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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    If you're giving serious consideration to zombies, I cannot endorse the book World War Z by Max Brooks strongly enough (the film has very little to do with its source material). Aside from being an entertaining read, it takes a serious look at the challenges zombies would present to modern entities, and the adaptations required to fight them effectively. It was, IIRC, at one point on the recommended reading list of the USAF Admiral of the Navy.

    A few points of note:
    • Modern weaponry stressing rate of fire, incendiaries, shrapnel weapons and more are of little or no use against opponents that can only be stopped by massive head trauma. A steady, accurate semi-automatic rifle that never jams becomes the new standard. This is accompanied by the use of firing lines and rangefinders on prepared battlefields.
    • Troops becoming too psychologically or physically exhausted to continue needs to be treated as a given. Zombie engagements are long, disgusting, and may involve mercy killings.
    • CQC demands heavy, sturdy weapons that can cleave skulls without being worn down. Decapitation is not an option if a zombie's head can still bite. Reach is also a big advantage. Basically you want an overbuilt trench axe/halberd, supplemented by a variety of heavy knives and hatchets for when things get really ugly. Post CQC-hygiene is very important!
    • A damaged zombie is a hazard. Sever the legs and they will crawl. Sever the head and they will bite. Constant floor sweeps are a tactical necessity. Dogs are good for this, among other things.
    • Do zombies drown? No, and that means bodies of water become very, very bad places. Clearing out the ancient sewer and tunnel systems underneath some European cities is perhaps the single worst-case scenario for fighting zombies.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2018-02-13 at 09:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Why would the close combat weapons need to be overbuilt? A typical halberd is more than capable of cleaving unarmoured skulls- any heavier and it would be less effective as a weapon. Actually, in the context of unarmed, unarmoured zombies, they could likely make a halberd lighter and it would perform better with quicker follow-up attacks.

    A greatsword could be effective as an area denial weapon in close combat to protect a squad- enough power to easily hack through skulls, and capable of holding back multiple enemies. Would require more training than halberds probably. I feel that poleaxes and hammers would also be good for crushing skulls without getting stuck.

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    Why would the close combat weapons need to be overbuilt? A typical halberd is more than capable of cleaving unarmoured skulls- any heavier and it would be less effective as a weapon. Actually, in the context of unarmed, unarmoured zombies, they could likely make a halberd lighter and it would perform better with quicker follow-up attacks.

    A greatsword could be effective as an area denial weapon in close combat to protect a squad- enough power to easily hack through skulls, and capable of holding back multiple enemies. Would require more training than halberds probably. I feel that poleaxes and hammers would also be good for crushing skulls without getting stuck.
    Mainly because durability and ease of use become extremely valuable when facing down hordes of mindless, unskilled enemies who are not going to defend themselves meaningfully. It also helps if it can serve as a makeshift shovel.

    Look at it this way: a sword's greatest assets are defensive versatility and the ability to deliver terrible wounds from a variety of angles due to structural advantages and a long cutting edge. None of that matters against zombies - you just need to put a hole in the thing's skull, and you may need to do that thousands of times without your weapon breaking. Think of it less as fighting and more as doing a really dangerous, unglamorous job, which demands a reliable, unglamorous tool. For this purpose, a broad-bladed spear, pole axe, or similar weapon is ideal because it keeps you far away from the zombie, punctures the skull with minimal fuss, and is easier to replace than a sword if it does happen to break.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Mainly because durability and ease of use become extremely valuable when facing down hordes of mindless, unskilled enemies who are not going to defend themselves meaningfully. It also helps if it can serve as a makeshift shovel.
    With that said anything designed to deal with armor is already overbuilt for flesh.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Mainly because durability and ease of use become extremely valuable when facing down hordes of mindless, unskilled enemies who are not going to defend themselves meaningfully. It also helps if it can serve as a makeshift shovel.
    It sounds like your ideal melee configuration is a rank of boar-spear-wielders who keep the horde at arms length and a rank of pole-hammer folks to bop the impaled zombies on the head and polish them off. I imagine you could go quite a while without significant casualties that way.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    With that said anything designed to deal with armor is already overbuilt for flesh.
    This is my thoughts- historical melee weapons are designed to cope with repeated contact with metal and wood, both of which are generally tougher than rotting flesh and bone. A weapon that breaks in the first couple of encounters in a battle is pretty crap unless it is secondary (javelins), there is an easy way to rearm, or the weapon gives some massive advantages otherwise (such as lances).

    A heavier weapon is also going to be more tiring when repeatedly hacking at oncoming zombies, whilst basically uncessary for dealing with destroying heads. Also, I find stabbing skulls is likely to be less effective than chopping into or crushing skulls, but then the durability of zombies varies wildly depending on background.

    Personally, I think fast, manouvrable cutting weapons like glaives, hewing spears and dane axes would be best, because they have enough leverage to slice through skulls, but are quick to move to the next zombie and have decent reach (not so much the dane axe for reach). Halberds probably don't need the extra spikes, just focus on an optimal cutting blade like a bardiche.

    I like the idea of combining winged spears to hold the zombies at bay (with shields?) and hewing weapons to fell them for good. Backing this up with armour and firearms for ranged support could make a solid bastion of infantry to repel zombies.

    I am also not sure why "rapid firing" weapons like the M16 wouldn't be effective- they do a lot of tissue damage with the tumbling and cavitation, even if the bullet itself isn't that big. 5.56 NATO is pretty good at depositing energy into tissue. Even without killing with headshots, damging the skeletal structure and tissue of zombies is going to slow them down and make them drastically more ineffective. I think shotguns firing frangible rounds could make good close-range support too.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Reading Black Hawk Down, it seems that the 5.56 round ultimately killed a lot of enemy combatants, but didn't tend to instantly knock them down or smash limbs off, which I think is what you want for zombies if they are not headshots. Note: I am aware that a single source written by a journalist is not a reliable metric for judging military efficacy so I'm not exactly dogmatic on this point.

    I guess that heavy machine gun fire would shred zombies...I know by the book zombies walk off bullets but I still think an M2 is going to stop a pack in its tracks.

    Shotguns can also fire a 'bolo round' I think it's called, which might be used to decapitate zombies.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2018-02-13 at 05:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    Reading Black Hawk Down, it seems that the 5.56 round ultimately killed a lot of enemy combatants, but didn't tend to instantly knock them down or smash limbs off, which I think is what you want for zombies if they are not headshots. Note: I am aware that a single source written by a journalist is not a reliable metric for judging military efficacy so I'm not exactly dogmatic on this point.

    I guess that heavy machine gun fire would shred zombies...I know by the book zombies walk off bullets but I still think an M2 is going to stop a pack in its tracks.

    Shotguns can also fire a 'bolo round' I think it's called, which might be used to decapitate zombies.
    To be blunt, the right 50 BMG ammo will turn a torso or head sized area of the body it hits into high-speed salsa. Some of the snipers who've scored long-range hits with 50s describe 4 limbs and a head sort of coming off in different directions.

    Zombies? At half a mile? Not a problem.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    if we are going to be serious about zombies, the real question is how much of the area you want standing afterwards. depending on the exact nature of the strain, some weapons become more effective and others less so. since fat burns quite well, incendiaries would likely thin the horde out nicely, particularly as the zombies wont try and put themselves out. even if they don't suffer burns to the head that kills them, charred limbs are nearly useless if the muscles have been literally cooked. sure, you might end up with a pile of semi-charred corpses you need to pick though and spear the still going ones, but it would turn a battle into a clean up operation.


    I am also not sure why "rapid firing" weapons like the M16 wouldn't be effective- they do a lot of tissue damage with the tumbling and cavitation, even if the bullet itself isn't that big. 5.56 NATO is pretty good at depositing energy into tissue. Even without killing with headshots, damging the skeletal structure and tissue of zombies is going to slow them down and make them drastically more ineffective. I think shotguns firing frangible rounds could make good close-range support too.
    its not that they wont work, its just that a 7.62 battle rifle would do be better, assuming you can keep the troops rate of fire down.

    I think shotguns are a poor choice, as you end up with crawling zombies, bits of head trying to bite, ect, or you end up with a slow firing gun that doesn't have more leathality than the issue rifle if you stick to headshots. I'd say that it complicates the cleanup, but realistically the troops are going to shoot every head they see, just in case, so not that much. if you could get some seriously wide spread type guns, you might be able to increase hit chance and even drop several close targets, but youd need a much wider spread than any normal shotgun.

    .50 BMG might be a ok choice if you can keep the rounds at the right height. i know it can cause fatal concussions in targets even if it just passes by them, but i don't think it would work on zombies like that, and it wouldn't be worth the weight. you'd still need a rifle squad to pick off the stragglers and deal with the half-zombies and such.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    No matter what sort of pseudo-science virus or dark magic is animating the thing, one constant is that severed limbs and crushed bones don't grow back. Indeed, this is key to a lot of the classic portrayals.

    Any modern rifle round (except the .22LR that at least one zombie-book author idiotically worshipped) is going to deal with a zombie effectively at a range far longer than the zombie can pose a threat. This is because a solid hit from such a round on a bone will shatter said bone, and a shooter with any skill is going to be able to deliver such hits against such easy targets at a range of at least 300 meters. It doesn't matter if the thing is still twitching. If a leg is shot off, or a pelvis shattered, it is neutralized, and can be dispatched at leisure.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    .50 BMG might be a ok choice if you can keep the rounds at the right height. i know it can cause fatal concussions in targets even if it just passes by them, but i don't think it would work on zombies like that, and it wouldn't be worth the weight. you'd still need a rifle squad to pick off the stragglers and deal with the half-zombies and such.
    A rifle squad is going to have to be one of the best possible choices for dealing with zombie hordes because accurate kills at distance is a tactically sound choice.

    That said, I think any rifle group is going to want a BMG if possible*, compared to the option of not having a BMG. Probably not for picking off small groups but against swarms, so you can shatter attempts to swamp the soldiers' position and for quickly breaking large groups so they can be killed carefully later.

    I don't think that accuracy would be too paramount with a BMG, if you just hose them down at upper thigh/abdominal height, you are going to shatter the femur/pelvis/spine area which will have an adverse effect on their ability to walk.

    Slow, clustered zombie groups are going to be pretty much an amazing target for machine gun fire.

    * Maybe not if they have to carry it everywhere by hand.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2018-02-13 at 09:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    No matter what sort of pseudo-science virus or dark magic is animating the thing, one constant is that severed limbs and crushed bones don't grow back. Indeed, this is key to a lot of the classic portrayals.

    Any modern rifle round (except the .22LR that at least one zombie-book author idiotically worshipped) is going to deal with a zombie effectively at a range far longer than the zombie can pose a threat. This is because a solid hit from such a round on a bone will shatter said bone, and a shooter with any skill is going to be able to deliver such hits against such easy targets at a range of at least 300 meters. It doesn't matter if the thing is still twitching. If a leg is shot off, or a pelvis shattered, it is neutralized, and can be dispatched at leisure.
    Nope not even close, so long as enough of one forearm or a certain amount of lower leg is left they can crawl at you. You might slow a zombie down that way, but your not going to hit bone on every shot, and your not going to stop it.

    It'll stop a human sure because trying to move will likely compound the damage fatally and the sheer pain would be disabling. Neither is somthing a zombie has a problem with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    To be blunt, the right 50 BMG ammo will turn a torso or head sized area of the body it hits into high-speed salsa. Some of the snipers who've scored long-range hits with 50s describe 4 limbs and a head sort of coming off in different directions.

    Zombies? At half a mile? Not a problem.
    Oh absolutely, i man you now have 5 bits crawling towards you but you've hurt them bad. The real issue is sustained RoF. a 50 cal HMG just can't keep pouring the lead out for very long at high rate of fire.

    I've actually been part of a discussion elsewhere in the past about this. There's some stuff the book definitely gets wrong, (a lot of it looks like bad knowledge of a thing or two on the authors part combined with arms tech marches on in some cases). At the same time the book combines some serious screw ups, (complacency on the military side), with a real issue that there's just so many of them. The first big battle of the book if i recall the details from said past discussion, (never read it, sounds way too depressing for my tastes), involved most of the population of new york, (our estimate was around 5 million as i recall, i don't think the book specifies), spread over a several mile wide front vs i believe a few thousand ground troops a couple of aircraft and a squadron of tanks. hey expected the aircraft to take out most of them in one pass and it didn't work out, (not surprising, you start dropping iron bombs in densely packed flesh and the sheer amount of high water content matter in there is really going to degrade the kill radius, same problem for any shrapnel producing ordnance really, it will only penetrate so far before all that flesh stops it).
    Last edited by Carl; 2018-02-13 at 10:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    Nope not even close, so long as enough of one forearm or a certain amount of lower leg is left they can crawl at you. You might slow a zombie down that way, but your not going to hit bone on every shot, and your not going to stop it.

    Although, to be fair, it'd take the one-armed zombie quite a while to drag itself 300 feet (100 yards, AKA close range) much less 1500 feet (500 yards, a reasonable distance for an intermediate cartridge) over rough terrain/the bodies of other zombies. Slowing down a zombie is a good thing to do.



    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    Oh absolutely, i man you now have 5 bits crawling towards you but you've hurt them bad.

    If dismembered zombie arms still function as independent units, then all the stuff re: destroying the brain/severing the head is irrelevant. Also, a severed head pulling itself along by the jaw isn't much of a threat to someone with boots, or a stepladder to stand on.



    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    the aircraft to take out most of them in one pass and it didn't work out, (not surprising, you start dropping iron bombs in densely packed flesh and the sheer amount of high water content matter in there is really going to degrade the kill radius, same problem for any shrapnel producing ordnance really, it will only penetrate so far before all that flesh stops it).

    Hmm. Wouldn't airbursting ordinance solve most of that?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    Nope not even close, so long as enough of one forearm or a certain amount of lower leg is left they can crawl at you. You might slow a zombie down that way, but your not going to hit bone on every shot, and your not going to stop it.
    You don't have to stop it with one shot. Shatter a leg and the zombie's too slow to be a threat. Dispatch or cripple every threatening zombie, then walk up to point blank range and put them down with headshots. Or, for that matter, simply shuffle away, since the only way for it to catch you at this point is for you to let it.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    You don't have to stop it with one shot. Shatter a leg and the zombie's too slow to be a threat. Dispatch or cripple every threatening zombie, then walk up to point blank range and put them down with headshots. Or, for that matter, simply shuffle away, since the only way for it to catch you at this point is for you to let it.
    This works if your goal is to escape, but if your objective is to clear the area, you are going to need to find all of those crippled zombies and deal with them individually at a less convenient range. That's not too bad in urban areas where they're easy to see on the ground, but it's not really a good approach if there's, say, tall grass.

    Really, if you can prepare the battlefield at all (and you should be able to, zombies are dumb), consistent headshots should not be all that difficult. In general, the only challenges zombies would present are preparation and attrition. I'd even suggest that the absolute ideal solution to the standard zombie horde would be "build little wheeled combat drones, pick them off from the comfort and safety of your bunker."
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2018-02-14 at 07:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    No matter what sort of pseudo-science virus or dark magic is animating the thing, one constant is that severed limbs and crushed bones don't grow back. Indeed, this is key to a lot of the classic portrayals.
    Resident evil (game) zombies can grow back limb and heads, it's why they're one of the few versions that are a convincing threat.

    This works if your goal is to escape, but if your objective is to clear the area, you are going to need to find all of those crippled zombies and deal with them individually at a less convenient range. That's not too bad in urban areas where they're easy to see on the ground, but it's not really a good approach if there's, say, tall grass.
    Depends. Seeing as they don't hide, they're not going to be that hard to find, and if you don't need to clear the area completely today, a broken leg means that the zombie is going to wear its fingers to nubs in short order just by moving around.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Resident evil (game) zombies can grow back limb and heads, it's why they're one of the few versions that are a convincing threat.
    This illustrates one of the problems with this discussion (entertaining though it is): there is no single definition of "zombie". In fact, I suspect some later zombies were assigned new powers (like the aforementioned regrowth) just to eliminate a previously valid solution and present an ever-greater threat to the protagonists/players.

    DrewID

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by DrewID View Post
    This illustrates one of the problems with this discussion (entertaining though it is): there is no single definition of "zombie". In fact, I suspect some later zombies were assigned new powers (like the aforementioned regrowth) just to eliminate a previously valid solution and present an ever-greater threat to the protagonists/players.

    DrewID
    This is true, but then with the nature of the thread we should only really consider "plausible" zombies. So as an example, we can discount zombies that have limbs that continue to hunt you independently when detached, but die when the brain is destroyed (as mentioned above) because this set up basically requires magic to connect the limbs to the brain, rather than nerves.

    We can also assume detached limbs should have no way of hunting by themselves anyway, even if technically functional, due to only having touch sensation available. So don't step on them, but they won't know a human is standing 100m away.

    Further to this, as mentioned, zombies are flesh. Short of magic to hold them together, they are subject to the same limitations of other flesh creatures, and crawling across rough terrain is going to damage them and tear flesh away, wear down bone etc. Crawlers produced at sufficient distance are going to be no threat after some crawled distance in quite a few terrain types, like mountain scree and rocks, or tarmac. Dense barbed wire would also shred them.

    Removing a zombies head should be pretty effective, because even if the head is still functionally able to fight, detaching it from the body would prevent it from doing almost anything. Adequately damaging/occluding it's ears and eyes (and maybe nose) should prevent it from even detecting an enemy at a distance. Perhaps extra powerful flashbangs and concussive weapons could be used to blind and deafen zombies.

    Regrowth is maybe plausible if they eat stuff, but regrowing a head is pretty unlikely, and also not an option if the brain is the source of the control.

    Frankly, I think zombies are a pretty weak threat in any plausible (non-magical) scenario beyond contaminating a city or two in the initial rush. The exception is if the infection is able to lie dormant and infect most the population before it activates. Then the survivors would be hugely outnumbered.
    Last edited by Haighus; 2018-02-14 at 10:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    This is true, but then with the nature of the thread we should only really consider "plausible" zombies. So as an example, we can discount zombies that have limbs that continue to hunt you independently when detached, but die when the brain is destroyed (as mentioned above) because this set up basically requires magic to connect the limbs to the brain, rather than nerves.

    We can also assume detached limbs should have no way of hunting by themselves anyway, even if technically functional, due to only having touch sensation available. So don't step on them, but they won't know a human is standing 100m away.

    How about a zombie in which radio-controlled nanotech replaces the nervous system? A grey-goo infiltrator might be perfectly able to control severed limbs with gps and remote footage.

    Zombie is:
    Living person with an incurable illness that causes cannibalism and aggressiveness? Normal firearms are still a good answer.
    Magical undead? It all depends on what magic it is/how the magic works in the story.
    Technologically controlled body? Depends on the tech. Could be a single implant controlling the physical motions of a living person or corpse, or anything up to a person-shaped mass of nanites.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Somehow I think this zombie thing has reached the point of needing its own thread.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    What do you think would be the ideal modern small arm for disabling/destroying a human-scale combat drone/robot?




    By human scale I mean:


    A ground vehicle that uses a reliable current-day technology for motive force (legs, wheels, treads, "hamsterball", wiggling or flipping, etc.)

    Weight/size should be comparable to a human (although probably smaller and denser if it's using any amount of armor). Say 100 to 400 lbs and height 2'-5'

    Power plant could be an engine or a battery system.

    Control systems are optimized for durability and some redundancy. The brain isn't in the "head".



    My thoughts are:
    Many modern projectile weapons are designed for damaging soft, wet targets that transmit shock very well. A large part of the "damage" of a bullet is based on the shockwave of the bullet passing through soft tissue. A robot wouldn't be nearly as vulnerable to that, and a bullet might only damage the parts that are directly hit. Even a thin layer of hardened metal armor at a good deflection angle would reduce the effect of small arms fire.
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  22. - Top - End - #232
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiadoppler View Post
    Although, to be fair, it'd take the one-armed zombie quite a while to drag itself 300 feet (100 yards, AKA close range) much less 1500 feet (500 yards, a reasonable distance for an intermediate cartridge) over rough terrain/the bodies of other zombies. Slowing down a zombie is a good thing to do.






    If dismembered zombie arms still function as independent units, then all the stuff re: destroying the brain/severing the head is irrelevant. Also, a severed head pulling itself along by the jaw isn't much of a threat to someone with boots, or a stepladder to stand on.






    Hmm. Wouldn't airbursting ordinance solve most of that?
    1. Oh absolutely, but again you've got to remember at the first big battle it was several million vs several thousand, from what i understand dealing with that level of outnumbering was a consistent issue. In that situation it doesn't matter if it takes tem 4 times as long to close with you, you aren't going to have the sustained RoF for it to matter. An M16 for example is limited to 12-15rpm sustained according to a quick websearch. Even crawling at half shambling speed, (which based on most depictions is about as fast or slightly faster than human walking speed), they'd still cross 500 meters in 10-12 minutes. When your outnumbered several thousand to 1 thats a problem. Particularly in a containment situation where your trying to keep them from getting somwhere, which is basically what happened in the first book, the us military was tid uop elsewhere dealing with the whole nation going to bits and a small force was sent to keep the completely overrun city of NY quarantine.

    2. Thinking about it in the context of world war z i believe you right, been a while and was tired when i wrote that. That said there's no such thing as a fully realistic zombie just due to energy problems.

    3. Absolutely, and it was one of the authors gafes actually, there where times he treated airbursting weapons, (notably bomblet warheaded MLRS rockets), as if they where detonating on contact with the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    You don't have to stop it with one shot. Shatter a leg and the zombie's too slow to be a threat. Dispatch or cripple every threatening zombie, then walk up to point blank range and put them down with headshots. Or, for that matter, simply shuffle away, since the only way for it to catch you at this point is for you to let it.
    Again depends on he numbers disparity, thousands to one where very round of ammo is precious and where thee are allways more coming on behind and it's really important you put the highest % possibble down.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrewID View Post
    This illustrates one of the problems with this discussion (entertaining though it is): there is no single definition of "zombie". In fact, I suspect some later zombies were assigned new powers (like the aforementioned regrowth) just to eliminate a previously valid solution and present an ever-greater threat to the protagonists/players.

    DrewID
    Indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haighus View Post
    This is true, but then with the nature of the thread we should only really consider "plausible" zombies. So as an example, we can discount zombies that have limbs that continue to hunt you independently when detached, but die when the brain is destroyed (as mentioned above) because this set up basically requires magic to connect the limbs to the brain, rather than nerves.

    We can also assume detached limbs should have no way of hunting by themselves anyway, even if technically functional, due to only having touch sensation available. So don't step on them, but they won't know a human is standing 100m away.

    Further to this, as mentioned, zombies are flesh. Short of magic to hold them together, they are subject to the same limitations of other flesh creatures, and crawling across rough terrain is going to damage them and tear flesh away, wear down bone etc. Crawlers produced at sufficient distance are going to be no threat after some crawled distance in quite a few terrain types, like mountain scree and rocks, or tarmac. Dense barbed wire would also shred them.

    Removing a zombies head should be pretty effective, because even if the head is still functionally able to fight, detaching it from the body would prevent it from doing almost anything. Adequately damaging/occluding it's ears and eyes (and maybe nose) should prevent it from even detecting an enemy at a distance. Perhaps extra powerful flashbangs and concussive weapons could be used to blind and deafen zombies.

    Regrowth is maybe plausible if they eat stuff, but regrowing a head is pretty unlikely, and also not an option if the brain is the source of the control.

    Frankly, I think zombies are a pretty weak threat in any plausible (non-magical) scenario beyond contaminating a city or two in the initial rush. The exception is if the infection is able to lie dormant and infect most the population before it activates. Then the survivors would be hugely outnumbered.
    Well thats one aea from what i recall the book takes a few liberties, (zombies on fire for example will keep coming for a considerable length of time, and crawling doesn't seem to mess them up overmuch from what i recall of the last discussion).

    Your last sentence is a variation on what happened. Everyone in NY where it started didn't realise what they where dealing with at first, and once they did where complacent about their ability to deal with them. By the time of the first big battle NY was lost and the infection had spread around the world. Leaving everyone's military overstretched as they tried to cope with the sheer scale of the problem.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    1. Oh absolutely, but again you've got to remember at the first big battle it was several million vs several thousand, from what i understand dealing with that level of outnumbering was a consistent issue. In that situation it doesn't matter if it takes tem 4 times as long to close with you, you aren't going to have the sustained RoF for it to matter. An M16 for example is limited to 12-15rpm sustained according to a quick websearch. Even crawling at half shambling speed, (which based on most depictions is about as fast or slightly faster than human walking speed), they'd still cross 500 meters in 10-12 minutes. When your outnumbered several thousand to 1 thats a problem. Particularly in a containment situation where your trying to keep them from getting somwhere, which is basically what happened in the first book, the us military was tid uop elsewhere dealing with the whole nation going to bits and a small force was sent to keep the completely overrun city of NY quarantine.

    2. Thinking about it in the context of world war z i believe you right, been a while and was tired when i wrote that. That said there's no such thing as a fully realistic zombie just due to energy problems.

    3. Absolutely, and it was one of the authors gafes actually, there where times he treated airbursting weapons, (notably bomblet warheaded MLRS rockets), as if they where detonating on contact with the ground.



    Again depends on he numbers disparity, thousands to one where very round of ammo is precious and where thee are allways more coming on behind and it's really important you put the highest % possibble down.



    Indeed.



    Well thats one aea from what i recall the book takes a few liberties, (zombies on fire for example will keep coming for a considerable length of time, and crawling doesn't seem to mess them up overmuch from what i recall of the last discussion).

    Your last sentence is a variation on what happened. Everyone in NY where it started didn't realise what they where dealing with at first, and once they did where complacent about their ability to deal with them. By the time of the first big battle NY was lost and the infection had spread around the world. Leaving everyone's military overstretched as they tried to cope with the sheer scale of the problem.
    Explosives, including airstrikes, artillery, mines, even IEDs do a lot of damage to bodies. Not talking shrapnel, just like, bodies blow into bits and missing important pieces. A zombie with no arms can bite, maybe, but how easy is it to bite somebody when you can't grab onto them? Legless zombies are very much reduced as a threat, and if the concussion or heat of an explosion ruins the eyes or ears, well, how can it find you? The military has mortars at very low levels of organization, and grenade launchers at the fire team level.

    Don't discount napalm for airstrikes either. Or, just saying, NYC is largely an island. Just write it off and treat it like Dresden in WWII.

    As far as battlefield prep, if zombies are slow and dumb, that's easy. Something like barbed wire, or even just pits and snares and bear traps or an abbatis can slow down a horde. Put something flammable in the kill zone which is full of the obstacles. Even something as simple as straw or just use a field of dry grass if weather and conditions are right. Bait the horde into the area, let the obstacles slow them down and make them bunch up, then torch it.

    Area denial and channeling would be huge factors in fighting a slow, dumb mob. As long as you can fall back, which our very very mechanized force could, you should be able to live to fight another day. Just slowly drive the Humvee or LAV or Bradley away at a walking pace while shooting behind you. And a dumb mob is easy to lure into ambush or make them chase your LAV 25 which is driving away at 5 mph hosing them with 25 mm fire.

    As far as small arms, the 5.56 does not do a lot of structural damage. It can tumble around and wreck a lot of internal organs, but that's not an issue for zombies. So head shots it is. Now that almost everybody has optics, head shots aren't all that hard. Forget auto fire spray and pray. Not many of those hits would be disabling. I'd tell my troops to keep the selector on semi and only take head shots unless you have a grenade launcher. Even a bigger rifle round is only so good. A broken leg might not stop them, so just take the head shot. If you can't hit the head at 50 yards with modern rifles and ACOG sights, you need to go to bartending school. Make sure every soldier has a handgun and tomahawk or cutlass or something for melee than can split a skull or take off an arm in addition to the rifle and basic body armor.

    Vehicle and crew served weapons like the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher or the 25 mm gun on an APC would shred zombies, and vehicle mounted ones would be almost impossible to catch.

    In conclusion, slow, dumb zombies wouldn't be a very serious threat to a modern military, even in huge numbers. Fast or smart zombies might be different

    Now, bad things happen. Armies with breechloading rifles have been wiped out by armies with spears when they were dumb enough, so you can be too cocky and stupid, but I'd rather fight a few thousand zombies with my infantry company than 100 soldiers.
    Last edited by Mike_G; 2018-02-14 at 05:12 PM.
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  24. - Top - End - #234
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    That is interesting - and while it may be true for the Ottomans, it's almost the opposite in Europe where the city-States and Free Cities (very small polities of anywhere from 10,000 to maybe 100,000 people) were way ahead of the larger Kingdoms on the use of gunpowder weapons. France eventually got up to speed probably much in the same way as the Ottomans did - due to contending for a long time with Flemish city-states (as part of the Burgundian Duchy).

    But cities like Ghent created weapons in the very early 15th Century (like this beast) that France couldn't produce until 100 years later.

    The City-State of Venice probably had the largest, most efficient, most technologically advanced and most productive arms industry in all of Latinized Europe, the famous "Arsenal", known chiefly for it's ability to produce a warship in a single day, but they also routinely produced large quantities of high quality firearms - by the hundreds when most polities of their day were producing guns in the scores or dozens.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian_Arsenal#History

    Nuremberg was another leading producer, making large quantities of the most advanced firearms in the 15th and 16th Centuries and leading the way with technology like wheel locks, rifling, and breach loading firearms.



    I guess when it comes to arms production there are two ways to go about it - the large Centralized State or the small but free and self-administered city.
    That is an interesting distinction. I wonder if some of that had to do with how rich cities like Ghent were. In terms of administration, city states generally were much more cohesive than hodge-podge agrarian fiefdoms, so perhaps their wealth could substitute for the scale part of the equation.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiadoppler View Post
    What do you think would be the ideal modern small arm for disabling/destroying a human-scale combat drone/robot?




    By human scale I mean:


    A ground vehicle that uses a reliable current-day technology for motive force (legs, wheels, treads, "hamsterball", wiggling or flipping, etc.)

    Weight/size should be comparable to a human (although probably smaller and denser if it's using any amount of armor). Say 100 to 400 lbs and height 2'-5'

    Power plant could be an engine or a battery system.

    Control systems are optimized for durability and some redundancy. The brain isn't in the "head".



    My thoughts are:
    Many modern projectile weapons are designed for damaging soft, wet targets that transmit shock very well. A large part of the "damage" of a bullet is based on the shockwave of the bullet passing through soft tissue. A robot wouldn't be nearly as vulnerable to that, and a bullet might only damage the parts that are directly hit. Even a thin layer of hardened metal armor at a good deflection angle would reduce the effect of small arms fire.
    Such a system would have very little "empty" space inside. Anything that isn't armor or weapon will be control boards, batteries, motors, or whatever. If you hit it, and penetrate it, you WILL hit something important.

    Any system on that scale would be easily defeated by an anti-material rifle. You're not going to be able to get enough armor in a package that size to keep out a .50 BMG round or equivalent, and an Armor Piercing Incendiary round would be extremely effective against the internal components due to the incendiary component. One shot would probably be enough to "cook" the electronics (particularly since the armored case would trap the heat) and take out the unit.

    Failing that, full-rifle Armor Piercing rounds would probably penetrate. You'd probably have to be a lot closer, but a typical such round will penetrate up to 7mm of hardened steel. For something the size you're talking about, that level of protection approaches the "prohibitive" category for the entire unit, although an armored "braincase" is plausible. Without a brain-kill, you'd have to put quite a few rounds into it for a full disable, but that's what automatic fire is for, and rifle-caliber machineguns are extremely common in combat zones.

  26. - Top - End - #236
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Explosives, including airstrikes, artillery, mines, even IEDs do a lot of damage to bodies. Not talking shrapnel, just like, bodies blow into bits and missing important pieces.
    Don't discount napalm for airstrikes either. Or, just saying, NYC is largely an island. Just write it off and treat it like Dresden in WWII.

    As far as battlefield prep, if zombies are slow and dumb, that's easy. Something like barbed wire, or even just pits and snares and bear traps or an abbatis can slow down a horde. Put something flamable in the kill zone which is full of the obstacles. Even something as simple as straw or just use a field of dry grass if weather and conditions are right. Bait the horde into the area, let the obstacles slow them down and make them bunch up, then torch it.
    I agree with this. People have a generally low grasp of military realities, and especially with the two key points of 1) how utterly devastating things like airstrikes and artillery are, and 2) how incredibly cunning people are in avoiding it. During Vietnam the NVA etc. were doing a large proportion of their fighting underground as an adaptation to American artillery and air power. Today Taliban and various Islamist groups in Afghanistan, Syria etc. are doing the same thing. This is how they have been able to drag the wars on so long.

    If they were 'stupid' like the way most zombies are portrayed, even I think if they were fast (more on that in a second) I think modern armies could adapt to them very quickly and wipe out huge numbers of them - enough to account for vast populations of entire regions being 'zombified' - by things like channeling them into kill zones (with the help of concrete barriers, walls, barbed wire, pits dug by engineers and so on) where they could then be wiped out by artillery, air support, heavy cannon like on tanks and bradleys, .50 cals and so on.

    I think artillery and mortars in particular would be one of the best ways to wipe out zombies. Having seen them in action (just in firepower demonstrations at ranges) I was shocked and so were most everybody else. Once you have the target range and distance dialed in, it's amazing how many shells they can pour down on them, and even a relatively small mortar shell (80mm) can pretty easily blow apart bodies. Even light (50-60mm) mortars can do this and from a surprisingly long range.

    The cliche scene where you have some kind of fortified building or natural feature, with people besieged by zombies, would be very different if anyone involved on the human side had access to say a National Guard armory with mortars or artillery pieces. Even a few 60mm mortars with a reasonable amount of ammunition could fairly quickly reduce a mob of tens of thousands of zombies to a blown up mob of pieces ... presumably still dangerous and I would think a major disease risk, but not nearly as much of an emergency and much easier to deal with in an escape.

    If you combine this with modern recon capabilities, drones for example or helicopters, you could figure out where the zombie mobs were well in advance (even 'fast' zombies move at the pace of a running human which is slow compared to a vehicle or a helicopter) and you could create kill-zones.

    I think noisemakers would also be a fairly easy way to lure zombie hordes into kill zones, or even run them over cliffs and into bogs.

    I think the main thing missing from the (I think now hundreds) of zombie movies and show episodes I have seen is that they tend to focus on the small caliber automatic weapons (because gamers and geeks love 'em) but they don't know about artillery so they don't include that. Artillery is what makes Max Brooks type scenarios seem unlikely to me.

    G

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Such a system would have very little "empty" space inside. Anything that isn't armor or weapon will be control boards, batteries, motors, or whatever. If you hit it, and penetrate it, you WILL hit something important.

    Any system on that scale would be easily defeated by an anti-material rifle. You're not going to be able to get enough armor in a package that size to keep out a .50 BMG round or equivalent, and an Armor Piercing Incendiary round would be extremely effective against the internal components due to the incendiary component. One shot would probably be enough to "cook" the electronics (particularly since the armored case would trap the heat) and take out the unit.

    Failing that, full-rifle Armor Piercing rounds would probably penetrate. You'd probably have to be a lot closer, but a typical such round will penetrate up to 7mm of hardened steel. For something the size you're talking about, that level of protection approaches the "prohibitive" category for the entire unit, although an armored "braincase" is plausible. Without a brain-kill, you'd have to put quite a few rounds into it for a full disable, but that's what automatic fire is for, and rifle-caliber machineguns are extremely common in combat zones.

    Unlike a living being, a robot does not go into shock when severely damaged. There's the possibility of using genetic algorithms to allow a robot to continue functioning (at decreasing effectiveness) as it is damaged. If you disable one weapons system, or one ammunition feed, or one turret motor, a well programmed combat robot might be able to continue fighting. Anti-material would definitely work. Do you think Armor Piercing Incendiary rounds would stay inside the robot long enough to cook the electronics? I'd be worried that they'd overpenetrate and shoot out the far side without spending enough time inside to transfer their heat.

    A "tank-like" robot might be able to have a level of armor equivalent to 7mm of hardened steel over it's entire body without too much weight penalty. With properly angled composite armor plates, it might be very tough to damage even with AP small arms fire, but I agree that it's unlikely that too much emphasis would be placed on armoring a small, cheap, combat robot. Mass production, and mass deployment, is what would make them truly terrifying.

    Think of a robot that's roughly the size of a car tire lying flat on the ground. It's got treads underneath, an articulated sensor "tower" that can be raised over obstructions, an array of cameras and sensors in the shell and an armored carbine-caliber turret on the top of the shell, and is deployed by the hundreds.
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  28. - Top - End - #238
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    1. Re. zombies, yeah if they are traditional slow stupid zombies, armed forces will use kill zone tactics against them. You can pack an enormous number of humans into, say, a soccer stadium if they are just going to walk in there and not worry about personal space or the need to breathe. We can then bomb them apart or probably just as easy, simply set fire to them.

    2. Re. armoured robots, I think drones are a much likelier battlefield robot, because a) they are already widely used and b) it's harder to hit a fast flying object than a slow ground one.

    An actual tank that's fully robotic is going to happen at some time of course, as far fighter planes. Both of these suffer design issues because of the need to have humans in them.

    Battlefield infantry is probably the last thing that will get replaced by robots, of course it will happen if technology progresses long enough.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2018-02-14 at 05:22 PM.
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    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiadoppler View Post
    Think of a robot that's roughly the size of a car tire lying flat on the ground. It's got treads underneath, an articulated sensor "tower" that can be raised over obstructions, an array of cameras and sensors in the shell and an armored carbine-caliber turret on the top of the shell, and is deployed by the hundreds.
    I hope those were really cheap, because around here Id just open up the fire hydrants to flood the streets and watch them short out / get washed away. ;)

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Explosives, including airstrikes, artillery, mines, even IEDs do a lot of damage to bodies. Not talking shrapnel, just like, bodies blow into bits and missing important pieces. A zombie with no arms can bite, maybe, but how easy is it to bite somebody when you can't grab onto them? Legless zombies are very much reduced as a threat, and if the concussion or heat of an explosion ruins the eyes or ears, well, how can it find you? The military has mortars at very low levels of organization, and grenade launchers at the fire team level.

    Don't discount napalm for airstrikes either. Or, just saying, NYC is largely an island. Just write it off and treat it like Dresden in WWII.

    As far as battlefield prep, if zombies are slow and dumb, that's easy. Something like barbed wire, or even just pits and snares and bear traps or an abbatis can slow down a horde. Put something flammable in the kill zone which is full of the obstacles. Even something as simple as straw or just use a field of dry grass if weather and conditions are right. Bait the horde into the area, let the obstacles slow them down and make them bunch up, then torch it.

    Area denial and channeling would be huge factors in fighting a slow, dumb mob. As long as you can fall back, which our very very mechanized force could, you should be able to live to fight another day. Just slowly drive the Humvee or LAV or Bradley away at a walking pace while shooting behind you. And a dumb mob is easy to lure into ambush or make them chase your LAV 25 which is driving away at 5 mph hosing them with 25 mm fire.

    As far as small arms, the 5.56 does not do a lot of structural damage. It can tumble around and wreck a lot of internal organs, but that's not an issue for zombies. So head shots it is. Now that almost everybody has optics, head shots aren't all that hard. Forget auto fire spray and pray. Not many of those hits would be disabling. I'd tell my troops to keep the selector on semi and only take head shots unless you have a grenade launcher. Even a bigger rifle round is only so good. A broken leg might not stop them, so just take the head shot. If you can't hit the head at 50 yards with modern rifles and ACOG sights, you need to go to bartending school. Make sure every soldier has a handgun and tomahawk or cutlass or something for melee than can split a skull or take off an arm in addition to the rifle and basic body armor.

    Vehicle and crew served weapons like the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher or the 25 mm gun on an APC would shred zombies, and vehicle mounted ones would be almost impossible to catch.

    In conclusion, slow, dumb zombies wouldn't be a very serious threat to a modern military, even in huge numbers. Fast or smart zombies might be different

    Now, bad things happen. Armies with breechloading rifles have been wiped out by armies with spears when they were dumb enough, so you can be too cocky and stupid, but I'd rather fight a few thousand zombies with my infantry company than 100 soldiers.
    1. Oh absolutely, but the absolute minimum pulp radius is quite small, a 1000lb bomb only has a radius of 5m. Now given fles is less tough than soil i'd say it's probably greater than that, and all the body parts are going to become shrapnel. My point was more you can't expect a kill radius of 50m on a 155 shell, that value was derived against sensibly organised troops. Against tight packing the sheer amount of mass in the way is going to really degrade it, anything within close rnage of the blast is toast, but when you'v got carpets of zombies covering multiple square miles it's going to take a LOT of heavy ordnance to get them all.

    2. I think most of the rest of what you have to say once again is just not getting your head around how outnumbered the military was. it wouldn't be your rifle company, (about 150-200 troops i believe from memory), vs a few thousand zombies. It would be your rifle company vs a half a million zombies spread across a 4 mile front stacked a third of a mile deep. Yeah you grenades and mortars and vehicle mounted weapons will tear them up, but how many can you kill before you start running out of ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    I hope those were really cheap, because around here Id just open up the fire hydrants to flood the streets and watch them short out / get washed away. ;)
    Lol, just Lol.

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