some ideas to make an organized (and unorganized) retreat a possibility, and to bring some more tactical nuance to battles

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krizu

Recruit
Retreating is a delicate balance. Because if you were allowed to retreat always by just leaving the field, you could practically never lose a fight because you would only fight battles you were sure to win. But on the other hand, if retreating is not an option at all you are forced to lose your entire party because the game says so, when realistically there should be more changes at getting away with some portion of your men still alive.

As it stands, I am not a fan of the current system where, you either pay a ton of money, or leave some of the best troops behind in order to get away. It think that forces the players to lose a lot, in bad situations where they are for no fault of their own. For example, serving one's lord in an army, which just happens to march to its gory doom against a larger host.

I am not saying that you should be able to retreat freely as a defender, but I have a memory (might have also been some mod) from warband where, if you were cornered, you could fight and if you made it out of the field, you could then leave the field with the remaining party.

I mean, doesn't it make sense? The defending troops fight to get an opportunity to run away, and the enemy army, mustered and organized for a battle is caught off guard letting you to have the few hundred metres of head start and make it out of there?

Or, the defending army forcing the enemy army to regroup due to losses, and then making a run for it.

I just think that the current option, of not being able to retreat without sending troops to die is silly and tad irritating (given how bribing your way out of the situation requires that 1. the enemy is willing to negotiate, and 2. that you have the money to pay).

I get it why it is there, but I feel that the game would benefit from fleshing this out instead of it being fight to the death / sacrificing a great portion of your men to get out of a tricky situation. This is even worse because when being in an army, there's no other changes than to die in an already decided battle.

Just before writing this, I fought a pretty bitter and even battle which the enemy won by a slight margin; I made it out of an already lost battle and what happened? Surrender or die, those where the options.

What the hell, the battle was lost already, why the hell is the game telling that I cannot make it out of the field, when I physically made it out

Allowing player to abandon the field just like that would be unfair of course, but it should be an option with some balance of course. Maybe the more troops you have killed from the enemy, the better your change of getting away since less troops will be after you. Or maybe you get a big hit on relations and influence for abandoning the field when the battle is still even and the rout has not begun.

The rout is already a function in the game, so why not use it in this

For example, there could be a white marker in the enemy strength meter, when enemy strength goes under it (as in, once you have dealt enough damage) you can try and make it out of the field by physically making it out. You would lose every fallen and wounded soldier in the process and depending on the strength of the enemy and their types and your troop types + maybe terrain (easier to escape on foot in the forests or snow, while harder to do so in the desert and steppe, where horses give you an advantage) the game would decide if you got away. Meaning that there is still a change that you get caught and the attempt fails.

Or at the very least, allow you to leave the field and escape the battle, once your side has been routed.

These suggestions would, by design, give the options to flee, but ensures that the players have to fight for them, and just like everything in warfare, even then success is not guaranteed.

I am not calling for these nuances in tactics to replace what is already there, but to work together with paying your way out of it, or leaving your men behind. The two existing ones have a higher cost, but are also sure ways of getting out. While fighting your way out could be cheaper in lives and money, but would also have a sizeable change of failing and losing everything nonetheless.

Any case, do you peeps have any thoughts about this?
 

Apocal

Master Knight
Any case, do you peeps have any thoughts about this?
Yep, I agree totally. Annihilation battles are unholy trinity of bad for balance, bad for player progression and more unfun on the losing end than enjoyable on the winning side.
 

krizu

Recruit
Yep, I agree totally. Annihilation battles are unholy trinity of bad for balance, bad for player progression and more unfun on the losing end than enjoyable on the winning side.
exactly. Also, it just bothers me as it does not make sense. There's quite few situations where a sensible human being would be willing to fight to the death, and even then those kinds of situations often warrant a very specific type of loyalty or religious fervor or something like that. At least to me personally, it just takes me out of the experience almost immediately, when the game forces me (as in my character) do a very dumb thing in a situation where there logically should have been more options available.

Also, implementing something akin to what I talked about, would make the battles more interesting by introducing goals within the battle. In literary world, that is known as a good battle scene, where the POV character has more goals in a battle than to just live and survive. In a game like this it could be something like, "kill enough of the enemy to make your escape", or "hunt down the enemy commander to damage the morale of the enemy troops," or perhaps even cause confusion by burning wood or oil to make the field of battle very confusing for the enemy" (something that Mongols for example did, and this would add some actual use to stuff like oil, for example)

of course, all these things would be voluntary, you don't have to do anything other than just charge if you don't want to. I think that is the key. The game should not force you down a specific road or a set of roads, but instead offer you tools to utilize yourself. That would not only make the battles more interesting, but give the player so much more satisfaction when they made their escape, using their own plan and the tools that the game provided, instead of "oh I'm just going to click one button and leave the cream of my army behind to die for me. Bye"
 

Tryvenyal

Sergeant at Arms
I have thought of this too and my suggestion is to, after some set time, open an escape-area on the battlefield. You order an retreat and your troops heads towards that direction. The area is in "the wrong end" of the field but not directly behind enemy spawning point.

How long time you need to fight before the escaperoute opens depends on the initial strenght but I think it should be between 1-5 minutes to matter.

Player must live and successfully leave the map in the "escape area".
Soldiers routed though the opened escape-zoon and that is not spawned remains in the routed party.
Soldiers that are still on the battlefield will route or continue battle, lost for the player in any case.

On campaign map, player will have a chance to get away.

Same option should be there for AI in battle and simulations.
 

krizu

Recruit
I have thought of this too and my suggestion is to, after some set time, open an escape-area on the battlefield. You order an retreat and your troops heads towards that direction. The area is in "the wrong end" of the field but not directly behind enemy spawning point.

How long time you need to fight before the escaperoute opens depends on the initial strenght but I think it should be between 1-5 minutes to matter.

Player must live and successfully leave the map in the "escape area".
Soldiers routed though the opened escape-zoon and that is not spawned remains in the routed party.
Soldiers that are still on the battlefield will route or continue battle, lost for the player in any case.

On campaign map, player will have a chance to get away.

Same option should be there for AI in battle and simulations.
this sounds good to me.
 
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