I play a fortnightly Shadowrun game, that has been going since about May. One of the other players is the main Grunt of the party, an explosives and guns expert, with a slightly unstable personality (he is an elf who wishes he was a troll). For one reason or another, he has missed out on ALL our major combats so far. Sure he's gotten into a few of our minor firefights, but neither of our 2 big battles. The first time his character chose to overwatch "the package" while the rest of the team went to collect the money. Due to the precautions we had taken, 3 different "interested parties" showed up to the payoff site, expecting "the package" to be there. Despite troops and army helicopters showing up, he luckily wasn't needed. The second time, we tried to sneak in to an enemy controlled villa to rescue my character's cousin, but his magical disguise was seen through, and he was wounded by gunfire. Our mage panicked and cast an area affect spell, which took out not only the gunman, but also our Grunt!
I'd also have to say though, that this is one of the best games I've played in, with all of our characters having their place and use in the team, and so far we have been very tactical and precise in our dealings and workings, and attempts by outside forces to trick us or trip us up have failed due to our forward thinking and planning. We have even plotted in secret from the GM, so that he doesn't have fore-warning to counter our offensives.
So, do other people think the GM should be doing more to ensure ALL the players are involved in combat, or, as both times it was due to player choice that removed this character from combat, is it fair enough that this guy had to sit and watch 40 or so minutes of dice-rolling for 3 or so minutes of game time that he wasn't involved in?
Also, was strapping two concussion grenades to a Policlub member we had tricked, and sending him into a van with a troll we didn't like, then detonating the grens in such an enclosed space, bad form?