Hello, everyone! It’s Kara Valentine here, and I’ve got some wisdom to share! Today I’m going to be talking about a new strategy I discovered, for coordinating zombie eviction efforts. I’m sure it’ll be of use to plenty of the folks in Malton, so be sure to share the info around with your friends! After all, folks that survive together thrive together!
The basic idea behind chain-culling is to effectively combat large hordes camping in a single building.
The main problem with hordes in buildings is that you can’t really fight them the same way you fight individuals (shoot, kill, dump) or outside hordes (barricade a lot). If you kill and dump one, others will still be there, and unless you manage to clear the whole thing, they’ll just stand up and hop back inside, completely offsetting the effort you spent to kill and dump.
Enter the chain-culling.
What you’ll need
- Some means of persistent communication with others
- Good timing
- Weapons of some description (pistols, ideally)
- Sufficient AP
- Construction and a toolbox (for when you succeed!)
- discipline (seriously, it doesn’t work without it)
- a survivor group of an indeterminate size
- a building that has a number of zombies in it.
The main goal is to get every single zombie in the building as close to death as possible, without downing them. Aiming for about 8HP is good - at that value, shotguns kill in one hit (factoring in flak jackets), and pistols kill in two.
Once all zombies are at the HP threshold (8HP or whatever you and your group agree on), it should be trivial for a single survivor to go in, kill and dump every zombie, then start repairing. This swift wipe effectively counters a horde’s ability to camp in one location.
Every member, on their own, will:
- consult the communication channel (Discord) for the current state of the building’s “residents”
- enter the building
- if all zombies are at the HP threshold, and with sufficient AP:
- kill all zombies
- dump all zombies
- repair building damage
- start barricading
- pick a zombie that’s not at the HP threshold
- get it to the HP threshold via bullets/swings
- announce it to the communication channel (do not forget!!)
- repeat while they have AP / ammo (partial damaging is okay!)
- get to safety
Discussion and analysis
The reason chain-culling is any good at all is because it’s actually easiest for zombies to heal by being killed, then standing up. In endgame situations, standing costs 6AP and fully heals a zombie. This is unparalleled recovery, unlike anything survivors have available. Obviously, avoiding this is ideal.
Killing a full-health zombie is usually quite difficult, and takes a significant amount of AP, either in the axe’s low hit chance, or firearms’ ammo searching requirements. It’s a major expenditure of survivor resources, and the only benefit it provides is a temporary window in which survivors can dump a zombie outside. Keep in mind that the zombie can (and will) stand up for the aforementioned 6AP, and you’ll be back to square one.
But… what would it look like, if a zombie was damaged until the point where killing them was trivially cheap AP-wise? Factoring in the initial damaging, you have both a major AP expenditure and a time window where the zombie could react and heal.
…or could they? Let’s look at zombie healing sources briefly:
- The most valuable healing source is Digestion, in that it provides two separate ways for zombies to heal.
- Successfully using a bite attack (30%, 4 damage) on a character (survivor OR zombie) restores 4HP.
- Each non-reviving corpse contains 40HP of feeding, costing 1AP to heal for 4HP. Once expended, the corpse is useless for healing until it stands, gets killed and becomes a corpse again.
- Otherwise, zombies can be healed by first aid kits (healing for 5-10HP), just like survivors, but obviously this would require a survivor’s hand.
- Dying and standing restores all of a zombie’s HP as mentioned before.
Under ideal play circumstances, no non-horde characters are available for live Digestion (and for the most part, biting other horde characters accomplishes nothing). Depending on circumstances, corpses should also be scarce, and will definitely run out quickly. Death cultists do exist, but they are quite rare.
So, what does this mean for chain-culling? Essentially, healing is a pain for zombies, and being at low health is a huge liability when holding a location as a horde. Threatening them with low health forces one of two vulnerability windows - either they don’t heal and are on low health, or they expend fininte, inconvenient resources (potentially even leaving the building to go and heal!) to try and mitigate the vulnerability.
Of course, there’s an obvious way to counteract this - if a zombie is at the HP threshold (8HP as mentioned before), it takes two bites from a friend to down that zombie, fully healing it once it stands. Thus, chain-culling works best if all involved survivors act quickly and in sequence.
Thanks to josinalvo#1890 from the RCC Discord for the initial idea.