We have a little problem here.
How can you pursue an opponent if the «Pursue» order is applied in step 4 of the Execution Phase Sequence and the Put to Flight («Flee» and «Panic») and «Retreat» orders are applied in step 6?
Here is my understanding of the rules.
A unit is in melee and has the «shaken» status at the begining of the turn. It has to make a Fortitude test in the Morale phase. Let's say it fails, and so, must automatically take the «Flee» order.
The opponent player thus apply the «Pursue» order to the engaged enemy unit. He knows the other unit HAS to flee, so he can order it in the Planning phase.
But how can he pursue (step 4) when the other unit haven't fled yet (step 6)!
Also, on page 17 (PDF version) the rules states:«If the unit is Hesitant, Shaken, or Panicked, and not engaged in melee combat, it must make a Fortitude Test during the Morale Phase each turn (see The Morale Phase).»
And the Morale Phase states (PDF, p.15):
«All units that are Hesitant, Shaken, or Panicked must make a Fortitude Test. If a unit passes this test, its Morale Level will improve. If it fails, the Morale Level does not change (see Unit Morale).»
Does it means that when engaged in melee a unit DO or do NOT make a Fortitude Test in the Morale Phase?
How do you apply the Pursue order?
Does a unit in melee make a Fortitude test in the Morale phase?
What are the rules?
I'm sorry to hear that you have had trouble with the rules to the Art of Tactic. Here are the answers to your questions:
Question 1: Put to Flight
I think the confusion here is in the sequence of events. Basically, a unit that has Pursue orders does not move at the same time as a unit that flees or retreats. Let's take a closer look:
A unit in combat that is Hesitant or Shaken may be Put to Flight if it fails any Fortitude Test during combat. When a unit is Put to Flight, you MUST give that unit either Flee or Panic orders (as appropriate) during the NEXT turn. The unit does not move at this point. (See "Put to Flight" on page 16 of the rulebook.)
In the next turn, that unit will move away from the combat, but not until AFTER the melee step of the Execution Phase. (See "Execution Phase Sequence" on page 4 of the rulebook.) Until the unit actually withdraws from melee (during Step 6 of the Execution Phase), the enemy unit is still engaged with it, so it cannot move. Yes, this means that after a unit fails a Fortitude Test and "breaks", the enemy will get one more chance to attack before they can get away!
After the fleeing unit moves (in Step 6), the enemy may be forced to pursue. If there are no other enemies for it to attack, it must make a Fortitude Test. If it fails that test, then it must be given the Pursue order for the following turn. Units that have Pursue orders move during Step 3, following the fleeing unit as far as possible. (See "Ending Melee Combat" on pages 15 & 16 of the rulebook.)
So, basically, the sequence of events goes like this:
Two units engage in melee combat. The yellow unit is suffering from poor morale (they are Hesitant). During the fighting, this unit suffers 1 casualty, so it must make a Fortitude Test, which it fails. That unit is now Shaken. We say that this unit is "Put to Flight". Nothing else happens to either unit this turn.
A. Because the yellow unit is Shaken, it must be given the Flee order this turn. The red unit may be given the Retreat order, or it can stay and fight. In this case, it stays to fight, hoping to finish off the yellow unit.
B. Both units fight in melee during Step 5 of the Execution Phase (note that the yellow unit suffers a penalty because it is Shaken). Let's assume that the yellow unit survives this round of combat.
C. In Step 6, the yellow unit (finally!) gets to move away from the red unit. It makes a Flee move, and must move directly towards its HQ, following the shortest route.
D. Now that the only enemy unit in melee has run away, the red unit must make a Fortitude Test, which it fails. The morale of the red unit does not change. Instead, it MUST pursue the fleeing yellow unit. But it doesn't get to move yet.
A. Since the yellow unit is not in melee, it now gets to make a Fortitude Test to try to recover. If it fails this test, it remains Shaken and must be given the Flee order again. If it succeeds, it will return to Hesitant, and you can give it orders as normal.
B. In the Planning Phase, the pursuing unit must be given the Pursue order. It does not matter if the fleeing unit is still running away or not: they are so excited by the victory that they charge ahead regardless!
C. In Step 3 of the Execution Phase, the red unit must move directly towards the yellow unit by the shortest possible path. If it can reach the yellow unit, they will engage in melee again (resolved in Step 5).
D. Let's assume that the yellow unit failed its Fortitude Test during the Morale Phase (part A, above). It doesn't move until Step 6 of the Execution Phase. So, if the red unit catches up to it, and it somehow survives yet another round of combat, it will again move (towards it's HQ) at the end of this turn (which may force the red unit to test Fortitude or be forced to Pursue again, etc.).
Question 2: Morale Phase
As the rules say on page 17, units that are engaged in melee combat do not make a Fortitude Test during the Morale Phase. They are too busy fighting for their lives to regroup! This should have been stated on page 15 also. Sorry for the oversight!
I hope that clears up all of your questions. If there is anything else I can help you with, please feel free to e-mail me directly at email@example.com.
Thank you for your fast answer!
I think there is a problem of translation for the «Put to Flight» rule.
In your answer, you say:
«A unit in combat that is Hesitant or Shaken may be Put to Flight if it fails any Fortitude Test during combat. When a unit is Put to Flight, you MUST give that unit either Flee or Panic orders (as appropriate) during the NEXT turn. The unit does not move at this point. (page 16)»
And a little later, the rules seems to have changed:
«Because the yellow unit is Shaken, it must be given the Flee order this turn.»
So a unit that is shaken MUST be given the flee order next turn or MAY be «Put to Flight» (Flee order in that case) after failing a Fortitude Test?
Thanks again for your support.
And by the way, AoT is a great game!