1. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    Different Fighting Styles/Weapons in Zombie Apocalypse?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by frigocc, Feb 24, 2021.

    Writing a screenplay set during a zombie apocalypse, and wanting to set my characters apart a bit with their fighting styles and choice of weapons during action scenes. There's a group of 5 of them, and I really only have two of them down.

    ​

    The first one is Jack. His story is one where he feels withdrawn and lonely. He pretends like he's fine, but really, killing zombies -- who are still people, mind you -- really gets to him. He listens to music to kinda distract him when he's killing zombies, and he cues everything to his music. He's really goofy, and is prone to do clumsy stuff, like dropping his gun when he tries to look cool unholstering it. His weapon of choice is a pistol, or when he's in close-quarters, a small knife. Can kill from a distance, no huge splattering, and nice and clean. Something bad does happen to him, and he breaks, which causes him to absolutely slaughter a bunch of people with his knife in a really horrifying way.

    ​

    The second one is Mick. He's a really tortured soul. Had to watch his family die slowly from infection, killing them before they went so they wouldn't turn to zombies, only to find out that they'd become zombies anyways, so he had to kill them again. So he has nothing to live for, really. He has a really dark sense of humor, and plays it fast and loose and risky. His weapons of choice are a machete, for cutting off limbs, and a shotgun, for making a mess everywhere and splattering brains all over the place.

    ​

    The other three, though, I want to make them just as distinct as the other two.

    ​

    One of them is Staci. She's the most skilled of the five at combat, and she's very quick and agile. I'm kinda looking for weapons that fit this style. I was thinking someone that is agile and flexible (i.e. a great athlete) would have something like a dagger and a bullwhip. While the bullwhip isn't the most realistic (mostly used for tripping), don't want to go down the rabbit hole of throwing knives and *really* unrealistic stuff like that. What kind of gun do you think would fit someone that is quick and agile? Obviously it's not Call of Duty, there's no SMGs or anything, lol. Perhaps a pistol as well? Not sure.

    ​

    Then there's Andy. Big, dumb, jacked. Possibly ex-military. He's the grunt of the group, the one who gets stuff done just through sheer, brute force. Up-close, definitely his fists, but from a distance, I'm not sure. Was thinking a shotgun as well, but I'm not sure if it'd fit that fighting style.

    ​

    Lastly, there's Zoey. She's the least-adjusted to the apocalypse (always had Andy there to watch her back), but can still hold her own. Don't want to make her weak (because she, along with Jack, is one of the two "main" protagonists), but I also don't want her to just be an absolute badass like Staci. This is the one I'm having the hardest time with, deciding her style. The other four were pretty much meant for the apocalypse (even if Jack has to cope, he's still more-than-okay in it), but I want Zoey to be more of a "regular" person. The foil, almost. Perhaps similar to Jack (pistol and knife), but without all the pizazz?

    ​

    I dunno. There's no right or wrong answer, just looking for ideas.
     
  2. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere... Contributor

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    Okay, me putting on my martial arts hat and helping you out here.

    Staci: Almost every weapon requires agility to use, but what we want to look at is something that is typical thought of for its agility. So perhaps you want to consider the Chinese sword. Partly because the blade is flexible and will better emphasize her increased agility. Much of the fancy moves you see in this video is because of wrist dexterity, but it still looks like agility... even though it isn't



    Andy: When I'm thinking of "brute force," I'm thinking of something with a lot of power and kick behind it. Nothing says that more than a shot gun. Yeah, I know, shot guns are the weapon of choice for Zombies. But Andy's? Oh no. He modified that thing to oblivion. You're going to see lugs on it to fit a bayonet or a saw or even a grenade launcher (because we all know the best zombie weapons are literally putting two things together with duct tape. Any two things will do.) We're talking a guy if he's going in, he's going in big and heavy. And he's probably going to wear the most protect gear too. Not so much he's weighed down, but enough that he's not going to get bit if he has to take a tumble with one of the monsters. He's probably also the type to name his gun and talk to it like it's a lady while he's cleaning the barrel.

    Zoey: Humm. You're right. This is tough. With her, we're probably looking at something that would be rather ordinary, but turned into a weapon. Mostly to symbolize the hidden danger that she potentially poses, should she ever learn to use it correctly. I'm thinking into my Okinawan weapon knowledge since many of them were quite plain things, where the user than trained up to be deadly. You are quite familiar with Okinawan weapons. The Ninja Turtles, except Leonardo use them. (Albeit, Rapheal uses his Sai incorrectly.) There are Tonfa, which look like nightsticks used by the police in the US.

    But we want to make it still cool and still recognizable as a weapon. So perhaps consider possibly a three section staff. |

     
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  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Zombos are not known for their fighting prowess, so
    just having an effective offensive/defensive load out
    that does the job and doesn't require a lot of skill but
    more stamina. :)

    9mm or .45 ACP will be fairly common pistol calibers.
    They both have a variety of bullet options:
    RIP, Extreme Penetrator, Hollow Point, Jacketed, and
    reg. lead ball.
    Can be managed by any member of your team with little
    to no training (go Glock for simplicity of operation) and
    not needing the heavy muscle strength to handle the kick.
    Though if they find an AK, then that would be the best
    mid-long range weapon for slinging decently heavy slugs
    down range and it's basically for simplicity and low maintenance. :)

    A great sword or a Tachi would add more in terms of cleaving ability,
    grated a great sword is much longer (up to 213 cm), but either one would will
    offer more leverage and power per strike and can be wielded by anyone
    in your party that can manage to heft a balanced 2-3.2 kg beast of a
    sword, though I doubt they will go for the heaviest option at 10LBs.
    Though any shorter broad sword would work just as well. And since
    hacking is more preferred to stabbing they might go for an executioners
    sword.
    A kukiri knife is a good option for both length and cleaver ability.
    A Tennessee Toothpick or Bowie would be good in the knife department
    as well.

    If you go the shotgun route sawn-off double barrel will look cool, but not
    practical. Probably a Benelli 12G pump would be a good choice. I think it's
    the one the Army and Marines use. Though if you can find a decent smooth
    bore barrel, then you can make all sorts of crazy rounds and slugs. Though
    buck shot would be your best option for dealing with Zombos.
    Or a Pancor Jackhammer would be ideal since it has a 10 round drum mag. :)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancor_Jackhammer

    Good luck, hopes this helps a smidgen, and Happy Writing. :)
     
  4. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    lol, pretty sure the bullwhip is a little more unrealistic than throwing knives.
    If he's ex-military an AR-15 would make sense for him, since that's a platform he'd be quite familiar with (if he's American of course). And I think that would be an ideal zombie gun irl, although I suppose it depends on the physiology of your zombies; how tough are they? I guess a 12 gauge is sort of the classic zombie gun. From the descriptions it sounds kind of actiony and cartoonish. If it were intended to be realistic I'd say give all your characters some kind of long gun that's decently suited for combat and be done with it.
     
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  5. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    Why not make her a faciliator? In group fights, it's critical that everyone has everything they currently need. So bringing ammunition, looking out for everyone and alerting them to possible danger, throwing grenades into the fray, yeah, pistol probably (knife is for close-up and real scary because you need to be body-to-body with the attacker), making sure their retreat-route is still clear, things like that.
     
  6. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it! For what it's worth, even more of the fighting will be done against other humans, which is really the only reason I need them to have multiple forms of combat. I'm really struggling to differentiate between Andy and Mick. While they're both primitive and brutish, they're that way for different reasons. Mick is just kinda twisted and likes to cut-up the bodies and kill and splatter blood, while Andy is just so big and strong that he just comes in like a tank, and takes everyone down. With his hands up-close, but not sure about at range. Honestly, will probably just go with a shotgun. I doubt anyone will care that both him and Andy use shotguns lol.
     
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  7. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    Thought about this, but kinda wanted her to be on the same level as Jack, as they're the two main characters. Wouldn't serve the story right to have him be all super awesome, and then her, his ex-wife, as weak and physically unsound. Would be a really one-sided argument that would make her the "bad guy" in the relationship, which isn't what I want.
     
  8. jpoelma13

    jpoelma13 New Member

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    I think that you have too many knives and pistols. Some more powerful weapons would help the characters out. Some uzi's or M16's lr Ak47's would be helpful. The Ar-15 would work too. Heck a heavy machine gun, like an M2 browning, mounted to pick-up truck bed would be super-effective. You could have the characters get a mini gun from a military base. That's quite powerful though.
     
  9. Chekhov's pen

    Chekhov's pen Member

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    Right... let's take a look.
    Setting: zombie apocalypse. This really has two components. Both components give us information about the possible required functions of the weapons, but I really think the apocalypse part is most important here.
    Apocalypse usually means the complete collapse of any large scale collaborations, government, infrastructures... Which probably turns logistics into your primary problem.
    What can your ragtag band of adventurers carry with them? How much? For how long will your muscleman be as strong as he is now on a diet of canned beans?
    You'll also lose access to most support systems, like a safe place to sleep (which means sleeping in your clothes or armour, with your weapons at hand) or medical attention. All of this does go into weapon choice, don't worry.
    All in all you'll probably want to travel light and be manoeuvrable, and in general expend as little as possible energy on your weapons, which most of the time, will not be used.

    As for the zombie part, I'm assuming standard zombie rules:
    1) They travel in groups, will swarm you (mindlessly), and are attracted to anything that doesn't sound zombie like
    2) They'll infect you if you ingest contaminated bodily fluids (getting bitten, zombie blood in eyes, saliva in an open wound etc.)
    3) They can be killed by severing the spine or significantly damaging the brain. I'm also counting breaking the skull/blunt cranial trauma.
    4) They're pretty much human level strength, a little weaker or less tough perhaps.

    I don't know much about firearms, but I know enough about logistics to make some general statements. Your firearm should be:
    1) easily maintainable, or at least with limited (specialized) tools and spare parts
    2) reliable. Don't want your gun to jam while being swarmed with Zees
    3) loaded with relatively common ammo such that supplies can be found and extracted, and you won't rely on one source (which may be overrun by zombies or competing survivors)
    4) lightweight and versatile. You don't want to need 3 or 4 guns on your back, in your backpack, or tied to your hammock when trying to sleep in a tree in a medium danger zone and you may need to get out at the first sign of trouble

    Similar pointers come to mind for bladed or hand to hand weapons:
    1) Maintainability and durability. In case of an actual sword, I'd take one with a secondary bevel, as it can be resharpened more easily (or at least restored to its original quality). Machetes are pretty robust on their own and can be resharpened without special tooling, usually.
    2) Secondary function. Think axe, machete, hammer.
    3) Lightweight and versatile, for the same reason as with firearms
    4) Hand protection. You'll be up close to the living dead, and a single drop will kill you (I assume, anyway. I don't know how your zombies have taken over the world)
    5) These will probably not be used against other survivors, who will likely also have guns... Which changes their function a little.

    Now for the specifics. I'll leave the gun suggestions to the experts ;)
    Of course, if I've got anything wrong, feel free to point it out.

    Staci. Skilled (in melee, I guess?), athletic, agile. Is she a good shot? Why does she have these traits?
    - Was she a fencer? Give her a smallsword with good hand protection. (I'd go for a smallsword over a rapier, since they're lighter and you can just aim for the eye sockets, piercing the brain)
    - Was she into HEMA? Probably give her a longsword or bastard sword, then, since being able to wield with two hands leverages agility greatly. A basket hilted broadsword is similar, and also has the hand protection. Katanas are always a classic, but usually a little shorter for their weight, and you don't get to make eyesocket stabs (I'm a fan of those if you hadn't noticed yet).
    - Don't make the rookie mistake of giving your agility-based hero a bow. Bows benefit most from strength, not agility. Plus they're a pain to carry around.
    - How about a SLING?! The unsung hero of pre-modern warfare. Requires great skill and athleticism, and you can melt down scrap lead to make seriously nasty projectiles. Plus relatively silent.

    Andi. Big, dumb, jacked. How long is he going to stay big and jacked in your post apocalypse?
    - Fists? In a zombie apocalypse? Is Andi big, dumb, and suicidal?
    - How about a shield? Riot police being overrun, their dismembered corpses rot in the streets. The big guy yanks something from the pile. "A little spit polish," he says, admiring his reflection in the bloodless part of the plexiglass, "she'll be good as new, what'cha think?"
    - With his riot gear on, the only thing that sticks out from behind the shield in the narrow alleys is a large, but largely benign-looking HAMMER. Or mace, or club, or some other skull-crushing weapon. Something that can be used to smash locks, windows, and other obstacles in the way. It requires next to no maintenance, too.

    Zoey. Regular person. Have you thought about a support role?
    - Designated driver. Lookout. Medic. Map reader. Door checker. Cook. Bait. Person-who-carries-spares-and-valuables. She keeps her head cool and knows the escape routes.
    - Simple to use, intuitive weapons. Since she doesn't have a lot of training and isn't expected to do the brunt of the fighting, maybe give her a shotgun. A machete. A lever-operated crossbow. A crowbar (indicating her versatility).
    - She'd be watching the flanks, making sure they're not overrun or attacked from behind. Stealthy. "Where is Zoey?" Jack asks. "Right here! I found another door!" Andi looks up. "How'd she..." Jack suppresses a chuckle and shrugs.

    Anyway, hope that makes sense.
     
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  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    point of note here is that automatic weapons will run through ammunition that much more quickly, and resupply isnt going to easy in a zombie apocalypse.. the m134 minigun spews out between 2k and 6k rounds a minute.. which makes it super effective in military applications, but bugger all use in the long haul, when even short bursts have emptied the hopper. (also the recoil is likely to tip the truck over if you fire to the side) also the minigun fires 7.62x51 which is a less powerful round than the .50 BMG the m2 fires- its "power" comes in laying down a lot of rounds much more quickly than the ma deuce.

    the same is true of the hand held weaponry... an uzi fires 9x19... its not any more inherently powerful per shot than a pistol, its power comes from the delivery of bursts... but if you are carrying the rounds on you you're realistically going to be limited to maybe ten 30 round mags...ammunition is heavy... so if you are firing 3 round bursts at every target, that's ten bursts to empty the mag... if you go to full auto you'll empty the mag in one and most of your rounds will miss ... so after 100 bursts you are out of ammunition and your pretty smg is now an ineffective club

    the rifles are more powerful than the pistol/smg but you have the same limitation on basic load out even with 5.56mm as fired by the AR family you're going to be effectively limited to ten or twenty magazines per person
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    In answer to the original question i'd give at least one of the group a long range option, like a hunting/sniper rifle... or a bow (and the ability to use whatever you chose)

    for those wanting to mix it at close range a sword or a club/bat/mace... edged and blunt force weapons are more practical in a melee than a gun... if you're in the middle of a swarm you aren't going to get the chance to reload
     
  12. jpoelma13

    jpoelma13 New Member

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    Umm why would anyone have a mace in a contemporary setting? Those haven't been seen since the medieval era, and were mostly a weapon used for punching through plate armor. I have no idea where you would get one of those in modern times other than a museum or renaissance fair. I could certain see something like an axe or sledgehammer. Of course there's also a chainsaw. Realistic? Probably not. But they are a staple of zombie movies.
    On the subject of machine guns on trucks, I have done my research on this. Heavy machine guns are used extensively on pickup trucks in some African armies, as these countries are poor and can't afford dedicated military vehicles like APC's or armored cars. Yes mini-guns have been put on Humvees. This isn't a new or controversial concept. A mini-gun's hopper is only about 1 foot by 1 foot by four inches. You could pack a whole lot of those into truck, along with the mini gun.
    If you're going to get into automatic weapons, push the little switch on the side to put the weapon into semi-auto mode, and only use the full-auto mode for large numbers of enemies together. This will conserve ammo. Also if you're going to fight zombies, put the bayonet on the front. A gun can double as spear or hit people with back end as well. Having a backpack will also hold more ammo. But then how much of a zombie movie do you want to devote to explaining why magazines aren't bottomless? It's a zombie movie.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  13. jpoelma13

    jpoelma13 New Member

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    I also checked the issue of bullet weight. A box of 250 bullets weighs about 5lbs, that not a lot of weight.
     
  14. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    That really does depend on the weight of the bullet. 55 grains is a common bullet weight for 5.56, but you can get .308 with bullets all the way up to 185 grains. Anyhow you won't get much immediate use out of a box of bullets unless you use them for reloading.
     
  15. Yankoo

    Yankoo New Member

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    Staci could maybe use a sort of bladed nunchucks? Crossbow for long range?
    Big boy could have some kind of flame thrower/bazooka for long range
    Zoey, since she's not a good fighter, she must get clever with it, so setting traps or pretending to be a zombie and then stab them in the back?

    This was fun! enjoy your writing!
     
  16. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    That reminds me, @frigocc I don't know if you've ever played Team Fortress 2? I imagine that the characters in that game could offer some inspiration.
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    that's nice but they aren't doing you much good in a box... magazines weigh as well and are bulky... and i'm telling you from first hand experience that the most you can reasonably carry is 20 mags (especially bearing in mind that you've also got to think about the weight of everything else you're carrying)... for example if your character is carrying an M4 the rifle itself is fairly light at 3.5kg... but each fully loaded mag weighs 450g, so if you're carrying twenty of the things that 18kg on your battle harness... add in water, a fighting knife, a side arm if you're carrying one... grenades etc... and your basic webbing is going to weigh about 20-25kg easy... that the same as a bag of sand.....

    (In actual fact we carried the L85A1 which weighed in at nearly twice the M4, plus the mags were also heavier)

    On the question of where you'd get a mace - take an Axe handle or baseball bat, or any other long wooden handle, drive a bunch of nails through the far end... voila, one mace... considerably easier to get hold of than a gun
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
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  18. Chekhov's pen

    Chekhov's pen Member

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    Your human webbing is pathetic.
    :supercool:
     
  19. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    I carried as standard in my webbing 6 loaded magazines of 30 rounds and 200 rounds chained for the section MG. All 5.56, so 380 rounds on my hips, along with 6 magazines and 200 disintegrating links. Not to mention the rifle. I forget the weight, but i remember it was reasonably heavy after slogging 30 to 40km through the mountains.

    Fighting zombies I think you'd want retrievable ammunition or non-ammunition / chemical based primary weapons. Something mechanical or non electric too. I liked the pneumatic air gun in Metro:exodus. That was a great creative idea.
     
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  20. Nathan Bogue

    Nathan Bogue New Member

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    As a normal person, Zoey is unlikely to have access to fancy guns and crates of ammunition, nor would she have the skill to shoot a moving zombie in the head before it reached her. On the other hand, anyone can put together a spear with a few bits of metal and tools, and many people without training can work out an effective way to use a spear. I suggest that Zoey take a boar spear - that is, a spear with cross bar which prevents impaled creatures from running up the shaft. If she succeeded in pinning a zombie on it, she would finish the zombie using whatever other weapon she has available.

    The spear has a glaring weakness in that it isn't as effective against multiple zombies, but it sounds like Zoey isn't meant to be a bloody blender like the other characters; one zombie at a time might be the extent of her skill.
     
  21. jpoelma13

    jpoelma13 New Member

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    The spear would certainly be an effective weapon. It could be created using only a knife, a large stick and and some rope. I was also thinking that if everyone is dead you could probably salvage a good deal of stuff from stores, houses, and the local police or army.
    I think that some of the more video game like weapons like the air gun from metro: exodus may be out. I looked up the air gun apparently in metro: exodus; its a slow shooter that isn't good for taking out large groups. It may not be what you want for large numbers of zombies.
    You know this situation almost reminds of a bunch chaos cultists from warhammer 40k, trying to fight off the poxwalkers. (Yes I know that was an obscure allusion.)
     

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