Battle of Blackmore
|This historical event is no longer active. However, its wiki page is preserved to reflect the event's significance in Urban Dead history. Please do not edit this page or the corresponding talk page without good reason.
|A Sidenote by the Administration
|As you can see by the logo on the left, this article was based on the point of view of the Channel 4 News Team, meaning that this article was written by no one else but five times emmy award winner Ron Burgundy and his associates. If you are a zombie centric player (like many in the administration staff), you might be offended by the following version of this event.
|Battle of Blackmore
|August 18th, 2006 - October 13, 2006
|Ridleybank, specifically the Blackmore Building
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter - bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
--An excerpt from one of Ron Burgundy's many leather-bound books.
"Christ almighty, you're all still here? How long do you think you can hold out for?" --Buster Piondexter, October 3rd, 2006
"Hey guys! I'm back from the mall with some FAK's and beer an... HOLY SHIT!!!" - Unknown Survivor, October 13th, 2006.
The Battle of Blackmore began on the 18th of August, in the year of our lord, 2006- but I'm getting ahead of myself. The real story began with an urgent and horrifying News Bulletin. Of course, in a world where the dead are returning to life, few News Bulletins are anything less. This particular one dealt with the exploits of Wes Mantooth and the Big Bash in the Ackland Mall area. At the time, the New Malton Colossus, an alliance of survivor groups operating in Central Malton, had just staged an invasion of Ridleybank. Things weren't going too well, since the survivors had just made a jump from Barrville to Ridleybank and had lost a lot of safehouses and stragglers in the process. More importantly, the future was beginning to look a whole lot worse. As the survivors struggled to get a foothold, an overflow of about 200 zombies from Malton's devastated southeast had begun threatening the NMC from behind.
These 200 zombies had taken up camp outside of Ackland Mall, which was a vital supply line for the folks in Central Malton. What's more, the remainder of the Big Bash was rumored to have their eyes on Nichols Mall, the other supply line. As things got progressively worse, the Channel 4 News Team pulled out of Ridleybank to try and save Ackland. They arrived to find some 40 people in the embattled corner, which was soon ransacked. Within a few hours of being ransacked, there were hundreds of zombies inside Ackland- many of which were, no doubt, its former defenders. Nichols followed in short order, but most of the Channel 4 News Team was unable to attend the battle, as they were suffering from a severe case of Death. With that, the NMC broke up and the Channel 4 News Team, its largest part, went to the City Zoo, where they flipped off the monkeys in an effort to escape their spiritual and existential funk.
Luckily, the News Team cleans up good. It wasn't long before they were back in action, cleaning up southeast Malton from out of South Blythville and resecuring Ackland Mall. In this, they were so successful that survivors in South Blythville actually began sleeping in the streets, where there was not a single standing zombie. This sort of suburb, as many well know, is no place for the Channel 4 News Team! So they packed up their bags and they rode, straight away, to the wild unknown country of Ridleybank, where the streets are paved with brains and every man can have 40 zombies and a mule! That, surely, would satisfy Odin's increasing demand for blood.
The Channel 4 News Team entered Ridleybank in early-August, specifically the 10th, and the rest of the NMC quickly regrouped. It became immediately apparent that Ridleybank wasn't what it used to be- nearly every building was barricaded- and not loosely. This wasn't the work of some loner, running through and throwing a plastic tree in every doorway- on the contrary, it seemed to be the work of the Chi Vai Hunters. Our foothold was thus established.
And what a foothold it was! Within days, the place was no longer barricade strafed and many of the buildings (by conservative estimates, one in three) were populated by a handful of survivors. At this point, the RRF seemed confused. At first, they denied what was going on, claiming the place was still strafed. Regardless, of whether this was just a talking point, if they knew there was an invasion underway, they weren't having much success reacting to it. Unfortunately, nothing decisive would come of this and survivors became brazen enough to make a stand, at the behest of the News Team's Captain Leah, instead of following conventional guerrilla tactics.
Up to that point, the RRF had a strike team and parts of the DoHS working in Ridleybank. DoHS was too spread out to be of much use, but the strike team took a few hospitals down before setting their sights on the Blackmore Building, Ridleybank's only NecroTech. At that point, there were about 70 zombies spread throughout the suburb, 10 of which appeared to be part of the strike team.
The Fighting Narrows
The official "Battle of Blackmore," as opposed to the Battle of Ridleybank, began on 18th of August- or at least that's when we first realized we had the makings of something big! Of course, it began as something small- nothing more than a striketeam's next target. What made the Blackmore different from the hospitals they'd hit earlier that week was the determination of a few survivors to hold the place. Because of these early few, the Blackmore didn't fall in a day and the strike team called in more support, doubling in size.
At this point, Word began to spread among survivors- not only was the NMC holding low-key buildings, but they were also doing remarkably well in a NecroTech. One would do well to take special note of this- "remarkably well" in Ridleybank is defined as "staying alive for more than a few days when they know where you are." As such, people began to move into the area around Blackmore, sensing something in the air. Perhaps it was Desire.
Still, survivors remained largely inactive. They were watching, but not quite convinced Blackmore was the place to make a stand. On the other side of the barricades, the zombies groaned and smelled death! Their numbers hovered around 60 while survivors maintained a dangerously unarmed 20 man defence team. In truth, it was more of a 30 man defence team, but one in three of us were dead, at any given time. Despite this, Margery Ave, the revive point, never had much of a line. After all, when you're stuck in a NecroTech, there's nothing much else to do. On a similar note, combat reviving was the only defensive option for many; if one man left to find weapons, Blackmore would be 5% weaker. A building has never stood like this and it seemed that Blackmore would soon be gone. At one point, the zombies broke through and specifically killed every member of the Channel 4 News Team. At another point, zombies inside Blackmore nearly outnumbered survivors. Still, the zombies were constantly killed and dumped in the streets, cackling their Bra-haha's, as they tend to.
It was at this point that things began to change. Several members of the Channel 4 News Team began contacting as many groups as possible, telling them what was going on and asking for what help they could spare. Ron Burgundy did the same, after he was dragged out of Blackmore and eaten on the 28th of August. Rather than wait for a quick return to life at the hands of his teammates, he headed south to Nichols Mall. Following his resurrection at Naylor Walk, Burgundy spoke of a Glorious Battle just north of Nichols- the RRF, who regularly destroy Stanbury Village, were having a difficult time keeping their own NecroTech and if the people of Nichols Mall would join the fight, they might well see flutes playing and trombones and garlands of fresh herbs- and they would dance until the sun rises. After that, word was spread to people several other malls, including Ackland, Caiger, Bale, Giddings, and Hildebrand- and by September, there were over 100 people inside the Blackmore Building, all of which were full of mead and hatred for zombie-kind.
An Amazing Show of Class
Among the first people to respond to the initial calls for help were the Classy scientists of the Yagoton Revivification Clinic. Their stuttering yet undeniably Classy and ubiquitous representative, Darrien Creek, had been there since the beginning- in fact, he'd probably been in Ridleybank since the News Team left it to defend Ackland. The elusive Mr. Creek, you understand, believes in that unwritten code of the sea- and like the captain of the good ship Diversity, Creek tends to go down with his NecroTech. That and he never quite finds his way to the revive line. We still love him, though. There's nothing like seeing that friendly, zombified face in his "I Luv Caiger Mall" t-shirt. Anyway, without Creek and his buddies from the YRC, the 20 of us in the beginning wouldn't have lasted more than a day or two and, therefore, their help is immeasurable.
But even the YRC and scientists from other suburbs would have been lost without the long-struggling librarians from the Quartly Study Group. Their help in getting the new guests settled in with a good poetry book and fluid-filled syringe was invaluable in setting up Margery Avenue as a revive point for the fallen. Providing all of the people in the area with fine leather-bound books, and with a voracious appitite to revivify any zombies with overdue fines, these semi-nomadic scholars soon became a beacon for human life, literature, and the fine smell of mahogany.
As more people from the YRC and the malls began showing up, a few of Blackmore's older defenders formed an organization where all the "bastards" with the juice to make a stand on the RRF's turf could gather and talk about their heroic exploits. They called themselves the "Blackmore Bastard Brigade" and they were all about having fun! You know, start a fire in someone's kitchen, maybe hop over the barricades, shoot their guns off. The RRF thought they'd have a free meal- little did they know, the Bastards from Blackmore were zombie hunters in every sense of the word. We had the RRF just where we wanted them.
While this was going on, survivor numbers continued to grow and finally outnumbered zombies for the first time during the siege on the 2nd of September. In one week, survivors had suddenly tripled in number. With this, many among the Bastard first claimed victory. If the RRF couldn't win when they outnumbered survivors by a margin of 3 to 1, how could they now? The next week, survivor numbers doubled, reaching a healthy 200.
The Effects of Numbers
With so many people watching the barricades, there's little use sitting behind them, waiting. Therefore, an attack was organized. Sure, zombies stand right back up and killing them is useless, but fighting with the Blackmore Bastard Brigade isn't a question of victory! Victory ends things, it's the fight that concerns us. This attack was intended to be a not-so-subtle hint to the zombies that they had either call the entire RRF back to Ridleybank or admit defeat and get on with things- and it's no secret that we'd prefer the former. Either way, a group of Bastards, full of mead and Desire, burst out of Blackmore and into the zombie ranks, shotgunning no less than 40 of their enemies to death in 10 minutes. Their ride to Glory was captured here, by Fangleader, who was killed because he spent every single waking moment showing the zombies his love for Odin and didn't have time to make it back inside.
Ridleybank, as Fangleader found, is a dangerous place. In fact, it's probably a " very dangerous" place. However, because of our actions in the Blackmore Building, the RRF has pulled its strength out of Greater Ridleybank, leaving it unguarded. This has yet to do anything to Greater Blackmore, but it has allowed survivors in Barrville, Stanbury Village, and Galbraith Hills to strike out for themselves. All three suburbs the RRF claims to have annexed are now hardly worthy of their reputations. If nothing else, it seems the Glorious Battle in Ridleybank has gained real ground elsewhere. This RRF withdrawal is so complete that some have even suggested following in the RRF's footsteps and renaming Barrville. It's never seemed much like a "Barhahville"- especially now that the RRF don't control it- and a few members of the Channel 4 News Team have started calling it "Burgundyville," though he prefers "Baxterville," after his dog, who is missing.
Mantooth Rears his Ugly Head
Clearly, things have been going well for our heroes in the Blackmore Building, but a new threat has appeared in the form of PKers. It's no secret that Nichols Mall, just south of Blackmore, has been a center for resupply. On September 11th, PH, a group of PKers from southwestern Malton, attacked the place, killing most of its inhabitants and, by and large, getting killed themselves. A horde of 75 zombies now stands outside Nichols Mall, threatening to bring the place down any day. About 30 people have left Blackmore of their own volition and headed back to Nichols to do what they can down there. More will, no doubt, follow. Blackmore will not stand or fall in accordance with what happens to Nichols, but having it there will certainly make things easier for those in Ridleybank.
Closer to home, the PK group Red Rum has been involved in an increasing number of attacks inside Blackmore. With only 18 members, they're hardly a threat, but they stand to diminish the general Classiness of the place, regardless. In fact, they may just be helping; if 18 of them sit inside Blackmore and the zombies break through, there's a significant chance the zombies will attack PKers instead of Blackmore's Classy Bastards or anyone else worth a damn.
The RRF has recently begun to send in reinforcements to swell the zombie horde outside Blackmore. The sharp increase in zombie numbers on the weekend of September the 23rd at first caught those defending the building off guard. The initial shockwave of the added zombies caused a 40-50 survivor drop inside the building, and an equal increase in the Margery population. Likewise Blackmore has recieved more survivors. Three days after the surge of zombies, the population in the streets of Margery dropped by roughly 20%, and the survivors inside Blackmore have retained their original numbers. This provides an estimated 220 survivor population both alive and awaiting revification.
The question of where these PKers came from deserves some mention- especially in light of the fact that the Channel 4 News Team and the NMC have never really drawn a large PKer crowd. This has been attributed to one thing: danger. PKers tend to stick to safe territory, where they're able to take part in their perverse rituals without being disturbed by zombies. Because the NMC operates exclusively in dangerous territory, PKing has never really been much of an issue. Ridleybank was a fairly dangerous area in the beginning of the Battle of Blackmore and, at the time, there were no PKers. They seem to have appeared, for the most part, at the moment when survivors began to outnumber zombies in Blackmore.
The picture, however, is incomplete. It's important to note that very few of the PKers we've encountered in Ridleybank are the standard type who, upon growing tired of shooting zombies, turn their guns on survivors. This sort of PKer seems to be generally disconnected from the rest of Malton and does not target specific groups (such would require connectivity). Most of the folks we've had problems with are former members of ASS and current members of Red Rum. A lot of these people are from the wiki.
When things first started, the survivors entering Ridleybank were written off as griefers and barricade strafers. It took the zombies a long time to realize this was a mistake- and some of them still haven't. Regardless, they are now dealing with what is either a major invasion or a successful group of strafers and Ridleybank is in survivor hands. PKers who believe the former came to Ridleybank because their backs were against the wall (or maybe just for a good fight, that's fair, too). PKers who believe the latter came because, as a few of them have made apparent, they're personally offended that someone would have the juice to attack Ridleybank and the Norse Gods to do it good and proper.
Beyond PKers are the death cultists. The RRF has long had a "hazy" policy against this, as they find that it limits their barhah (in civilized English, "barhah" is understood to mean "love of Wes Mantooth"). Shortly after our invasion, Sonny Corleone stepped aside and Patrucio, who formerly led the Packers, an RRF strike team, took over. With him came the official endorsement of death cultism. To be fair, the Packers have always used the tactic and the RRF hasn't ever taken a hardline stance against it. This change may have simply come with the new leadership, but it's still worth pointing out that the issue was brought before the RRF's War Council, which unanimously supported it. Their leadership may have changed, but the rest of their higher ups are still the same people who had been opposed to such a policy. Clearly, their minds have been changed- and in light of our sporadic, desperate use of the combat revive early in the fighting, it stands to reason that necessity was the catalyst of this change. Thus, we have brought death cultism on ourselves- and that, my friends, is a glorious achievement. We should thank Odin for every RRF zombie spy. They're proof of how effective we are.
The days and weeks progressed and the Bastards showed no sign of letting up. For their part, the zombies began falling away from Blackmore, though keeping significant pressure on it, and attacking the surrounding buildings. The intention, of course, is to cut off the supply line into Blackmore. Good old Patrucio, the new leader of the RRF, did himself well- in one day, they took down every single hospital in Ridleybank. The hospitals were retaken, but it's really made no difference. The Bastards started out holding the Blackmore without first aid kits and could well do it again. They'd simply have to spend more time reviving.
It's also worthy of note that there are some among us at this point began to anticipate another hit by the Big Bash in Ridleybank. The potential that the RRF try to get bailed out by just about every zombie group in Malton is horribly unsportsmanlike. That they would even consider it would be a damn shame.
The Battle of Blackmore has perhaps also served as a way of showing what is to come for survivors in ALL of Malton, and not just those living it up in Ridleybank. Many professional Zombie Hunters and scientists present during the Battle have speculated on just what made Blackmore just so ideal for long-term survival and the consequences of recent development in zombie behavior. The recent updates to NecroTech's DNA Extractors allowed for screening for members of RRF in revivification points, a tactical advantage in keeping friendly survivors alive and potential face-eaters and generator-smashers down.
It also seems more obvious than ever before now that initial control of key resources continues to be a weakness that the undead (who need no commodities beyond human flesh) exploit, forcing survivor forces to spread themselves thin. Blackmore is only as strong as its surrounding resource buildings, such as the Hospitals, Factories and Police Departments, and as such the undead can and will be expected to 'juggle' their attacks across Ridleybank's fields of plenty.
Many experts agree that the Blackmore Buildings centralized location to many key non-Mall resources continues to make it a key stategic location for any and all long-term plans for the livings citizenship in Ridleybank, and should serve as an example for other suburbs to re-evaluate their own primary centers of key resources. Vigilance is strength!
The Last Stand of the Blackmore Brigade
On October 12th and October 13th, a Shacknews strikeforce overran Nichols Mall, which had up until that point been a major source of re-supplies for the Blackmore defenders. This had never been a secret and the RRF and PH had both attacked Nichols to no avail. Their attempts to take the place ammounted to a low energy siege of 90 zombies that eventually just fizzled away. Shacknews, however, acts differently. First of all, they use zombie spies- which really serves no purpose, for reasons that will become apparent. Nichols Mall had about 250 people in it when it fell, ten or so were in the northeast corner and it was the northeast corner that got attacked. It could have just been happenstance, but that's typical zombie-spy behavior and, judging by graffiti and earlier reports, there are spies about. Regardless, the zombies got in!
Shacknews is a group of people from the "Shacknews" forum, which predates Urban Dead. They entered Malton in one group and coordinate with the forum. Because the group existed before it started playing, they're very, very coordinated. The initial strike on Nichols, which ransacked a corner, got their entire force through the doors simultaneously. They left only 10 feral zombies outside. I, Ron Burgundy, was there when it happened and between logging in, getting a glass of scotch, and then searching for a FAK, the attack had begun and ended. It couldn't have been more than five minutes- though I do like to take my time when selecting a scotch.
Because there were only 40 zombies around Nichols Mall (not counting the 80 that had taken the local NT the day before) and because they had clearly taken an undefended corner, the Channel 4 News Team and Blackmore Bastard Brigade saw fit to try and defend the place- by the time 30 of us got there, 80 of the mall's defenders had turned tail and run. It's difficult to blame them, since from the looks of it, there could have been a 300 strong horde outside- 40 zombies don't typically ransack a corner without a lot of backup. Still, 40 isn't many and the folks from Blackmore killed them, dumped their bodies, and barricaded the mall. The next day, however, they came back with their buddies from the NT and destroyed the place. It really never stood a chance; between clearing the zombies that got through and getting destroyed, half the remaining defenders took off- and not to Blackmore. I don't know where they went.
On October 13th, they went to Blackmore. At this point, the Blackmore Bastards had been holding off the second and third largest zombie groups in the game- the Ridleybank Resistance Front and the Feral Undead, respectively. The Big Bash had even announced plans to sweep through Ridleybank. There had been around 300 zombies outside Blackmore for weeks and the survivors inside never really had a problem keeping them there, despite being constantly outnumbered by 100 zombies. Within a few hours of the arrival of Shacknews, the Blackmore had been cleared of all life. They struck simultaneously, a few spent their energy getting through the barricades, and the rest just killed. It's unclear how many survivors managed to get out, but the number is probably very, very low, given the speed of the attack.
While the NecroNet of Blackmore may be silenced and still, the surviving Bastards are not. A few brave souls dart among the horde, seeking out stumbling friends to bring the sweet rebirth of a few scavenged syringes. Large revivification projects have begun in the cemetery just southwest of Ackland Mall at [31, 47]. As a recently recovered YRC member in the area reported through a mobile phone text message: "We did what was thought to be impossible once. So when I hear people say it'll be impossible to take it back again? I just smile. We're not done here." In response, a few 'combat revived' RRF members mentioned how tasty the Bastard's brains were, "perhaps seasoned by their dedication to the fight...or simply by the horror of their defeat." But dare I ask, what sort of defeat is it? Sure, we're all dead and that's a defeat on the surface, but we stuck it out in Ridleybank for two months- two months- against a horde that was consistently between 150% and 130% our size- and ultimately, that wasn't the horde that broke us.
The times are a changin' in Malton. We've known this all along. That a group of 200 survivors could pull off something like this would have been unthought of three months ago. Yes, the times are a changin'; Ridleybank will stay in zombie control, but not because of the RRF. (Holding Blackmore was also not the sole achievement of the C4NT but is the achievement of every Bastard to come to the place. Hats off to everyone who died there.)