History Main / CallThatAFormation

20th Apr '18 9:02:38 AM Toadofsteel
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** In the extended edition, a brief scene where battle is joined between the Elves and Dwarves prior to Azog showing up is depicted. In that fight, the Elves use a shieldwall as a sort of ramp that the Dwarves ride over, disguising their second rank which is set up specifically to allow cavalry through and surround them.
25th Mar '18 1:53:01 PM Toadofsteel
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** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] later on in the movie, when a bunch of gladiators form a defensive circle to avoid being slaughtered by chariots. The inversion is [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] though, because the gladiators were formerly in the Legion that served with Maximus.

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** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] later on in the movie, when a bunch of gladiators form a defensive circle to avoid being slaughtered by chariots. The inversion is [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] though, because the fight was set up to ''invoke'' this trope, but the gladiators themselves were formerly in the Legion that served with Maximus.Maximus and trained in Legion tactics.
24th Mar '18 8:15:47 PM Toadofsteel
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** The battle in which Sauron was originally defeated shows his orcs as a [[ZergRush disorganised mob]], the idea being that Sauron learnt from his defeat and realised he need a more disciplined army to win. In ''The Return of the King'' the orc army uses formations and is shown acting under the control of officers. Gothmog in particular is good at forming an organized attack, opening with an artillery barrage to soften the defenses, aerial superiority in the Nazgul to neutralize the enemy artillery in short order, bringing up heavy siege equipment to breach the gate, forming a new line to meet a cavalry charge on his right flank, and calling in Haradrim reinforcements to meet the enemy cavalry while tactically retreating his orcs until Rohan's forces could be defeated. The only reason he lost the battle was an undead ghost army that he couldn't have reasonably seen coming.

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** The battle in which Sauron was originally defeated shows his orcs as a [[ZergRush disorganised mob]], the idea being that Sauron learnt from his defeat and realised he need a more disciplined army to win. In ''The Return of the King'' the orc army uses formations and is shown acting under the control of officers. Gothmog in particular is good at forming an organized attack, opening with an artillery barrage to soften the defenses, aerial superiority in the Nazgul to neutralize the enemy artillery in short order, bringing up heavy siege equipment to breach the gate, gate and towers to swarm the walls, forming a new line to meet a cavalry charge on his right flank, and calling in Haradrim reinforcements to meet the enemy cavalry while tactically retreating his orcs until Rohan's forces could be defeated. The only reason he lost the battle was an undead ghost army that he couldn't have reasonably seen coming.
13th Mar '18 3:59:06 AM Chabal2
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* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'' has formations, but they're more useful to line up units before the battle begins, and are a nightmare when dealing with large numbers of units, as they stack up into several smaller formations, meaning one formation will end up fighting outnumbered while the others are too far to react to the enemy's presence.
** The second game adds specific formations for land (phalanx, staggered or double lines, and wedge) and sea units (lines are used for broadsides, crescents to gang up on an enemy). The expansion gives the Zulu civ an exclusive "Horns of the Impi" formation, essentially the crescent formation on land that also gives its heavy infantry a damage boost while using it.
11th Mar '18 11:24:15 AM CaptainCrawdad
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* During the first battle in ''Series/{{Vikings}}'', a relatively small Viking raiding party is attacked by numerically superior Saxon force. The Saxons play this trope dead straight; their entire strategy consists of firing a single round of arrows at the Vikings and then wildly charging en masse. While the Vikings have a few small [[HollywoodTactics Hollywood]] touches, they keep a tight and orderly shield wall, have people in reserve to come forward and hold the wall if someone in front dies, keep archers behind the wall and then lift them up on shields to fire over the heads of their own men into the enemy, etc. The result is an ''utter'' CurbStompBattle: the Vikings annihilate the enemy force, aside from a few commanders who flee on horseback, while suffering all of 2 casualties.

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* During ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' often features armies fighting in formation, but sometimes not:
** In
the first battle in ''Series/{{Vikings}}'', season, a relatively small Viking raiding party is attacked by numerically superior Saxon force. The Saxons play this trope dead straight; their entire strategy consists of firing a single round of arrows at the Vikings and then wildly charging en masse. While the Vikings have draw up into a few small [[HollywoodTactics Hollywood]] touches, they keep a tight and orderly shield wall, have people in reserve to come forward and hold the wall if someone in front dies, keep archers behind the wall and then lift them up on shields to fire over the heads of their own men into the enemy, etc. The result is an ''utter'' CurbStompBattle: the Vikings annihilate the enemy force, aside from a few commanders who flee on horseback, while suffering all the Saxons charge en masse and get slaughtered. The Saxon commanders' comments imply they've never encountered a shield wall before.
** In the massive battles
of 2 casualties.
the fifth season, no army fights in formation. The battlefields are large melees where everyone is surrounded by enemies. Furthermore, no one is wearing uniforms, so it's anyone's guess as to how they distinguish friend from foe.



* Averted in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. Most units are fielded in blocks of models that must remain in base contact with one another, and which are with the exception of characters in the front rank given uniform equipment. Skirmisher units can spread their models out and have a serious mobility advantage compared to normal units, which have rules for wheeling about and spending turns reforming to face a new threat. But in melee combat, skirmishers never get a "rank bonus" to combat resolution based on the depth of their formation, which allows large, ranked units to overpower opponents even if they didn't inflict as many casualties in that round of combat. Skirmishers and lone heroes attempting a frontal assault against a ranked enemy are therefore likely to be pushed back, and perhaps run down in the process.
** There were some exceptions to the "units all having the same weapon" rule, such as the city militia units from the Dark Elf army list, or Pirazzo's Lost Legion, a Regiment of Renown from the original [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Dogs of War]] list. These units' front ranks were equipped with crossbows ([[AutomaticCrossbow repeaters]] in the elves' case) while the soldiers in the back carried spears and pikes, respectively. The soldiers in the front could shoot normally, and if the unit found itself in melee combat, the soldiers in the rear could still contribute thanks to the reach of their weapons.
* Sometimes averted and sometimes played straight in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Any group containing a SquishyWizard is going to want to put a wall of muscle and armor between them and any threats, and in 4th Edition especially, Hobgoblins were described as fighting in close formations. On the other hand, the amount of area-of-effect magic available has led some rulebooks to suggest that combat in such a setting would very much resemble modern warfare, with soldiers spread out and hugging every scrap of cover, lest they get nailed by an enemy mage with a ''Wand of Fireball''.

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* Averted in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. Most units are fielded fight in blocks of models that must remain in base contact with one another, and which are with the exception of characters in the front rank given uniform equipment. Skirmisher formation, but special units can spread their models out and have a serious mobility advantage compared to normal units, which have rules for wheeling about and spending turns reforming to face a new threat. But in melee combat, called skirmishers never get can fight out of formation. This gives them a mobility advantage, but they lack the "rank bonus" to combat resolution based on the depth of their formation, which allows large, ranked units to overpower opponents even if they didn't inflict as many casualties in that round of combat. Skirmishers combat.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'': 3rd edition
and lone heroes attempting greater provide a frontal assault against a ranked enemy are therefore likely to be pushed back, rules that can grant bonuses for fighting in formation. Reach weapons and perhaps run down in tower shields allow groups to combine the process.
** There were some exceptions to
high armor class of the "units all having the same weapon" rule, such as the city militia units from the Dark Elf army list, or Pirazzo's Lost Legion, a Regiment of Renown from the original [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Dogs of War]] list. These units' front ranks were equipped with crossbows ([[AutomaticCrossbow repeaters]] in the elves' case) while the soldiers in attacks from the back carried spears ranks. Numerous feats and pikes, respectively. The soldiers in the front could shoot normally, and if the unit found itself in melee combat, the soldiers in the rear could still contribute thanks to the reach of their weapons.
* Sometimes averted and sometimes played straight in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Any group containing a SquishyWizard is going to want to put a wall of muscle and armor between them and any threats, and in 4th Edition especially, Hobgoblins were described as
abilities also grant bonuses for fighting beside comrades. However, fighting in close formations. On the other hand, the amount of tight clusters also makes you vulnerable to area-of-effect magic available has led some rulebooks to suggest that combat in such a setting would very much resemble modern warfare, with soldiers spread out and hugging every scrap of cover, lest they get nailed by an enemy mage with a ''Wand of Fireball''.
spells.
28th Oct '17 1:31:58 PM FordPrefect
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** [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice Lancers]] will be used as grinder units, hiding behind the shields and trying to whittle down the opponent's HPs or enforcing some side of the lines by forcing the enemy back with a low lance or halberd swipe that's easily dodged, but still will have you take a step back.

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** [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice Lancers]] will be used as grinder units, hiding behind the shields and trying to whittle down the opponent's HPs HitPoints or enforcing some side of the lines by forcing the enemy back with a low lance or halberd swipe that's easily dodged, but still will have you take a step back.
19th Aug '17 12:48:41 AM jormis29
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* Thoroughly averted in ''Series/TotalWar'', which demonstrates why this is a bad idea. You see you get several units who stay true to this trope... and they tend to get massacred horribly in melee. Equally going into scatter formation and then charging is a good way of getting your soldiers killed off. Generally, units that were in formation are and units that shouldn't be in formation aren't.

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* Thoroughly averted in ''Series/TotalWar'', ''VideoGame/TotalWar'', which demonstrates why this is a bad idea. You see you get several units who stay true to this trope... and they tend to get massacred horribly in melee. Equally going into scatter formation and then charging is a good way of getting your soldiers killed off. Generally, units that were in formation are and units that shouldn't be in formation aren't.
6th Jun '17 12:55:55 PM BeerBaron
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* Played straight in every one of ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games. At first, it appears to be simple GameplayAndStorySegregation when the greatest in-game battles are all depicted with no formations at all. However, given the power that mages can wield in the game, a tightly packed formation could be obliterated with a few area-effect spells.
** [[AllThereInTheManual Background material]] found in the games do reveal that military units such as the Imperial Legions have formations such as shield walls.

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* Played straight in every one of In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games. At first, it appears series, this is a major case of GameplayAndStorySegregation. In-game, no attention is paid at all to be simple GameplayAndStorySegregation when formation. [=NPCs=] will run straight at the nearest enemy with no real regard for tactics. However, tactics and formations are frequently mentioned in-universe. For example, these are one of the greatest in-game battles strengths of the [[BadassArmy Imperial Legion]]. While individually, Imperial soldiers are all depicted with no not on the level of the [[ProudWarriorRace warriors of other races]] like the [[HornyVikings Nords]] and [[MasterSwordsman Redguards]], their use of formations at all. However, given like the power that mages can wield in the game, a tightly packed formation could be obliterated with a few area-effect spells.
** [[AllThereInTheManual Background material]] found in the games do reveal that military units such as the Imperial Legions have formations such as
shield walls.wall and a focus on collective martial prowess have allowed them to forge three empires which have spanned most or all of Tamriel at different points in history.
4th Jun '17 7:26:56 AM ImpudentInfidel
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* Parodied in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' where Sergeant Colon reminisces about how during his time in the army his commander would have them form up into arrows whenever they advanced, because that's how military diagrams represented units advancing.

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* Parodied in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'' where Sergeant Colon reminisces about how during his time in the army his commander would have them form up into arrows whenever they advanced, because that's how military diagrams represented units advancing. He then explains that it didn't actually matter because neither side actually held formation once the battle was joined.
30th May '17 1:42:41 AM Morgenthaler
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A big exception is once battle is joined. The most disciplined forces, like Roman and Greek soldiers, would try to maintain formation under all circumstances, and pike and spear walls would likewise attempt to maintain the integrity of their formation. But war is war, and at some point the formation is going to dissolve or at least weaken. So if there's heavy melee fighting going on, [[RealityIsUnrealistic it's acceptable to see soldiers duelling it out as individuals.]] Expect to see historians [[{{Facepalm}} face-palming]] if [[ThreeHundred phalangites are charging in with swords mid-melee however.]] Same goes for Roman legionaries willingly coming out of their famous shield wall.

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A big exception is once battle is joined. The most disciplined forces, like Roman and Greek soldiers, would try to maintain formation under all circumstances, and pike and spear walls would likewise attempt to maintain the integrity of their formation. But war is war, and at some point the formation is going to dissolve or at least weaken. So if there's heavy melee fighting going on, [[RealityIsUnrealistic it's acceptable to see soldiers duelling it out as individuals.]] Expect to see historians [[{{Facepalm}} face-palming]] if [[ThreeHundred [[Film/ThreeHundred phalangites are charging in with swords mid-melee however.]] Same goes for Roman legionaries willingly coming out of their famous shield wall.
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