Larger army =/= Fewer casualties


#1

Hello, I’m a new player and have been enjoying the game very much, and I’m excited to see how the game develops. There are elements of the combat that are frustrating to me, and I have noticed an error in the help text for how combat occurs.

You do not take fewer casualties by possessing a larger army.
The number of casualties is the same regardless the size of the winning army. The only thing that determines the damage taken is the size of the losing army. (due to the random element, I mean of course on average).

If you have an army of 1000 men against an army of 500, the game would calculate that each soldier has a 50% chance of dying. The average expected result is then 1000*.5 = 500
500 casualties.
If we double the amount of soldiers on the winning side, we now have 2000 v 500. Now the odds of a soldier dying on the winning side is 25%
2000*.25 = 500

To be absurd, let’s say an army of 1,000,000 goes up against an army of 500.
.05% chance of dying
1,000,000 * .0005 = 500

Yes, the chance of each individual soldier dying goes down, but the number of soldiers goes up, so the two cancel each other out.

Is this the intended behavior?


Possible Guides?
#2

Thanks for writing about this, I’ve meant to do a similar write up a while ago. thatfood is absolutely right, it makes melee dangerous and not worth it if you can instead kill something from farther away with abilities to not lose troops


#3

it also makes it pointless engaging with more troops than the bare minimum most of the time, one of the many reasons I avoid melee


#4

There are a number of things I find goofy about the way the post-battle results are calculated.
It was mentioned in another thread, but heroes are particularly vulnerable in battle, because they are just as likely to die as a regular soldier. Indeed, a 2000 strength hydra is just as likely to die as a goblin.

What that means is that as I’m entering combat, I go into my army and select all my spellcasters, banners, etc. and instruct them to stop moving and just wait on the road. I like to imagine what this looks like on the field, ditching all low count and buff-granting units and marching on without them. My giant, fearsome dragon sits like an abandoned puppy as my army marches on. It’s especially aggravating because bringing them with me to the fight produces no benefit. I’m simply risking losing them for nothing.

I wish there was at least an option like “priority”. IE if I’m fighting a horde, first the game adds the strength of all lowest priority units (grunts, high count units) and checks to see if it is higher than the horde. If it is, great, they attack. If it isn’t, it adds the next lowest priority unit and so on. This way, my forest whisperer isn’t stupidly dying every engagement, throwing himself on a dwarven axe.

Because without that option, I have to carefully micromanage my forces by instructing them to walk away, then turn around again, etc. in order to preserve my high value units.

And of course, when a 2000 strength hydra is completely wiped by a force of 400 goblins… I understand that it is fair and that if I repeated that action 100 times, in the end the average would bear out… but in a game that takes days to complete where I only generally get maybe 2 or 3 hydras, and only in the late game because they are too risky otherwise, it does not feel fun. It is difficult to make strategy around units who can vanish entirely by misfortune.

Again, I really am enjoying the game, but some things about the combat leave me scratching my head.


#5

I think it would be hard to total reduce the luck in the game without including some sort of health mechanic, I find myself doing the same with spellcasters, I too would like some sort of priority system (or health for heros), I’m remeinded of the wargame saga where you have to kill the enemy general and there is a important rule where other close units will dive in to save him before he takes hits.

tl;dr I think there needs to be some sort of special rule (health/priority) for hero’s (or at least heros who would be on the back line), but the damage calculation needs to be changing first (say % losses are based on the square of both army strengths)


#6

I agree with the notion that more expensive units need to somehow be more hardy. Whether this is by making losses less severe for the winning side scaling by the difference in the army sizes (which seems to be what the original help text was saying, but not how the game works), or some mechanic where a less expensive troop can die in the place of a costly hero, I do not know. But right now it really does feel odd stepping all of my casters a half league away from every fight.


#7

I agree with most of this. I don’t bring my spell casters in anyways though; it makes sense to have them in their own group about half a league behind anyway. The ditching of big units is something odd that I do too though. I tend to avoid most fights with my big units, instead of mopping up, for that reason and make sure I only send them in to battles with enemies of near-equal power. I’m nearly guaranteed to lose the big unit, but I feel like I had a good shot of losing him anyway, so I want to make sure he at least actually does his strength worth of damage before he dies.


#8

I would like something for this. I don’t mind my dragon having the normal chance of dying when he is involved in a big fight. Same for many other heroes (including, sometimes, generals). However, some heroes (like the Orc Tavern Keeper or the Elf Healer) would likely be doing their work away from the front lines and therefore have a smaller chance of dying in battles that aren’t that close. It is kind of annoying how it seems like my healer is always, somewhat ironically, dying in every battle. I do like the current system though, and wouldn’t mind it not changing; this kind of change would just be a bonus / a little extra, and maybe a little more lore-centric.


#9

Hey Guys, Great discussion.

I few months ago I coded up a solution where it was actually true that, the differences in size of your army did increase your save. I even played around with the idea that if you you could get up to twice the enemy you would not take casualties at all.

I discarded it because the algorithm was complicated and hard to explain, and I wanted to try and keep the game simple.

Lately I have been considering two options for reducing casualties.

The first is to have a kind of simple built in extra saving throw for all cards marked “heroes”, so that if they fail the basic combat save, they get to roll an additional 50% save. They would be less likely to die.

The other solution is to actually go and add an extra saving throw stat to every card. After combat, if they unit fails the standard saving throw, they roll again on their armour. Heavily armed guys might have a save of 50%, Light armoured guys might only have 25%. Dragons might have 75%

Something like this.

It really bugs me right now that it’s much better to engage the zombies at range. I kind of regret paying valour for ranged attacks.


#10

The saving throw thing seems like a simple to convey and effective way at representing toughness. I think there is value in the existence of units that have a lower chance to die on a win. This would make dragons and hydras and the like feel more epic in power than ‘20 guys’. Likewise, it would make it less likely for immortal bosses to get taken out by a plucky goblin archer getting a good roll on his ranged attack.

Presumably this would work on ranged attacks, too, that would not destroy the entire stack.


#11

I like the armor, it would encourage me to risk strong units more often. But it would not make having a larger army result in lower casualties. An army of 1000 would be just as effective at defeating an army of 500 as a 1,000,000 strength army.


#12

No, that text needs to be changed for sure.


#13

I kind of struggle to imagine how the game would play if ranged attacks couldn’t earn valor, it certainly wouldn’t be pretty for me & I think it would decimate the interesting parts to me

if it’s complexity in describing whats wrong with changing
If the loser was 90% the size of the winning army, then each individual in the winning army has a 90% chance of being destroyed.

to
If the loser was 90% the size of the winning army, Then each individual in the winning army has a 90% chance of being destroyed. Each individual destroyed also has a saving throw of the extra size of the winning army (in this case 10%)

this is another way of describing the strength of an army is squared before combat I don’t know if squared armies is the right amount but I think it can be explained easily


#14

I like this idea better, mainly because it does’t give every unit the equivalent of the Elven Healer. It also doesn’t reduce the value of cards like Tree Friends or Turtle Warriors.


#15

Hah, well you said it yourself in the other thread, you have recognised that ranged is just a lot better than fighting in melee so you avoid it at all costs.

It’s a war game so I want to see big battles!


#16

Yeah, these cards would need changing as well if we were to do this.


#17

Larger armies not taking fewer casualties feels unintuitive. It seems natural to amass a larger army to crush a smaller one. And it would also encourage more tactical thinking, such as divide and conquer. Right now, there is no point in dividing the enemy forces, in fact it is detrimental because then you have to track two enemy armies, and separate they can do the same net amount of damage as together.

Buffs that scale with army size would be reasonable, I think. For every 25 soldiers, the strength of each soldier goes up by 1. Maybe this would only apply to each race’s standard unit, and some would have buffs that stack faster. I noticed you said somewhere you wanted orcs to have huge armies, well, if for orcs the army strength went up by 2 instead, or something like that, it would encourage amassing huge armies.


#18

Can we leave the saving throw idea for units off the table for now; I agree that for hero’s it does start to make sense. Basically I think the combat is in an acceptable state. It may not make much real world sense but it makes OK game logic.


#19

yes but i’m not sure valor would solve that - it may encourage a suicide charge to get enough valor to claim some towns but I would probably put up with having fewer towns rather than charge in in the current system


#20

I don’t think that would actually be a minor thing - for small battles I don’t risk some units because they are too valuable to lose (haven’t used a healer so can’t comment on that one, but I would rather lose warriors than a general, net result the general sits out of the fight some times)