- Pinned is a modern term but probably not a modern concept at least in general.
In modern terms, soldiers generally use cover by small units. Fire teams and squads is the term in the US Army. Section for UK? Individuals and even entire squads will become pinned. The soldier is too afraid to stick his head up and shoot back.
You don’t really get that in warfare from the Horse and Musket period on back to the beginning of history. You do get a similar effect with disorder as men shrink back behind their buddies or even break ranks and run away. In that sense, you do have a “pinning” effect but it affects a much larger body of men.
So the concept of softening up the enemy is certainly their but warfare is so different that “pinning” is not quite the same in modern times as it is any other time. Even Napoleon developed tactics where he would “pin” his enemy with a limited attack and maneuver to the flank to finish the army off. Probably the earliest example of “fix and flank” tactics but the pinning attack is more or less just a way to distract the enemy from the real attack.
2. Pinned units would remain in cover and would be limited in it’s ability to attack an enemy. Optionally, it could potentially retreat to another position.
3. In modern terms, a volume of fire would be required to pin a unit.
4. Pinning is often portrayed in steps like “pinned” and “suppressed”. Often it predictable which is not very realistic. Other times it is resolved with rally checks to see if the unit gets enough nerve up to fight. Whatever the case, the concept is real world and any inclusion is always welcomed by me in a modern era wargame.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."