The Battle of SantLUEville

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The Battle of SantLUEville

Dowdney-mall-logo-alt.jpg

Date: 29th July 2007 to 8th August 2007
Place: Santlerville, especially Dowdney Mall, The Dewes Building, and The Hall Building
Result: Zombie Victory

Combatants
Survivors x Zombies

Groups
- Survivors : The Dribbling Beavers, Malton Police Department, The Burchell Arms Regulars, The Beatbox Kids, Creedy Defense Force, FVZA, The Academy, Mad Craskers, Cannonball Crew, (To The) Four Winds, Dewes Meat Shield, MDHS, Five Critics
- Zombies : LUE, The Headbangers of Malton, RRF Gore Corps

Commanders
- Survivors : Sexy Rexy Grossman, Kolossov
- Zombies : Big Vito, Brona

Strength
- Survivors : 650~
- Zombies : 350~

Casualties
- Survivors : Lots, and repeatedly. Everybody died at least once, right?
- Zombies : Lots, and repeatedly.

The Battle of SantLUEville was a week-long battle in late July and early August 2007 between the zombie horde LUE and the survivors situated in and around the suburb of Santlerville. While Dowdney Mall fell almost immediately, once the fight moved to the surrounding suburb, it took on an entirely new dimension and organized revives held survivor numbers steady even as dozens were killed each night. In the end, NecroTech facilities once again proved to be the critical resource buildings in the battle, and once they remained in LUE hands a zombie victory was all but assured.

Prologue

Following the end of The Battle of Santlerville in May of 2007, word began to spread about the well-organized resistance put up by the residents of Santlerville -- The Dribbling Beavers in particular -- and traveling survivor groups who helped protect the suburb. Once the RRF and its allied zombie groups had moved out of the area, they took a majority of the feral zombies with them. As the danger levels decreased, one by one the mobile survivor groups began leaving Santlerville. However, activity in the 'burb remained high as the survivors started branching out into Heytown, Randallbank and Huntley Heights.

The upstart zombie horde LUE, meanwhile, had created something of a stir in the community ever since its dramatic formation on June 19th of the same year, and its sack of Ackland Mall four days later with a horde made up primarily of level one zombies took almost everyone by surprise. The next 26 days consisted of a mini-Mall Tour of sorts, a LollapoLUEza, if you will. The SSZ fell in nine days, followed by Fort Creedy and the once-impregnable Giddings Mall in subsequent days. Because of its numbers and speed of attack, LUE had quickly been labeled favorably as another Shacknews and as less favorably charged with zerging (which were, of course, untrue). Regardless, LUE was doing pretty well for itself when someone decided to tug on its cape.

Misdirections and Frustrations

LUE's first approach of Santlerville.

While at Giddings, Ulysses Black taunted LUE and drew its ire. As harsh words swirled on the wiki, LUE's ventures into South Spracklingbank to take out the resource buildings still supplying Giddings was interpreted as a sign of an impending attack. Furthermore, a strange Barhah Betty broadcast (referring to the impending release of the final Harry Potter book) was misinterpreted as a confirmation that LUE's next target would be Dowdney. As usual, the cries for assistance were heard and answered by several traveling groups and throughout the Santlerville area; in a 48 hour period -- spanning a weekend -- over 100 survivor reinforcements arrived at Dowdney Mall.

But the expected attack did not come. Some claimed that the Ulysses Black's wikidrama was the reason why they would not attack. The survivors, who had struggled valiantly to raise a defense worthy of a horde with LUE's reputation, also felt frustration that the horde did not move up to engage. Feelings on both sides were tense, and some wondered if a good battle without more melodrama could be achieved or if it would occur at all.

The Long Quiet

LUE turns south and comes toward Santlerville.

LUE turned south, away from Santlerville.

After leaving the Giddings area, LUE hit three more malls in five days including Pole Mall where it turned north again, going back up through the recently-recovered SSZ. During this return tour, LUE hit Nichols and Hildebrand at the same time, ransacking them down in under a day again before reuniting at Tynte Mall.

At this point, LUE's toughest challenge had been the original battle at Ackland when most of its members were completely inexperienced. In the month and a half that had proceeded, LUE had achieved an average member level of nine while retaining active numbers of over 350.

While the horde circled through southeast and central Malton, the survivors of Santlerville began to prepare for future sieges. The Finch Monument was retired as a revive point, and St. Emelia's Church was converted into an indoor revive point so revivers could freerun in and out without exposing themselves. The survivors communicated effectively with one another to make the transition as painless as possible. The Dribbling Beavers spearheaded several expeditions to secure the surrounding area. A zed siege on the Vicari Building in Huntley Heights was contained while another zed horde's siege on Cornelius General Hospital in Spracklingbank was challenged and broken.

Gathering reports that LUE had hit the SSZ from the south[1], the Beavers and allies in the Cornelius siege fell back to more defensive positions.[2] [3]

On July 28th, LUE left Tynte Mall for the Craske Triangle, quickly ransacking the Usher Building and Cornelius General Hospital [4][5]. At the time the Mad Craskers group was unable to do much but try to get the 80~ dead survivors revived, but it informed its allies to the north of the situation almost immediately. This time there could be no mistaking it: LUE was coming to Santlerville.

LUE Moves In

The Ransack of Dowdney Mall

LUE's attack route from the Craske Triangle.

Immediately prior to and coinciding with the arrival of LUE on July 29th, a wave of PKing, and especially GKing, was felt throughout the suburb. Secruss, then-leader Reanimations, destroyed all of the generators in Dowdney Mall. Meanwhile, Gore Corps members were active doing much the same in other parts of the suburb. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

The evening of July 29th LUE launched its first assault on Dowdney. [12][13] [14] [15] About 130 zombies hit the SE corner of the mall, ripping the barricades apart in seconds. [16] [17][18] [19] Several defenders were active at this time, who were busily re-barricading and attempting to actively heal those who were getting attacked. Three to five minutes later, another 50 zombies had come inside the SE corner, and there were less than 30 survivors still alive of 60~ who had been there at the start. [20] [21] [22] Within half an hour, all the survivors inside the SE corner were dead and the corner was ransacked. [23][24][25][26]

The remaining active horde moved into the NW corner. [27] [28] Within an hour and fifteen minutes after the start of the attack, the NW quad was also ransacked, killing another 60~ survivors. Before APing out, most all zombies returned to the SE quad to maintain the ransack and allow new zombies to wander in. Over the night more zombies arrived in the SE, bringing the total up to over 200 zombies inside the mall. However, the 230~ survivors still in alive in the mall made a valiant effort to push the zombies out, and tossed bodies quickly began piling up outside. Before the start of LUE's attack on the evening of July 30th, only 60 zombies remained in the SE corner.

But the ransack held and by the next day, both the SW and far more populous NE corner (which had had 150~ survivors at the start) were also ransacked. Dowdney Mall had fallen as quickly as most other malls LUE had visited and the rest of the suburb seemed as though it would follow suit.

The Dewes and Hall NT Buildings

A strength to any survivor's defense, the local Necrotech buildings were targeted after LUE had secured the mall. During the mall attacks, revive times at the Santlerville revive points were fairly brisk, and most of those active after the sacking of Dowdney were up on their feet within 4 hours. [29]

Unbeknownst to the LUE leadership, several non-local survivor groups arrived during the Dowdney attacks and had taken defensive positions within the NTs. There were approximately 40 survivors holed up inside Dewes and around 80 inside Hall on the night of August 1st. [30] [31] [32] [33]

That evening, a LUE strike force attacked and ransacked Dewes. Strong defense and survivor bodies acting as meat shields used up many of the zombies' AP there, but some of the force with AP leftover went to attack St. Columbanus's Hospital.[34] The remainder of the force which still had AP, some 40-odd zombies, went and attacked Hall as well.

The Hall and Dewes buildings saw some of the fiercest fighting in the battle.

The Hall defenders actively met the LUE attackers. Most of the zombies were able to get inside, but they lacked the AP to make a sizable dent in the meat shield. The barricades were actively repaired and the zeds were evicted from the building. Later in the night, another group of about 15 zombies broke in while survivors were not active, but did little damage before leaving or being evicted. Survivor leaders were shocked that a stronger LUE force was not sent to Hall, and used the time available to organize a better active defense against the next night's attack.

The Near-Defense of Hall

Survivor numbers within Hall raised to 90 by the late afternoon of August 2nd. [35] A group of roughly 20 survivors were actively watching the barricades at Hall NT. Scouts outside of the building reported zombie movements in front of the building, and others actively healed those who were being attacked by another round of PK attacks. When the LUE attack of over 80 zombies came, the active survivors were ready.

LUE had much difficulty getting inside; it took roughly 5 minutes before the barricades stayed low enough to allow roughly 40 zombies inside. With most of the active barricaders APed out, the zombies who did get inside began to feast; however, due to their wasted AP on the barricades, they were unable to totally devoid the building of life. Barricades levels went up and down as survivors passing by raised the cades and stragglers who missed the main LUE attack time brought them back down. At last, roughly 4 hours after the initial 80-zed strike, LUE ate the last survivor and ransacked Hall NT.

During the large LUE strike, leaders of the horde began to wonder if a barricade bot was being used; a miscreant within their private IRC chat seemed to indicate that foul play was in order. LUE members quickly contacted the survivor leadership and conferred. No foul play was at hand during the August 2nd attack on Hall NT. Instead, the LUE horde earned a deep respect for those who nearly kept them outside and performed an almost inhuman feat.

Trading NTs Until LUE Adjusts

During the day of August 3rd, Dewes NT was retaken by survivor forces. Running out of supplies, a focus was made to clear one or more corners of Dowdney Mall, instead of trying to defend Dewes. Only 20 some-odd defenders remained to hold Dewes; of which, most were going to be active during the next LUE attack. However, survivor leaders were concerned that LUE would change their attack time, sending a smaller force an hour or two before the expected assault.

This indeed came true, as roughly 50 zombies quickly assaulted Dewes about an hour and a half before the expected time. The scouts outside of Dewes were able to determine LUE's intentions roughly 2 minutes before the actual strike, but there were not enough active barricaders to keep the zombies out.

LUE's strike group quickly moved away to get other resource buildings during their run. Due to the limited amount of zombies left inside, Dewes was quickly recovered by the organized survivors. Hall too was retaken, and roughly 75 survivors piled in to protect the NT.

On the evening of August 4th, LUE sent groups to attack and ransack both Hall and Dewes. However, this time, they elected to have their members sleep within both NTs, utilizing a salt the land strategy. With approximately 40 zeds in each NT and 60 in the NW corner of Dowdney, and with supplies for most attack squads run out, the survivor groups had no chance to retake those buildings. Also, LUE adjusted to having little "harassment squads" that would re-ransack any corner of the mall that had been temporarily repaired by human raids.

What little chance the survivors had to keep LUE at bay was gone. With both NTs and the mall secured for the zombies, they could turn their focus on hunting the pockets of humans who slept in non-resource buildings.

(Un)Safehouses and Resource Buildings

From August 5th and August 7th, LUE tore into Chaffey Alley Police Department, Sixtus General Hospital, St. Columbanus's Hospital, The Goodridge Building, The Sweatman Motel, The Anthony Building, Heckworthy Towers, Wharton Towers, and St. Boniface's Hospital. Survivors who were unlucky to be caught in the building were torn to shreds. With very limited in-game communications (due to a very effective attack on radios and generators), survivor leaders found it difficult to warn sleeping survivors of attacks.

However, some buildings within Santlerville were protected and/or ignored by the Horde. The south-west section of the suburb was overlooked by LUE and remained powered, lit, and generally very safe. Survivors in this area maintained the lights in Bowyer Auto Repair, which kept St. Matthew's Hospital powered and it remained the only operational healthcare facility in Santlerville. Medical runs operated from this building to support survivor efforts across the suburb.

The Knight Arms in Northern Santlerville, a secondary headquarters for the Burchell Arms Regulars, became a rallying point for most of the allied human groups after the NTs fell. A small horde of around 20 zombies discovered the safehouse and laid siege, but the Knight remained in survivor hands.

During this time, survivor revives slowed to a crawl. The revive point at St. Emelia's had nearly 90 players waiting for sticks, inside and out; the cemetery 1E had nearly 30 waiting.

Aftermath

LUE moves on.
LUE finally had to move on. Like Ramen Noodles, even Sexy Rexy gets old after you've had it five nights in a row -- thirteen times in all.

On August 8th, Barhah Betty broadcast the horde's intentions on leaving the suburb. During the evening of August 8th, survivor forces retook Hall NT.

By August 9th, nearly all of LUE had moved into western Huntley Heights in order to prepare for an attack on Stickling Mall and the survivors had already begun to rebuild.

Analysis

Although LUE was at the time the largest horde in the game (and until the advent of The Dead, the largest ever), Santlerville had been a green suburb prior to LUE's arrival. It was run by a very organized and efficient collection of survivors, and the feral zombie population in the area was essentially nil. The zombie wing of the Headbangers of Malton and the death cultist Gore Corps of the Ridleybank Resistance Front were the only reinforcements to come on the zombie side during the battle. Without feral zombies in the area to attack of their own accord and hold territory by default, few if any buildings were taken without prior planning and no territory was held without direction. Valuable as they were, it's possible that having a zombie population be too organized is actually a detriment.

However, none of this applies to malls whatsoever. It should be noted that this battle took place before the zombie barricade-blocking update meaning survivors could immediately rebarricade behind zombies as they came inside. Even so, survivor strength is quartered inside malls while zombies can strike wherever survivors are weakest. A large, organized zombie horde can take a mall several times its size with relative ease for this reason.

Once the fight moved to the suburb, on the other hand, the situation became completely different. Survivors (most notably the Dribbling Beavers, but including others) quickly revived almost everyone who had fallen in the mall. By the next day, survivors were almost back to full strength. Only now instead of having a distributed defense where one weak link doomed the rest, there were many independent bastions of strength spread across the area, each one needing to be taken and the AP to travel, bash barricades, and kill survivors do it. For a historical example, in 1520, the Aztecs of Central Mexico were a much stronger military force than the Mayans of Southern Mexico. The Aztecs were conquered and subjugated in less than two years while it took more than 150 years to conquer all the villages of Yucatan.

Likewise, for the zombies it was whack-a-mole, and so long as there was a steady needle supply, the moles would always keep coming back.

Therefore it was imperative to stop the supply of needles, but here two traditional zombie advantages were neutralized or even reversed. In a NecroTech building, 100 survivors have a marked advantage over 100 zombies because barricades always remain an effective AP weapon, and the most importance resource -- syringes -- are right at hand. But the survivors never got 100 defenders in a building and LUE had more than 100 zombies. Secondly, there were two Necrotech Buildings in the suburb. In effect, this meant that zombies had to demonstrate distributed offense, and after taking one NT, distributed defense. Survivors, throughout the battle, were extremely flexible and unsentimental in their defense of the suburb, and if they lost one building, regrouped to defend another.

It must be acknowledged here that the Dribbling Beavers and their allies did their homework. LUE came to deliver its regularly-scheduled haymaker-- and got punched in the nose for it. Intelligence is usually considered more important to zombies than survivors, but the survivors legitimately learned through observation when LUE would probably attack and used it well to negate offensive initiative. LUE of course changed its timing and tactics and eventually succeeded, but never before had it needed to.

As LUE leader Vito Mortis said during the Ulysses Black controversy: I'll make you a deal: When you can stuff up our usual nonsense, you can see our unusual nonsense.

And stuff it up they did.

Ultimately, survivors were overcome not because they did anything wrong, but because LUE had overwhelming force and capable leadership. Taking the mall first denied survivors helpful supplies, an effect which became more pronounced as the battle went on, and taking and holding the NTs meant there was less available manpower and AP on the survivor side. Although it lasted much longer than any other engagement during LollapaLUEza, it was shorter than most other "epic battles" and did not allow much time for survivors to organize and come to Santlerville's defense as had been true with the Battle of Santlerville.

One last thing reflecting both the lack of feral presence and the efficiency of Santlerville survivors: once LUE left and took its zombies with it, the survivors put the suburb back together and within a week, it was as though LUE had never been there.

SaLUEte

Fire flower.jpg SaLUEted
For their stalwart efforts to repel the Horde, their courage, and their honorable behavior under fire, the LUE horde affirms that the numerous defenders of Santlerville and The Dribbling Beavers in particular are a foe worthy of the highest respect. They made The Battle of SantLUEville worth fighting.

Other accounts

  • A Creedy Defense Force publication was in existence at the time and covered the battle from a survivor view which can be read here
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