|The information on this page or section discusses a survivor strategy.|
|The information on this page or section discusses tactics that can be applied if you find yourself on the wrong side after getting killed or being revivified.|
A survivor tactic of sacrificing themselves to prevent a high priority building from being emptied, and subsequently ransacked and occupied by a zombie horde. Analogous to throwing their bodies on a grenade, for the greater good.
The objective of the strategy is to get enough survivors into a building, so that a zombie break in will run out of energy before totally emptying the building, giving the rest of your team time to organise reinforcements and counter attack. Better to die, and shamble over to the revive point and wait for a syringe from those who survived, than to have the NecroTech fall to ransack, and the supply of syringes dry up until the horde can be totally removed.
This is only a viable tactic, long-term, if revivification of those who have fallen is readily available.
The Courage of the Meatshield
Suppose a small horde is attacking the south-west corner of a mall. The zombies are outnumbered by the survivors, but by attacking together, they can occasionally break through and kill one or two of the defenders. The survivors want to defend the mall, but they also want to survive. For this reason, most of them will not want to sleep in the threatened corner. "Let other, more expendable humans be the first line of defense! I will visit that corner frequently, to check the barricades, to heal and to kick out any zombies - they should be grateful for my help."
As the numbers in the corner fall, the danger for those who sleep there increases, since you are more likely to be the first one killed, and sleeping somewhere else becomes more and more tempting. After a while, everyone in that corner dies or retreats to 'safety'. As a result, the zombies can ransack that corner of the mall, and, soon after, the rest of the mall falls. It is important to remember that malls can only be preserved through the heroic self-sacrifice of those willing to join the meatshield, to die so that others may re-barricade. If you care about anything other than your own survival, you have a duty to sleep in the danger zone, only moving on when the danger moves or when it's time to evacuate the whole area. Of course, you'll have to spend a lot of time waiting at revive points...
"Meatshield" is also used in a derogatory fashion by zombie players, referring to low-level characters found in the same building with higher level characters. In some cases it is suspected that these low level characters, that have almost no experience, no character description, and aren't observed to perform any action other than dying are a form of cheating known as zerging or alt abuse. When they are also members of the same group as the higher level characters and share similar names, it seems quite likely that the low level characters are expendable, throw away player accounts, and a clear abuse of the meatshield concept, and game rules.
Since meatshielding is sacrificing a character's safety in order to protect territory, River Tactics (losing territory to gain safety) can be seen as meatshielding's opposite.