12. National and Unit Morale

Focus: This section explains how the concept of National Morale affects gameplay in WiTE2.

Key Points:

  • How National Morale changes over time
  • How National Morale affects unit morale
  • How units can gain or lose morale
  • How units gain experience

In WiTE2 the concept of National Morale is used to capture the typical level of training and expertise of the combat units that are fielded by each nation.

Each nationality in the game has a basic level of national morale. The actual unit morale can be above or below the national morale, but unit morale will tend to gravitate towards the level of national morale.

National Morale changes can be found in appendix 38.2 or in the Game Editor.

12.1 Ineraction of Unit Morale and National Morale

12.1.1 Newly Built and Rebuilt Units

Units that are destroyed and rebuilt or freshly built will have their morale set to 30+ (national morale/4) + random (national morale/4). This will never be lower than 30 or higher than 60.

12.1.2 Elite Units

Both the Soviets and the Germans fielded units that were regarded as elite . These units gain a modifier to their respective national morale as:

Special Bonus

  • German regular (or LW) Elite units +15

Note this includes formations such as the Gross Deutschland and the Hermann Goering Panzer Division

  • Soviet Guards +10
  • SS Elite +5 in 1941, +10 in 1942, +15 1943 and later Also some units gain a potential morale bonus due to their type (the type bonus and the special bonus can be added together):
  • Cavalry, Mountain, Airborne and Air Landing +5
  • Axis Allied motorized units +5
  • German Motorized Units +10
  • Soviet Motorized Units (from Sept 1942-August 1943) +5, Soviet Motorized Units (Sept 1943-end of war) +10.

Example: a Soviet Motorized Guard unit in 1945 has a net +20 modifier (+10 motorized in 45 +10 Guard), while a Soviet Guards Cavalry unit would have a +15 modifier (+5 cavalry +10 elite).

To stress these values do not change the unit morale as such, they set the potential NM for those formations that they can reach using the rules in 12.1.4.

12.1.3 German Luftwaffe Formations

The various field divisions that the Germans raise from Luftwaffe cadres all have a 10 point penalty against the notional German NM. However, this adjustment will not reduce their NM below 55 so will have less effect (in comparison to most German infantry formations) as the war goes on.

12.1.4 Adjusting Unit Morale to National Morale

Individual units may have different morale levels to the current National Morale level. This can be due to the morale allocated to the unit when it first enters the game. For example, some of the units that will be transferred from the Soviet Far East in late 1941 will have a higher morale to reflect their elite status and experience gained in the various clashes with the Japanese up to 1939.

Equally units will gain or lose morale as they win or lose battles (23.10.4).

Ground unit morale may decrease due to losing battles, suffering from air interdiction, or being in an isolated state. The higher a unit’s morale is over its national morale, the greater the chance the morale will be reduced when it loses a battle.

Retreated units may lose one morale point, which will be increased to a loss of two morale points if the leader Morale check fails.

Routed units lose one additional morale point. If the unit’s morale is below its national morale then it can recover as much as 10% of the national morale but not more than the country’s national morale.

If the unit’s morale is below its national morale, or 50 (whichever is lowest), and it is more than 10 hexes away from the nearest enemy unit then it may gain between 0-2 morale points.

Each turn there is a chance that a unit’s morale will be lowered by 1 or 2 points if its morale exceeds its national morale by 30 points or more.

Example: German national morale is 70 in 1942 so a unit could recover 7 per turn, but cannot exceed 70 by this method unless it is an elite unit

12.1.5 Other Changes to Unit Morale

Note that units also may gain or lose morale for other reasons.

If the maximum TOE is set below 50, the unit will not receive a morale increase in the logistics phase;

The morale of a unit may increase during the friendly logistics phase due to these circumstances:

  • The unit is in the reserve theatre box or in a theatre box with no ground combat.
  • The unit is in a very good supply and support situation and its morale is less than 75. If Die (75) is greater than the unit’s morale then a gain for this situation is possible.
  • Units that are below 40 morale automatically gain one morale point in the logistics phase.
  • Isolated units may lose one or more morale point(s) depending on existing supply shortages.
  • Units which miss morale and fatigue rolls can lose morale during logistic phase.
  • If at the end of the logistics phase a unit has less than 20 percent of needed supplies, it has a chance of losing 1 morale point. If the value is less than 10 percent there is a chance of losing 2 morale points.
  • Each logistics phase there is chance that a unit can lose a morale point due to fatigue. The higher the fatigue and the lower the morale of the unit, the greater the chance that the unit must make a leader morale check to avoid a morale loss.

12.2 Setting National Morale Over or Under 100

When initially setting up a game (or at any stage if playing against the AI) it is possible to set the morale level for one side or the other to a value other than 100.

Raising this above 100 will impact on combat performance, unit morale and the resulting cost of movement into enemy territory. In effect, the basic morale of each unit is multiplied by the value you set. Note that for the Axis side such a morale gain only affects German units not those of the various Allied nations (Chapter 14).

Note that units will start a scenario with the morale set by the scenario designed regardless of the chosen level. Unit morale will then adjust to the revised National Morale score according to the standard rules (12.1.4).

If the morale level is adjusted this will apply equally to the morale of combat and support units and of pilots. In turn that will increase the typical skill level of most pilots over time (16.7).

In addition to this, there are two important threshold levels that have a wider impact on game play.

  • Whenever the morale level is set to 110 or greater, then leader admin checks for movement allowances are always successful (22.1) and units get an extra +1 morale gain from a victory, and lose one less morale point than normal from a loss. In effect this increases the mobility of your army and means it is more robust during combat.
  • When the AI is set to morale of 110, it is given additional MPs, and allowed to make certain kinds of strategic movement that would otherwise violate the rules. This movement makes it much easier for the AI to form a defensive line. This should not assist the AI in offensive movements, although the extra MPs will help.
  • The AI is also given a chance of getting a special bonus in combat that will cause some disruption and a smaller amount of damage to the enemy at the start of each combat. This bonus applies to the Axis AI in the period to November 1941 and from April-November 1942. It will apply to the Soviet side from March 1943 onwards.
  • If the morale for one side is set to 120 (or higher), there are a number of secondary advantages. All tests to determine Movement Point allowances (22.1) using both the administrative and leadership ratings will be passed. Units will gain extra morale during the logistics phase and gain more morale if they win battles (and lose less in the case of a defeat). In addition, if the Axis side is set at 120, then no Soviet units will enter combat due to the reserve activation rules on turn 1 (11.3.2).

If morale is set below 100, then the relevant national morale is further modified by this factor. In other words if morale is set at 90, a unit that would otherwise have had a morale of 50 will have one of 45.

There are some notes on the various ways the AI alters the rules and the implications of these changes in the Player Notes, especially section 30.7.

12.3 Experience

12.3.1 Ground Element Experience

Experience represents both how well a ground element is trained and its ability to maintain unit cohesion in combat situations. In a unit each type of ground element (i.e. infantry squad, 50mm Mortar, Panzer IIc) has an experience level that is an average of the individual experience of all the same type of ground elements. As with morale, the higher the ground element experience level, the better. Experience mainly impacts combat, affecting combat value, the amount of retreat attrition, and the probability of firing and hitting enemy ground elements.

This shows how experience can vary across the elements in a unit. Here most are clustered around 50 but some are lower than this and the rifle squads substantially above the average.

Ground elements increase their experience level automatically during the supply and replacement part of the logistics phase through training. Though this is the only time ground elements gain experience, the amount of combat the ground element participated in during the previous turn positively affects the ability of the ground element to increase the number of experience points gained.

Ground elements can train up to the average experience level of their parent unit.

Experience increases in the logistics phase can happen as follows (these are all cumulative so the maximum gain is 9 per turn):

  • Elements with experience below 50% of unit’s morale will get 3 experience, elements with experience above 50% and below 75% of unit’s morale will get 2 experience, elements with experience above 75% and below unit’s morale will get 1 experience.
  • Units in refit and not adjacent to an enemy controlled hex, or in the reserve TB or in a Theatre Box with Ground Combat Level set to none None can add this chance. Elements with experience less than 91 and less than their morale, have a chance of receiving additional experience, with the lower the experience, the greater the chance of receiving the bonus. If the bonus is gained, it will be in the range 1-3.
  • Elements that have participated in combat since their last logistics phase, and with experience less than 91, can also gain 1-3 experience. The more combat, and the lower their experience, the greater the chance they will gain experience.
  • Units in non-reserve TBs with Ground Combat Level higher than None and with experience less than 91 will gain experience from combat intensity (up to +5 per turn). The lower their experience, the greater chance they will gain. The higher the combat intensity, the higher they can gain, and the more likely they are to gain.

Ground elements will not lose experience just because their unit’s morale dropped below their current experience level.

Replacement ground elements coming into units will tend to bring down average experience, but not by a significant amount. Newly created units will appear on the map (or in the National Reserve) with a low experience level to represent the need for many turns of initial training and the buildup of unit cohesion.

The experience for ground elements newly introduced to a unit due to a TOE change will be based on the average of similar ground class elements in the unit. If no such elements exist, the national morale will be used to build the new elements.

12.3.2 Air Group Unit Experience

Air group unit experience has a significant impact on combat effectiveness during air missions. Air group units gain experience based on the number of missions they fly. Air group units in the National Reserve are considered to fly training missions each day during their player air execution phase in order to gain additional experience (18.3.5). These training missions will increase the chance of operational losses, resulting in additional damaged or destroyed aircraft from the air group units conducting the training.

Air group units will decrease in experience due to the addition of replacement pilots. In addition, pilots in air group units that upgrade (swap) (change out) their aircraft model to either an aircraft of a different type (for example from a Fighter-Bomber to a Fighter) or a different number of engines will lose -2 on their experience for each reason (i.e. to a maximum of -4).