Guides:Military

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Military

Military is the combat centered class in Urban Dead. A Firefighter may be able to seriously damage someone with their axe, but he or she can't whip out a shotgun and blow a zombie's brains out. That's the domain of the Military. Members of the Military get most combat skills at a discount, though many helpful Scientific abilities that don't deal damage require more experience than many people are willing to spend on them.

Expect to do a lot of killing. At least you are very good at it.

Starting Out

More than Scientists or Civilians, your class choice determines the initial effectiveness of your character. There are several available starting skills, but two of them really aren't as effective. Military characters starting as Privates usually fare best. Other class types represent different potential playing styles, but each has significant problems leveling. The Medic's problems are that unlike the Doctor's who has Diagnosis, First Aid actually decreases your ability to gain experience. Scouts don't have that problem, but they start without an effective weapon or skills to use them. Scouts spend most of their early days hiding in buildings and hoping they can find some decent equipment before something kills them. The experience gain for either Scouts or Medics is tortuously slow before second level, when they can acquire a more useful skill.


Privates start with eighteen pistol rounds and enough training to hit with 30% accuracy. Each round that connects does five base damage, which translates to five experience. That's significantly better than most classes, and it only goes up from there. Your starting character possesses the ability to reach 1/4th of the way to second level, and still have half your actions remaining. That's the strength of firearms: They do a lot of damage over relatively few actions. A useful starting strategy for Privates is to hit the streets, fire off a dozen shots at the nearest zombie, and then head away fast. If you have partners, let them lay down their own fire as you head back. Significant damage acts as a cover, grounding the zombies while you run. If zombies are killed even their "Scent Trail" ability won't allow them to find you. Then find a police station and resupply. You should have plenty of turns remaining to at least reach safety.


If you're a Medic or a Scout, find a hospital. Search up as many First Aid Kits as you can find, and hide out in a nondescript building. Use your next day's turns to find wounded and heal them. Combat merely wastes time when you lack the skills to increase your hit percentages. It's far better to take the guaranteed five experience using first aid kits than it is to blow away turns trying to land a punch for measly experience. Save any munitions until you've learned how to use them.

Surviving

Soldiers aren't invulnerable. This is lesson one: You can always die. Even though Privates should find a Police Station early on, no one should stay in a Police Department overnight, unless there's a massive force of coordinated survivors there. Police buildings attract zombies like bees to honey. Sitting in the building for long periods of time is like coating yourself in brains and dancing a jig in the cemetery. Buildings aren't worth fighting for! There are plenty of other police stations and hospitals in Malton. Retreat from large zombie forces whenever possible, especially when you're low-level. Hide in low-priority buildings, such as warehouses, factories, clubs and schools. Visit Police Departments or Hospitals when necessary, then head for safer havens. If you're found, run a dozen blocks away and lay some covering fire. Most of the zombies won't chase you down if you are far or threatening.

You are outnumbered, and zombies have the combat skills to defeat you in the long term. All survivors are running a guerrilla campaign: Don't take zombies on head-to-head, but harry them and work at building your own strengths. When you do take them on, do it on your own terms. Make them work to find and fight you. Be well armed and stocked before you engage. It doesn't sound like this is what the military of a first-world nation should be reduced to, but when you're dealing with the walking dead you do what you must. Survivors don't have tanks, so make yourself last. Becoming another zombie won't help anyone.

Avoid the Military Forts. They may seem attractive, stocked with all the ammo and weaponry you might want. They're deathtraps. It would be simpler just leaping out a window than trying to hold a fort. This goes for everyone. (Note with recent changes forts are more attractive to survivors with the free running skill. It remains to be seen if they can be effectively held by survivors until they are tested in a long siege.)

These survival notes go double for Medics and Scouts. Find zombie infestations, heal nearby survivors, then get the hell out of Dodge. Your feet are your friends, especially for Scouts who can travel between buildings without ever exposing themselves to the streets. Hit, Run, Survive. If you stay to fight, especially when lacking experience, you're just feeding the ranks of the dead.

Special note for Scouts: Flares do not attract help. They attract zombies. If you're surrounded, take your Flaregun and run about a few blocks away. Then shoot up a flare, and head in a random direction. The flare screams "human" to all the zombies in the area. They'll converge on that spot, while you are fleeing somewhere else.

Notes for Combat

It is safer to pick on smaller hordes, mainly because you are less likely to be noticed to be doing damage. Think about it. The screen only updates for the "recipient" when s/he refreshes the screen for some reason. You could have fired 20-30 shots by then. However, in a large group, a LOT of players could be actively online and you may just hit someone who's online, who then realizes he or she has been hit and starts retaliating! The larger the group, the more likely this will happen. So pick on small groups, even singles, whenever possible.

While it is more "efficient" to save up to max AP, then go out, attack as many zeds as you can, and stagger back to safehouse with only a few (or even no) APs left, it's not exactly a prudent thing to do. Attacking a zed means you have to stay in close proximity of it, giving zed a chance to hit back. With infectious bite it is even more of a problem than before. It is better to get out there, find a zed, kill it, and retreat. Only start shooting another one if you're sure you can kill it (usually, you can't). If you damage another zed without killing it, you are providing it with a scent back to you, as well as giving someone else that 10 XP kill bonus. Finally, you should ALWAYS keep 5-10 AP as reserve in case you have to evacuate a building under attack.

Leveling

It takes serious amounts of time to level as a Military character. Don't expect to reach second level in a week if you're a Scout, or even a Private. It may take up to half a month or more, especially if you're one of the Military classes which doesn't have a firearms skill. Once you do level up, you become a force to be reckoned with.

Private

If you're a Private, take Pistol. You get more ammo, you'll have amazing accuracy, and you should already have a firearm on you. Afterwards, get Shotgun. Ten damage in one hit wrecks most zombies' resolve, if they're chasing you. Only then consider Melee skills. If you follow hit-and-run tactics, you shouldn't need them for most things.

Medic

Medics have an advantage and disadvantage in that the first aid skill heals for an extra 5HP. Though you can heal others and yourself with fewer kits and AP, you won't gain as much XP as someone healing without first aid skill. Find as many first aid kits as you can and hang out in a secured location and heal as many as you can until you can buy another skill. Diagnosis is a useful skill to have, that way you can see who needs healed without wasting AP on humans with full health. Or, if in a secured place, just ask who needs healed. Though you have a pistol, your accuracy is so low you're just wasting your ammo. If combat is what you really want to do, use the XP you earn with the first aid skill to buy a better combat skill. Or, find another weapon to attack with. Axes, pipes, and crowbars can be found all around Malton.

Scout

Scouts should consider Melee Weapons, particularly the knife with its higher accuracy. A scout's quick, stealthy movement means you can charge through a Hospital or Police Station without being exposed to the dangerous streets, leaving more actions to devote to attacks. Hide, build up your AP, run rampant in a bloody swath, then duck back into a building. Zombies will likely never find you. Even if one or two zombies you hit do have Scent Trail, you'll be blocks away from them. Otherwise, spend your time healing. Attacking and healing go well together. Keep moving; it's good for your health. Get Civilian skills such as Construction quickly. The zombies can waste their attacks on a weak Barricade while you're in another building entirely. Obtain Tagging early, and tag things for extra experience. It's a free, no risk skill, which is rare. Misdirection and low-danger experience sources are your friends. Make good use of them.
To get your first level, consider the Hit, Heal, Hug approach. Go to a hospital, search until you have a lot of First Aid Kits. Then get into the safest place you can find. Pick a survivor at random. Hit him. It will take a lot of swings, but it's still better than randomly trying to heal people who are already at full health. As soon as you do damage, heal him. Repeat until you are down to your last Action Point, and then apologize. With 50 AP and a 10% chance to hit, you should be able to get about 25xp/day. As long as your target is the forgiving type, no harm done. However, there are players that do not like being used as a level-up dummy. So you should have the courtesy to ask before hitting someone if you do not want to end up as a zed lying in the streets.

Free Running

Free Running is an incredibly important skill for any survivor. It is now almost impossible to gain entry to a mall or many other buildings without being able to move in from adjacent structure. More importantly, there are a significant number of hospitals and police departments that are barricaded beyond a survivor's ability to enter. Free running is most advantageous in allowing a survivor to move from secure location to police departments, restock there, and then move back to safety. While a slow approach, this gives survivors a good chance of being able to kill a zombie every other day, giving as much as three levels in two weeks.

There has been some debate in the past about the benefits of free running for military characters, but it is essential to survival.

Armories can't be entered via Free Running due to their defenses, however you can free run out of an Armoury into adjacent fort blocks.

Melee vs. Firearms

Which is better, a gun or a fireaxe?

In terms of damage/XP per AP spent, the pistol is better than the fireaxe, which is better than the shotgun (assuming fully developed skills in each case).
  • A pistol does 5 damage per successful attack. However, every sixth shot requires a reload, and 4-6 AP on average for finding ammunition. In addition, there may be an AP cost for moving from the safehouse to the place where ammunition can be found (and back). Using favourable assumptions, this means 19.5 (6 * 0.65 * 5) damage per 11 (6 + 1 + 4) AP, or 1.77 damage/XP per AP. For least favourable assumptions this becomes 15.6 (6 * 0.65 * 4 (flak jacket)) damage per 14 (6 + 1 + 6 + 1) AP, or 1.1 damage/XP per AP. (These calculations do not reflect that pistols are found with varying numbers of bullets in them as the odds are not known.)
  • A fireaxe does 3 damage per hit, or 1.2 (0.4 * 3) on average.
  • A shotgun requires 2 AP for every shot (reload, attack), cost for finding ammunition and movement as above. Even for most favourable estimates (4 AP for searching, no flak jacket on target, no extra AP spent on movement) this means shotguns do 6.5 damage per 6 AP or 1.08 damage/XP per AP. For lest favourable assumptions this becomes 5.2 damage per 9 (2 + 6 +1) AP, or 0.58 damge/XP per AP.


Having the shopping and bargain hunting skills and access to a Mall further shifts the balance towards guns. However, in terms of damage per AP the shotgun is always inferior to the pistol. The main advantage of firearms is not in their damage per action, but in the fact that ammunition represents "stored" actions, which can released in a single shot.

Axes allows you to spend a day or two and assuredly kill someone, while firearms with their limited ammunition require greater investment to do lots of damage all at once. However, in a given session, you can only swing an axe fifty times (that being the most actions you could have at once). Obviously, shooting a shotgun fifty times will do far more damage in that same time period (of fifty actions). The trade-off is that you would need to search for an inordinately long period of time to find 25 shotguns and 50 shells beforehand. Also, 25 fully loaded shotguns would leave you with only one inventory spot free. But if you expect to go into a dangerous firefight and need to do a lot of damage in a short period of time, ranged weapons combined with preparation is obviously the way to go. (Pistols represent a middle ground between shotguns and axes in this respect, and also gain experience the fastest.)

However, this is also slightly more dangerous, as you need to spend a long time beforehand searching for items. If a horde of zombies kills you in that time, that effort is largely wasted (at least until you manage to get revived). Melee weapons provide a more steady stream of experience.

Scouts start with an escape-power, so it's acceptable for them to use several melee skills since they can then quickly flee through buildings where zombies cannot follow. Also, since Scouts lack health-restoring abilities, it's not recommended they go to ammo-areas at all. It's just too risky.

Higher Levels

Military characters have a lot of choices for higher levels. Learning both melee and firearms skills makes you a more well-rounded fighter, but it takes a lot of experience you could spend on useful support skills. Barricades, Bodybuilding, and even NecroTech Employment are all good skills for Military people to have. Flexibility is always good. As long as you are good at something, being able to both shoot zombies and tag them simultaneously is a nice combination.

Effectively, it's up to you. Go pure zombie hunter, with melee skills of all sorts and the tactical skills to match the undead menace? Switch between various civilian and even science skills, and give yourself multiple ways of earning experience? All are good concepts.

The important thing to remember is that you are the combat class. Focus on hurting zombies and breaking things (though there are several flavors of hurt and break available). You aren't a looter, trying to make a comfortable life in the rioting city. You aren't a scientist, trying to cure the zombie disease. You are the Military man or woman. Drop zombies, save survivors, and keep order in the city. Someday, maybe a second evacuation or a more-powerful military response will be possible.

Keep up the good job, soldier.

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