Barhah History Month III
Editor's Note: This issue covers early RRF history, during the infamous First Siege of Caiger.
A little Mall called Caiger
- Taken from an account by Papa Petro himself
The original plan was ambitious, and it was intended to be our last mall siege for a good while, because after Caiger, we figured nobody would ever defend a mall again. The original concept, that was actually followed to some extent was to maneuver the three big hordes and such smaller hordes as wanted to join in, placing them around all points of the mall and crunching suburbs to drive the survivors into a center point. We didn't quite get the desired seal on the northwest, though the Anti-Celebrity Taskforce did the best they could with their manpower to make life unpleasant up there. The Scourge drove in from direclty east moving toward the mall, while the RRF Groups closed in on the southern extremities, culminating with both groups moving into East Becktown. (Which, in and of itself was putting up a pretty stiff fight, due to the high refugee population concentration, which we'd dubbed the 'compression effect' of driving survivors from downtown.)
The final touch on the initial plan was the 'failed assault' by the CotR. Back in the day, the CotR was just a step below major horde status, a sizable force, and they happened to be on a westward pilgramage that included raids on Caiger, but they had no intention of making a major assault out of it. That worked perfectly for our plan, with the CotR passing through, cracking the barricades and getting 'beaten back', which gave the defenders a sense of confidence.
We'd driven literally hundreds of survivors into the mall. The three major hordes and a host of minor hordes were set to attack, and where we went, tens and hundreds of ferals were sure to follow.
And then it started to unravel.
Onward to Caiger, Donnie Osmond must die
- Taken from an account by DM
Most of us were in East Becktown at the time, trying to finish up Lonely Row PD and Daubeney NT when the announcement came through from Petro:
It is a disturbing message I have to bring you.
As you all know, Donnie Osmond has long been one of the primary targets/objectives of the Ridleybank Resistance Front.
Word has come to me that he is hiding nearby.
In the Caiger Mall, to be precise.
But that's not all.
Perhaps some of our younger brethren should leave the thread now.
See, humans are a strange breed, fearful and ashamed. They engage in strange behaviors that we sometimes find perverse.
In order to escape the consequences of their actions, they have been known to... use names that are not their own.
Yes, I am as shocked and dismayed by this barbaric practice as you are.
It would seem that Donnie Osmond had adopted one of these false names... I shall term this a 'pseudonym', and has taken up residence in the Caiger.
There is only one way to be sure of getting him.
BRING ME EVERY HEAD IN THE CAIGER MALL!
We march with the HORDES once more!
To the CAIGER!
Groups 1 and 2 joined the siege on the 10th with LittleLisa leading the way. By the 12th, the NE section of the mall was cleared from the combined assault of the ACT, RRF, The Scourge and the COTR, and we all expected the entire mall to collapse in a couple of days. After all, no mall previously had survived a united horde attack after losing a quadrant.
The hordes then turned their hungry eyes on the SE quadrant, fully expecting to level another mall into the ground. We started the switch to infection attacks to help drain survivor AP. After the collapse of the NE, it seemed only a matter of time before Donny Osmond and his Caiger pets were in our hands...
Thanksgiving in Caiger
- Taken from an account by Papa Petro himself
There were some timing issues that most outside of the Ministry of the Dead (there is no Ministry) really know about. The original plan called for a unified strike on a single date, with the Scourge and the Minions hitting at the same time as orders went out to the Groups. The Scourge and the Minions would be the sword, and the Groups would be the hammer.
Problem was, nobody could agree on an attack date, with the Minions tied up bashing up Yagoton. The Scourge charged ahead with the ACT, the CotR looped back in, and in went the Groups.
As DM said, we crushed the one quad and moved on to the SE in full expectation that victory was not only inevitable, but fairly soon to come. However, this illusion of success was to be one of the most costly problems, because the Minions, under the impression that victory was imminent, declined to come in with the assumption being that they were only going to be getting leftovers after we'd crushed the mall.
While the unity of the hordes suffered, the CMS was in the process of being born, and rather than folding, they were the first to develop systematic anti-siege tactics. The NE quad was cleared and rebarricaded, and a general call for help went out. As one day went after the next, we breached the barricades repeatedly, jamming thirty or forty zombies through at a time, before having the doors slam behind us and getting ejected. The longer it lasted, the more survivors showed up, still under the impression that it was a doomed effort, but determined to get in on the hot siege action and make a stand. At some point, numerical superiority decisively slipped over to the survivors, and the noted critical mass issue came to be- we couldn't breach at any point at any time without encountering active survivors. Furthermore, active defenders would camp other buildings in the area, and when informed that a breach was in progress, they would free-run in and contribute to the defense.
Still and all, we remained confident that it was just a matter of time. The AP ratios favored that eventually they would run short of ammo and syringes, and then we could burn them out by attrition. With the addition of the Minions over the Thanksgiving holidays, we took both southern quadrants and prepared to overwhelm the other two.
It had been our hardest fight, but victory was in sight...
A Zombie Meat Grinder
- Taken from an account by Jack Destruct
I remember being ridiculously high on victory as we all strolled up to Caiger Mall for a short brunch.
Anybody who've I've accosted in the past month or two when they mention "having fun attacking Caiger" might be surprised to know exactly how excited I was. I even got assigned to Santa Claws duty and had some Zombie-Elves and Zombie-reindeer, and we were all trying to break into the mall to get BARHAHsmas presents for all the younglings.
It was fun... For a little while.
There were some honourable foes, and verbally sparring with them in-forum, and trying to kill them in game was a great deal of fun. But after killing LL3 and seeing him reappear in the Mall only moments later like some FedEx-Jesus, served to destroy my morale.
I remember a lot of frustration. We were in the Caiger meat grinder, the worst thing though was, it took us way too long to realise.
The Quick and the Dead of Caiger
- Taken from an account by Jorm
I remember being very concerned about the speed with which the horde was moving towards Caiger - too fast for the younglings to keep up. This was on my mind because my wife had just created a zombie and was trying to have fun . . . but all the targets were getting destroyed days beefore she managed to get there.
Syringe Rates Increase
- Taken from an account by Petro himself
That was around the time we formed the DoHS for the younglings. I'd wanted to hold off on it until after Caiger, because I really wanted our newbs to get a full share in the planned post-fall rampage, but as it happened, Alex jumped out in a moment of vile initiative and created the DoHS. He was, of course, punished for his insanity with a promotion.
(Sarcasm aside, he did an excellent job in the early formation of the DoHS, and it addressed a very large concern of ours.)
Jack's brought up one of the core problems we had that really kneecapped us. Around halfway through the siege, it became noticeable that the syringe find rate had roughly tripled. With such a huge concentration of survivors and the easy proximity of NT buildings, the CMS were able to be killed and return to the fight in the same day. As the siege dragged on, the Ministry (there is no Ministry) ran the numbers and came to a very depressing conclusion- we couldn't get ahead on the AP war. Even at max kill efficiency, the concentration of force at Caiger could out-revive us.
This is boiling down a couple of very frustrating weeks. We'd actually started making moves toward organized assaults on a larger scale, with the strike teams forming spontaneously around Hairyjim, Mitsuko, and others who were willing to lead at the various timeslots. The strike teams were, for my money, the best thing we got coming out of Caiger.
One last Barhah
- Taken from an account by DM
Aside from a brief moment in which the hordes took both southern quadrants of the Mall, morale was beginning to collapse. Many of us hadn't really leveled in weeks, and the daily grind of the barricade war was taken its toil. It was also at this point that zombie numbers overall had collapsed, to the point where survivors stuck in the streets away from Caiger had little to fear.
Warlord Xyu then spearheaded a moment to start coordinated attacks from members of all the hordes:
So, after we've just found out that the Caiger forces are already repopulating the SE corner, what are our plans?
Is it time for more of us to attack as a unit or do we carry on as we are? I think we've done well in the last day, but now that they've basically just kicked us back outside of the SE corner, all we have is the amount of Zombies that are in the SW corner, while they are hundreds of Hambargharz strong in the NE and NW sections of the mall, already spilling back into the SE section.
They are working as a unit, but we don't seem to be doing that aswell as they do. Can we still beat them without attacking together? Could we win this battle if The Scourge, The RRF, The Minions, and The CoTR all attacked as one unit? Or can we still win by attacking the way we are doing now?
I hoped that when the Unified Hordes first started getting talked about we could all attack as one group and smash through malls in one attack. Can we do that, or don't we need to?
The Scourge and The Minions got almost 50 Zombies inside the SW section the other night in about 1 minute, and I think that if we all got together and attacked as one unit we could do the same with over 100 every day, but is that the best way to go about this? What do you think?
Six groups were formed. Paturcio formed the Packers Attack Group, Jack Destruct the Barhahsmas Elves, HairyJim the Breakfast Club, and Karen Sanger formed the Nightowls. Stroth and Lance from the Minions took the other two time slots. Despite each group breaching the mall and killing fifteen-twenty survivors a breach, it was clear that our numbers were too few and that the Mall was untakable.
Petrosjko made the announcement and we began the long retreat. Caiger had damaged our spirits, and for many, it ended up being their last BARHAH...
Defeat at Caiger
- Taken from an account by Petro himself
And so it finally came to a head- we couldn't win with the current numbers, no matter how efficient the strike teams became, no matter how many zombies we shoved through. At the other end, the first evidence of bottery was surfacing, and zerging was causing massive internal dissension. CMS members like Kei and LL3 were doing everything they could to take out the obvious zergers, but it was getting worse all the time, and they (Kei especially) were being targeted as PKers. Members of all the hordes were deserting out of frustration, and a number of CMS members had sent their alts to barricade Ridleybank, griefing the DoHS with continual headshots in the process. (These were the days when headshotting knocked off XP instead of AP, and they were effectively stalling out the leveling up of our newer members.)
In short, nobody on either side was having fun at this point, except maybe the dumbass trenchie zergers. There was a distinct possibility that if we'd stayed at it a week longer, the internal dissent might have caused the CMS to fold, as well as the boredom that was getting to them. At best, though, we could just hope they'd disintegrate before we would, and it wasn't a bet we were going to make. Caiger was my plan, so I made the public announcement of retreat for the RRF, ending RRF participation in the siege. The Minions had already pulled out several hours earlier, and the Scourge reluctantly followed suit.
Let none take away from what you have done here, and let none steal the credit for the valor of your defense. You have done what was thought to be impossible, for you have turned away the horde. BARHAH!
What was to follow was the hardest time in the game for the RRF and zombies in general, but I've come to think of it as our finest hour. Wounded and beaten, but not broken, we started our march back to Ridleybank, where a veritable host of survivors had fortified and prepared for our return...