Battle of Barhapolis
|The Battle of Barhapolis|
|Date:||8th May 2008 to 13-14th June 2008|
|Place:||Stanbury Village, especially The Went Building and Nichols Mall|
|- Zombies :||*_|
|- Survivors :||Kilt Store Owner, others (commanders of the other groups should leave a message on the talk page, sorry I don't know you by name right now)|
|- Zombies :||Papa Moloch, Brona, Malkav, Bullgod, Keith Mooon, The RRF War Council|
|- Survivors :||Approx 300 (beginning) to 700 (conclusion)|
|- Zombies :||Approx 100 (beginning) to 350 (conclusion)|
|- Survivors :||Accurate numbers have yet to be determined|
|- Zombies :||Up to 30 casualties per day of the siege|
The Battle of Barhapolis, also known as The Battle of the Kilt among survivors due to the fact that the siege occurred during the one-year anniversary party of The Kilt Store, is a siege in May and June of 2008 between a zombie force led by the RRF -- later joined by representatives of Feral Undead, the Minions of the Apocalypse, Undeadites, and LUE -- and a variety of survivor groups based out of Nichols Mall and the Went Building lead by The Fortress, the Army Control Corps, the Umbrella Corporation, and The Kilt Store.
After a protracted battle, LUE joined the zombie groups on Friday, June 13, assisting in a coordinated attack that lead to the total ruining of Nichols Mall by the next day.
Prologue: RRF Excursion and Survivor Security
Between January and early May of 2008, the balance of the game had swung heavily toward the zombie side. Without a steady source of food near Ridleybank, Papa Moloch announced an Excursion of the RRF to tour Malton in order to find more fertile feeding grounds and to take newer zombies in the horde on a trip.
However, in late April and early May, the balance (as defined by ratio of survivors and zombies) swung very suddenly back to the favor of survivors. This sudden development alongside an absentee RRF allowed survivors to strongly build up in northern Stanbury Village and make advances into Ridleybank, including the Blackmore Building. A small handful of vigilant RRF'ers who stayed at home during Excursion sounded alarm bells, and survivors went so far as to start talking trash on the RRF's home forum. The calls got louder throughout the last week of April and first week of May as the RRF slowly wound their way to Central Malton from points southward. Survivors felt secure and unthreatened until May 8th, when the true battle began.
The Blitz of Nichols Mall
On May 8th, a combined strike force composed of the RRF's Department of Homeland Security, Auxunit 10, Team America and Gore Corps blitzed the northeast corner of Nichols Mall, quickly ruining it. The entirety of the mall was ruined for about one weekend. The RRF, overconfident for seemingly securing the latest in a long string of quick victories and waiting for the rest of the horde to catch up to the blitzing strike teams, quickly fell into a fairly passive grazing pattern, throwing their bodies into the barricades at the Went Building while the survivors surprised the zombies and quickly recovered from the quick ruin of Nichols.
Stalemate in the URC
As the zombie numbers began to rise outside of the NE corner of Nichols Mall, survivors began to congregate in large numbers, at one point totaling over 450 people in the mall and an estimated 700 people throughout the area. Both sides had difficulty gaining ground, though. The zombies were unable to make any progress at the mall, while survivors were having a difficult securing the local NT buildings (see below). This continued as both sides received reinforcements. Attempts were made to remove the RRF from local Necrotech facilities (particularly the Went and Greenhow Buildings) as well as local safehouses.
Back and Forth at Went
For most of the remaining battle the zombies shifted tactics to starve the survivors of their revive supply by taking the Went Building. The condition of the building bounced between survivor and zombie hands. The RRF successfully ruined Went early on. But as their focus shifted back to Nichols Mall itself, survivors started chipping into zombie numbers. A determined effort to keep Went ruined succeeded for about a week, when a survivor strike team from The Fortress came down from the Blackmore Building and cleared Went. From there, while the hold was often tenuous, the survivors began a period where they held both Went and Nichols.
At the same time, a solid effort by the RRF's GMT Breakfast Club succeeded in holding the nearby Greenhow Building, forcing survivors to run the six blocks to the Blackmore Building in order to find a steady needle source.
The Old, Dead Man Speaks
As the battle dragged on, some of the zombies who stayed in Ridleybank proper grew concerned that the horde's battle in Stanbury Village would keep the Blackmore survivors secure. At that point, retired RRF Papa Murray Jay Suskind stepped up and explained why Stanbury Village was so important.
- The reason we're spending so much time at Nichols and not taking on Blackmore and regaining the homeland is that there's very little strategic distinction between this part of Stanbury Village and Ridleybank. This is one of the reasons why the horde deemed everything around this area of Malton Greater Ridleybank so long ago. The fate of Nichols Mall is the fate of Ridleybank. If we do not take the mall down, then we'll be ineffective in driving the harmanz from Ridleybank proper. The line between Ridleybank and Stanbury Village is a line on a map. If we want our homes secure, then we need to take down this monument to decadent harmanity.
This helped to dedicate the RRF to truly sieging the area around Nichols and Went, and battle lines for the RRF crossed over from the Ridleybank border into northern Stanbury Village, which some began referring to "Barhapolis" informally.
Both Sides Call for Help
During the time that zombies held the Went Building, local survivors began to call in backup. The call worked, as heavy numbers soon showed up and cleared out the Went Building and appeared to turn the tide of the battle solidly into the survivors' favor.
The RRF, realizing that the flow of ferals into the area wasn't enough to combat the sharp rise in survivors, asked for help from Feral Undead and the Minions of the Apocalypse and received the requested help within days. Zombie numbers spiked quickly, but did not appear to immediately turn the the tide of the battle.
Open Door Policy
Around this time, the mysterious powers that control Malton, saw fit to make supplies harder to find for survivors, and to re-strengthen zombies' ability to obstruct barricades. As RRF strike teams found that they could effectively hold the doors open again, zombie assaults on the Went Building grew more and more effective. The strike teams began to realize that holding the door open for non-strike team Ridleys, allies and ferals was a very effective tactic, moreso than entering a building and eating like mad. This culminated in a Team America strike that held the doors open at Went continuously between a late evening strike (US time) and the ruining of Went. A passage of time that saw 80 survivors in Went either killed or flee the building.
The Ruining of Blackmore
Around this time, the RRF realized that survivors had dedicated their most organized resources to defending the Went Building, leaving the Blackmore Building vulnerable. An RRF strike team suddenly descended upon the Blackmore Building, holding the doors open and scoring a quick ruin that held for most of the remaining battle.
Eastonwood Ferals in Ridleybank
Soon after the fall of Blackmore, the Eastonwood Ferals gave the zombie side an assist by quickly and ruthlessly clearing out Ridleybank. While those in Stanbury Village may not have noticed their contribution, this lead assorted home-bound Ridleys and ferals to journey into Stanbury Village and join the main siege, and took pressure off of the RRF War Council to clean out Ridleybank.
As the battle continued, the mysterious forces that control Malton, continued to tweak game dynamics. Barricade obstruction -- while still a factor -- wasn't as strong as it was when the RRF held the doors open at Went and Blackmore. There were regular break-ins and a very large feral horde at Nichols Mall, however, the focus of the most coordinated groups were the Went Building and to a lesser extent the Greenhow Building.
The RRF lead a determined effort to hold the Went Building, bullet sponging against repeated survivor attempts to re-take the building. While zombies generally held Went and Greenhow, the buildings still went back and forth throughout the course of the Battle. With the closest NT's ruined, survivors had to make longer journeys for needles and revive queues that were non-existent during the beginning of the battle began to grow.
However, the balance between survivors and zombies was so even at this point, that a stalemate had occurred. The zombies were generally holding the NT buildings, but couldn't make any discernible progress at Nichols. The survivors were safe at Nichols, but couldn't take back the NT's for more than a day or so. The battle was gridlocked for almost three weeks when the deciding factor arrived.
On Friday, June 13th, LUE in coordination with the RRF and Minions of the Apocalypse suddenly attacked the NW corner of Nichols Mall. A warning from a known spy from the LUE forums sounded the alarm 1 hour before the strike, but the influx of pkers and zombie sympathizers, as well as survivors partaking in combat revives quickly ruined the attempts of the defenders. The heavy numbers (70+ zombies got inside in the first hour) held the doors open and the gigantic zombie horde outside could get into Nichols freely and eat. In a few hours time, the NW corner had fallen, quickly followed by the NE corner. Most survivors issued a general evacuation order, but with Went and Greenhow still not operational, it appears that the addition of LUE very suddenly turned the tide in the battle.
Dance Party in Nichols
In the process of ruining the upper left corner of Nichols Mall, the zombies encountered the survivor group, the Upper Left Corner. In a sign of fun and good sportsmanship, both survivors and zombies enjoyed themselves during the turning point in the battle.
On Saturday, June 14th, the zombies (now hundreds) swarmed into the Southern corners of Nichols. With most survivors dead or having fled, these two corners fell with little resistance. By the end of the day, all of Nichols was in zombie hands.
Factors in the Battle
Relentless Barricadification/Zombological Attacks
As the Battle wore on, the number of zombies breaking cades, whether or not the got in, became too much for survivors fixing barricades. Eventually, low AP counts led to desperate barricading, and low ammunition counts. When the LUE Horde broke through the barricades, it became apparent that there was not enough ammo to continue to fight. Evacuation would begin shortly.
Throughout the battle, both sides asked for and received reinforcements from many groups. A small core group of survivors was supplemented throughout the battle, over doubling the survivor population as groups like the Upper Left Corner and bored survivors from safer areas of Malton showed up. In response the RRF called on the support of Feral Undead, the Minions of the Apocalypse and LUE to support the zombie side, more than tripling the original zombie force that blitzed Nichols. Needless to say, either side would have been routed if the original combatants had failed to call on allied support in the face of growing numbers on the other side.
The decisive factor of the battle was when the zombie horde LUE showed up on Friday, June 13th. The sudden influx of zombie numbers, as well as their legendary coordination kicked the chair from out under the survivor resistance.
See-Saw of Buffs
At the beginning of the battle, survivors arguably benefited from increased search rates and decreased zombie obstruction of barricades as a response to the earlier surge in zombie population. However, this early advantage was off-set by a widely observed decrease in search rates and a noticeable increase in zombie obstruction of barricades. The quick survivor recovery after the initial blitz at Nichols and the zombies ability to hold the doors open at Went until it was ruined could both be attributed -- in part -- to these tweaks in game mechanics. Eventually, the game mechanics appeared to balance out and lead to the protracted stalemate before the climatic ruining of Nichols.
Kevan's zombie character, Bub, was present for much of the latter half of the siege. Whether his personal observations played a part in the the various changes is unknown.
Throughout the battle -- like any protracted siege -- survivors significantly outnumbered the zombies. Both sides saw a healthy increase in numbers throughout the battle, but a fairly steady 2:1 to 3:1 advantage for survivors held throughout. This lead zombies to focus on the Necrotech Buildings, as Nichols Mall, by the end, held over 400 survivors, making large-scale breakthroughs very difficult. Only the addition of LUE and their very large strike team increased the zombie numbers and coordination enough that they could be truly brought to bear.