Question on Formations

I have a question for anyone who has had a look at the Domains at War playtest rules. I’m running a gladiator rebellion in Dark Sun, and I missed the Kickstarter cut off by a few weeks. Lame. So if I’m overstepping, apologies.

I was wondering if anyone could give me a general run down of the differences between Loose, Formed, Irregular and Disordered formations. I know that a unit that takes damage becomes Disordered, but if I could get a general idea about how all these act, I think I can suss out the particulars, at least well enough to let me run the battles next week.


You already know about the free version of D@W on DTRPG, right?

Yessir, in fact, I’m using it for the war between the city-states of Urik and Tyr, with some modifications (units have 3 HP, movement rate is inversely proportional to the number of units in an army, along with Negotiation checks for friendly villages.) The rebellion is only 500-700 men on a side though, and the players are far more involved. Wealthy merchant-raiders can field a sizable mercenary force… for a short period of time.

Jon, if you're not using D@W: Battles, the various formation types won't mean much to you. In any event:

Loose formation is used by light, missile-armed troops. It allows them to pass through friendlies and to withdraw to avoid taking damage.

Formed formation is used by heavy, melee troops. If infantry, it allows them to set for charge and form shield walls, and if cavalry it grants bonus attacks in a charge. 

Irregular formation is used by berserkers, milita, and beastmen. It provides no benefits, and has a host of drawbacks including being unable to ready against charge, avoid charging if able, etc.

Disordered is not a formation but rather a condition imposed on a unit. A unit becomes disordered when it charges, runs, retreats, or takes damage. Disordered units have -2 AC and are more difficult to give orders to.

Aw, cheers! Nah, I have an abnormal ability to figure out game mechanics from secondary sources. Probably because the very first game I bought was the 2e adventure Night of the Walking Dead, and I had to figure out how RPGs worked from that.

I just need to make sure that when I do get my hands on Domains, the players aren’t completely taken aback by any changes. Any idea when it might be coming out?