|Assault Echelon Formation|
|Name||Assault Echelon Formation|
|Used by||Mou Bu|
The Assault Echelon Formation is an advanced military tactic intended to have an advancing army disrupt and break through enemy lines.
This tactic was used by Mou Bu and his army in the battle against the Chu forces, starting from the left flank which seemingly gave this forces the upper hand. The Chu HQ noted that for this tactic to work successfully, the final unit to attack, on their right flank, would be the ones to break through. Since they were the most crucial part, they should've been elite troops, so the Chu responded by sending an additional force of 5000 men to their right flank to prevent this scenario from occurring.
Rather than having troops move in a horizontal line, the army moves in a diagonal formation intended to send shock waves through enemy lines to disrupt their formation and enable friendly troops to break through.
When a line formation is hit by an "Echelon Assault," a shockwave is transmitted diagonally through the enemy ranks. Those who are hit will be pushed back three steps diagonally and the next soldier, two steps. Those who are hit by both will move back four steps. These movements will pass through the enemy ranks like a wave, causing small disruptions to the troop formations. However even a small disruption is enough to disturb the enemy soldiers' cohesion. And at that exact moment, your charge hits the enemy from head on, thereby once again creating the next shockwave to pass on. So long as the shockwave is able to pass on through the enemy line without interruption and the attacks are able to follow in succession , then an "Echelon Assault" will be extremely effective.
The echelon formation is meant to be a remarkably high level tactic. Even the vast majority of high level tacticians aren't capable of pulling it off. The stratagem was considered too impractical for actual use, since keeping the shockwave going without halt is far too difficult.
Part of this can be due to the timing of each unit hiting the opposing force. Too soon and the force wouldn't travel through the opposing force properly, but too late and the enemy would have time to adjust their forces accordingly.