From: Phoenix, AZ
cdcool, a regular in this forum, UP844, answered that question very well earlier this year. Hope he doesn't mind me sharing it.
On the leader counters:
- the first number indicates the leader morale rating;
- the second one indicates its leadership ability.
- the dash between the two numbers is actually a "minus" sign (in SL/ASL, there were a few 6+1 leaders, to represent really incompetent leaders)
A 9-2 leader, then, has a morale level of 9 and applies a -2 to relevant dice rolls (fire, morale/task checks of units stacked with him, etc.). A good leader directing MMG/HMG fire can be deadly (of course, the MG might break the first time you attempt to use it ).
The only advantages low morale leaders with "0" leadership level (8-0, 7-0) provide sre exempting your units from cowering (reduced fire effectiveness) and giving 2 extra MPs to the units they are stacked with. On the other hand, they add extra vulnerability to any units stacked with them, forcing them to take extra morale/task checks if the leader breaks, is wounded or killed. In my opinion, it's better to keep them a few hexes back from the front line, where they can rally broken units.