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The Orb

The orb was a defensive formation in the shape of a complete circle which could be taken by a unit which had either become detached from the army's main body and had become encircled by the enemy, or a formation which might be taken by any number of units if the greater army had fallen into disorder during a battle.
It can hence be seen as a formation representing a desperate 'last stand' by units of a collapsing army. But also it can be seen as a disciplined holding position by a unit which has been divided from the army's main body in battle and which is waiting for the main force to rejoin them.
In either case, it is not a formation one would like to find oneself in, as it obviously indicates that they are surrounded by the enemy.
Naturally any officers or archers would be positioned in the centre of the orb, as can be seen in the example above.