Logo Zombie survival guide Chapter 5 on the attack
The undead
Weapons and combat techniques
On the Defense
On the run

On the AttackLiving in an undead worldBuy the book on amazon

This chapter is designed to help plan a civilian search-and-destroy mission. Every rule, every tactic, every tool and weapon in this section have been carefully tailored for just such a contingency. All have been taken from actual combat. All have been tested and proven battle-ready for that moment when retreat has ended and the time has come to hunt the hunters.

GO TO SECTION : General Rules , Strategies



1. COLLECTIVE RESPONSE: As with any other type of combat, undead warfare should never be a solo mission. As stated before, in Western-particularly American--culture, there is the myth of the individual superbeing. One man or woman, well-armed and highly skilled, with nerves of steel, can conquer the world. In truth, anyone believing this should simply strip naked, holler for the undead, then lay down on a silver platter. Not only will going it alone get you killed-it may also create one more zombie. Working together, always together, has shown to be the only successful strategy for annihilating an undead army.

Squad22. KEEP DISCIPLINE: If you take nothing else from this chapter, if correct armament, equipment, communication, and tactics seem a silly waste of time, if only one tool goes with you into battle against the living dead, let it be strict, unwavering, unquestionable discipline. A self-controlled group, regardless of numbers, can inflict infinitely more damage on an undead enemy than any wellarmed mob. Since this book is written for civilians, not military personnel, discipline of this caliber is difficult to come by. When selecting your team, make sure that the men and women under your command understand your instructions. Use clear, concise language. Do not resort to military or other coded jargon unless your team are all familiar with its meaning. Make sure there is one leader, acknowledged and respected by the entire group. Make sure there are no personal differences or, at the very least, that they are left far behind. If these demands mean thinning your ranks, so be it. Your team should and must function as one. If not, a plethora of nightmarish possibilities awaits. Large, well-equipped groups have been utterly destroyed when their members have panicked, scattered, or turned on each other. Forget what you've seen in movies about loose bands of locals, beer and shotguns in hand, protecting humanity from the zombie menace. In real life, such a gaggle would be little more than a gun-toting buffet.

3. BE ALERT: Maybe you're elated from a successful fight; maybe you're tired from days without sleep; maybe hours upon hours of fruitless searching have left you mind-numbingly bored. For whatever reason, never let your guard down. The undead could be anywhere, their sounds muffled, their signs ignored. No matter how safe the area seems, be alert, be alert, be alert!

4. USE GUIDES: Not every battle will occur on home turf. Before entering an area unfamiliar to you or your group, recruit someone with local knowledge. He or she can point out all the hiding places, all the obstacles, all the escape routes, and so on. Groups without guides have been known to accidentally trigger disasters by failing to know that a gas main was within their firing line or that toxic chemicals were stored in the building they had set ablaze. Successful armies throughout history have always employed locals from the territory they sought to conquer. Armies that have entered blind have usually met with defeat.

5. HAVE A BASE, HAVE SUPPORT: A team should never go into battle without having established a safe zone. This area should be well outside the target area. It should be manned by a support group with all the necessary facilities to keep you fighting. It should be easily defensible should the tide of battle turn. Fortress, hospital, supply dump, combat information center-all of these should spring to mind when you order your group to "retnm to base."

6. USE DAYLIGHT: It is no accident that most horror films take place at night. Darkness has always inspired horror for one simple reason: Homo sapiens are not designed for nocturnal activity. Our lack of night vision and poor hearing and sense of smell make us creatures of the day. Although zombies are no more skilled at night fighting than we are, it has been proven that the margin of safety always drops when confronting them after dark. Daylight not only allows greater visibility but also bestows a psychological lift upon your people.

7. PLAN YOUR ESCAPE: How many zombies are you going up against? Unless you have an exact figure, make sure an escape route is always chosen, scouted, and under guard. Too often, overconfident hunters have sauntered into infested areas only to be overwhelmed by numbers they never considered. Make sure your escape path is clear, close by, and above all, clear of any obstacles. If numbers permit, leave several members of your group to keep this escape passage open. Retreating groups have sometimes been trapped when their escape route was blocked by a mass of walking dead.

squad18. LET THEM COME TO YOU: More than any other, this tactic allows the living to fully exploit their advantage of intelligence. A human army, knowing an attack is coming, will wait patiently, and safely, on the defense. This is why in conventional human warfare, an attacker always needs at least a three-to-one numerical advantage to ensure success. Not so with the undead. Because zombies are driven simply by instinct, they will attack no matter what the situation. This gives you the advantage of simply waiting near an infested area and letting them come to you. Make as much noise as you can, light bonfires, even send one or two fast scouts in to lure them out. When the dead come, you will be in a position of "aggressive defense," ready to kill the majority before going in to mop up. Because this tactic has been proven the most effective, different examples of its execution will be discussed later in this chapter.

9. KNOCK!: Before entering a room, locked or otherwise, always listen for activity inside. A zombie could be on the other side of the door-docile, quiet, ready to move at the first sign of prey. How is this possible? Maybe bitten humans succumbed behind their locked doors. Maybe they were put there by other, uninformed humans who believed they were protecting their loved ones. For whatever reasons, the chances of this scenario are at least one in seven. If at first you hear nothing, make some noise. This will either galvanize any silent ghouls or confirm that the room is empty. No matter what, be on your guard.

10. BE THOROUGH: In the early stages of an outbreak, people tend to capture, not kill, zombies they have known in mortal life. When the captors have either fled or been devoured, restrained zombies may remain for years, able to repeat the cycle if released. After an area has been swept for ghouls, sweep it again. Then, sweep it again. Zombies could be anywhere-in sewers, attics, basements, cars, air ducts, crawl spaces, even inside walls or under mounds of debris. Pay particular attention to bodies of water. Zombies wandering at the bottom of lakes, rivers, even reservoirs have been known to surface well after an area has been declared safe. Follow the instructions later in this chapter for proper aquatic search-and destroy.

11. MAINTAIN COMMUNICATION: Remaining linked to every member of your group is one of the most vital factors in a successful mission. Without proper communication, hunters can become separated, overrun, or accidentally shot by their own people (as in conventional warfare, this happens more than is generally acknowledged). Small, two-way radios-even the inexpensive brands marketed in electronics stores-are the best way to remain in contact. Walkie-talkies are also preferable to cell phones in that their signals do not depend on satellites, relays, or any other external aids.

12. KILL AND LISTEN: After a skirmish, always he wary of secondary zombie groups. The moment a ghoul is put down, cease all activity and listen to the world around you. Chances are that if any zombies are within earshot, they have overheard the battle and are moving in on your position.

13. DISPOSE OF ALL BODIES: Once the area is truly secure, bum both the bodies of the undead and those in your party who have fallen. First, this erases the chance of infected human corpses reanimating as zombies. Second, it prevents the health risk associated with any type of rotting flesh. Freshly slain humans provide an attractive meal for birds, scavenging animals, and, of course, other zombies.

14. INCENDIARY CONTROL: When using fire, make sure you keep in mind the larger implications. Can you control the blaze? If not, the fire will endanger your group. Is the zombie threat serious enough to warrant destroying great amounts of personal property? The answer may seem obvious, but why burn down half a town to kill three zombies that could be destroyed by rifle fire? As stated previously, fire can be as powerful an enemy as it is an ally. Use it only when necessary. Make sure your team can easily escape a wild blaze. Make sure you know where all explosive and poisonous chemicals are stored and if their destruction could endanger your team. Make sure you practice with your incendiary tools (blowtorch, Molotov, flare, etc.) before entering a combat zone so you know what they are capable of. Be aware of flammable fumes such as a leaking gas main. Even without resorting to fire as a weapon, the danger of these fumes, spilled chemicals, leaking fuel tanks on automobiles, and a host of other hazards are enough to prohibit smoking during any search-and-destroy mission.

15. NEVER GO OFF ALONE!: There may be times when it seems wasteful to send an entire team to do one person's job. Wouldn't five individuals cover more ground than a group all bunched together? In terms of time and efficiency, yes. For safety, the priority of any zombie sweep, staying together is mandatory. A separated individual could easily be surrounded and consumed. Even worse, hunters have come up against walking dead who only hours before were members of their own party!

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1. LURE AND DESTROY: Use one or more vehicles, large pickup trucks, or SUVs to enter an infested area. Once inside, make as much noise as possible to draw the undead to you. Exit the area slowly, matching the speed of your pursuers. Like the Pied Piper, you will soon acquire a tail of zombies, a grisly parade slouching after you. At this point, sharpshooters posted at the back of the vehicles can proceed to take them down. The pursuing ghouls will not realize what is happening, as their primitive brains will not notice that their comades are falling all around them. Continue to lead them from the area, thinning their ranks until none are left. Use this tactic in urban zones (when the roads are clear) or where natural environments allow long vehicular journeys.

2. THE BARRICADE: This tactic works similarly to "Lure and Destroy," only instead of leading the undead on for miles, your bait will draw them to a fixed position. This position could be constructed of debris, hastily erected barbed wire, wrecked cars, or your own vehicles. From the fixed position, your team will stand its ground, killing the zombies before they I can overrun the barricade. In this instance, incendiary devices are ideal. Chances are, that the approaching zombies will be tightly packed by the time they reach your position. Molotovs or (and only in this one case) a flamethrower would utterly destroy their ranks. Barbed wire or other similar obstacles should be used to slow an advance and further concentrate targets. If incineration is not an option, simple marksmanship will accomplish the same task. Make sure your distances are measured and your rounds are expended wisely. Always watch your flanks. If possible, make sure the zone of approach is narrow and contained. Always have your escape route ready, but keep control of the team to avoid a premature retreat. Use the Barricade tactic in urban areas or those that provide great visibility. Specifically exclude jungles, swamps, or thick forests.

3. THE TOWER: Find an area high above ground (a tree, building, water tower, etc.). Stock this position with enough ammunition and basic supplies for a I protracted battle (longer than one full day). Once all these tasks have I been accomplished, do everything you can to attract the dead. As they gather around your position, begin the slaughter. Be careful when using incendiaries, as fire may spread to the tower or smoke may become a health risk.

4. MOBILE TOWER: Drive a garbage truck, semi, or other tall vehicle into the heart of an infested area. Establish a kill zone with good visibility, park, and commence the attack. The advantages of this tactic include never being shackled to an existing tower, already luring the dead with your vehicle's engine, and (provided your cabin is always clear) a guaranteed means of escape.

5. THE CAGE: If you don't believe in cruelty to animals, don't try this on a sweep. It basically involves placing an animal in a cage, positioning your team within weapons range of that cage, then picking off the zombies that come to devour said animal. Of course, several factors need to be considered for this tactic to work. The live bait must he loud enough to attract any nearby ghouls. The cage must be strong enough to resist an attack and anchored well enough to resist being pushed. Your team needs to he hidden so as not to attract zombies to its position. They must also take care not to hit and kill the caged animal. Silent, dead bait will quickly foil the cage strategy. Environments least suited to a cage approach are those with little or no cover for your team. Avoid its use in plains, tundra, or open desert.

Armored6. THE TANK: Obviously, any civilian group will not have access to a real tank or armored personnel carrier. What might be available is an armored car, the type used to transport valuable commodities. In this case, the commodity will be your team. Using a "tank" is very similar to the cage tactic in that your goal is to attract the zombies to a specific location, then dispose of them with rifle fire. But unlike the cage, your team members within the tank's cabin are not simply live bait. Firing slits enable them to add another level of firepower to those of the external snipers. Be aware, however, of the possibility that undead may tip your armored car on its side.

7. THE STAMPEDE: Of all hunting methods used against the dead, this is perhaps the most theatrical. Basically, the "process" involves dividing your party into teams, boarding a number of motor vehicles, driving through the infested area, and running over every zombie they find. Despite the image of a modem-day stampede, from which this tactic gets its name, it has been all but abandoned by knowledgeable hunting groups. Hitting a ghoul with a vehicle rarely results in a kill. More likely, the animated corpse is left crippled, crawling around with a shattered spinal column and useless legs. Always plan to follow up your "highspeed chase" with hours of mopping up by a team of dismounted hunters. If you do decide on the stampede tactic, use it in plains, desert, tundra, and other wide-open areas. Urban zones present too many obstacles, such as wrecked cars or abandoned barricades. Too often, stampeding hunters have found their paths blocked and their situation radically reversed. Avoid swamps or wetlands entirely.

8. MOTORIZED SWEEP: Almost the polar opposite of a Stampede, the Motorized Sweep is a slow, calm, methodical approach. Your hunters, traveling in large, powerful, well-protected vehicles, at speeds no greater than ten miles an hour, patrol the infested area. Sharpshooters pick off the undead, one shot at a time, until none are left standing. Trucks work best because they offer snipers an easier, safer vantage point from the roof. Although this tactic reduces the mop-up time of a Stampede, each body will still have to be inspected and disposed of. Open areas are ideal for the Motorized Sweep, although the slower speed involved allows limited use of this tactic in urban areas. As with all motorized vehicles, avoid dense andlor tropical areas. Once again, as with the Stampede, you will still need to plan for an extensive mopping-up period. Taking potshots from the roof of your Chevrolet Suburban will not get that last zombie at the bottom of the pond, locked in a closet, wandering the sewers, or lurking in a basement.

10. THE FIRESTORM: Provided the blaze can be controlled, the area in question is suitably flammable, and property protection is not an issue, nothing works better than an artificial blaze. Zone boundaries must be clearly delineated. Set a simultaneous fue to the entire perimeter so that the flames march steadily inward. Do not allow for an escape route, no matter how narrow. Keep watch for zombies that may have wandered through the flames. In theory, the storm will herd the dead into a tight perimeter, incinerating them in minutes. Mopping up will still be required, however, especially in urban areas, where basements and other rooms may have shielded zombies from the flames. As always, use caution, and be ready to deal with fire as a secondary enemy.

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