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The Relationship between Soft Factors, Morale & Fatigue 
 

Preface

Hi all, I'm pretty new to the BFC forums but I've been milling about over at the FGM for a little over a year. I recently created the below post and it received a lot of positive feedback to the point that it has now become one of the sitcky threads over there.

I have been prompted to post the thread here and after a conversation I had in another thread on this forum, I thought that by placing it here, then non-FGM members can have a read through without me having to copy and paste snippets from the original post at the FGM.


Introduction

Whether selecting unit attributes in a quick battle or whether in game wondering if you should use your +1 Leadership squad or +2 Motivation squad to assault a farmhouse. it can be difficult to make an informed decision due to the fact that there is not a lot of information in the manual which explains how the attributes of Experience, Leadership, Motivation and Fitness (hereby collectively known as the 'Soft Factors') affect certain game concepts such as Morale, Suppression, Firepower and Fatigue.

The forums can be slightly misleading as some posts describe exactly how something works whilst others are more how people feel something is working and it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The information below is based on a painstaking process using the editor to separate out the impact of different factors by isolating them and testing them under different conditions. By isolating and testing these factors, the mechanics behind the concepts of Morale, Suppression, Accuracy, C2 and Fatigue start to reveal themselves and after several red herrings, dead ends and lots of repetition the information below has been teased out from the game.

2 videos accompany this post to explain some of the findings, however all of the findings can be backed up by video evidence.

The editor used was the one for Fortress Italy v2.00 Engine 4.0.

SPOILER ALERT - if you prefer the murkiness of not knowing how the Soft Factors affect gameplay then please stop reading.

Having said that the following information does not quantify the game concepts affected by the soft factors but instead generalises as what is likely to happen within a certain concept under certain conditions to units with high and low values for the soft factors.


Morale

Before being able to explain the characteristics of the 'Soft Factors', it is imperative to understand how Morale works in the game.

Morale reflects the psychological state of a unit and determines its ability to respond to orders and fight.

Morale states from highest to lowest are;
 

Ok > Cautious > Nervous > Rattled > (Shaken) > (Panic) > Broken


States shown in brackets () are temporary states.

The states Ok through to Nervous are simple gradations and a Nervous unit will not behave differently from an Ok one.

Rattled troops which become Pinned (or highly suppressed) will dash for safety, even if they are stationary when they become Pinned (or highly suppressed).


Shaken troops will cower in their current position in the hope that the pressure will ease. They will not respond to orders or fire their weapons.

Note: Shaken troops observed running for cover have been Pinned (or highly suppressed) in the Rattled state prior to becoming Shaken.

Panicked troops will try and run away from the perceived threat to save their own hides. They will not respond to orders or fire their weapons.

Shaken and Panicked states are temporary and will eventually revert back to one of the other persistent states depending on the situation and the Experience, Leadership and Motivation of the unit.

Broken troops will respond to orders but are 'Brittle' and will quickly become Shaken or Panicked if fired upon. Broken troops will remain Brittle for the remainder of the battle irrespective of their Experience, Leadership, Motivation and Fitness.

Morale is affected by 2 conditions of the battlefield and each of these conditions impact on Morale in different ways.
 

1. Combat Stress

Combat Stress has a persistent impact on Morale and is caused by casualty build up.

Casualties sustained reduce the Morale of the unit for the remainder of the game and is therefore known as a persistent effect.

Morale affected in this way cannot be regained (except under one specific condition - see Leadership). The impact of Combat Stress depends on the number of casualties sustained over time and the Experience, Leadership and Motivation of the unit.

Not only does taking casualties effect the Morale of the unit directly impacted, other units organisationally closely connected are also affected in the same way but to a lesser extent. The persistent Morale effect of casualty build up only effects other units via organisational connection regardless of geographical proximity.

Example 1 - 1st and 2nd Sqd of 1st Plt are separated by 500m. As 1st squad sustains casualties and suffers a persistent Morale impact, 2nd Sqd will also suffer a persistent Morale impact even though it is 500m away and has no LOS to 1st Sqd.

Example 2 - 1st Sqd of 1st Plt is within 10m of 3rdSqd of 2nd Plt. 3rd Sqd of 2nd Plt receives incoming fire and half of the unit is wiped out and the Sqd is instantly Shaken. 1st Sqd of 1st Plt receives no impact to their persistent Morale state due to the fact that they are in a different Platoon. 2nd Plt would have to take far more casualties before any of 1st Plt become affected.

The way that Combat Stress is distributed to other units is vertical between different platoons and companies although it is horizontal between units of the same platoon.



2. Combat Shock

Combat Shock has a temporary impact on Morale and is caused by suppression.

         Suppression has a temporary impact on Morale and the affect is removed once the suppression is lifted.

         The duration the unit remains suppressed for depends on the amount of incoming Firepower, the immediate casualties sustained, Experience & Leadership of the unit.

         The temporary impact on Morale of being suppressed depends on the amount of incoming Firepower, the immediate casualties sustained and the Experience, Leadership & Motivation of the unit.



Suppression Indicator

The Suppression Indicator is not merely a measure of incoming fire, more accurately it represents the units perception as to how much danger it is in based on the incoming Firepower, the immediate casualties sustained, and the Experience, Leadership & Motivation of the unit.

Inexperienced, poorly led and unmotivated units suffer the greatest Morale impact from being suppressed whilst inexperienced and poorly led units can remain suppressed for sometime after the last shot was fired in their direction.
 

Pinned

If the Suppression Indicator becomes full the unit becomes Pinned. Stationary Pinned (or highly suppressed) troops will return fire but will not respond to movement orders until the suppression has reduced.

Troops which become Pinned (or highly suppressed) whilst moving to a waypoint will attempt to dash for cover. If no cover is nearby, they will hit the deck.

Rattled troops which become Pinned (or highly suppressed) will dash for safety, even if they are stationary when they become Pinned.

Experienced and well led troops recover from being Pinned quicker than inexperienced or poorly led troops.

 

C2 - Command & Control

C2, or Command and Control, reflects the effect of having a unit being able to receive orders from and deliver information to its HQ team.

Being within a C2 link does not provide resistance to the persistent impact on Morale caused by Combat Stress.

Being within a close C2 link (Close Visual/Voice) does provide resistance to the impact on Morale caused by Combat Shock - troops within C2 range of their HQ unit are less affected by the temporary impact of suppression upon Morale as they are less stressed by being shot at and the immediate impact of seeing team/squadmates killed & wounded is reduced.

More experienced units pass on information to their buddies and superiors quicker than less experienced units. This includes verbal, visual and radio communications.

The range of visual and audio C2 is fixed for all Soft Factors, Morale and Fatigue states but will vary by terrain. In open ground;

: Voice range < 50m (unless the HQ is hiding in which case voice range drops to <25m)
: Close visual range <100m


 

Experience

Experience reflects the amount of training and combat experience the unit has.

Experience levels from least experience/training to most experience are;
 

Conscript > Green > Regular > Veteran > Crack > Elite


Experience has 6 characteristics which impact on the unit;
 

1. Spotting - troops with higher experience are able to spot enemy contacts sooner than less experienced troops.

2. Firepower - higher experienced troops will engage at longer ranges and have greater accuracy than less experienced troops. They therefore tend to cause more casualties to the enemy than their less experienced counterparts during a firefight.

3. Resistance to Combat Stress - more experienced troops are less affected by the psychological impact of losing team/squadmates.

This characteristic is cumulative with Leadership and Motivation. 

4. Resistance to Combat Shock - experienced troops are less affected by the temporary impact of suppression upon Morale. They are more used to being shot at and better desensitised to the immediate impact of seeing team/squadmates killed & wounded than less experienced troops.

This characteristic is cumulative with Leadership and Motivation. 

5. Suppression Recovery - experienced troops recover quicker from being suppressed (including being Pinned), they realise when the incoming fire has shifted away from them sooner than less experienced troops do.

This characteristic is cumulative with Leadership.

6. More experienced units pass on information to their buddies and superiors quicker than less experienced units. This includes verbal, visual and radio communications.



Leadership

Leadership reflects the quality of NCO's or other team leaders in the team or squad to organise and support the troops. Leaders can be of varying quality.

Leadership is shown as a simple modifier ranging from;
 

-2 > -1 > 0 > +1 > +2

Note: A Leadership modifier only applies to the unit with the Modifier (like all other modifiers). In other words it does not filter down to sub-ordinate units (see HQ Leadership Modifier Example).

Leadership has 3 characteristics which effect unit behaviour under duress;
 

1. Resistance to Combat Stress - better led troops are less affected by the psychological impact of losing team/squadmates.

This characteristic is cumulative with Experience and Motivation.

2. Resistance to Combat Shock - well led troops are less affected by the temporary impact of suppression upon Morale. The NCO's are better at encouraging the troops under fire and getting them to remember their training when faced with the immediate impact of seeing team/squadmates killed & wounded.

This characteristic is cumulative with Experience and Motivation.

3. Suppression Recovery - well led troops recover quicker from being suppressed (including being Pinned), they realise when the incoming fire has shifted away from them sooner than poorly led troops do.

This characteristic is cumulative with Experience. 

Unlike the characteristics denoted by Experience, if the Leader of a team or squad is incapacitated, the Leadership value of the unit will change to that of the next most senior member who steps up as the Leader. This value can go up as well as down, for example, a unit with a +1 Leader incapacitated and replaced by a -1 Leader will suffer a hit on Morale which may be enough to cause a persistent drop in the unit's Morale state. Similarly however, if a -2 Leader is incapacitated and replaced with a 0 Leader, the unit will receive a boost in Morale which may be enough to cause a persistent increase in the unit's Morale state.


Note: In Engine v4.0 manual page 68 it states that a Leadership bonus will help "direct fire to be more effective". However, this has not been possible to reproduce using various tests. Whereas the difference in accuracy between Crack units and Green units is repeatable and obvious, the effect of Leadership on accuracy is not apparent.

 
HQ Leadership Modifier Example

Reading some posts, there is a lot of confusion over how this Modifier works with HQ units. So I will clarify it here.

The Leadership (Ldrshp) modifier for all units (from Btn Hqs through to Plt Hqs down to squads and teams) only effects the unit that the modifier is for, in the same way that a -2 Fitness modifier only effects the fitness of the unit that the modifier is for.

In fact, it helps to think of the Leadership modifier in the same was as the Fitness modifier. An unfit Plt HQ does not make all of the squads in that platoon unfit aswell.


So a squad with a -1 Ldrshp modifier is not offset by the +1 Ldrshp modifier of its Plt HQ. The squad will still suffer the penalties of having -1 Ldrshp.

So how does having a Plt HQ with a poor leader affect the performance of the Platoon?

This is best illustrated with an example;
 
Lt Bike is the Plt Leader of 1st Plt. He has a Leadership modifier of -2. All 3 of the squads in 1st Plt are Regulars with average ability NCO's so no Ldrshp modifiers for the squads. For reference 1st Plt HQ is also Regular.

1st Plt are on a patrol and 1st Squad makes contact with an enemy force. After a couple of minutes, the casualties from 1st Sqd begin to mount. Not only does this have a persistent Morale affect on 1st Sqd, it also has a persistent Morale affect on the other 2 Squads and the Plt HQ because of their close organisational link.

However, because the Plt HQ has Lt Bike with his -2 Ldrshp modifier, it suffers a greater impact on Morale than 2nd or 3rd Sqd does from the build up of 1st Sqds casualties.

After another minute of combat, the persistent morale states of the Platoon are;
 
Plt HQ - Rattled
1st Squad - Rattled

2nd Squad - Nervous
3rd Squad - Nervous
As the combatants manoeuvre for position, the Plt HQ comes under fire. As the HQ team is already Rattled, it doesn't take much suppression to drop their Morale state temporarily into Shaken.

Now that the HQ unit is Shaken, the C2 link between the HQ and the 3 squads is cut. This makes the squads more vulnerable to the Morale effects of suppression (see C2 - Command & Control).

As 1st Squad is already under suppressive fire, its Morale state instanteously drops from Rattled to Shaken because of the loss of the C2 link (see C2 - Command & Control).

The HQ will take longer to recover from the supression than it normally would for a Regular unit because of its -2 Ldrshp modifier, meaning that as a consequence, the C2 link is broken for longer.

So we now have the following situation after 5 minutes;
 
Plt HQ - Shaken
1st Squad -
 Shaken
2nd Squad - Nervous
3rd Squad - Nervous
If we rewind the clock and give Lt Bike +2 Ldrshp modifier, then re-run under exactly the same circumstances the situation would have been after 5 minutes;
 
Plt HQ - Nervous
1st Squad - Rattled
2nd Squad - Nervous
3rd Squad - Nervous
This is because the Plt HQ would not have been so affected by the casualty build up of 1st Sqd so that when the HQ came under some suppressive fire, it was still in a high enough Morale state not to become Shaken by it and therefore the C2 link between the HQ and the Squads and the benefits it brings (see C2 - Command & Control) would still be intact.





Motivation

Motivation reflects the units dedication to the cause and their willingness to sacrifice themselves for their squad mates and commanders.

Motivation from best to worst ranges as;
 

Poor > Low > Normal > High > Extreme > Fanatic

Motivation has 3 characteristics which effect unit behaviour under duress;
 

1. Resistance to Combat Stress - better motivated troops are less affected by the psychological impact of losing team/squadmates.

This characteristic is cumulative with Experience and Leadership.

2. Resistance to Combat Shock - highly motivated troops are less affected by the temporary impact of suppression upon Morale. They are less psychologically affected by being shot at and better desensitised to the immediate impact of seeing team/squadmates killed & wounded than their less motivated counterparts.

This characteristic is cumulative with Experience and Leadership.

3. Resistance to Panic and Breaking - highly motivated troops can be Shaken but are less likely to Panic and try to run from the fight to save themselves. They are also more likely to recover to a positive morale state after being Shaken than less motivated troops and are less likely to become Broken and Brittle.

Fanatic units will not surrender.


Fatigue

Fatigue is the physical effect of running around and using up energy.

Fatigue states best to worst are;
 

Rested > Ready > Tiring > Tired > Fatigued > Exhausted


Tired troops cannot Fast Move.

Fatigued troops cannot Fast, Assault or Hunt Move.

Exhausted troops cannot Fast, Assault, Hunt or Quick Move.

More tired troops do not move slower than less tired troops moving at the same movement command, ie Unfit troops moving at Fast Move, cover distance at the same rate as Fit troops moving at Fast Move, they just won't be able to keep up that pace for as long.

Keeping troops stationary recovers their fatigue relatively quickly. Hiding troops has no additional benefit.

Troops will recover fatigue whilst at the Move but it is at a slower rate.

Experience, Leadership and Motivation do not effect Fatigue states or recovery times.

Fatigue has no effect on Morale either from Combat Stress or Combat Shock.

Fatigue has no effect on accuracy nor the range at which targets are engaged at.



Fitness

Fitness represents a units physical resistance to Fatigue.

Fitness states from best to worst are;
 

Fit > Weakened > Unfit

 

Fitness has 3 characteristics which effect unit behaviour under physical exertion;

1. Fitter troops tire less quickly from Fast Move (sprinting), Slow Move (crawling) and Quick Move (jogging).

2. Fitter troops recover from tired states sooner than less fit troops.

3. Weakened and Unfit troops recover fatigue on the Move extremely slowly.

 

Closing

All of the conclusions made above have been arrived at through thorough isolation and testing procedures which can be backed up by video evidence.

There is more stuff in the CMx2 engine to dig up than what has been uncovered here but for now I'm unable to go further into this rabbit hole.

Hopefully the information presented here clears up some of the historical confusions that have been around on the various forums. It may also affect the way in which unit purchases are thought about, and hopefully it allows players to make better informed tactical decisions and enhance the way their game is played.

Josey Wales updated 24/09/17

Edited by Josey Wales

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I was a fan of your documentaries, and now I am a fan too of your essays :)

Just a note for the opening, which I find a bit ambiguous. Units can gravitate back from rattled as time goes by, provided they haven't panicked (as in entering the Panic status leaving a red frame around the morale status box). Going from rattled to nervous takes substantial time (measured in tens of minutes), which usually writes off such units in scenarios depicting firefights and set piece attacks (20 to 45 minutes).

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7 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

I was a fan of your documentaries, and now I am a fan too of your essays :)

Just a note for the opening, which I find a bit ambiguous. Units can gravitate back from rattled as time goes by, provided they haven't panicked (as in entering the Panic status leaving a red frame around the morale status box). Going from rattled to nervous takes substantial time (measured in tens of minutes), which usually writes off such units in scenarios depicting firefights and set piece attacks (20 to 45 minutes).

 

Thanks BletchleyGeek, much appreciated.

I've looked into your point about Rattled units recovering and I'm afraid to say that I cannot observe it.

In the example below I have a Veteran squad with +1 Leadership, +1 Motivation and within C2 link of its HQ.

I get it into a persistent Morale state of Rattled with a combination of casualty build up from the other 2 squads in the platoon and casualty build up from the squad itself.

The squad at no point becomes Shaken or Panic ('ked) even though it was also suffering from the impact of Combat Shock on morale, it never dropped below Rattled.

The timer started once the suppression wore off and the unit was ordered to hide behind the wall to ensure no further incoming fire.

Although difficult to see in the image, the countdown timer is at 1hr 22 mins.

 

Z8IM5gB.jpg

 

 

At the 2 minute countdown mark the squad is still Rattled. A full 1hr 20mins after they first become Rattled. Again, this is a Veteran unit with  +1 Leadership, +1 Motivation and within C2 link of its HQ. There is also no LOS to any enemy and no incoming fire for the same duration. This result is repeatable and it makes no difference if I move the squad and its HQ to the other side of the map after the contact, there is still no recovery from the Rattled state. I even ran a longer test and after 3 hours, no recovery was seen.

m19rq1w.jpg

 

Conclusion;

Rattled is a persistent Morale state in the same way that Ok, Cautious, Nervous and Broken are and that these states, once reached as a result from Combat Stress, cannot be recovered from.

 

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The squad at no point becomes Shaken or Panic ('ked) even though it was also suffering from the impact of Combat Shock on morale, it never dropped below Rattled.

The timer started once the suppression wore off and the unit was ordered to hide behind the wall to ensure no further incoming fire.

Although difficult to see in the image, the countdown timer is at 1hr 22 mins.

 

Z8IM5gB.jpg

 

 

At the 2 minute countdown mark the squad is still Rattled. A full 1hr 20mins after they first become Rattled. Again, this is a Veteran unit with  +1 Leadership, +1 Motivation and within C2 link of its HQ. There is also no LOS to any enemy and no incoming fire for the same duration. This result is repeatable and it makes no difference if I move the squad and its HQ to the other side of the map after the contact, there is still no recovery from the Rattled state. I even ran a longer test and after 3 hours, no recovery was seen.

Thanks very much for your answer @Josey Wales.

What you describe contradicts previous observations of mine in a small test scenario I made for CMFI 3.0 to compare the TACAI behaviour with that of CMBN 4.0. I haven't tested in 4.0 and neither I am sure that the "lateral" morale impacts you describe were applicable. 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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20 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

@Josey Wales Very good information.  Thank you for doing this. 

 

18 hours ago, Erwin said:

Thank you.  Very useful info.  And well written and explained.  Explained so many things in a clear and easy to understand way.  You should be writing the manuals.

 

14 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Excellent information here, and the videos are well done as usual as well! Thanks for taking the time to put all this together!

 

28 minutes ago, c3k said:

@Josey Wales,

Outstanding! 

Thanks for doing this and posting it here.

 

Thanks for the feedback, hope the information is useful to you.

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Hi @Josey Wales,

Quote

Conclusion;

Rattled is a persistent Morale state in the same way that Ok, Cautious, Nervous and Broken are and that these states, once reached as a result from Combat Stress, cannot be recovered from.

 

I have found a counterexample for the statement above. Morale states can revert from Rattled to Nervous. The time scale involved is - to my surprise - way quicker than I remembered.

On this https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tbpjfrvj3i01rub/AACogpI-g3Qg9YQGF43okxHga?dl=0 Dropbox Folder you will find

  • A small scenario depicting a platoon attack on a fortified position. It is inspired on Plate E, page 37 of Osprey's World War II Infantry Tactics: Squad and Platoon. I enlarged the scope of the action depicted there to encompass a whole British platoon, and I have used for years now as a baseline to see the impact of changes in the engine to implement fire and maneuver. (Couldn't find my little CMFI scenario after all, this makes the point nicely too).
  • A sequence of saves (Elite, Real Time, CMBN complete with v4.0 patch on top), covering initial orders and specific points in time where some unit morale state changed into Rattled, and Back to. The counterexample can be found between the saves labelled as "20 46" and "19 57". The unit that displays the ability to change its morale state back from Rattled is the A Detachment of 2nd Section (which can be found more or less in the middle of the map).

This video covers one of several runs I did of the game between the time marks 20:46 and 19:57. In three out of three runs, the game (I like to think it better of a simulation, though) played out like this

The detachment morale state changes from Rattled, directly, to Cautious and then, back down to Nervous out between 0:25 and 0:36 in the video.

Some interpretations, one made jokingly, the rest more seriously:

  • The British pixeltruppen are made of sterner bits than the GI pixeltruppen :)
  • Your conclusion is not consistent with some of the artificial facts the engine, under version 4.0, can generate under repeatable and documented conditions.
  • What you rightly call combat stress comes in degrees,
  • leadership and unit experience do not translate into resilience in a direct, intuitive manner 
  • units reactions to morale states may be impacted by environmental effects such as units feeling "protected" (as long as they don't try to jump over any fences) from known positions of enemy units (in the cover image we can see these three simulated soldiers to be behind a reassuring reverse slope, out of sight of the known enemy contacts beyond)
  • direct contact with senior officers may be the element with the stronger effect, amongst all the other factors that seem to us intuitively relevant

Still a great post, @Josey Wales - I don't post on these forums often because there's not much of interest to discuss. You made it interesting :)

Edited by BletchleyGeek
A thousand little typos

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@BletchleyGeek

The  Morale state of Rattled shown in the video is due in part  to the suppression (Combat Shock) and not completely due to casualty build up (Combat Stress)

Once the suppression is lifted, the unit returns to Cautious. The unit only recovers to Cautious and not OK because of Combat Stress suffered due to casualty build up.

I'll wager that another unit within the Plt takes a casualty which is why the persistent Morale state then drops down to Nervous. Either that or there is some hysteresis in the system between cause and effect.

The important thing to be clear on is the difference between Temporary Morale State due to suppression (Combat Shock) and Persistent Morale State due to casualty build up (Combat Stress).

Units in a Persistent Morale State due to Combat Stress (casualty build up) cannot recover to a higher state, however units in a Temporary Morale State due to Combat Shock (suppression) can once the suppression has lifted as shown in your video.

Edited by Josey Wales

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I'll wager that another unit within the Plt takes a casualty which is why the persistent Morale state then drops down to Nervous. Either that or there is some hysteresis in the system between cause and effect.

Probably yes, another casualty in the same squad or platoon may tip this unit into a persistent Rattled state.

That doesn't change that your theory and previous explicit statements are still not consistent with this counterexample.

I have made my point, and so it is recorded in this thread. If the idea behind this thread was to increase the understanding of the community, I think we have made progress. 

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@BletchleyGeek

You seem to be saying that your example invalidates my findings?

If you are trying to make the point that a persistent morale state can be recovered from then it would be simple to prove. Just show a unit moving from Rattled to Nervous without a change in the suppression indicator (or change in Leadership modifier - see Leadership).

In the example you showed it can be seen that the suppression indicator drops off before the morale state moves from Rattled to Cautious thereby indicating that the morale state of Rattled was caused by the suppression. This is in line with my findings (see Combat Shock) and so nothing requires refinement based on your example.

In my original post videos, units are also seen recovering from Rattled back up to Ok or Nervous, but this is because the suppression (and thereby Combat Shock) has worn off.

 

 

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@BletchleyGeek

Your original comment implies a couple of things which have not been observed;

1. That units can recover from Rattled over a period of 20 to 45 mins suggests that the effect on Morale from Combat Stress caused by casualty build up wears off over time.

2. That this only happens with Rattled if the unit has not previously become Panic'd

To clear any misunderstanding, I have not claimed that the Rattled state cannot be recovered from. I have only made this claim about the Broken state.

What I have said is that any state (other then Shaken, Panic'd or Broken) cannot be recovered from if the state has been arrived at as a result of Combat Stress. This includes the Rattled state.

In other words it's the factors that cause the state to be arrived at rather than the state itself that determine if the unit will recover to a higher state.

If the state is caused by Combat Shock (suppression) then it will recover. If the state is caused by Combat Stress (casualty build up) then it won't.

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Your original comment implies a couple of things which have not been observed

Yep, I understand that. 

Quote

To clear any misunderstanding, I have not claimed that the Rattled state cannot be recovered from. I have only made this claim about the Broken state.

That I misunderstood: I was left with a bit ? hovering over my head after reading the conclusions you drew at the end of your answer to my first query.

Quote

If the state is caused by Combat Stress (casualty build up) then it won't.

In the movie I posted, we have unit that, according to your definition, accrues Combat Stress, as it has taken 1 casualty. So, still under your definition, if I am not missing anything which is entirely possible, whenever the unit becomes Shaken (it did) it will stay Rattled, that is, it won't get out of that Morale state. That's one of the things I understood you were stating, and certainly that is not the case on the movie I posted. The detachment suffered casualties yet still got out of the Rattled state.

Is that an outlier for your "model" of the CMx2 simulation algorithms? I think so. From your observations and mine there seems to be a "point of no return" when accruing Combat Stress. Which we cannot observe because the user interface doesn't show us. I also think that the discussion about the nature of this "point of no return" is something which is worth to talk (and write) about. As it can be observed on the movie (and in the saved game provided if you let the game run) the unit is actually hovering between Cautious and Nervous in quick succession. That flip-flop behaviour seems to be the way CMx2 portrays "jumpy" men.

I do think you're right into the money that there are two different processes (?) in play here: which you aptly call Combat Shock and Stress. You have drawn a dychotomy between the two beyond using different names: in the former, morale states are transient in either direction of the morale "scale", in the latter, morale states are persistent in their "negativity". They may change for the worse (Broken into Panic) but you will not get out of Broken. But the twilight zone between either zone of the morale scale does not seem to be a stark contrast, but actually rather blurry.

The confusing bit is that there is some overlap in how the UI lets us know about what is going on. As you say, we have on one side OK, Cautious, Nervous, on the other side, Broken, Panic. Rattled and Shaken seem to be on the middle, and always short term states, where it is decided whether the unit has fallen on one side of the balance or the other.

Cheers :)

And yes, any morale status resulting from this thread are entirely temporary!

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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