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Old 10-16-2012, 06:22 PM   #41
Snaps
 
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Originally Posted by Engurrand View Post
..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.
The easiest way to achieve these elements I think is with Left 4 Dead approach. An airborne virus that infects the majority of the population, with the player characters being immune for one reason or another.

The natural disaster that causes a zombie infection is a good way too. If a comet hit the earth, bringing with it a zombie creating virus, I don't see how the military wouldn't quickly be overwhelmed by trying to deal with the comet and zed at the same time.

Another approach is like the one used the E. E. Knights books, The Vampire Earth. In them the zombie plague was just the first in a series of attack on the planet by aliens from another world. The zombies weren't being directed, but they were a weapon. Imagine if another military group was actively trying to spread the virus as an attack on a country. The military would have little chance of stopping it then.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #42
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
I should definately footnote that Im not learned in military tactics, modern or otherwise. Heck I dont even read Tom Clancy novels ;-)

Im just doing a bit of 'back of the envelope' thinking and trying to see if there is a way that the zombies could have enough numbers to actually be a viable threat. We established in another thread that for the 'typical' case, Zed is no match for well trained millitary. Iim letting the number of enemies go large and seeing if that changes. Towards that end, I was just trying to see how many Zed would/could be killed by a fully loaded tank. And if the USA has enough tanks to factor largely in the estimations. Assuming all the bullets hit, with headshots, pretty much negates tactics. No tactic is going to get you better than 100% :)

Were treating the case of the USA vs Zombie World because this is probably where alot of us would set a game. If we were considering, say, Zombie World vs Costa Rica or Lichtenstein, we would of course come to different conclusions based on their military (I dont think either country has one).

Nymdok
As a note, I'll post up here what happened to one of my buddy's units in Afghanistan.

They were a unit of Green Berets. This is usually the argument I use when there's the whole, "but the Chinese are a wave of bodies" argument VS the american military, granted though these were Special forces, but the numbers speak for themselves... vs a trained and thinking force, rather than shambling hordes.

http://copthetruth.typepad.com/cop_t...al-forces.html

and (this is a link inside the one above):

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/...n4026734.shtml

Depending on the source you want to believe the battle of Mogadishu also had incredible numbers for very few of ours dead. Now, again, this has a massive amount of SoF involved... But no matter how you cut it, American military are pretty good at wiping out several people for just one of ours. And that isn't counting Arty, Tanks... line infantry, a cook with a rifle... etc.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:46 PM   #43
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Note that it's certainly possible to have super-Zs that will wipe out military forces, but said super-Zs will also do a pretty good job of wiping out PCs unless the PCs are significantly superhuman.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:00 PM   #44
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Note that it's certainly possible to have super-Zs that will wipe out military forces, but said super-Zs will also do a pretty good job of wiping out PCs unless the PCs are significantly superhuman.
At least supernatural if not quite superhuman.

It really should be noted that the classic "headshot zombie" can not be created by anything other than supernatural means. Not even a TL12^ Metamorphioss Virus will do the trick. The Necromorphosis virus in Bio-Tech tries but doesn't get any farther than Unliving.

The previously mentioned "Gotha" zombies in Infinite Worlds are a nasty sort of "fast" zombie but they die like human beings (who happen to have High Pain Threshold and Unfazeable).
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:28 PM   #45
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
At least supernatural if not quite superhuman.
I don't mean the zombies have supernatural powers, I mean the PCs will generally need supernatural powers to deal with the sorts of zombies that are a problem for military forces (generally speaking, the virtue of PCs is that they are very compact fighting power, not their absolute fighting power, and that's of limited value against undead hordes. PCs doing a special forces type mission to sneak past the zombies and kill the undead overlord is reasonably within normal PC skill sets, though).
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:17 PM   #46
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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I don't mean the zombies have supernatural powers, I mean the PCs will generally need supernatural powers to deal with the sorts of zombies that are a problem for military forces .
That's what I meant too.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:10 AM   #47
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Note that typical horror monsters do have supernatural powers; there's actually not much reason to think that physical damage is relevant to fighting monsters, what matters is the focused intent behind the attack. Mechanically speaking, it's something like:

Incorporeal (Horror): when attacking a horror creature, ignore all normal combat rules; instead, roll a quick contest of will (your attack form need not even be an attack, as long as it's something you truly believe will hurt the monster). Situational modifiers may be applied; if you're filled with confidence because you just picked up a shotgun, you might get a bonus; if you just saw someone use a shotgun on the monster to zero effect, you'd have a penalty. The monsters can also create situations that sap the confidence of its victims; there's a reason they attack in creepy old houses. In addition, range modifiers apply; you are attacking with your will, and it doesn't have much reach. If you win the contest, you cause damage equal to your margin of success; otherwise, there is no effect (the GM may describe how the attack fails; perhaps it missed, perhaps it had no effect, perhaps something else).

When a horror creature attacks a PC, it must use the same sort of contest, and causes damage as above (DR is irrelevant, though armor may give a bonus to your will roll if you think it will work). On a failure, the monster's attack did not fail -- rather, it didn't attack at all, instead doing something menacing-looking but harmless (how often do you see the monsters inexplicably not attack?).

Note that, while these rolls resemble fright checks, bonuses against fear and fright do not apply -- the fearless character often serves to demonstrate how the monster works.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:27 PM   #48
Tyneras
 
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

What if it's a combination of infections, with shambling undead simply being the most common combination of successful infections?

So you could have undead shamblers, undead but otherwise normal humans, humans with an overpowering urge to attack the living, super zombies, super humans, shambling but alive humans, typhoid mary's, etc.

It would make target identification a real pain, even after infection.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:55 PM   #49
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

Combo scenarios are great for "All Hell breaks loose!" campaigns, and I recommend them in the Zombies manuscript. There's no good reason not to have infected living, undead ghouls, brainwashed super-soldiers-turned-zombies, drug-using psychos, and so on all in one situation. It may well be that if zombies become a low-grade problem and somebody else creates different zombies to close the "zed gap," crazy and evil folks will draw a line through those two points, extrapolate to a thousand other zombies, and fill the world with so many menaces that the collective zombie problem is no longer a low-grade one, even if no one zombie type is especially dominant.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:29 PM   #50
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Default Re: Z tactics against Military

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Combo scenarios are great for "All Hell breaks loose!" campaigns, and I recommend them in the Zombies manuscript. There's no good reason not to have infected living, undead ghouls, brainwashed super-soldiers-turned-zombies, drug-using psychos, and so on all in one situation. It may well be that if zombies become a low-grade problem and somebody else creates different zombies to close the "zed gap," crazy and evil folks will draw a line through those two points, extrapolate to a thousand other zombies, and fill the world with so many menaces that the collective zombie problem is no longer a low-grade one, even if no one zombie type is especially dominant.
I central malevolent bad guy/group upgrading the Zs is an interseting notion and one that solves a few story issues.

It gives you an opposing force that your players can identify with and more importantly target. Its, historically, human nature to capitalize on major events, good or bad, and someone seeing this as their opportunity to seize control of the city, county, country or world is, within the genre, reasonable.

Zed Research and Development, as weird as it sounds, allows you to introduce more variants, similar to Left 4 Dead and continue to upgrade them as the Characters grow in strength.

Finally it solves where the z tactics/strategy (if any) come from.

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