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.