Shadow of the Horned Rat, yeah! Just the other day I was saying elsewhere how that game is my personal inspiration for Battle Brothers. It’s one of my all-time favorites which I still regularly play. While it has a different scope with its regiments and plays quite different in battle, of course, for me it really nailed that grim mercenary atmosphere of working contracts for coin and travelling the land in an entertaining way. It’s something I’d like to achieve with Battle Brothers as well, even though we won’t have a linear campaign like Shadow of the Horned Rat does. Playing it over the years really made me wish for it to have an open world, though; for me to be able to decide where the company goes next and what contracts to take. And that’s what Battle Brothers will allow you to do. It’ll be hard to compete with a linearly scripted campaign in terms of atmosphere and pacing, obviously, but we’ll do our best to present contracts in a non-generic way and to provide ample opportunities in an open world for those who want to explore on their own.
As I played Mount & Blade I was constantly thinking of Shadow of the Horned Rat as well, but it never really clicked atmosphere-wise for me personally. Like you said, it may not have had enough focus on the group itself. Also, while I enjoyed the battles, the world felt kind of empty and directionless, and what you did therein somewhat inconsequential. I haven’t played the Warhammer Fantasy mod for it, though, so perhaps that would take me back to the Grudgebringer days more.
Regarding the Fallen Heroes, there are no hidden mechanics going on in the background. Like all skeletons they take reduced damage from ranged attacks, but if the tooltip claims an 80% hitchance, the hitchance really is 80%. It can feel baffling to still miss several times in a row, unlikely as it is, but that’s chance for you. I’ve read that the new XCOM, at least on lower difficulty levels, secretly increases the hitchance if the player misses several times in a row to avoid these incidents, even though it is technically loaded dice in the player’s favor. We decided not to do this for now.
Thanks for your support and the encouraging words!