A mall siege is the term given to an assault on a Mall, usually by zombies, over a period of time. It is often shortened to simply ‘siege’
Why Sieges Occur
Malls are attractive positions to both survivor and zombie. For the living, they offer
- Improved search odds, and most items in the game can be found without leaving the block
- A place to rest with many other survivors for protection.
- An increased chance of being healed due to the high numbers, also an increased chance of finding those needing a heal
- An excellent base for launching attacks or grouping
- More zombies in the local area to fight. (See below)
For zombies, malls are mainly targeted to
- Eat brains. The huge number of people inside malls are a feast should zombies get inside. As well as more targets, there are likely to be more weak and injured survivors for easy kills.
- Damage survivor defense. Because of the benefits of a mall, it is often the focal point of an attack on a suburb. Breaking the mall can destroy the survivor defense of a suburb, and often a siege is followed by a suburb being trashed as zombies take advantage of the weakened survivors.
How sieges start
Mall sieges can be both organized and spontaneous. Because of the large numbers of survivors inside a mall, feral zombies cannot create a foothold there as easily as in other areas. Zombie groups under a certain size can be easily beaten by the defenders and pose little to no threat.
Large zombie groups have the manpower to attack the mall and remain a threat without being killed off by the survivors inside while they sleep. Once the zombie group outside is not able to be beaten back and killed down to a few individuals daily, a siege has begun. Large groups often target malls for their rich pickings and strategic value, metagaming enabling the horde to arrive within a few days and begin their assault. Feral zombies can also siege, although the build-up to siege point is slower and usually accompanied by a rise in overall zombie levels in the suburb. Metagaming hordes are usually more effective as they have the capability for co-ordinated attacks and experienced leaders who direct the battle. Most sieges contain one or more official groups, and the ferals of the suburb who join in to help the assault. Depending on the size of the siege, zombies and survivors travel from varying distances to take part. Sieges provide an excellent opportunity for XP on both sides, and in some cases can cause players to level up after only a few day’s activity.
With some exceptions, mall sieges follow a general pattern.
Zombies gather. The mall calls for aid and survivors come to its aid. There is a build up of activity in most of the surrounding area.
This begins once the zombies reach siege strength and begin to successfully assault. They attack the barricades, and once inside attack and kill survivors depending on their levels, HP and skills. Who is targeted is sometimes decided by the horde leadership, or left up to the individual zombie. Zombies with Brain Rot stand at revive points to disrupt revive queues and zombies fight any survivors that venture outside to kill them.
Survivors barricade the mall to prevent zombie entry, fight back breaches and heal the wounded. Scientists revive the fallen, often using revive forums to prevent syringe wastage. If no zombies are inside and barricades are at full strength (Or the player lacks Construction) the survivors go outside and fight the horde. This is considered the last option, and that survivors should put the overall maintenance of barricades and prevention of breaches over their own personal XP gain.
This process continues, with zombies breaching and being forced back, for a varying length of time, anything from a few hours to weeks or even months. The longer the siege drags on for, the more people are attracted to it, and also the more likely a survivor victory becomes. The stalemate continues until either
Zombies breach the barricades, and instead of being pushed back, gain a foothold and are unable to be ousted from the mall. The zombie presence prevents the barricades in that block being maintained, and more and more zombies force their way into the mall. Once survivor defense breaks down under the assault, the zombies spread to all corners of the mall and attack from within. Barricades are broken down, and the mall is left wide open to any zombies who have not yet managed to enter. In some cases the defense has recovered from this and returned to Phase 2, but this is rare and is not believed to have been seen after the advent of Mall Swarming. All survivors inside the mall are killed or flee and the siege is declared a zombie victory.
The siege drags on and on, and the zombie groups (and also the survivors) begin to get bored. Individuals leave as they seek excitement, rather than the monotony of a siege. If the zombies are making no headway, they may become demoralized. The zombie groups become so bored and dispirited they leave the siege and travel to another part of the city. With numbers falling the remaining zombies(Individual zombies, or small hordes) are easily beaten off by increased survivor numbers. The siege is a survivor victory.
Should the survivors win the siege, the suburb returns to normal, usually with a lower zombie presence and increased survivor numbers.
Should the zombies win, the suburb is usually trashed, if the siege has not done so already. With no safehouses, the survivors are killed or flee. Eventually the survivors manage to make their way back, but mustering enough troops to enter the mall, barricade it to a safe level, and filling it with survivors can take some time, often longer than the siege itself.
Why sieges are won or lost
Which side wins a siege is Dependant on many factors.
- Numbers of participants
- Levels and skills of participants (for example numbers of survivors with Construction)
- Communication and metagaming ability
- Publicity of siege (A better publicized siege will attract more participants)
- The element of surprise (The knowledge that the group Mall Tour 06 would attack Caiger Mall last allowed a large survivor defense to assemble)
- Timezones (A horde in one timezone may gain a foothold whilst the defenders in another are offline. Timezones also disrupt plans for co-ordinated attacks)
- Persistence of participants
- Overall teamwork and how the participants act under siege conditions. The ideal method of playing in a siege is set out by the Mall Defence Manifesto.
The RRF attacked Caiger Mall with its full forces. The battle started on the 5 November, 2005 and ended in a survivor victory on 1 December. Caiger stood as the first major siege to end in a survivor victory, ensuring the status of the mall for ever.
- The Third Siege of Caiger Mall, and subsequent battles.
Despite its fame among humans, 1000+ humans inside, and ideal placement to NT buildings, the Shacknews Horde manage to fell Caiger in less than a fortnight. Although it may be some time before the reasons for Caiger's fall from grace are deciphered and accepted, the general consensus was that a great many of the defenders were "idiots" (and less kind variations thereof), and that the mall's residents smugness had begun to annoy the rest of Malton's residents. As such, news of the siege received very little attention, and very few went to help. Also, the loss of the Latrobe Building, and a general incompetence in efforts to retake it are belived to have contributed to the downfall of what was once referred to as "The Bastion of Humanity".
- The Mall Tour 06 Campaign
A large zombie horde toured and attacked every mall in Malton over a period of a few months. Every mall they targeted fell, some in hours, some in days. Their final target was Caiger Mall, where the zombies were beaten back after a siege lasting from the start of February 2006 to the 19th March 2006. It remains the largest and longest siege in the history of the game. Groups from all over Malton participated, and it is considered by many to be the greatest victory by the living in game history, with several thousand participants, and is known as the Second Siege of Caiger Mall.
Although the first half of this siege was a suburb-wide battle, in its concluding weeks it developed into a mall siege, where The Shining Ones, parts of the RRF and the local Ackland Abattoir, were defeated by the Channel 4 News Team and their allies.
Giddings has been the subject of several sieges, including victories for both sides. Like Caiger it is a symbol of human resistance. The The Siege of Giddings Mall in September 2005 ended in the defeat of zombie group The Many, and its last action. Zombies retook the mall in the Dia de los Muertos massacre. Giddings resisted the Mall Tour attack for 5 days before it was overwhelmed in January 2005. A siege in May 2006 ended in a survivor victory. The Second Big Bash conducted a month-long siege in January 2008, eventually ruining the mall and its surroundings.
Stickling was the last survivor stronghold in Shearbank to fall when The Many took the entire suburb in 24 hours on the 28th August 2005. The Gray successfully attacked the mall in the final days of December 2005, despite the low numbers of players and activity caused by the Christmas/new year break.
Because of it’s location in the cetre, the most dangerous part of malton, the mall has remained under zombie control since the expansion of the RRF from Ridleybank to the surrounding suburbs. Often used as a base for assaults on Ridleybank, but every time the survivors have been crushed and the mall retaken after a few days. However in April 2007 the mall withstood an assault by over 100 zombies during a 3 week siege; the attacking zombies were mostly unorganised ferals, the lack of strike teams ond co-ordination may have helped the survivors to victory.
After having been sacked by numerous hordes,among them the Ridleybank Resistance Front and Mall Tour '06 plus it's counterpart Mall Tour '07, it was targeted again in what was anticipated as an easy victory for the zombies. Tompson lasted a week and a half and ended in a survivor victory. The official numbers are 100 zombie took on 250 survivors. The survivors were able to maintain the Cheeke Building in the face of the zombie resistance, and keep the mall powered, thus being able to handle the assault with ease. After a time, the zombies involved gave up, and the local zombies were unable to maintain the pressure.