Basically the question is "To what extent to infantry-class units have the ability to act without orders or in contradiction to orders, based on their Duty to preserve their overlord and side?"
Here are a few of the arguments made thus far:
User who believes that units CAN make their own orders based on Duty wrote:Orders last only as long as the situation remains similar. If something changes the situation, no unit is limited to orders that were made without knowledge of the new element. A piker stack set to hold a bridge against gobwins might be required to hold it even if hobgobwins show up (even if the hobgobwins are more likely to win, they would be compelled because there is still a small chance of victory), but if those hobgobwins are mounted archery units on unipegataurs that the pikers can't even hit, the order cannot be achieved and so becomes null... they cannot hold, only buy time by dying, but buying time wasn't their task. They were expected to hold the bridge, which is now impossible, leaving only self-preservation. Even the requirement for leaderless units to engage non-allied stacks fails, because they cannot engage a flying unit. So flight is permitted, if they feel it is in their Ruler's greater self-interest that they still exist to fight in the future. (It's also in their Ruler's self-interest to know the bridge was taken bby units they could not respond to.)
User arguing that only units with Leadership are capable of complex decisions wrote:The only time we have seen units "adjust" their orders or act without orders has been units with leadership. No basic infantry has ever made a decision about what is in the side's best interest and acted accordingly. So yes, your assessment that a piker commanded to defend a bride against gobwins would continue to do so if engaged by hobgobwins is correct...and it would continue to guard the bridge even if flying units attempted to take the bridge, because those are it's orders. If a caster or warlord was given the same instructions however, THEN they might determine it is in their side's best interest to withdraw in the face of insurmountable odds.
User with an interesting point about Stanley wrote:There are some things that force a non-Leadership unit's activity. But not everything is. Remember that Stanley was once a Piker. If a unit could never make a decision, Stanley could not have stood out and been given the Leadership special. There must be some freedom of thought and action in order for Stanley's rise to make sense.