Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fire as an Anti-Zombie Weapon

Say Uncle writes in favor of the flame-thrower as an anti-zombie weapon.

NO! NO! NO!

To kill a zombie, you must destroy the brain. Fire does not do that until it burns through the skull. The freakin' skull, people! That's a long, long time. Meanwhile, you're staggering, burning undead pal has managed to set you on fire. And you're not as durable as a zombie.

Say Uncle also advocates the chainsaw under certain circumstances:

But, if you’re engaging zombies at close range, a chain saw is a much better weapon assuming you can somehow get into a position where the zombies are channeled in to you one at a time. A decapitated zombie is a friendly zombie.

I've used the bait-and-funnel technique myself, but never with a chainsaw. Consider this: (1) with a chainsaw, you need at least seven seconds with each zombie (2) the blood splatter of a chainsaw vastly increases the opportunity for contamination (3) using a chainsaw lets the zombie get within grabbing distance of you and (4) chainsaws are heavy. After twenty or so decapitations, your arms will be ready to drop.

Stick to repeating rifles. If you must use a melee weapon, choose a Shaolin spade. Or a sharp katana. Or even a baseball bat. Anything but a chainsaw, for crying out loud. That may work in the movies, but not in real life.

HT: Instapundit

10 comments:

Jeff the Baptist said...

The Shaolin spade is a Brooks thing. Like most polearms, it's pretty heavy. If you want something simple and useful, go with an axe or tomahawk. Good stuff and useful for more than skull splitting.

If you want to get fancy, I'm wondering if a dedicated thrusting blade (like a small sword or rapier) would penetrate the eyesocket into the brain and do some good scrambling. They'd make a lighter and more effective sidearm than a lot of the melee weapons I see suggested for the same jobs. Plus they have more reach than a knife or kukri.

Tom Jackson said...

Have you considered planting some Claymore mines around the house? They'd probably work quite nicely when the zombies come lusting after rabbit meat.

Completely off the topic (which in this case might be a good thing), here is a discussion called "How do you know if you're in the wrong religion?",
which you may find interesting.

http://ask.metafilter.com/88221/Wrong-religion

Ed Gruberman said...

I would have to come up with something like was used by Anton Chigurh the assassin in "No Country For Old Men". Maybe something with several of the air hammers mounted to poles and can be used by multiple zombie exterminators at once in the bait and funnel scenario. Fire... I wouldn't want that guy in charge of my survivor group.

rocksalive777 said...

I'm going to stick with my trusty halberd if I'm taking zombies one one by one. But I don't plan on having to do that. My plan is to seal off the stairs at my apartment complex and just live out of the second two floors until the plague/invasion is over.

Jeff the Baptist said...

Have you considered planting some Claymore mines around the house?

Blast has very little effect on zombies because they don't concuss. Fragments only count if they hit the zombie in the head and penetrate the skull, so they aren't especially effective either.

For a mine, I want something like a Bouncing Betty. It would be triggered by a tripwire and be launched about 5 to 6 feet in the air by a small initial charge. Then it would detonate, sending fragments flying horizontally at head height for 360 degrees. That'd mess Zeke up.

Lori Ingham said...

What's your position on lawnmowers?

Stresspenguin said...

If you're gonna do the bait-and funnel, the best place to be is in Temple of the Holy Grail as it is in the third Indiana Jones movie. Not only does the first test effectively decapitate any passing zombies (unless they're crawlers or draggers), the bridge would baffle them, and provide disposal by simply standing at the other side and knocking them off with a heavy blunt weapon. Even if you do get infected, just a sip from the grail will cure ya.

Wait, would water from the grail reverse zombism? from advanced stages?

John said...

Jeff the baptist wrote:

The Shaolin spade is a Brooks thing. Like most polearms, it's pretty heavy. If you want something simple and useful, go with an axe or tomahawk. Good stuff and useful for more than skull splitting.

My concern about an axe is that it might get stuck in a zombie's skull, taking extra time to extract it while other zombies get closer to you. If you're fighting just one zombie, then I guess that an axe is pretty sensible.

Have you considered planting some Claymore mines around the house? They'd probably work quite nicely when the zombies come lusting after rabbit meat.

Brooks describes how to use a caged animal as bait. As for mines, they're too messy for the reasons that Jeff described. Remember what happened at the Battle of Yonkers: high explosives and high-tech weapons don't work against zombies, and are more likely to hurt your own people.

Ed wrote:

I would have to come up with something like was used by Anton Chigurh the assassin in "No Country For Old Men". Maybe something with several of the air hammers mounted to poles and can be used by multiple zombie exterminators at once in the bait and funnel scenario. Fire... I wouldn't want that guy in charge of my survivor group.

It would be handy to have an automated defense system so that combatants can rest now and then.

RocksAlive wrote:

I'm going to stick with my trusty halberd if I'm taking zombies one one by one. But I don't plan on having to do that. My plan is to seal off the stairs at my apartment complex and just live out of the second two floors until the plague/invasion is over.

Good thinking. Collapsing a stairwell was my plan before I moved out here into the country where there are very few 2nd story buildings.

John said...

lori ingram wrote:

What's your position on lawnmowers?

They'd be even more cumbersome than a chainsaw.

Kurt wrote:

Wait, would water from the grail reverse zombism? from advanced stages?

There's only one way to find out. What are you doing this weekend?

Jeff the Baptist said...

If you're fighting just one zombie, then I guess that an axe is pretty sensible.

If you're fighting more than one zombie, you shouldn't be wasting your time with melee weapons.

Remember what happened at the Battle of Yonkers: high explosives and high-tech weapons don't work against zombies, and are more likely to hurt your own people.

You know, I had a real problem with that. The JSOW wouldn't work because the submunitions ground burst, but modern proximity-fused anti-personnel artillery are designed to burst at altitude and rain fragments down on people's heads and shoulders. Why wouldn't that work on Zombies?

Zeke wouldn't even be smart enough to go prone or take cover like people do. It should actually work pretty well if you use a denser pattern of fire to compensate for the lack of wounding and related incapacitation.