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Thread: Why are units fighting in line?

  1. #1

    Icon5 Why are units fighting in line?

    There's light infantry behaviour in NTW, which resembles a modern rifle squad formation, and it's pretty easy to mod unit spacing as well. Why are the troops fighting in 18th-19th century style line?
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  2. #2
    TheRomanRuler's Avatar Campidoctor
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Why are units fighting in line?

    Because that is how it started in the early war. Before WW1, nations had combined machine guns, more powerful artillery and to lesser extent, better rifles almost exclusively against weaker and less advanced powers. Most of the fighting had been done against colonial powers. On top of that, any previous wars had shown that staying under heavy fire is terrible idea. So logically, you want to end that battle as soon as possible. And how was this done? Pretty much only option was bayonet. There was really no other way of capturing enemy positions outside starving them, and sieges were static war in small scale where trenches had been used for couple of thousand years.

    And if you would form your forces in loose order formation like they would be skirmishers, there would be far less attackers in same area, so defenders might actually outnumber the attackers. And with artillery, machine guns and better rifles than ever before, that would have been madness. There simply would not have been enough attackers for them to stay alive long enough to reach defenders.
    And nobody was stupid enough to think that rifles could somehow outshoot machine guns and all other weapons defenders had.

    So that is why entire war started as soldiers in Napoleonic era formations charging against machine guns and large numbers of defenders in Napoleonic formations. Since everyone realized machine guns could easily wipe out entire formations, everyone would soon dig in and trench warfare began. Entire war was about trying to find ways to attack against machine guns. It was not getting close that was the problem, it was not even taking enemy positions with masses of bayonets that was the problem, it was trying to do it all without loosing too many men and then being able to even defend what you captured.

    People think generals were stupid for not realizing how effective modern firepower was. They were not (in general), they were using tactics that had been most effective in the past. It just did not work and they were unable or incapable of learning right lessons from previous wars, and thus all major powers of the world and most of the world spent 4 years with nations's entire economies and populations mobilized to find solution to 1 problem: Bayonets don't work, how to attack against machine guns.

    Also do remember how in most of the world, even eastern front, warfare was far more mobile. It was mostly in western Europe where attacking was impossible. Almost everywhere else they could still fight with tactics they had started the war with, though obviously everyone still changed way they fought as they learned better ways to do things. So its not so much that those tactics were terrible and generals should have learned long ago how to do things differently, it was just that Europe was so densely populated and had so many great powers that there would be vastly more soldiers per square kilometer and far less space to move. Without Europe being so densely populated, it would have taken much longer for nations to finally find ways to attack against machine guns.
    Apologies for anyone who's message i may miss or not be able to answer

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why are units fighting in line?

    The base programming architecture of Napoleon: Total War game. ...other than the blatantly obvious that "modern warfare" was superfluous to a calvary officer of the same said Napoleonic era of the early 19th century.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why are units fighting in line?


    Care to provide a source or give an example (e.g. a battle) where troops fought in a closely pack standing Napoleonic Wars style line?

    The common knowledge is that the American Civil War was the last large scale conflict fought in line. Bolt action rifles, machine guns and rifled artillery greatly improved accuracy and rate of fire, making lines unpractical.
    Train your Generals at Schools -&- Ancillaries and Traits Overhaul (E:TW)

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  5. #5
    B-DizL's Avatar TGW Lead Modeller

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    May 2009

    Default Re: Why are units fighting in line?

    They arent in tightly packed Napoleonic Wars style lines, we changed them to be loose random formations. Granted they are still a little too close so this has been fixed in the coming update, but currently we have changed them from vanilla to have more space between the men in the unit and be randomly arranged instead of in perfect order.

    Having said that they did fight in a line type formation in WW1, the only real difference was they actively took cover which NTW is unable to recreate. If you look at battle plans from the first battle of the marne you will see them deployed this way. There will always be a front line in battle and the types of battle we are able to recreate with this game engine necessitate them being arranged this way.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why are units fighting in line?

    the only real difference was they actively took cover which NTW is unable to recreate
    No, that's exactly what I was saying. Light Infantry Behavior makes the unit kneel and take cover when stationary... It's already incorporated in the game since Empire.
    Train your Generals at Schools -&- Ancillaries and Traits Overhaul (E:TW)

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