Conflicted Tuesday


We have worked out an exclusive deal with the publishers of the survival card game “Conflicted” where we will be posting one question per week from the deck for open discussion here on

You can buy your own Conflicted Deck here and play it with your friends and family…

Okay here we go…

Your camp was attacked and you and your buddies fended off the attackers and took three people prisoners. Supplies are low and they are extra mouths to feed. Would you kill them to remove the threat and save your supplies; try to convert them and lose supplies building thrust (this would cut your supply timeline in half); or would you set them free, risking a counter attack? How would you handle this situation and why?

Looking forward to the discussion in the comments below…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. If someone(s) attack your camp intent on killing/raping/pillaging, then it is a “No-brainer,” the three prisoners take a long walk in the woods and are never heard from again…K-bars are great at quietly removing unwanted problems…

    • Fenland Prepper says:

      Agreed, take no prisoners if you can avoid it. If they give up then question them to see what info you can get, where they came from are there any others etc. Then out into the woods never to be seen again. They were prepared to kill you and take what was yours so they pay the price.

      • Patriot Dave says:

        Some enhanced interrogation is called for. Where is their camp? How many are there? Arms and ammo? Who is the leader? Comand structure? Amount of supplies? SOP for raiding parties? Who gets left behind to protect supplies? OP(s)?

  2. Remember in the movie, Saving Private Ryan… They let a prisoner go and he returned to kill one of their men. That won’t happen on my watch. And, they are the enemy. I would not waste a single meal on them.

    Can’t let ’em go… won’t feed ’em… As I see it… there is only one option left.

  3. Hobbitt of the Shire says:

    If my camp was attacked then there would be no live prisoners to take and worry with. In a situation where my homestead/camp was attacked i would be doing my best to fend off the attackers and having a large honor guard preceding me if I was overrun.

  4. Denkermann says:

    First of all, I’d take no prisoners to start with. If you kill them in the heat of the battle it’s self defense – if you kill them after they’ve been taken prisoner, you cross the fine line into murder. HOPEFULLY, I would have the means to transport them (blindfolded) far far away and dump them seperately/alone so they couldn’t team up again, without weapons.

    • Sagewolf says:

      In a SHTF event killing a raping pillaging enemy is not murder. The reason if the event is going to be months to years I WILL not let my child die feeding that kind of prisoners. Now about sending them away I would not do this because I would be sending then to join others like themselves to cause other people trouble. Basically if someone chooses the dark side they deserve to die after we get all the intel we could from them. I would bury the bodies if possible though.

      • Survivor says:

        As Josie Wales said…buzzards gotta eat, too..just like the worms…

      • Encourager says:

        I did not read above that it was a ‘raping, pillaging enemy”. The more adjectives we add to the Conflicted Tuesday scenario, the better the excuse to murder the prisoners.

        • It might not have specifically said “rape and pillage” what did you think they were attacking you for? They wanted something you had and they didn’t, and they wanted to take it from you!
          Attack = weapons
          They wanted your food/shelter
          They wanted your ammo/weapons
          And they were going to take these items using weapons and force and they did not plan to leave you in a healthy condition.

          In our camp no prisoners would be taken.

          • Steve Bridges says:

            I didn’t see take prisoners to interrogate them, and find where the raiders camp’s and safe houses were to track them down at the source and remove them, with “Extreme Prejudice” as the saying goes. Raider’s will be a bad problem in the chaos of a collapse, and the best way to remove raiders is to hunt them down at the source and wipe them out.


            • Exactly- and exactly why to take prisoners. Even feed them a little until their info is proven. They can also work to bury their comrades and help you dig up your caches to pay for their keep briefly.
              But this who scenario assumes no existing law and order- which means my group IS law and order, and once we are through collecting their info / remuneration in the form of goods or labor we would hold a proper trial. and execute or release as appropriate. IF their is other existing law structure (most likely will be at least locally) then we will give the prisoners over to those authorities as soon as feasible, and make them work for their keep in the mean time.
              The only real issue is if the attackers have a previous claim on being ‘law and order’ – then the mess just got hot and sticky…

        • Survivor says:

          Whether or not it was stated, one (especially females) must assume that rape is in their future if your group loses the skirmish. People that target your provisions, weapons and ammunition in acts of armed robbery and murder would have few scruples about taking a young woman by force.
          If you think otherwise, look through history. Japan had Chinese ‘comfort women’. This was wholesale rape of a nation’s women. In many cases, diapers were removed to rape children, then they were shot. If you look through the pictures of this atrocity you see many female bodies with their legs spread wide. They were shot before the Japanese soldier had finished with her…
          In WWII German soldiers raped their way across Russia. Russian soldiers raped their way across Germany. If you think the US didn’t do any of that you are sadly mistaken.

    • in a shtf situation there is no RULE of law there is no such thing as MURDER its who stays ALIVE and who DIES

      • Per Hiero Desteen says:

        There may not in fact be local rule of law, but many people in the past have been held to account for atrocities committed during SHTF situations. The war in Bosnia comes to mind. I’m not saying that will be the case here and that you aren’t right, but as preppers we have to be prepared for our actions to be judged by others if or when a semblance of normalcy returns. It’s something else we have to think about.

        • Petticoat Prepper says:

          Good point Per Hiero Desteen.

        • “we have to be prepared for our actions to be judged by others”

          Exactly. The better the process, the better the records of that process, the better off the survivors will be, both morally and, we can hope, legally.

          I think that goes for both a situation which does eventually return to normalcy and one which never does. People who kill prisoners need to be able to justify them as executions of violent criminals found guilty in a time when keeping criminals was completely unfeasible, rather than just feel good murders.

  5. It would come down to questions.
    Why did you attack the camp?
    Was it just for our food and supplies?
    Did you think we had raided your camp and you were coming to retrieve what you thought was yours.
    Then the decision would be made to remove them permanently or release them. If supplies are low, would not ammo be among a short supply. Then you require rope for a hanging and a very tall tree.
    It all comes down to statistical analysis.

    I have been told if you release an ‘enemy’ they can come back to kill you another day.
    Rash decision make for bad judgement, cool heads prevail.

    • JP in MT says:


      “Then you require rope for a hanging and a very tall tree.” Or a short tree and a lot of time.

      • JPinMT
        Were you live and we live ………… tall trees and who does not carry that extra rope. Save the ammo for the next go around. 😉

        Although short trees would work me for as I am not a tall person.

  6. hvaczach says:

    Unlikely that their would be prisoners, and if there were I would not starve my own to keep them alive, also they did it once they can re-enforce and try again, I do not like it but they have to go, no surprises, prisoners take alot of extra attention, and materials. I am not in the slave trade mindset so you gain little by keeping them alive and stand to lose everything by doing so.

  7. Nemoseto says:

    I agree with Becky on the questions, the scenario is a little too vague to determine a course of action. its important to know why they attacked, perhaps they mistook my camp for another one that attacked them. in that case there might be a bigger camp both of our groups need to worry about, in such a case joining forces would be practical after clearing it up. there are too many variables that could be considered since all the scenario says is that we were attacked, won the fight and took prisoners. without considering why the attack happened I could not answer. my response would depend on more than a snap decision.

    • I agree. the why is a big question. Another question is, could they be used as trade items. to retrieve one of your own for instance. depends on if they are of any value to the other group.

      • JP in MT says:

        Nemoseto & Kitty:

        I understand and appreciate your compassion. But for me the answer is simple, you tried to kill me. I will kill you back, the reason why is immaterial to me. We can possibly get the answer from those we captured, but I can think on NO valid reason to attack me.

        • +1

        • hvaczach says:

          I agree with your thoughts, but simple I don’t think so. It has to be I get that, and no mock trial- no show of trying to be just, you have to walk up shoot one in the head get the best info from remaining two you can and finish the job. The longer you wait the more complicated it gets. Human nature is turn the other cheek don’t give your group a chance to see it as “they are people” they have to stay the “enemy” or you risk trouble or second thoughts from in your own ranks and you cannot be fractured to survive.

    • It is just like a cop mentality…..them and us. Sorry guys, it doesn’t matter why the attacked, they did. No prisoners taken, they are a threat to my family, they die. Harsh….yes, but it is a harsh time.

      • Soggy Prepper says:

        Agreed 100%!!! My gosh they just tried to kill me and mine I’m not going to bake them cookies, hand them a coffee and engage in polite conversation! They die and I live another day. Period.

    • It seems to me that what this situation calls for is a trial. It does not have to be long or subtle.

      Question them publicly, let them defend their actions if they can.

      In a WROL situation, using the state is not an option, but unless there are exigent circumstances there is no need to simply execute them. There is a reason for trials, and we have a responsibility to our own group’s future to follow that norm so far as new and awful circumstances allow.

      Let them say their piece, and if they fail to convince the jury, there is no need to either support them with food or to release murderers to prey upon other innocent people.

      Circumstances do not allow imprisonment, and it would be irresponsible to turn them loose to prey upon other innocent people, or to come back and attack the group. This is a precedent setter: it needs to be a good one. People, even criminals, have a right to defend their actions. If they don’t, then none of us will in the future.

      There needs to be a formal process. Not long, not complicated, but the best circumstances allow.

      If they are guilty, execute them.

      • Did these people give my group a trial before they attacked us?. I think not. Eliminate future threats from these three by eliminating them.

        • Hi Aunt B, I have no problem with executing them once they have had their chance to defend themselves, and found guilty.

          Part of my point is that it is important not to lower ourselves to their level. The difference between murder and execution may seem small, but it really isn’t.

          They are almost certainly guilty (as some point out, there at least theoretically may be extenuating circumstances, however unlikely), so when they have had their say and found guilty, then they can be executed. Just not by a mob.

          I am not trying to let them off. I’m trying to formalize the process so that we don’t descend to the same level as these scum.

          • Bwhntr59 says:


            You have a well reasoned point with a civilized type trial. But I think the harder part of the whole guilty verdict is going to be who does the execution? Sounds easy talking about it here in the abstract sense, but killing someone, even guilty as hell people, is going to be a soul searing experience. Even the brutal Russian executioners eventually got burned out and had to be replaced. I would like to think the Wolfpack is not made up of the those types of persons, for the most part. Don’t forget it is possible they could have been coerced with threats to their family members back at their camp or threat of death, torture, etc. The fact they were captured says they may be less determined than the leaders of the attacking force. As usual every situation is not black/white, but shades of gray.

            • Survivor says:

              Short rope, stout limb and set them upon the limb. When they go to sleep they fall out of the tree…suicide!!

          • Desert Fox says:

            While the attack was happening, and you killed a few…you didn’t ask them for the reason of their attack first… There should be no prisoners in this scenario. It’s not murder to defend and protect your family from those who would attack and kill you and your kids. If they did not ask for a parle’ first to ascertain your position and theirs… then their intentions were clear…they attacked to take your stuff and kill you. As a leader…you do what’s necessary.

          • Penrod,
            I respect your position on having a trial…it just makes you a better man than I am woman. If they tried to kill me and mine in this scenario, I will fight to the death. Theirs or mine.
            Then, I will get to hunting and gathering as it sounds like food is in short supply and I am not going to eat people.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            This is all hypothetical anyway. If certain conditions exist, there could be interegation and a trial. But lots of good points were brought up. Are the rest of the raiders dead? Where did they come from? What was their primary objective? At what stage is reconstruction of the community? Interegation is a complex science. Do you use torture? And how humane is it to take them miles away from each other and their pack without providing them food and water?
            When you are responsible for the survival and safety of your family and community, it is hard to say what would be the right thing. If David had not killed Goliath, would history have forever been changed?

            Your remarks have demonstrated this is a much more complex situation than kill or don’t.

          • Bill the cat says:

            A trial? So you have the illusion of being more moral or something?
            Eventually the rule of law always rises back up and quite often it is retroactive. It will be easier to argue you were in imminent danger and fear for your life and killed every attacker during the attack. If they are a prisoner then the imminent danger is clearly no longer present and it will for more difficult to argue you were in immediate fear of your or your family’s lives. In what “civilized” society is death the penalty for theft and attempted murder? This is a no brainer – accept no surrender by attackers and put them down where they are fighting immediately. And before events progress at all where it could possibly be argued and any forensic evidence could remotely support the notion you were no longer in immenent danger.

          • In New Orleans a man was being charged with attempted murder for shooting a 14yo that hoped an 8 foot fence to rob him at 4am. The prosecution just dropped the charges because the criminal got caught robbing someone else after the fact. This was played up as another Skittles.

      • Happy Camper says:

        Agree. It covers all scenarios.

      • David Powell says:

        Best comment in the string. Good sound thinking.

  8. DAMON COOK says:

    My immediate answer, would be that there are no prisoners to take, because all attackers would have been killed. But, to answer the question, which states “people “, it would depend on if the people in question were children young enough to not hold a grudge for killing part of their group, or possibly others that don’t have the skills to survive in the world they now live in. If they would benefit my group, I would probably try to take them in, but keep a watchful eye on them. It is also troubling that the question states that three prisoners would cut my supplies and half. This insinuates that my group is only three people.

  9. Per Hiero Desteen says:

    Too many variables to make an informed decision. Generally in such a case one would not want to take prisoners anyway, but:
    1. Are the prisoners valuable as hostages in case of another attack?
    2. Do the prisoners have any valuable knowledge or skillsets?
    3. How old are the prisoners? What sex?(I know, many think this shouldn’t be considered, but it has to be).
    4. Can the prisoners provide valuable information on the group that attacked? Such as numbers, location, armaments, etc.

    • JP in MT says:

      As usual, these cards are only approximately 3″ x 4″. They are meant for YOU to come up with those questions that would determine YOUR answer.

      Your questions are valid, but I would suggest finding out HOW you would approach this before it happens.

      • Per Hiero Desteen says:

        Strangely enough, this was another problem solved on The Walking Dead when Carl iced the kid trying to surrender after the first attack on the prison. Because he remembered what happened to Dale when he didn’t take care of a zombie he should have in an earlier episode. It’s amazing how this show plays out so many of the dilemmas if worse ever does come to worst.

        As for how I would approach it, I believe my first sentence described my general feeling on the subject. No prisoners. But, to play along with the scenario, I did pose a framework of things I would have to consider before I acted one way or the other if I were to take prisoners. If our group came to the conclusion that these people would be a continuing threat and offered no redeeming value, then goodbye.

        • Hi Per Hiero Desteen, It sounds like you are suggesting a trial of some sort. If so, I agree.

          • Per Hiero Desteen says:

            Yes, there should be some sort of a hearing held, based on whatever standard or mechanism a group decides to set. There will also be a need to set up some type of entity to settle disputes between members of a group as well, unless the group is so small as it just includes immediate family members. My extended family has been in one fuss or another for years, so even extended family will need an agreed-to beforehand mechanism to solve legitimate disagreements.

            • “some type of entity to settle disputes between members ”

              Agreed. The bigger the group, the more formal the mechanism.

              I had some long conversations with a retired Pakistani Army major years ago, and he made the case for sharia law in the tribal zones of Pakistan.

              The national government just doesn’t exist there, so when a dispute arises, or a crime committed, people choose several respected village elders who sit in judgement. They ask for testimony, they listen, they debate the religious law as they interpret it, and render their decision.

              Since everyone in those villages is a Muslim, everybody knows the rules. They know what violates the rules. The judges are selected on a case by case basis. I don’t think they pretend to any kind of perfection, but they do see a need for a formalized process of dispute resolution and holding criminals accountable, and they apparently have decided that this system works well enough for them.

              I am not making any plea for sharia law- there are aspects I think are horribly unjust- but they do have a system.

              Something like that could evolve in a massive WROL situation, or there could be elections to permanent/long term positions.

    • Desert Fox says:

      While you are ascertaining all your questions…they are depleting your supplies, drinking your water and depriving a few “guards” of their sleep to watch them…Maybe you can give up your food and water to give to them and wait for another attack so you can use them as hostages. Sorry, all this rationalizing is giving me a headache.

  10. recoveringidiot says:

    Dont forget .g0v is likely to come back one day. You might have offed some ones favorite nephew. Depending on the circumstances it might be wise to factor that in if that scenario happens.

  11. I would execute the prisoners and then cook them up in some chilli.

    • JP in MT says:


      I’m not partial to “long tooth pig” but I’m sure if it was done right there might be some “critters” around our location that would eat well. (Bacon or not.)

      • Buckwheat says:

        I remember one of the main characters (Thad I think) in the An American series in the books (Escaping Home) used a rope, a jar of molasses and some very hungry pigs to take care of the problem of prisoners that had killed his wife and son. They started with the toes…

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      Oh, ouch!! Coffee hurts when it snorts out of your nose!

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Would you add garlic?

      • I would saute the soyent green in garlic and onion. Add a little andouille sausage. And then add the beans and home-canned tomatoes. I would serve the chili over rice with cornbread.

        • Hunker-Down says:

          I don’t know…if they were democrats, I think I would skip the beans.

          • Hi Hunker Down, “I would skip the beans.”

            Being a good Wisconsinite, one might skip the beans but add locally gathered acorns.

            And there is always the possibility of wild rice on the side. Maybe you could mix in the acorns.

        • just the fact that the reader (BamBam) knows about andouille sausage tells me that I am close enough to the join their group when things go bad…..I mean in the South we will kill and eat just about anything already so when the grocery stores are empty……. like we say about eating frog legs and alligator, everything taste like chicken.

          • Per Hiero Desteen says:

            Friend of mine from So. Louisiana once told me that Cajuns “would eat anything that didn’t eat them first”. Seemed to allow them a wide latitude in their diet, I thought to myself at the time.

          • Bam Bam says:

            I’ve eaten most of that stuff: gator tail, frog legs, etc. We even hunted squirrel and cooked them over a camp fire when I was a kid. We’d also dig up mudbugs and cook them in an old coffee can over a camp fire.

    • Per Hiero Desteen says:

      Were you that lady at the BBQ pit in Terminus? Asking for a friend.

    • Desert Fox says:

      Then, Bam Bam…you might get the dreaded mad-cow disease! 😉

    • 🙂

  12. @Bam Bam,
    You would have to add bacon!
    I agree that these scenarios offer limited info, I disagree with the take no prisoners, I would interview them, I am not afraid of giving them”swirlies” you could find out useful info on those that have attacked you, maybe they are part of a larger force, etc. The information that is provided would determine what I would do with them. for those of you who did not go to a rough high school a swirlie is the high school equivalent of “water boarding” except the water is not so clean……..

    • JP in MT says:


      You bring up something I hadn’t considered; extracting information from them. It’s a little hard to do after justice is served (or dinner).

      • Survivor says:

        Friend of mine told me once they took 2 NVA for a helicopter ride. They started asking questions but got no response. They threw one of the prisoners out of the helicopter. Then they couldn’t get the other guy to shut up. Then they threw him out as well.

  13. axelsteve says:

    If they were a criminal element or members of the empire,I do not think that I would take prisoners.If they were injured they may die of that anyway.

  14. JP in MT says:

    During the course of battle there may be those of the enemy who will surrender. If your enemy feels there is no chance of surrender, they will fight to the death and you will take more casualties.

    Since there is no “draw” there is no prisoner exchange.

    The problem then becomes what to do with them. My DW and I have already discussed that I will not let a threat walk away. I will eliminate it, thereby limiting future threats.

    The answer is between trial (of his “peers”, made up of us, kind of like out current jury system), followed by a hanging for attempted murder and looting, or being shot outright. This problem would depend upon the group I’m in. Hanging sends a VERY clear message and does not use up resources you may need for the next fight.

    Either way, this subject WILL come up before it is needed. The group will already know the fate of any who attack us and live through it.

    Additionally you may have an age issue, some of the attackers may be youth. My solution is harsh but simple, if you do the crime of an adult, you will be treated (and possibly executed, depending upon the crime) as an adult. A 12 year old with an SKS will kill you just as dead as a 70 year old with an AR.

    • I agree except there would be no “show trial.

    • Desert Fox says:

      I like the idea of a public hanging to send a message to others. You need to show your strength. Yes, be kind, merciful, helpful and sharing when the occasion arises but when it comes to matters of survival…you got to be tough.

  15. Donna in MN says:

    I think while being attacked I would kill to defend my group, but taking prisoners and then killing them is murder like what Denkermann said unless one of the prisioners killed one of mine. If they didn’t kill or seriously injure any of mine, I have a problem releasing them without evaluation before I take a plan of action.

    In my peronal situation I may be low on food in storage however my supplies are well hidden. Also nature does provide for me and I can always find more food, and water abounds everywhere here. If the prisoners are hungry, they would get only food I find in the wild with the rest of the group, and if they see we have no food except what we hunt for, and live off foraging everyday in their eyes, they would not want to attack us again for all they know we have no supplies but knowledge and skills, and our group whipped them badly before. They would see we are well defended. I would probably release them with information to find food in nature, tell them never to come near our area again or there will be dire consequenses.

    If we were low on supplies, we would be foraging, hunting, fishing, trapping anyway to stretch our supplies.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      If there are many hostiles in the area it may be too dangerous to forage.

      • Donna in MN says:

        Not much in population in my very rural area, in the middle of a national forest down a forest trail, isolated from civilization. I rarely see anyone, so it gets a bit lonely and one reason why I come here to this blog. My property has just about everything since I plant wild seeds and seedings of wild foods on it and close to my house. Fishing is down my driveway, and through a forested deer trail, no public access and an isolated lake surrounded by total wilderness. I picked this place for survival reasons about 12 years ago in case shtf.

        • AZ camper says:

          Donna, it sounds like a wonderful place to be. You are very fortunate, in my way of thinking.

  16. How did I end up with prisoners ?I didn’t intend to take prisoners. I have no use for prisoners. Well I may try to pump them for info . Other than that I might need 1 but not 3 to haul water and fetch wood so that we can keep our hands free incase of another attack . In general the fact that they attack my camp gives them a very short lifespan.

  17. Frank Bennett says:

    I agree with most on this. They attacked with intent and malice. they would be executed immediately. My family’s safety is my whole reason for prepping in the first place. I actually saw an episode of Doomsday Prepper’s where this group of people actually said that their plan was to rob and pillage. A wise man once said “go ahead, make my day”

    • Sagewolf says:

      The people that said they would pillage on Doomsday Preppers they may find their neighbors shooting them right on sight if it is a true SHTF event. I would also get pictures of them now if I could do it covertly and put in a book and reference if with any prisoners.

  18. Hunker-Down says:

    Killing the defenseless is murder.
    I would immediately handcuff and blindfold, tape their ears and mouth and keep them away from each other. I would tie their head to their feet in an uncomfortable but not torturous position and leave them isolated for 6 hours, with water only. Then interrogate each separately to find out why they attacked, their strength and main location. I would make up claims told to me by the others to instill fear, mistrust in the others (some of them would be imaginary prisoners we didn’t catch), and confusion. I would make false promises of comfort and safety in trade for their knowledge of our enemy. If they are aware that we have any other prisoners and ask about them my answer is “they didn’t cooperate so their dead”. I would keep them confused as to the passage of time. I would re-tape their ears and mouth after each interrogation. If the process takes 2-3 days they will get hungry and ask for food. Our answer is; “we have no food”. At no time would their handcuff, foot bindings or blindfolds be removed.
    After they are deemed to be of no additional value I would move them, each one separately as far away as safety allows, with blindfolds, ears and mouth taped, feet bound, each one in a separate direction, push them to the ground, then cut their feet bindings without saying a word and abandon them.

    • NOT if the “defenseless” were killing others before becoming “Defenseless”

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Since I cant tell if the prisoner is lying in answer to my questions, I would have one man and one woman in the interrogation room with me. They would be silent so the prisoner didn’t know they were there. After each interrogation the 3 of us would assess the truthfulness and worth of the answers we got. We would also make up a new set of questions from that session for that prisoner and one for each of the other prisoners.

    • I like the idea of repeatedly interrogating them; one could get valuable intell.

    • Survivor says:

      “Killing the defenseless is murder.”

      You’ve just just thrown a person to the ground and cut the foot bindings on someone that’s bound, gagged, blinded, weakened, tortured, confused, thirsty, starving, muffled, terrified and probably naked miles from his/her people alone. That’s just more torture before the eventual death by thirst, asphyxiation or hypothermia. I’d doubt they’d have the energy to get up. You might have to carry them there in the first place.

      • Hunker-Down says:

        They weren’t “thrown to the ground”; OPSEC requires it to be done quietly, therefore gently. They weren’t tortured, just had their mind played with. No one took their clothes off. For all I know, their allies may be within 100 yards.

        Killing the defenseless is murder.

  19. Definitely take them out, I will adopt Machiavellis set of rules after the SHTF.

  20. Petticoat Prepper says:

    While I’d like to understand the why the game doesn’t give it. I’d blindfold them with hands tied behind their backs and march them off in a round about sort of way. I’d hog tie feet to hands one by one and then using my K-bar I’d cut some spot to elicit an I’m hurt sound and leave them behind. Each remaining attacker would wonder what had happened as they were marched off, I’d work this to the last person. Unless of course they were gang bangers or wearing prison garb; then it be off with their heads!

    • Sagewolf says:

      One problem with the prison garb. If I was a criminal that got free from a prison I would upgrade my cloths into something that would not get me shot on sight.

      So still be careful of anyone not just the really stupid criminals. We would like to think criminals are stupid, but that is not always the case I’m afraid. Certain kinds of tattoos would be harder to change. Maybe wise to do a little research on what tattoos a gangbanger criminal might have.

      • Petticoat Prepper says:

        Yup, think Jericho and the escaped prisoners in cop uniforms. Should have remembered that. We’ve got a big push right now of gangs into my area so I’m thinking cholo bowling….an escaped prisoner would change clothes the cholo probably not so much.

  21. tommy2rs says:

    No prisoners, ever, for any reason. A waste of manpower to guard them and resources to feed them for no return as they could never be trusted. If they turned once they’d turn again when it was expedient.

  22. Seems to me that the “why they attacked” question raised by a few is really irrelevant. THEY made the CHOICE to attack and attempt to kill ME and MY FAMILY. No matter what the reason there would be two outcomes- I win and there are no survivors on their side (the one I prefer) OR they win and there are no survivors on my side (Not preferable…LOL). I would not entertain even listening to the “why we did it” arguement, if they tried to harm my family they would be met with all the ferocity I could muster. I would then take all of their supplies as payment for pain and suffering they caused as a result of their attack on my camp (plus, they wouldn’t be needing them anyway….LOL)…

  23. Tactical G-Ma says:

    As much as I hate this, take no prisoners. And behead them and place the heads on stakes outside my gates like Vlad so all can see what happens to invaders. Sounds gruesome but hopefully it saves lives.

    • I do hope your gates are downwind….

      Vlad did make…point, though. 20,000 impaled prisoners impressed even the Ottoman Sultan. Vlad’s surname, for those who don’t recognize him, was Dracula.

      More here:

      • but what you neglect is Vlad Tepid also had military allies and a fierce military force of his own, in a very hostile and defensible mountain fortress

    • Sagewolf says:

      Doing that may tip your hand to the criminals out there. But if they are desperate they may not care if some heads are on a pike. They may think they have you out numbered. In a way they would if a prison is near you. Their are millions of criminals in prison so the smart ones may send the dumb ones or weaker ones in to soften you up.

      • JP in MT says:


        Current “prisoners” are used to using they system (which is no longer) and preying on those they see as weak. MOST will move on if they have the choice. I can tell you from personal experience that they will not willingly attack a “hard target”. There will be easier targets. At least for a while.

    • Bwhntr59 says:

      Whoa TacGMA

      You are hard core. I sort of like it.

  24. As an aside to MD- This was a great idea you had to include this “game” every week. It is nice to see all of the different viewpoints and reasonings behind them, whether I agree. It stimulates the “What if” and makes us all think. Thank you

  25. I’m thinking they could do their time as prisoners working off their sins. They would get just enough calories to survive but only as long as they did all the hard labor jobs to not only replenish what they were costing but also provide for others. If they could prove themselves over the course of time then I would consider adding them to the group. If not, well…

    • IF you have a sustainable crop that needs working, or a river that needs fishing. this will work…

    • Sagewolf says:

      Good point if you can get some work out of them go for it, but you would need to choose wisely since to many May make it hard to control them. Remove the ones that would shoot you if they got a chance. In fact that maybe a way to weed out the lost causes and keep the ones that may have potential. Like “accidentally ” drop an empty gun near one and see what he does. If he picks it up and promptly shoots you or should I say it goes click he is dead. Do this one at a time like when nature calls for criminal test him.
      Pass or FAIL, True or False, Live or DIE. Real simple test.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Well, the Hebrews had slaves. The Egyptians, Romans, Japanese, Native American Tribes, Europeans, Americans all had slaves/ spoils of war. That is a slippery slope. Do we really want to go there? I am certain that if our society becomes fragmented and desperate we will see slavery and cannibalism and every form of society we have tried to eradicate.

  26. Cannibalism?? SERIOUSLY PEOPLE

  27. if we are talking about a situation where there is NO RULE OF LAW

    • I think that was specified.

      However, it was not specified that rule of law will never return, nor that we cannot be among those who try to re-establish rule of law.

      We can choose to abide by a law-like code, involving trials to the extent possible, or we can choose to dispense with trials and just slaughter anyone any of us sees fit to slaughter. As far as I can see, that path leads to letting anyone kill anyone they want to kill, but anyone who disapproves of the last killing can kill the killer. That doesn’t seem like an ideal system.

      We may decide that we cannot afford the resources it takes to lock people up, so that any really serious infraction must be punished by death.

      In battle, all of the enemy are fair targets. Once they are prisoners they are no longer immediate threats. They may definitely be extremely serious threats if released, though, which is why I am not suggesting that the group does not have a right, and even an obligation, to nullify that threat by killing them. I am suggesting that there ought to be a formal process.

      If found guilty: Hang them high.

      Just find them guilty first.

  28. if we are talking about a situation where there is NO RULE OF LAW its who lives and who dies in that situation there wouldn’t be any prisoners it would be kill em all asap

    • Donna in MN says:

      Maybe no friends or relatives either because there is no rule of law over a card game or a disagreement. Anarchy is at best, the worst case senario even after shtf.

      • JP in MT says:


        Again, not trying to offend, but I disagree with the Anarchy statement. Just because there is no ROL, does not equate to anarchy. ROL is something that is enforced by someone outside of your group. Do the police settle domestic problems at your house? At mine, I have the last say.

        In a societal sense anarchy may be the general rule for a while. It is simply not sustainable. I think a better term (or definition) might be something along the line of “no established law enforcement”. Societies practiced their cultural laws within their groups for years before we came along an “civilized” them. Violating another group “taboos” could get you killed, even if you didn’t know “the rules”. I think in a post-SHTF world this will most likely be the case.

        At the very least, what we have come to take for granted, that someone else with come in an “take care of” the “bad guys” will go away. Probably longer than the rest of our lifetimes.

  29. Taking what the scenario states I would not harbor them or leave them behind, or set them free. They are a threat. They attacked us with the intent on doing us harm. Never leave an enemy behind. I wouldn’t take too long deciding the point and I wouldn’t want any arguments over it. The longer you wait to carry out a decision such as that, the harder it will be. I agree that at a certain point it does start to look more like murder than self defense. However in that situation… every thing is self defense. It would take a mighty convincing argument to keep any of them alive.

    • JP in MT says:


      You aren’t the 1st to bring up “murder”. But for those that consider the execution of someone who attacks you murder, I would have to ask how you define murder.

      Mine is: The unwarranted and or unprovoked taking of a human life. Self defense, combat with combatants, and execution does not constitute murder.

      In this scene we are the defenders. Those on the “other side” chose this fight.


      • DB Prepper says:

        I would consider execution murder.
        My definition of murder is nearly identical to yours without the execution part. Even if everyone in your group agrees that a prisoner needs to be executed if you shoot or hang him or her while they are defenseless then it counts as murder in my book. A justified murder to be sure, but a murder all the same.

  30. Momturtle says:

    How in the world did I end up with prisoners? Perhaps after the fact found some wounded that had not crossed the great divide and set them up for a little question and answer session. There may be information to be had that would benefit my group. Cannibalism is a cultural taboo for sure but there are scientific reasons to forebear as well. Besides from the icky “don’t eat that, you don’t know where it’s been” situation, there are some very bad diseases out there and no need to bring that into the group. Surely there is a little something to eat around that won’t kill everyone when they eat it. Of course leaving burnt bones around a campfire down the road, perhaps next to the decorative heads . . .

    • DB Prepper says:

      @momturtle they could have thrown down their arms or run out of ammo and surrendered. That is a pretty likely event in a prolonged ambush or raid, you wouldn’t carry all of your ammo to a firefight (depending on what you’re carrying I guess) so chances are if you got to exchanging fire you could run out of ammo…especially if you’re not a good shot under pressure (very few would have been tested before a SHTF event I think). Just look at how many rounds officers fire in a firefight with a fugitive. I had read somewhere that police on average in a firefight unload 20X the amount of shots as an armed suspect with a successful hit percentage of less than 20% So even competently trained individuals miss shots at nearly a 4:1 ratio

      • JP in MT says:

        I always grin when I see or hear of an attacker, intent on killing you, stops fighting and expects mercy. Where their weapon failed, they ran out of ammo, or whatever. These people were coming to KILL YOU! Afterward you are going to say “Okay, you missed. All is forgiven. ???”

        • DB Prepper says:

          Oh without a doubt! There are a lot of cowards out there as well JP, I think once a few members of an attacking group were killed off it would be likely that someone would surrender and hope for mercy. This actually happened to me in my youth during a brawl between basketball teams. We walked outside and 7 guys from the team we beat came at 4 of us me included. We held our own for a minute or two until the rest of our team heard the action and came to help. Then, as though it was us who started the fight these guys wanted to be friends. Needless to say we gave them a parting shot or two and told them to get lost. Cowardice knows no bounds, and courage can turn to cowardice in a heartbeat!

          • Donna in MN says:

            My ex H beat up a school mate in an unprovoked fight he started trying to be a tough guy. They became best friends.

  31. Kill them, and feed them to the live stock.

    • NEVER feed humans to livestock disease that doesn’t affect livestock can exist, dormant in them and be spread to those who consume them. Add them to the trash heap that gets burned, to mitigate any risk of disease spread

  32. Unfortunately for these guys I am busy working to make sure my loved ones survive and I do not have time for game playing. It does not matter to me why they attacked my loved ones…only that they did- with intent to do harm. Their lives would be ended in as humanly a manner as I am able. End of story.

  33. Gunny-T says:

    More thought. Would you initiate a counter attack? Get as much information from the prisoners as possible and attempt to eliminate any remaining threat? Bottom line though, they have proven themselves to be predators.

    • JP in MT says:

      Another good question.

      My answer would definitely be….it depends.

      What are my resources? What are my numbers? What are theirs? Are they fixed or mobile?

      Interrogation of the captured might give you enough answers to scout them out to determine your final answer.

      • Precisely what my point was as well. There are no definites until you have all the info in hand. Releasing them alone more than likely may be a death sentence.

      • Donna in MN says:

        JP, I wonder if you and your friends were scavenging for food around an abandoned house you planed to check out and suddenly you notice someone with a gun pointed at you in a window. You are startled, and accidently fire your gun in which all occupants in this house that looked abandoned, opened fire on you and your buddies and a firefight ensued…but when you have no escape and run out of ammo, 3 of you were captured, the others escaped. They think since you took the first shot and approached their house, you are predators.

        The answers given by many on this senario to “kill them all” would be completely different if the shoe was on the other foot. You think?

        • JP in MT says:


          I’ll try to answer your question without trying to be offensive.

          Short answer: No. If I was taken in an overt act of aggression, I would expect no mercy.

          I think I understand what you are saying, accidents happen. I will describe my background as a way of answering your question. I am an experienced gun handler and military veteran. “Accidents” as described in your question are not accidents, they’re stupid. If I am in a group, scavenging, I have an experienced rifleman on overwatch. All other weapons are on safe, sidearms holstered. If this looks to be an abandoned property, your approach is not the same as a direct attack.

          This setup is not about a group of salvagers, it’s about a group attacking my group. Given the understanding of THIS question, I stand by my responses. I understand that many people think this is a harsh and unforgiving attitude. But I feel that given the situation as stated, it is going to be a time where compassion toward those that mean you harm, will end up killing you and yours.

  34. Interesting says:

    It seems a lot of people would rationalize in this situation. If this scenario had the added element of involving a contagious disease, I think we would see different answers. In a grid down situation, could any of is or would any of us risk exposure to anything? We only know about our group’s health status, and everything else is a possible contaminant. Putting up signs around your perimeter stating, “Contagious disease- Cholera” will ward off a fair amount of exposure to begin with. I like to look at these questions as an opportunity to try to prevent the scenario in the first place.

    • Methane says:

      Interesting: Signs are a good idea. I have nuclear warning and Biological signs already made up to disperse throughout our AO.

      • JP in MT says:


        Although I don’t currently have any, as things progress and we develop a more remote/sustainable location, these are part of the planned preps. I still have my references from my NBC NCO days. It also wouldn’t hurt to have them “weathered” to look like they’ve been there a while.

        If anyone knows what the signs are the BIO hazard signs would scare them the most. Government have tried for decades to come up with a controllable BIO weapon. So far, it keeps getting away.

    • you have no choice but rationalize EVERYTHING. Its called Defining actions. Even if one of the definitions is illogical madness. It is the ONLY way you can, in turn, make reasonable decisions on how to act to save YOUR camp and prepare the best defense possible.

    • Per Hiero Desteen says:

      Hmm….what if someone encountered your sign and decided they had better eliminate you before you spread the cholera you claim to have to other areas. They might be in contact with others who had the same fears as they have about your group spreading disease. And decide to take quick action. Something else to think about.

  35. Big Bear says:

    The choice is to kill them, convert them, or let them go. Although there are many factors that might mitigate any decision, it seems to me that they made their decision when they participated in the attack. This fact alone means they don’t get a second chance. Whether or not I knew them before they joined those attacking my group is irrelevant. I would have to kill them to prevent them from becoming a problem again in the future. I would be bothered by all this but think I’d probably rationalize the killings the same way I would if I had to put down a feral dog.

    • Dogs do not have souls folks. Humans do. It is easy to say kill them in an era of WROL but to actually pull the trigger and watch the life go out of them in an instant I can guarantee you most if not the majority would be haunted by that sight. I have seen violent death and it is not pretty. All of you sound like you all have some morals so I am going to take a chance here. What’s about GODS law that says thou shalt not commit murder. Mans law was fashioned after GODS law. To shoot someone in self defense is different than just cold blooded murder. Do not lower your standards to those. I would stick with the idea of taping them up and walking them for miles away from your camp and leave them after you cut them loose.

  36. Survivor says:

    Pretty much the same thoughts I have, they do not live. I might use them for bait as a sniper does, but no food or water. I will not expend any more calories or resources than I have to on them.
    I would not assimilate them into the group because I could never trust them. I would not leave them alive in the camp because if the fight broke out again I’d have to worry about them and the enemiy outside the gate

  37. Kill them. Rules of war are for the attacking party, not the one defending themselves.

  38. jamullins says:

    Anyone who has made the decision that your life is expendable in order to save their own isn’t someone making decisions you can put your faith in. Why doesn’t matter, so what if they were desperate to feed their own kids or were just going along with the crowd because they don’t know what to do on their own or they just thought you were someone else, there is no good reason for their choice when survival has become such a bare-bones endeavor.

    questioning them for information will only prolong the inevitable. besides, how could you trust what they would tell you? it will take some time to question them to the point that you either feel you are getting reliable information or determine that they are just bullshitting you. plus, how will you get information? are you going to torture them in front of or in earshot of your family, friends, or your children?

    all of that takes time that those people who attacked you could be using to make another plan against you. best to do the deed, pick up the pieces, carefully move a little ways off to a new sight so that if the attackers come back they do not know where you are, and set up camp with an eye towards not being spotted and looking out for any attackers.

    also, be careful about handling your prisoners. you can’t know if they have been exposed to any type of biological hazards, namely diseases or blood-born pathogens.

    don’t expose these people to children or anyone that would feel sympathetic to them after hearing the prisoners sob for their lives and spout out hard luck stories of their own. this can lead to a problem with split loyalties in your party.

    if times change and life isn’t down to us or them decisions for survival you can see a shrink as much as makes you happy. in the mean time, don’t waste ammo (or create a noise signature) when all you need is a quick stab to the carotid artery, heart, or frontal lobe.

    i would save conversion attempts for beggars, but i would treat any thief i caught as an attacker because their actions would contribute to lowering the odds of survival for those in my group through. it would even be hard to trust children because you wouldn’t know the reality of their lives; are they really alone, are they being forced to steal for a manipulating adult, are they part of a group that is living of other groups, or so on. keeping them uses more resources, training them uses more of your time and takes more of your trust, relying on them to pull their weight could leave you exposed to ulterior motives. that would be a hard decision to make.

    real food for thought

    • First off, if feeding your children isn’t imperative number one, and take precedence over everything else, you may as well just cut their throats in their sleep and save them the suffering of starving to death. Next Interrogation is very simple to verify when you have more than one prisoner, this is why you take more than one, and interrogate them separately, sleep and food deprivation, uncomfortable standing or sitting make it easy to get them to talk. ad doing it with them separated, gives you the chance to make sure what they say jives. It is very unlikely they would tell the same lie if they were under duress.

      • jamullins says:

        interrogation is simple, i agree. but sensory assault, acute muscle fatigue, thirst, hunger, interrupted sleep, isolation, imbalanced support, and so on take time. Even in SERE school the effects are applied over days, not hours. a combination of social humiliation and these techniques has been used on taliban prisoners and taken weeks to yield the most basic of information.

        cops have discovered that gang members that are interviews and crack will often tell the same story because they were given the same wrong information by their gang superiors just in case they were picked up by the police in regards to a particular event. it isn’t a stretch to imagine this happening under other circumstances. its just leadership separating itself from the event’s fallout.

        fast and effective interrogation typically means the use of chemical agents or the application of ‘aggressive physically violent stimulus’. actually both are commonly used together.

        btw, cutting someone’s throat isn’t painless, instantly fatal, and it is actually highly survivable if you do not cut the blood vessels in the side of the neck. the really useful thing about cutting the throat is severing the vocal cords to prevent someone from calling out, like in sentry removal.

        remember also that the very reason these people attacked was because of duress, TEOTWAWKI would pose the highest level of duress i can imagine living through. encouraging added suffering to someone already suffering may just have the reverse effect and strengthen their resolve to resist you. this is why the taliban prisoners hold out so well.

  39. Methane says:

    We have a Core Group of the many members in our larger group. Most have been hand-picked and we have tried to get to know each other as best you can. I’m sure not everyone is honest on their actual views or truths, but we like to think everyone will band together and work for the good of the group. We decided long ago to use a voting method to approve/disapprove of general acts against each other or mankind. After all, if we are banding, then there is probably nothing but marshall law, and not actual governmental courts to refer cases too. Our worst punishment is banishment from the group. I’m sure if someone kills someone within the group, revenge will be hard to control. If you establish a type of fort or castle, then you should have early warning signs and traps to thwart or scare off any potential threats. A homemade claymore from rat traps filled with paint pellets will make someone think about coming any closer. Things can be triggered to fall out of trees and wreck havoc on problems too. All of these should be thought out ahead of time on what you will do to someone who tries to hurt or steal from you. BUT, at the moment in the future it happens, anything can change. Will we still use the Golden Rule or the tenets of the 10 Commandments?

  40. DB Prepper says:

    This is pretty simple, no male prisoners, period. Women on the other hand, well, if there are women in the group then i’d give them a choice to join us as a full member of the group (not as a prisoner) or they’d meet the same fate as their comrades.
    Always tough to tell if someone is being forced to act rather than choosing to act. For example, if the group that is coming after you has a leader who will kill anyone who doesn’t participate within his own group. So, provided this was the case, and the women were willing to join us I would happily accept them. Maybe because as a younger man there are….needs that would remain after a SHTF event occurs. Obviously no man would be able to satisfy that.

    I would like to be very clear though, there would be NO rape within my group. Either they join and they are equal (and available 🙂 ) or they are put to pasture with their fellow attackers.

    • Women are the WORST to offer membership to. Remember, they are the most likely to have DEEP emotional bonds to the other group, spouse, children, siblings. Women have tighter emotional ties than men. and are more likely to cut your throat in your sleep… and this isn’t speculative BS… This is based on psychological studies of indigent women in war zones through out history.

      • DB Prepper says:

        I agree Scott but I just don’t find men that pretty, I would explore the option to incorporate a woman into my group unless it was clear she had an emotional tie to her old group. Best case scenario is we would “liberate” a woman from her old group and into ours. 🙂

        • DB Prepper,
          IMHO…Best way to get a woman to bond with you in this scenario is to help her protect her kids.

        • jamullins says:

          macho words, been there and felt that way before.

          women are more pragmatic survivalists than men. while it is true that women attach emotional content to everything they do, it is that same emotional content that allows them to make faster, and other more practical choices.

          when teaching people to fight, really fight in order to kill the other person, men typically have to be taught to avoid social dominance posturing and anger issues and cultivate real emotional content. For women this tends to be a natural mental acclimation to events.

          If an unknown female came on to you months after you allowed her join the group you would still have wonder about her true loyalty to you. Maybe she has decided that the others in the group are good people but that you act too much like a tyrant, she could mean to set you up for banishment or even to be killed in a socially acceptable manner. And she would probably do so with honest intentions towards the safety of others.

          never assume other people’s personal motivations is something you can truly understand or decipher.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Well said jamullins,
            So little is known about the workings of the human brain. We do know that men use the left side or right but rarely both sides simultaneously. This way the rationale of their thoughts and decisions are easily expressed. Since women have a larger Corpus Collasum, both sides of the brain fire simultaneously with signals jumping back and forth right to left, left to right. Hence I believe a woman’s thought process is a mixture of education, experience, emotion, and intuition. And women never forget emotional events. They may only remember things from their perspective, but they will never forget.
            Women are far more dangerous than men simply because they must be trained to be objective.

            • Sagewolf says:

              You are right about women I have heard it was very bad if you were captured I think it was the Indians during the old west. If you were handed to the women for their revenge you were in a bad situation. Usually their is a line all men will not cross, but women all bets are off.

            • What makes women deadly in that situation is the “crab basket syndrome”. Its defined as
              “Queen Bees regularly sabotage those crabs below them who look most challenging and threatening to their position. While talking about leveling playing fields and bridging gaps and providing opportunities, when women gain power their first impulse is to secure their position by eliminating competition as savagely and ruthlessly as possible . . . without looking like they are actually doing it.”

      • ScottS,
        Moms are the worst. I am one and I can tell you that I would be capable of many awful things to protect my own. Take care.

        • Sagewolf says:

          I imagine if a man was captured , but not before a mothers child was killed during a fight only God would have mercy on Him because she won’t.

    • Your “needs” will get your throat cut in the middle of the night. Think with the upper head!

      • DB Prepper says:

        lol Aunt B, that is easier than it sounds for a young man in his 20’s but point taken nontheless.

        It does seem likely though that any group could pick up stragglers who didnt necessarily have any connection to the group that picked them up. It would be these women I’d hope to have join us. Obviously I wouldn’t expect the wife or GF of someone I just killed to willingly join up.

        My dad always says my love of women will get me killed one way or another, maybe he’s referring to a scenario like this!

        • Per Hiero Desteen says:

          Now we know why young men are not the best choice to lead a group. They think with their little heads too often, as Aunt B says(Did you really mean that, Aunt B?). LOL

          • DB Prepper says:

            Good call Per Hiero, I would very much hope that I would NOT be chosen as leader for the simple age factor. If I were the “best” choice I would do it and try to lead well but I wouldn’t petition the group to be leader.

            There would have to be more experienced/knowledgeable folks in the group to lead.

  41. Urbancitygirl says:

    Our camp was attacked. Why did we take prisoners?? Were we looking for hard labor workers and it was convenient to keep some prisoners? Just doesnt make sense to me to have more mouths to feed. And, who is going to guard them? Just too many questions as to why we didn’t eliminate the threat entirely.

    This is not a scenario I would be comfortable with, but I would be required to make the necessary decisions and if I was able to fend off an attack, there would not be prisoners.

  42. Maybe I have seen too many episodes of “Walking Dead”, but I don’t see myself taking prisoners or allowing others in my group to take them. If they attacked us, they are already a threat and I fight until the threat is neutralized.
    I look forward to reading everyone’s answers later after work!
    Take Care, ya’ll.

    • one name Tyrese… remember his story, and how he came to be a valued member of Ricks Group… And Glen’s pet Lesbian (sorry cant recall her name or I would have used it) Too many possibilities for hard absolutes.

      • DB Prepper says:

        Glen’s pet lesbian? Do you mean the cutie pie Maggie? I don’t remember any lesbians in the earlier episodes…

      • I don’t want my kid to die (or worse) at their hand because I thought I could “make nice” with the people that attacked us. I believe that is naive. I don’t claim to have the correct answer, but that is my honest answer.
        The fight they started doesn’t end until my family is safe. If they attacked me and mine without provocation, that is a threat that I will eliminate. The only exception would be God talking to my heart, which he does on occasion…
        If I meet them under different circumstances, my answer is probably different.

      • Sagewolf says:

        It maybe interesting to watch shows like this and do a “What If?” After every episode.

    • Choosing to fight is what killed 100+ people in Rick’s group and both of the Governer’s groups destroying all and everything. When Rick took refugees in they got stronger. Numbers are an asset, regardless where they came from.

  43. riverrider says:

    the geneva convention doesn’t cover civilian combatants. if it does, i didn’t sign it.

    • this isn’t a military of one nation against another, the rules you follow are your own… think them through carefully

      • DB Prepper says:

        You’re damn right Scott! Just because you don’t believe in doing something doesn’t mean someone else shares that view. Especially in a scenario where there is no law of the land beyond what you create/enforce.

        • Hi DB Prepper, “Just because you don’t believe in doing something doesn’t mean someone else shares that view. ”

          That is true, and at some level, if there are people in our group who refuse to be bothered with anything like a trial, I probably cannot stop them. I am not going to shoot a member of the group nor get myself shot, thereby destroying our own group exactly when cohesion is most important.

          I can make my argument in favor of a trial, and if anyone refuses to go along, simply declare that I refuse to participate in or condone summary executions. Then leave it be. I made my point, and I lost. It isn’t worth destroying our own group over, tho summary executions would likely put quite a strain on it.

          Of course, people with the other viewpoint might declare that I have to submit to them by participating or face death myself. At that point I could either participate at gun point, gun down the dictatorial SOB, or remove myself from the group. All of those options would be a disaster.

          But then, disaster is what this is all about. Disasters can be made a lot worse than necessary by even a few people’s bad decisions.

  44. They picked the wrong camp to raid. That being said, if they had valuable skill sets – they might be keepers. Nuff said

  45. One issue that I haven’t seen addressed, was there any that got away? You need to know to evaluate your course of action.

  46. Freebird says:

    Assess and evaluate. You will have a couple days before they have to eat again. Determine where they came from, who they are associated with and their motive for attacking your camp was. Drill them for insider information on their group and others of same ilk. Extract information on news outside your camp. Evaluate their skills and worthiness to your group. They may posses knowledge and skills your group is lacking. Then do what you must, based on good intelligence. If you turn them loose make certain they believe you have nothing in your camp worth coming back or fighting for. They may spread that word and help you avoid future attacks. “A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.” ― Baltasar Gracián.

    • Sagewolf says:

      Your right do let the see what you have if you intend to let them go. Sadly that includes your women. I know women are capable, but it is like blood to a shark we don’t want to give them a reason to come back for the ladies. Sorry no sexy cloths, short skirts, or high heels they’ll get you killed.

    • DB Prepper says:

      Freebird would you be able to trust any of the information they offered up? I can’t imagine there would be a way to verify anything they told you without a risk of contact and potentially another firefight.

      What if a prisoner told you that they had no ammo, weren’t experienced and/or were camped in a different direction?

    • jamullins says:

      sounds good on a blog but the reality is that another group found your group, attacked it unsuccessfully, and left you with prisoners that will be a difficulty no matter what you do because there isn’t any really good way to handle them.

      will that group be back? with more people and better equipped? if so they already know you are a source of valuable resources that they can use. what if you captured several scouts? could they be experienced? done this 5, 10 50 times already? are they former law enforcement, military, gang members, organized crime, or a survivalist militia group?

      how did they actually locate your group? how close are they to you at this moment with more people and equipment?

      are there other groups in the area? if so they would be highly competitive surviving against rival raiders. did these rivals see what happened? would they come to see what all the fuss was about?

      what if you happened into some other group’s claimed territory, maybe you you walked past some unknown boundary and missed the warning signs. perhaps they felt you are the invaders after their resources and wanted to act preemptively. if told a story like that by a trio of prisoners on separate interviews would you believe it? or would you assume it was a party line geared towards scaring you into letting them go?

      what about immediate action at the point of the encounter? would it draw hunger wild dogs to you? what about hungry wild people who are starving? do you really want to take the time to see what comes next? can your resources deal with it? can you people handle another killing fight so soon? do you have wounded to look after? do you have children and older members to consider in more action could be imminent?

      if you move, then what? kill the prisoners? or move and hope they don’t try to give your position away and/or leave a very obvious path right to you for their allies to find?

      the bottom line is immediately after the fight you are standing on a battleground. that means people may know exactly where you are or can at least find it if they want. what do you do now? are prisoners still the top concern?

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        I think the same way. If possible get the heck out of dodge. If not, make sure the rest of that group is dead or assimilated. And a counter strike or retreat would have to happen immediately. I still think it is too dangerous to allow someone to live who considers you an enemy.

  47. not enough details to warrant executions and false bravado. Strip them of any weapons walk them out tie their hands and leave them stumble home. you have at least gained their weapons and sent the message that you are not the wrong kind of people. The NEXT time the same ones attack is when no quarter is given. This is a situation where humanity can make the difference when the adage of ” the enemy of my enemy” comes into play, If the other camps enemy attacks you, they may come to your aid, since you didn’t kill needlessly, Or they may use you as a sacrificial lamb to make a truce with the other, if you did. ALWAYS look at the big picture.

    • Desert Fox says:

      Sorry to disagree with you. You might have won the first round, but what’s to say you can take another attack? The big picture is to defend yourself to the fullest. Defending yourself is not killing needlessly nor harming the defenseless.

  48. Interesting! I’ve seen a lot of emotional responses, very little rational. Some with hate towards the enemy, some acting out of love for family. Problem with emotion is that it blinds you. I’m not saying that I don’t have the same concerns, just going to approach it a little different. I’m not going to waste resources on the prisoners. But I see no reason to waste a golden opportunity.
    The facts are that the group attacked to get resources, you now have prisoners, and if those prisoners don’t make it back to their group then that group will attack again with the addition of revenge. Not something I want to encourage. If the prisoners were released believing that you are out of supplies, then you have just removed any reason for the group to attack again. The hard part is convincing the prisoners that your pantry is empty. A little trickery and staging and these prisoners become an asset.

    • Donna in MN says:

      I know for a fact even if you call cops on someone doing something illegal to you, they will hate you for it and get revenge. You are correct.

      Those who kill or torchure the prisioners will have retribution from their group. I chose to let them think I had no supplies and educate them on how to find food in the wild, since the senario says it was at “my camp” and I live in wilderness where there is plenty of food available to survive without stealing and attacking others for it. It is my advantage where I live, but your answer could work as well. Good response!

  49. k. fields says:

    OK – the scenario states nothing about ANYONE on EITHER side being killed or even wounded. Did the other attackers run away? I can easily visualize being attacked by a group of hungry refugees who initially were begging, things got out of hand maybe through the actions of one of my group members and they decided to try to steal supplies and run. Would they try again? Probably not, especially if we released the prisoners. If prisoners are killed, well that’s a very powerful motive for others to seek revenge no matter the right or wrong of the initial attack.
    The scenario then states that if my group kept the 3 prisoners, our supply timeline would be cut in half – so that means my group is only made up of 3 individuals. Seems to me, my group could use some extra help even if it meant temporarily cutting our supplies in half. Are the “prisoners” willing to work with us in exchange for a share of our supplies? Could we trust them? Would they be an asset or a burden? All that would have to be decided as 3 prisoners to 3 guards would be a tough ratio to maintain for very long if the guards also had to worry about external threats and forging for supplies.
    Considering ONLY the information given, I would give the prisoners a choice of staying IF I felt they could be an asset, or going with the warning that they WILL be killed if they are ever seen again. Yes, releasing them would be chancy, but I feel in the scenario as written, it would be a chance worth taking.

    • jamullins says:

      just because the refugees you mention were acting in a group doesn’t mean they are a unified group. executing prisoners may not faze them at all. also if they are desperate enough to try it once they will be willing to try it again. especially if they realize you are now lower on ammunition than before.

      in the line that the time to gather supplies was cut in half if could mean that the prisoners were being forced to work for the group.

      how would you define this in socially acceptable terms that suits the dynamic of your group? slavery? punishment for their actions? is the punishment temporary? trial labor to judge their suitability to join the group? for how long? at what risk? how do you determine when they can be ‘admitted’ into the little society of your peers and children?

  50. A question everyone has missed. Would the attacking force mount a counter-attack to rescue their buddies? If not, I agree with Hunker-down about the intell. Once you got everything they could give up, then it’s out to the woods and a bullet to the head.

    • Sagewolf says:

      Why waste a bullet use something that can be used on all the prisoners like a bat, knife, or matchete in the end do you want to trust them.

  51. I’m not impressed with the scenarios presented on these cards. Either they are too vague, set up a scenario I would have avoided in the first place, or fail to properly explain why the reader must take a certain action.

    How about hosting a mini-contest involving all the readers who will submit what they would like to see on the cards?

    • jamullins says:

      the cards are actually meant to stimulate these sort of discussions that make people ask questions and seek deeper truths. it makes for a neat, quick game but also provides a starting point for all kinds of unusual topics as food for thought.

  52. Just remember and consider, taking a life in a fight is one thing. Killing another defenseless human being in cold blood is another thing altogether. Such things shouldn’t be done lightly and without full consideration of the repercussions to you and yours mentally/psychologically.

    I would most likely consider hiring them at worst or keep them around for awhile at best. Unless you have no water to spare they can likely get by for a week without without food without damaging their health too badly, certainly not irrecoverably.

    The situation may change in that week.

  53. matthecat says:

    Think of the ages of the attackers also and the gender. Nine y.o. girls desperately seeking food aren’t much of a threat.

    • Sagewolf says:

      A 9 year old girl that is hungry maybe more dangerous then you think. If she was abused and brain washed she could still be very dangerous after all we all have to sleep at some point.

      • Sagewolf says:

        The reason a little girl would be dangerous is what you said ” she wouldn’t be a threat.

        • jamullins says:

          roughly 1/3 of the soldiers in western african conflicts are children under 16 years old, most notably in sierra leane and in liberia

          children, especially younger children, are very susceptible to conforming to the environment they find themselves in. it is a fact that has been exploited throughout the ages.

          • Survivor says:

            Interesting that you selected those two countries…Liberia was established by the US government as a homeland for repatriated slaves. Sierra Leone was established for the same reason by Britain.

            • jamullins says:

              just two places i know something about. i did not mean to single out such ethnic parties. it’s just a matter of where life takes you.

          • Sagewolf says:

            You are right about children conforming. The very inner strength and flexibility can be used to turn them to the Dark Side. I think children may fair better then adults during a SHTF event since they really don’t have a vested interest in how things were before. We would try to get things back to what it was before while children would just want food shelter and some form of safety.

        • Sagewolf says:

          I was watching “The 100 “on TV last night proved my point a 13 year old girl was able to strike before that man she killed could do anything about it. A strike to the neck and he was done for real quick. She also used her tears to disarm him.

          • Sagewolf
            Children are born with no moral compass.
            That is something taught to them by their parents and older siblings, if they have any.
            If no one teaches them right from wrong, look what becomes of them. They make a ‘true wolf pack in the wild’ look like child’s play.
            I agree with your statement they are something to be reckoned with.

  54. Duder McGruder says:

    The Bible says to “Love Your Enemies”. SHTF or not..God still makes the rules.

  55. Buckwheat says:

    I think that if I could determine that they were cooperative and not an immediate threat to me or family I would, at some point, give them a choice to live. If they live, I take their trigger finger. So, it will be a while before they become a good shot.
    Also, judging by some of the responses – I think that there are several answers that are focused on the here and now. What happens when law and order is restored? What happens when the law and order is the NEW WORLD ORDER when all of the people left alive are begging for order to be restored (that is the NWO plan)? If there were any remote witnesses/evidence from their party or yours, you’ll be a gonner or always looking over your shoulder. You can relax when the world population reaches 500M. That is when those people will have accomplished their goal. However, if it is an Armageddon situation and Christ returns, I would not want to face that judgement. Bottom line, I would rather tell him/her the good news, forgive them and take a reminder than to take their life. I might sentence them to death before hand just to forgive them a few days later, depending on the circumstances. That might be on the manipulative side though.

  56. Prisoners? We interrogated them a few times in the first 24 hours. Then they “got away” the 2nd night after caught them. Haven’t seen them since.
    (No need to mention that they rec’d “assistance” to get away to [email protected])

  57. patientmomma says:

    These situations and the Pack comments always make me stop and think what I could or could not do. If a group of folks “attack” others they are not asking for food or help; they are out to kill, rape and steal. Thus I would defend my family and kill as many attackers as I could see. I would not plan on any prisoners. That said, if for some strange reason there were prisoners, I would turn them over to the group for trial, much like One Second After.

    • JP in MT says:


      I think you hit it right from the start….”stop and think what I could or could not do”. That’s really what this is all about. In our everyday prepping, most of us do not think about these kind of issues.

  58. Briar52 says:

    There is a great deal of talk of killing the bad guy. It is not just a decision like hunting or fishing. Ask yourself so I have it in me to disarm, hobble, then destroy a human being? Soldiers, Marines and even cops have to be trained to react and sometimes defending themselves is automatic. I may be faced with the situation but living with it will not be easy even when you have been conditioned to it. Defending an attack is predictable forced behavior. The next step is a decision that you live with for the rest of your life.

    • Briar52,
      +10 Your actions will be judged not just the rest of your life, but afterward in the next.
      Think of how you want your kids to see you, how history will remember your actions. The mercy you show may inspire others, we may be animals, but we don’t have to act like animals.

  59. Patriot Dave says:

    I think everyone is assuming that this is a WROL situation.
    If it is, I agree 100%, you cannot risk releasing them. I would not even trade them for food. Unless blindfolded and no hearing, they have gained some opsec just being in your camp. I would use them to get info about their group as I stated above.
    However, I could see this happening were there was still some law enforcement. Such as the novel “Lights Out” where the attackers in the truck were fought off and some survived. I still would not feed them. I would let the Sheriff do that.
    The senario just does not give enough information to make a pre-judgment on the best course of action. It would definitely be on a case by case basis.

  60. My first observation on this thread is that way to many people have stepped up to the PC punchbowl and drank heartily therefrom.

    I make the assumption that the Amerikan Empire has completely collapsed in this scenario. This means most probably that the entire first world has collapsed. There will be no aid for the people from any source.

    Governments at all levels have ceased to function, i.e.; Law, Fire, EMT, Water, Sewer, Trash Service, et. al.

    IOW, every man, woman, and child to fend for themselves.

    If the people who were attacked had banded together, pooled their resources and skill sets, set up a temporary or quasi-permanent camp as place to begin the arduous road to recovery, then it would be kill or be killed if I were the Commander.

    I would not worry about what happens when society is reestablished because in this scenario we are talking about decades, not days and weeks.

    My two cents.

  61. Gather intelligence quickly and separately; hold a separate tribunals with the most capable of my group acting as defense – barring exceptional circumstances the penalty is death. Death by hanging – then as a warning like Tactcal G-ma’s idea of displaying on pikes; I would suggest that cutting off a different appendage would be both easier to sever and would have a more “SHOCK AND AWE” value than the big heads.

  62. Do unto others…, if you or your family were captured how would you want to be treated?
    A lot would depend on who they were and what they did. A fourteen year old boy forced to participate, a pregnant women trying to feed her starving child, a coworker or neighbor that you knew back in ‘the world’, a hardened dirtbag that tortured your friend to find your location, all deserve a conversation [trial] to determine appropriate response.
    Maybe…feed them, treat their wounds and send them on their way is the best thing to do, for them and you. Violence is the easy way, and SOMETIMES its the necessary answer, not always.
    Defeat the enemy without becoming the enemy.

  63. CountryVet says:

    oK – Card says we have 3 prisoners. (not sure that there would be any here, but for some reasone we have 3)- The first step would be intense interrogation of said prisoners to attempt to determine intent and alliance with another group. If any of these 3 prisoners has been previously determined to have killed or injured any other groupd member of his own accord, execution in fron of the camo. Any prisoner not at that time deemed to be a threat would be offered the option of slave status for x# of years with his/her freedom being regained after that time period of serving the group by working for specficly assigned “sponsor.” This person would be branded on his/her forehead with a chosen mark, work in leg shackles under the supervision of a guard wtih a dog. ANY breach of protocol resulting in an attemted escape, theft, or endangerment of a group member would be immediately dealt with by execution. I would afford ths person 1/2 rations only until actually earning his/her own keep. I would hope and pray that the extra labor could offset the loss of calories to our group.
    NEVER underestimate a 9yr old girl. I have one that if or I the rest of her family was threatened would shoot you in a heartbeat! She is also a VERY good actress and could convince ANYONE to take her in and has the intelligence ability to “work it” to her family’s advanatage! She has the face of angel, but is tough as nails. I am sure that there are a lot more out there like her, many without her moral compass. BEWARE

    • Sagewolf says:

      Ya a small child especially a little girl could be very dangerous. Our instincts would say protect her from harm. Our “Spidey Sense ” would most likely not work concerning a young child.

  64. Would I murder them? Probably not. They would die in their escape attempt. I agree they were just trying to kill you and take your stuff. Question them to find out where their camp is and then go on the offensive when they give it up. Destroy them or they will definitely be a thorn in your side if you don’t. Unfortunately if SHTF all civil end behavior will be a thing of the past until all those with no morals will be either destroyed or imprisoned.

  65. Happy Camper says:

    Complex question with a difficult answer. I think everyone deserves a chance, albeit a very limited, restricted and supervised chance in the way of a trial. The hostages may have useful skill sets that could make them earn their keep plus have added value.
    I would rely on my sixth sense and pray for guidance. But in a situation where emotions are high and adrenaline is pumping it’s likely rational thinking may be overtaken by emotions and the hostages will become garden compost.
    The bible isn’t clear on capital punishment (as a matter of interest)
    It seems to come down to interpretation. And the interpretation has been debated for as long as people have been looking at the bible.

  66. Happy Camper says:

    With three prisoners, there is the possibility of individual value. Or holding one prisoner while the others work.
    Aka; you no till, uncle loses his toes.
    There’s three individuals and that could be useful to not look at it as one entity.

  67. Desert Fox says:

    My last post (really!)…It’s amazing to read that those that want a swift demise of the prisoners have been labeled emotional and heartless.. .yet, those who want to keep the prisoners and interrogate them end up with torturous treatments!…i.e. blindfold them, mute them, keep them thirsty and starve them! I wonder which ones are more humane!

  68. Benjammin says:

    In the words of Captain Bligh,
    “I have one concern, the mission. If anyone endangers it, I shall cause that person to curse their mother for giving them birth.”

  69. John Smith says:

    First mistake was, taking prisoners.
    They attacked you first, so they should all die in combat, no survivors.
    Use the bodies to feed the pigs, or skin them and hang their bodies from a tree as a warning to others that may want to attack you.
    If they would have come in peace, I would have given them some food and let them go in peace. But if they come to rape, pillage and burn, well then, today is a good day for them to die.

  70. Tomthetinker says:



    WHAT DO … YOU … DO?

    just thought I’d turn this around .. for the sake of conversation…..

    • David Powell says:

      Nice twist Tom. I think it’s easy to talk about death from the comfort of one’s comfortable office, an entirely different prop for real. Something to think about, especially if the closest one has been to combat is a video game…

    • TTT,
      You’re right. Words have meaning and the use of “camp” over “compound” or ” homestead” could very well change the meaning and complexity of this scenario. IMHO taking prisoners would not be wise; however, doing it whan temporarily camped at a location, perhaps in transit, is not a smart idea at all.

  71. jamullins says:

    man you have to love a blog like this. it makes everyone look at each and make very personal evaluations and decisions.

    if everyone who responded to this blog were to end up in a train station in need of support could we find it among ourselves or would we end up squabbling over resources, possibly killing some of each other off in the process, and move on?

    • Donna in MN says:

      Good question.

      I would think we would seek out like-minded people at the station and form smaller groups and leave from there. I think there would certainly be friction as a whole group together because we have quite different opinions. It is well known a house divided against itself will fall.

      Lets see, there will be:
      the Hang em High Clint Eastwood group
      the let them go, let them go, let them go, lover group
      the slaver’s Mishone with two walkers group
      the cannabal, eat yo momma group

      Anyone I left out please put your group’s designation in.

  72. Gunny-T says:

    Lot’s of good discussion on this. There’s a lot of conjecture and a lot of folks counting on that the other group would be sensible after a point. (I doubt that one) Very interesting, scenarios, Children, women, lost folks, etc. I think that an issue like this could be a real pressure point to any group. Would you put it up to a vote? Would you decide on your own if you were the leader? What if you weren’t the leader and didn’t agree with his decision? If you had a large group like what is represented here in all the different posts would you have a ‘panel’ of ‘elders’ to decide issues like this? How would the decision be made in your group?

  73. “Your camp was attacked…”

    The use of “camp” as opposed to home, retreat, or other that would denote ownership of the property is interesting. Camp usually means a temporary base or shelter. If we were just passing through and picked this location to camp, I’d question the prisoners to determine if they had some claim to the property we were on. If so, zip tie them up and leave. Else, kill them and consider it a good deed done.

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Nice twist on your part…. “Camp” “Buddies” Are we talking about three ‘guys’ drifting around doing the dirty and not those that “Attacked” them… not a question really… If not then mayhaps we 3 Buddies had best consider what WE may have done to cause… this problem and what we can do to calm things down.

    • Sagewolf says:

      Good point

    • Sagewolf says:

      Consider this also what if we were mistaken for another group that had harmed them before. They may only know that it was only 3 men. These men may have raped a woman in their group and they only know the very basics of who did it. After all you would want to have revenge for the woman especially if she had ultimately died. That would be one reason to spare those you ultimately captured. If you do not have a main base I think it would be a good idea to move on before you are killed by one of their group if a member refuses to believe you are innocent.

  74. Separate them. Get all info. U can. Remember, if they attacked my camp, then I must believe they have attacked others. Feed them their last meal, small one of course. Then eliminate that threat.

  75. Survivor says:

    I don’t think the attack would be a head on frontal assault from a single direction. We are going to be surrounded and isolated. The fact we survived the first attack AND took prisoners would be amazing.
    They are not going to go away if they think we have food and they have the upper hand, being cowards. They will have watched us for days before attacking. They’re predators, this is what they do. They will target the men in the first assault,. Then they’ll use snipers and slowly move in for the kill. They will target our children and our loved ones. They will be merciless.
    The best defense is a great offense. We have to take the fight to them or somehow convince them we have no food. Try that with no inspection.
    Devise a low tech early intruder alert device and an alarm device so that all members can hear the alarm and understand what to do. This may have been what saved our group. You can’t over stress the importance of sentries, alive or not.

  76. A simple and maybe stupid question. Why have we decided to take prisoners? Unless we have the logistics and resources, like stockade, and designated guards as a real military force would have, this is just an insane move.

  77. I would interrogate the fallen….get numbers, structure, and composition. After that seek what I need and move on.

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