Wow, this is a great discussion. First, I have to say that I like the current system too as-is with the fatigue and fleeing mechanics. Now, to play Devil’s Advocate:
I do agree about the oddness of being able to attack beyond the limit of fatigue, but it is also a good point about max fatigue units being essentially neutralized threats if attacks were always limited by fatigue. I personally don’t feel that your idea would necessarily reduce tactical depth, but I think I appreciate GOD’s point; “dangerous decisions = depth”, whereas for me “more viable options = depth”.
Just wanted to explore your point from another angle: let’s say all attacks are limited by fatigue.
That mechanic then becomes another tactical weapon for the player to exploit (I don’t mean exploit in a “cheating way”, but rather a “good tactical way”, if that makes sense), in the sense that now, I could put a high-defense warrior next to the enemy and actively withdraw, draw out their attacks and induce fatigue on them until they become exhausted or all their Attacks of Opportunity become used-up, and therefore effectively neutralized for at least one turn. (granted, this comes at an opportunity cost to me; e.g. a highly specialized defensive-tank whose weapon is not “attack-based” but rather “taunt-based” or “disable-based”, drawing out aggro and soaking up enemy fatigue, not actually dishing out damage attacks on his turn).
So actually, I just realized this may change the tactical/mechanical depth of the battlefield in an interesting way without taking out depth, as GOD was saying; it’ll just be a different dimension of depth, and maybe deeper to some, shallow to others.
However, in practice, because there are many enemies with very high fatigue limit (orcs) or no limit at all (undead) in the current game world, having all attacks based on fatigue will play out more likely along the lines GOD described, where tired-out units become useless, and this is much more likely to happen to the player than the enemy (due to the natural enemy stats)…
So then again, we could argue that there are also several fatigue-management skills that can help mitigate these issues, and allow for a mechanic where all attacks are fatigue-based without sacrificing tactical depth (options). It’ll play very differently than it does now for sure, whether for good or ill in its actualization (if an idea like this is implemented poorly, it may ruin the game for a lot of people, since the combat is one of the most lauded features in the game currently).
Whew…I think I just argued with myself there a bunch, but I really appreciate both sides of the argument, and at the end of the day, I want to play a FUN game for ME. As it is right now, I hate chasing down fleeing enemies, and I actually actively try to never route them, and burst them down before they break…and when they break I thank God (not the same GOD, at least I don’t think!) that I get “unlimited” free attacks on them so I don’t have to chase them all over the map for the next 20 minutes (one of my biggest frustrations in the game)…
There may be ways to implement the spirit of your suggestion effectively without sacrificing depth/danger and without exacerbating the map mop-up issue.