The Battle of Santlerville

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The Battle of Santlerville

Dowdney-mall-logo.jpg

Date: 8th April 2007 to 25th May 2007, 9:30pm GMT
Place: Santlerville, especially the Hall Building, the Dewes Building and Dowdney Mall
Result: Survivor Victory

Combatants
Survivors x Zombies

Groups
- Survivors : Dribbling Beavers, Upper Left Corner, Cannonball Crew, Beatbox Kids, Five Critics, IB legionaires, Sons of Abraham, U.S. ARMY INFANTRY, Metal Fox, Burchell Arms Regulars, DITPS, Aardwolf Rangers, Gouger Arms Alliance
- Zombies : RRF, Feral Undead, Eastonwood Ferals, Killer Zombie Tomatoes, Minions of the Apocalypse, Lebende Tote

Commanders
- Survivors : Sexy Rexy Grossman, Univest, 1SG Lex Decon, Sunil, Jim Phil, Jaydepps, Redwave, Others
- Zombies : Murray Jay Suskind, DonTickles, BrainZombie, Mrhton, Keith Moon, Others

Strength
- Survivors : 400 (beginning) to 1000 (end)
- Zombies : 100 (beginning) to 300 (end)

Casualties
- Survivors :
- Zombies :

The Battle of Santlerville was a protracted siege in April and May of 2007 between a large zombie force lead by the RRF (as well as other hordes later in the battle) and a large survivor force lead by multiple groups. After a back and forth battle between many coordinated groups on both sides, the battle ended (for all purposes) with a survivor victory when the RRF declared their withdrawal after almost two months of fighting.

In the wake of Mall Tour '07 (which left some survivors wondering if they could ever withstand another mall siege), The Battle of Santlerville demonstrated that a sizable and organized group of survivors could withstand a large-scale zombie attack.

Timeline of Events

Early Phases

The Battle of Santlerville actually began in the northern part of Heytown. The RRF, on Excursion at the time, was rapidly devouring suburbs and malls. There was actually discussion of skipping Dowdney Mall and Santlerville due to their perceived weakness. Reports of the Mall Tour dismantling Dowdney Mall in less than 24 hours just the month before made zombies unfairly write off the mall.

However, the RRF's inability to finish off the many buildings in the north part of Heytown, as well as the taunting of a group that wasn't even involved in the later battle, lead the RRF to attack Santlerville.

Initial Siege of Dewes NT

The early battle was marked by intense back and forth action at the Dewes Building. The RRF identified this NT adjacent to Dowdney as their primary target, in order to interrupt revive efforts. They also sent combat revived zombies and members of the Gore Corps into the mall and surrounding buildings to knock out generators. Zombies with brain rot wandered into the cemetery in an effort to further clog revive efforts.

Survivors based in the mall started organizing a defense, consisting of low numbers of survivors "meat-shielding" Dewes and strong numbers counter-attacking any breaches within Dewes. The Santlerville-based groups organized the outer defenses and scouting the zombie participants and numbers. The local groups used their scouting reports to create a do-not-revive list. Using radio communications, the mall defenders and the outlying survivor groups coordinated their intelligence for effective revives.

To counter the highly-effective revives at the cemetery and at The Finch Monument, the RRF began to compile a list of revivers to attack on-sight [1]. However, their dedicated attacks against the revivers was not enough to hinder the operation.

Around April 19th, RRF began calling in additional zombie groups to help put more pressure on Dewes. The first zombie groups that heeded the call were the Feral Undead and the Killer Zombie Tomatoes. The local groups also reached out to surrounding survivor groups, who were distributed to coordinate the defenses of the Mall, Dewes and The Hall Building.

Dewes Ransack and Takeback

On Saturday, April 21st, persistence paid for the zombie attackers, as they cleared Dewes of defenders and ransacked the building. [2] For about 14 hours the zombies held onto the building until alerted survivor forces responded. Control of the building moved back and forth through the following Sunday, with the survivors finally gaining an upper hand at the end of the day.

As the survivor numbers increased, the mall defenders sent more survivors to withstand attacks on Dewes. With the call for additional survivor reinforcements, their numbers far exceeded zombie numbers, and Dewes eventually became rather secure.

To counter the massive survivor advantage in numbers, the zombie groups devised and executed several plans to confuse the survivor groups enough to make an opening on Dewes or the Mall.

The Pied Piper of Dowdney

Realizing that if Santlerville were to fall, far greater numbers were needed, the RRF sent its two largest strike teams -- Auxunit 10 and the GMT Breakfast Club -- to neighboring suburbs where they attacked and ransacked numerous buildings, using feeding drags and feeding groans to slowly draw in feral zombies.

At the same time a diplomatic offensive was launched to draw in members of the Eastonwood Ferals, Minions of the Apocalypse and Lebende Tote into the battle.

The Struggle For Southwest Santlerville

While the attack on The Dewes Building began to stagnate with no clear winner, the SW of Santlerville was enjoying a much more calm time with relatively few attacks. A group of 20 zombies broke off from the main siege and began to systematically attack the buildings in the SW. This was thought of as a diversionary tactic to reduce the numbers in Dewes (as it was thought they would go to re-enforce the SW) but the defenders remained in the NT building.

With the SW area low on survivors (being called to central Santlerville) the lights in these buildings winked out one by one until the whole area was overrun. It was thought the zombies wanted to make this area their "staging" ground and the two Hospitals that were important to the healthcare of the survivors were both ransacked.

A blow to the survivors, an effort was made to regain the SW using strike teams based in The Knight Arms, under the protection of The Burchell Arms Regulars. They were slowly able to retake, barricade and hold certain buildings, and even resume hospital operations for a short period, before being overrun by the horde again. For around a week, the battle continued, between the few survivors and multiple zombies with buildings passing back and forth from horde to harman.

The Calm Before the Storm

Due to the horde's efforts around Santlerville but not directly on Dewes and the Mall, survivor leaders became concerned that the survivors in the area would get too spread out -- exactly what the zombie leaders were hoping. A massive communication effort was made to inform Dowdney Mall and Dewes NT about the horde's intentions and current locations. Local survivor groups also continued to rally dedicated defenders for The Hall Building, which was the expected target of the roving zombie hordes to the North of Dowdney.

The Final Campaign

The sudden influx of zombies, as well as a sudden shift of focus by the besiegers of Dewes, had the appearance of drastically altering the battle. The ferals and RRF's Group 0 spread out over the suburb attacking random buildings, while well-coordinated strike teams launched assault after assault upon survivor strongholds. At one point there were over 80 zombies inside of Dowdney Mall [3] -- making it appear that the battle had turned.

However, just like the beginning of the battle when Dewes went back and forth, the survivors adjusted and quickly ran reinforcements to wherever large, coordinated break-ins were occurring.

After a final week of attempting to take the vital Santlerville Necrotech The Hall Building, the survivors again overwhelmed the zombies and on the evening of Friday, May 25th, Murray Jay Suskind of the RRF announced that the largest contingent of zombies in Santlerville was conceding the battle.

Dance Party

The RRF and The Dribbling Beavers sponsored a Dance Party for zed and harman alike. Upwards of 50 partiers arrived in Club Shelley for the multiple-day dance and celebration of a well-fought siege.

Love, Malton Style

During the beginning stages of the siege, the RRF's Gore Corps leader Goolina became enamored with the new leader of The Dribbling Beavers, Sexy Rexy Grossman. Their passion for one another increased, leading to secret meetings that were frowned upon by some. The star-crossed lovers dutifully served their sides of the siege while sparing an AP or two to send longing radio broadcasts. "Rexeo and Gooliet," as they came to be called, ended with sadness; Sexy Rexy APed out in real life and missed Goolina at the Dance Party. They have since reconciled. To this day, they are bound together by a force stronger than revivification and shotgun shells, though their duties keep them separated in-game.

Analysis

A number of factors explain why Santlerville and Dowdney Mall of all places held out after the Mall Tour '07 made it appear that the zombies of Malton were unstoppable. Below are a number of possible reasons from numerical to tactical to incidental.

Superior Survivor Numbers

Throughout the battle there were simply far more survivors in Santlerville than there were zombies. This was a numerical advantage that the zombies couldn't overcome even with some of the largest and most coordinated zombie groups in the game participating in the battle. Multiple dedicated barricaders on at any time meant even targeting dedicated barricaders wasn't very effective.

Non-Grouped Survivors

A majority of the survivors defending Dewes and the Mall were not associated with any prominent groups. However, due to great communication efforts by all, the unaligned survivors attacked in conjunction with the groups. It was this coordination that pushed the survivor effectiveness over the top.

Survivors Standing Their Ground

In the months of the Mall Tour, a growing train of thought amongst survivors was that the use of River Tactics was the only way not to be completely routed by zombies. However, in Santlerville the survivors instead rallied to defeat the zombies. The local Santlerville groups rallied upwards of 1000 survivors to the area and ran a surprisingly effective revive operation, and holding the Hall building and its immediate area. Also, local and visiting survivor groups were very effective in clearing zombies out of buildings and flooding overwhelming numbers to the newest zombie target.

Hubris of the RRF

The RRF clearly underestimated the survivors of Santlerville at the beginning of the battle and did not take their defense seriously until it was too late. If the RRF had reached out to allied zombie groups earlier, they may have been able to bring in enough zombies to take down the suburb before the spike in survivor numbers.

Survivor Concentration in Northeast Malton

Another theory states that the zombie dominance of Western, Central and Southern Malton lead to a natural concentration of survivors in Northeast Malton that any zombie horde would have trouble overcoming. This theory is backed up by zombie hordes using Scorched Earth and Salt the Land tactics in other parts of Malton, but Mall Tour only payed a cursory visit to Dowdney Mall, Treweeke Mall and Giddings Mall, letting survivors in the rest of the Northeast easily regroup and gather in those malls.

Conclusions

While it was probably a combination of the above factors at work, the survivors were on top of their game and the zombies were unable to defeat them. No amount of circumstance, zombie error or any other factor should detract from a great survivor victory.

Groups Involved in the Siege

The following is a list of groups known to have participated. Note that many groups weren't entirely present, but sent whatever contingents, strike teams, swat teams, scouts etc.. they could.

Zombie Groups

plus lots of random ferals

Survivor Groups

A list of all the survivor groups that took part in the siege. Many of the groups are small (less than 10 people) and others sent what re-enforcements they could while battling the horde in their own suburbs.

Note: there were also lots of survivors who took part in the siege who are unaffiliated.

Santlerville Resident Groups

Groups from Local Suburbs

Distributed, Mobile or Groups from Further Away

Griefer Groups



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