From SEOW7 onwards, ground units can be dispersed by commanders in a number of defensive formations, referred to variously as formations, emplacements or entrenchments.
e.g. Formation E for a Regular Infantry unit (strength = 4):
These formations only apply to stationary ground units, and are accompanied by in-game objects that depend on unit type. Both sides have access to an identical choice of ground formations. Key rules are:
- Commanders can order units to use formations at any time - the units will appear in formation in the next mission (as long as they are stationary).
- There is no delay to switch between formations, i.e. there is no time required to build the new emplacement.
- Regular infantry (VRI) units will appear in entrenchments.
- Artillery units will appear in individual dugouts arranged in the selected formation.
- Armour units (T*) will appear without dugouts or entrenchments.
- Columns and transport (VTR) and all other ground units will appear without dugouts or entrenchments.
The available formations are shown in the image below (Formation Selector window, left). This window can be displayed in the Mission Planner by clicking the Formation indicator graphic in the unit tooltip (below right). In this case the infantry unit is in Formation A (Platoon Line), as is indicated in the unit tooltip graphic and by the red highlighting in the Formation Selector window.
Each unit (platoon) can have up to four squads/teams, and they are placed in the formation in the order given by the yellow numbers. Formations with higher formation factors lead to improved Combat Effectiveness values.
Units can be ordered to change formation simply by clicking on the desired formation in the Formation Selector window (below left).
Programming and Design
- Formation layouts are hard-coded in SEOW, so cannot be changed easily by campaign designers.
- Each formation has an associated value (critical formation factor) that integrates with the Combat Effectiveness Model to affect unit combat performance.
- Formation critical factors are able to be edited in the SEDB Combat_Effectiveness_Model table.