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Old 10-15-2012, 01:55 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, 02:04 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, 02:07 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, 06:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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'.
That works quite well with a lot of mythologies, where failing to properly bury the dead is a Bad Thing. On the other hand, it still leaves the problem of justifying a situation where "almost everybody dies" in a short period ...
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Well, it doesn't have to be the entire world. It could just be everyone close by enough to matter for the game. Maybe a ZED-asteroid causes a massive wave that kills/infects everyone along the coast. If you are survivors near the center, it could be months or years before the nations that survived get a handle on their own problems and send help, if ever. Maybe you got on a radio only to learn everything for a thousand miles has been quarantined.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
That works quite well with a lot of mythologies, where failing to properly bury the dead is a Bad Thing. On the other hand, it still leaves the problem of justifying a situation where "almost everybody dies" in a short period ...
Not that hard. Any disaster, natural or otherwise, that interrupts the machinery of civilisation sufficiently so that refridgerated food spoils and new supplies of food don't come in for a few weeks. The power going out on a large enough scale would do it, as long as it was hard enough to fix so that it would be hard to predict how long it takes.

Authority collapses as soon as it becomes obvious that the government can't help people find their next meal and there is no end in sight. Cities become massive centers of rioting and violence. People massacre one other over sharply limited food supplies.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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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, 02:24 PM   #8
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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, 05:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
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.
Glen Cook's "Reap the East Wind" is a somewhat interesting take on non-modern (fantasy-tech) zombies.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
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.
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.
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