500 is too extreme of a number to use. Total War series is made to be as realistic as possible, so it would include friendly fire. One could also abuse friendly fire, by shooting at his teammates units, or, if they lack an "attack this unit(no matter its diplomatic relations to me) button" and a "bombard" or "shoot at this area" button, then you would still be able to shoot at an enemy that is close enough to your ally to harm him.
Originally Posted by Supreme
I have to agree with zach. It gets a lot more tactical if your own troops might die.
Without friendly fire its this: 1. put some strong (large hp) infantry troops up archers directly behind. 2. make the infantry clash 3. let the archers kill of everyone in the fight (except your own troops since they cant die) 4. PROFIT.
Doing that would just be a recipe for disaster unless your opponent was as stupid as you were in doing that formation. Flanking would be oh so easy as setting a few men to occupy the heavy infantry and letting your cavalry destroy the archers. A pincer move would obliterate that formation. It does get more complex and tactical with friendly fire, but is also more annoying and cumbersome. Not being able to utilize your archers in games is frustrating, in the campaign in the total war games, you can't use your archers except at the beginning of most battles because the AI sends all his men to fight your infantry. This makes it hard to shoot at them unless they have really deep ranks. Their cavalry will be engaged, leaving the only thing to shoot at is the other archers, which would have been wiped out by my cavalry most likely, or at least run off by them.
Just remembered, it's the "attack-ground" button that most games use now.
Realism =/= fun, but nor does realism = annoying or unfun. We can't tell truthfully until we see the game or play via beta.