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Old 10-16-2012, 04:47 AM   #21
Anders
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Is being undead that much more of a force-multiplier without horses or armor?

Besides the living commoners will help the nobility when this happens, no matter what ancestors the zombies had in their earthly lifes. Rent collectors are less obnoxious then monsters.
Or we can take it to earlier days... I wonder how Ramesses II, Alexander, Scipio or Caesar would fare against zombies. Remember - zombies don't break. There is no stage of the combat where zombies turn tail and run. You have to kill them all. And the next day, you have to kill your fellow soldiers, brothers-in-arms, who have succumbed to the plague.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:58 AM   #22
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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I wonder how Ramesses II, Alexander, Scipio or Caesar would fare against zombies.
I would expect an initial misstep before they understand the nature of the threat. If they survive that, and are still in command of organized forces, they would ruthlessly exploit the zombies' weaknesses in reasoning to employ all manner of decoys, traps, etc, while leveraging the supernatural nature of the threat to unify human opposition (under themselves, of course).

Adventure Hook: The consul needs 2 zombies captured and shackled for tomorrow's demonstration in front of the troops. Guess who has to go out and get them?
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:21 AM   #23
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Or we can take it to earlier days... I wonder how Ramesses II, Alexander, Scipio or Caesar would fare against zombies.
The might have a problem that their default weapons aren't terribly good against zombies, but the basic low-tech anti-zed tactic is to build traps and fortifications, lure the zombies in, and slaughter them with ranged or reach weapons.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:34 AM   #24
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There is/was a webcomic out there called 'Last Blood' where the author and an number of readers (myself sadly included) kept arguing back and forth to a ridiculous extent over whether or not the Zekes in that comic could have, in fact, effectively destroyed civilization in less than a week. The author kept telling us he had reasons for everything and to just trust him...

SPOILERS!
(If you want to read a pretty darn good zombie survival tale without knowing the gimmicks, go read it now)



Trick #1: Pretty much *any* contact with zombie teeth led to infection. Death from infection alone took a day or two and was at or very near 100% fatal.

Trick #2: As soon as you died, even from a minor dose of virus, you rose up as a zombie. Time delay was a minute or two (maybe).

Trick #3: Zombies did not smell like food to other zombies and tasted worse. Even the ones that resurrected a minute after you started eating them.

Trick #4: Dying from any other cause while infected (again, even a small dose) led to rising as a zombie. Drowning as an example.

Trick #5: 'Fresh' and unwounded (except for the bite mark, which might be under clothes) zombies looked relatively normal unless you looked really close. Many of them in the initial day or two could and did get on a plane for the far side of the world without raising suspicion... until they started convulsing and biting people (but not killing!) at the other end.

Trick #6: Zombies could run, flat out at top human speed, for *days*.

Trick #7: (The big kicker) The entire swarm was under the direction of a single individual with military training and a sense of smell that could spot a submarine two miles down... and then tell the swarm crewing the destroyer where to drop the depth charges.

The only reason the town the story is set in survived is that the boss-guy wanted it to. Read the story for how and why, it is pretty good. Oh yeah, and there are vampires too. It all makes sense eventually.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:44 AM   #25
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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The might have a problem that their default weapons aren't terribly good against zombies, but the basic low-tech anti-zed tactic is to build traps and fortifications, lure the zombies in, and slaughter them with ranged or reach weapons.
Any kind of zombie I'm familiar with will be fairly vulnerable to being chopped to pieces with swords, having their limbs broken by heavy shields or being stabbed in the face with a spear. They don't grab people without hands, they don't walk on broken limbs and if you need to ruin their heads, dedicated military weapons are probably better at it than shovels (which still work in the movies).

And the equipment of a legionary would probably be fairly good at protecting from zombies too dumb and uncoordinated to even pick up weapons. It's really hard for him to grab or claw you when there's a shield in the way and even if he manages to get past that, zombie claws and teeth will not play nice with lorica hamata.

Sure, the press would eventually overwhelm your troops if you let them get caught in the open, but anywhere the zombies can only get at them a few at a time and killing them won't be a problem.

How long your men can stand it, physically and mentally, might be. While it might not call for challenging swordsmanship to cut at grasping hands while using your shield to keep them away, it does demand that you not make any glaring mistakes. And fatigue will increase the odds of these mistakes. So sooner or later, you'll get bit.

Switching the men in the front lines will help with that, but a sufficient number of zombies can still keep going longer than soldiers can do.

As long as the zombies are the dumb variety, including some compulsion that keeps them coming toward prepared soldiers in formation, any organised military force from the Ancient World on would do fine against them.

However, zombies who are unpredictable, if only ones who wander randomly around (instead of going for the closest human), might not all attack the soldiers and would need to be found and killed. That would be an incredible nuisance and while going on, the zombies would cause a lot of economic damage by killing or just scaring away farmers, hunters, fishermen, charchoal burners, loggers, etc. until they were all cleared.

If everyone has to go into emergency survival mode to avoid being killed by zombies, it doesn't matter if the army does good against them when attacked. Problems with logistics, mobility and sheer numbers still mean that the army, travelling in large, strong parties, would take very long to thoroughly search every single village, field and forest in the land.

If the zombies have some rudimentary instincts, maybe so that they go for isolated tender young prey in preference to groups of heavily muscled, male armoured prey, even fewer of them will attack soldiers and instead need to be hunted down while they prey on the populace.

And, again, if the zombies are intelligently directed by undead lieutenants of the necromantic Dark Lord, they are pretty much the embodiment of all low-tech nightmares. An enemy that doesn't tire, doesn't need to forage or carry supplies and never breaks or hesitates in combat...

That's pretty difficult to fight, right there.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:17 AM   #26
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Im wondering......

As opposed to a tactic, lets consider instead a strategy.

The Zekes really only got a few advantages. Numbers, resupply, and tough to neutralize.


Lets jsut look, quickly at the first one. I dont know how accurate it is, but Wikipedia says that, all in, the U.S. military is on the order of about 2.3 Million (Including reserves). Well beef that up by saying that 1 in 4 americans is 'fit for service'. So 1/4 of 350 million. or about 80 million. So emergency conscription, were looking at about 82 million tappable for Duty. Just as a rough number.

If we assume that the Zeke outbreak starts someplace without the means to contain and neutralize itself, and that it spreads quickly enough, Lets say, just hypothetically, that the WORLD goes zeke Except for USA (Starts in africa, spreads to Eurasia...similar to WWZ).

At the end of the day, what we have is, all in, 82 million trained solidiers defending 12k miles of coastline, with another 2k miles of border with mexico. (Well assume canadas too cold to comethrough, and well neglect the inlet of the canal system that leads to chicago.)

82e6/14e3, or roughly 6k troops per linear mile. (Spread evenly cuz you never know where Zekes gonna attack.)

So assuming the world goes zeke with some slight attrition, lets say 6 billion zekes are left at the end of the change.

Thats still, on average, 6000e6/82e6 or just rounding to 100 miliion, 6 thousand to one hundred or 60 zekes to every american soldier. (assuming both forces are spread evenly). That means that the 6k troops per linear mile are gonna have to fend off 360k zekes in that same linear mile.

Has there ever been, with the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a case where 60 to 1 has worked out for the underdog?

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Old 10-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #27
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

If we imagine there's a doomsday cult that would wish to spread the infection throughout the world, just use zombie infectant as a new E-number. The western world would be crippled, and if the incubation period is long enough, it really shouldn't be hard to spread it even further. Besides, when people start showing up sick, it'll take a long time for the military to justify to itself that they have to start shooting the infected. Actual preparations for a real zombie apocalypse would be hard to find, considering that you're going to have to shoot your neighbours, maybe even your friends and family, and even a very loyal military might object to what amounts to genocide until the full scope of what the zombies are capable of becomes obvious.

If we then through the nihilistic company that plans the zombie outbreak, why, it could cause a lot of damage.

As to why, imagine a world where everyone's dependant on your zombie vaccine, where you emerge as the saviours of mankind. Think of the profit. Think of the POWER.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #28
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Thats still, on average, 6000e6/82e6 or just rounding to 100 miliion, 6 thousand to one hundred or 60 zekes to every american soldier. (assuming both forces are spread evenly). That means that the 6k troops per linear mile are gonna have to fend off 360k zekes in that same linear mile.

Has there ever been, with the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a case where 60 to 1 has worked out for the underdog?

Nymdok
The flipside to that argument though is that at some point before the Zekes number 6 billion they number 1 or 2 instead and they are the ones who have to some how overcome perhaps a billion to one odds before they can start generating those overwhelming numbers that you mentioned.

Secondly under that scenario the Zekes are still working against several major military powers before hitting the U.S. including nuclear powers that are likely to go down as hard as they can before folding. The issue is that each of those countries has its own military and conscription pool to draw on and reduce the total number of Zekes that are out their before their country is completely over run.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:22 PM   #29
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Has there ever been, with the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a case where 60 to 1 has worked out for the underdog?
Roarke's Drift was 4000 to 100 or so, and Zulus with captured guns are much more effective than Zombies. The underdog came out on top there.

The US is not going to put 25% of the population on the coasts as infantry and wait to receive a massed charge of zombies coming out of the water. Important positions (the Gulf Coast oil refineries, the oil fields, much of the mid-west farmlands, Detroit, and other key cities) are going to be defended by minfields backed by platoon to company sized units of infantry with armor (tanks) and artillery on reserve. Large concentrations of zombies are going to be napalmed, cluster bombed, rocketed, and machine gun strafed by attack helicopters, ground attack planes, and heavy bombers.

Even the zombies coming ashore are going to be attacked by the 5" guns of Navy's cruisers and destroyers. I'm not exactly sure what zombies are supposed to do against a destroyer: swim after a ship that can zip at 30+ mph for several hours, then climb up the sides while being shot at by marines? A successful zombie attack on an active Naval vessel beggars belief.

In most zombie movies, the zombies are a threat because they have the advantage of concentrated numbers against poorly equipped civilians. But a horde of zombies is just a target to flight of B-52s dropping cluster bombs, and a small stream of zombies can be handled by an alert base security. The zombies might get lucky and overrun 1-2 bases while the military is unaware or overconfident, but there's too many military bases across the US for the zombies to get lucky every time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:32 PM   #30
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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The flipside to that argument ....

Secondly under that scenario the Zekes are still working against several major military powers before hitting the U.S. .....
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Roarke's Drift was 4000 to 100 or so, and Zulus with captured guns are much more effective than Zombies. The underdog came out on top there.
<SNIP>
In most zombie movies, the zombies are a threat because they have the advantage of concentrated numbers against poorly equipped civilians. But a horde of zombies is just a target to flight of B-52s dropping cluster bombs, and a small stream of zombies can be handled by an alert base security. The zombies might get lucky and overrun 1-2 bases while the military is unaware or overconfident, but there's too many military bases across the US for the zombies to get lucky every time.
Again, it was just a quick mental exercise to try to set up a scenario where the zombies would have the maximum possible advantage.that they could have.

I didnt mean to imply that they would call up 25% of the civiallians, just trying to get a rough max force count, and 100 million seems like as good a number as any. I also didnt mean to imply that all other defense forces would be completely impotent, I simply took that as a given, again, to give the zekes the largest attack force possible. I also didnt go through the trouble of mentioning that walking across the ocean floor would probably put them through enough pressure to implode zombie skulls at a certain depth.

When discussing Z tactics versus military, specifically the US military, I was just trying to see what the man on Zeke troop counts were like.

Again, putting this in scope, we have 2 1 mile lines. Assuming that each Zeke or soldier takes up one hex, we have 2 sides, roughly 1800 hexes long.

On one side, we have the humans, and thier line is 3 men deep. (6k troops to a mile, 1800 yds to a mile, lines up rougyl 3 times. Zeke goes 200 lines deep. Again, thats packign them as densly as possible, which Im assuming would make it a bit toughter on infantry but would maximize the effects of larger ordinance.

Can the defending forces crank out enough ordinance, in enough time, to mop that clean?

Something Else I turned up was that the U.S. has 9k+ M1A2 abrahms tanks. Thats about 2/3's of one per linear mile. A nice bonus, but, is it enough to keep zeke from making it past them? We still gotta get 360000 zombies.

Once the Zs get past the troops (IF they do) then its the (relatively) squish underbelly of the civillians. 250 million potential enemies.

Roarkes drift was 40 to 1. This is half again worse at 60 to 1, and they just had to repel the Zulus, not exterminate them.

Nymdok

Last edited by Nymdok; 10-16-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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