Dam Tactics

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Survivor Tactics
The information on this page or section discusses a survivor strategy.
Dam Tactics
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Dam Tactics

Dam Tactics are a fairly narrow range of tactics which seek to ignore any possibility of gaining a strategic advantage over a zombie horde or mega-horde via flexibility, redirection, or avoidance. Rather, they are expressly designed to produce the kind of Mall Sieges that have typified Urban Dead so far. Dam Tactics are an expansion on, and refinement of, the field-tested principles that have proven to be to survivor advantage during the First and Second Sieges of Caiger Mall. Dam Tactics seek to create 'magnet' zones into which zombie hordes will be irresistibly drawn, thereby making the surrounding suburbs that much safer for scattered survivors.

Conceptually, Dam Tactics were conceived in direct opposition to River Tactics and, to a lesser extent, the Distributed Defense strategy, both of which consider avoidance of the enemy to be a positive characteristic.

The Second Siege of Caiger Mall

Dam Tactics have been by far the most predominant strategy adopted by survivors during battles with the zombie hordes. It is impossible to determine when and where the first concentration of survivors camped out in a resource building and kept it constantly barricaded against a ravaging zombie horde, but by far the most famous (successful) implementation of this strategy in recent history is the Second Siege of Caiger Mall.

The 2nd Caiger Siege, like every other mall battle, operated on the theory that it is more important to survivors that they have access to resource points than it is to remain free of unwanted zombie attention. As a result, the strategy resulted in a truly massive concentration of survivors inside the Mall itself, as well as in surrounding outbuildings and entry points such as the Latrobe Necrotech Building, and, eventually, in a climactic battle with a vast zombie horde.

However, the first two Caiger battles are unique in that humankind won. In the vast majority of instances, humans that attempt to make a stand against the zombie mega-hordes are beaten and subsequently eaten. Regardless, the Caiger battles have proven that, when executed properly, Dam Tactics can do more than simply forestall a confrontation with a zombie horde - they can actually win.

Analysis of Defense

"The greatest enemy of a good plan
is the dream of a perfect plan."
- Carl von Clausewitz

Zombie hordes and mega-hordes, though of vastly differing sizes and motivations, have a common goal, which they share even with lowly ferals: tear down barricades, smash generators, ransack buildings, and, most importantly, kill survivors. As a result, they are naturally drawn to locales that are home to dense survivor populations.

It has been theorized that it is counterproductive for survivors to attempt to withstand a siege without a great deal of support and determination, but these theories overlook the salutary effects that massive sieges have on survivors occupying the suburbs surrounding the siege, and even in outlying regions of the suburb hosting the siege.

When a sufficiently large siege is laid to a safehouse (usually a mall, but notable exceptions such as the Battle of Blackmore do exist), both organized and feral zombies are attracted to the carnage by Feeding Groan, Scent Death, and metagame communication. The longer the siege lasts, the more zombies are drawn to the siege location, and the less zombies there are out in the less attractive zones around the siege area. This means that for as long as the siege lasts, the surrounding areas are actually safer than they were before the siege began!

It can be argued that due to the tendency of particularly pitched battles to attract hordes from halfway across Malton that the safety levels of survivors in the suburbs along the migrating hordes' paths of travel are substantially decreased, but that notion is countered by the simple fact that the migrating zombies will be devoting the vast majority of their AP to moving, not barricade cracking or brain eating.

The introduction of the better-organized foreign hordes can also lead one to believe that the zombie concentration will spread over a greater area than it would have previously. Due to the fact that these organized hordes are present in the region solely to crack the besieged safehouse, it is phenomenally unlikely that these groups or significant subsets thereof will stray far from the location of the battle in order to terrorize the survivors in the surrounding area. The exception is when an organised group or groups decides to attract more feral zombies, as happened in The Battle of Santlerville.

Once a siege has ended, the results are similar regardless of who claims victory. Foreign hordes will generally return to their usual base of operations (or move on to their next target), and will quickly evacuate the area. The masses of ferals will disperse, eventually restoring the areas that had been cleared of zombies during the siege to their usual statii.

Survivors need territory

It has been observed that zombies are utterly nomadic in nature, being that their attacking, healing, and revivification skills are all fueled by their innate characteristics and naturally-regenerating AP, not by items. This has led to the logical conclusion that a given block of Malton holds no particular significance to a zombie outside of the significance it holds for survivors, who are zombies' preeminent food source.

Building on the previous conclusion, it has been theorized that survivor populations in a given region can prevent a zombie mega-horde from doing significant damage simply by abandoning their safehouses and relocating. This strategy, however, utterly trivializes the reason for which survivors construct and occupy safehouses in the first place, which is the distinct survivor need for items to make use of their own attacking, healing, and revivification skills.

It is perfectly reasonable to believe that a survivor population that has adopted a lifestyle as nomadic as that of a zombie horde can survive indefinitely by simply running from undead incursions. However, this lifestyle will be one of severely reduced capabilities, owing mainly to the introduction of the zombie ability to ransack buildings.

Items necessary to maintain a survivor's optimal performance level such as ammunition and first-aid kits can only be replenished by searching in buildings, and the fickle nature of search odds dictates that many AP must be spent at a resource point before a significant quantity of a given desirable resource can be obtained by a given survivor. Given the sheer amount of time needed to amass an arsenal from searching, survivors relying on a strategy of avoidance cannot remain survivors for long when they are forced to halt for resupply.

A community on the move is more likely to diffuse over a wider area than a community centered on a fixed area such as a Mall or an Armory. As a result, survivors will find it more difficult to communicate (for a nomadic community, the long-term maintenance of a cell phone mast or a radio transmitter is impossible) and organize in order to achieve shared goals.

Because of this lack of coordination, survivors that are members of a nomadic community are more likely to be forced to attempt to maintain the defenses of a supply point by themselves when they are forced to stop running and reload. With only 50 AP to spend during any 24-hour span, a lone survivor could be forced to kill one or more zombies, dump their bodies outside, repair the building, close the doors, and barricade the structure. Depending on the number of zombies inside and the survivor's luck with barricading, that leaves maybe 5 AP for searching that day. The dumped bodies will rise again, claw down the barricades unhindered, and eat the lone survivor within. That survivor will likely stay dead for quite some time, due to the fact that few members of the community will be able to secure NecroTech facilities for long enough to acquire sufficient stores of syringes (or to establish a consistently-active revive point, for that matter).

Even if the entire community decides en masse to use only non-firearms as weapons and forgo the use of first aid kits, eventually the zombies will wipe out the community as lone survivor after lone survivor is killed in chance zombie encounters.

It should be manifestly evident, then, that it is impractical for survivors to attempt to carry on the fight against zombiekind without secure, consistently-maintained supply points manned by enough survivors to maintain the barricades at all times and shoot those zombies who penetrate the defenses. Without such locales, survivors will scatter to the winds and eventually be wiped out entirely.

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