We now really need more unit formations and commands

As per dev note on the new PUP update:

Developer Note: We wanted to add more strategic considerations to army positioning around siege weapons while increasing realism in the interaction between siege and non-siege units. To accomplish this, we’ve made all units (except villagers) use their normal weapons vs siege units. This means the knight charge will be a powerful option vs siege if there aren’t any nearby spearman to brace. Units not using torches means they will have to get closer to their targets so it’s easier to block them and protect the siege. Of course, we still want there to be multiple counter play options to siege weapons. To get the balance correct with this feature we’ve done a large rebalancing pass to reduce the health of siege weapons and make some units like horsemen remain strong counters by giving their melee attacks bonus damage vs siege weapons.

Seems to me that you are not giving us the proper tools to implement this such of changes. If you want us to be able to protect our siege with proper military units rather than (re)actively repairing them in combat with vills, we need to have options to do so.

The problem relies in that you’re not giving us these tools.

We really need Box Formation more than never now.

You’d remember this unit formation from AoE II.

Box Formation: Form the units into a protective box, with weaker units in the center, offering them maximum protection from attack in any direction.

This way we can properly protect our Siege Units, in a strategical active manner. Which is what the devs are proposing.

While on the attacking side, if we want to flank the enemy front lines to dive straight into the siege, why isn’t there a Flank Formation?

Flank Formation: Form the units into two subgroups, which then try to surround the enemy when attacking.

This is just an example, but as of now, Unit Formations are useless in AoE IV, out of the 4 formations available, only 2 are really used in play, and 1 of them is used only used situationally for siege (Staggered) only because it’s our only option for it, and doesn’t even do the job properly (You’ll still get the siege shot, you’re just preventing more damage).

This goes hand in hand with proper Unit Commands. For example, changes that are being made for AoE IV meta are map control focused.
So let’s take as an example the new Reignitz Cathedral. Now you’d need more Relics for your gold economy as the HRE rather than just go for 2 of them. This means you’ll have to dive further from your base to collect the other Relics.
This, however, clashes straight into the game’s meta of Strategy > Micro. Because we could use a box formation to send some units to protect our Prelate.
Or even a really basic Unit Command that Age of Empires IV lacks: Guard and/or Follow Commands

All of this just makes the AoE IV vision of the devs for the game to permanently clash into itself constantly. It’s really weird that you want us to be more strategically active rather than micro reactive, but then you want us to micro our own boxes formations while in combat, to micro our own religious units around the map with wolfs permanently attacking them because we cannot send a knight to protect them so we need to micro yet another unit, etc etc.


Biggest meme of all time. “more realistic” And at the same time we repair buildings even stone buildings with stone, villagers smash ground with hammer to have something appear, buildings costing food and gold and not wood and stone, sheeps being randomly in world??? Deer always in pack of 7??? Wolfs just staring you till you stop??

They should stop this stupidity and focus on balance and not something stupid as historically accurate or realistic because this game god sake is not realistic or historically accurate.

Yes! please add them devs, not only they look really nice but also are really useful!

Yes the formations are limited. I would like to see a custom formation editor. I’m sure there are dozens of creative ideas and strategies for formations. Just adding a split formation or box formation is not enough these days. Some people would not be satisfied with how devs choose to arrange the box or split the groups. Devs need to give up creative control and allow the players to design the gameplay.

Eliminating torch damage to siege is radical but hopefully is a precursor to more historical fire warfare. China had the fire lancers, abbassid is missing its fire grenadiers. It doesn’t make sense that any random spearman can whip out a torch. They didn’t have lighters back then. Fire was not that easy, especially to throw repeatedly.

About a month ago, there was a post addressing this actually. Supposedly the Devs are interested in improving that formation system.

Formations should not only change the way an army is “shaped” but they should also come with strengths or drawbacks. If you ever played the Battle for Middle Earth RTS you have seen how to implement formations in a more strategic way. That was also a simple game (before people start throwing at me that I want a Total War clone).


  • Soldiers have a “block” formation, which clumps them together forming sort of a shield wall (phalanx). The formation increases armor but significantly reduces their movement speed.
  • Cavalry has a “wedge” formation that increases their initial charge attack, but makes them more vulnerable.
  • Pikemen have a “porcupine” formation which surrounds a weaker unit in an impenetrable mass of spears, but remain immobile and vulnerable to ranged attacks.

I really don’t understand why nothing like that was even attempted in AoE IV, not even height or flanking bonuses. We all know the AoE franchise is not known for being hyper realistic, but having men-at-arms with shields and those shields only serving an aesthetic purpose is stupid. Unit formations were extremely significant in history and different unit types served more than one role if used in the right formation.

One of the reasons AoE IV feels like you’re just throwing masses of bodies into a meat grinder is that the strategic aspects of a battle are simply decided by who’s got the bigger army or better econ.

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Good suggestions. I would like more unit formations and commands. This would make battles more interesting.