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…

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Duder McGruder says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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])

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.”

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. “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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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