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The Break Meter adds another layer to gameplay and strategy by allowing a new route to defeat other than merely depleting Hit Points. It fills as a character is damaged and, when full, the character is "broken" and will be more vulnerable to attacks, be hit with Critical Hits more often, and/or be unable to act. Occasionally, attacks or skills will behave radically differently against a broken enemy, with popular changes including the skill knocking them into the air and/or smashing them to the ground. Sometimes, breaking a character does just that; the character flees the battle.

Sometimes, games will provide special skills or abilities that are geared for causing break damage directly rather than physical damage, and strategies can be made up of getting an enemy to the break point, then wailing away on it.

Arcade Rail Shooters, such as the House of the Dead series, use a similar mechanic during boss fights: underneath the boss's health meter is a smaller meter that, when emptied, halts the boss's attack. Failure to empty the bar in time typically results in taking damage.

The inverse of Limit Break, and an aversion of Critical Existence Failure. Often goes hand-in-hand with a Morale Mechanic, which represents a unit's "fighting spirit." Compare Injured Vulnerability. Not to be confused with Breakable Weapons.


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    Action Game 
  • In Arcuz II, depleting a boss' break meter by hitting them enough is the only way to deal any proper, reliable damage to a boss or champion Mook. They take Scratch Damage from attacks otherwise.
  • The large Oni of Toukiden can only be damaged after "surface resistance" is depleted; this is a purple bar displayed above their health bar when your Eye of Truth is active. In addition, severing and then purifying a limb leaves that part permanently vulnerable.note 
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse has a Break Meter for Oozaru/Great Ape battles, which takes more "damage" if you attack while the opponent is attacking. Once emptied, the Oozaru enters a stunned state and you can deal real damage (especially if you grab their tails).
  • In The Legend of Zelda game Hyrule Warriors, depleting an enemy's Weak Point Gauge allows a warrior to deal major damage to that enemy and those surrounding it. In Age of Calamity, a follow-up attack prompt will One-Hit Kill a Mini-Boss regardless of health.
  • Monster Hunter has such a mechanic in the form of stun, wherein repeated blows to certain body parts with certain weapons (in particular, blows to the head with blunt weapons) eventually causes a monster to fall over and flail helplessly for a few moments. Monster Hunter: Rise has another mechanic in the form of "mounting damage", where inflicting enough damage with certain attacks, such as Silkbind attacks, forces the monster into a state where it can be mounted and controlled via Wyvern Riding.

  • ANNO: Mutationem: All enemies have their armor bar functioning as their break meter. Once it has been fully depleted, the enemies with become stunned with Circling Birdies and they'll be vulnerable to extra damage and can be struck with a Finishing Move attack to take a chunk of their health.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has the Vitality gauge (HP) and Posture gauge (break). Depleting either of these bars will open up an enemy for a deathblow that instantly kills them (or wipes out one of their health bars if they have multiple "lives"). Certain attacks target posture more than vitality and generally enemies have less of the former than the latter, but posture also regenerates if the enemy isn't attacking or guarding (quicker than sound at high vitality, slower than growing grass at low vitality). The player has these same gauges, but having your posture broken usually just staggers your character and opens him up to an attack if you don't immediately dodge; in fact, only one enemy in the game (a Mirror Boss, at that) will deal a Deathblow on you after breaking your posture.
  • God of War (PS4): Enemies have a break meter below their health bars that fills up quickly when you attack them bare-handed or with Atreus' arrows. Once it's full, you can hit R3 to deliver a violent instant kill on them. Your weapon attacks fill it up as well but at a much slower rate. It's basically a reinterpretation of the original God of War series' system where strong enemies and bosses would get stunned and open to a QTE kill once they've lost enough health.
  • All melee enemies, and Cal himself, in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order have a "stamina bar" that depletes when blocking attacks and being parried. When the bar is fully depleted, they are briefly stunned and unable to block any incoming blows until the bar regenerates.

    Action RPG 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Martyr: The "Suppression" Morale Mechanic is a separate meter applying to both the Inquisitor and Medium and Elite enemies that drops from the "Protected" state to "Suppressed" and then "Overwhelmed" as the character takes incoming fire. This triggers various impacts and penalties.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Absented Age: Squarebound: Ganger bosses and the Secret Boss have a Shield meter that prevents them from entering turn-based combat. The player has to deplete the boss's in action-based combat to force them into turn-based combat, where it'll be easier for the player to continuously attack them. However, once their Shield gauge refills during turn-based combat, the boss will force the battle into action mode again.
  • Appears in Episodes II and III of the Xenosaga series, where both player characters and enemies can be broken.
    • In II, broken characters could be knocked into the air or knocked to the ground, and would take large amounts of damage when hit. They would recover on their next turn. Characters were broken by hitting their weak points consecutively.
    • In III, broken characters would be unable to act for two or three turns and would be more likely to be hit by critical hits. Only physical attacks and techniques fill the break gauge, with some techs focusing primarily on causing break damage.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy features this as a crucial game mechanic called "Stagger". By stringing together attacks, characters raise an enemy's "Chain Bonus" (damage multiplier) while trying to keep the timer from running out (which will reset the Chain Gauge to 100%). Once the Gauge hits a certain threshold, the enemy becomes "staggered", at which point the Chain Gauge rises by 100% (and it can still be raised). Ravagers have the ability to fill the gauge faster, but Commandos make the gauge drop slower and also boot enemies into the air with "Launch". Certain enemies also lose resistances to certain types of attacks or may effectively be shut down. In addition, the percentage of Break Gauge also influence the damage it takes. Basically, a Chain gauge of 300%, say, will amplify your attacks by 3 times. Certain monsters that are nigh un-Staggerable (having 999% as its Stagger breakpoint) may not even need to be Staggered as long as the Chain gauge is high enough that you're doing almost ten times the damage.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has a variation on this. The Chain Gauge is no longer an explicit bar, instead being replaced by a Stagger Wave. The extent to which an enemy is close to being Staggered is represented by a wave; the closer it is to being Staggered, the wave will be larger and colored red. There are many different conditions for Stagger, and some enemies can be Staggered further for additional damage. However, some enemies can only be damaged after multiple Staggers, including the Optional Boss. Also, the Chain Gauge-based damage boost mentioned above no longer applies.
    • World of Final Fantasy has topple. You and your Mons (as well as most enemies) sit atop each other's heads to create stacks of up to 3. While stacked the stats of all 3 characters are combined and extra combo attacks can be formed if like elements are stacked. Each stack has a stability rating dependent on the choice of stacking, and taking damage can cause a stack to start wobbling - higher stability means more damage needed to wobble. Continue taking damage and the wobbling gets worse until it topples, separating into its constituent weaker parts and briefly stunning them. Any of the component characters can then rebuild the stack with the Stack command. A wobbling stack can be stabilized with items or abilities, and there also exist attacks specifically designed to have a high topple chance - some of which virtually guarantee an enemy topple but also force the player to topple.
    • The Stagger meter ("Break" in Japan) in Final Fantasy VII Remake is further refined from the FFXIII trilogy. The Stagger Gauge is below the Health bar, so when this is filled your enemy is knocked down and helpless, taking at least 160% more damage (this can be raised well beyond 400% with certain abilities). If they take too much damage, get hit by an attack they're weak to, or have a body part broken, a conscious enemy will get the "Pressured" status applied to their Stagger Gauge, where "Pressured" increases the rate that the Stagger Gauge fills.
    • Final Fantasy XVI: Bosses and large enemies have a Will Gauge beneath their health bar which depletes as they take damage, with certain attacks depleting the gauge faster. When the Will Gauge is half-empty, the enemy becomes slightly staggered, leaving them open to extra attacks for a moment. When it's completely empty, the enemy becomes Staggered for a time, and all attacks will inflict extra damage to them until they recover.
  • The Stun Meter appears in some Atelier games, including Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis and its sequel, Atelier Shallie, the Mysterious trilogy (Atelier Sophie, Atelier Firis, and Atelier Lydie And Suelle), and Atelier Lulua. Both party members and enemies can be stunned, and effects generally include being forced to skip a turn (or multiple) and taking a guaranteed critical hit (though this may also remove the stun prematurely).
  • Lie of Caelum: Every combatant has a stance count that determines how many hits it takes to break their stance, which drastically increases the damage they take. However, combatants won't have their stance count lowered if they resist the attribute of the attack.
  • Lunar Knights has shields as equippable items, so this comes into play. While it is possible to raise the limit for each shield in its own manner, if you take too much abuse while blocking, you will be stunned. In the midst of a Vorn rush, this is the last thing you want.
  • Get in the Car, Loser!: Ravage actions and the Sword of Fate can fill an enemy's Ravage gauge. Once the gauge is full, the enemy is temporarily staggered and more vulnerable to damage. However, the enemy can still act unless they're hit by the Slow ability while in stagger state, which upgrades to freezing them for several seconds.
  • Running out of Hero Gauge in Resonance of Fate does this to the player characters. Hero Gauge is consumed to perform a Hero Action, which bypasses the game's default Real-Time with Pause elements and replaces them with stylish aerial Gun Fu. The problem is that the Hero Gauge is also used to replenish health when any one character's HP hits 0. Run out of Hero Gauge, and effects include: decreased accuracy, decreased firepower, takes extra damage, damage during this Mode cannot be healed, everyone cowers in fear, and the BGM changes. Even worse, having the Gauge consumed to replenish health makes the maximum Gauge effectively smaller, albeit temporarily. In short, you do not want to screw things up.
    • A variation of the break mechanic also occurs here. Hero Gauge can be replenished by depleting an enemy's (or their parts') HP. Dealing Direct Damage to an enemy has a chance to break its HP Gauge, which literally splits the HP bar in two, three, and maximum four smaller HP bars. Not only will this cause the enemy to be stunned for several seconds, emptying any one of the smaller HP bars will award a Hero Gauge back, even if the enemy or its part doesn't get destroyed yet.
  • Tales of Graces features Arles Rise (for the player party) and Arles Break (for enemies). Both states gives increased power, greater likelihood of staggering, and access to Blast Calibers.
  • Mega Man X: Command Mission has this as a gauge of the enemy's initial health at the start of a turn, divided into a yellow and a smaller orange part. It always starts out as full each time a character attacks them, however, it depletes quicker the more damage it takes. Once the health drops to the orange part, the enemy will "Break Down" and the party can use a Combination Attack to finish it off.
  • Persona 5 Strikers: Stronger enemies have a shield meter which, if depleted, allows the character to perform an All-Out Attack.
  • Almost any video game coming from both Idea Factory and Compile Heart will feature this functionality.
    • Blazing Souls, from IF's flagship Neverland franchise, introduces this mechanic and it's even named as such. Every enemy has a gauge that will take damage to a specific attack type (Destroy, Impact or Penetrate). Once a certain amount of that kind of damage is done to the Break Meter, the enemy will enter a "Broken/Break Over" status, and be completely susceptible to damage as if it had no defensive attributes. Some skills even get more hits against enemies in Broken status. Doing this is almost a must if you want to receive Surplus Damage Bonus from Overkills.
    • Cross Edge imports that mechanic from Blazing Souls and adds an extra spin at it. Aside from the HP bar, there were three other bars, each one colored green (Break), red (Burst), and blue (Down). Certain attacks from each character would deplete one of these three bars; if the red or blue bars emptied, the opponent was considered Guard Broken, and would take extra damage through the rest of the attack cycle. If the green bar was depleted, the opponent would be hit with an Over Break, and the attacker(s) got their full AP back. However, unlike in Blazing Souls due to Artificial Stupidity, the enemy is fully capable of throwing these same tactics back at you.
      • In Trinity Universe, as the Chapter 3 tutorial notes, certain bosses have a Soul Barrier which dramatically reduce damage taken from the players. If the bar was emptied through repeated attacks, the barrier would break and the enemy would enter Soul Break, which allows the player to deal more damage, but the boss would have increased offense as well. Some bosses would have a second barrier, which has lead to an exploit of double soul-breaking Lurker bosses to reap massive amounts of Experience.
    • Neptunia simplified it to a single break bar. Once it depleted, the attacker got full AP back, and the broken enemy took double damage.
    • Record of Agarest War and Zero also had the Break meter but when you deplete it, you get an extended version of a Break Art. Record of Agarest War 2 also had a Break meter but what it does is that it gives you an Up Orb to be able to use Limit Breaks.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, by wearing down one of an enemy's three different meters — each of which corresponds to different attack directions — you can perform a Fatal Strike, a move that instantly kills normal enemies, deals heavy damage to bosses and boosts the parties stats. Alternatively, you can hold off on using it to perform Fatal Chains, breaking the enemies' meters over and over again to get better grades.
  • Hybrid Heaven has both the enemy and the player have body parts that can be attacked over and over again until that part gets heavily injured, resulting in the character having slower speed or weaker attacks. Attacking the head enough times can also cause the character to be dazed.
  • A large distinguishing feature of the Chaos Rings series. Probably the second game to use the term "break gauge" to describe such a thing. Instead of having a break meter for each participant in battle, there is an overall one for the entire battle, which is filled or depleted as you attack enemies or take damage. When it swings towards the player, you get improved damage from your attacks and take less damage from the enemies. When it swings towards the enemies, the reverse happens.
  • Dark Souls uses a similar mechanic, known as "poise". Heavy armour and certain items or spells increase it, and it grants stagger resistance. Taking hits will stagger a target once its poise is broken. Stamina acts as a separate "active" meter, as you'll also be staggered when blocking drains the last of your stamina, and in games will be vulnerable to a riposte. This applies to enemies as well as the player, thought it works somewhat differently.
  • Most of the bosses in Granblue Fantasy have a bar that when filled up from taking enough damage activates Overdrive mode. Bosses in Overdrive Mode become more aggressive, usually gaining new Charge Attacks. However, when the gauge is emptied again with sufficient damage or other means, bosses will enter Break Mode, which make attacks against them deal more damage, as well as preventing them from gaining any charge for their Charge Attacks.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III has a bar for bosses that if depleted, allows players to guarantee a critical hit which will automatically give players a follow-up link attack. If the players don't deplete this fast enough however, the enemies will use up a turn to refill the gauge and enter Awakening Mode where their defenses are buffed and in bosses, fills up their CP gauge to full, allowing them to use their Limit Break in their next turn.
  • Octopath Traveler has this as a core game mechanic. Every enemy has a numbered shield icon that is reduced whenever it's hit by a damage type it's weak against. If the number reaches 0, this makes the target Break, causing it to receive more damage, lose its next turn, and even lose its current turn if it hasn't moved yet.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has the Break-Topple-Daze chain. Break does nothing outside of putting a debuff on the target, but Topple stops the enemy in it's tracks and attacks done to it have increased critical rates, and Daze can completely shatter Shulk's visions of the future. Topple can also be extended by using additional Topple or Daze moves, effectively keeping an enemy from doing anything while you whale on them, although watch out for Topple spikes, where the enemy will do damage to the party while they are Toppled. Also there are moves that can force Topple or Daze (like Melia's Starlight Kick if used after her Spear Break) and Chain attacks can bypass enemy resistances to any portion of the chain. Finally, Sharla has an Art that can cause Instant Death to an enemy if they are Dazed.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles X uses a similar system, but with different names. Break is changed to Stagger and Daze is changed to Stun. The other major differences is Stagger also acts as an interrupt and Topple and Stun can be forced onto the opponent without the previous, but it becomes easier to do so if you follow the chain.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 calls the system a Driver Combo and changes it up just a bit more. Daze is replaced by Launch and there's a fourth step in Smash. Every step starting with Topple also allows the party to do more damage to the inflicted enemy and spawns an HP Potion. Smash also does a large amount of damage and can spawn items and money after the enemy hits the floor. Finally, it can be combined with a Blade Combo, a Super Move chain, to create a Fusion Combo and increase the duration of both and add more to the Party Gauge.
    • Being a sequel to both 1 and 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 combines the two combo systems. Once you have Toppled an enemy after inflicting Break, you can then inflict Launch then Smash, or Daze and then inflict the newly added Burst. Launch and Smash are the offensive options (increased damage for the duration and a large amount amount of damage, respectively), while Daze and Burst are the defensive option (no aggro gain for the duration, and removal of Enrages, drops items, but much smaller damage, respectively).
  • In Ys SEVEN, Ys: Memories of Celceta, and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, enemies that are hit with a large number of attacks at once can be stunned; the latter also has a separate weakness break, where striking enemies with their attack weakness will eventually render them vulnerable to all weapons.
  • Library of Ruina has the Stagger Resistance meter. If it drops to zero, the character is left incapable of acting for the current turn and the next; also, it will take double damage from all attacks. Stagger Resistance drops when you are attacked or when your own attack is successfully blocked, but it can be recovered by successfully dodging an enemy attack.

    Fighting Game 
  • Used in Super Smash Bros.: Each character can use a shield to reduce damage, but it shrinks over time. If you keep shielding until it breaks, you are stunned for a short duration... which is more than enough for other players to brutalize you off the screen. A smash attack with the fan automatically breaks any shield, no matter how much is left. Breaking a shield may also send the character into the air, depending on their weight and damage. The effects range from barely noticeable (Bowser) to sky-high (Kirby). Jigglypuff will actually Star K.O. itself if its shield breaks, regardless of damage.
    • Most bosses can be stunned if they take enough damage. Rathalos is unique in that he is stunned by throwing Deku Seeds, Explosive Barrels, and Pitfall Traps at his head like in his home series.
  • Featured in Dissidia Final Fantasy, which is appropriate since it is both an Eastern RPG and a Fighting Game. Brave attacks may break the enemy, meaning you can get the stage Bravery, which is usually a considerable boost, often enough to make any subsequent HP attack a One-Hit Kill. Meanwhile, your enemy's HP attacks won't do any damage while they're in Break. However, landing an HP attack will automatically end Break.
  • The Guard Libra gauge in BlazBlue fills up as a player guards attacks. If filled completely, that player suffers a Barrier Crush and is paralyzed for several seconds.
    • Revised as the Guard Primer system in Continuum Shift. Every character has a personal number of primers, which disappear one by one as they block specialized guard break attacks. When you lose all of them, you are guard broken and helpless.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 features a fatigue gauge, that, if filled will cause a character to be tired out if knocked down with less than one Ki gauge.
    • In the levels of Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure where you battle one opponent in a fighting game engine, both you and your opponent have a Rush Gauge. As long as it's not empty, you won't flinch or take damage from attacks, but each attack that you don't block or parry will deplete it. If you empty the opponent's Rush Gauge through continued attacks or a single counterattack after parrying, you break their guard and knock them back for a significant amount of time, and your attacks will make them flinch until you knock them down to the ground. After getting knocked down, their Rush Gauge will reset. It also refills on its own if you're not being attacked. Scoring a hit with a chi blast will immediately empty their Rush Gauge.
    • Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors has a single gauge on top of the screen between each character's health bars, with a mark in the center that moves closer towards each health bar as that player blocks attacks from the other. If the mark is not in the center, and one player fails to block a strong attack from the other, either the first player will be stunned until the mark can reset (if it was closer to his health bar), or it will just reset itself immediately (if it was closer to the attacker's health bar).
  • Soulcalibur IV introduces the Soul Gauge, which decreases when attacks are blocked. If it breaks, the player is temporarily stunned and open to a One-Hit KO Finishing Move.
    • Soul Edge, the first game of the series, had Breakable Weapons that both reduced your offensive output and made you take chip damage when blocking.
  • Taunting in Art of Fighting reduces the special move gauge, which leaves many characters without an offensive arsenal. Notable in that the computer is actually bound by this, unlike some games.
  • Samurai Shodown is probably the Trope Codifier. Blocking too much or trading hits with a counter swing may lead up to weapon loss.
  • Street Fighter Alpha 3 added a Guard meter that would stun you for three seconds if it was broken. You could also sacrifice some of it for an easy Counter-Attack if it was obvious you were going to lose it. This meter also appeared in Capcom vs. SNK 2.
    • In Alpha 3, the Guard meter gets shorter with each successive Guard Break, to discourage turtling.
  • The King of Fighters has had this for the last few games. In Maximum Impact, the final boss's most powerful Super Move instantly breaks the meter if you block it, regardless of how much is left.
  • One Must Fall features an "energy bar" that depletes differently basing on different injuries sustained (quick weak blows deplete it faster than slow strong blows). Once empty, it causes the player's bot to become incapacitated for a few seconds and open for a devastating combo.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future has the Stand Meter. If a character takes too many hits to their Stand, they are "Stand Crushed" - the Stand disappears and they are staggered. (For extra Continuity Nod value, the Stone Mask flashes in the background when this happens.)
  • In the story mode of the Touhou Project spinoffs Touhou Hisouten ~ Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and Touhou Hisoutensoku ~ Choudokyuu Ginyoru no Nazo o Oe, enemies using spellcards have break meters. If you deal enough damage to them, they're stunned until it refills.
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • The player has a stamina meter. Every time the player blocks or gets damaged, their stamina drops and once it is empty, the player becomes too tired to attack. This leaves the player open to attacks from the enemy boxer and the player can only regain their energy once they successfully dodged an attack or get knocked down to the mat and get up again.
    • Super Punch-Out on the SNES has an invisible dizziness meter for opponents. The easiest way to raise this meter is to repeatedly counter their attacks (punch them in the right spot during windup). Once the meter is filled, they start to slide around in a daze. Hit them with good timing as they slide back to you to score an instant knockdown.
  • The Mana Meter in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable fighting games doubles as this. Be wary of blocking after casting a barrage of spells, as having the character's Deflector Shields broken will leave them stunned for a long time.
  • Persona 4: Arena uses a system similar to the aforementioned JoJo fighting games - each character has several Persona cards (usually four, but can range from two to six), which can be lost if his/her Persona is hit during an attack. If all cards are lost, the affected character enters a "Persona Break" state for the next few seconds and can't use any attack that would require a Persona.
  • Umineko: Golden Fantasia has a break limit meter that fills up when blocking attacks, and briefly stuns your character when full. The bar only empties when you tag your partner, with the amount removed depending on what type of Touch you used to switch characters. Chiester 410's ability causes the enemy's break limit to fill up faster, and Lambdadelta's fully empties the meter upon activation.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Enemies in Brothers in Arms have a red circle over their heads, which loses slices as you shoot at or near them. When emptied, they're Pinned Down and have difficulty attacking. On Authentic difficulty, this feature is gone.

  • Eden Eternal has a variant only seen on bosses and elites. Depleting it merely staggers the enemy and offers an extremely brief respite from attacks, but it does open up the lower portion of the enemy's loot table where the killer stuff usually is.
  • Some tough enemies in Guild Wars 2 downplay Contractual Boss Immunity against control effects (like Stun or Daze) by having a "defiance bar" instead of being completely immune. Once part of an innate buff, the first expansion reworked it into a full secondary bar. While this provides complete immunity from control effects, such abilities will instead damage the defiance bar based on their relative effectiveness. Once depleted, the enemy will usually suffer at least one of these effects: their current action being interrupted, a full stun, or being more vulnerable for a short time.
    • The break bar is occasionally used in other specific circumstances, like weaker enemies who have the break bar as their main weakness (providing different effects for depleting it, including instant death), or enemies and major bosses who do not have it all the time, but it appears alongside specific mechanics.
  • WildStar was one of the first MM Os to have a mechanic along these lines, with its 'Interrupt armor.' Major enemies could absorb a number of CC effects, meaning they could only be successfully stunned by being overwhelmed with multiple CC effects during a channeled ability. Of course, if you did pull this off, you'd be rewarded with the boss spending a long time disabled and taking bonus damage.

    Rail Shooter 
  • House of the Dead included these for its bosses in later games. More than just shooting at it to kill the thing, often times you'd have to shoot at it in order to get it to stop attacking you for that phase.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In Dawn of War, squads have a morale meter that goes down as the squad takes damage. If this meter is emptied, the squad breaks and its troops become less effective in combat.
    • "Less effective" herein meaning "they die twice as quick and deal next to no damage". Can actually be quite amusing, because their animations don't change. Thus, you can have a whole Space Marine Squad unloading More Dakka into a much weaker enemy squad and doing absolutely nothing.
  • Company of Heroes, which uses the same engine as Dawn of War, has a similar mechanic. Infantry that suffer prolonged exposure to More Dakka or Stuff Blowing Up near them get pinned down, slowing down both their movement speed and rate of fire. If, however, the enemy fire doesn't let up, they eventually become so terrified for their lives that they completely stop shooting back altogether in favor of groveling on the ground with their heads between their knees. If they get a couple seconds of respite, however, they quickly get back up.
  • In Pharaoh, your military units have a morale bar that steadily goes down the longer combat lasts, and causes them to run back to their fort when completely panicked, and only move back out when they stop panicking. Ships have a different one depending on how tired the crew is: if they're exhausted the ship doesn't move until they're back at full strength.
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen: If one of the eponymous Chosen has the Bewildered vulnerability, they'll take extra damage when attacked three times or more in the same turn, in any way (gunfire, psionics, explosives, you name it).
  • The Total War series have a morale meter for all units. When a unit's morale depletes (aside from units that are or were rendered unbreakable for whatever reason and so cannot lose morale, probably meaning either they're Not Afraid to Die or Death Seekers), such as from being exhausted, being outnumbered or overpowered by the enemy, taking damage (especially a lot very quickly), being outflanked, being around very scary enemies, or having their general killed or abandon the field they will run for their lives toward some end of the map until they can run off the battlefield or they avoid enemy contact long enough for their morale to restore or possibly are "shattered" and will just do only the former action. Taking advantage of morale penalties will allow armies to defeat enemy armies far faster than simply trying to kill them all without any semblance of tactics, though even without considering it, usually at least some of the losing army will survive long enough to break and flee before all are killed unless for some reason the entire losing army is unbreakable.

    Wide Open Sandbox