Hydra Tactics

From The Urban Dead Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search


Hydra Tactics is a strategy designed to increase outnumbered survivors' chances of success in mostly or entirely ruined suburbs through the efficient use of AP and resources.

Hydra Tactics

Survivor strategy has generally been dominated by Dam Tactics and River Tactics. Hydra Tactics rejects the basic premises of both and encourages neither the zed concentrations typical of Dam Tactics, nor the outright avoidance of them as expressed in River Tactics.

When a dam bursts, the area surrounding it is flooded. In any siege, survivors are at a large disadvantage compared to zeds for the simple reason that survivors must stay revived and restocked to remain effective. Simple attrition dooms most sieges long before zeds can be frustrated into leaving the area. This has been especially true since the January 2008 Battle of Pitneybank and Dam Tactics has essentially ceased to be a viable option on a large scale.

River Tactics are also flawed, because it fails to take into account the detrimental effects of long-term ruins to suburbs and survivor groups which reside there. In areas such as the northwest in particular, large numbers of zeds are ever-present and these suburbs are also some of the most resource rich in the game. Hydra Tactics rejects outright the idea that any suburb should be abandoned for any period of time, except under the absolute worst of circumstances (such as an entire suburb being ruined).


Hydra Tactics embraces the idea that survivors are a defensively minded class. They rely on resources while zeds do not and their main vulnerability is the inherent need to remain alive. Survivors have the ability to bide their time and store AP in their inventory for use later, but also suffer long periods of downtime when inventory runs low. Pistols and Fire axes both are inefficient weapons and cost survivors large amounts of AP which could be better utilized in other ways. As such killing zombies should be a last resort, not the first choice for survivors.

The most effective and efficient weapon for survivors is not a weapon at all, it's barricades and the frustration that they cause to zeds. Unlike pistols and fire axes, barricades cost survivors less to use than they cost zeds to bring down. Revives are also efficient and as such combat revives are the second weapon used in Hydra Tactics.

Survivors are not effective at HOLDING resources, only at recapturing them when lost and as such Hydra Tactics makes no attempt to hold onto a building for long, regardless of its overall utility. Malls and NTs may be abandoned when the situation becomes grim just as easily as a warehouse might be.

There is strength in numbers and as such, Hydra Tactics is designed for groups of at least five (and preferably ten) survivors.


Barricades are the best weapon survivors have, but they're rarely used well. Barricading a building to EHB may provide the survivors inside with the most defense, but it's also prohibitively expensive when outnumbered. At a success rate of only thirty-eight percent, getting from VHB to EHB can be a costly. Barricades at heavily or above also prevent survivors outside from finding their way inside and overbarricading can become commonplace, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of survivors in green or yellow suburbs.

At a success rate ranging from one-hundred to ninety-eight percent, bringing buildings from ruined to VSB should rarely cost a survivor more than 8 AP on top of the repair cost of the building. For suburbs which haven't been wrecked very long, this can mean that one survivor can theoretically repair and barricade four buildings to VSB in a day. To bring those same barricades down, it can easily cost zombies two to three times as much AP.

Repairing and bringing buildings to a uniform VSB can make it difficult for zeds to determine where exactly survivors are located in the area and help protect your group from attack.


Ready revives are important to any survivor strategy. No matter how well you move or hide, you will eventually die and when you do, you'll not be very useful to other survivors until you're revived.

Keep one reviver on hand for every 4 survivors in your group. Revivers should be located central to your area of operation so that anyone who is killed can reach them quickly and should remain on the ground until needed so that they can not be killed. Once standing, revivers should switch roles and recapture buildings until such time as they themselves are killed.

Repeat as necessary and always keep a few syringes on hand and you'll have little trouble finding a quick revive.

Combat revives

There will come a time when you need to restock on FAKs, syringes or other items (such as fuel cans and generators) and zeds will be blocking your way. When that time comes, you have a number of options. You can shoot them and spend plenty of ammo and AP to clear the building, or you could hit them with a fire axe and not spend any ammo but spend all of your AP to clear the building and have to do without. You could just ignore them, but when you're infected and don't have a FAK, that isn't a very good choice either.

You have another: combat revive them.

Combat revives do not always work. Zombies with Brain rot outside of lit Necrotech buildings can not be CRed and syringes are sometimes scarce, but they're easier to get than ammunition and work 100% of the time when the zed in question lacks rot. They also only cost 10AP to perform (11AP with scan).

Because of these things, combat revives should be your first choice when attempting to clear a building. One survivor can clear a building of four zeds provided they don't have brain rot and leave the rest to repair, barricade, and restock. It is important to note that spending syringes on brain rotted zeds can be a real issue. Scan before reviving every time!

Also note: Necrotech buildings do not have to be repaired and lit to CR zeds with brain rot, only lit, so this can be a good option for recovering ruined NTs as well provided you have the generator and fuel available to use.


The primary weakness of this strategem doesn't have to do with Hydra Tactics itself, although due to the emphasis on combat revives you face a higher than average chance of running into it.

Death culting can make it more difficult to remain alive, even inside of your forest of uniform VSB buildings and spying by revived zeds can make it much easier for them to locate and eat you. So if you see that guy with fifteen zed skills and only three survivors ones (free running, basic firearms training, and pistol training)? Move it! Hes not your buddy, pal and theres no real point to killing him now.

Simple numbers also plays a role. Five survivors can't outlast fifty zeds, no matter how well they use their AP. It simple isn't feasible for long. Zeds occupying buildings rather than sleeping in the streets can also make things more difficult for you as a survivor; however, they're unlikely to be in every building every day. Strike where they aren't and recover those buildings first.

Additional notes

Because you'll be repairing several buildings every day, the suburb should get back on its feet fairly quickly. Even if this isn't the case, sleep in one of your repaired buildings and don't sleep with other survivors. This makes the prospect of bringing down the cades even less rewarding for zeds and keeps your group alive better. Also, it sounds simple but logging in and moving regularly increases your chances of survival substantially.

Despite the generally unfavorable view of them here, pistols, shotguns, and fire axes should still be kept on hand for use when needed. Sometimes zeds do have brain rot and they're in that hospital that you desperately need FAKs from! Conventional survivor weapons are useful during these times and should be kept around for that purpose, just don't use them unless you have to and you'll do well.

You also may be tempted to revive that random survivor in the cemetery, but however cold it may sound: don't. If they don't know you and they don't know your strategy, then they are more likely to be a liability and the resources spent on them can be better spent on your own team. Your goal is to frustrate zed efforts to keep suburbs ruined, not to revive random survivors. Leave that to others.

Personal tools