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 on the main screen with a transparent unit icon. On the attributes panel, their morale is displayed enclosed by a red box.
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. Additional effects are discussed below.
Panicked troops usually attempt to run away from enemy contact.
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.) They can also be hit normally by any other fire.
Surrendering soldiers will be removed from the game if an enemy unit stops very close (in the same or adjacent opsquare (?)) for a short time (one or two minutes) to "round them up" and send them to the rear. When this happens, a little "white flag" icon is displayed on each man who is removed. Each man captured shows up as "Captured" in the battle's After Action Report.
Surrendering soldiers can be rescued by friendly units. This may happen if all enemy units near the surrendering men are cleared out, and a friendly unit moves into proximity. If successful, the surrendering unit will return to a non-surrender status (often panic).
Heavily panicked soldiers may rout. A routed man ceases all further participation in the battle, by running away, or just cowering. Routing is automatically successful. Each routed man disappears under a little red "exclamation mark" icon, and will appear as "MIA" (Missing in Action) in the battle's After Action Report.
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: