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Morale is the willingness of men to fight. In EU2, morale is modeled with numbers: every military unit has a current morale level, and a maximum morale, which range from 0 up to 7.0.

Effects of Morale

Morale has only one effect in the game, albeit an important one. A military unit that has been reduced to 0 morale cannot stand in combat; if it fights it will be forced to retreat.

Initial Morale and Changes in Morale

When a unit first appears on the map after its recruitment, it will have low morale, about 1/10 of its maximum morale (see below). Thus, newly built units are very easy to beat in combat. If you can't cover an enemy country completely, it is often worthwhile to go around and stomp its newly-recruited armies.

A unit with nonzero morale will fight if it is co-located with an enemy military unit of the same type (land or naval), and for naval forces, if they encounter each other. One effect of combat is that both sides inflict morale damage on the other. The side that hits zero morale first will break off the combat and retreat.

Every military unit has a maximum morale level. When it is not in combat at the end of a month, a unit will recover 30% of its maximum morale, or up to the maximum, whichever is less. Thus, three or four months after battle, every unit will have its maximum morale unless it sees more combat. Units that lose a battle do not usually remain at near-zero morale unless they have retreated as a result of a player's command. Units automatically retreating from battle are set to 0.5 morale; thus, they can return to maximum morale within thee months unless their maximum morale is greater than 5.0. Units also get a large morale boost immediately upon winning a battle.

When circumstances in the game change, maximum morale can fall. The discharge rate for morale is also 30% of the new lower morale. That means actual morale for military units may temporarily exceed the maximum morale; and actual morale will likely continue to fall the first, second, third, and fourth months following bankruptcy. One occasionally useful trick you can use, if you fight a lot at 50% maintenance, is to raise your maintenance level to 100% when you are about to win a battle. As soon as you win, set maintenance right back down to 50%. This costs nothing (except for micromanagement). The unit which won the battle is now has high morale, as if it was 100% maintained, until the end of the month. If it gets in another battle before the end of the month, the extra morale may make a difference. For most countries, the gain in morale is more than 30% of their 50%-maintenance morale level; thus, the morale boost will persist into the following month, although only slightly.

Maximum Morale

Maximum morale for a country is computed from many factors: its technology levels, its domestic policies, its monarch, and several miscellaneous factors. Although the calculations are done similarly, the maximum morale for land units and naval units are separate, and often differ. However, all military units of either type (land or sea) owned by a particular country have the same maximum morale as each other.

How to Calculate Maximum Morale

A country's maximum morale for a land (naval) units is computed as follows. Start with the base morale that is established by the land (naval) technology. This morale level ranges from 1.5 at tech level 0, up to 6.0 (5.0) at tech level 60; see the Base Morale column in the tech tables for land tech and naval tech.

Next, we add or subtract morale bonuses based on several factors:

  • domestic policy
  • state religion
  • maintenance level
  • monarch military skill
  • defender of the faith

These bonuses are detailed in the following sections. Different domestic policies affect land and naval morale; the other factors are the same for both.

Next, if the country has had a bankruptcy within the last 5 years, its maximum morale is halved.

Finally, maximum morale has its own maximum: 7.0. If the preceding calculation results in a number higher than 7.0, use 7.0 instead.

Formula for Maximum Morale

The procedure outlined above can be written more succinctly as follows:

Maximum_morale = (base_morale(tech) + domestic_policy_bonus + religion_bonus +
                  maintenance_bonus + monarch_bonus + dotf_bonus) * bankruptcy_factor
Maximum_morale = minimum(7.0, Maximum_morale)

Domestic Policy Bonus (for Land Morale)

Four of the domestic policy slider affect land morale:

So the maximum bonus is +1.200 and the biggest penalty is -0.700

The exact bonus/penalties for the four domestic policies are shown here:

            [left   .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .   right]
DP            0     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10
Offensive   -.20  -.16  -.12  -.08  -.04    0   +.04  +.08  +.12  +.16  +.20
Land          0     0     0     0     0     0   +.10  +.20  +.30  +.40  +.50
Quality     -.25  -.20  -.15  -.10  -.05    0   +.05  +.10  +.15  +.20  +.25
Serfdom     +.25  +.20  +.15  +.10  +.05    0   -.05  -.10  -.15  -.20  -.25

Domestic Policy Bonus (for Naval Morale)

Only one slider affects naval morale: the land slider.

  • Land: +0.500 to +0.000
            [left   .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .   right]
DP            0     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10
Land        +.5   +.4   +.3   +.2   +.1     0     0     0     0     0      0

State Religion Bonus

The state religion affects the morale of all military units.

  • Shiite, Hinduism, or Counterreform Catholic: +0.500
  • Other state religions: 0.000

Maintenance Bonus

Separate sliders exist for land maintenance and for naval maintenance. These may be set from 50% spending (all the way left) to 100% (all the way right). The effect of maintenance is based on the base_morale for the tech level. It is as follows:

Maintenance_factor = 0.500 – [base_morale(tech) * (1.0 - maintenance percentage) / 2]

Most players use 50% maintenance at all times except for 100% during a few well-chosen months. These two maintenance levels give the following bonuses:

Maintenance slider     Maintenance_bonus   
50%  (fully left)      0.5 – [base_morale(tech) * .25]
100% (fully right)     0.5

Note that 50% maintenance does not mean 50% of max morale: rather, it gives 3/4 of the base morale, and the actual effect on maximum morale (after adding in the 0.5 and other bonuses) is usually to only drop it by 20% or so. For this reason, many good players never raise maintenance, ever. If you can't win at 50% maintenance... don't fight that war.

Monarch Bonus

The military rating of your monarch (MIL) gives a bonus/penalty to your morale

Monarch_bonus = (MIL - 5) * 0.0625

Effective MIL for this purpose ranges from 1 to 9, so that the bonus ranges from -0.25 to 0.25.

Defender of the Faith Bonus

If a country has claimed the title "Defender of the Faith" for its state religion, it gets a morale bonus of 0.5.

dotf_bonus = 0.5

Bankruptcy Factor

The bankruptcy factor is 1.0 normally (no bankruptcy).

bankruptcy_factor = 1.0

If a country has gone bankrupt in the last 60 months:

bankruptcy_factor = 0.5