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Author Topic: How to prevent/deal with zombie meat shields in hoard rushes?  (Read 3200 times)
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« on: June 07, 2012, 03:45:18 AM »

Hey HvZ Forums, I don't have much HvZ experience, only playing a day long game so far, but after watching some certain videos on youtube, I began to wonder, in defending against a hoard rush, how do you prevent stunned zombies from being shields to other rushing zombies?

Granted, I'm sure most zombies don't do it on purpose, but as they try to move out of the way, they'll probably accidently block a shot or two. In rushes this could quickly create a domino effect, and zombies could get close enough to tag you. It probably creates arguments as to whether the attacking zombie was stunned in the madness.

So my question is, if zombies are close, how do get you "get around" or deal with the exiting stunned zombies? I don't wanna run into this situation, and then have another zombie pop out behind the zombie I just stunned and have him/her tag me because I didn't see them or because the exiting stunned zombie was able to block some shots.

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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 06:34:23 AM »

At the games I've been to, there are always mods overseeing the action. Corridors are a bad place to have massive rushes, but when they do happen (for example 6ft wide corridor with a 30 person zombie rush.) you have to call the hits and call people out who are hiding or using people as shields. Some people will try to lie about being hit, but honesty is a huge part of it. Hopefully you have some mods to oversee it who can call hits

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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 08:28:36 AM »

At the games I've been to, there are always mods overseeing the action. Corridors are a bad place to have massive rushes, but when they do happen (for example 6ft wide corridor with a 30 person zombie rush.) you have to call the hits and call people out who are hiding or using people as shields. Some people will try to lie about being hit, but honesty is a huge part of it. Hopefully you have some mods to oversee it who can call hits

Yeah, purposefully blocking shots or hiding other zombies once stunned is a big dbad violation, but can be unavoidable sometimes. In open areas it pretty easy for stunned zombies to move out the way, but in corridors it's harder. You might have to suggest that they stand against the edge of the corridor so that they're less likely to inadvertently interfere with the game. It's pretty easy to see if someone's blocking when they're stunned from how they're acting (e.g. not going off to respawn/get ready for the next charge) so just avoid these people.
Chevalier Mal Fet
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 01:05:57 PM »

Stunned zombies will move out of the way as quickly as they can, but often times in a mass rush it's simply not feasible to do it instantly (I've been tripped more than once by stunned zombies cutting across my path in a charge. Ironically it's gotten me a kill several times, as most darts flew over my head). Stunned zombies WILL block some shots for a few seconds after they get stunned. It's something you'll have to accept.

The best defense is to backpedal and draw out the distance the charge has to cross. That gives you more time to stun the zombies that emerge as the front ranks (which are typically composed of the biggest, heaviest zombies precisely for this purpose) get stunned. Also, if feasible, flank as much as you can and get shots in from as many sides as possible. Think of the outer zombies as armor you have to peel away in order to stun the core of the horde. Finally, socks, tossed en masse, often have a shotgun effect as they rain down on the center where zombies cannot effectively dodge.

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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 11:35:35 PM »

There are a couple of tactics I've seen work well to prevent this, which are especially important when the zombies have the organization to use this intentionally by charging in a column.

1. Avoid narrow chokepoints. To a lot of players something like a narrow alley seems perfect, but what they don't realize is that each zombie they stun is going to be a shield for the next 5-10 feet before the guy behind him shoves past. Very easy to get overrun in this situation.

2. Backpedal, as Chevalier Mal Fet described. It can be hard to do without it turning into an uncontrolled panic retreat, but it can be done.

3. Fire from long range. Blowguns, well-thrown socks, modded Longshots and Stampedes, doesn't matter- if you can start accruing stuns before the zombies are close enough to be unavoidable, the tactic becomes ineffective since the zombies just end up getting in each others' way.

4. This is the most effective- skirmish. If the zombies don't have one big target to charge it's a piece of cake to take them out or kite them around, and their dense formation only gets in their own way.

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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 11:00:54 AM »

I've wondered this myself. It seems to me that some of the charge tactics used at my school (namely, the Fat Man Charge) are designed to maximise this. Then again, until players develop the ability to turn intangible and teleport a short distance away in response to being hit, this problem is guaranteed to exist, and both sides will benefit from it, mainly the zombies.

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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 01:09:35 AM »

In a full on rush, it isn't usually safe to full stop once you're hit; this can be abused (including zombies on our campus wearing large, billowing coats, but that comes off as okay due to the trade off of the coat counting hits).  Ideally, the big rushes occur in open fields, so that the dead zombies can safely peel off from the main horde, but it can be difficult in enclosed areas to do it safely.  This does tend to favor zombies (shielding the live ones from further hits), but it does favor humans in the aspect of breaking up a charge.

Flavorfully, we've explained this as the "death twitch", wherein a charging zombie keeps running despite being dead(er).  Zombies are expected to take off headbands IMMEDIATELY to make it clear that they are dead (which is even more confusing), but we've never had to issue more than a warning for misbehavior (which certainly occurs, but it is rarely blatant or serious).

If you're worried about this, just remember that mobility is key.  Moving diagonal to a charge is your best bet to avoid this issue.  The game isn't always perfect, and this is one of those issues where any potential solution is likely to be several times worse than the problem (as our best teleportation often ends up causing a doppelganger to return in the teleportees place).

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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 11:56:09 PM »

As others have already pointed out, the solution is super simple: don't stand still.

Even in a hold situation, if you've got space to move around, use it. Attack first whenever possible and restun if the zeds decide to stand still inside a human objective.

Of course, if abused and combined with sub-par mission design (that doesn't account for a shielding mechanic), this sort of zombie behavior can break the game completely, as evidenced by the last Penn State Invitational.
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