A unit's morale is an abstract quantification of its current level of cohesion and willingness to fight and carry out orders. Morale is tracked separately for each unit in the game.
A unit's morale status is shown in the unit's attributes display. Units with bad morale (Shaken and below) are displayed with a transparent unit icon.
The higher levels of morale (Rattled and higher) are just gradations. All of these troops are still in control.
Units with sufficiently reduced morale (Shaken and lower) cannot be given orders. Instead, they are run completely by the TacAI until they recover, or are killed or exit the map. Shaken troops will still fight; Panicked and lower troops usually attempt to run away from enemy contact.
Surrendering is a special morale status. Units with low morale that are fairly close to enemy units may attempt surrender. A surrendered unit's men are shown on screen with their hands held up. Once a unit has surrendered, it will not move or take any action, and of course cannot be given orders. The TacAI will not select surrendering units to fire at, but they may still be fired on if a player's units have orders to target them. (Wasting fire on surrendering men is a classic newbie mistake.) A surrendering soldier will be removed from the game if an enemy unit stops very close (in the same or adjacent opsquare (?)) for a short time to "round him up" and send him to the rear. When this happens, a little "white flag" icon is displayed. Surrendering soldiers can be rescued by friendly units in the same manner.
Gaining and Losing Morale
Units lose morale mainly from enemy fire, but there are several factors:
- fire of all kinds: enemy, friendly, cookoffs, etc.
- taking casualties
- Suppression (including "Pinned" status) is tracked separately from morale, but suppression does affect the morale state
Morale recovers naturally over time. The rate of morale recovery depends these factors: