Conflict: wound effects

Following on from the previous article on determining whether the person is wounded, we now look at the effects of the wounds; all of this is yet to be playtested and so is subject to change. The three wound categories are KIA, INC and WIA. The person may be left untreated, given first aid, or given proper care from a physician. 

KIA means that the person is unconscious and on their way to death. Given successful first aid quickly enough, they will last those minutes, but die in hours instead. With successful physician treatment, they will recover to an INC condition. Absent treatment or failed care means death. 

INC means they are incapacitated. In most cases they will also be unconscious, though some tougher individuals may be able to remain conscious or even active. Given first aid they can be kept stable for some hours, but will need to be cared for. Physician expertise can mean that in a week or two they can recover to merely WIA. Untreated or failed care means they will decay to a KIA condition. 

WIA the relevant body part is inhibited in action. First aid will keep it stable for a week or two. A physician's care will have it resolve to unwounded in a week or two. Untreated or failed care will cause it to decay to INC. 

Disability: Realistically, anyone who has suffered a KIA condition, and many who've suffered an INC, will have some lasting disability. If it could have killed you or made you completely unable to do anything, it's going to leave scars one way or another. However, nobody wants to play through doctors trying and failing to save a limb, leading to the person being at least temporarily in a wheelchair, and undergoing 12-24 months of physiotherapy, and if they fail the process ending up wheelchair-bound for life, with depression an opiate addiction. 

And so instead we just say that if anyone suffers a KIA condition and is brought back, they permanently take -1 to their Health attribute; these are on a scale of 0 (sickly) to +3 (athletic). Anyone at H+0 who suffers a KIA will be given only palliative care. 

Examples are offered to illustrate these rules in action. We use the d66 adjusted chart from the previous article, and give one simple example of success, and one more complicated example with some successes and some failures.


WIA: Sgt Anna with Health+2 (active) is struck with a rifle round, her attacker throwing 6,4 - a WIA result in her left leg. She doesn't know exactly how long she's got, but the referee throws secretly and notes it down that her WIA if untreated will decay to INC in 2d6+HT days - throwing 5,1 and adding her H+2 gives 8 - she has 8 days before things get nasty. As soon as possible she stops and assesses her wound. 

First Aid: She has a familiarity with first aid, giving her a DM+1. She has a basic minikit also granting DM+1. She takes 2d6-Physcian expertise minutes, throwing 6,3 minus 1 or 8 minutes to unpack her first aid kit, try to cut away the torn trousers and boot leather and sock, wash it down, pull out any bits of cloth or dirt in the wound and then bandage it. Her player throws 4,1, which with the +2 makes +7 in all against the 8+ needed - she has not stabilised the wound. 

Physician: She limps back to base the next day, and Cpl Tony the fully-qualified medic (Physician giving DM+3) with a field kit (DM+2) attends to her. First he cleans up the wound, taking 2d6-Physician expertise minutes to do so, in this case 5,6 minus 3 = 8 minutes. For how well he does this, he throws 5,3 plus 5 = +13, he easily stabilises it. Now he tries to stitch it up so it can recover fully, taking 2d6-Physician expertise lot of 10 minutes, in this case 6,5-3 = 80 minutes. He's not there with her alone the whole time, but has to do some tests and maybe transfusions and the like. He throws for effect and gets 4,2+5 = +11 in all. She will be completely healed in 4-Health or 2 days. She just needs new trousers. 

KIA: About a month later Sgt Anna is patrolling along with her team, and is shot by a sniper, who throws for wounding effect and gets 22 - striking her in the trunk for a KIA result. She immediately falls over unconscious, and left untreated will, the referee discovers as he throws the dice, die in 2d6+HT = 2,2+2 = 6 minutes - none of the players know how long she has though, only that it'll be between 4 and 14 minutes. But in this case she has 6. 

First aid: This time Cpl Tony is on patrol with her, and he takes one minute to drag her to cover from further sniper fire behind the remains of a cinder block wall and goes to work. He will take 2d6-Physician expertise minutes to have any effect. He has to set aside her weapon, remove her webbing, open her shirt and do a primary survey to assess her wounds. He throws 1,1-3 gives -1, however +1 minute to work is the minimum; her gear is quickly and easily removed, and it's obvious there is just one wound to treat. Note that had he thrown 5,5-3=7 minutes, as this is greater than the 6 minutes she has, he would have lost his patient. Sometimes you just can't move quickly enough. But he's quick enough today, and now throws for effect. He still has his Physician expertise granting him DM+3, but this time only has a basic first aid kit granting him DM+1. "I really need saline here," he mutters. Throwing 4,4 and adding 4 gives +12, which just stabilises her for - throwing 2d6+HT - 5,4+2 = 11 hours. 

The referee rules that the basic first aid kit out in the field under fire is not sufficient to allow Cpl Tony even an attempt at healing Sgt Anna from KIA to INC. Medic Cpl Tony tells the ranking Corporal Merkava this, and with the sniper's rounds still occasionally pinging around them against the cinder blocks, she gets on the radio. 

"Zero alpha, zero alpha, this is Lima Romeo Six, taking sniper fire, one friendly whiskey india alpha, request casevac over." Ping! Zing! 

"Lima Romeo Six, Zero Alpha, negative on casevac. Chopper won't land under fire, over."

Cpl Merkava swears and gets onto the mortar team.

"Zero Sierra Mike, Zero Sierra Mike, this is Lima Romeo Six, taking sniper fire, fire mission, over."

"Lima Romeo Six, Zero Sierra Mike, send Golf Romeo, over." 

Cpl Merkava consults her map to figure out exactly where on the map the sniper is, and sends his grid co-ordinates. "Zero Sierra Mike, Lima Romeo Six, read back, alpha six three niner four zero zero." Ping! 

"Lima Romeo Six, Zero Sierra Mike, alpha six three niner four zero two, over." Ping! Ping! a small piece of mortar crumbles off behind them. 

"Zero Sierra Mike, Lima Romeo Six, correction, alpha six three niner four zero zero. I say again, alpha six three niner four zero ZERO."

"Lima Romeo Six, Zero Sierra Mike, alpha six three niner four zero zero. Confirm, over." Ping! some dust is kicked up. 

"Zero Sierra Mike, Lima Romeo Six, correct."

"Lima Romeo Six, Zero Sierra Mike, wait out."

A few minutes later a whistling is heard and a mortar bomb lands with a woomph! they see a few seconds before they hear it, some one hundred metres short of the sniper's position. "For fuck's sakes!" Merkava mutters, looking down at Sgt Anna with blood oozing through the bandages on her chest, and gets on the radio and corrects. After a few more volleys the mortars land on target, and if the sniper is not killed, he has at least suddenly recalled an urgent appointment elsewhere and stopped firing. "Alright, let's try those pricks again," Merkava says, and gets back to the casevac guys.

"Zero alpha, zero alpha, this is Lima Romeo Six, one friendly whiskey india alpha, request casevac over."

"Lima Rome Six, Zero Alpha, chopper is ten mikes out, over."

"Zero Alpha, Lima Romeo Six, thank fuck for that, out." Merkava isn't fond of radio protocol.

They wait and there is no more sniper fire, and soon hear the distant thwap of helicopter wings rotating, Merkava tosses out coloured smoke into a nearby clearing, and the chopper comes in, door gunner sweeping around, dust being kicked up in everyone's faces. Cpl Tony is a regular guy and can carry Sgt Anna if he really has to, but that might make her wounds worse, whereas Merkava has Strength expertise, is built like a brick Soviet shithouse, and can carry Sgt Anna like a puppy. She tells Cpl Tony to grab Sgt Anna's rifle and webbing, slings her own rifle over her shoulder, and picks Sgt Anna up and carries her to the chopper. Merkava and Tony help the chopper medic arrange her on the stretcher, and Tony tells the chopper medic what her wounds are, and what he's done with her so far - the handover. 

Tony and Merkava get off the chopper, raise their shemaghs to protect their faces, and watch as it rises, kicking up more dust and stones as it goes, and flies off back to base. They scurry back to where they treated Sgt Anna. "Hey," says Tony, "She dropped this can of meatball and spaghetti, and her nude picture of her boyfriend. You might need that," he says, handing Merkava the picture. Merkava glances at it, "I'll make good use of this later and be sure to tell her all about it." 

Physician: the chopper takes Sgt Anna back to base and lands and the medic on duty quickly assesses her - he has only a field kit (DM+2) here, and knows she'd do better in a proper trauma ward. He tells the chopper guys to take off for the capital. Half an hour later they arrive. She is quickly taken into trauma care with a whole team and well-equipped hospital to look after her. The lead Physician Captain Doctor Bellamy gives DM+3, the well-equipped ward gives DM+3 as well. His work will take 2d6-Physician expertise or 6,1-3 = 4 hours, and he throws 5,1+6=+12, so that she just survives, moving from the KIA to INC condition. 

Because she has suffered a KIA condition, she now permanently loses a level of Health, going from H+2 (active) to H+1 (sedentary) in base ability. 

The following day she is operated on again, with Bellamy taking 2d6-Phys or 5,4-3=6 hours to sort out her INC condition. He throws 1,1+6 = +8, which is short of the 10+ needed. The operation goes wrong and she declines to KIA on the operating table, and has 2d6+HT = 5,5+1 = 11 minutes. He desperately applies first aid taking 2d6-Physician = 5,4-3 = 6 minutes to do so, plenty of time. He throws 5,1+6 = +12 stabilising her. 

He continues the operation taking another 2d6-Phys = 1,1-3 = -1, minimum of 1 hour to try to bring her to INC. Throwing 5,3+6 = +14 he brings her back to INC. He gets the nurse to close up and goes for a smoke to calm his nerves. As she has for a second time been reduced to a KIA condition and brought back, she loses another level of Health, taking her to +0 (sickly). 

The third day he tries again to fix her INC condition. The operation takes 6,1-3 = 3 hours, and he throws 4,2+6=+12 and so manages to sort her out. She will recover to merely WIA in 2d6-HT weeks = 4,3-0 = 7 weeks. 

We leave here there in hospital, once active and now sickly, expecting to recover but be given a medical discharge as no longer fit for service, waiting for Cpl Merkava to return the picture of her naked boyfriend. 


Comments

  1. There is this famous picture of a US soldier in Vietnam, and I cannot for the life of me find it again. But this guy has multiple small arms wounds all over his torso; direct hits, you can see the holes punched in him, and he's holding an SMG, crouched in position in combat, just raring to go. I mean, he'd been shot MULTIPLE times and kept on going. Didn't die, wasn't seriously disabled. One of those rare things, I guess. The VC or NVA must have rolled 1's on all their damage dice, or the guy has a massive constitution.

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    1. As always: reality has more freedom than fiction, because reality doesn't have to be plausible.

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