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Ponte Alto War Council

Soldiers Manual

The steps we have been learning (Full-Pass, Half-Pass, Traverse, Cross-Traverse, Compass) are the individual maneuver building-blocks for the integrated movement/offense/defense approach to fighting that we have been discussing.  Though the steps are the same, these terms, however, are not those used in melee combat for unit movement.  We must, therefore, translate our individual fighting maneuver building-blocks into the basic melee unit commands that will be used by the Ponte Alto unit as well as the Grand Army of the Potomac (the Northern Army of Atlantia).


Ad-Vance – Half-Pass Forward Left, Gather, Half-Pass Forward Right, moving at the pace determined by the right-most fighter (Form Right)

Stop-Here – Half-Pass Forward into Stance and Stop at the designated spot

Shift-Left/ Right – Traverse Forward Left/Right, advancing the unit forward and sideways in the direction indicated until the command stops, Steady is called, or the next Command

Stand-Fast – Defend this position and don’t Fall Back from the designated point

Wheel-Left/ Right – Using the designated flank as a stationary pivot, the entire unit turns in that direction by Traversing Forward Left/Right until the command stops, Steady is called, or the next Command.  Note that the farther from the pivot, the faster a fighter must Traverse.

Pull-Back/Fall-Back – Half-Pass Backward Right, Gather, Half-Pass Backward Left, moving the unit backward from the point of engagement until the command stops, Steady is called, or the next Command.

Form-Line/Form-Up – The unit forms into a line in an Open (loose) formation, guiding on the right-most fighter (Form Right) with Shields in front, Greatweapons in the second rank, Spears in the third rank (subject to changes depending on context)

Form-Column – The unit forms into a column two fighters wide in a tight (closed) formation, unless otherwise dictated by the command

Shield-Stack – The unit forms a 2-fighter shield column prepared to Charge or Counter-Charge, with the fighters in the second rank prepared to instantly replace a fallen comrade in the front rank

Echelon-Left/Right – Unit forms a diagonal line advancing forward with the specified flank trailing to the rear by advancing more slowly than those up the line.


Reform – Unit or subunits regroup in a Close (tight) formation to re-engage the enemy.  Often called on the move or when the unit breaks into individuals or subunits

Ready-Charge – Initiates a charge to the direct front with the objective of breaking through the opposing unit

Short-Charge – Initiates a charge to the direct front in a close (tight) formation with the objective of killing or disrupting a static opposing unit line.  Fighters charge at and engage the opposing line, but do not attempt to breakthrough into the back ranks.

Pulse-Charge – Command initiates a series of Short-Charges (typically 3-steps forward and back) in a Close (tight) formation with the objective of disrupting and forcing back the opposing line.  Each 3-step charge is followed by a 2-3 step pull-back and then another charge.  Unit should perform three pulses unless otherwise commanded

Counter-Charge – A Short-Charge executed rapidly to stop an opponents’ charge in a Close (tight) formation

Shields-Charge – A Short-Charge solely executed by the front rank of shields to stop an enemy charge (Counter-Charge) or to fix an opposing unit in place.  Typically done from Shield Stacks.

Attack-Left/ Right – Changes the axis of attack from the front of the unit to the directed flank.  Fighters should change facing and realign their stance to the indicated direction in an Open (loose) formation

Skirmish-Left/Right – Designated flank spreads-out in an Open (loose) formation to cover more area and engage the enemy with their Buddies sufficiently close to ensure dual-coverage of each opponent

Receive Charge -

Hook-Left/Right – An attack in which the subunit on the designated flank envelopes the end of the opponents’ unit on that flank by Charging or Skirmishing around their flank

Deny-Left/Right – Half-Pass Backward Right, Gather, Half-Pass Backward Left by the designated flank pivoting backwards at the subunit break-point until it is at a right angle to the main line.

Column Charge – The unit in column formation executes a Breakthrough Charge

Split-Left/Right – The unit executes a split maneuver, with the designated flank breaking from the main unit at the subunit break-point and Shifting-Left/Right forward under command of the subunit commander

Flood – All troops rush forward aggressively in an Open (loose) formation to crowd around an objective


Line - Unit formation wider than it is deep.

Column - Unit formation deeper than it is wide.

Kill Pocket/Cup - A line form in an arc, anchored to terrain on each side.

Refuse/Deny - Pulling back a flank so an opponent can’t engage it.

Form Right – Each fighter maintains their position and location continuously by maintaining a steady bearing and relation to the fighter (Buddy) on the right

Envelopment - To surround a flank or unit.

Enfilade - To attack the narrow side of a unit.

Echelon - Staggering of units in a diagonal line.

Skirmish - Troops in loose formation, usually a line.

Battle Room - The space required for an individual to fight.  Particularly important when the unit forms a Close (tight) Formation

Static Battle - Victory conditions involve holding a objective

Attrition Battle - Victory conditions are to the last man standing.

Open Flank Battle - Battle where flanks are open for maneuver.

Narrow/Limited Front Battle - Battle where flanks are anchored on terrain, troops are not tightly packed.

Closed Front Battle - Anchored flanks and densely packed troops.

Anchorman - End fighter in a line formation.

Hook - Shallow envelopment of a flank.

Sweep - Deep envelopment of a flank

Open Formation – Unit formation in which the spacing between the fighters is wide and the unit is loosely formed to allow greater ground coverage and freedom of movement.  Fighters should still be close enough to their Buddies (Forming Right) to ensure they can still engage all opposing fighters that a Buddy might engage

Close Formation – Unit formation in which the spacing between the fighters is tight (though allowing sufficient Battle Room for each fighter to defend and swing their weapon) and the shield wall is a cohesive line created and maintained by Forming Right

Subunit – A smaller entity (Company, Lance, Triad, Squad) capable of self-command as part of the command structure within the larger unit

Break-Point –The place in the unit at which the larger unit and a subunit become distinct and are capable of breaking away from each other in maneuver.

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