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View Full Version : Friendly Fire/Lining up your units...



colmde
3rd Jun 2005, 09:47
Someone was asking earlier if there was any point in lining up your units side by side, seeing as how there was no danger of friendly fire and the thought was No... Everyone could just fire through each other.

Well I was playing a game last night me (Britain) vs Russia, and they had a unit of infantry and I had about 6 or 7. So I just ordered all my infantry to attack theirs without bothering to organising them. I won obviously, but in the time it took me to kill 60 of their men, they had killed 57 of mine! This I would expect from a one-on-one fight.

So I decided to bit of a test. In the Single Battle mode, I first tried 2 Line Infantry vs 1 Fusiliers, me as the defender, and I lined up the two units, one behind the other, and waited for them to attack.
Final score 60 - 54 to me.
Then I tried again, only this time, lining my units side by side, giving them all full view of the enemy.
This time they only killed about 30 of mine...

I also tried 2 vs 2, and when I had them one behind the other (the A.I. automatically lined his side by side, BTW), They won quite decisively. ( I forgot to note the casualties), and when I lined mine side by side, I won.

So it would appear there is an advantage to lining your men side by side. Though when the units from behind were firing, there was still enemies falling over dead... so they are not completely blocked, but their effectiveness is clearly reduced.

Captain.Crunch
3rd Jun 2005, 11:48
Someone was asking earlier if there was any point in lining up your units side by side, seeing as how there was no danger of friendly fire and the thought was No... Everyone could just fire through each other.

Well I was playing a game last night me (Britain) vs Russia, and they had a unit of infantry and I had about 6 or 7. So I just ordered all my infantry to attack theirs without bothering to organising them. I won obviously, but in the time it took me to kill 60 of their men, they had killed 57 of mine! This I would expect from a one-on-one fight.

So I decided to bit of a test. In the Single Battle mode, I first tried 2 Line Infantry vs 1 Fusiliers, me as the defender, and I lined up the two units, one behind the other, and waited for them to attack.
Final score 60 - 54 to me.
Then I tried again, only this time, lining my units side by side, giving them all full view of the enemy.
This time they only killed about 30 of mine...

I also tried 2 vs 2, and when I had them one behind the other (the A.I. automatically lined his side by side, BTW), They won quite decisively. ( I forgot to note the casualties), and when I lined mine side by side, I won.

So it would appear there is an advantage to lining your men side by side. Though when the units from behind were firing, there was still enemies falling over dead... so they are not completely blocked, but their effectiveness is clearly reduced.


thanks for the tip :D

GenFerriman
3rd Jun 2005, 12:17
I have wondered that myself... seems i will be fighting more efficiently now :D

Ryoken
3rd Jun 2005, 12:47
I have actually noticed a danger to my cavalry from friendly fire. They are charging my formation and I am firing away. Then they get close and I order my cavalry in. I have had 2 battles where I am almost 100% sure I am losing more cav to friendly fire than enemy action.

For example, in the Battle of Batavia in my AAR on the other sub-forum, I lost aabout 10 cavalry in a battle against militia. I totally destroyed 2 units of militia but a 3rd one charged my position. I ordered my cav in right before they could get to my light infantry. Took 10 casualties across ~90 cav attacking like 20 militia. No way those are enemy kills.

Element-UK
3rd Jun 2005, 13:04
Proof of the total Uselessness of the 'Double Line' Formation which is 'supposed' to be a good thing when you have Researched it ! On a similar note....if your Inf are far enough in front of your 6 and 12 pounders, they will not get damaged by your arty due to the 'Angle of trajectory', which I have to give credit to the Devs for as alot of other games don't achieve this as well as IG. Again though, there is a big problem with your troops firing into Melee and injuring your men as well !

Ryoken
3rd Jun 2005, 13:17
However, to give them credit, they did give us the "f" key to control unit aggressiveness. I am going to have to start a battle, turn on aggressiveness, then once we get to melee, turn it off. I have this feeling 50% of my casualties are friendly fire.

Queeg
3rd Jun 2005, 15:48
Proof of the total Uselessness of the 'Double Line' Formation which is 'supposed' to be a good thing when you have Researched it !

Actually, I'm not sure I'd jump to that conclusion. There's a difference between using the Double Line formation and just placing your units in a double line. The Double Line formation may work quite well. We'll need to test it.

Commissar
3rd Jun 2005, 17:56
Wait, Double Line formation is supposed to be used with two units? And here I thought it was just some kind of upgraded single-unit formation that looked and functioned the exact same. Shows what I know.

You know what'd be nice? If the majority of this game had been documented in something other than .pdf.

Ryoken
3rd Jun 2005, 18:01
I was under the impression the Double Line formation upgraded your units to fire from the 1st and 2nd rows instead of just the 1st.

Nial
3rd Jun 2005, 18:18
Double line allows your units front rank to kneel. Thereby allowing both ranks to fire instead of just the front rank. :)

Commissar
3rd Jun 2005, 18:28
Double line allows your units front rank to kneel. Thereby allowing both ranks to fire instead of just the front rank. :)

So it took my mighty Prussian empire half a decade to figure out that if the front guy kneels down, the guy behind him can shoot, too?

Ryoken
3rd Jun 2005, 18:41
In real life, the Spanish invented the Tercio formation in early 1500s where the front line of troops would fire, then walk towards the back of the line while reloading. The guy behind him would fire, turn towards the back of the line, etc. By the time they got to the front, they would be reloaded.

It took 150 years for Europeans to invent a 3-row firing method (Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden), whereby the first row knelt, the second row leaned over, and the third row stood to deliver 3 volleys.

Your half-decade was a MIRACLE!

Nial
3rd Jun 2005, 19:56
New military formations..tactics enhancments...and innovations tend to take a long time to be implemented. That is a historical fact. That is one of the reasons Napoleon made such strides in the early wars of this period. The military establishment has always been slow to adopt new ways. This is what allows governments that encourage innovation and open discussions of tactics within the military complex to get such a head start on slower more tightly controled military establishments. AKA Blitzkrieg. :)

colmde
4th Jun 2005, 17:51
I suppose you not only have to invent it, but you have to invent training methods, work the system through the bureaucracy of a rather huge army, be a high enough rank that you idea carries weight, convince other generals who are set in their ways that this way is better, make it "official policy",etc. And this was before the days of focus groups and brainstorming sessions...

I mean someone must have realised that the "redcoats" stood out like a sore thumb, but how long before they started making anything close to camoflage?

Ryoken
4th Jun 2005, 18:17
Actually, the Red Coat is a military innovation. Red is the most easily identified color to the human eye (note how often advertizers use it!). It is distinguishable from a long distance because it is similar to few other colors (whereas it is easy to confuse green/blue/gray from a distance). The point of having Red Coats is so that the commander of a British Army knows exactly where all his units are. VISIBILITY is the advantage.

It is an advantage because we are talking about armies that fight in a very predictable manner. They line up in rows and march across fields. In such an environment, they have a huge advantage. Your troops are less likely to shoot each other in low light conditions. (note that Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own men at dusk in the American Civil War: Uniform Colors = Gray and Blue)

When you are fighting in an irregular environment; like the untamed wilderness in the American frontier; the Red Coat becomes a slight liability. However, the British tended to just occupy the American cities and sit around waiting for them to surrender in the countryside (New York fell almost immediately and was occupied the whole war). There are cases, sure, of British units being caught in the woods/mountains and killed by American/Indian ambushes. That is because VISIBILITY is NOT an advantage in that terrain.

Element-UK
6th Jun 2005, 00:26
My mistake, I thought the Double Line was the F key formations, not the individual unit lines. Still gotta watch that auto fire into melee though.

Thecrisis5
6th Jun 2005, 03:15
The reason the double line doesnt work as well when your defending is because the men behind your front unit have somthing in there way and cannot fire as acruatly as they could shoulder to shoulder. My game a yellow pistol shows up when im in double line over the heads of the men in back. :cool:

Longstreet63
6th Jun 2005, 18:09
Double line formation definitely enhances your firepower. I've done enough fighting in the first era to know the difference. You might get six militia with the one volley you get before they charged home, but with double line, you get as many as half of them. In the first era, militia are cost effective, but once double line is available, they're toast.

Friendly fire does exist whenever friendly and enemy are in melee. Fire into the furball and you hit what you hit; same in buildings. The trick is getting your men to stop doing it.

The alignment of units--I don't know. It's so tough to get them lined up anyway, and the moment they get into battle, they right wheel to fire at a melee target. They're also spontaneously countermarching to get in a place they like, so I'm afraid it's not worth the trouble. But for the opening volleys, a good hillside position three ranks deep is a killer.

For a good time, mod all the neutral countries to have an implacable hatred for everyone else. Peacefully Annex that, Austria!

cyNick
6th Jun 2005, 20:13
Units will not, in general, effectively fire through each other, but "friendly fire" doesn't kill your own units as far as I have seen. I've had charging units run through the field of fire repeatedly and never once has one of them been killed before contact with the enemy.

Stationing a gun unit in line formation just outside of a melee between two other infantry units also results in your side losing men at roughly the same rate as normal while the enemy's numbers plummet with each volley. I typically arrange my lines with 1 light infantry company behind every 1-2 frontline units, to support them if they get charged. That would not work as well as it does if friendly fire worked, although I'm thankful it is the way it is since charging units of any type are so overpowered.

Artillery on the other hand will kill anybody.