Sunday, May 29, 2016

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Diversions

Zombies aren't the most thoughtful of adversaries.   They aren't strategic thinkers.  There is no Zombie Robert E. Lee.  Instead, Zombies shuffle towards food sources and phenomena that attract their attention.  Thoughtful survivors can use this to their own advantage.  You can divert Zombies out of an area so that you can achieve your objectives.

Zombies are distracted by a number of phenomena.
  • Human movement
  • Loud Noises
  • Bright Lights
  • Edible Animals (primarily livestock)
The key is to divert Zombies far enough away from your objective that they can't return to ruin your day.  You also don't want to put humans at great risk to distract Zombies.

Using Humans to Distract Zombies

Since Zombies want first and foremost to feast on humans and transmit the Zombie virus, humans make great bait.  To be a distraction, humans must be close enough to the Zombies to be a tantalizing bait.  But, to be safe, those same humans must have a sure avenue for escape.  One of the best way for humans to distract Zombies is by using a car.  In a car, you may be able to play loud music, yell out of the windows, wave your arms, attract a Zombie,lure them away for the desired distance and then drive quickly away to a safe location.

This Low RIder Lincoln might grab the attention of Zombies! - photo Jarek Tuszynski / CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Using Loud Noises to Distract Zombies

Zombies are attracted to loud noises like yelling, screaming, car stereos, people beating on trashcans, etc.  The advantage of this is that one person can make the noise of many.  You can also use remote control to activate noises from a distance.  For example, if you could rig up a remote control on a far off set of church bells.  In a close quarters battle, you could temporarily distract zombies by activating the key remote of a car parked in an area where you want the zombies to be.  You could also throw a rock into a row of garbage cans.

Using Bright Lights to Distract Zombies

Zombies are attracted to lights.  It's how they show up at that lone farm house in the country.  As a survivor, you need to maximize how much light you emit.  As depicted in early seasons of The Walking Dead, survivors will keep lights turned off, blinds closed, and use the minimum amount of light necessary at night.  You can use the Zombie fascination with light to help lure zombies away from your location and to assemble zombies in a location of your choice.  This is especially effective in an environment where there is little background light.  For example, once the power grid has failed, there will be far fewer lights at night.  Those that remain will attract the attention of the dead and the mischief-minded living.

Highway Construction Light Truck - By User:EPO (Own work) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

In his valuable book, Zombie Outbreak Survival Manual,Van Allen warns against using flames to attract Zombies in urban environments.  Zombies may walk right into the fire, catch fire, continue walking, and start structure fires.  Even in wooded outdoor areas, Zombies may start forest fires.

Using Edible Animals to Distract Zombies

Beef is real food for real people.  It's also food for walking dead people.  As seen on The Walking Dead, Zombies will kill and eat a horse if they can corner it.  Since animals move, they can be released and driven in the direction that you want Zombies to go.  The livestock will move along and the Zombies will pursue.
This Calf is too cute to be Zombie Bait - photo By Cgoodwin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
Unfortunately, using animals as a diversion for Zombies is generally a bad idea for a few reasons:
  • Animals are a valuable food source
  • Animals can be used for transportation
  • Animals may not travel far before being killed by Zombies. 
Diversions allow the living to use their one big advantage over the dead:  brains.  We are smarter and we can easily devise distractions to divert Zombies away from us.   

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