Topic: Extra attacks on fleeing / skills

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  • #4146
    Ferqal
    Participant

    Howdy!

    I’ve been enjoying Battle Brothers a lot so far. It’s easy to do a bit of work, alt tab in for a battle or two, then continue. Also the writing makes me chuckle every time (“He has some quills with him. They’d probably make good arrows?”).

    The battle system is lovely and the various interactions of terrain / weapon / armor / perks is great yet there’s one thing that’s been cropping up as sort of an issue that might be potentially exploitable. The extra attacks from fleeing zones of control don’t seem to factor into fatigue calculations because the game always leaves any entity with 15 fatigue from maximum, so if someone is at max fatigue when their turn ends, they get essentially endless attacks against someone trying to flee their zone of control. Heavily armored enemies who are healthy but break can easily be hit 12-16 times if, say, 3 mercenaries gang up on an orc warrior. Then your turn rolls around, your guys get off another 1-2 attacks, repeat until your sword breaks from over-use.

    I get that orcs might not be the smartest bunch of roving marauders, but I’d think that after the 9th or 10th sword to the face they’d cop to the fact and stop? The fact that the connecting hit also cancels out the movement of who-ever is hit is a bit weird, because it means people try succcessive times, then get hit successive times. If they have a lot of AP or are next to multiple opponents, you can easily game the system by killing of smaller enemies or getting your guys lots of “Fearsome!” perks, at which point the gain is a very large amount of attacks that seemingly cost no fatigue? The same of course applies to the player’s team. I had one hedge knight in heraldic plate soak up something like 29 attacks because he was surrounded by 4 enemies, then a Lost Soul screamed, and he tried to run and then the ghouls turned into what I guess is best described as small hurricanes of claws, getting of 8 attacks. Then it was their turn, more attacks, he tried to flee *again* (more attacks!) and so it went and so it went.

    It’s more fun when my men do it to orcs, let me tell you.

    It might work better if retreating from a zone of control costs +2 AP and being hit does not cancel movement As is, if someone gets hit their movement is cancelled so they’ll often only be able to move 2 hexes on their second try. They always try again because they’re obviously fleeing. Circumventing that step and just making it so the AP cost is high enough to make it so 2 hexes is the maximum seems less exploitative. The perk Footwork need not change (or might do what it does now, and also make moving from zone of control cost neutral). Pathfinder would interact as well, allowing someone to move one hex further when fleeing. Sensible, and sometimes tactically useful if they have high melee defence and you need them a few steps to the left or right of where they are.

    If someone breaks in battle, they still flee and enemies still easily catch up if they’re the last one standing but if multiple foes are still fighting the general composition of the battlefield with their zones of control interacting would mean you couldn’t rely on attacks of oppertunity to cripple your foes / your own men. There’s also a higher chance that fleeing mercenaries might survive to rally, and the same applies to enemies. I’m not sure if this would slow down combat or drag it out, but I’m thinking it wouldn’t be more than it is now.

    Alternatively, I guess you could limit attacks of oppertunity to 1 per turn, with the restriction waived for creatures with lots of claws (werewolves spring to mind) or certain weapons.

    Thoughts?

    #4150
    GOD
    Participant

    This seems more like an issue regarding enemy morale, rather than the zone of control system. Both the attacks always happening and getting hit meaning you stay put, are essential in making it so that neither you nor the opponent can move around at will once the fight has started. Limiting either would take away the need to be careful in how you place your units and take away a lot of the tactical depth the game has.

    This is because without the attacks at max fatigue, a unit at max fatigue seizes to become a factor on the battlefield. They cannot influence the situation in any way until they regain fatigue and can safely be ignored, which takes away a lot of the danger that is currently always present in the combat and means that your choices have less risk to them, becoming less meaningful as a result. Same goes for limiting the amount of attacks, as after the first hit the unit can no longer affect the battlefield outside of its own turn.

    In addition, being hit not cancelling movement means that it becomes trivial to move around in combat, as long as you can take the hit, meaning that you only ever need to worry about multiple attacks if you want to move somewhere. This makes not just the disengagement perks, but also abilities like shield bash much less important and reduces the weight of your decisions. No need to weigh the pros and cons of using shield bash or a regular attack on that unit that is tying down a mercenary needed elsewhere, just hit him and walk away with the other one if you happen to miss. A unit that has gotten surrounded by 4 enemies and starts to flee should also get ripped to shreds for it unless they get lucky, come to their senses or you manage to save them somehow. Getting surrounded is a major tactical blunder and correcting it should be difficult, not merely somewhat risky.

    I think the zone of the control system itself is fine the way it is. It’s punishing in a way that encourages careful thinking, while giving you plenty of tools to deal with it. Softening it would take a way a lot of what makes the combat special and different from other games.

    #4157
    Sky
    Participant

    It is not endless retaliation attacks. The limit is the targets AP, since it costs AP to move around. So usually you get 3-4 hits depending on terrain on the enemy. And same goes for your fleeing mercenaries. And as many times, again I do agree with GoD. You mentioned footwork, well you have the rotation skill aswell. Using these two skills tacticaly should help you a lot with wavering brothers. Fleeing is a panic move, fear for life, even in real life you will see people running around in extreme conditions like headless chickens, and here you are fighting spawns of evil. And surrounding gives bonuses not only tactical but debuffing aswell.

    Beside footwork and rotation there are different weapons that can help you with saving brothers. Shieldbash(shield) Repel(2h pike pitchfork) Hook(billhook) Stun(maces 2hsword crits). The taunt skill should be useful aswell tho imo is not yet good enought, the enemy still targets the weaker armored units. Again check the defensive tree tier 3 skills, ofc shieldwall, riposte weapon skills aswell. You do need to find the balance between offense and defense to maximize your groups potential just as much as tactical placement or weapons of choise.

    #4159
    GOD
    Participant

    Of course you agree. You are my less coherent sockpuppet after all. :P

    #4161
    Sky
    Participant

    Hehe, indeed Master! ;)

    #4165
    Ferqal
    Participant

    If the controlling factor of oppertunity attacks is the enemies AP, not your personal fatigue then you do have unlimited attacks. In a situation where people can reach multiple targets – which happen often in melee – it’s trivial for someone to potentially be able to whip out 2-6 attacks, then take their turn for more attacks. For instance, ghouls tend to have high initiative, decent AP and low morale so they’ll swarm one fighter, then flee when you retaliate. At that point the one brother gets to hit every single fleeing enemy at least once. It creates an odd and potentially exploitable game-y situation once your units reach high enough to have a decent melee defense score to soak the initial charge. I had one swordmaster with a melee defence of 82 (!) because of perks. Stuck him on a hill with riposte, he killed 4 werewolves because they get 3 attacks (3 return strikes per werewolf!), then got even more attacks when the terrified werewolves tried to run away after he decapitated one of them. That seems at best somewhat unintentional, if also very fitting of the guy described as the greatest fighter in the world. For other, lesser mortals that seems weird.

    The various skills and weapons work fine for keeping your people alive. That’s not the issue here. The problem isn’t even really my people. They’re doing fine. I’m just starting to feel sympathy for the young orcs who charge in, see one of their mates get killed, then flee and immediately get butchered by 3 return attacks, causing another orc to flee, who in turn gets butchered… Try giving your people ranged wepaons and the “Quick Hands” perk. You get off enough shots to make enemies at least “wavering” before they close in, and a few more hits will cause them to flee at which point they’re dead. If you add “Fearsome” it gets worse. Hilarious! But also odd. At least the undead don’t flee.

    The issue is that fleeing *feels odd* when the person you’re trying to flee from turns into an invincible weapon-god who has reflexes of such prodigious ability that they can whip out a series of 2-6 attacks, but only when the player is not directly controlling them. When I’m controlling them they’re somehow always at max fatigue and weakly, huffingly do their 1 attack before running out of breath. The slackers. Then I turn my back and suddnely they gain the ability to attack everything within range? What? Dammit, Hugo, you should have done that four seconds ago! If you had done it then, you wouldn’t be *dead*.

    I still think making “Withdrawal” an option by increasing the cost so it sucks up the entire AP pool to move 2 hexes, without movement getting cancelled on a hit, would go a long way towards making that situation in general feel less odd because it moves people out of range without turning fleeing into an instant death-spiral. There’s a reason most systems that have attacks of opportunity limit them to a certain amount per round, its exactly to avoid this sort of situation, where the trick to taking down some foes is to “Opportunity fish”

    If we’re worried about making the game less tactically interesting, it might be a cool change to make it so that the attack of opportunity always hits if someone triggers it. At that point you’re making decisions about what you’re sacrificing for movement, and if its worth it, and if someone flees they’ll get a sword in the back but could still stumble away.

    But hey, maybe it’s best if it works this way. It’s still a great system. It just feels odd to me.

    Incidentally, it’s an interesting point about max fatigue units ceasing to influence the battlefield. I’d reckon that would be a very good thing? If someone is exhausted from wearing heavy armor and mail, they’re not going to be able to nimbly retaliate at every opening. They’re going to be too busy not keeling over from heat-stroke. It makes sense that they wouldn’t offer as much control over their zone because armor limits fatigue. Also makes heavy armor and interesting trade-off. You get more protection but you’re also giving your enemy more mobility.

    #4167
    guidon101
    Participant

    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.

    #4184
    GOD
    Participant

    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. ;)

    #4198
    guidon101
    Participant

    Oh, if only you were in the pantheon of the RNGods…

    But on topic, the story about the Swordmaster is the kind of epic that I like to see in the game. As you all said, it’s situational, you can’t really pull it off with everyone/build, in any scenario. Not to mention that Swordmaster would need to manage his fatigue if he wants to sustain that position and those tactics against more numbers (unless ofc he is getting the magical Rally Fatigue support nearby) or those more resilient/immune to demoralization.

    It’s interesting you point out the randomness factor because it seems people have wildly different experiences of the game as a result of it. In my experience, retreat/disengage is not as predictable or problematic as the OP describes; I miss plenty often, they get away, and vice versa. And dropping the weaker members or picking up fearless to demoralize, somehow the only times I had a mass retreat was against a massive army of ghouls, and once against a massive army of thugs/raiders; and in those situations, it felt like just a rodeo, rounding them up… I wish I could just end the battle when everyone flees, but anyway — that was not fun to chase them down in the forests…

    i’m just biased, I admit, so I’m glad they don’t get to move if I hit a fleeing target (I see it as “pinning them down”, similar to the concept of “suppression fire”; can’t really run away easily when engaged with someone with a weapon; have to interrupt/stun/push/disengage away somehow first, which the game already gives us some options to play with)… now maybe if the AI used some tactical skills to allow for their companions to retreat… maybe that would help balance the (maybe) lopsided retreat mechanic.

    #4226
    Salperticon
    Participant

    One simple example why I do enjoy the engagement rules as they work right now:
    Yesterday, I had to deal with a little group of orcs. Nothing major, just a couple of younglings and two warriors or so.

    I had all of the minor threats cut down except of one, who had ventured a bit further up north in the beginning for sightseeing purposes, and was now making his way back to watch his two bigger comrades getting hammered by my men. Because I was not looking forward to have my guys being charged in the back by an infuriated orc young while they were pushed around by the two warriors on the front, I sent up a single greatsword in heavy armor to deal with him. The orc was on high ground, but I engaged nevertheless because I did not want to suffer his charge.

    This was only possible, because I knew my move would pin him up there, lock him in place by the sheer presence of my guy and keep the pressure off of the rest of my group. With their current equipment, the two orc warriors were more than enough for them.
    However, I underestimated the young orc a little bit. I missed the first hit -it happens to the best of us and I don’t blame my guy for that- and in his own turn, he completely tore the heavy armour on my greatsword to shreds and reduced him with a second hit to one, exactly one hitpoint. Suddenly, I was not so fond anymore of keeping him alone up there, all by himself.

    If zones of control and disengaging were not much of an issue, this situation would have not been as tense. But it was, and I really enjoyed it. My mind raced and my hand shivered as I gave the next commands, fearing for the life of one of my best soldiers.

    The solution was -funnily enough- presented by zones of control again. While most of my guys kept bashing at the last orc warrior (his comrade had fallen by now), I moved a pikeman and a shieldbearer up to my greatsword. The pikeman managed to push the young orc off the hill, the shieldbearer took his place, and my greatsword was free to move away and into safety. He was out of any control zones and the orc was pinned down by my shieldbearer, and thus could not pursue his beloved punching bag.

    So instead of simply moving the greatsword away, I had to utilize the abilities I had to get him out of this mess. On the other side, I could use the very same tactic against the orcs to keep them effectively from pursuing that last hitpoint as it limped away.
    Moments like this make the battles much more enjoyable (especially in forest fights, which I absolutely love) and therefore I strongly recommend to keep the engagement rules as they are.

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    #4237
    thenewromance
    Participant

    I feel engagement is too strong at the moment. At least in the early game, once you’re locked, you’re locked. I understand the rationale, but I just witnessed Pillars of Eternity facing issues with this very feature. In that game, battles are essentially “tank and spank” (lock the enemy with one or two “engagers”, then pelt from behind without the enemy being able to do anything about it), and many players seem unhappy about this.

    I personally would tone down disengagement attacks a little. Probably put up some limit on how many such attacks one unit can make in one turn. I understand the notion that at the moment, “memorable moments” happen, and I’m the last one who wants to whittle them down, but I find the engagement rules to be too static, and also I believe it doesn’t really make sense that one warrior is able to stab four fleeing werewolves in the back at the same time. He isn’t Shiva, the multi-armed god of destruction… With a new system, we would get other types of memorable moments, for instance one Brother sacrificing himself to the disengagement axe of an orc just so his friend at his side can make a run for it while the orc is distracted.

    In general, I think engaging, disengaging and fleeing (especially for enemies!) need to be a little more fluid. At the moment, enemies will basically never do a tactical retreat, and a single enemy bandit will still head for close combat with four Brothers even if he just saw three of his comrades being cut down. This doesn’t make sense, every bandit in his right mind would turn and never look back, but that’s a different topic (which I do think overlaps with this one, however).

    #4248
    GOD
    Participant

    I haven’t played Pillars of Eternity yet (waiting for the expansions ;) ) but from what I know the game is not comparable to Battle Brothers. Part of this is because it has real time with pause and lacks a grid system like Battle Brothers, meaning that you have much more mobility and speed. As a result of this, factors that limit this mobility stand out more, since they contrast with the expectations that the previous freedom created. Battle Brothers does not have this problem, since it is clearly turn-based and there is a distinct divide between the strategic map and the tactical map. Another important difference is that Pillars of Eternity is heroic fantasy with long term party members. This means that you are not supposed to let your party members die, so you’ll never be inclined to sacrifice troops for tactical purposes. A party member getting ganked is therefore a big deal. This is not the case in Battle Brothers, where you can send a mercenary to his intended death in order to gain a tactical advantage (like tying down the enemy flank on his own, so that you can roll up the other flank more easily).

    Furthermore, even without perks you have plenty of ways of disengaging in the early game. In fact, the most used item in the game comes specifically with two disengagement abilities. That being shield bash and shieldwall, which offer different odds and different ways of disengaging. You can also stun, pull or just kill, to name a few others. It has never been unreasonably difficult at any point in the game to disengage. There is therefore no real need to make it even easier and doing so would mean sacrificing more than just memorable moments. You also remove tactical depth, like I have outlined above, and diminish the flavour of the game in return for something that you can already do.

    I also think people are overstating the lack of realism in multiple retaliations. A quick slash or stab when someone tries to get away is almost a reflex and barely takes effort. It’s a reasonable abstraction of how fights go, seeing as it is something that people instinctively do. An attack like that is also much easier to do than to attack a readied opponent and it’s really effective at keeping someone from getting away, so you could even argue for buffing them up. However, that would make death almost a certainty when retreating, even with a single disengagement attack, so I’d rather not see that. On the other hand, it seems strange to me to at first accept that everyone’s waiting their turn as people move around and attack, but think it is unrealistic when several units get slashed as they try to flee – because now the mental image shifts to them fleeing at the same time, rather than actions happening in sequence.
    Granted, I would like to see the AI make better use of the different perks and abilities in order to reposition themselves. They already do to some degree, but I think this is an area where improvement can still be made.

    As for the bandit, an outmatched enemy picking a fight with your bros isn’t related to the zone of control system and actually has to do with how the enemy cannot currently flee the battle. As a result of that, the choice is to either have him continuously run a way until you catch him (assuming he has no ranged weapons), or have him engage and finish the fight already.

    Guidon – the randomness really adds a lot to the replayability. If I wanted to know the outcome of a match beforehand, I’d go back to memorising chess moves. :P

    Sal – situations like that are why I like the disengagement system. There’s also the tense choice you have there of hoping the Orc misses and waiting for help, trying to hit the Orc and killing him, or gambling on the disengaging and the Orc missing. None of the factors at play are a certainty, which makes your choice there much more meaningful as there isn’t always an ideal solution.

    #4249
    Rap
    Keymaster

    Granted, I would like to see the AI make better use of the different perks and abilities in order to reposition themselves. They already do to some degree, but I think this is an area where improvement can still be made.

    If you’re interested, I’d really like to know what you have in mind here in terms of situations the AI should make better use of their skills. Perhaps in another thread?

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    #4252
    guidon101
    Participant

    Guidon – the randomness really adds a lot to the replayability. If I wanted to know the outcome of a match beforehand, I’d go back to memorising chess moves.

    So even if you were among the venerable RNGods, you would still let me miss my 95% hit chance! Blasphemy! I shall have to save my sacrificial Egon the Beggar for a more useful deity than thou art ;)

    Of course, I agree about the randomness and replayability. I was merely pointing out that the randomness causes us players to have very different experiences in the game, and these different experiences shape the different opinions we bring to these boards to some extent, in addition to our personal predelictions.

    Having said that, having played Pillars of Eternity (PoE) and having seen how the disengagement rules play in effect, the main difference between their approach and BB is that a “disengage” in PoE has huge bonus To-Hit and Damage but can only happen once per AI/player (usually one is deadly enough though), whereas here in BB it’s not a deadly strike necessarily but the unit gets pinned if hit, which makes it deadly in combination and tactically. In BB, disengagement attacks are practically negligible with high melee defense, from what I have experienced (e.g. I dance around enemy formations with a high-mdef swordmaster); likewise, in PoE with high enough melee defense or damage reduction, disengagement attacks are also negligible. Also, having said that, I also recommend PoE as a pretty decent game to satisfy the RP Baldur’s Gate gameplay itch…

    inclined to sacrifice troops for tactical purposes

    I think this is the key difference: perspective/attitude. I would definitely do this kind of thing in an RTS, like let’s say the Total War series; sacrifice a bunch of peasants so my ranged troops or cavalry can disengage more safely… The thing with BB is that it’s a bit of a hybrid, so depending on the player’s attitude (play it like an RPG or play it like an RTS), it really changes how a player might want the game mechanics to work for gameplay enjoyment. And one man’s garbage may be another’s treasure in that sense, so we can’t please everyone.

    I just vote for whatever solution does not make the map mop-up worse, so I may even advocate tougher disengagement mechanics, otherwise fine with the way it is now, but always open to listen to innovative ideas on the issue.

    Also, we talk about how players respond to fleeing BBs to save them, but we never see the AI do this (not that orcs or undead would be smart enough to lore-wise), where the AI tries to save their companions to gain/restore/maintain their upperhand in battle, or in general respond intelligently to a demoralizing battle (good/realistic design or deficient AI?). So there is something to be said when the AI is not symmetrically enabled or competent to deal with the morale/retreat mechanic the way a player would with all the tools available to the player, which is probably at the core of this discussion (the current morale/retreat mechanics can be exploited by the player in a way the AI does not)

    #4263
    GOD
    Participant

    Every miss serves a greater purpose in my design for you. So it is that a miss makes you value what you have, while a hit makes you value what you gain. ;)

    Oh, I was agreeing with you about the wildly different experiences. I just feel like wildly different experiences and opinions are a good thing, since it means that the game allows for many different valid approaches. In contrast, chess has a lot of certain outcomes that you can study, hence the joke. Don’t get me wrong. I like chess, but it has a different kind of appeal.

    As for the sacrifices, I agree on that being more of a strategy game tactic, but that’s precisely why I mentioned it. It’s just as valid as tactic here as in an those games, but each individual brother represents a sizeable investment on the part of player. As a result, whether you employ tactics like that depends on the circumstances and your playstyle. If you do, you’ll have to deal with the consequences. If you don’t you’ll have to alter your approach. I like how the game allows for differences in playstyle in such an organic manner, as result of using strategy game tactics (pinning) in an RPG setting.

    Yeah, the AI trying to save its own troops a bit more is the kind of thing that I was talking about. Stuff like using their abilities more to stop you from ganging up on a single enemy – when relevant to the faction, of course.

    If you’re interested, I’d really like to know what you have in mind here in terms of situations the AI should make better use of their skills. Perhaps in another thread?

    No problem, I’ll make a thread about it for discussion. I’d like to note though that I’ve been really pleased so far with all the AI tweaks you’ve done (like the recent spearwall change), so my first suggestion is just keep going in that direction.

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