The "ecology simulation" aspect is only relevant insofar as players have a substrate to make inference. If the wing is cleared, (a) we're simply simulating a collapsed ecology and (b) no more inferences should need be made for delving in that wing!You're putting very hard demands on the system here - completely abandoning the "ecology simulation" aspect you identified upthread.
Torchbearer has a very simple, elegant, and well-integrated answer to this:Also, turning off as a blanket rule then gives licence to the players to play carelessly on their trek through the defeated wing of the dungeon. It's only a party that is "doing everything possible to travel quickly and quietly to their planned destination" (DMG p 9) that is entitled to relief from excessive wandering monsters.
1) The Light clock and "The Grind" (the Condition clock) are Turn-centered.
2) A Turn is either a Conflict or a Test so they're dynamic time-wise; they can be a 10 minute navigation of an obstacle, a brief skirmish, or a night's watch.
Failure in a Test or Conflict results in either (a) Success but an accrued Condition or (b) a Twist (this is Torchbearer's analogue to Wandering Monsters).
Twists can be Monster, Wilderness, Dungeon, Talking, Personal, Magic, Prayer. Basic and AD&D (if necessary) can easily use this tech in the stead of Wandering Monsters (in the case where "the wing has been cleared"), just take the Monster and Talking tables and the appropriate locale (Wilderness or Dungeon) off of the list and roll like you would a random encounter when an Exploration Turn results in some kind of mishap.
Torchbearer would just handle this as a Night's Watch conflict with relevant Twist or Success w/ Condition at the end.One feature of the DMG is that p 9 promises a section on wandering monsters that will explain two reasons why they are a part of the game; but I'm pretty sure there is no such section. And the only other discussion of relief from wandering monsters I found is this, on p 38:
On occasion, a party may wish to cease movement and "hole up" for a long period, perhaps overnight, resting and recuperating or recovering spells. This does not exempt them from occasional checks for wandering monsters, though the frequency may be moderated somewhat, depending on conditions.
In all of these, the answer is like the above. Just make an Exploration Turn a dynamic thing temporally w/ either a Test or a Conflict w/ relevant Twist or Success w/ Condition at the end.A similar approach might help for the party travelling quickly and quietly through a known area - reduced frequency at least reduces the likelihood of breakdown between system purpose and system consequence, though can't eliminate it in all cases.
This is never going to be a practical issue for me - the likelihood of me ever running a dungeoneering game where this issue might come up is near enough to zero to be rounded down to that. What I think is interesting is how Gygax struggles to make his design fully coherent, even though - on the face of things - it looks OK (I mean, how often in other threads here and elsewhere do we see discussion of the importance of wandering monsters as clock? It comes up all the time.)
The issue might be solved by substituting a completely different resolution system - eg a DW-style "move" for travelling through known-and-cleared dungeon precincts which is modified by precautions taken and so preserves the roll of skill while protecting against the slim chance of brutal hosing. But that would be so far away from the rest of the wargaming mechanics of the system that it would create a different sort of coherence problem. Zoinks unless one were to adapt the wilderness evasion rules to this end. Though they're a bit half-baked as they stand (eg having a ranger doesn't help though it obviously should).
It's probably not a surprise that thinking about one weakness in the classic D&D design turns up another.
Torchbearer just flat solved all of these problems through well-integrated systemization and extremely clear GMing. D&D (whether its Moldvay Basic, AD&D, or 5e) could just reverse engineer them and integrate them into their system architecture.