Each kind of fighter has an attack and defense rating:
attack defense missile +---------------------------- peasant | 1 1 worker | 1 1 sailor | 1 1 soldier | 5 5 pikeman | 5 30 swordsman | 15 15 pirate | 5 (15) 5 (15) knight | 45 (20) 45 (20) elite guard | 90 (65) 90 (65) crossbowman | 1 1 25 archer | 5 5 50 elite archer | 10 10 75
More specifically:
For example, if there are 10 men on side A, and 20 men on side B, there is a 1/3 chance that one of A's men will be chosen, and a 2/3 chance that one of B's men will be chosen.
In other words, if there are five men in a tower, each man has 1/6 chance of being selected as a target, and the tower also has 1/6 chance of being paired with an attacker.
A = attacker's attack rating B = target's defense rating A / (A + B)
For example:
A(attack=90) vs B(defense=45) A has a 2/3 chance of killing B A(attack=90) vs B(defense=90) A has a 1/2 chance of killing B
Wounded nobles do not continue fighting, even if their wounds are minor.
If a hit is scored against a fighter (soldiers, pikemen, archers, etc.), the fighter is killed. However, a blessed soldier has a 50% chance of surviving a hit.
A man successfully attacking a building or a ship will cause one point of damage to the structure. A siege engine attacking a building will cause 5-10 points of damage.
For instance, a noble plus two pikemen has an offensive value of (80+80) + (5+30) + (5+30) = 230 with a break point of 115.
A noble plus two knights has an offensive value of (80+80) + (45+45) + (45+45) = 340 with a break point of 170.
Therefore, a noble with two pikemen will continue to fight if the pikemen are killed. However, a noble with two knights will be declared the loser if both knights are killed.
The offensive value used is either the attack or the effective missile rating, whichever is higher.
Note that in step 4, if the target is not hit, the target does not immediately retaliate against the attacker. Only when the target is randomly selected to make an attack will it have a chance to score a hit.
The winner in combat will attempt to take prisoners. The chance that a given defeated unit will be taken prisoner is proportional to the sizes of the remaining forces.
(Taking prisoners in battle and claiming loot requires many soldiers to run after the fleeing enemy. Thus, the chance of success is based on numerical advantage rather than combat skill.)
1:1 25% 2:1 50% 3:1 75%
If the winning side outnumbers the defeated force by 2:1, there is a 50% chance that a given defeated unit will be captured. Defeated units which are not captured retreat from battle. If they are occupying a building or are located in a city, they may flee into the outlying province.
The victor always has at least a 25% chance of taking a unit prisoner, but no better than a 75% chance.
The victor will claim the defender's position in the location list if it
is better, or will move into the defender's structure, ejecting the
losing force. (The attacker may specify a flag to the attack
order to inhibit this behavior.)
Prisoners are stripped of their belongings by the victor, including any men accompanying the prisoners, such as workers or peasants. The stack leader of the winning force receives all of the loot from the battle.