Patrolicon aoe2de
In Age of Empires II, Age of Empires III and Age of Mythology, unit formations, also called tactics and modes by the games, are commands that can be issued by the player to their controlled units to change their combat behavior.

Age of Empires II Edit

Overview Edit

Formation selection aoe2de

In-game interface seen in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

In Age of Empires II and Age of Mythology, the unit formations selections are available immediately upon selecting a mobile unit.

List of formations in AoE II Edit

  • Aoe2 line Line Formation: Form the units into a line wider than it is deep. Military units are position according to their specialty.
  • Aoe2 box Box Formation: Form the units into a protective box, with weaker in the center, offering them maximum protection from attack in any direction.
  • Aoe2 stagger Staggered Formation: Form the units into a staggered line formation, in which units are farther apart to mitigate the type of damage caused by siege weapon units are too close together.
  • Aoe2 flank Flank Formation: Form the units into two subgroups, which then try to surround the enemy when attacking.

Age of Mythology Edit

Aom formations

Unit formation selections in Age of Mythology.

Unit formations in Age of Mythology generally retain the same function as they did in Age of Empires II. However, "staggered formation" has been renamed to "mixed formation", and "flank formation" has been replaced by "spread formation", in which the latter spreads out the units farther yet evenly spaced, rather than separating them into two far away sides in a way that flanks the enemy from two opposite directions.

Age of Empires III Edit

Overview Edit

Tactics UI

The in-game tactics interface in Age of Empires III.

In Age of Empires III, unit formations must be enabled by a UI option called Show advanced unit formations. To activate a formation, the player can click on the icons when selecting the units. The player may also assign hotkeys to each of the formations.

The formations are only available to military units (excluding units such as healers, Settlers, and Envoys). Military units always have a unique formation active.

List of formations in AoE III Edit

  • Cover mode Cover mode: Cover mode is available to hand infantry units. It divides damage taken from ranged and siege sources by 2, at the expense of dividing attack and speed by 2 as well.
  • Defend mode Defend mode : In defend mode, units will form squares while moving, with Melee units protecting Ranged units inside of the square. All units involved must be in Defend mode for this to work, and they have to be moved at once.
    Mixing Cavalry with Infantry to form a single defensive formation will not work in any combination.
    Defend mode is available to all Cavalry and Infantry units.
    • Defend mode causes a visual glitch when using a large number of Melee units to protect a small number of Ranged units. When doing so, the Melee units will be so densely packed that they will appear unrealistically clipped, occupying a very small surface of terrain.
  • Melee mode icon Melee mode: Melee mode is the default mode for hand cavalry and hand infantry. It can also be activated on most ranged cavalry and ranged infantry units. When in Melee mode, units will rely exclusively on their melee weapons to attack.
    • Melee mode can come in handy in a variety of situations:
      • For instance, some units have a high ranged attack but a low melee attack. When forced into close combat by units in melee mode, they become less of a threat. This is especially common for the Explorer against Treasure Guardians like the Outlaw Blowgunner (5 melee attack vs 30 ranged), Outlaw Pistolero and Outlaw Rifleman (12 melee attack vs 40 ranged).
      • It can also be used to take advantage of a high multiplier in melee against some unit types. For example, putting some Musketeers (or equivalents) in Melee mode during a large fight involving enemy cavalry can be very efficient and is often seen in high level matches.
      • A unit like the Dragoon deals 22 damage x2.0 against artillery like the Falconet, but due to the Falconet's large ranged resistance (75%) , this will result in 11 damage. When in melee mode, dragoons will deal 11 x2.0 = 22 damage to the Falconet, and will also attack at a faster rate. In addition, because the dragoons will be less clustered, they will take less Area damage in the process.
  • Stagger mode Stagger mode is the default mode for ranged cavalry. It is also available to ranged infantry. When in stagger mode, units will space out when moving in group, making artillery fire and Area of Effect damage less effective against them.
  • Stand ground Stand ground prevents the units from moving around the map, even if they're being shot at. They will continue to engage enemy units but will not pursue them.
    Stand ground is available to all Cavalry and Infantry units.
  • Stealth Stealth is only available to a limited set of units. It makes them invisible to the enemy's sight, at the cost of being unable to attack and having their speed halved. Some units and buildings have the ability to uncloak stealthy enemy units.
  • Trample mode Trample mode: Available to hand cavalry, the trample mode grants it an Area of Effect, at the expense of slower speed, lower attack and increased damage taken.
    • Some Cavalry units that already deal area damage will instead gain a larger area of attack.
  • Volley mode Volley mode: Volley mode is the default mode for ranged infantry. Units will automatically engage and pursue enemy units within their range.
  • Bombard mode Bombard mode: Available to artillery, the bombard mode allows the artillery piece to fire and to move slowly.
  • Limber mode Limber mode: Available to artillery, the limber mode allows the artillery piece to move at a decent speed but not to attack.
    • The speed of an artillery piece in limber mode is equal to 2.5x its speed in bombard mode, except for the Morutaru, Flaming Arrow, Light Cannon, and Siege Elephant which have the same speed in both modes.
    • Artillery pieces will automatically switch to limber mode when tasked with traveling a long distance.

Trivia Edit

  • In trample mode, cavalry units will use a different animation, with the horse trotting instead of galloping.
  • In defend,cover and stand ground modes, infantry units will adopt different postures, like kneeling and raising their weapons.

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

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