Interesting thing… In jagged alliance you could create your own mercenary. You had that option in the game, and if he died, the game continued like it was no big deal. Having a role character for the leader shouldn’t influenciate gameplay. The choice of going on without him or loading the game and trying again should be of the player.
How many people have not loaded a game because his favorite character died?
Have you ever played jagged alliance and let your mercenaries just die needlessly? Most people reload and try again if they lost a skilled man. Because they care for them… And the penalties were also severe. Somehow we really grieved for them, since they had uniques personalities and emotions. The game developers put efforts in making them unique, and we also put efforts in evolving their skills and keeping them alive against all odds. That’s really beautiful in a game.
Now, some people played mount&blade right. Have they ever loaded a game because one or two of their men died? Because they lost one skirmisher? It’s possible to make bloodbaths in the game and not care about it if only the player was still standing. Because the soldiers are generic and have no names or relations in the game, also the important companions couldn’t die… All decisions can be made mostly strategically since there is absolutely no risk of dying or loosing someone important… the only real risk is of getting captured and losing all your money, some time, and fame. “Now that is a real loss, isn’t it”… rest in peace generics…
These games are good by themselves, i’m just comparing a specific part of them.
That said, Battle Brothers bring it to a new level. Battles are hard, the chances of losing men are very high. But the real thing here is How they are going to die… Will they die as cannon fodder or as loved ones… Or will you change time itself to save them… Could a leader survive in the battlefield this way, could he be replaced by other brother if his time comes…
If the leader do battle he could suffer permadeath, but could be replaced by other brother or sister… Or as thought of above, would he only be wounded, albeit giving a morale penalty for the battle AND reseting his combat skill to level 1 due to his injuries, but alive to fight again fresh from the start as another recruit. Sure one of this options won’t change the gameplay, only aesthetics and RPG elements. Or he can choose to stay away and watch if the odds are bad and keep only to tactics and administration depending on players preferences.
Maybe the real change is in how we play, the choices we make. How we face death and how much we care for life. Can we believe so much in life as to not let our brothers die, can we let life go on without loading like a broken record when death show it’s hand… This game keeps me wondering… Maybe it’s not about having a leader, maybe it’s about making it through together… Share your thoughts