Cossacks 1,2 and 3 Info Site - Formations
1.15 Formations
1.15.1 Cav formations.
Cav formations are a somewhat complex subject. In summary, there are 3 types of formations (line, wedge, and "u"). There are 3 formation sizes (40, 90, 160), and 4 formation types (heavy 17thc cav, light cav, dragoons and king's musketeers). As a general rule, line formations of 40, 90 or 160 offer the best formation bonuses. Wedge and "U" formations of 40 and 90 cav offer no benefit at all, and Heavy 17thc cav in formations of 160 recieve the most interesting bonuses. 160 heavy 17thc cav in "U" formation stand-ground have a defense of +80! Their +95 attack in Wedge formation stand-ground is nothing to ignore either -- it is possible to cut down a pikeman with a single blow, with no upgrades! 160 King's Musketeers in "U" formation stand-ground have 100 attack AND +80 defense -- that is simply awesome!

1.15.2 Other Formations

This is probably one of the first lessons in the tutorial, but one of the least-used features in multiplayer Cossacks. A quick review of the bonuses given by formations shows that an infantry unit gets +3 defense and a melee unit gets an additional +2 attack. The +3 defense is the cheapest and most effective counter to 17th  gunpowder. Also, the AI is MUCH better at targeting enemy units when in formation, eliminating the clustering effect caused when a human player selects dozens of units and targets a single enemy unit. This extra efficiency alone is worth the cost and trouble of assigning an officer to a formation. Nearly every unit-pairing in the Battle Simulator reveals outcomes that can be completely reversed with the use of formations. In fact, the only time formations shouldn't be used is on long marches. On long marches it is best to send a few officers/drummers with the units, then put them into formation once they arrive at their destination.

Rank Formations
Rank (Line) formations place your men in a row with the drummer and officer standing behind their men. These formations are good for defense, they spread out as many men as possible while maintaining a defensive line. It will take a large concentrated enemy force to break this line, as when attacked the line simply stays strong and encloses on the enemy not allowing them to push forward or escape. Effective use of these formations in strategic spots can be used to kill enemy units twice and three times their size. The attack and defense bonuses come to great use here. The bonuses themselves are often times over looked and ignored because of the time it takes to organize a formation. However, these bonuses are well worth the effort it takes to organize a formation, as they are unstoppable unless the enemy significantly outnumbers you in men and cannon. Combining two rank formations of pikemen to form an arrow shape is a highly effective tactic that can destroy enemy lines very easily. When the point of the arrow hits the enemy the enemy will have to form around the rest of the arrow formation allowing the point to push through, and the ends of the arrow to outflank the rest of the enemy.

Square Formations
Square formations are excellent for area saturation and attack. Square formations are the most efficient for putting as many men as possible in an area. Area saturation is best used when attacking troops without cannon. Simply saturating an area will easily have your enemy overwhelmed. However, if the enemy has cannon, he can simply grapeshot you to your death. Using grapeshot against square formations is like bowling with a large boulder, whatever you hit is a pancake. When deployed in rows, square formations will work much like rank formations, only increasing the amount of men you have in an area. Square formations are good with any number or type of men, small or large, as the effectiveness is basically the same with any number of men.


Box Formations
Box formations are the best type of formation to use when encountering heavy cannon and grapeshot fire. When hit with grapeshot, most of the unit is still alive, along with the officer and drummer. The cannons will have to reload, and even though you have lost men, the rest can still achieve their attack objective of overwhelming and capturing the cannon. This formation is also good for defending against cannon, as the cannon cannot hit many of your men at one time, and may even miss completely and hit the area in the middle of the formation. When using this formation for attacking, point one of the tips of the box at the enemy and march, double quick. The formation will work just like two rank formations forming an arrow, only on a smaller scale. Calvary too will have problems with attacking and flanking this formation simply because so many of your men cover such a large area.
1.15.3 Artillery Formations:
The only artillery unit that cannot be placed in a formation is the multibarrel cannon. All the other artillery units can be placed in to formations.
For cannons, the maximum formation is 100 units ( though rarely used). The biggest formation you will see in game will be a 40 unit formation for cannons. The nice thing about cannons is that you can put any amount between 5 and 40 in a formation by using the + and - button on the formation buttons. So if you have 25 cannons, you can make a 25 cannon formation or 2 formations, one with 10 and one with 15 for example. I tend to split up my formations rather then have them all in one formation, because like this you can cover more areas to defend. However the disadvantage with cannon formation is that you do not have the 'attack ground' buttton, which is in my opinion the most important one when using cannons. Effective use of this can criple an enemy from a distance without your cannons moving around. There are also no bonusses to the use of formations for cannons. I find it better to asign a group of cannons to a hotkey ( ctrl+1-9)
For Mortars, the maximum formation is 20. This may be of interest, because the mortars align up and when the enemy shoots you from a distance, they will not all get destroyed in one attack from a battery of cannons.
Using formations for howitsers is probably the most interesting one. Because if you have a group of 10 howitsers and dont use the formation, they will group up close and are vulnerable to enemy cannon batteries. If you use a formation for them, they align up nicely, and hence they cover more ground when the enemy is inbound. The maximum number of units in a formation for howitsers is 10.

1.15.4 Fishboat "formations".
Fishing boats have a large grouping radius, so if you shift-click a fishing boat along with a group of infantry or cavalry units, then tell those units to go somewhere, the result will be that the units spread themselves out along the way (similar to the old 'scatter' formation from AOK). This can be a very effective way to guard your own artillery when facing enemy artillery since the soldiers are spread out and less vulnerable to enemy cannon batteries. However they are vulnerable to an attack with musketeers. So use this wisely and have a reserve army to do move's inside your own line's of defense in order to counter a firepower attack. This works for all units, however if its a huge game and the game is kinda laggy or you have a slow computer, i suggest you dont use it , because the game may crash.