I spent some time this week jotting down the definition of the various orders that can be given to a commander. I've chosen to differentiate between:
Each of these orders will have an impact on the options available to that commander. The overall text is much more extensive, I have included only a summary below.
This order is given to advance on an objective and to capture it by force. Once the objective has been cleared of enemy troops, the order changes to defend to hold the captured objective.
Possible objectives are:
* Terrain Feature
* Clearly identified and visible enemy troops
Commanders that have attack orders must advance the majority of their troops towards their objective at at least 1/2 speed, until they are either within contact, of for missile armed troops, within short range. They must move directly towards their objective.
This order is given to defend a named terrain feature. The commander may only initiate charges to recover lost ground or to attack missile armed troops that are shooting from within short range. Cavalry and creatures are permitted opportuntity charges.
This order is given to support a named friendly command. The order should include what position should be taken relative to this command (rear or left/right flank). Units will advance to move into the supporting position and to stay in the supporting position. Units may charge hostile troops threatening them or the units they are supporting, but may not otherwise charge into combat.
This order is given to a commander in order to move his command to a different position, without intent to engage an opponent in combat. The target for this command is a terrain feature, a position relative to a friendly or hostile command, or a direction.
A command with reserve orders will sit and hold awaiting orders from the commander-in-chief. Troops will be fresh and ready for action, but are not at the moment taking an active interest in the battle.
As a result they are able to respond quickly should orders arrive. As they are not expecting to have to defend their position, they will be slow to react to hostile troops.