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    Attrition

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    Attrition is a mechanic used in many turn-based and real-time strategy games to represent the gradual depletion of a unit's strength. A unit suffering from attrition will become weaker over time and may eventually die or disband.

    Short summary describing this concept.

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    Overview

    Attrition is a game mechanic common to real-time and turn-based strategy games whereby a unit gradually becomes weaker over time under certain conditions. Attrition may represent a variety of factors that affect a unit's strength, such as Morale, Combat Fatigue, Desertion, or dissent within the ranks.  

    Effects on Gameplay

    Common causes of attrition

    • Hostile (enemy-controlled) or neutral territory
    • Difficult terrain (eg. mountainous areas)
    • The unit is too far from its command centre
    • Lack of supplies
    • Poor morale
    • Poor leadership
     

    Effects of Attrition  

    The effects of attrition vary depending on the type of game and the level of 'realism' of the game. In traditional RTS games (eg. Command & Conquer and similar games) attrition is commonly represented as the unit losing health. In more complex games, attrition is represented in different ways. For example, in Paradox Interactive's grand strategy games, attrition is represented by an army losing Strength (a measure of manpower) and Organisation. 
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