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Old 10-15-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
Engurrand
 
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Default Z tactics against Military

..or How Could Zed Dismantle Society

A recent thread inspired me to turn the question on it's head. It seems the hivemind consensus is pretty firmly that any situation where an organized military response is possible, standard contagion zed is not a threat.

I've been thinking of running a ZED game for a while...
So lets design an outbreak that IS a threat. Or in other words, take the winning elements of the zed formula and work backwards from there:
IMHO those winning elements are:

Misfit bands of survivors,
always on the move or holed up in fortified positions,
emphasis on resource management,
zombies everywhere,
zombies are dumb.

I know an easy solution would be to make zed smart, but to me that breaks the premise - it becomes an issue requiring an organized response, rather than one that fosters the band of misfits scenario.

All ideas are welcome.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Just make zombies the side effect of the fall of civilization, not the primary cause. Pick your method for 'almost everybody dies', then add 'and come back to life as zombies'.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

The zombies are reawakened by a strange radiation that kills all communications. Without the ability to coordinate a response, and without C3I, the military won't know what to strike, where to strike it and with how much.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

The warfare here is asymmetric. Good ways to ensure that zombies get close to wiping people out, making it less likely that the military will destroy them, are to invoke weird science so that (1) the epidemic is highly contagious in a way that defies classic containment (e.g., memetic contagion or protean vectors) and (2) the products of destroying zombies are insidiously dangerous in themselves. If every zombie you behead, burn, or blow to bits releases 1,000 times the LD50 of zombie toxin instantly, in a violent plume – and if that toxin is, say, weird radiation or an adaptive nanomachine that attacks and pierces biohazard precautions – then your army has a whole lot more to worry about. This is extra-true if the weird radiation is some kind of superscience that's activated by ordinary radiation, so that when you nuke a million zombies, you release a pulse of zombifying rays over, say, 30 times the demolished radius.

Of course, such measures mean that humans lose and your story is about the naturally immune survivors fighting monsters who can't infect them. That's the logical upshot of zombies outbreaks that aren't trivially contained. The in-between case – the zombies don't lose trivially but neither do humans, and it's a long, knife-edge struggle – isn't consistent with most of the things used to explain zombies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post

Just make zombies the side effect of the fall of civilization, not the primary cause. Pick your method for 'almost everybody dies', then add 'and come back to life as zombies'.
This is by far the best way to have zombies warring with humans on an equal footing. Of course, it isn't "zombies wipe out society" but "something else wipes out society, and then zombies take advantage of this." The Fallout video-game series is a great inspiration here . . . it has places where zombie-like things are a serious threat to civilization, and other places where they aren't, but the ghouls in question are a product of the nuclear apocalypse, not the infectious bringers of a zombie apocalypse.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Another way is to make sure the Zombie Invasion happens in Medieval or earlier times. Having the commoners turn to zombies and revolt against the nobility also has a degree of Karma in it.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engurrand View Post
I know an easy solution would be to make zed smart, but to me that breaks the premise - it becomes an issue requiring an organized response, rather than one that fosters the band of misfits scenario.

All ideas are welcome.
Well, one of the more clever solutions for the smart zed was a borg-like respone in Zombie Island. One guy, one Uber-zombie running the show. One mind directing their actions. It was pretty interesting actually and I still think a game-workable idea.

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Old 10-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

What was that Hell World in Infinite Worlds, where any concentration of people resulted in a rise of barbarians/zombies/whatever?
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
What was that Hell World in Infinite Worlds, where any concentration of people resulted in a rise of barbarians/zombies/whatever?
Not just one. There are 19 "Gotha" worlds where a disease organism has produced hordes of not really dead zombies.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

For stupid zombie to stand a chance against the military stupid zombie must radically, radically outnumber the.

A very contagious disease with a tiggering event might do it. Doubly so if the 'incubation' stage is actually desirable. Example; a new STD is starting around called 'ironman'- if you have ironman you find yourself to have virtually unlimited endurance, increased strength, as well as resistance/immunity to other diseases and people will be PURPOSELY infecting themselves with it. Later it turns out that those with ironman during exceptionally strong solar flare activity turn into zombies. So suddenly you have a huge number of zombies, and likely a large number of them IN the military.


Guaranteed infection might do it too, ala the walking-dead, when you die, you become a zombie- pretty much no ifs ands or butts.

There is also nevernding infection- 'Kill' a zombie and its not really dead, it will regenerate and get back up at a later date, only absolute and total destruction will do it (this one relies on this not becoming immediately apparent so that 'torch and burn' does not become the standard method of dealing with the problem until it is too late).
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Another way to play it is that the military has Quarantined the city where the outbreak is, but are afraid to nuke/burn the zombies for political or "what if the burning spreads it farther" reasons. The misfits are the few survivors trying to make it past not only the zombies, but the military as well who are under orders to shoot anything that moves. Because intelligence about the outbreak is sketchy, the military may not know for certain that the zombies cannot drive, shoot back, talk, etc, and so are unable to tell that the band of misfits are uninfected.

To make the soldiers even more paranoid, have a few "advanced" zombies that can drive, shoot, talk, etc! Worse, let the news feed into the city reveal that while some folks may be immune to whatever is causing it, they are still suspected carriers - only a blood test can tell otherwise, but several doctors working on the tests became zombies themselves.

The winning scenario in this case is that the PCs may be immune - and possibly even carrying the cure! - and can get out of the new Necropolis without getting shot by the living.
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Last edited by Phantasm; 10-20-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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