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Subject: Combat when you have captured a German soldier? rss

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Neil Tomlinson
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Rule 9 states: "Neither US nor German soldiers can ever fire into a hex containing a friendly active or captured soldier."

In my last game, I was fortunate enough to capture a German soldier, but discovered that the Germans I fought subsequently became completely impotent as they were unable to fire at me as instructed in their action paragraphs. It was easy to just hang around in complete safety until I got a good shot in. This didn't seem very realistic.

Am I misunderstanding this rule? If not, how would you deal with the above situation? Do you play as written, and accept this immunity to enemy fire as a reward for having captured a soldier? Or do you modify the Germans' behaviour in some way, perhaps by putting their self-preservation reaction into effect instead of their normal actions (would that even work?).
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Alan Kaiser
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I have altered this rule slightly in certain situations. During assaults I do not allow fire into that particular hex from either side. For the capture situation I designate a soldier to watch over the captured German and that soldier is immune to incoming fire. I also don't allow automatic weapons fire, grenades or bazooka and tank shells to fire into the hex in most cases either. For other weapons fire I assume that the German and the GI holding the German are seperated from the other soldiers and then allow fire on those other soldiers.

In terms of using the self preservation rules, that'd be pretty tricky since that only applies to the same or adjacent hexes. If you are not adjacent then you open up a whole can of worms by moving the German outside of it's programmed movement routine in order to get him close enough to put the self preservation rules into effect.
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Neil Tomlinson
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Your method sounds like a very sensible solution. I'll apply that in my future games. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Miguel Borba
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A captured German, even when moved, is always considered prone. In the rulebook, "An inactive soldier cannot be fired upon or attacked by
assault; he is an ineligible target."

The way I look at it, if the captured German is prone and an ineligible target, I would allow fire into the hex even though this is contradictory to the rule which began this thread. Of course, grenades, automatic weapons, etc. are not allowed.
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Pelle Nilsson
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I agree that the rules in this case are a bit weird, but my solution is simply to not take advantage of the immunity to fire while escorting prisoners, ie by as fast as possibly escort the prisoners out of LOS to somewhere hopefully safe, and to only have one soldier guard the prisoners. I avoid taking prisoners as well. This has worked well to avoid any problems so far.
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Alan Kaiser
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pelni wrote:
I avoid taking prisoners as well. This has worked well to avoid any problems so far.


I avoid it as well and wouldn't do it unless there was a specific reason. Unfortunately, in several scenarios the amount of victory points you get for capturing prisoners is enough of a specific reason to make it worth while.
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Sverre
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pelni wrote:
I avoid taking prisoners as well. This has worked well to avoid any problems so far.


Sometimes you can't help it, because someone surrenders to you.

I also think something must be done with this rule; immunity to the whole hex seems to be giving you the game. You'd be able to wander around in a single hex and ignore all the germans, basically.

The suggested solution seems reasonable.
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Adam Frandsen
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alkaiser wrote:
I have altered this rule slightly in certain situations. During assaults I do not allow fire into that particular hex from either side. For the capture situation I designate a soldier to watch over the captured German and that soldier is immune to incoming fire. I also don't allow automatic weapons fire, grenades or bazooka and tank shells to fire into the hex in most cases either. For other weapons fire I assume that the German and the GI holding the German are seperated from the other soldiers and then allow fire on those other soldiers.


I know this is an old thread, but I just ran across this problem myself last night. I proposed a solution similar to Alan's, but with some key differences:

1. A captured German can be used as a human shield to make 1 US soldier immune to all fire, unless the fire is coming from within his own hex. (If the Germans are close enough to be in the same hex as the captive and his guard, they can more accurately fire upon the US soldier guard while missing the captured German. Assault is also allowed on the US soldier). This is to prevent the US soldier from having complete immunity, which is unrealistic.
2. If a captured German is brought into a building, you can make him stand in front of a window or door; be sure to designate which window or door you've chosen. Now, any German fire which would pass through that window or door (a.k.a., any German fire originating from within the chosen aperture's field of view) is invalid; the Germans would not fire at a wall or window occupied by one of their own. In this way, several US soldiers can gain partial immunity with the strategic utilization of a captured German. Your soldiers may still fire through any window or door that the German captive is next to; there is always enough room for a gun barrel and a pair of eyes.

If you want the captured German to stand by a different door or window, you could designate this as a free action allowed once per round during the US soldier guard's turn. Alternatively, you could designate it as an action that costs either 1 MP or 1 whole turn to perform, depending on your tastes and level of experience. Once you figure out which option you like best, however, you should stick with it as a permanent rule.

I hope this helps anyone out there with the same problem. I try to make my solutions realistic, but also fun to play and strategically interesting.

Have a sweet day! cool
Adam


EDIT: I just had another idea, for those of you who enjoy a little more realism. If your German captive is standing in front of a window or door, and one of your soldiers attempts to fire through that window or door, roll a die. On a roll of "0," the German captive goes crazy and tries to injure your soldier while he's aiming. A scuffle ensues; your soldiers are forced to incapacitate the German captive. No Combat Points or any other points should be awarded for this, and the German captive can no longer be used as a human shield ... so tough luck, Jack.
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Michael Dorosh
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Laeidz87 wrote:
1. A captured German can be used as a human shield to make 1 US soldier immune to all fire


Given the entire spirit in which the rest of the game is presented, I kind of have to wonder why you are challenging this. You're ok with 8-man squads running around Europe (in their own jeeps, no less, and with dedicated tank support) armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, blowing up V-2 rocket bases and U-boat pens, but you draw the line at using prisoners for human shields?

 
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Pelle Nilsson
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But it's so lame. No real hero would do something like that, so my squads won't.
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Adam Frandsen
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
Laeidz87 wrote:
1. A captured German can be used as a human shield to make 1 US soldier immune to all fire


Given the entire spirit in which the rest of the game is presented, I kind of have to wonder why you are challenging this. You're ok with 8-man squads running around Europe (in their own jeeps, no less, and with dedicated tank support) armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, blowing up V-2 rocket bases and U-boat pens, but you draw the line at using prisoners for human shields?



Exactly. I'm not concerned with the dimensions of realism you've outlined. Sure, these missions would probably not happen like this in reality--a few soldiers would not be sent out to take down tanks and so forth. The point I'm making, though, is that it would still be physically possible to do so (with a bazooka, for instance). On the other hand, the game's built-in rules about using one human shield to defend an entire squad of men is just utterly ridiculous, and probably impossible. And, MUCH more importantly, it has a severely negative effect on the gameplay and the challenges therein. The game becomes a complete cakewalk as soon as you capture a single German soldier. And that is lame to the utmost degree.

For me, the challenge and excitement of the gameplay is more important than absolute historical realism and accuracy. After all, what is the point of a game if not to have fun?
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