mean?

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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From my pov Lord of the Rings battalion system/combat with flanking and formations was a great example how one can implement tactics into RTS combat.

There was a BFME2 mod, I forgot what the name of the mod was, but what they did was, they added the ability to divide/rejoin the vanilla game battalions (in vanilla BFME2, you cannot divide a batallion) The game Praetorians also has a similar feature.

Yeah, I also agree with you, It would be interesting if this game can integrate a feature similar to the games above. (Troops under a "formation" are selected as one unit, fights closely to each other and not too scattered, and doesn't chase enemy units individually(causing the formation to break), but chases an enemy as a group)

Edited by wackyserious
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I much like the idea of battalions, but you can always accommodate single units, like what Empire Earth II: Art of Supremacy did, wherein you can select a group of units and have them form an army, as long as an officer/ hero unit is included in that group.

I don't want that micro. Point of battalion is to remove tedious micro and focus on activity of groups of soldier instead (move micro away from one area toward a more interesting area like charging and flanking and shield walls and all that stuff; remember player only have finite amount of concentration). Plus with persistent battalion you can have cool upgrade and powerups that would be difficult to have without persist battalion. :)

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Isn't a micro if is automatic. In Rise of Fall the units when we're to much formed battalion automatic.

Right and if that the case (I have play that game so you are right they are trained like 1 soldier at a time but then they gather into battalions on their own), then why not just train them as 1 battalion from the beginning instead of make the soldiers auto-form the battalion after they are trained? :) Makes unnecessary step your way. :) Just skip that step and make them battalion friom the beginning. :)

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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