Originally Posted by Ksheep
Nice analysis. I have to say, I agree on most parts. The only thing I can see that's off is the edibleness of the reanimated: While it's true that most of them will be unappealing, those that are freshly dead will still be perfectly edible, and even the more decayed ones will look rather tasty after a week of starvation. As a general rule of thumb, the longer something goes without food, the more willing they will be to eat unappetizing food sources.
We'd also run into an interesting situation if the village that this takes place in doesn't normally bury the dead. What if they instead burn the bodies on a pyre (maybe they had a necromancer attack in the past)? This will result in a much smaller starting stock for the necromancer, meaning that his forces may be outnumbered 10-to-1 or more. Of course, as the siege continues, he'll get more stock materials, but then he runs into the problem of using walking buffets that feel no pain as his frontline troops.
Clarification on that, then. When I said "food sources," I meant that the zombies couldn't reliably feed on them. If they're guarding the perimeter, and the Viral Zombies are trying to attack them for food... given how indestructible the Reanimated zombies are, the Viral Zombie will not survive the feeding.
If there were no reserves in the village, then that poses an interesting question. Much of it depends on the surrounding resources; for the purposes of discussion we will assume that they live isolated from other communities. We will also assume that the Necromancer and the Virals can't raise non-human zombies (Protip: If that's on the table, the Necromancer wins. They get more zombies, and since most of the life in the surrounding wilderness is herbivorous, they won't be able to feed themselves and starve), and that the Necromancer can raise dead Virals as Reanimated zombies. This changes the situation: First off, the Necromancer won't have the materials at the start to impose a Quarantine singlehandedly. However, as this is in a vacuum (otherwise, the Necromancer would have other stores of dead bodies to use for supplies), Quarantine isn't as much of a problem at the start. What would have to happen is that the Necromancer would have to side with the Villagers, regardless of how the war started; otherwise, the Virals will
kill both of them. The Necromancer would raise the dead ranks of Villagers and Virals to supplement the town's defenses, preventing the ranks of the dead from growing. We'll assume that the Virals can eat wild animals to survive, so they won't starve the Virals out this way. However, the town will grow stable, and any hunting parties, be they manned by Reanimated Zombies or Villagers, will decrease the number of Virals out there overall. Given enough time, the Reanimated Zombies will grow large enough in number to begin combing the forest thoroughly, and will be able to root out the last of the Virals. This is when it would become Villagers vs. Necromancer, but the Necromancer pretty much already runs the town, as he and his Reanimated zombies are what allow the people of the town the power to rest well at home. With the large standing army, and the fact that each of his troops are more durable than the Village army, he can impose mandates on the city, such as forcing them to stop cremating their dead. This winds up with his standing army growing and in general being larger than the population, and the Necromancer winds up in uncontested control of a town. Needless to say, though, the Necromancer is much more exposed in this kind of environment, being a part of the town and all. Adventurers could take him out after the worst of the damage was contained without undue repercussions, though extirpating the rest of the Virals would be much more difficult. Necromancer victory is still likely, but if Adventuring parties get involved, things change. If the Necromancer survives the first assassination attempt, he removes his troops from the town defense, and this moves to the old Virals vs. Necromancer vs. Villagers situation, that the Necromancer thrives on. Just corral a few Virals over to the Village, and then an outbreak occurs again, and he can thrive on the chaos. If he's assassinated before he can orchestrate this, then the Adventuring party most likely will be able to keep the town safe from Virals, but for decades thereafter, the surrounding area will still have the threat of Virals clinging around, and a possibility of the plague spreading to other Villages.