Unit Morale is an extremely important characteristic of the military system, and a major influence on whether a battle is won or lost. Morale can be identified on the "Domestic Military Interface". Hover your cursor over the star(s) for land units and you get a unit Morale tool tip as illustrated below. This will show your maximum morale and its component factors. While certain bonuses may seem small (e.g. 0.5, etc.), considering a scale of morale over a 400 year period ranges from 0 to 9, every increment helps! The image below comes from an IN screenshot taken from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, at the end of the game, and represents an extremely high morale.
The most effective modifiers are land maintenance, land technology, and the military drill national idea: these three components can make up a total of a 7 bonus. The least effective modifiers are the bonuses from sliders: at their best, three sliders provide a total of 0.4 bonus!
- From Technology: Based on bonuses from land or naval technology level. (Ranges from 0 to 4)
- Current Ruler: Based on the military rating of the nation's ruler as a percentage (Ranges from 0.9 to 0.3)
- Government: An Empire's army units gain an additional 0.25 morale.
- Serfdom vs. Free Subjects: Free subjects can provide 0.2 morale boost
- Land vs. Naval: Land or naval emphasis can provide 0.1 morale.
- Offensive vs. Defensive: Offensive can provide 0.1 morale.
- National Idea: The Military Drill national idea provides a 1.0 boost to morale
- Defender of the Faith: Provides 0.5 bonus
- Advisors: The Grand Captain/Grand Admiral provide up to 0.3 land/naval morale (0.05 per advisor level).
- Land Maintenance: When the maintenance slider is set to maximum, a +2.0 morale bonus is achieved. When set to minimum, no morale bonus.
- Prestige: Divide prestige by 2 to identify the bonus (Ranges from 0 to +0.5)
- Triggered Modifier: Crusader (being at war with a country targeted by a crusade) grants 0.1 land morale.
- Difficulty Level: On very hard difficulty, the player loses -0.25 morale and the AI receives a 0.5 bonus.
Morale increases on the 1st of each month, at the same time reinforcements are received. This occurs whether the unit is retreating or not and is therefore received every month except when in actual combat. The morale of each regiment is increased by 30% of its maximum value. With this recovery rate we can see that the maximum morale level is a proper measure of the long-term ability of units to win battles as well as short-term. The rate of recovery means that it has the same impact on winning a battle 3 months into a campaign as it does on the battles at the start of a campaign.
Morale becomes even more important in the In Nomine expansion, due to two new rules:
- In the first 5 day shock phase, an army may not retreat.
- If an army is outnumbered by more than 2:1 and runs out of morale during the first 5 day shock phase, they are completely destroyed. This makes a failed assault an even greater danger to an army.