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Thread: Square formation?

  1. #1
    Member Member ZombieFriedNuts's Avatar
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    Default Square formation?

    Been playing the demo and I put a regiment of hussars into square formation because Washington was riding about and he rode straight through them I thought the point of the square was to keep the cavalry away from the unit.
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    Slixpoitation Member A Very Super Market's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Hussars are cavalry units. What.
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Just means that Washington might experience more damage to his horsemen, doesn't prevent cavalry.
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    Member Member ZombieFriedNuts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    yes your right I meant Hessian
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    This is not a good example. George Washington can do anything... kind of like a 18th century Chuck Norris.

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    Member Member Phog_of_War's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    How many casualties did Washington take?

    But, you are correct the purpose of an inf square was to defend aginst calvary. You say his unit rode right thru the square?

    Im not suprised really. Cav has always pretty much gone thru spears from the very begining of the TW series. Except for the phalanx in RTW, cav has always won the day, and they would sometimes put a dent in even a phalanx formation.

    Maybe things will be a bit different in the age of gunpowder. I got both my units of Hussars across the river and engaged with a line company yesterday. The line company pulled back but my hussars didnt follow right away. Suddenly the American cannons on the left and on the hill to the right opened up on the hussars with grapeshot and turned both units into hamburger.

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    Default Re: Square formation?

    true, even in RTW, cavalry could punch through formations. It looked disastrous and I thought that the unit was dead, but in fact they did not suffer many casualties and completely wiped out the cavalry force. The cavalry did ruin their formation, though, and allowed other infantry to begin killing that unit. The square formation ideally has a similar effect, as well as being similar to the schiltrom formation in m2 and rtw BI, which was rather cumbersome but protected all flanks of that unit.

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    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Square formation?

    The soldiers look so cute in a square formation.

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    I Still Play Shogun Member ratbarf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    ^ True dat, but historically speaking, a square was all but impenatreble to cavalry as long as the infantry held their nerve and didn't allow any openings. As long as the formation is good, the cav shouldn't be allowed in, much like a RTW Phalanx formation. (and in RTW if you had enough cav, you could break through even massed spartan phalanxes...)
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Well, I'm just taking a shot here, but I think in real life squares were made up of more than 80-ish men. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't trust the whole square to a 2-man deep perimeter. And if there's only two men, think of this:You have only one man behind you and need to stop a massive beast and rider charging at you at full speed, as well as many of his buddies. Do you really think that 2 men will be able to withstand a full horse and its rider? As for the spartans and the phalanx, that doesn't happen too much although keep in mind that the men hold their spears forward and heavy cavalry could possibly leap over them. Or with armored horses, i.e. cataphracts, they could take a spear with the armor but there is still the weight of an armored horse and its rider in full armor to land in the enemy formation, and don't tell me that they will magically be able to get that horse to stay in the air, and not crash down on them.

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Well it depended. You usually used 500-100 men at 2-4 ranks deep. Cavalry isn't that heavy during this time period. infantry squares are really more deterents. However, once you manage to kill enough cavalry, the ground becomes so cluttered that the cavalry can't attack your square anymore. I think that's what happened at Waterloo with 4 rank deep squares.
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    Slixpoitation Member A Very Super Market's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Well, they don't model dead bodies do they?
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    I Still Play Shogun Member ratbarf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Quote Originally Posted by peacemaker View Post
    Well, I'm just taking a shot here, but I think in real life squares were made up of more than 80-ish men. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't trust the whole square to a 2-man deep perimeter. And if there's only two men, think of this:You have only one man behind you and need to stop a massive beast and rider charging at you at full speed, as well as many of his buddies. Do you really think that 2 men will be able to withstand a full horse and its rider? As for the spartans and the phalanx, that doesn't happen too much although keep in mind that the men hold their spears forward and heavy cavalry could possibly leap over them. Or with armored horses, i.e. cataphracts, they could take a spear with the armor but there is still the weight of an armored horse and its rider in full armor to land in the enemy formation, and don't tell me that they will magically be able to get that horse to stay in the air, and not crash down on them.
    Actually, a horse will not charge a condensed mass of men. so as long as there arn't any gaps they actually cant breakthrough. Thats why lancers and pistoliers were created. Because the lances reach farther than the bayonets and they don't have to charge into the men. The simply spear one, ride away and repeat until the formation is shattered enough that the horses will ride through. Same for the pistoliers. The trick with an infantry square was to hold the volley until the utter last moment, once they were sure the charge was committed. Generally under ten feet from the square. The first rank would go down and the rear ranks would trip over them making them easy meat for the squares second or third line to shoot. In a battle in Spain (the name alludes me at the moment) a regiment in square formation marched almost a mile switching from column to square in an effort to recover another regiment that had been caught out in the open. After repeated attempts by the cavalry to charge the square, the regiments eventually rejoined the main force making the cavalry disengage. Its all aobut fire control, but I doubt you could pull this off in the game sadly enough.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    You probably could using the fire at will command but too much micro.

    @AVSM - Well, I wasn't implying that ETW modeled it perfectly, simply answering a question. However, since these infantry squares are so small, what's stopping someone from planting spikes around it to use as obstacles?

    Square + Sharpened Stakes seem like a good combo.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 02-23-2009 at 04:36.
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    I Still Play Shogun Member ratbarf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Light infantry don't have the square ability in the demo at least.
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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Square formation makes an excellent 'last stand' formation. Your men can go down fighting back to back in a blaze of glory . It will work even better when combined with cover or a town square for that extra movie style zest.


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    Default Re: Square formation?

    I think the battle where the regiment marched in column/square was Fuentes de Onoro (Sharpes Battle for anyone who has read it). The 7th division got placed too far away by Wellington but the light division marched over and escorted them back to safety.

    This was interested because the divisions would march, then when cavalry came close move into square, then carry on once the coast was clear. They also had groups of riflemen inside each square who would run out, snipe at the cavalry and any gunners, then run back inside the square.

    I think the French actually lost more men during this phase of the battle due to the British discipline.

  18. #18
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Quote Originally Posted by ratbarf View Post
    Light infantry don't have the square ability in the demo at least.
    What's stopping you from laying stakes with light infantry and then putting a infantry square in the stakes?
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    Member Member Phog_of_War's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    Quote Originally Posted by antisocialmunky View Post
    What's stopping you from laying stakes with light infantry and then putting a infantry square in the stakes?


    Nothing! In fact this is a great idea for a defensive posture. I plan on using this one and seeing what the AI does to counteract it.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Square formation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phog_of_War View Post
    Nothing! In fact this is a great idea for a defensive posture. I plan on using this one and seeing what the AI does to counteract it.
    A bit overkill, don't you think? Your foot would be cannon fodder.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Square formation?

    heh. Lots of interesting discussion about the square so far. Still, even if you can't break the square with the cavalry charge, you could just go and shoot 'em up with a bunch of infantry. Point is, the square is effective against cavalry but is not invincible.

  22. #22
    Rip, Slip, Brush, Ahh Member crazyviking03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    I dont know if anyone has seen, I couldnt find group formations on the demo UI lol, but I hope we can group our infantry companies into groups of 4 and have them form a larger square. If we have to do it manually, it shouldn't be an issue since all it is doing is denying the enemy a flank, instead of adding some kind of defense bonus, that I know of anyway.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Square formation?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyviking03 View Post
    I dont know if anyone has seen, I couldnt find group formations on the demo UI lol, but I hope we can group our infantry companies into groups of 4 and have them form a larger square. If we have to do it manually, it shouldn't be an issue since all it is doing is denying the enemy a flank, instead of adding some kind of defense bonus, that I know of anyway.
    Group formations is a little button on the right hand side next to the rotate formation buttons. It's only clickable when you've selected a group, and I don't think it's in the "minimal" UI. I don't remember seeing a square formation, though.

  24. #24
    Member Member Phog_of_War's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    I do remember a battle I had in Med 2 where the AI, inexplicably went into a shiltrom formation and just stayed like that. I was not cavalry heavy, maybe 4 units max in a full stack, but I had some arty with me.

    Those formations made big fat targets for my cannon. I imagine the square formation would be the same. I havent had an occation to put line companys in square formation yet but I have seen it practiced in reenactments so I know what it looks like.



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    VictorGB Member Trapped in Samsara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Square formation?

    [QUOTE=peacemaker;2147866]Well, I'm just taking a shot here, but I think in real life squares were made up of more than 80-ish men. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't trust the whole square to a 2-man deep perimeter. And if there's only two men, think of this:You have only one man behind you and need to stop a massive beast and rider charging at you at full speed, as well as many of his buddies.

    The way squares work is that the horse does NOT charge home if the square 'holds its nerve'. The horse never actually impacts the infantry. It perceives the men as a solid object and horses have horse sense. They will not charge into a solid infantry formation anymore than they would gallop into a brick wall.

    Also, at Quatre Bras, preliminary to Waterloo for the non-Napoleonic War historians out there, the British fought off French Cuirassieurs in four deep LINE.

    If I recall correctly, there are only three verified accounts of cavalry breaking a well formed square throughout the whole Napoleonic War period. One of those resulted from a horse being shot, falling into the infantry, thus creating a gap, into which other cavalry leapt.

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    Last edited by Trapped in Samsara; 02-25-2009 at 14:22.

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