Currently I am playing 1.5.6 because of mod compatibility, here is my experience with enabled death:
- I do not really care when a companion dies in the battle, as I can quickly replace him by another tavern dude with the same skills. Until companions remain general and not unique, their death will not make me reload
- AI lords dying really adds to the game, they are not just permanent units that can only be knocked out. However, their occasional death do influence the game:
1) A dead AI lord means a decrease in manpower of the kingdom, therefore losing one of them equals to a permanent loss of ~ 100 soldiers.
2) For some reason, lords are much more likely to die during big battles between armies. Whenever I create an army and siege / battle with another army, there is always a guaranteed death. In my most recent battle, that was a phyric victory, I had 800 troops against 1000 better ones quality wise. Although I managed to win the battle with tactics, the final report was bittersweet:
* One of my companion died, no big deal
* 3 lords in my army perished
* My freaking wife died
* However, none of the enemy lords died...
And this was just 1 battle between armies, I suspect my faction already lost like 5 lords in this war so far
- The death system will be nerfed for sure, but I just hope the devs will find the sweet balance between children growing up & AI lords dying in battle / of old age