How close to defended location can a formation defend?
Hope the game is goes well!
Activating a defend [D] directive tells a Formation to defend its current position. So it is perfectly normal to set an objective elsewhere – so that the rest of your Force travels towards the objective – while you leave a Formation behind on defend [D] to cover the Force's flank, rear, or potential fall-back position.
Once on an active defend [D] directive, a Formation may move, but it can't abandon its current position. "Current position" is fairly vague but intended to indicate whatever discernible location or terrain feature it is on. The less discernible the terrain feature, the less flexibility the Formation has. The more discernible, the more flexibility it has – for example, if a Formation on a hill activates a defend [D] directive, it could legitimately defend the hill from the top, sides, slopes, foot, etc… While if it is just in an open plain – without any clear features, then it is not very reasonable to try and shift it much from its current footprint.
Does that address your question?
I'll be kicking off in an hour or so, so will let you know how it goes.
If it goes well and you're inclined to take some photos, please consider uploading them in an after action report.
On the Linz-Urfahr map the hills are two tiered. There is a low elevation of a lighter color and a high elevation of a darker color. Then there is the main plain spanning out from the river, and the marsh along the river on the northern bank at the eastern end of the map.
In game terms, do the hills play any importance? I know the superior advantage location assists orders, but the open low hills?
Their use in objectives for coordinating Forces is often very important, but in terms of a benefit during combat resolution or something of that nature? No.