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Subject: Prisoners of War and Casualties rss

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Wm Seabrook
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As a total novice to the world of wargaming, I wonder if I'm allowed a very naive question?

Which games, if any, include rules for prisoners of war and/or casualties (including psychological disorders)? What interests me is how these may impact the logistics of a military operation.
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Ryan Powers
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wmfs wrote:
At a total novice to the world of wargaming, I wonder if I'm allowed a very naive question?

Which games, if any, include rules for prisoners of war and/or casualties (including psychological disorders)? What interests me is how these may impact the logistics of a military operation.


Advanced Squad Leader has lots of rules surrounding prisoners. When you can and can't take them, what you need to guard them. How they can escape. How they can re-arm themselves if they escape... But that's fairly zoomed in, not an operational concern.
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Chad
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Ultimately, it is an issue of scale.

For games at the tactical level, some games (like ASL) have specific rules for taking POWs - guarding them, escape, etc. Honestly, this is very much a flavor/it comes up very rarely.

At the operational and strategic levels, effectively, the loss of POWs is abstracted into when a unit loses steps, strength etc. and honestly, the cost of modeling the keeping of POWs is a bit more chrome than most designers want to deal with.
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K G
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wmfs wrote:
At a total novice to the world of wargaming, I wonder if I'm allowed a very naive question?

Which games, if any, include rules for prisoners of war and/or casualties (including psychological disorders)? What interests me is how these may impact the logistics of a military operation.


I'm fiddling around with a simulation of Anzio. (I know, I know. "Another one?") I'm really tempted to include the Allied evacuation hospitals as they were right out in the open on the beach. The Germans tried to respect the areas, but they were located, out of necessity, very close to supply depots. The hospital staff and patients suffered numerous casualties. My idea was to tie this in some way to Allied unit morale "on the shingle."
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Richard Irving
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wmfs wrote:
At a total novice to the world of wargaming, I wonder if I'm allowed a very naive question?

Which games, if any, include rules for prisoners of war and/or casualties (including psychological disorders)? What interests me is how these may impact the logistics of a military operation.


Yes, it is naive, but an interesting topic.

Same tactical games games do include rules for prisoners, but mostly as chrome (i.e. rules included to provide "flavor" to the game--they are often more trouble than they are worth.)

As for "psychological disorders", some games would have mechanics (Squad Leader, Up Front, Combat Commander, etc.) that require men to be "pinned" or "broken". Units in these states may not be able to act, possibly due to fear. The players usually can rally these pinned/broken units to restore them. Often these games will also have "rout" rules where pinned/broken units are required or are more likely to run towards safety.

Just to pick a game I know: Upfront has Campaign Rules, where a number of individual scenarios are played. After each scenario, killed men are no longer available (for obvious reasons), those that routed lose some of the their morale rating for later games and survivors may gain morale (due to gaining battlefield experience.) It really encourages players not to fight to the last man.
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Brian Train
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Years ago I designed a wargame on the Tupamaro Uruguayan urban guerrilla movement.

The insurgent player could kidnap Public Figures and hold them, mixed in on the map with his other inverted units.
When they were captured the political support of the government took a hit, and each turn they were held prisoner they affected the Morale of the Politician sector negatively (since these where their friends and associates), possibly triggering further crises over time.
Meanwhile, the government player would be using his Army and Police units on Cordon and Search operations to reveal the insurgent units and hopefully discover and rescue the kidnapped men.
There was also a random event called "I was Cleaning the People's Justice and It Went Off", where one of the kidnapped would be eliminated accidentally - this was bad for everyone.

For their part, when the security forces engaged the insrugents in combat, they had a choice of eliminating or capturing anyone they caught. The more units he kept prisoner, the more it would damage support for the insurgents, but the insurgent could always try for a Prison Break... and so it went.

Perhaps this is not quite what you were looking for, but it's an interesting question you asked.

Brian
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Hunga Dunga
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Unit strength reduction abstractly portrays casualties and prisoners, and many games allow you to rebuild those units, too.

This abstraction suites me fine, since I'm mainly interested in the overall conflict.
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Michael Sommers
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In SPI's Frederick the Great, an operational/strategic game, combat could result in prisoners being taken. Periodically the prisoners of some nations would be exchanged.
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Confusion Under Fire
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In Ambush! which is a man to man game meaning each counter represents one man. There are rules for capturing prisoners and those prisoners can escape if their captors become killed or incapacitated.
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Roger Brandon
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Starship Troopers


In the original Starship Troopers it's important to retrieve your dead and wounded before pulling out- no one left behind. But that can be tough when you've had a lot of casualties and you're hard pressed just fighting the enemy!
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Greg S
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Somewhat related, SPI's Veracruz has some fairly involved (and painful) rules for disease.
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Ground Pounder
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I haven't every played it, but if you want to shell out $300 and several years of your gaming life you can apparently both manage prisoners and the logistics of taking care of them in SPI's The Campaign for North Africa. According to the description on the game's BGG page some players from each side get to play out these roles:

Logistics Commander: In charge of all supplies. Accepts supply requisitions from the others and keeps all informed of supply shortages. Is in charge of supply dumps, Third line trucks and some second line trucks and is in charge of Naval convoys.

Rear Area Commander: Gets the supplies to the front. In charge of security, reserves, prisoners and construction.
 
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Jim P.
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"Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.
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SPIs 1975 title Search & Destroy includes rules for interrogating prisoners.

[23.0] Interrogation
General Rule:

Interrogation allows the US Player to uncover certain NLF non-personnel units by the simple method of interrogating peasants or porters who are discovered by search.


It is essentially a 1d6 rolled on an interrogation table, of course.
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Gordon Watson
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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tms2 wrote:
In SPI's Frederick the Great, an operational/strategic game, combat could result in prisoners being taken. Periodically the prisoners of some nations would be exchanged.

I was always a bit bemused that during the Napoleonic wars that prisoners taken in naval actions were fairly routinely exchanged - you would have thought that hanging on to at least the senior, specialist, experienced prisoners would have been of benefit to starve the opposition of their skilled crews and seamen. Not sure if this is reflected in any wargames.

Also there are quite a few instances during the same period of captured crew retaking their ships from prize crews.
 
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Gordon Watson
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Utrecht wrote:
For games at the tactical level, some games (like ASL) have specific rules for taking POWs - guarding them, escape, etc. Honestly, this is very much a flavor/it comes up very rarely.

I took a wounded German leader and a half squad prisoner in a Hedgerow Hell scenario yesterday. I could really have done without having to deploy one of my full squads into two half squads in order to guard them. shake
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Confusion Under Fire
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There is of course always Escape from Colditz and I can never miss an opportunity to post this pic.


This is probably one of those games that has more credibility than it first appears. You can, if you want to be, be pretty ruthless as the German officer.
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