(continued from previous)

What if the combat ratios were compared prior to the battle with the following outcomes: If the attacking fleet is inferior or no more than 2:1 odds against the defending fleet, the battle commences. If the odds are higher than 2:1, then a sliding scale sub-routine of engagement or evasion is implemented. For each whole-number ratio above 2.0, the defending fleet has a 20% chance of not engaging the the attackers. If the attackers are 4:1, then the defenders have a 40% chance to flee, at 5:1 a 60% chance. The ratio is capped at 6:1/80%, so there is always a chance the defending fleet will be "caught" by the attackers. This ability can be tied into the Espionage rating of the defending player, where a 1% bonus per Espionage level is achieved, with a maximum evasion rating of 90%. This all happens before the battle. If the defending fleet evades, the attack commences verses the remaining ground units.

During the battle, the losing side, whether attacking or defending, should also have the ability to withdraw from combat and minimize losses. This dovetails nicely with the current system. Once either side loses 50% of its force (fleet and ground for defenders), a "morale check" of sorts kicks in to see how long the mobile attackers or defenders will remain. At 50% losses, there is a 20% chance the remaining fleet will flee, leaving the ground units to finish the battle, if defenders, or cease the battle, if the losing side is the attacker. Once the losing side reaches 40% of original strength, there is a 40% chance of withdrawal, up to 80% when the losing side is at 20% of original strength. Again, bonuses could be added through AI rating, or similar, not to exceed 90%. In real life, units are rarely destroyed, 100%, but there is always the chance that a unit will fight to the death, or be trapped and compelled to do so. Adding these sub-routines to the current combat system will add realism without sacrificing playability. The numerical ratios I've used in the examples are suggestions, of course.