this article, I’ll try to lay out the basic
principles of positioning your army on the chess grid in order to gain an advantage.
Positioning in the early game is quite simple.
You have two basic options depending on your unit composition.
If you have plenty of melee units, put them as close to the enemy as possible (so that they will engage fast).
Having melee units on the second/third role doesn’t make sense because they would take more time to engage and would have a lower impact. Because of this, a single row (a straight line, centered and evenly spread-out) is the usual choice.
In this example, the high-lvl Lone Druid is in front of the other units in order to summon his Bear ASAP. Source - Savjz
This strategy is also useful for Assassins, but instead of putting them on the first, you need to put them on the last row – this way they would jump right away to the enemy backlines:
If you have ranged damage dealers (SF, Hunters, Mages, etc.) that you want to protect, do the opposite. You want to draw the enemy army to you, so put your units as far away from danger as possible.
Imagine your army as an Onion. Tanky units go in the outer layer, damage dealers go on the inside so that they are the last units focused. Putting squishy damage dealers on the backline but on the outside layer is a mistake because it could get them killed by an assassin.
Put your tankiest unit on the outer corner closest to your opponent.
In this case,
the Shadow Fiends are in the safe spot, while the Kunkka is the main tank because
you want to allow him to cast his ultimate ASAP. Source - Savjz
the mid-late game it’s not just important
to think about tanks and damage dealers, but also about units using their AoE spells
It’s not great if your whole army gets hit by a Kunkka ultimate. The “Tight Corner Formation” is exceptionally vulnerable to this, so you should start thinking about splitting your army up a bit. There are different viable ways to do this.
In this example, the Clock and Timber are the “Baits”, while the rest of the army is positioned in the middle. Source
Getting important AoE abilities before your opponent could win you rounds by itself. Tidehunter, Disruptor, Kunkka, and Enigma are the usual suspects but the same applies to other units like e.g. Lone Druid and Lycan, whose summons you want to get online ASAP.
The key point here is that you want your unit to get the spell off as fast as possible, but you need to avoid getting it killed before it gets the spell off.
that you should consider how tanky the unit is. Generally speaking, very tanky
units (two or three-star units with some
tankiness items) can easily go in front of everybody else. It would be very
hard for the enemy to kill them before they do their job.
LVL1 units, however, are a different matter. You have two options:
Positioning is important in the early and mid game but not as much as your army composition and economy. When you’re fighting for the 1st spot, however, positioning often becomes the deciding factor.
At the same time, positioning at this phase is very situational and it’s hard to generalize what you need to do.
In this example, Savjz has does the following:
Counter-positioning means looking at your opponent’s board and moving around your pieces to improve your chances of victory.
Run away from the enemy Tidehunter, Techies, Disruptor. See where your opponent has positioned them and put your main damage dealers as far away as possible.
Leaving a few units as “bait” close to the enemy AoE is the best practice. Getting 1/3 of your army hit by a powerful AoE instead of your whole army is game-changing.
This applies the other way around as well – see where your opponent is keeping his main army and make sure your important AoE heroes are close to it on the opposite side of the map.
If your opponent is running an Assassin lineup, don’t simply keep your regular positioning of tanks in front and squishy damage dealers in the back. Assassins will jump to the backline – you need some tanks protecting your damage dealers in place.
That being said, don’t leave your frontline entirely empty. Keep one or two tanks there to occupy the enemy frontline.
The same applies for the Wolves neutral round. Before round 15, make sure that you have a couple of tanks in the back.
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