Can a player pass during the order phase i.e. not take an order cube OR do they have to take an order cube, pay the initiative and then do nothing?
You take an order cube then you can choose to carry out the order or do nothing i.e. Pass.
Rule section 3.0 step 5.
I agree with your answer, but I'm not sure how section 3 (Units) answers it...Am I missing something?
Rule sections 20 and 30 seem to answer it:
The player with the Initiative will perform a single order. Every order costs a certain amount of Initiative to perform, depending on which row the order cube was removed from. At the end of every order players check to see if the turn ends [21.12]. Then, whichever player has the Initiative – which could be the same player – performs the next order.
To give an order, a player performs the following sequence:
1) Remove any one order cube from the Order Matrix.
2) Move the Initiative marker a number of spaces towards his opponent
equal to the number in the box from which the cube was taken.