Dev Blog #79: Progress Update – Injury Mechanics


Dev Blog #79: Progress Update – Injury Mechanics

Battle Brothers, as you know, is a game about managing a mercenary company. This week we’re talking about a new aspect to manage both on the battlefield and when travelling the world: the upcoming injury mechanics. There’s two types of injuries – temporary and permanent ones – and they both serve a different purpose in enriching the game. Let’s delve in!

Temporary Injuries

Temporary injuries add complexity to both combat and worldmap gameplay. They are effectively status effects that represent serious injury that diminish a character’s ability to fight effectively, different from lighter wounds by loss of hitpoints only. Depending on where a character is injured, they may suffer from various disabilities; for example, an injured leg may impede movement, whereas an injured arm may lower offensive capabilities, and a swollen eye may lower vision.


In combat, injuries are inflicted if an attack surpasses a certain threshold of hitpoint damage relative to the maximum hitpoints of the character hit. The higher the maximum hitpoints of a character, the more difficult it is to inflict injury upon them, and the more damage inflicted, the more serious the potential injury may be. This applies to both your Battle Brothers and your enemies – it’s easier to inflict serious injury to fragile Goblins than sturdy Orcs, or to those of your men that have a lot of hitpoints. A select few enemies may also be immune to some or all types of injuries. The type of injury inflicted depends on the weapon used, with blunt weapons inflicting different injuries from cutting or piercing ones. With the new injury mechanics, combatants will no longer be able to fight to their fullest at even just a single hitpoint left, but will now progressively get weaker as you beat on them.

Outside of combat, temporary injuries take a certain amount of time to heal – how long exactly depends on the specific injury, with a broken leg taking quite a bit longer to recover from than a light concussion. While you can send your injured right back into combat, it’s a good idea to make use of the reserve roster so that they can recover and don’t have to limp onto the battlefield. Injured characters have icons shown right next to them in the roster view, allowing you to see at a glance who’s fit and who may need to sit out a contract. In order to make the best out of the men available to you at any given time, you’ll now have to shuffle your roster every now and then, which should help to shake up what could previously become too static a gameplay element once you had assembled a good team.

battle brothers with temporary injuries

If you’ve played Battle Brothers before, you’ll be aware of certain events that may end in fists flying amongst your men, particularly with certain party compositions, or combat drills ending in accidents. Consequences were previously limited to a loss of hitpoints very quickly healed by passing time. Now, events can also come with injury as a consequence, like a broken nose as your men beat on each other, which should make for a more serious concern as you weigh your options.

temple interface

Finally, the upcoming update will also have the temple building serve a function. In temples across the land, devout followers of the gods will pray for and treat the wounds of the pantheon’s children as mandated by their faith. Your men will recover faster from injuries expertly treated here, and you don’t run the risk of developing gangrene like you do in the field. The bandages shown on your characters are even visibly replaced by clean ones.

Permanent Injuries

Life expectancy can be short for mercenaries. But while permadeath is and will remain an important part of Battle Brothers, not every downed character has to be quite dead. Assuming a character isn’t decapitated, has their skull bashed in or suffered a similarly gruesome fate, there’s now a chance for them to survive with a permanent injury that will accompany them the rest of their lives.

permanent injuries

A character may get lucky and suffer an injury that has only a minor impact on their abilities, such as missing an ear, or they may suffer a more crippling disability, such as missing a whole hand. Permanent injuries all have negative effects, but some may also include positive ones. Brain damage, for example, doesn’t make a character any more competent, but it may make them just dumb enough not to realize when it’s time to run, effectively lowering their chance to break and flee.

Depending on the injury sustained and the role of the character in your company, a permanent injury may be anything from a small reminder to be more careful next time, to a crippling disability. From a design perspective it is a tool to cushion the impact that losing important characters can have on your campaign. Whether you choose to ultimately replace that character or not, they’ll be around for a while longer to help you succeed – especially useful with the optional Ironman mode we’ll be introducing next update. Also, of course, missing noses make for distinct characters and contribute to the emergent story of your very own mercenary company.

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About Jaysen


  • Avatar photo
    Jul 22, 2016 @ 16:09 pm

    if I understood correctly, the effect of the injury-prone works for our enemies too. No more 4 consecutive successful punchers from the goblin with 1 HP? in this case, it is good news…A one good news among the big trouble…

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    Jul 22, 2016 @ 16:18 pm

    I’m sorry, to add: I think that to get the right idea and form an opinion about the injury mechanics
    is possible only after we receive the information about the new skill tree.

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    Jul 22, 2016 @ 16:26 pm

    When will the Update be released? :D

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      Jul 22, 2016 @ 16:40 pm

      Will be a few more weeks. We’ve now moved onto redoing the perk system.

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        Jul 23, 2016 @ 10:22 am

        That’s great news! The update I was waiting for from the first early access version finally at my doorstep :)

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    Monsieur Fourmi
    Jul 22, 2016 @ 16:46 pm

    Really nice! :D

    I’ll just have to hope my frontliners get their brains damaged now, so they won’t flee any battle! x)

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      Jul 22, 2016 @ 18:32 pm

      flawless plan. hit their heads until they turn into fearless warriors XD

      can’t wait for these updates!

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    Jul 22, 2016 @ 18:21 pm

    Hey, will we get new contracts in the coming update?

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      Jul 22, 2016 @ 18:39 pm

      The next update focuses on injuries, perks and named items. More contracts will come with future updates.

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        Jul 22, 2016 @ 21:46 pm

        When you say named items, does that mean we finally get some named greatswords?

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          Jul 22, 2016 @ 22:38 pm

          Yes, all types of weapons will get named variants.

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            Jul 24, 2016 @ 1:22 am

            Thanks for the reply, that is good news indeed. While we’re at it, is it possible to loot the unique helmets that noble lords/knights wear? If yes then that combined with named greatswords is a dream come true

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              Jul 24, 2016 @ 12:56 pm

              Yes, they can already be looted.

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                Aug 2, 2016 @ 15:57 pm

                Holy moly. You just completely revitalized my desire to play. I stopped under the pretense noble helmets were not lootable and just something to taunt me. Thank you kind sir for the reply.

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                  Aug 4, 2016 @ 17:39 pm

                  You have to make sure you don’t destroy the armor to loot it though. So use a dagger and stab their HP directly.

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    Jul 22, 2016 @ 20:48 pm

    Battle Brothers am best video game.

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    Jul 22, 2016 @ 23:33 pm

    You mention losing a whole hand as a crippling disability; does this mean only being able to equip from one hand?

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    Jul 23, 2016 @ 3:32 am

    hmm, gonna hold my final opinion until the new perk system is shown but I’m a little hesitant on this update.

    Personally, I don’t like too many individual stats in a multi-character game because I stop caring about them. Once I have a few brothers, all I would care is if they can still fight or not. The long term injuries are just extra baggage that would boil down to 3 choices for me: bench him, fire him or keep using him – something the HP already does that.

    In-battle injury maybe be nice so a 1hp orc is not as dangerous as a fresh one but again, since the player has no control over receiving or inflicting these injuries, the randomness might become too frustrating. This reminds me of Battletech board games actually but BB currently doesn’t have the depth or control over the characters to really make it a combat simulation.

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      Jul 25, 2016 @ 11:05 am

      Yes, I feel same. We need to wait new perks system and level up. then it becomes clear that we get – an interesting new mechanics or another reason to load the game…

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      Jul 26, 2016 @ 17:51 pm

      Devs are really pushing complexity everywhere (like having multiple food types which expire at different rates) and calling it depth, but complexity doesn’t always mean improved gameplay.

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      Jul 27, 2016 @ 2:49 am

      The other thing that worry me is how much it would cripple your soldiers on battlefield?
      Now getting hit isn’t that big deal(unless you die) as your soldiers can still fight effectively(unless he lose some morale).
      With new update it would look like heavy wounds are effectively a death sentence(especially against orcs warriors).
      It only make heavy armour and Melee Defence more important and practically only valid choice.
      Don’t get hit and if wear heaviest armour you can.
      It is realistic but it would make fights more easier for stronger side.

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        Aug 4, 2016 @ 16:51 pm

        Permanent/serious injuries only happen when your guy goes down. So instead of them dying, they might receive an injury instead

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    Jul 23, 2016 @ 17:59 pm

    Great job! Cant wait, well done guys.

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    Jul 24, 2016 @ 16:51 pm

    Great update, thx

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    Andrew Sorry for my bad english Kleiner
    Jul 26, 2016 @ 5:10 am

    Will the mercenaries spawn with permanent injuries? Like hedge knight without eye or master swordman without hand? It would be cool.

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    Jul 26, 2016 @ 13:30 pm

    Love it!

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    Jul 27, 2016 @ 20:55 pm

    You have misspelled the Update (Upate)

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    Jul 29, 2016 @ 8:53 am

    What going to happen,if Battle Brother going to lose both hands? :D

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    Jul 29, 2016 @ 11:59 am

    Looks like an excellent design choice to me! Looking forward to seeing how you guys revamp the perk system

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    Aug 2, 2016 @ 7:22 am

    Make branches perks like in Diablo 2. this is the most important thing for me

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    Aug 4, 2016 @ 2:44 am

    Things I’ve learns about how our Brothers form up. I’ve found it useful in spreading out my spears, getting my dogs to be wehere i want and relatively better starts.

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    Aug 11, 2016 @ 2:59 am

    since there’s a chance of a brother to survive death, does this apply to the enemy as well? and if so, would it be possible for us to capture prisoners and sell them for profit, recruit them as our own, etc. etc.

    it will also be amusing to fight an enemy that you thought that was dead from a previous battle.

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