From: Secret Underground Lair
Well here is a related question, and related to points I made in my Wish List post: is there any real and generalizable benefit to fighting in line formation in an urban or fort hex?
What is "the best" formation to be in for urban and fort hexes?
Eric, would it be either (a) a major game unbalancer/X-variable, or (b) too hard to code to introduce a new formation:
"Taking Cover" If used in an urban or fortress hex (or maybe/BIG-maybe in wooded hexes), this formation is overall better defensively than either column, line or square in urban or fortress hexes. Taking Cover Formation would have the same "no flank to exploit" benefit as a Square Formation, but without the penalty to attacking and vulnerability to high firepower of the Square (okay, I admit I have not read the manual, so I might be off base here . . .).
The downsides of this formation: (a) chops attack value to 1/3; (b) reduces movement to effectively zero; (c) once adopted requires higher morale to change back to column than it cost to change INTO Taking Cover in the first place, i.e., it would be 'semi-permanent for the remainder of a detailed battle; (d) is equally bad at attack, but also worse at defense in all other hexes (maybe including wooded), i.e., is really ONLY useful for putting a weak unit into a 'garrison' duty where they are expected to make a last stand defense.
ADDIT: In fact, maybe instead of "Taking Cover," the label should be "Garrison" since what I'm really talking about here is restricting its beneficial use to urban and fort hexes. Maybe it could even be coded so that it was ONLY an option when the unit was in urban or fort hexes?
The Taking Cover Formation should be available to ALL infantry units right from the start of the game. My logic here? To quote myself from my Wish List post:
I am still not clear what the "best" formation is for a unit that is in an urban or fortress hex (or for that matter a forest hex). Column to me means column, not column and every other formation besides line and square. For that matter, I doubt the "formation" that a unit would take when it moves into a town or a fort would be akin to a "column" anyway.
Why not kill two birds with one stone here: create a new formation that is specific to defensive terrain where cover is plentiful and which is beneficial in such terrain (but very unbeneficial if there is not cover in the terrain). It seems to me that the instinct to get inside a building or behind a corner or a parapet is the most basic of instincts that will come naturally to the most green or cowardly of militias, so the idea that an incompetent unit can only manage to stay rigidly in column formation foregoing the defensive benefit of ducking inside some buildings has always stuck out to me as a slight niggling annoyance with this engine. One thing that could make it even better: make it hard for a unit that has less morale or experience or whatever you call it to switch BACK to column or line once it is IN a defensive tile and in the "Take Cover" formation. It might be easy to get even the most cowardly green militia to get behind cover but then getting them back OUT of cover! That could be another story.
< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 3/30/2009 7:56:38 PM >