History Main / CallThatAFormation

19th Mar '17 12:43:31 PM Tacitus
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* Averted in the ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Warhammer Fantasy Battle]]'' tabletop game. All models in a unit must remain in base contact with each other at all times, with the exception of Skirmish units, which can be space apart while moving, but even must get into formation when making or receiving a charge. While skirmishing units have a serious mobility adventage, the ranked soldiers gain a "rank bonus" when calculating the winner of a fight, making large, ranked units very difficult to shift. Skirmishers or lonely heroes engaging a ranked unit in a frontal assault are likely to be pushed back even if they deal more damage.
** And almost every unit has soldiers equipped with the exact same weapons, except for the command groups, though that may be the player trying to cut down on bookkeeping more than anything else.
*** One notable exception to units all having the same weapon was Pirazzo's Lost Legion, a Regiment of Renown from the original [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Dogs of War]] army list. The front rank of the unit was equipped with crossbows while the rear ranks were equipped with pikes. Due to the rules of the game the crossbowmen could fire normally and if the unit was engaged in melee the pikemen behind them could still fight due to the long reach of their weapons.
* Sometimes averted and sometimes played straight in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Hobgoblins in the 4th Edition, especially, stick next to each other, and defenders usually need to stay near their [[SquishyMage charges]] to protect them. On the other hand, packed formations are very vulnerable to flashy area of effect magic.

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* Averted in the ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Warhammer Fantasy Battle]]'' tabletop game. All ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. Most units are fielded in blocks of models in a unit that must remain in base contact with each other at all times, one another, and which are with the exception of Skirmish units, which can be space apart while moving, but even must get into formation when making or receiving a charge. While skirmishing characters in the front rank given uniform equipment. Skirmisher units can spread their models out and have a serious mobility adventage, the ranked soldiers gain 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" when calculating to combat resolution based on the winner depth of a fight, making their formation, which allows large, ranked units very difficult to shift. overpower opponents even if they didn't inflict as many casualties in that round of combat. Skirmishers or lonely and lone heroes engaging a ranked unit in attempting a frontal assault against a ranked enemy are therefore likely to be pushed back even if they deal more damage.
** And almost every unit has soldiers equipped with the exact same weapons, except for the command groups, though that may be the player trying to cut
back, and perhaps run down on bookkeeping more than anything else.
*** One notable exception
in the process.
** There were some exceptions
to units the "units all having the same weapon was 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]] army list. The list. These units' front rank of the unit was equipped with crossbows while the rear ranks were equipped with pikes. Due to crossbows ([[AutomaticCrossbow repeaters]] in the rules of elves' case) while the game soldiers in the crossbowmen back carried spears and pikes, respectively. The soldiers in the front could fire normally shoot normally, and if the unit was engaged found itself in melee combat, the pikemen behind them soldiers in the rear could still fight due contribute thanks to the long reach of their weapons.
* Sometimes averted and sometimes played straight in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Hobgoblins Any group containing a SquishyWizard is going to want to put a wall of muscle and armor between them and any threats, and in the 4th Edition, Edition especially, stick next to each other, and defenders usually need to stay near their [[SquishyMage charges]] to protect them. Hobgoblins were described as fighting in close formations. On the other hand, packed formations are the amount of area-of-effect magic available has led some rulebooks to suggest that combat in such a setting would very vulnerable to flashy area much resemble modern warfare, with soldiers spread out and hugging every scrap of effect magic.
cover, lest they get nailed by an enemy mage with a ''Wand of Fireball''.
9th Feb '17 1:32:57 AM kagantx
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* Winning or losing a real-life battle before the 20th century was almost always a matter of breaking the enemy's formation. In ancient battles around 5% of the army on both sides would typically be killed or wounded before a formation broke, while the side who broke and ran first would lose 20-30% of their troops afterwards as the victorious side pursued and cut them down from behind. Cavalry was very useful for this purpose. No matter how barbarous a group was they would always have a formation, because without a formation you would be cut to pieces.
8th Jan '17 4:45:29 PM DarthWalrus
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** One particularly notable formation, the Beam Defense Formation, also known as the Thach Weave, was explicitly meant for it's participants to use it mid-Dogfight. By having the [[MightyGlacier F4F Wildcats]] using this formation repeatedly "weave" would allow each fighter to cover eachother, gunning down any enemy that happened to be behind them, generally the [[FragileSpeedster A6M Zero]], which, in a one-on-one dogfight, proved the Wildcat's superior, but in a battle of endurance and formation, lacked the resilience of the American plane.
3rd Jan '17 11:11:22 AM Observance
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* Played with in ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}''. Dragon formations are an integral part of aerial warfare, particularly in protecting tactically vital fire-breathers or acid-spitters. The Prussians in particular are legendary for their highly disciplined aerial formations. However, the Prussians are defeated when [[spoiler:Napoleon ''abandons'' formation fighting, disrupting the heavyweight Prussian dragons with a ZergRush of lighter and faster dragons and allowing his forces to isolate, board, and capture them all within minutes.]]
14th Sep '16 7:36:00 AM TheSaintOfAllTropers
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** Though this may have been intentional, with Main/ElvesVersusDwarves being in full force in this series.
29th Aug '16 10:25:07 AM Morgenthaler
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** One of the strengths of [[TheGloryThatWasRome the Roman Army]] was their uncanny ability to break enemy formations while keeping theirs. The best examples are the use of the ''pilum'' (a shield-piercing javelin that bends after impact to prevent the enemy from taking it out of the shield during the battle, Roman soldiers carried two) and their tactic against a phalanx: the ''pila'' were thrown seconds before meeting the enemy infantry, suddenly disorganizing their formation due the rain of javelins that pierce shields and either unbalance them or kill the wielder and not giving them time to get back in formation before meelee starts, and their tactic against the phalanx was to deploy part of the troops in their own shieldwall to pin the phalanx down and have the rest (cavalry if the enemy didn't have it to guard their flanks, infantry if they had) flank the enemy and start chopping until they broke formation.

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** One of the strengths of [[TheGloryThatWasRome [[UsefulNotes/TheGloryThatWasRome the Roman Army]] was their uncanny ability to break enemy formations while keeping theirs. The best examples are the use of the ''pilum'' (a shield-piercing javelin that bends after impact to prevent the enemy from taking it out of the shield during the battle, Roman soldiers carried two) and their tactic against a phalanx: the ''pila'' were thrown seconds before meeting the enemy infantry, suddenly disorganizing their formation due the rain of javelins that pierce shields and either unbalance them or kill the wielder and not giving them time to get back in formation before meelee starts, and their tactic against the phalanx was to deploy part of the troops in their own shieldwall to pin the phalanx down and have the rest (cavalry if the enemy didn't have it to guard their flanks, infantry if they had) flank the enemy and start chopping until they broke formation.
14th Jul '16 2:59:33 AM Doug86
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* Mostly averted in ''Literature/TheWarlordChronicles'', a realistic telling of the [[KingArthur Arthurian mythos]] from the point of view of a warrior who starts off as an ordinary spearman and later becomes one of Arthur's lieutenants. Fighting in a shield wall and the need to keep it tight are discussed at length, as are the consequences when formation isn't kept or a group of soldiers get cut off from the shield wall. However there are a few occasions where a maddened charge that completely breaks formation destroys the opponent's shield wall, and there are groups like the Blackshields, (a group of Irish [[TheBerserker berserkers and raiders]]) whose strategy consists entirely of charging at opponents while screaming at the top of their lungs and slaughtering anyone who stands in their way. As the Blackshields are ancient Celts, that's simply TruthInTelevision.

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* Mostly averted in ''Literature/TheWarlordChronicles'', a realistic telling of the [[KingArthur [[Myth/KingArthur Arthurian mythos]] from the point of view of a warrior who starts off as an ordinary spearman and later becomes one of Arthur's lieutenants. Fighting in a shield wall and the need to keep it tight are discussed at length, as are the consequences when formation isn't kept or a group of soldiers get cut off from the shield wall. However there are a few occasions where a maddened charge that completely breaks formation destroys the opponent's shield wall, and there are groups like the Blackshields, (a group of Irish [[TheBerserker berserkers and raiders]]) whose strategy consists entirely of charging at opponents while screaming at the top of their lungs and slaughtering anyone who stands in their way. As the Blackshields are ancient Celts, that's simply TruthInTelevision.
12th Jun '16 11:38:33 AM Kakai
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* In ''Film/RobinHood2010'', you see a line of defenders form a spear wall behind their gate. when the enemy horses drive through...they're gone. in other battles, you see French soldiers make a few thin lines, but they dissolve before the enemy is within striking distance at no provocation. so, there were formations, but they never got used.

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* In ''Film/RobinHood2010'', you see a line of defenders form a spear wall behind their gate. when the enemy horses drive through...they're gone. in other battles, you see French soldiers make a few thin lines, but they dissolve before the enemy is within striking distance at no provocation. so, So, there were formations, but they never got used.
* In ''Film/WarCraft2016'', most of attacks humans suffer are surprise ones, so most of the time, there are no formations to speak of. Subverted when Callan manages to organize his men into a small [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testudo_formation testudo]] (Roman tortoise), which proves highly effective against larger and stronger orcs.
7th Jun '16 7:12:49 PM Doug86
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** During WorldWar2, bombers breaking formation faced almost certain destruction, as bomber formations were designed so that bombers in same formation protected others in the same formation (and whole formations protected other formations). A single bomber out of formation, on the other hand, could be chased down and destroyed. It was a bad idea for fighters to stick too closely to a formation, on the other hand. Early on, Allied fighters suffered because they were trained to fight in tight V formations of three fighters each, since it was difficult to keep the formation up in high speed maneuvers and pilots were distracted by trying to fight while maintaining formation. The German ''schwarm'' formation, adaptations of which were adopted by everyone in a few years, offered the advantage of not being so strict.

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** During WorldWar2, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, bombers breaking formation faced almost certain destruction, as bomber formations were designed so that bombers in same formation protected others in the same formation (and whole formations protected other formations). A single bomber out of formation, on the other hand, could be chased down and destroyed. It was a bad idea for fighters to stick too closely to a formation, on the other hand. Early on, Allied fighters suffered because they were trained to fight in tight V formations of three fighters each, since it was difficult to keep the formation up in high speed maneuvers and pilots were distracted by trying to fight while maintaining formation. The German ''schwarm'' formation, adaptations of which were adopted by everyone in a few years, offered the advantage of not being so strict.
7th Jun '16 2:46:25 PM Morgenthaler
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* Mostly averted in ''TheWarlordChronicles'', a realistic telling of the [[KingArthur Arthurian mythos]] from the point of view of a warrior who starts off as an ordinary spearman and later becomes one of Arthur's lieutenants. Fighting in a shield wall and the need to keep it tight are discussed at length, as are the consequences when formation isn't kept or a group of soldiers get cut off from the shield wall. However there are a few occasions where a maddened charge that completely breaks formation destroys the opponent's shield wall, and there are groups like the Blackshields, (a group of Irish [[TheBerserker berserkers and raiders]]) whose strategy consists entirely of charging at opponents while screaming at the top of their lungs and slaughtering anyone who stands in their way. As the Blackshields are ancient Celts, that's simply TruthInTelevision.

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* Mostly averted in ''TheWarlordChronicles'', ''Literature/TheWarlordChronicles'', a realistic telling of the [[KingArthur Arthurian mythos]] from the point of view of a warrior who starts off as an ordinary spearman and later becomes one of Arthur's lieutenants. Fighting in a shield wall and the need to keep it tight are discussed at length, as are the consequences when formation isn't kept or a group of soldiers get cut off from the shield wall. However there are a few occasions where a maddened charge that completely breaks formation destroys the opponent's shield wall, and there are groups like the Blackshields, (a group of Irish [[TheBerserker berserkers and raiders]]) whose strategy consists entirely of charging at opponents while screaming at the top of their lungs and slaughtering anyone who stands in their way. As the Blackshields are ancient Celts, that's simply TruthInTelevision.
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