Saturday, December 11, 2010

Zed Fighting Techniques

No not what YOU do to defeat them, what THEY do to come after you. You should know what your quarry is capable of before you go up against them. What strengths in their ‘tactics’ they have that you need to avoid, what weakness you can exploit.

A lone Zombie is mostly an Opportunistic Ambush Predator. YOU are the prey. They are silent and still and often hidden until you stumble into lunge range. Over short distances they are fast enough. And they don’t have to kill you outright, naturally. Just that quick first bite and you are doomed.

When entering a new area like a room, it’s important to not charge in. The military version of dynamic room entry with quick stack up then pour in, each team member slicing the pie and responsible for their own specific area is less effective. First, the enemy isn’t shooting back, he’s biting back. You don’t have to hurry up to get out of the kill-frame of the door when going up against them. A more cautious approach is called for. Assuming you have no remote cameras or mirrors or fiber optic tentacles to slip under a door you have to do quick peaks, ALL over. The corners and nooks and under things as well.

A little word on that ‘under thing’. Most zombies will bite you near where their mouth level is, obviously. So why not armor your face, arms and torse? Because there are zombie kids at chest height. So armor your waist too. Nope. There are also the draggers. And they get under everything. A quick snatch and then bite right on your Achilles tendon can ruin your day. You’d have to don something bite proof from toes to topknot. It doesn’t have to be a full set of knight’s armor. The right kind of reinforced fabric can do it. But it’s generally impractical. You can’t go to Hecht’s and buy the Zombie-proof jump suit anymore. (Hecht’s closed. Sad day when that happened…) But Hecht’s didn’t sell them even back in the day. No one does.

So a quick peek into a room is called for. Preferable AFTER you knocked a small hole in a door to be sure they aren’t 2 dozen zombie college students in the lecture hall waiting for you to open the door. At any rate, have your fall back and egress routes all planned out ahead of time in these enclosed spaces. Have back up routes in mind. Have hole up places in mind you have already cleared. You gotta stay flexible and avoid the tunnel vision. A level head helps alleviate the imminent peril. Listen to that little voice in your head that says “this might be a bad idea.” Stay alert, don’t be complacent. Just because you cleared a place doesn’t mean one shamblor didn’t sneak in and re-occupy.

Now, aside from being an opportunistic ambush predator, Zombies are also Persistence Hunters. There are theories that pre-historic hunter gatherer homo sapiens were the same. We have no fangs or claws and aren’t that fast, but humans can lope longer and farther than the critters we like to eat. So we can jog down an elk like critter until it is exhausted. As long as we can follow the trail we will eventually eat. Zombies are similar. They are a bit slower, but they don’t need to rest. And they have uncanny tracking abilities at times. To counter this, apart from retiring the zombie, you can trap them in pits and alleys and such. Not putting your guard down is the best preparation, unless you have a fool proof impregnable hole up spot that you can also escape from if surrounded. Or are prepared to remain there for a long long time. If you have enough ammo, or can funnel them into something deadly, you can lead a large group of zeds to your hole up spot and reduce their numbers. In this way you are using their strength against them. MBtGE thought the quarry like situation in Walking Dead would be a perfect way to kill zombies. Figure out a way to attract them to the edge with bait, then have the bait be suspended over the edge of the big drop into the deep hole, then beckon them over. Some sort of cable car would be the way to go, maybe. Or a trap door on a platform. Maybe with a bridge out over the edge so the zombie behind will push over the hesitating zombies in front.

Finally, Zombies have that Feeding Frenzy predation technique. Sheer numbers overwhelm you and your shelter and they seem to get a bit faster when this happens. Your only hope in this circumstance is to effectively flee. Panic is your bigger enemy here. With panic, plus fatigue from running, you get blind to possible escape routes. At least your end will come quick.


JB Miller said...

Light Chainmail tunic. Knee height motocross boots. Heavy leather chaps. Full face motorcycle helmet.

Even then avoid being swarmed.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Wouldn't hurt to have one of those inspection mirrors on a telescoping rod that you can get from the Auto Parts store in your kit. Nice for peeking around corners and under stuff w/o exposing yourself.

Question: How good are Zeds at tree climbing? We all have to sleep sometime, and I'd think having a safe tree stand or two rigged in advance might be a good way to get some rest. Of course, you'd have to fight your way down, but that's where a silenced .22 pistol would come in handy. Clean out the pack that's waiting at the base of the tree, then move on.

JB Miller said...

I would sleep in a cleared building. On the upper floor.

Destroy the stairs and sleep on the second level. Draw a ladder or rope up.

Stairs can be destroyed in just a few minutes with a sledge and crow bar.

J.R.Shirley said...

Fire is good for stopping everything except dragons. Just sayin'.