Instead of being confused, perhaps you could help out some if you would like to see SOW improvements. Maybe compare files with games you like of the same genre and relay some specifics; i.e.: formations, engagement procedures, etc. Other folks in this thread are offering useful, thought out, options to improve the SOW system.
The problem seems to be less about the formations themselves, than the shapes they make when changing formation, or making drastic facing changes, particularly while moving.
As far as I've noticed, the conga line doesn't happen when units are changing formation while stationary. I'm no programmer, so I don't know what is and isn't possible with the game engine, but one approach that might be worthy of consideration would be to prevent units from changing formation while on the move. If a move involves arriving in a new formation, then have the unit change formation before it begins its move or after it arrives at the new destination (more risky, but very historical for the French!), instead of en route. Whenever a unit needs to relocate, particularly to a location that isn't straight ahead of it, have it sort out its correct formation and correct facing (with a lateral move by-the flank if necessary, or wheeling, obliquing if possible) before it begins the actual move.
Another way to avoid the conga line might be to change the way the sprites are displayed while moving. If the alignment is going to be sufficiently disrupted, then have the sprites form a "clump" from which the new formation or facing will emerge.
< Message edited by psynnott -- 7/5/2015 11:38:04 AM >