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tl;dr How can one enforce that groups of players stay together in units in Minecraft?

I'm developing a plugin for a Minecraft server. It's based off feudalistic societies, like Ancient Europe or Japan. I understand that many ancient societies had advanced battle tactics (like this and this, for example). I think this is very interesting, and would add some more interest to a server.

However, Minecraft isn't particularly well suited for this kind of play. Generally, in battles, all the players just run willy-nilly and charge the enemy. There are no units of players, much less the units combining in a smart way to defeat the enemy. How can one enforce players staying together in one unit or group? Keeping each player in a certain position no matter what is not an option, since the players cannot PvP. Once players are grouped into units, I assume they will take up certain battle strategies and use them in a smart way.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: the asker originally posted this question on the Arqade Q&A site, but i recommended him to come here because it's a mod development question. I assumed this would be an appropriate topic for this Q&A site. If not, apologies. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nzall
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Put a wall around the middle person, so others can't escape. Seriously, that's the only way to do it or by having a reallx really small arena. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 22:36

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It's not Minecraft alone that's not well suited for that kind of play, it's the whole first person genre. I'm not sure of any FPS games that take the approach of requiring formations. That level of cooperation is very difficult to communicate, organize and enforce. It's a strategy for a highly trained military unit. Overall, this can easily make the game more work than fun. It becomes even more difficult when you try to balance tactics like strict formations against strategies like guerilla warfare. There's a reason these types of tactics aren't used anymore.

However, if you do want to enforce this behavior, your best bet is likely to give players in formation significant benefits to their health and attack power. While penalizing players who attempt to attack when not in formation.

Further, you'll want to provide explicit in-game markers that inform players where they should be standing, which way they should be facing, etc. in order to stay in formation. That includes having one player that would likely be leading the formation and directing the rest of the players in the formation.

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