Dynamic Morale

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Supply and Morale There has to be a point to getting supplies to all your units in SEOW, right? Well, yes, there is a point. If you don't supply your units often enough, they will run out of supplies. If a unit runs out of supplies, several things happen:

  • The unit stops moving - stops dead.
  • The unit stops fighting - it is a defenceless target.
  • The unit's morale declines.

If items 1 and 2 aren't bad enough, then 3 is the real killer. But before I tell you why, here is something background to Morale in SEOW.

What is Morale?

Morale is a measure of how motivated and committed a unit is to the aims of the campaign. Units with high morale will fight on regardless of enemy numbers and regardless of their own proximity to safety. On the other hand, units with low morale may simply give up. Good commanders keep their forces at high morale levels.

In SEOW, each unit can be in one of 5 morale states:


Morale State Internal Morale Value

Excellent 4

High 3

Average 2

Poor 1

Desperate 0

The starting morales for Allied and Axis forces are set at campaign initialization time using DCS options new in SEOW3.1.0. Thereafter SEOW tracks the morale of each unit individually throughout the campaign. Morale information is displayed inside each unit's tooltip (see Supply Tracking thread).

How Does Morale Change?

Morale can only drop under two circumstances:

  • The unit is out of supply.
  • The unit is close to a civilian party that is in distress.

Alternatively, morale can increase under three circumstances:

  • The unit receives supplies.
  • The unit is close to a friendly leadership (or morale influencing) unit.
  • The unit is close to a civilian party that is feeling positive.

The method for calculating the morale update is as follows:

At the end of each mission, each unit is allocated a morale increment of zero (0). If supplies are needed, each unit searches for nearby supplies. If it finds some, no matter how few, the unit's morale increment goes up by +1. If no supplies are found, and the unit is completely out of supply, -1 is added to its morale increment. Then all nearby friendly units are polled to find out if they are leadership units. If any leadership units are found, the morale increment is increased by the Morale_Influence value for that unit type. Then, morale is changed according to whether any civilian parties are found nearby. For each civilian party found, a die is rolled. Eighty percent of the time, the civilian party is feeling positive and its Morale_Influence value is added to the unit's morale increment. The other twenty percent of the time, the civilian unit is deemed to be in distress and its Morale_Influence value is subtracted from the unit's morale increment. Finally, after all that, the total morale increment is scaled back to -1, 0 or +1, and added to the unit's previous morale state. No unit can change more than one morale level up or down per mission.

Let's try an example. Suppose a T-40M tank platoon has morale state Average (morale=2). It finishes a mission with 23% fuel capacity, and is near 2 GAZ buses (civilian parties), a GAZ-M1 Kommissar car, another T-60 platoon, and an 85mm Flak gun. The default SEDB31 Object_Specifications table lists the following Morale_Influence values (these can be edited for campaign designers):


Object_Type Morale_Influence

T-40M 0

T-60 0

GAZ Bus 1

GAZ M1 1

85mm Zenit 1

Starting with a morale increment of 0, the T-40M platoon searches for supplies but doesn't find any. That's bad, but it has morale of Average, so it keeps its chin up after this setback: morale increment still equals 0. Next it seeks leadership influences from friendly units around it. The T-60 platoon has a Morale_Influence of 0, no help there: morale increment still equals 0. Next the GAZ bus, a dice is rolled and it comes up 13%, so the bus is in distress! The T-40M platoon sympathizes: morale increment drops to -1. The second civilian GAZ bus gets a die roll of 35% - perfectly happy state: morale increment is raised by one = 0. Looking for more leadership, the T-40M finds the nearby GAZ-M1 Kommissar who waves his pistol and rallies the T-40M platoon further: morale increment = 0 + 1 = 1. Finally, the T-40M sees the heavy flak unit nearby, always an encouraging sign: morale increment = 1 + 1 = 2. The morale increment is finally +2, so the T-40M platoon will raise its morale state. Noting that morale state can only raise or lower by one level at the end of any mission, the T-40M achieves a final morale state of "High" (but it's fuel state is a matter for concern).

The process is repeated for every other undestroyed unit on the map, including civilian and leadership units. No unit can influence its own morale.

Here is a list of hard-coded civilian units in SEOW:

"Bus_US", "GAZ_Bus", "Germany_CivilTrain", "USSR_CivilTrain"

Here is a list of default leadership objects (with non-zero Morale_Influence values) in SEOW:


Object_Type Verbose_Names_Allies Role_Description

Bofors_40mm_UK 40mm Bofors UK Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Bofors_40mm_US 40mm Bofors US Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Flak18_37mm 37mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Flak18_88mm 88mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Flak30_20mm 20mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Flak38_20mm 20mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Maxime4 4x7.62 Maxime AAA Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

StBofors_40mm_UK 40mm Bofors (UK, Stand) Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

StBofors_40mm_US 40mm Bofors (US, Stand) Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Trip25mm_JA 3x25mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Twin25mm_JA 2x25mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Type88_75mm_JA 75mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Type94_37mm_JA 37mm Artillery Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Type98_20mm_JA 20mm Flak Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Zenit25mm_1940 25mm 72-K AAA Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Zenit3K 76mm 3-K AAA Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Zenit61K 37mm 61-K AAA Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Zenit85mm_1939 85mm 1939-K AAA Artillery: Anti-Aircraft

Germany_CivilTrain Passenger Train Rail: Civil Train

USSR_CivilTrain Civil Train Rail: Civil Train

Germany_CargoFuelTrain Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_CargoTrain Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_CargoTrain/AA Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_CargoTrainA Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_CargoTrainA/AA Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_CommandStaffTrain/AA Staff Train Rail: Transport

Germany_EquipmentATrain/AA Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_EquipmentBTrain/AA Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_EquipmentCTrain/AA Freight Train Rail: Transport

Germany_FuelTrain/AA Freight Train Rail: Transport

USSR_CargoFuelTrain Cargo Fuel Train Rail: Transport

USSR_CargoTrain Cargo Train Rail: Transport

USSR_CargoTrain/AA Cargo Train AA Rail: Transport

USSR_CargoTrainA Cargo A Train Rail: Transport

USSR_CargoTrainA/AA Cargo A Train AA Rail: Transport

USSR_CommandStaffTrain/AA Staff Train AA Rail: Transport

USSR_EquipmentATrain/AA Equipment A Train AA Rail: Transport

USSR_EquipmentBTrain/AA Equipment B Train AA Rail: Transport

USSR_EquipmentCTrain/AA Equipment C Train AA Rail: Transport

USSR_FuelTrain/AA Fuel Train AA Rail: Transport

USSR_MBV2 MBV-2 Armoured Train Rail: Transport

USSR_MBV2/AA MBV-2 Armoured Train AA Rail: Transport

Coelian Coelian 2x37mm Flak Tank: Anti-Aircraft

Nimrod Nimrod AAA Tank: Anti-Aircraft

Wirbelwind Wirbelwind Tank: Anti-Aircraft

ZSU-37 ZSU-37 37mm AAA Tank: Anti-Aircraft

HaGoRadio Ha-Go Radio Tank: Standard Armor

GermanyCarsColumnC Armoured Staff Column Vehicle: Engineers

JapanCarsColumnB Engineers Column Vehicle: Engineers

RussiaCarsColumnC Engineers.Co Vehicle: Engineers

USACarsColumnC Co.HQ Vehicle: Engineers

Bus_US Bus Vehicle: Transport

Chevrolet_medic_US Chevrolet Ambulance Vehicle: Transport

Chevrolet_radio_US Chevrolet Radio Vehicle: Transport

GAZ_55 GAZ-55 Medic Vehicle: Transport

GAZ_Bus GAZ Bus Vehicle: Transport

GAZ_M1 GAZ-M1 Emka Vehicle: Transport

GermanyCarsColumnA Staff Column Vehicle: Transport

GermanyCarsColumnB Engineer Colum Vehicle: Transport

GermanyCarsColumnD Scout Column Vehicle: Transport

GermanyCarsColumnE Supply Column Vehicle: Transport

JapanCarsColumnA Staff Column Vehicle: Transport

JapanCarsColumnC Supply Column Vehicle: Transport

OpelBlitz6700A_medic Opel Blitz Ambulance Vehicle: Transport

OpelBlitz6700A_radio Opel Blitz Radio Vehicle: Transport

RussiaCarsColumnA Staff Column Vehicle: Transport

RussiaCarsColumnB Supply.Co Vehicle: Transport

RussiaCarsColumnD Artillery.Co(Katyusha) Vehicle: Transport

RussiaCarsColumnE Artillery.Co(BM-13N) Vehicle: Transport

USACarsColumnA Supply.Co Vehicle: Transport

USACarsColumnB Engineers.Co Vehicle: Transport

ZIS5_medic ZIS-5 Ambulance Vehicle: Transport

ZIS5_radio ZIS-5 Radio Vehicle: Transport

Any non-flying object can be set to have leadership properties in SEOW simply by editing the associated Morale_Influence field of the Object_Specifications table. Values must be positive integers or zero. Lastly, the measure of "nearby" for assessing morale increments and supply proximity is the normal radius of control.

What Happens to Desperate Units?

  • The last thing a commander wants is a desperate unit (morale=0). Desperate units are liable to either desert, which means "spike their weapons and run away, never to return", or even surrender, which means "spike their weapons and give themselves up". Both outcomes are devastating for the friendly commander, as all equipment is lost, even whole ships.
  • In technical terms, after all resupplies and morale increments are made, SEOW cycles through ALL desperate units and calculates the number of non-desperate enemy units within the normal control radius.
  • If there are NO nearby non-desperate enemy units, i.e. the desperate unit is not under threat, a die is rolled to determine whether the desperate unit will desert. The critical die roll percentage depends on the desperate unit's fuel state. An unthreatened desperate unit will desert with a chance of approximately 10%.
  • If the desperate unit is threatened, it will surrender more than 50% of the time. The more non-desperate enemies nearby the higher the chance of surrender.
  • To sum up, the whole point of morale is to simulate the effects of combat stress and lack of supply on fighting forces. Keep your forces in good supply and close to leadership units and flak support. If you fail to do so, your forces will lose heart, stop fighting and then desert or surrender. Then you will be a failed commander, joining the list of those forgotten commanders who have failed to maintain their own supply lines and troop morale before you.