Chrono is from Haemimont. This is his 09-21-09 comment about how things work in T3. It's from a thread on the Kalypso discussion board.
This has been taken care of. One guy fighting four does *not* die 4 times as fast.
The fighting logic is rather complex, so I won't be explaining it here, but the idea is that at the beginning it's like a civil war / uprising. The people haven't prepared extensively, and the army is caught off-guard. Every participant starts fighting wherever the fight catches him. As the fight progresses, one side may gain numerical advantage and seize "The Hill" (what they're fighting about, usually the Palace). Then they'll group around that building. But that does *not* mean that the conflict has a clear winner.
Once again, the numbers are complex and I'm oversimplifying, but think of it as always fighting one-on-one. It's made so that the [starting] geographical positions of the fighters are not too relevant (i.e. if you have soldiers on the other side of the Island, they should still count in the fight).
So, if one soldier kills 3 people (not sure if it's set up like that in the game, just giving an example) and he's fighting four people, he *most probably* will kill 3 guys and die. If two soldiers are fighting 5 people, they'll survive. If one soldier is fighting 5 people, he should kill 3 and die. Then the second one should kill the rest.
There are, however, many factors in the fight. The avatar [El Presidente] may be a coward/war hero. The soldiers may be underpaid. El prez may just be a bad ruler; and then there will simply be too many rebels / citizens to fight against. The soldiers don't gain experience overnight and the campaigns are rather short. Give them time. Also, generals are stronger than soldiers, I believe. Or, perhaps, you were just out of luck that time.
The single most important factor that will ensure victory in fights is having high respect (in a civil war) and high soldier training (in a rebel attack).
I'll try saying it another way.
When the algorithm trips to start an uprising, a rebel attack on a building, or a military coup - it throws the individuals affected into a special mode to which they start reacting. There is no preplanning or subtle lead-up. The affected persons run to the building in question (the Palace unless it's an early rebel attack) and attack or defend the building.
The military persons (solders, generals, policemen and perhaps rebels) have a weighted advantage when the total on each of the two sides is compared - they have weapons. As in chrono's example, one soldier equals three civilians, or perhaps one soldier equals two and a half rebels for a base weight. Then the adjustments are added in.
The final formula produces either a loss (building destroyed) or a win (attackers killed or withdraw) and the animation litters the ground with the killed. This formula is fairly simplistic as wargame combat goes, but the important point is that it is not the animation that makes the decision. It's the other way around, the animation follows the decision that has already been made.