Building on the last post - Why doesn’t anyone ever run away? I’ve touched on this before, but how many times have good guys or bad guys run away when in a FRPG battle? The problem is that without games geared to players acting defensively, it is usually suicide to back off. I know a lot of game systems that hand the aggressor a free shot (often undefended) if the enemy retreats. Think about the comic book villains. If they couldn’t retreat without hero whacking them for free, well, a lot of story lines would be different.
I think this is most glaring when you think of larger scale wars. If wars were fought like FRPGs then they would last about an hour. Once everyone was there, they would whack each other until one side was dead, or more likely both sides were dead. There’s none of this - retreat because of bad positioning. There’s no battle and withdraw and battle and withdraw. By FRPG standards Lee was an idiot during the Civil War, though Grant does seem to have been playing.
I really think that one of the major reasons this stuff doesn’t happen is that GMs don’t have time to properly prepare maps and scenes. If the GM fully knew what the terrain looked like, then either side might decide after a couple of bow shots that they were going to get shanked and high tail it out of there. Who has the high ground? Who has cover? Are there any places to hide? Dips? Ditches? Boulders?
Look, I get it. Especially having grown up in the flat lands, I don’t put culverts and hills into my maps, because they are tough to manage. We don’t sell mapped out locations, but maybe we should. Maybe it’s worth buying a fully detailed map of a place, so you can better run the area. Maybe just zooming in on Google Earth will get you there too.