Military Unit Configuration

Military forces in Outer Colony are organized by units. Units are ultimately comprised of individuals, but the unit to which an individual belongs defines much of his combat behavior. This tutorial explains the basics of military units and how to set them up.


Fire team configuration in the military unit configuration interface.


  • To form a military that can defend your colony, you must start by creating military units.
  • For a person to be part of your military, you must assign them to a role within a unit.
  • Once a person has been assigned to a unit, they’ll perform their assigned function with respect to military orders, so long as they’ve been sufficiently trained and know how to do so.
  • Only personnel assigned to units will engage in military training.
  • The fire team is the smallest and most basic military unit. It’s also the most important with respect to infantry tactics in Outer Colony. Its function and how to set one up are described below.

Using the Interface to Create and Staff a Fire Team

The video above gives brief demonstration of how to use the military unit manager. It’s opened from the colony configuration menu. Once in the interface, its use should be fairly straightforward. To configure different types of units, make the appropriate selection from the Unit Type drop down box at the top left of the screen. Right now, only fire teams are configurable (see the note at the bottom of this article for details).

To create a new fire team, click the “New Fire Team” button. Then, select the fire team you’d like to manipulate from the list of fire teams at the left of the interface. Now, you can select colonists to serve in each of the fire team’s four roles, which are discussed below. A set of filters is also applied to help you assign the right people to the right roles. These decisions will depend largely on your colony’s local culture and what sort of society you’re trying to build.

For example, if you uncheck “Adults Only”, children will be made visible in the personnel configuration lists. Children can pick up firearms and use them. They’re big enough to, and it would take some sort of artificial mechanic or rule in the simulation system to fully prevent this. But do you really want child soldiers to be a part of how you run your colony? They’re smaller, weaker, and generally less capable than adults, and you run the risk of exposing them to awful experiences at a very early age. Unless you’re a monster or are absolutely desperate, I’d advise avoiding this.

Fire Teams and Fire Team Roles

A fire team is a four person unit that’s capable of executing fire and movement maneuvers. Remember that combat in Outer Colony lacks traditional game mechanics, like health bars and special moves, and instead works from the universe’s simplistic physics and material model. This means that, like in the real world, a single bullet to the abdomen will likely kill a person. As such, NPCs can’t behave like they do in RTS games. Simply walking toward each other and shooting would work as well as it would in real life.

Adequately trained fire teams achieve a much higher degree of effectiveness by employing basic tactics of fire and movement. When engaging an entrenched enemy, the team’s automatic rifleman and leader will take up a position where they’ll fire rounds near the enemy. This suppressing fire will decrease the enemy’s capacity to respond (no one wants to get shot, and bullets whizzing nearby forces an enemy to inactivity) and decreases their environmental awareness. The fire team’s grenadier and rifleman will move to a flanking position, attacking the enemy position from its side. This exploits humans’ decreased peripheral vision and lowered environmental awareness from their suppressed state, making it easier for the flankers to surprise and kill the defenders.

Staggering multiple defensive fire positions and setting them up to support one another can make flanking more difficult, but these basics comprise the low-level tactics of infantry combat in Outer Colony.

As a general rule, you’ll want to assign your strongest, fastest, toughest people to these infantry roles. Personality traits like aggression and emotional stability help your NPCs overcome fear and function in the face of possible death, and existing combat experience helps your personnel handle battle situations more coolly. All this information can be seen by viewing human metrics, and this should help you make your decisions. Try to keep these factors in mind when assigning colonists to military roles.

A more detailed description and demonstration of fire and movement maneuvers can be found in the human combat overview tutorial. Instructions on how to command military units can be found in other tutorials, too.

Note to Attendees of Too Many Games

People who met with us at Too Many Games might remember a slightly different military unit configuration interface that contained groupings above the fire team level. Squads and platoons have been temporarily removed due to some bugs with inter-unit communication and interaction. It’s my goal to add at least squads, platoons, and platoon-level assets back into Outer Colony, but I need more time to get these formations to work properly.

Posted in Combat