We’re in agreement for half of that. A capture would essentially count as a death state. The model would be on the ground as though dead, and would be incapacitated for the remainder of the fight. No question there, I don’t consider it an issue. If the status requirements for inflicting it are high enough then it becomes the same as having earned the kill. Same for the mace. Lets say you have a brother fighting a raider and the raider is wielding a mace. The brother takes a blow to the head that would have zeroed out his hp anyway. Ok, he’s no longer a factor on the field, but instead of death being the only option, the brother goes into a state of unconsciousness. Not something that would have to happen every time, and as you’ve mentioned that the possibility could be influenced by a unit that is already going to be added to the game.
So yes, in my mind the captured state would essentially be the same in-game as the death state, just having different consequences post battle.
I don’t see how any of this would incentivize save scumming. Ideally to me, this game would be as brutal as ironmode xcom . On that subject, xcom does feature a capture mechanic that is treated the same as a death state. It’s not unworkable or awkward.
If people want to find a way to cheat then they will. Resources spent trying to circumvent people who don’t want to play the game as is, are resources that can’t be spent on spectacular features that real players will enjoy. Put an ironmode checkbox at the start of a playthrough that prevents save loading and be done with it.