Leadership, sometimes called morale or resolve, is a measure of a unit's will to continue fighting. If a unit’s leadership level drops too low then the troops will waver and eventually rout/break from the battlefield and stop responding to orders. Broken/routing units can also rally and come back into the fight. The leadership state of a unit is shown on its tooltip.
Wavering and Routing/Breaking
A unit’s banner flashes when it wavers, and turns white when it routs. Routing units do not respond to orders, and will run away from the battle. Units can be demoralised by allies routing, meaning that a single rout can cause a chain-reaction in the army. Some of the causes of routing can be:
- Encirclement: A unit attacked from more than one side will lose resolve much faster than if only engaged from the front. Use rear ranks to encircle and attack.
- Cavalry charges: Several hundred kilograms of horse, rider, and armor crashing into someone will put a dent in morale. Shock cavalry excels at breaking enemy lines unless they can defend themselves with spears or halberds.
- Lords falling in battle. This has enough impact to potentially send the whole army packing.
- Terror and fear - effects on certain units (usually monsters and undead) which lower enemy leadership (see below).
- Having low vigour (ie: being tired/exhausted).
- If faster or stronger units are nearby.
Rampaging units should not be confused with routing. They are different states.
Vampire Counts, Tomb Kings, Vampire Coast units never rout, as they are undead and do not experience fear. Instead when their Binding (leadership) drops they will lose health and troops via crumbling. If leadership drops extremely low, the unit may start disintegrating and lose health/models at an even faster rate.
Presumably, a similar mechanic will be in place for Daemons of Chaos.
Routing units may be rallied by the army lord, or they may rally of their own accord. Units that are routing from the battlefield may rally and begin responding to orders again once they have retreated a safe distance from the enemy.
A unit will not rally if there is no lord present, or if its leadership state becomes shattered.
The Encourage ability of the Lord may also be used to raise the leadership of routing units close-by, so that they may return to the action.
Undead units won't rally, but they may stop crumbling.
Units which are shattered will not be able to rally. A unit can only rout three times before it will shatter the next time its leadership breaks
If the entire army as a whole has lost many of its units, this causes every unit of an army to waver and rout regardless of Leadership when triggered. Unbreakable units will continue fighting.
Being targeted by archers and artillery units provide a negative leadership effect (-8), regardless of if those units hit. Artillery is scary.
If a unit has its flanks (sides) guarded by nearby friendly units, then it gets a leadership bonus.
Encourage by nearby units, Heroes, or Lords raises morale.
Units that begin their charging animation gain a +15 Leadership when charging until their charge bonus wears off (~10 Seconds)
Fear and terror
- Units with the Can Cause Fear or Causes Fear attribute, slightly reduce the leadership of nearby enemy units (-8 Leadership in a 30m radius).
- Most Monstrous infantry units cause fear.
- All Vampire Counts, Vampire Coast, and Tomb Kings units cause fear.
- Units which cause fear are immune to fear effects.
- Units with the Can Cause Terror or Causes Terror attribute have a chance to cause a large leadership reduction when they charge enemy units.
- Enemies in a 5m radius around the terror causing units will instantly route if they drop below 13 Leadership. This is most likely to trigger when the terrifying unit charges into an enemy from behind, compounding negative leadership modifiers until they drop below 13 and rout.
- Units that are terrified will rout for several seconds before coming back (rallying)
- All terror causing units also cause fear.
- Monsters cause terror.
- Units which cause terror are immune to fear and terror effects.
- Some items confer the ability to cause fear or terror, such as The Terrifying Mask of Eee!
Can Cause Fear: This unit frightens all enemy units, reducing their leadership when nearby. It is also immune to fear. Fear penalties do not stack.
Can Cause Terror: This unit can cause terror, making its melee target rout for a short time. Units that cause terror are immune to terror and fear themselves.
Undead: The unit is Undead (does not rout, immune to terror, becomes unstable when is low).
Immune to Psychology: The unit is immune to psychological attacks (fear and terror).
- ! - Rampage: When this unit gets hurt it may go on a rampage against nearby enemy units, attacking the closest one and ignoring any orders given.
- ↓ Primal Instincts: When under pressure, the primal instincts of these natural predators take over. They then may go on a rampage against nearby enemy units, attacking the closest one and ignoring any orders given.