Units can be organized into custom formations, however this doesn't always work. Especially with artillary the unit order is often changed:

  1. Arrange the unit cards in the right order.
  2. Form the units into a group.
  3. The order is changed to what I'll call the 'background' order.
  4. Force a different order by dragging a unit card and dropping it on the group to move it to the end. If you do this in the right order, you can force the order.
  5. Now the unit card order is respected.
  6. When moving the units around the card order is not respected, instead the background order is used.
  7. When the grouping is removed, the unit cards revert to the background order and abandon the forced order, which is what normally does happen.

Again, in most cases I can form a custom order and send units into battle respecting that order. This problem seems to occur when artillary is mixed with infantry. Here's a screenshot of this happening with a group of two bolt-throwers, White Lions of Chrace and Lothern Sea Guards. My custom order is:
Sea - Lion - Bolt - Bolt - Lion - Sea
The order when I click and move the units around is:
Bolt - Bolt - Sea - Lion - Lion - Sea enter image description here

So it seems the artillary is pulled out, while otherwise the order is respected.

  • Not an answer to your problem, but I strongly recommend to never mix different unit types in the same group. Make groups always only infantry/archers/artillery/cavalry/fliers. Controlling mixed groups is a pain and inefficient. – Dulkan Jul 2 '18 at 6:00
  • @Dulkan I want melee units to stand close to the artillery to protect them from cavalry charges. If I need a group for each side, I'll end up needing a lot of groups. But I could also just not group them at all. – MrFox Jul 2 '18 at 14:33
  • infantry walls to protect artillery aren't very effective in my opinion, unless you go for a defensive stand. The infantry is too close to the artillery, so either the infantry is immobilized or the artillery can't fire effectively. I always stop enemy cavalry charges using my own cavalry or fliers. If you want to envelop your artillery with infantry units you can always use a grouping to lock the infantry into a box formation around the artillery. – Dulkan Jul 3 '18 at 6:21

Apparently this is not possible.

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