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Made in gb
Aspirant Tech-Adept





Northumberland

@catbarf I think you have probably read that more recently than me so I will take your word for it. To be honest, I think part of the reason for the whole almost "overly scientific/realism" mode of description for the battle is a deliberate one that is part of the narrative of both of his books. I think like with a lot of things in 40k, I'm happy for realism to take a bit of a backseat when it comes to the artistry of the narrative. I mean he calls the zombie virus "solanum" which is the genus for potatoes

I agree, I think that Yonkers is a realistic failure. I think from an outside perspective as well and how the US media and military focus functions, it is certainly realistic. Brook's point is that another country would have done it very differently.

Having shot exclusively with either 12 gauge or .22 for hunting, my shootin' experience is pretty limited. However from an archaeologist point of view, I know the human skull is fairly robust, except when it isn't. That is to say that on the whole, degradation of the body doesn't mean the skull is affected. I think a lot of zombie media makes the excuse that if the zombies are 'older' and more decayed then they are an easier kill but that is certainly not true.

I think as GrumpyGnome says, the sneaky point of slow zombies is that they are underestimated. People think ahhh, what are they going to do? Bite me? And then they get bit.

In terms of the rest of the book, one thing I will say is you have to admire his prescience. Well, more just critical analysis rather than any futuristic prediction. Consider "Phalanx" being touted by the pharma companies in the book as the preventive measure against the zombie virus. And look what happened with Ivermectin. I think if you get bogged down in those details it can fall apart, but the book itself is still fantastic.

One and a half feet in the hobby


My Adeptus Mechanicus Painting Log:
# The Explorator Fleet of Labrunnia IX #

 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

Ah, sorry to hear about that experience during Andrew, Grumpy Gnome. That's rough. Very illustrative.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
Have you seen the videos of Keenu Reeves shooting at such ranges? He is a better shot I ever was and I qualified Expert with several different US military weapon systems, took classes from Massad Ayoob and was a civilian law enforcement firearms instructor for a time in Seattle. John Wick lives.


Yeah, that guy's legit. I really enjoy those films because while they are stylized and showy, the fact that Reeves actually has done his homework shows through in the final product. A great departure from the usual Hollywood action antics (even if I do love Equilibrium).

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
I do not wish to sound combative either but by thinking the US military could not be outfought by slow moving zombies, that there is just no realistic way for it to happen, you are falling for exactly the kind of thinking Brooks is warning about and trying to show with the Yonkers narrative. It sounds to me like commanders did not think they needed more ammunition because hey, they are slow.


Totally reasonable. I didn't really mean that they can't lose- every battle can be lost- more that if the premise sets up just a knock-down drag-out fight on the military's terms, with the US military operating at its peak, following doctrine, thoroughly informed of the threat, and behaving with a shred of rationality, the odds are pretty lopsided in their favor. The danger as I see it comes less from 'fighting the wrong war' or making bonehead decisions and more from constraints and friction- more on that later.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
Your Napoleonic Square overlooks some points about zombies… like, it lacks defense in depth. A square surrounded is easily overrun if it is breached. A breach can occur as soon as someone gets tired and makes a mistake. Sweat in the eyes, a dropped weapon, freezing in terror. Bam, suddenly a soldier collapses. One mistake is probably not enough realistically. But two, it happens. Three? The rank behind is no longer enough to plug the gap. The line buckles, soldiers either trust their buddies and keep facing forward and get bitten from behind or the start looking around and miss the zombie in front of them

I am suddenly thinking of Isandlwana. I am thinking Little Big Horn.


Me too! But the square formation is what they use in WWZ at the Battle of Hope, and that's the big victory that shows how the US Army has improved.

It's described as two lines of guys with pre-registered engagement distances, with spare ammunition and water in the middle of the square, and runners to bring ammo to the guys on the line, plus combat psychologists to pull guys off if they are getting sloppy and rotate them out for fresh shooters. I guess the idea is that since it's a square formation, they don't need to worry about being outflanked- but as you point out, that also leaves nowhere to go.

So basically, in Brooks's story, the Army goes from colossal failure at Yonkers to overwhelming success at Hope by forming a Napoleonic square with small arms (nothing heavier than a rifle), remembering that range cards exist, aiming for the head, and not panicking. And that's apparently all it takes.

I'd be inclined to think that conventional break-contact fire-and-maneuver where teams engage while alternating falling back, taking advantage of the zombies' slow speed, would be more effective. Particularly if it turns out that a line of guys can't actually keep up the hit rate to stave off the horde indefinitely. And there'd be psychological impact from having somewhere to retreat to versus no way out.

It just occurred to me that there are other logistical concerns in play- your average AR-pattern rifle is going to get very hot with continuous fire for potentially hours. So presumably the SIR has been designed with some serious heat sinking and dissipation, or maybe even swappable barrels like an MG. It's a very different use expectation from conventional conflict.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
In relation to artillery/grenades/mines… shrapnel that fatally eviscerates soft tissue of living humans may not hit and penetrate skulls.

Incapacitated to a human is not the same as a zombie… ie crawlers.

I agree that Brooks and his fictional battle report most likely under estimated concussive overpressure brain trauma to zombies but he was likely focusing too much on reports of lung damage and it being irrelevant to zombies.


Yup, the book definitely takes a strong stance that indirect fire or maiming is not a good way to combat zombies, and that only aimed, placed bullets are effective. Which fits the Romero mythos quite well and I'm fine with as a fictional conceit, although I would posit that when dealing with a horde, incapacitation is better than nothing as a crawler will still get in the way of more mobile zeds.

The head-scratcher for me is just that modern frag artillery puts out an absolute shitton of sizable fragments, and it is explicitly designed to defeat helmets as well as the skull underneath. That's part of why they airburst; maximum dispersion across an area and high rate of terminal effect. It was used to good effect on Iraqi regulars in the first Gulf War, and I've seen insurgents taken out in this manner by DPICM in the early-00s, and it's really nasty. A far cry from Hollywood explosions that are harmless from thirty feet away. But I will absolutely concede that this is me nitpicking.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
Lack of ammunition is something I have experienced but then I did not deploy to Afghanistan/Iraq. I have also had to on several occasions blast through ridiculous amounts of ammunition pointlessly at end of exercise and fiscal year end dates. Feast or famine was my experience with ammunition but we are talking back in the 20th Century. Maybe it is different now.


Sorry I didn't address when you brought that up before, about being deployed without ammunition- I meant to respond to it but it slipped my mind.

What I was going to say is that your experience with the Guard deploying without ammo does not surprise me, because that's someone in the chain of command deciding that they just need a visibly armed presence or are using the Guard as grunt labor, and are unwilling to run the risk of Guardsmen using live fire without just cause. I've seen it before and it always reminds me of the 'What are we supposed to use, harsh language?' scene in Aliens. Army's got the ammo, they just don't want you actually using it. And that's a perfect example of...

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
Can you elaborate more on what would make for a realistic failure at Yonkers that could lead to the narratively beneficial defeat? Simply glossing over the military being defeated is poor story telling, does not suspend disbelief and is a lazy shortcut taken by far too many zombie storytellers.


...the sort of decision-making I'd use to justify a Yonkers loss (under the scenario given, which I'll challenge- more on that in a bit). Not that the military pulled out all the stops and got to re-live its Fulda fantasies a decade or two later, but that concerns secondary to winning the battle, driven by the fact that it is on US soil and explicitly intended to be a high-visibility operation, would get in the way of effective warfighting.

So! I'm the president and I need you to address this New York situation, and you have my full authority to do whatever it takes to contain the threat. Oh, except there's just a few problems.

First, New York City is a national landmark and a major economic hub, and when this nasty business with zombies is dealt with in a month or two we will need to reoccupy it. Plus, I've got about two dozen major corporations breathing down my neck about their assets in the city and threatening my re-election fund. So no artillery. No airstrikes. No flattening neighborhood blocks, and you absolutely cannot destroy the bridges leading out of the city. This is a domestic policing action, not Fallujah.

Second, we've heard that these zombies are able to walk underwater but we don't know exactly how transmissible the disease is, so we cannot risk them escaping the city and causing a panic elsewhere in the country. So I need you to form a cordon around the entirety of NYC and ensure that nothing gets out. You'll probably need to keep multiple lines, too, just in case any of the things slip by. We need the people to rest assured that this situation is contained.

Third, there may still be living people in the city. If those people are trying to get out, we need to be helping them, not watching them step on antipersonnel mines on national television. Under no circumstances will you deploy mines, barricade the bridges, or otherwise keep the survivors trapped in the city.

A bit overboard? Maybe. I'll admit #3 is a stretch. Season to taste.

Then, right as the shooting starts, I'll throw in a curveball: For one reason or another, the GPS satellite network and commsats go down. Maybe it's an opportunistic cyberattack, maybe it's EMP from the India-Pakistan nuclear exchange mentioned in the book, maybe a rocket launch fails catastrophically and a Kessler event finally occurs. Whatever the reason, now the Army finds itself spread thin covering a ridiculous frontage, denied use of its most effective assets, without any real defenses as force multipliers, and experiencing a complete command and control meltdown.

Now it really is down to just tanks and guys with rifles. In light of my above comments, I'd wager that rifle fire isn't quite as effective as Brooks thinks, especially with this being early in the conflict and these guys still trained to shoot center-mass. They're on their own, and when their best efforts fail to contain the ridiculous number of zombies pouring out of the city, some fall back, while others can't call for resupply or relief, run out of ammo, and are brought down by weight of numbers. Either way, the operation is a complete failure, and the national news consists of helicopter footage of guys clinging to humvees and Bradleys as they flee a completely uncontained horde pouring out of NYC.

So, there's your Battle of Yonkers: A battle not lost because artillery isn't good enough, but because the country isn't taking the virus supernatural zombie plague seriously enough to do what needs to be done, and critical infrastructure that the military is overly reliant upon fails at exactly the wrong moment.

Like I said though, I challenge the framing, because the idea of the entirety of NYC getting infected and then they all muster to shamble out of the city as one big group always seemed weird to me. I'd expect instead there to be infected-but-not-yet-turned people fleeing the city and small groups of zombies shuffling out before the city is fully overrun. The military wouldn't lose the Battle of Yonkers because there wouldn't be a Battle of Yonkers; by the time they start to mobilize, the zombies have already expanded past NYC and a nice and tidy containment is impossible. The military has to prioritize where to defend, and as the country is slowly consumed (save for those bastions of military defense) the logistical network starts to break down, and before long it reaches full apocalypse and the military can no longer bring its strength to bear in any one place.

That gets us to roughly the same position in the end without the military ever getting a straight-up knock-down-drag-out battle to win or lose- because they're not fighting a human adversary, they're fighting a disease, and that's not something the military is organized to defeat.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2022/01/14 20:42:32


   
Made in de
FOW Player






Catbarf…..now that is a brilliant rebuttal. Tip of my cap to you mate.

Your scenario is quite compelling.

Excellent examples of how the military gets its hands tied politically and technologically. I can see why you feel underwhelmed by the situation Brooks set up. I will give Brooks the benefit of having written it in 2006 and only have some insider knowledge but still being a civilian rather than a veteran but yeah your scenario is more realistic. I did not get the impression that the US military was fighting at its peak at Yonkers with that being a narrative choice to set up “ the hero's journey”. The scenario you outline is more believable to me but it does not quite set up the same fictional journey. Of course you most likely have an equally good improvement on the Battle of Hope.

I had forgotten the squares Brooks uses. My concerns about it remain the same. Dien Bien Phu versus Khe Sahn comes to mind. Big enough and properly supplied perhaps a living firebase strategy could work proving adäquate transport as well. A mobile defense is not always the best option, see Roarke’s Drift versus the Alamo… but I dread the idea of not having a credible withdrawal option. So fire and maneuver for me… the real answer could only be tested in the heat of zombie combat.

Good point on the crawler getting in the way of more mobile zombies. Good point on barrel heating. Good point on airburst fragmentation but when I was in I do not recall being taught about helmet or body armor defeating airburst shrapnel. Of course I used my “flak jacket” more for a pillow and my “k-pot” helmet more for rain protection than actually stopping any fragmentation. And that was even during my stint as a crewman on a 4.2 inch mortar back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I much preferred my time later on Bradleys. Even if they are flawed IFVs.

I think Brooks wanted to address some thing specific about Cold War Generals not adapting to asymmetrical warfare in the early 2000’s and framed the military failure around that.

Your scenario, which admittedly sounds more interesting to me, is framed around different points that resonate because of the situation today rather than in 2006. However when I first read WW Z Yonkers resonated with me because of my specific concerns with how brass had behaved.

I recall meeting with a Colonel who had flown out to Washington State in 1999 to give us a survey that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. One of the questions being, “Would you obey an order to shoot at US citizens”. This was relevant to us as in addition to training for operations in Korea we were training to deal with potential militia issues in Idaho.

After the survey he spoke privately with me, a young overzealous E6 with delusions of grandeur.

I had these ideas of how the Louisiana and Washington National Guards were missing an opportunity by insisting on being Mech Infantry without enough time for the troops to get competent enough with the Bradleys based on their performance of yearly Table 8’s and should be light infantry as New York was. This was in part because of the three natural disasters I had participated in as a National Guardsman.

Louisiana (Hurricane Andrew), New York (Severe Blizzard), and Washington (Fighting Forest Fires).

I was concerned that should Washington National Guard mech Infantry be sent to Korea as was our main training focus was then we would face another Kasserine Pass. I then went on to say that also the US military needed to learn from the British military how to do peacekeeping duties. Having spent 4 months on exchange with the British Army I learned experience in Northern Ireland had taught them a lot about the policing side of insurgency combat (later repeatedly demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan… but I told you so is not as much fun as it may sound).

He laughed at me and said I was naive. Washington State was not concerned with how we may fight North Korea but that those Bradleys sitting unused in their track parks generated revenue for the state. And that the only thing folks cared about at the Pentagon, where he worked, was how to get their Star. That it all revolved around money and that no one was interested in my experiences or ideas. It was not long after that I left the National Guard and moved to Europe.

For decades I have sat on the sidelines and watched various real world incidents that mirrored issues brought up in various fictional metaphors, including zombie outbreaks. The horrific images from Hurricane Katrina still trouble me because it seems lessons were not learned even as recently before as Hurricane Andrew. The break down of civilization and infrastructure discussed in zombie outbreak fiction is something that many people think they will never face but for me the veil of civilization is thin. Hurricane Andrew showed me some of the best and worst of humanity and yet it was a pale reflection of what later happened during Hurricane Katrina.

On a related side note about the military fighting a virus… I always wonder if we will see a film about US Army personnel being sent to Africa to deal with Ebola in 2014.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6425a2.htm

Olthannon, you make some great points as well. It is easy to poke holes when you want to. Some of Brooks’ points are tongue firmly in cheek, like the potato genus inside joke. It certinanly is a zombie trope that zombie skulls often get soft relatively quickly… except for the ones that don’t. And melee weapons seem to break a lot.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/15 10:52:21


Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
Excellent examples of how the military gets its hands tied politically and technologically. I can see why you feel underwhelmed by the situation Brooks set up. I will give Brooks the benefit of having written it in 2006 and only have some insider knowledge but still being a civilian rather than a veteran but yeah your scenario is more realistic. I did not get the impression that the US military was fighting at its peak at Yonkers with that being a narrative choice to set up “ the hero's journey”. The scenario you outline is more believable to me but it does not quite set up the same fictional journey. Of course you most likely have an equally good improvement on the Battle of Hope.


Really, I totally get what Brooks was going for. Show the military using the wrong doctrine and losing, and then years later coming back with doctrine meant specifically to fight zombies and winning. Makes sense, perfect narrative arc, a sort of organizational hero's journey as you put it. It's just- and at this point I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from- having the military get spanked at Yonkers for reasons that I find dubious and then coming back to overwhelming victory by adopting 18th century formations and remembering range cards exist isn't exactly the most compelling turnaround in my book.

I'll admit I haven't put as much thought into it, but if I wanted to construct a parallel-Hope that echoes the themes that are core to my revised Battle of Yonkers, I think it would probably consist of small units, no greater than platoon size, employing the fire-and-maneuver I described to draw out the zombies and conduct a linear defeat in detail. Instead of rigid hierarchies of command and control they'd operate as autonomous units (the analogy that comes to mind is MACV-SOG LRRPs in Vietnam), with smoke and flares as a fallback if conventional radio stops working. Each team would have a 'lane' or defined frontage- maybe a half-mile per platoon, and at least a mile deep so they have room to fall back as needed- and given free rein to operate within that lane, without being expected to rigidly hold the line. They'd push forward when they can, and fall back when they draw more attention than they can handle.

I'd also make a point of having their priority be to identify the largest concentrations of zombies and whittle them down, not to kill every zombie in a given area or to establish a cordon. They'd be always moving, always staying a step ahead of the shambling horde, and only holing up and calling for aerial exfil if they got inadvertently trapped. If they found a dense concentration of zombies, they'd signal for artillery, aerial bombardment, or maybe just some Abrams acting as steamrollers (I find fiction authors tend to underestimate how hard it is to immobilize a tank), without regard for collateral damage to infrastructure that at this point has been written off.

Their weapons- learning from the years of conflict- would be semi-automatic-only rifles firing very light calibers (the more I look at it, the more I like .22 TCM), and integrally suppressed to minimize attention. They'd be designed for rapid cooling, use exclusively hollowpoint ammunition to maximize the chance of a headshot incapacitating a zed, and load from stripper clips to minimize the logistical burden of thousands of rounds fired in a single operation (not to mention manufacturing, since mags are pretty complex hardware). Their body armor would be inspired by shark-proof suits and made of light chainmail or hardened leather, with particular protection to the limbs and neck but prioritizing light weight and manual dexterity.

In a nutshell, instead of looking for a knock-down-drag-out battle (which, ironically, is exactly what the Battle of Hope is in the book) or seizing ground, they'd be operating as cautious exterminators, briefed on their objectives and then empowered to pursue them as they see fit, and equipped in a manner that fits that role. Pretty different from the modern-day US military as a whole, but I suppose not so different from SF.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
I think Brooks wanted to address some thing specific about Cold War Generals not adapting to asymmetrical warfare in the early 2000’s and framed the military failure around that.

Your scenario, which admittedly sounds more interesting to me, is framed around different points that resonate because of the situation today rather than in 2006. However when I first read WW Z Yonkers resonated with me because of my specific concerns with how brass had behaved.


Yup, it has occurred to me that you and I are of different eras and are approaching this with different backgrounds. I'll definitely cut Brooks some slack given when it was written, and like I've said I understand the points he was looking to criticize, it's just the execution that I nitpick.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
He laughed at me and said I was naive. Washington State was not concerned with how we may fight North Korea but that those Bradleys sitting unused in their track parks generated revenue for the state. And that the only thing folks cared about at the Pentagon, where he worked, was how to get their Star. That it all revolved around money and that no one was interested in my experiences or ideas. It was not long after that I left the National Guard and moved to Europe.


Then again, different eras or not, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
The break down of civilization and infrastructure discussed in zombie outbreak fiction is something that many people think they will never face but for me the veil of civilization is thin. Hurricane Andrew showed me some of the best and worst of humanity and yet it was a pale reflection of what later happened during Hurricane Katrina.


My mother works as a FEMA regional floodplain manager, and Katrina was the watershed event that prompted a major restructuring of her agency. In the years since then, they've used the hypothetical zombie apocalypse as a framing mechanism for disaster preparedness, since it's basically every worst case put into one. And it really does not take a lot to reach zombie apocalypse levels of societal breakdown. I saw some hints of it last year when the pandemic interfered with fuel and food logistics and am very glad that it didn't get worse.

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
It certinanly is a zombie trope that zombie skulls often get soft relatively quickly… except for the ones that don’t. And melee weapons seem to break a lot.


Hey, here's a thought: Stuck in a siege with zombies reaching up the walls of your makeshift fort? Step one, sixteen ounce plumb bob. Step two, a rope. Guns are loud and bullets are scarce; let gravity do the work for you.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2022/01/15 21:22:48


   
Made in de
FOW Player






Yeah, the exterminators analogy is a good one. That kind of flexible small unit operational procedure would be my go to. Not try to out automaton zombies. Play to zombie weaknesses not their strengths. This system seems better equipped to deal with potential “hold out” human survivor conflicts as well. I know Brooks brings that problem up as well but if I remember correctly he makes it rather easy to fight each threat separately. I may be misremembering that though.

It is good to hear FEMA has improved. I have wondered at length how the more recent big floods in Texas were managed but little information made it to me here.

The pandemic has not caused the wheel to come off as badly as I was expecting but then it is not over yet either.

One thing Mrs. GG and I have remarked on… if we were stuck in. Zombie apoc we would not casually leave lone zombies to roam around or crawlers to bite some unsuspecting passerby later. I get that part of the trope is that there are so many that you “just can not kill all of them” and that you get mentally fatigued of constantly killing them but the “harmless” loner zombies of today are the dangerous horde members of tomorrow.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

 Grumpy Gnome wrote:
One thing Mrs. GG and I have remarked on… if we were stuck in. Zombie apoc we would not casually leave lone zombies to roam around or crawlers to bite some unsuspecting passerby later. I get that part of the trope is that there are so many that you “just can not kill all of them” and that you get mentally fatigued of constantly killing them but the “harmless” loner zombies of today are the dangerous horde members of tomorrow.


Yeah, when it comes to military tactics I'd think you'd want responsibilities divided between two groups.

The door-kickers and pipe-hitters go first and focus on whittling down the large groups of zombies. They're focused onhordes, ensuring that there are no dense concentrations of zombies that could pose a threat. That'd be the tactics I described in my last post.

Then, you'd have a 'reclamation line' that actually does form a cordon and goes slowly to take out every single zombie that remains as they advance, ensuring the territory behind them is clean and safe. Since it's just stragglers at this point, they're doing cleanup. They might have the odd challenge- maybe an apartment building full of zombies that got missed by the first group- but for the most part this is an easier assignment that can be used for training up new recruits and putting less-capable personnel (eg, people who can shoot well enough but not keep up with the physical requirements of being chased by a horde) to use.

Different tactics are needed to address hordes versus maintaining a perimeter, so it makes sense to divide up those duties.

If it's just you on your own, then I guess things get tricky, because realistically you're probably not clearing out any significant area on your own. I'm inclined to think that light/noise discipline to lay low and avoid attracting attention is probably a better call versus trying to hold a castle. But then it depends on the rules in play for how zombies work. I was underwhelmed by the movie as a whole, but I enjoyed the intro of 28 Weeks Later where the survivors are keeping as quiet as possible in a house in the countryside with all the windows and doors boarded up. No real defenses, no siege, just trying to fly under the radar.

   
Made in de
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Flying under the radar does help with unfriendly surviving humans out to take your stuff.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
Made in de
Powerful Ushbati






Zenithfleet wrote:
Jeez, two pages in and no mention of Return of the Living Dead (1985)?

(That's the movie that invented the cliche that zombies eat brains, if you haven't seen it. And if you haven't seen it, you should fix that right now.)

I used to think fast zombies were stupid. Until I saw that flick. It may be comedy-horror, but there ain't nothing scarier than a Trioxin zombie.

To be fair, they're more like 'people who happen to be dead' than 'mindless horrors'. Which is one of the reasons they're simultaneously hilarious, tragic and terrifying. They can think and outsmart you. They just have... different priorities. "BRAAAINS!"


I'm torn on that. On the one hand it's a genuinely fun movie. On the other hand it's barely a zombie movie.

As someone who dislikes fast zombies I wouldn't even cite the "zombies" from Return of the Living Dead as a basis for that dislike. They're not really zombies at all. They act, speak and reason as people when required, which makes the zombie thing they got going more of an overriding fixation than the barest remains of instinct driving them to feed as is the common portrayal for zombies. And that's just not a zombie to me.

That's probably why I find the movie far more enjoyable than other fast zombies movies, because its "zombies" are so far removed from the real deal that I never feel compelled to make comparisons to Romero zombies.

Nehekhara lives! Sort of!
Why is the rum always gone? 
   
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All Flesh Must Be Eaten is the RPG for all things zombie.

They have those and more. Some of the Zom's were plant based, some technical, some virus based, it just depends.


MY all around favorite zombies- Deadworld. Back in my hard core comic collecting days, I was all over this one like white on rice.

In that one, you had a varied mix of fast movers, intelligent, slow plodders, some Zombie sympathizers, etc....
The worst thing about it- they think and communicate, like Return zombies did with that "Brains" stuff.
King Zombie was like an all around intelligent, "Giant " zombie, and then later on he was a Biker leader type. It depends on the comic you buy, because there's been a few iterations.
I started out with it in Arrow comics, then a few from Caliber and Image when they were cool, then I was told that IDW had it for awhile. I think it's probably one of the best zombie comics out there.

It out Walking Dead'ed, the Walking Dead before it was cool.



At Games Workshop, we believe that how you behave does matter. We believe this so strongly that we have written it down in the Games Workshop Book. There is a section in the book where we talk about the values we expect all staff to demonstrate in their working lives. These values are Lawyers, Guns and Money. 
   
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Axis & Allies Player




 Geifer wrote:
Zenithfleet wrote:
Jeez, two pages in and no mention of Return of the Living Dead (1985)?

(That's the movie that invented the cliche that zombies eat brains, if you haven't seen it. And if you haven't seen it, you should fix that right now.)

I used to think fast zombies were stupid. Until I saw that flick. It may be comedy-horror, but there ain't nothing scarier than a Trioxin zombie.

To be fair, they're more like 'people who happen to be dead' than 'mindless horrors'. Which is one of the reasons they're simultaneously hilarious, tragic and terrifying. They can think and outsmart you. They just have... different priorities. "BRAAAINS!"


I'm torn on that. On the one hand it's a genuinely fun movie. On the other hand it's barely a zombie movie.

As someone who dislikes fast zombies I wouldn't even cite the "zombies" from Return of the Living Dead as a basis for that dislike. They're not really zombies at all. They act, speak and reason as people when required, which makes the zombie thing they got going more of an overriding fixation than the barest remains of instinct driving them to feed as is the common portrayal for zombies. And that's just not a zombie to me.

That's probably why I find the movie far more enjoyable than other fast zombies movies, because its "zombies" are so far removed from the real deal that I never feel compelled to make comparisons to Romero zombies.


Yes, very true. I do see them as zombies, but the movie is from an era when the true pop-culture Zombie (TM) arguably hadn't quite set in stone. It's similar to the way that notions about vampires, lamias and succubi are all more or less interchangeable if you go back far enough. (Insert arguments about dragons vs wyverns here.)

I've seen modern reviewers refer to the Trioxin chemical in RotLD as a 'virus', presumably because they're so used to the idea of a Zombie Virus Plague that they can't quite get their heads around an alternative concept. "What, your vampire doesn't drink blood? Don't be silly. Of course he does."

Incidentally, I've often thought that Zombie Trash might have influenced the GW portrayal of daemonettes. Not that daemonettes are undead. But that moment when she walks out of the mist is pure daemonette, right down to the colour scheme, and the way that she seems alluring until the guy slowly realises there's something off about her face (and by then it's too late) ...
   
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It's a good question what people in the mid 80s were thinking what the stock zombie might be. Romero would have had a pretty big influence by then. We had Night, Dawn and Day at that point. A lot of cheap 80s productions went in that direction with their zombies. I think Return of the Living Dead may have specifically been conceived as a conscious effort to get away from that. I mean, they even mention Night of the Living Dead in the beginning of the movie and specifically tell you "look guys, that's just Hollywood messing with the facts, this is what zombies really are". They deliberately made their undead different.

Funny idea people can't get away from virus zombies. I understand that over time a certain need developed to explain zombies scientifically instead of just accepting that zombies just happened. These days that just means viral infection. Sign of the times, I guess. When they made the Doom movie fifteen years ago they switched to genetics as well (and just kept the vaguest idea of evil/an occult explanation around if you squinted) because demons or hell don't serve as an explanation anymore. Damn zeitgeist! But yeah, extra funny considering Return of the Living Dead shows toxic gas on several occasions and explicitly states the two guys from the warehouse suffer from chemical poisoning.

It's an interesting idea about Daemonettes. Trash's appearance isn't a bad match and Daemonettes were a bit punkier back then, because it was the 80s and all. Probably just a coincidence, but who knows.

Nehekhara lives! Sort of!
Why is the rum always gone? 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut




I think, the novelty having worn off the fast ones, it's slow ones all the way. They're sadder, stranger and more pathetic, and I think they leave more room for the stuff that's really interesting among the survivors.
   
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Philadelphia PA

Casualty wrote:
I think, the novelty having worn off the fast ones, it's slow ones all the way. They're sadder, stranger and more pathetic, and I think they leave more room for the stuff that's really interesting among the survivors.


I definitely agree, the zombies are really just a backdrop for the survivors - the original Dawn of the Dead is the best example of this IMO.
   
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FOW Player






 ScarletRose wrote:
Casualty wrote:
I think, the novelty having worn off the fast ones, it's slow ones all the way. They're sadder, stranger and more pathetic, and I think they leave more room for the stuff that's really interesting among the survivors.


I definitely agree, the zombies are really just a backdrop for the survivors - the original Dawn of the Dead is the best example of this IMO.


I agree. Very interesting point about slow zombies being sadder. I did not think about that side of it until you mentioned it. This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for in my original post. The storytelling potential that is often overlooked or unremarked but exists none the less. This kind of almost subliminal messaging makes me think about how a movie costume designer can tell a story without dialogue through good costume design.

It is easier for me as a viewer/reader to feel sorry for slow zombies compared to fast (ghouls)… because there is something inherently sad about them. They often lack the rage the fast ones have. The rage of the fast ones makes it harder for me to feel sorry for them. Weird. I can not really explain why but that seems to be how my emotions go when I think about it.

Fascinating!

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
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Aspirant Tech-Adept





Northumberland

I think because you can see the decay and the remenants of humanity in the slow zombie. Much like an old building with a more impressive frontage that has fallen into ruin. You are more aware of what they used to be, you also have more time on screen of seeing their decrepit state.

Slow zombies are also much more of a contrast between the human survivors.
Fast zombies tend to have a more bestial effect which makes them more inhuman.

One and a half feet in the hobby


My Adeptus Mechanicus Painting Log:
# The Explorator Fleet of Labrunnia IX #

 
   
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FOW Player






 Olthannon wrote:
I think because you can see the decay and the remenants of humanity in the slow zombie. Much like an old building with a more impressive frontage that has fallen into ruin. You are more aware of what they used to be, you also have more time on screen of seeing their decrepit state.

Slow zombies are also much more of a contrast between the human survivors.
Fast zombies tend to have a more bestial effect which makes them more inhuman.


I quite agree.

I can see where both fast and slow bring things to the table but to me slow is zombie and fast is ghoul. I know this is an imperfect definition but it is the best fit for me given the imperfection of language.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/ 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




NE Ohio, USA

The better/more entertaining I find the the work they're in, the less I care about speed/weapons.
   
 
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