If sovereign death = game over, it will greatly benefit the player and severely penalize the AI. Essentially what you will have is a moral hazard in which the character will be motivated to use his sovereign more carelessly and level up/ gain rewards faster than the AI's. When faced with throwing away hours of work upon defeat of their sovereign, the player will invariably decide to load their game. With this on their mind, the player, conciously or unconciously, will adjust their behavior to take into account this safety net and thereby behave more boldly with their sovereign than the AI (after all, the player gets the rewards without the risk that the AI must face.) The end effect is that the player's sovereign will be more average per average game than the AI's.
This is true, IMO.
And I say anyone that designs a game around the fear that OMG the player might save/load and that is unfair to the AI is going to end up with with shitty game on their hands. And OMG I see in reply #90 that our enlightened friend Demiansky even goes so far as to say with no heirs and sovereign death = game over that players are "forced into a reload." Um no, this is the thinking of someone whose mom wouldn't let them keep score in little league soccer because losing might hurt their little psyche. I agree that losing should not come down to a bad roll on the RNG, however, if you do something stupid with your sovereing and gamble where you shouldn't have, this is what grown ups call a learning experience. Now of those with delicate psyche's being able to accept that they lost may just be too tramatic, and that is what we have the save/load button for, so they can just pretend that never happened and they can merrily play their game. This whole concept of "OMG I LOST ALL THOSE HOURS OF GAMEPLAY WAAAAAH! Where's my MOMMY?" Umm, this is a game. If you played a two hour game of chess and lost would you say OMG I LOST THOSE TWO HOURS OF GAMEPLAY!??? I hope not. See for some of us losing is as valuable as winning because we can evaluate what went wrong and hopefully play a better game next time. The hours weren't lost because we learned something "Hopefully" that will make the next game better (for our side!) I think I have said enough on the issue I am sure everyone is going to boo hoo about how mean spirited I am, I am just tired of all the ghey, socialilst whiners.
Denryu, you have done an exceptional job of illustrating my point about the relationship between impoverished imaginations and flaming. I can't tell if you are being satirical, drunk, or simply foolish. I was wondering what more meaningless pejorative you could use than "whiner," but you put my pondering to rest by following up with "socialist" (tactfully mispelled, though). Classic. So yeah, I'm going to go with satirizing, in case I'm the only one who isn't in on a good joke. Besides, I refuse to believe that someone who enjoys strategy games so much would voluntarily embarrass themselves so rigorously.
As for the loading issue, I've grown tired of trying to explain it. It's elementary game theory and the simple economics of behavior. Talk to someone in insurance--- they will tell you all about how people will adjust their actions when they are assuming less risk than they normally would. If you want a more proximate example, just look at the debate over the financial institution bail outs. The concern with the bailouts were that it would give entities that were "too big to fail" a green light on risky investments because they would not be shouldering the full weight of a catastrophe as a result of their investment.
As for my willingness to lose, I enjoy the process of losing even more than winning, but I, along with many others, don't like losing unexpectadly and with little warning. Fighting a lengthy, losing war against an unholy alliance of foes is fun, and I will fight to the last soldier. Having a 20 hour game abruptly end because your sovereign was mugged in a dungeon by a bigger-monster-than-your-scouts-reported is fun to very, very few people. I know what you are going to say already. "You shloudnt have sent yur geh guy in wihout guys with him" to which I respond: At some point, no matter how careful you are within reason, you will make a minor misjudgement with your sovereign, to which your game will meet an outrageous and catasrophic end. And when that happens, will you just start a new game, rather than load it?
If sovereign death = prompt game over, you are inviting many more opportunities for this kind of loss. I'm not going far off on a limb when I say that the vast, vast majority of players will load their game if their sovereign dies while they still had a robust kingdom and an exciting game. You can plug your ears and hum "It's a Grand Old Flag" all day long, but denying that most players would load their game under these circumstances is just another embarrasment to add to your litany.