Bug #19072

Buggy delta and column formations

Added by Voyage34 about 6 years ago. Updated about 6 years ago.

Status:Assigned Start date:04/20/2011
Priority:Normal Due date:07/20/2011
Assignee:Dwarden % Done:


Category:AI Issues
Target version:-
Affected ArmA II version:1.59.79384 First affected build:
Reproduced by another DH user:No First affected ArmA II version:
I am using some Mods:No Single / Multi Player?:
I am using:CO (OA+A2) BIForumURL:
Reproducible for you:Yes NGUrl:
Related to content of DLC: WIKIurl:


Delta and compact column formation have some weird behaviours, mainly the fact that your (or AI's) subordinates follow religiously the position in formation, without caring about taking cover. Moreover they often tend to go prone, that in an urban ambient is unrealistic for many reasons (less peripheral vision, limited movement and reaction possibility).

This leads to:
-AI never taking cover
-AI watching random directions in the attempt to follow the formation position (leader makes a single step left - all units turn left, step back - all units turns back)
-when the squad is prone (they all go prone simultaneously), it takes a lot of times before they can stand up and catch up one by one. Combined with the previous behaviours it sometimes gives you the feeling you are commanding a squad of worms.

-AI units in delta and c. column formations should take cover as usually.
-AI units in delta and c. column formations should avoid going prone, if not under fire or firing themselves (for better aim)

Little ending note: I think this could be applied even to staggered column, who is another formation used in close combat.

COLUMN_BUG.Takistan.zip (1 kB) Fireball, 04/26/2011 06:05

Related issues

related to ARMA2 Community Issue Tracker - Feature #19069: Position of units in formation should be relative to lead... Closed 04/20/2011


Updated by Fireball about 6 years ago

  • Due date set to 05/04/2011
  • Status changed from New to Feedback
  • Affected ArmA II version changed from Please select... to 1.59.79384

EDIT: [nvm, I thought it was diamond formation]

I assume you're playing with 1.59.

Updated by Fireball about 6 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Assigned
  • Assignee set to Dwarden

Updated by Fireball about 6 years ago

  • Due date changed from 05/04/2011 to 07/20/2011

Updated by maturin about 6 years ago

For the love of God, don't fix this.

I know that Column and Delta are broken and useless for combat. But they are the only foolproof method for overriding the AI when they stupidly want to take cover and refuse to follow the leader.

When a column is tanks is approaching, ready to grind you into dust and splatter you into pink mist, you need your squad to MOVE NOW!

When I'm a sniper playing with a spotter and we need to move fast, I stick him in Column mode, creating an obedient formation of two that will always keep pace.

Until BI wants to put the work in to make the AI obedient, this formation cannot be 'fixed.' It would make singleplayer extremely frustrating.

Edit: I should point out that the important quality of these formations is the disabling of bounding overwatch and the refusal to take cover. Other issues with stance could be addressed.

Updated by Voyage34 about 6 years ago

I'm playing with the 1.59 + beta, but it's the same in 1.59.

Ok, it's true that they move faster without doing bounding overwatch, but diamond formation is not the formation to save the squad from tanks, it's for leading the squad in urban terrain.
The impossibility to have the squad moving fast has to be addressed in another place, but keep something broken just to fix something else that is broken, is not a good way of working.

EDIT: maybe the compact column can be left without bounding overwatch, since it's mainly used for very small squads and in stealth contests, or when you need your team close behind you.

EDIT2: I forgot that since about 77706 move orders disable bounding overwatch, so you clearly have your way to get your squad out of danger.

Updated by fabrizioT about 6 years ago

As Voyage34 already pointed out, delta and column formations are buggy.
In many situations units move slower than doing the "dreaded" bounding overwatch.

  • Try making unit #2 of your group wounded and the following units will move in slomo while it crawls.
  • Have a unit being stuck and you'll have an entire part of the group stuck.
  • Not to mention that some kind of groups always move extremely slowly in delta / compact column. This looks to me a recent problem.

I am not asking to reapply bounding overwatch to delta / compact column, but actual behaviour is indeed "slow" and needs to be looked in.

Updated by fabrizioT about 6 years ago

Sorry, i probably posted the right repro in the wrong place :(
See my comment here:

#19069 - "Position of units in formation should be relative to leader instead to the preceeding unit" looks closely related to this ticket imho.

Updated by Fireball about 6 years ago

You're giving me a hard time here, mixing those tickets up.

Updated by Fireball about 6 years ago

Voyage34, does fabrizioT's repro got anything to do with your ticket? His repro and your description mismatch - or did I get that wrong?

Updated by Voyage34 about 6 years ago

Ok, I'll try to make it clear on both tickets (#19069 and #19072).

About this one:

There are 2 problems (and one proposal of mine - for reworking them and making them differentiated from the rest of formations)

-Problem n.1: units in delta and compact column formation don't take cover at all, and don't use bounding overwatch; they just stay in formation behind you, always and perfectly.
In my opinion units in delta formation should for sure move using bounding overwatch.
Instead the compact column could be left without bounding overwatch, because it fits well for small squads that need compactness, stealth actions, sniper teams, ect.. (please give feedback about that)

-Problem n.2: units in delta and compact column formation tends to go prone too often (more often than they would usually do in other formations): if the leader stops for a few secs, the entire squad hit the ground simultaneously, and it takes a lot of time for them to stand up (if the leader moves slow enough they can even follow him crawling).

In this sense this ticket is pretty linked to #19156, beacuse the weird behaviour you see in #19156's repro is the same behaviour units have in delta and c. column formation, just applied to a wedge shape.

-(Additional) my proposal: make units in delta, compact column and staggered column (formations used in close combat) not to go prone at all by default, unless they are under fire, or firing themselves (for better aim); obviously this could be overriden by player ordering them to go prone, if needed.
This has 2 positive consequencies (IMO):
1) units takes a lot less to follow you/the leader, ensuring compactness of the team
2) units (even enemy units) in delta formation - so in an urban ambient - are not found anymore lying in places where they shouldn't for a lot of reasons (limited peripheral vision, limited reaction possibility, limited turning ability).
Anyone of us have found at least 1 time a guy lying inside a house, who turns and shoots you with a impossible turning speed and precision (he's prone!).
Please give me feedback on this last one.

EDIT: I forgot, COLUMN_BUG has nothing to do with this ticket.

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