Retreat and Routing
Retreat before Combat
A retreat is checked before each battle round of a given battle. This also include round #0, which is the first round of battle, before any shot is fired. If a retreat succeed at round #0, then we are in 'retreat before battle' and no damage will be impacted on the retreating stack.
A routing is a forced retreat, it works the same as a retreat, but is forced upon a faction because its morale has collapsed. Routing is decided at the faction level, not at the side level (meaning if GBR + IND fight against USA, then the IND faction can rout before the GBR). Routing works from that as a retreat, but with augmented losses during Pursuit.
Each stack check separately for a retreat, but if some already retreated, then the others get a bonus. Routing is always a success. Finally, there is an auto-retreat threshold, if the losses reach a certain %, then retreat ensue at the beginning of the next round, automatically.
NOTE: As retreat (or routing) is only checked at the start of each round, then a force can still be annihilated or suffers extremely high losses far above the auto-retreat threshold, if the opposing side has a devastating firepower compared to the resistance of the retreating stack.
Withdrawal During Combat
At the start of each combat round (beginning with the second round), both sides in a battle are checked to see if the commanding officer chooses to withdraw. The decision to withdraw from the battle is based on the relative strengths of the opposing forces, the Commanding officer’s aggressiveness (i.e. Offensive Rating), and the presence of fortifications. A Force that decides to withdraw (whether it is successful or not) has its command posture automatically changed to Passive for the remainder of the game turn.
- A Force that is surrounded by enemy controlled regions (i.e. all adjacent regions are at least 95% enemy-controlled) will never attempt to withdraw from battle.
- Forces conducting an Amphibious Assault may not withdraw.
Withdrawal Attempt Modifiers
A force that decides to withdraw must pass a Withdrawal check. The Withdrawal check is modified by:
- the existence of an ‘Evade Fight’ Special Order,
- the relative size of the opposing forces,
- a commanding officer’s Strategic Rating,
- the presence of cavalry (both friendly and enemy),
- a successful ‘Ambush’ Special Order,
- a Leader with a ‘Skirmisher’ Special Ability.
Failure to Withdraw
Forces that fail the Withdrawal check are forced to fight the upcoming combat round at a slight penalty. Such forces automatically attempt to withdraw at the beginning of each subsequent combat round. The chance of successfully withdrawing is increased with each successive combat round.
Successful Withdrawal from Battle
A Force that passes a Withdrawal check is considered to immediately withdraw from the battle—thus ending the battle before the start of the upcoming combat round. A Force that withdraws from battle is moved to a friendly-controlled adjacent region on the game map. If the Force has a ‘Seek Shelter’ Special Order and there is an unbesieged structure in the region where the battle took place, the Force is moved into the structure. Depending upon the level of enemy control, a withdrawing Force may be forced into another battle in the region it withdrew to.
Withdrawal vs. Rout Clarification
Disengaging from an enemy is a complicated maneuver once a battle has begun. Each turn, a Force is first checked to determine whether it will attempt to withdraw. If a decision is made to withdraw, the Force is then checked to see if the withdrawal is successful. A withdrawal from battle is an orderly procedure that seeks to put distance between opposing forces with minimal risk to the withdrawing force.
A Rout is an unwanted (i.e. involuntary) withdrawal from battle that occurs due an overall collapse of morale. It is an unorganized flight to safety conducted without leadership or purpose other than to get as far away from an enemy as quickly as possible. As a result, men and equipment are often abandoned. A Force which Routs is subject to additional casualties (Pursuit).
When too many elements on a side have routed (i.e. have failed a moral check), the army as a whole must pass a test. If this test is failed, all units on that side rout from the battle.