Wedge formation?

Has anyone figured out the purpose of the wedge formation?

And please forego the historical explanations of why wedge formations were used in real life. I get that and it is not what I am talking about. I just have not figured out it’s purpose in this game.

Typically in RTS engagements you want your units to form a concave shape in order to have as many of your units engaged with as few of the enemy units as possible. This is the complete opposite of what the wedge does.

So is there some hidden bonus we are missing that applies when in wedge formation? On stream a Dev said it was good for cavalry charges, but did not elaborate on why.


its easy. protect ur siege i guess. kinda like box formation which i miss actually, hopes they add it in the final release. protect that mangonel with box/wedge formation.

It’s just for show and like you say probably gives worse outcomes for your units. If they wanted formations to be useful there should be a box formation and one with cavalry on the wings or even a concave like you mentioned.

In AoE3, some formations change stats like cover mode boosting armour at the expense of attack so stuff like that could be implemented here.

It would be nice to see more advantages based off of unit mechanics rather than bonuses that don’t make sense. For example, all spearmen should have longer range than swordsmen and get bonus melee armour in tight formation so that if you had enough of them they would beat swordsmen. But the drawback to that formation would be a big weakness to archers (even if arches lost their perfect accuracy and bonus against spearmen).

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It seems that way, but the dev specifically said it was good for cavalry charges. So either he was full of crap or there must be something we are missing.

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Wedge formation is used to punch through enemy lines. It’s useful in games with actual ragdoll physics that make units fly when they’re hit with a heavy charge attack. You can punch through defenders and get to the siege or monk or whatever vulnerable unit they’re defending. In this game, wedge formation is noob bait that will kill your cav.

As far as I know, units in this game don’t have weight values. Therefore, heavy units and charging attacks don’t push smaller and lighter units out of the way. RIP wedge formations.


If there is mass, knockback, gravity like for example in Total Warhammer then a wedge would be useful

If there isn’t, then what’s the point.

I’ve not played aoe4 yet - does it have knockback etc?

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It has not so far. That’s why I can’t figure out the point.

Maybe it adds some bonus damage to charges, but I did not test that before the beta ended.

Unit formations in AoE IV are just for show. I would argue that just maybe staggered formation gives you a bit of an advantage against siege and area damage, but in general formations are a half-done attempt at complexity.

Wedge should give units a bit more attack in exchange for some armor, for example. At the same time, the game is missing block formation, which could give a massive armor bonus but reduced movement speed. And let’s not mention that archers should’ve had skirmish formations and such, more so considering AoE:II-type skirmishers are not in the game.

Want to see formations done right? You have to go all the way back to 2004 for that:


I really wish a bit more of the mechanics from Battle for Middle Earth were implemented in Age4. Perhaps BFME was just ahead of its time.

I can see uses for the other formations: Line formation to more easily encircle your enemy, spread formation to limit siege attacks, the default formation is a condensed box that may work well for protecting a position (e.g. siege or sacred site) or general purpose.

I also do not see a point to the wedge formation, which should benefit cavalry charges. However, I don’t see how given how the cavalry charge mechanic works - which is timing based rather than distance or momentum based. A wedge should allow all the cav in formation to maximize their charge bonus, but a line formation would be better for that.

One thing I noticed in the stress test during decently-sized battles near choke points was that the units in the front were fighting, but the units in the rear were just moving around unable to attack. This was neat to see, but I can imagine that a wedge formation granting some sort of knock-back or stun bonus to try and break the line would make it more useful.


Wedge formation is generally not useful in this game.

I had the same thought. The best formation for cavalry charges is line formation. Using wedge formation in a cavalry charge is just a bad idea.

One situation where wedge formation might be useful would be when you want to infiltrate through a tight space in between buildings. That way, units don’t get bottlenecked as much because they are already in a position that lessens the scramble time of your units. But only slightly.

Definitely needs to be replaced with a more useful formation.