No retreat penalty?

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Temuchin Khan
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Re: No retreat penalty?

Post by Temuchin Khan » December 17th, 2005, 12:23 pm

Odd. Once again, some one else's post is atop that of the initiator of the thread.
enigmoo wrote:I find it hard to believe there is no retreat penalty. Especially for melee units. Turning your back on an enemy who is in front of you to go galavanting about shouldn't be ignored.
My initial reaction is that any unit that does not have skirmish can be trapped by zones of control anyway, so what difference would a retreat penalty make?

My second reaction is that a "retreat penalty" would ruin the dynamics of the game, insofar as it would not distinguish between an act of cowardice and a strategic withdrawal. Really, sometimes an army needs to pull out and regroup in order to strike for victory later.

In other words, you give the impression of having forgotten these wise sayings:

"Discretion is the better part of valor."

"He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day."

And what about fake retreats as a military strategy? Down through the centuries, there have been armies who used fake retreats very effectively to make the enemy become over-confident and ripe for the picking.

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No retreat penalty?

Post by enigmoo » December 17th, 2005, 1:46 pm

I just started playing Wesnoth and I think it's a fine game, don't get me wrong but..

I find it hard to believe there is no retreat penalty. Especially for melee units. Turning your back on an enemy who is in front of you to go galavanting about shouldn't be ignored.

And I apologize if this has been mentioned before but I searched for it and couldn't find anything.

e

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Post by enigmoo » December 17th, 2005, 2:39 pm

I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to retreat. There simply should be a penalty of some sort for turning your back on an opponent you are engaged in a life or death battle with. ZsOC do not replicate this.

For example, if you and I were rolling around in the muck with swords drawn and I all of a sudden decided to get up and walk away what would you do?

Although the dynamics would change, I don't think they would be ''ruined'. I've played many other war games. Usually your opponent gets a free hit and perhaps your movement rate is halved.

e

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Post by Cuyo Quiz » December 17th, 2005, 3:55 pm

I would persecute, then stop, watch, think, and finally decide if it is safe and wise to keep advancing.

But really, a retreat is not always a bad thing to do, so i don't think a penalty is needed. Also, i don't think it would add anything to the agem as to make it better, besides cuasi-realism.
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Temuchin Khan
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Post by Temuchin Khan » December 17th, 2005, 7:15 pm

enigmoo wrote:I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to retreat. There simply should be a penalty of some sort for turning your back on an opponent you are engaged in a life or death battle with. ZsOC do not replicate this.
I think I see what you're saying, but what's bothering me is that not all cases of turning your back on an opponent are equal. To give a more concrete example, the Mongols under Genghis Khan and his generals would sometimes stage a mock retreat, in which they would apparantly turn and run, and keep running for several days, until the enemy got cocky and over-confident, and then turned around and pulverize him. They could defeat armies four times their size this way.
enigmoo wrote:For example, if you and I were rolling around in the muck with swords drawn and I all of a sudden decided to get up and walk away what would you do?
That depends on whether you are backing away from me brandishing your sword, ready to defend yourself, or running in terror, doesn't it? My problem with a retreat penalty is that it makes no difference between an orderly retreat, a strategic ruse, and a rout. If the program could make this distinction, I could accept the idea of a retreat penalty.
enigmoo wrote:Although the dynamics would change, I don't think they would be ''ruined".
Maybe I overstated my case. And hey, the ideas forum is for batting around ideas, so thanks for suggesting this.

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Post by enigmoo » December 17th, 2005, 7:19 pm

Adding a retreat penalty would dramatically improve the sense of true combat. Also, it would allow new 'never-retreat' and 'easy-retreat' traits to units.

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Noyga
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Post by Noyga » December 17th, 2005, 7:45 pm

I believe that is what the ZoC is for.
On a large battle, some front line units are often zoced by the enemy so could have problems to retreat while the rear lines would retreat more easily.
I would say if you enemy can retreat easily it may mean that you didn't ZoCed him properly.
It doesn't make sense to me to add some extra penalties to retreat, not all units are supposed to be courageous and lawful. For example Scout units are usually not made to stay in the heart of the battle, why should they be constrained to stay intop the battle. And this would probably change the game into a more melee unit oriented game...

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Post by irrevenant » December 18th, 2005, 4:12 am

I see your point, but ultimately I think this is a side effect of "you have all your moves, then he has all his moves" turn-based dynamic. Realistically, you would be pursued simultaneously as you backed up, but TBS just doesn't support that...

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Post by enigmoo » December 19th, 2005, 2:14 am

I see your point, but ultimately I think this is a side effect of "you have all your moves, then he has all his moves" turn-based dynamic. Realistically, you would be pursued simultaneously as you backed up, but TBS just doesn't support that...
Well, it's not really a problem for other TBS games. The enemy unit simply gets a free attack as you are walking away. I don't see why this couldn't be implemented in Wesnoth.

As far as Gengis Khan is concerned, they were mounted archers. A retreat penalty need not apply to mounted units when engaged with foot soldiers due to their speed. Nor does it need to apply to those engaged in ranged attacks. It's really most obvious for brawling foot soldiers.

And retreating can still be a tactical decision as long you are willing to take the extra hit. Or there can be an option to retreat with caution which would lower your moves but save you the hit. Also, the retreat penalty can go up if the unit retreats consectutively. So for example, the damage would be doubled if the unit retreated in its previous turn. This would replicate a rout situation.

Elements like this are standard in most TBS war games. I realize Wesnoth is designed to be simpler than the average wargame and I think that's wise but having no retreat penalty is just too simplistic, imho.

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Post by guest » December 19th, 2005, 4:10 am

enigmoo wrote:Well, it's not really a problem for other TBS games. The enemy unit simply gets a free attack as you are walking away. I don't see why this couldn't be implemented in Wesnoth.

Elements like this are standard in most TBS war games. I realize Wesnoth is designed to be simpler than the average wargame and I think that's wise but having no retreat penalty is just too simplistic, imho.
You seem to constantly refer to other TBS (war) games. I urge you to recall that Wesnoth is not {any of those games}. It is a whole other game, enjoyable with its own set of game dynamics. You should try it for a while, it might grow on you. :wink:

Why would you want to make Wesnoth similar to many other games? Why should they be similar? Is there some value in doing what the others also do?

Just me.

PS. We have had earlier discussions on "what is intuitive for different persons" and "what feels right for different persons" and "what works in the game for different persons". The conclusion is always this: The Wesnoth team's preferences are the ones that count (the most). They design the game for themselves, and do a game they enjoy. This gives an original expression of the idea.
PPS. To your credit, it can be said that this idea is not (yet) in the Frequently Proposed Ideas (FPI) thread at the top of the Ideas forum. However, proposing ideas that are used "in other games" is a general tendency in many of the FPI items. It doesn't constitute a reason for Wesnoth to copy it. The question is not, primarily, whether something could be implemented in Wesnoth. Rather, is there any reason why it should be done?
P3S. To your credit can also be said that you appreciate the (I must say relative) simplicity of Wesnoth.

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Post by enigmoo » December 19th, 2005, 5:39 am

Rather, is there any reason why it should be done?
It would make the game better. Wesnoth is first and foremost a strategy game. Secondly, it is a war game. Adding a retreat penalty will enhance the players sense of actually being at war by making them think about the consequences of engaging and withdrawing.

I realize I am new to the game and the forum and there is a tendency to discount my perpective. This is normal and I accept it. Nevertheless, I encourage you to detach yourself from the personal side and examine the idea from the practical side.

Ranged weapons and units are not very ranged. They must attack from the same distance as a melee unit. As a matter of fact it can be argued that they aren't really ranged at all and that calling them ranged is just an excuse to have 'archers' and such. With a retreat penalty however for melee, ranged units and attacks become more defensible and more plausible. Because they are ranged they could attack and retreat without penalty thus giving them more of a 'raison d'etre'.

A retreat penalty for melee would simply give the game an extra layer of depth and strategy that I am sure if implemented everyone would agree was lacking without it.

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Post by Noyga » December 19th, 2005, 7:32 am

And how do you define 'ranged units' ?
- Almost every ranged units have melee attack
- Some melee units have ranged attack
- Some units are both good at ranged and melee
I feel that this would complicate the game.
Moreover i don't really see what this would add to the game. It may make sense for some units, but for other it doesn't make sense.
- Scouts would be easier to catch
- For some units like thiefs of flying units retreat penalties doesn't make sense at all.

Well sorry, i disagree we that need it

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Post by guest » December 19th, 2005, 9:01 am

enigmoo wrote:
Rather, is there any reason why it should be done?
I realize I am new to the game and the forum and there is a tendency to discount my perpective. This is normal and I accept it. Nevertheless, I encourage you to detach yourself from the personal side and examine the idea from the practical side.
I will try. :wink:
enigmoo wrote:Adding a retreat penalty will enhance the players sense of actually being at war by making them think about the consequences of engaging and withdrawing.
Hmm. One possible consequence, game-play-wise, that I can think of at the moment - this would make a "failed" engagement even more dangerous to the attacking side (or the first to attack). So, this would probably increase the number of situations where players (mainly) sit out their turns, recruiting new units, building up their army and solidifying their positions. How large the effect would be, of that I can not be certain. I am guesstimating that it might be substantial.

This would also heighten the differences a map can have w.r.t. the initial allotment of villages. If a player manages to secure a majority of villages (even 1 more than the opponent, not to talk of more), they could more safely sit back and collect their gold. (That is, if they had units that are good in defending. This would probably favor the more defense-capable factions.) In sum, I think this might make conquering villages / attacking / turning the tide of the battle more difficult.

Is this desirable?

(BTW: I am assuming that the "punishment hit" would be taken when the withdrawal starts, before the withdrawing unit moves back. Tracking the withdrawal across a few hexes, and then giving the punishing hit only if pursued would not work, IMO, because defining when a unit retreats, and when it only changes position in the battle, sideways, or forwards, would be practically impossible.)
enigmoo wrote:Ranged weapons and units are not very ranged. They must attack from the same distance as a melee unit. As a matter of fact it can be argued that they aren't really ranged at all and that calling them ranged is just an excuse to have 'archers' and such. With a retreat penalty however for melee, ranged units and attacks become more defensible and more plausible. Because they are ranged they could attack and retreat without penalty thus giving them more of a 'raison d'etre'.
Hmm. This is, in fact, a rather nice way to justify your idea, and the "raison d'etre" argument does have some credibility (especially if one's willing, a priori, to accept your premises). This would also imply, that the power of ranged units would increase, whereas the probability of melee units getting killed would increase further. This could be a moderate / large swing in the dynamics of the game.

There are probably different opinions on whether this would be preferable, ranging from basic resistance to change to simply not liking the idea to being willing to accept it to becoming an enthusiastic supporter for it.
enigmoo wrote:A retreat penalty for melee would simply give the game an extra layer of depth and strategy that I am sure if implemented everyone would agree was lacking without it.
In the most recent debate (that time on an idea that had already been discussed countless times and relegated to the FPI), opinions were voiced along the lines of "Why would we want more strategic depth?", for some people the answer being "For no reason." I am certain that, unlike you posit, everyone would not agree. However, as you see, I think your idea still may have some merit, even though I don't self have a desire for it to be implemented. :)

Edit: Temuchin Khan's point about being unable to differentiate between different kinds of retreats is also rather valid, IMO.

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Post by Ask_ » December 19th, 2005, 12:14 pm

It can be made an ability, something like "Hard-to-disengage: every time an enemy unit moves away from the neighbouring cell, the unit with this ability gets one free melee strike at it".
Yes, the name is bad, I am just trying to salvage the idea ;-)

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Post by Emmanovi » December 19th, 2005, 3:32 pm

enigmoo wrote:
And how do you define 'ranged units' ?
A ranged unit is a unit that has only a ranged attack.
Therefore they engage only in ranged attacks and could be set to flee with less penalty. Ranged mounted units could be set to flee with no penalty.
Unfortunately, there aren't many. I can only think of one off the top of my head, the Dark Adept, and it advances into a unit that has a melee attack. Thus you have RIPLIB to consider...
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