Chris Kemp’s Not Quite Mechanised
MORALE AND UNIT GRADING
A unit will take a BREAK TEST as its key level of casualties are reached in a battle. Use 1D6 and refer to the CLOSE ASSAULT Table 9. The unit passing a break test may continue to attack if the odds are against it, or need not withdraw, or surrender depending on the circumstances. Having passed the test, the unit’s resolve is judged to be firm enough to fight on to the finish (with one exception – see Tank Terror). A unit that has failed its break test is disorganised, and must reorganise in a safe place before it can fight again. A disorganised unit which is assaulted by an enemy will disperse and reform overnight at its Divisional Logistics Area (DLA), or surrender if retreat is not possible. Note that veterans may break off an attack without becoming disorganised, and militia may press on attacks when disorganised.
Failure to Press Home an Attack
The attacker who fails to pass his break test may come to a halt and engage the defender in a firefight, or withdraw to a safe distance, at his own discretion. The attack may only be pressed home if it is then reinforced with previously unengaged reserves. This may be reserve companies of the battalion, or extra artillery support, for example. Note that units which cause fewer casualties than they receive from the defender in any one round must also receive reinforcements before they can press home an attack. Note that armour, and troops in armoured personnel carriers (APCs) or riding on tanks can close assault even if they do not win the firefight. They will however take any red pins as permanent black casualties to reflect the high risk of this tactic.
A unit may only withdraw if its line of retreat is clear, that is out of the effective fire zone of troops capable of direct fire, and if the retreating troops are at least as mobile as the pursuers. Broken defenders may elect to sit tight in their position in the hope that the attacker is unable to press home his attack, but if he does, then the close assault overruns the defender, who surrenders at no further loss to the attacker.
House Rule – Restoring Discipline
Every gaming group has its own house rules. Here is one of ours:
For the Eastern Front, we allow Commissars and fanatical Axis unit headquarters to shore up the morale of their own unit to pass a morale test by firing one CU at their own unit. The casualties are taken off immediately as black pins and the unit automatically passes its own morale test. This decision may be taken after the original test is failed and represents the brutal extent that both sides went to in order to keep their own troops in the line of battle.