Something goes horribly wrong, and soon afterward zombies
appear. Almost immediately, they're roaming the streets of a now-dead city. Thousands upon thousands are dead, and those who haven't escaped or died are slowly being picked off.
Are you one of these people? No! You're a commander trained especially for these problems. The military has given you a nice, big budget, and you are tasked with dealing with the zombie threat. But how do you begin?
You've come to the right place!
This guide is designed to teach you how to strategically deal with a zombie uprising. By the end, you should be tactically prepared to fight the undead. Just keep calm, train your team, and create a plan, and you should be all set!
There are three phases to any operation: Preparation, which involves anything prior to the actual fighting; combat, which involves fighting the zombies; and finally cleanup, which involves anything you do after splattering all of the dead. Each phase should be looked at separately, since missing any one of them would (obviously enough) send the entire operation crashing to the ground. More than one zombie operation miserably failed because everybody just blindly ran in, and more than one operation ultimately failed because nobody bothered to cleanup. Now, to begin.
- Set up a base of operations. This is where all of the injured and noncombatants will stay, and will also be the place the supplies are kept. Ideally, it should be as close as possible to the AoZ (Area of Zombification) while still far enough so that the zombies need time to get there. You can extend the distance if you have vehicles to ferry your troops. Remember that is usually better to overestimate the best distance than underestimate it.
- Defend your camp. The mission will fail if zombies overrun your base. Happily, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Assuming the zombies will only approach from one direction, a single machinegun nest that's staffed around the clock will work fine. The time it takes for the zombies to close in will be more than enough for the machine gunners to mow them down. If you are afraid of super-zombies or powerful mutants, set up more nests as needed. Minefields also work, but be sure your soldiers know how to navigate them.
- Estimate the area and the number of survivors in it. If there are no survivors and the area is small enough, just pour poison gas into it and skip to cleanup.
- Try to figure out as much about the zombies as possible. This is extremely important! Their habits will help you prepare specialized equipment. Knowing their physical qualities will help you in the combat stage, and knowing whether what makes them zombies is contagous or not is extremely beneficial. Finally, if you can find a way to turn a zombie into a human, you can reduce their ranks and increase the survivor count at the same time.
- If zombification is caused by a pathogen, innoculate all of your soldiers against it if possible. Then, stockpile as much curatives as possible. These should be kept back at camp, unless zombification is extremely rapid. If so, curatives should be part of the specialized equipment.
- Equip your forces. Usually, each soldier should carry (not counting armor):
- Firearms. A repeating weapon (such as an AK-47) and a pistol is the standard, although you'll probably switch out one or the other for a more specialized weapon.
- Lots and lots of ammo. Ammo is your friend.
- Some sort of melee weapon. Usually a firearm is better, but melee has its places. A baseball bat will do, but the best thing would be a long stick that's sharp on one end.
- Grenades. See next section.
- Flares. Again, see next section.
- Medical supplies. This includes painkillers, drugs to calm down panicked members, and other such items.
- Specialized equipment. This includes anything that is specifically designed to fight the particular kind of zombies you'll be facing. If they track mostly by hearing, pack some noisemakers. If zombification occurs by a bacteria, pack some powerful antibiotics.
All of this should be packed in armor that's designed so it is easy to willfully drop an item. That way they can lighten their load if running. The soldiers should keep with them at all times a weapon, specialized equipment, at least one flare, and lots and lots of ammo. Finally, the armor should be be built so that at a distance it is clear that a human is wearing it. You don't want your gunners firing at your soldiers, now do you?
That's all there is to preparation. Next, we have:
- Don't blitz! Moving in quickly will just leave you stranded deep in the AoZ. Instead, move slowly and be sure to thoroughly clean up each section. This is safer and makes it easier to return wounded/infected/ammoless soldiers to the base. Make sure the "cleaned area" expands in a circle shape, because this has the greatest cleaned area to border ratio. The only time you should blitz is if you know a survivor is near.
- Don't split up. Having each soldier work alone or with only one other partner invites death. The soldier can't take any specialized weaponry, can only keep his sight in one direction, and is screwed if infected. Plus, you have no way of knowing what has happened to him if he does die, unless he keeps radio contact all the time. Instead, travel in packs of at least three. All three can see in every direction at once, soldiers can specialized, and two remain to fight if one gets injured. Plus, two can cover while one reloads.
- Conserve firepower. Every shot counts if a group doesn't have a clear path to the base. This is especially effective if you are moving in the recommended pack of three (or more). One person can carefully pick off zombies, while the other two can blast any that come into close range.
- Explosives are your friend. A well placed grenade can disrupt or destroy a tight pack of zombies. I don't think I need to explain why that is a good thing.
- Flares are also your friend. A flare can lure zombies to location, which is pretty useful if you need some breathing room or want to shuttle them into a killing zone. A flare can congregate zombies, making them grenade fodder. A flare can signal for help. A flare can blind and/or set fire to some zombies, which makes it easier to escape from a bad situation. Finally, a flare can signal that a soldier is leaving the AoZ, which keeps them from getting blasted by your machine-guns.
- Train your troops in melee. Usually, you'll want them engaging from as far away as possible. Distance is your friend. However, the soldiers should know how to fight in close-combat. If you are suprised by a zombie, being able to break its neck can be the difference between you having an arm or not. If you run into a group of zombies, being able to disrupt and escape can be the difference between leaving hungry for cow and leaving hungry for human.
- Take advantage of vehicles. A car can protect a group and focus zombie attacks on easily defended areas (like a window), and an armored truck can push supplies to a stranded group. Helicopters can airlift in blitz parties and airlift out survivors, and can drop bombs as a bonus. Let's not even get into tanks.
And that's pretty much it for the combat itself. Finally, we have:
Usually, you won't need to completely clear out the AoZ. Once you have rescued any survivors and retrieved anything valuable, you should obliterate the area. This is usually done by intenstive bombings, arson, or pathogens. You should probably use radioactive material to sterilize the area, if you know zombification is contagious.
Things get tricky if you want to cleanup an importantly location, like New York City. You have to get rid of the remaining zombies, but leave everything else untouched. A good way to do this is to find a poisonious gas that's heavier than air. Dump a nice cloud over the city, wait for it to clear, then send in blitz parties to kill anything still alive. Put the city under martial law while people are resettling it, then take it off once you are absolutely sure the zombies are dead.
Now, have a nice cup of tea. After all, you've earned it.