I’ve just finished reading the RPGCodex interview and wanted to say that it sounds great!
A few things that stood out to me as sounding particularly interesting and excellent were the “four broad groups” of enemies (Grunts, Soldiers, Superiors and Overlord), and the Goals system, as well as the factions and reputation system and how the Goals system might affect that.
I have one or two questions in regards to the four groups of enemies, specifically, if a player were to battle against an enemy force composed of Grunts, Soldiers, and a Superior (or two), would taking out the Superior/s, at the risk of being overwhelmed by the Grunts and Soldiers, simplify the enemies strategy and reduce their tactical options? And further, if the Soldiers were then dealt with, would the grunts just battle chaotically to the last or possibly flee or retreat to the next force of enemies?
To a certain extent, enemy actions will be dictated by their AI personality. An organized force composed of Superiors, Soldiers and Grunts would be likely to keep to a formation and screen or otherwise protect the Superiors. Once the Superiors were down, the screeners would switch to concentrating fire on the best targets — or some similar sensible strategy. Less organized opponents would operate more independently, and not need to change tactics if the Superiors fell.
And we intend to model bravery/cowardice within the AI, so forces very dependent on their leader, have a high chance of breaking and fleeing with his loss. So with some battles, braving the horde and decapitating the opposing force is the best option. In other cases, you may have allowed your party to get surrounded by effective damage dealers while you focused on the big guy.