In MoM, if you "died" you could cast the spell of return to get back into the game. It had a couple of caveats though:
1. you needed to have enough magic available to cast it.
2. You couldn't do any other magic while you are "away".
3. Casting the spell could take quite a number of turns during which your troops had to fend off the enemy without support.
Made it impossible to kill off a dominating opponent by simply taking out his capital (your capital being where you're mage tower was, that being your only representation on the game field) , while still making said manouvre give you an advantage. Also, you still didn't have to hunt down every last unit/city, as the enemy would usually run out of juice pretty quickly if he'd effectively lost already. (so no spell of return)
Seems like a fine way of doing things. Being able to cheat death through your magic also works nicely in making you feel superior to the grunts.