Morale is a measure of a unit's confidence and spirit during a battle. During a lengthy, protracted melee, the morale of the men is severely tested, and they will break and rout if it gets too low. This is indicated by the coloured bar at the top of each unit’s banner; when it is green morale is healthy, when it turns yellow a morale penalty is in place, when it turns red the unit is wavering and about to break and rout. The presence of the general alone can improve morale and highly-trained, elite units have much higher morale from the outset. Heroes also improve morale of those around them by their presence. Generals can also rally their men more effectively by use of their special regroup position, inspire and encourage abilities.
A unit or ship crew whose morale is broken due to casualties, fatigue or having to face overwhelming numbers of opponents will rout - break from combat and begin to leave the battlefield. There is a possibility that routers can be rallied, either by his presence or by use of the general's rally ability.
There is a chance that a routing unit can be persuaded to stay on the battlefield via the general's rally ability. To rally, click on the rally ability button with the general selected. The routers must be within the general's radius of influence for the rally to take effect. Units whose morale is shattered will not respond to the command to rally.
If a general is killed in battle whilst units or ships are routing they will become shattered, meaning that it will not be possible for them to be rallied from then on. Any units or ships that rout following a general's death will automatically become shattered, and even the presence of a more junior general cannot prevent this. Armies or fleets fielded without a general present at all will always become shattered if routed at any point.