Now this would be a fun little intimidation tactic, that when instead of killing all your villagers, you send them into the middle of your enemey first and have them die dramatically right in front of them.
[also for a nice fakeout by using the “delete unit”-command quickly instead of “delete all units” and leaving a couple of villagers alive to construct outposts]
It also might make certain modding tasks easier (but honestly, I have no idea if it would).
Personally, I’d want to be able to precisely route my petards into those little corners where they can do maximum damage. Say we have a group of three houses, that form an L-shape (or a square-group with a gap). Now depending on where the gap is, it’s more or less difficult to destroy all three houses with only three petards. And isn’t that a little messed up? Rotation of buildings and the orientation obviously has a gameplay effect, that’s unavoidable, but with Petards it’s a very large one.
It gets somewhat manageable if you zoom into it, but in a heated battle I would not want to do it.
But doing that before, sending out petards first, whilst making another attack as a distraction somewhere else… that’d be manageable.
Now we can already preprogramm petards to some degree, but I don’t really trust the pathfinding for the last attack command. I’m worried, that they all start choosing a different angle thus not everything being in the tiny 0.5 blast radius.
And if I want to use Petards against a stack of steppe lancers and target an individual steppe lancer, the Petard would give chase and would probably be killed without doing any damage.
[can Steppe Lancers and Kamayuks remote detonate Petards, by the way? I’d hope that the frame delay makes the Petard cross the 0.5 distance, but they probably get converted and turn around and explode your buildings instead]
But mostly this would be helpful for demoships, where the situation of targeting more or less stacked ships comes up a lot more often. Targeting an individual ship (or an individual skirmisher out of dozens in the shallows) feels fundamentally wrongheaded with those units, anyway.