If the player chooses to create a platoon, they must click the flag on top of the armory and then place it on the ground. To increase the size of the platoon, they can drag it further out or further in to increase and decrease the numbers (Respectively). Once the player places the flag, an army recruitment tent will appear and men from the town will rush to join (Presumably because of the inherent honor/food bonus they receive, not to mention not aging). Until the platoon fills up, the tent will remain, and the platoon will form up a short distance from the tent.
The only formation platoons are known to take is a phalanx formation (Typically 4 deep, and extending abreast to accommodate however many soldiers there are in the platoon). Platoons can be linked so that move and attack are done as if they are all a single platoon (A good strategy for Swordsman and Archer platoons to work in coordination), and in an emergency platoons of the same type can be merged. This should only be done in dire situations, as the two will be combined and the maximum numbers for the platoon will combine as well. For Example:
If a platoon of 20 has lost 10, and they are merged with a full platoon of 30 then the merged platoon will still be missing 10 men, but will be 40 strong. (10/20 soldiers + 30/30 soldiers = 40/50 soldiers).
The advantages of having a large war machine are obvious. On a large scale, a well-balanced and trained army can successfully assault any large town and, with enough time and proper weaponry, can even take down a creature without their gods support. Smaller groups can easily conquer enemy settlements and expand the reach of the player.
The disadvantages though are more economic. Men are the most effective breeders, crippling the birth rate and large armies tend to consume large portions of the population. Besides this, the average soldier consumes twice the amount of food a regular citizen does and large recruitment can suddenly put huge strain on fragile food networks.
Recruited from the melee armory, the swordsman are grunt infantry of your army. They will usually lead an assault (Unless a creature is present) and are frequently the first into the breach of an enemy wall. This also gives them the highest casualty rate, and should thus be frequently rotated out of the front lines for replacements to ensure the platoon maintains efficiency.
They are vulnerable to just about anything besides other swordsmen, but are deadly if used in coordination with other army elements. They should be kept away from a creature engaging another platoon, lest they suffer casualties from their own creature.
Recruited from the ranged armory, archers form the backbone of the combat support element of your army. They will quickly follow swordsman to aid them in an attack, but will usually stay behind them to keep away from the melee. However, this should not be seen as cowardice on their part and they are capable of matching melee fighters in close-quarters combat (Though a wooden bow can only do so much damage against an iron sword and shield), but this is only done as a last ditch resort. Their position in the order of battle means that they do not need frequent reinforcements, and should be placed on the low priority.
Archers are very effective against melee platoons caught in the open, causing large casualties very quickly. Employed en masse and properly defended, they can also be used very effectively against enemy creatures. They are excellent for a defensive god, as they can mount themselves on a wall and fire down on attacking enemies. If they are engaged in close quarters though, they are meat for the grinder.
Women in the ArmyEdit
During times of war, all followers are forced to make sacrifices and if a platoons numbers dwindle and they cannot be supplemented with eager men, then women will gladly take up a sword and shield or bow and arrow for their god (Though they will lack proper armor). Until the platoon is disbanded (Or they are killed) the women will actively participate in anything the platoon does, From engaging in battle, to practice sword fighting.
Women can be forced into military service by being dropped onto a recruitment tent while it is gathering non-appointed idle male citizens automatically, arguably a unfinished feature of the game though mentioned on the signposts in the first Japanese land, they will not show the corresponding soldier disciple aura, but will instead become disciple breeders and join the army armed with the relevant weapons but also display themselves as undefined disciples in the statistics part of the Toolbar. In addition to acting like normal soldiers, they also have their own unique sound files for activities like capturing town centers.
Recruited via the Workshop, every recruitment tent from the workshop will create only one Catapult (Requiring ten men to operate). However, the investment is well made. The catapult is the most effective weapon the mortal realm has that it can operate alone. Effective against ANYTHING static, it can be used against army platoons at rest, idle creatures, or most effectively, enemy structures and defensive structures.
However, this power comes at a cost. They are easily destroyed by swordsman who can quickly close and kill the crew and destroy the catapult, or by creatures who do the same. A well placed fireball can also be the downfall of this sluggish machine. This lack of defense makes them hugely vulnerable and they should always be escorted by a swordsman/archer platoon.
As soldiers fight battles and conquer towns, they learn various skills. Swordsmanship, accuracy, but most of all, they become more experienced in war. They become better and stronger. As soldiers level up, their skill in combat and movement speed increases. If on otherwise equal terms, a more experienced platoon will always triumph over the less experienced.
If an experienced platoon loses several of its veterans to battle and must be reinforced, they will teach their skills to the new recruits so that they can keep up.
In Battle of the Gods, it is possible to compensate for a platoons lack of experience with more finely made equipment by building a blacksmith. The more blacksmiths that are built, the hardier and better quality the equipment will be.
An interesting feature introduced with armies in Black and White 2 is the importance of the location of the battle. Flat land will create equal terms but if fought on a hill, or even a mountain, each platoon is given a different advantage/disadvantage.
For example, if a platoon of twenty was fighting another platoon of thirty, but they had the higher ground they would have an equal chance of winning (Despite being outnumbered).
As the gradient increases, so does the handicap. A huge platoon of seasoned veterans may be routed by a weaker, less experienced platoon if the slope is steep enough.
Infantry platoons are the only ones that seem to benefit from this advantage.