Take Another Look at Chance to Die in Battle

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Playing beta 1.5.6 with death enabled. Just hit tier 2, and have been helping the Khuzaits in their war against one of the Imperial factions, and I'm losing companions at an alarming rate. The worst part is that I've never lost a fight. My suggestions are:

1. to lower the chance of death in combat, and/or
2. allow troops to be placed in reserve so they're not immediately spawned in the initial wave.
3. An alternate scenario might be to only allow rolls for death after distinct conditions are met (your side loses, your side suffers X casualties, etc.). That way the player has better control over whether a chance encounter with looters is enough to kill a companion.

I started tier 1 with three companions: an Accursed as an archer, a Silent whom I groomed for command, and a Willowbark as my surgeon. The Silent & Willowbark are both in the infantry line, though they both had shields. I managd to lose both of them over the course of half a dozen battles as part of a lord's army, only one of which was especially close. This hurt especially because there are no other companions in this game who have a Surgeon skill, nor is my main character playing with any sort of Intelligence build.

Some things to note:
Given a static chance for death (P) on any given defeat (by defeat here I just mean 'reduced to 0 hps in a scene') we can get a probability of how long a companion (or lord) will survive given N defeats. This is a Bernoulli Process that can be modelled. There are also handy calculators on the web if you don't want to explore it manually. I made a table below with chance of death given in %:

P is the left column, with N being the white portion.

With the chance of death at 10% there's a 50/50 chance your companion will be dead by his seventh defeat. If we drop that chance to die to 1% your companion can get through 68 defeats before living on borrowed time. If it's true that companions don't roll for death in an autoresolve battle then this creates a perverse incentive to avoid playing battles if you think your companions might be defeated.

It might make sense to keep your companions in their own formation, if you think there's a chance for them to suffer defeat, and then order them to retreat right at the start of the battle, but that wouldn't have helped in my case. All of these battles were ones where I was part of an army, and wasn't commanding all the formations myself.

Rycon Caldestan

Sergeant at Arms
Thanks for the table!

The OP is about a month old at this point, but I hope the below is still helpful.
I recall that the intention is to move to 2% chance of death on defeat but that it is relatively high death rate (10%) right now to allow for additional bug reports. There are also plans for all heroes to be able to die in simulated battles, but that has not yet been enabled. Based on your table, 2% death does seem reasonable to me.

In regards to your companions, I think it depends on what you want them to accomplish. You can leave companions in cities and they will slowly improve relations with nearby notables, and this is of course "safe".

I tend to grab an infantry companion to share the formation bonus, even though I don't know 100% that they are actually doing that...
This companion dies pretty frequently, and the melee cluster is a death slog.
Cavalry tends to last slightly longer, but I often use them more conservatively anyway.
Archers last the longest for me in the standard formations, with deaths only happening when I have them in an large army battle. As such, if I am using support staff companions, they all get ranged weapons =D

Putting them into their own formation/retreat absolutely works, of course, but it is too cumbersome for me. I would love to have a new formation called "Non-combatant" that doesn't spawn into the battles at all to accomplish this. I also have switched to playing more social or intellectual characters and doing the support staff role myself while commanding the troops.
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