Formation Fighting or Linear Warfare was the PvP doctrine developed and adopted by the UTC as its main form of protection against its in-game enemies. Before this time, many clans and groups relied heavily on individual skill, numbers and an ideal PvP inventory. Many fights and encounters by other clans were fought in head-on melee or ranged bow fights in mass groups, or subversively through betrayals which often can cause confusion and at times teamkilling. The implementation of Formation Fighting was intended to create a straightforward and orderly means of PvP and to make up for the Company's deficient fighting skill.
Early Company defense was satisfied by mercenaries and the Battle-Buddy system, a method of independent two-man teams that acted on their own initiative. Frequency of friendly fire between Battle-Buddy teams and other members were usually tolerated because iron armor provided suitable longevity. With the breaking up of battle buddies and the incompatibility of assigning new ones, the Company, influenced by the fighting of clans in Al Hasa,moved to levy mass irons in the South. This proved to be quite difficult to maintain as the need for experienced players to provide effectiveness for the numbers could only be barely maintained.
The Company already developed the Line formation, often used as a way to easily move large groups in a short amount of time, but degenerated back to chaotic melee in a fight. After the June Reforms, the Company purged massive amounts of members, including many of its fighters. Faced with a sharp disadvantage now in both manpower and skill - Irishkaiser began developing new and experimental ways of fighting - one that would be suitable for those who aren't adept at PvP. The Company after the purges was now filled largely of people who were untrained, but they made up for it with discipline and revolutionary fervor due to high anti-premium sentiments and thus needed to find a suitable methods of defending themselves.
Many neutral and healing clans' PvP doctrines were largely considered "impractical", mainly due to its elaborate command systems, elaborate divisions of men and they employed PvP tactics more designed for machinima than for actual fighting. Their theories were rejected and considered foolish by the Directory.
In contrast, the Company still maintained an experienced and battle-hardened officer corps, who were largely white and unaffected by the June Reforms. The new theory of organized group fighting was put to practice in the following trade runs and weaknesses were purged, with every poor performance or defeat being constantly corrected - it was discovered that 3 basic formations: the line, square and oblique, were suitable for fighting as a group in MineZ, with a 4th(wedge) still debatable as it is an offensive formation and the Company generally fights defensive actions.
The Company also corrected weaknesses as they were made known. It was discovered that an over-reliance of officers who were an important part of the Formation Fighting system, led to a vulnerability in the event that the officer is taken out by events foreseen and unforeseen. The Company solved this by increasing its chain of command, which inadvertently, as time went on, steadily filled because the Company was gaining experience in the field with its members becoming more adept at PvP strategy and tactics. Though highly suited for fighting Southern and small-scale battles and wars, the Formation Fighting system was eventually abandoned by the infantry and officially declared obsolete after Al Hasa Disaster, giving way to Squadfighting.
Heavy Infantry Tactics
Iron Armored Infantry formed the base of PvP tactics as they were the largest force in all of the major battles. Many Formation Fighting tactics base their origin from Napoleonic era strategies. They emphasized the "flexible use of maneuver" and they "abandoned fleeing enemies in favor of attacking together as one or maintaining group cohesion."
To assist with command and control of the infantry, each soldier would stand close to the officer and his fellow regimentals, even through the confusion of melee. Morale was an important factor and output of the formation fighting system as Minecraft fighting was generally about momentum and pushing, which depended on a person's morale to apply the continuum of force. Irishkaiser himself did not underestimate the importance of morale and agreed that, "Moral force rather than numbers decides victory". As such, the formations used in Linear Warfare are threefold in benefit: they boost friendly morale by providing a semblance of order around the chaos, they reduce the enemy's morale by showing off the group's steadiness and discipline and they maximize combat effectiveness through its practical application of mutual combat support.
The typical Heavy Infantry were armed with iron armor all over, but the UTC designed a different uniform than pure iron and they became walking arsenals, carrying not only iron armor, swords & bows but legendary weapons such as Grey Bows, Thorned Crowns, Ninja Sandals as well. The typical UTC infantryman also carried with him, his own food supply with sufficient ammunition and a healing kit, both shears and potions. One in every four UTC players carried with him the title of Corpsman, whose specialist kit included a heal bow for healing mid-combat. Another UTC player called the Signalier or Cornet, played appropriate musical files to boost morale and help relay orders over VoIP.
Heavy Infantry in the Battlefield
Company battles took place on farm fields, villages, roads, and streams; Company forces regarded cities, broken terrain or anything that could neutralize their superiority of equipment and numbers as unsuitable combat arenas unless they were outnumbered or outgunned. Infantry regiments use three primary battle formations: line formation, oblique formation, and infantry square (square formation).
The first formation, known as the Line formation(actually a column in the Napoleonic sense) because of its narrow and long form, suited soldiers marching down a road or moving quickly together towards the enemy across an open field. Because the Line formation could not fully employ all of its members to fight, regiments quickly change formation as enemies drew closer.
The second formation, known as an Oblique formation(actually a line in the Napoleonic sense), usually made up of one long horizontal line but if numbers permit: two ranks - helped present as many soldiers as possible allowing the unit to control a wider portion of the battlefield than the Line and maximizing the firepower of the unit.
The third formation, known as infantry Square, used a 360 field of vision in depth with a square or circular shape to protect infantry from the impact of a rush with the goal of not presenting the rear or sides of the soldiers to flankers. The Square changes into an Oblique or a Line, depending on the change of situation.
A fourth formation, still considered experimental, is the Wedge Formation. It is an offensive formation designed to envelop an enemy group with the wings of the wedge as the center fixes the target. This is rarely deployed by the UTC considering that they normally do not fight offensive battles.
Light Infantry Tactics
The light infantry, normally composed of troops armored in leather and equipped with dispensable gear were inspired by the hostile premiums the Company encountered in the South. Fartabstract helped pioneer the field as she defended Irishkaiser from multiple premium attackers and the duo won. Originally conceived as a way of giving premiums a "taste of their own medicine" the Light Infantry or "scouts" as they came to be known, gradually became an integral component of the UTC's Line of Warfare.
The Scout was armed in poorer or "lighter" equipment, except their speed potions, sugar or soulbound items but may have some health potions so as long as they're all splashes and easily used up, which suited their duties that included screening the main body of troops, reconnaissance and going to places where it is too dangerous for the Heavy Infantry to approach. Scouts generally only draw attention to themselves during a fight, but remain hidden and unseen before enemy contact is made. The Light Infantry are also usually the vanguard and rearguard, but can fight in the Company Line when ordered to.
Light Infantry in the Battlefield
In this type of warfare, scouts had many responsibilities on the battlefield. As they were generally expendable, they were free to move around and if they die, may respawn near the coastline of their death. They would perform "screening" duties which consisted of identifying the size, strength, and location of enemy forces while trying to prevent the enemy from doing the same and flank and knock enemy forces out from dangerous positions as they find them. The Light Infantry could do what the Heavy Infantry could not, whether the reasons be pragmatic or political.
The Light Infantry generally fought in open order and encouraged to charge at the incoming enemy to blunt their attacks, sending the initiative back to the defenders. If the Scouts die, their player zombies would do the fighting for them and thus, even a bad PvPing scout's death could boost their PvP effectiveness by having their player zombie do the fighting. The Scouts are most prominent in vanguard and rearguard actions, where they probe an area for enemy ambush and delay incoming enemy attacks and harassing enemy forces, disrupting the attackers or potential attackers.