That still seems more of an issue with potentially exploiting morale, rather than disengagement attacks themselves. Using a swordmaster like that does sound intentional though, since you are using a combination of positioning, terrain, abilities, perks, gear and increased stats to deal with the werewolves. Basically, your swordmaster is build up to excel in a situation like that. On the other hand, if some skeleton archers join the fight your swordmaster is in big trouble. You’ll notice that if you tried the same with a guy not build for the role then he’ll get torn to shreds. I found that out the hard way. :P I also don’t think other games make for a good example regarding attacks of opportunity, since they tend to be used as redundant P&P remnants, rather than as a legitimate part of the gameplay. It’s always just a prick that barely hinders you, which isn’t a problem there because they don’t want the player to be tied down like that. Battle Brothers, however, does put emphasis on not being able to get away easily. Hence the difference.
Secondly, I’m against disengaging being certain because uncertainty is such an important part of the combat. The game has hit and miss mechanics, while it could also do away with that and replace it with averaged out, guaranteed damage. You could tweak it so that the end result would be the same, in terms of death count, but the end result would be a game with a markedly different flavour to it and would play completely differently. This is because there is a huge difference between guaranteed risk and potential risk, in terms of how people experience them. The latter has more high and lows to it, because the player cannot guarantee what the result of their next action will be and makes for more unpredictable gameplay. In this game, this is reflected by how there are very few combat actions that you can be certain of that they will succeed. Same goes for disengaging. Not knowing whether you will be able to escape or not means that you have to approach the situation differently than when you do know. The only way to be sure is to have prepared beforehand by giving your character the perk that allows them to do that. Similarly, the only way to neutralize an enemy is through a temporary stun, that first needs to hit, or death. An enemy is therefore always a risk and never harmless, unless properpyl dealt with.
As for making it depend on fatigue, having such a crucial mechanic rely on fatigue would make it an even more important stat than it already is, since you’ll become a sitting duck when it runs out. Combat would start to revolve around fatigue even more than it already does. That’s not a buff that fatigue needs, while also making fatigue recovery more necessary than it already is. The result is a lessening of different viable options, rather than an increase, as you cannot afford to not invest in those stats and perks.
I think part of the disconnect here and why it might feel odd, is that maxed out fatigue gives the wrong impression of the state that the mercenary is in. That is, totally exhausted rather than winded. The fact that they can recover through waiting or encouragement shows that they are catching their breath, rather than that they’re utterly exhausted and barely able to move. If they were actually that tired, they would just fall down.
Guidon – You’re more than free to praise your local deity. ;)