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Commissar Davis
01-04-2013, 00:34
I am working on some background for my Commander and one of the Platoon Leaders.

They are involved in operations to put down a Chaos inspired uprising, facing all sorts of nasties. The bit I am working on is when the Platoon Leader (at this point a Commander) finds that the area he has been position in as a reserve was not cleared as thought, and thinking of something really nasty that could have his Platoons held up and unable to react to orders to moved to protect another position.

I've decided that zombies (or thing like them) could be a very good add in, so I am looking at three different types from my favourite films in the poll provided.

My thought are that 28 days later type could be overkill, as in they would over run almost any position, but very grimdark.

Dawn of the Dead types would be a good old status quo, but they are kind of over done.

The other is Evil Dead though these are more like some kind of possessed, and would add some... err... well it most definitely wouldn't be funny for the poor Imperial Guard.

jakka
01-04-2013, 01:18
i loved the 28 days later zombies, new twist on zombies, they dont want to just eat your brain, they want to hurt you as much as humanly possible. the only problem with this is that chaos rarely leaves it's cannon fodder lucid enough to make the decision to gouge your eyes out instead of bash your brains in, i guess the point im trying to make is that the zombies from 28 days later are to aware to be chaos zombies.

dawn of the dead zombies would work great for this being as they are mindless killing machines, the kind that chaos just loves, eating brains and spreading nurgles gift far and wide! although i do understand that they are the most common and uninspirational of all the zombie archetypes, so i dont know how interesting they'd be in a narrative role.

the evil dead zombies are daemons infesting the bodies of dead humans, this would be very bad for the guardsmen. its one thing if nurgle started a zombie plague on a world and left it alone, thats bad and very dangerous. but its a whole other scenario if daemons are infesting the bodies of mortals. its great and fits the 40K scene, but it would mean that the guardsmen are wiped out with out a pray in the world. they really arent meant to fight warp daemons.

all in all i think your best bet is the dawn of the dead zombs, they are on the same level with guardsmen so it isnt that far fetched to belive that guardsmen would be tasked with destroying them, but full fledged daemons are a problem for a greater force than the imperial guard, and zombies that are aware dont really fit the zombie plague fluff in 40K, hope i helped!

ntw3001
01-04-2013, 04:12
What's the difference between those zombie types? I gather it's something like technically-alive-disease-zombies/dead-fast-zombies/possessed-zombies. Necromunda had plague zombies which fit into the first category, so I guess there's a fluff precedent if that matters.

Maybe it depends on the Chaos god in charge of all this. Nurgle would suit plague zombies, and the other three would probably be happy to drive an entire planet into an insensible rage/delirium/madness just for something to do. In those cases I suppose they'd be kind of like 28 Days Later zombies, except instead of physically infected, they'd just be insensate, animalistic berserkers. Same difference, I guess.

TheDungen
01-04-2013, 04:36
well plague zombies actually are daemon possessed, the zombie virus is a daemonic virus.

Commissar Davis
01-04-2013, 11:19
i loved the 28 days later zombies, new twist on zombies, they dont want to just eat your brain, they want to hurt you as much as humanly possible. the only problem with this is that chaos rarely leaves it's cannon fodder lucid enough to make the decision to gouge your eyes out instead of bash your brains in, i guess the point im trying to make is that the zombies from 28 days later are to aware to be chaos zombies.

Didn't think of that, but it could be Khorne related as it is a blood virus that causes rage.


dawn of the dead zombies would work great for this being as they are mindless killing machines, the kind that chaos just loves, eating brains and spreading nurgles gift far and wide! although i do understand that they are the most common and uninspirational of all the zombie archetypes, so i dont know how interesting they'd be in a narrative role.

Yeah... they are the brown bread type, and I suppose not that bad. Could do something with them, will just have to watch the film again for some inspiration.


the evil dead zombies are daemons infesting the bodies of dead humans, this would be very bad for the guardsmen. its one thing if nurgle started a zombie plague on a world and left it alone, thats bad and very dangerous. but its a whole other scenario if daemons are infesting the bodies of mortals. its great and fits the 40K scene, but it would mean that the guardsmen are wiped out with out a pray in the world. they really arent meant to fight warp daemons.


Sure and Rubic Marines kind of fit this as well, so could be some Tzeench madness. But yeah, would have to think of a reason a planet wasn't just exterminated...

Cheers for the ideas so far people. I'll see how this goes for a couple of weeks, then try and post what I've done based on it.

Chem-Dog
01-04-2013, 16:41
i loved the 28 days later zombies, new twist on zombies, they dont want to just eat your brain, they want to hurt you as much as humanly possible. the only problem with this is that chaos rarely leaves it's cannon fodder lucid enough to make the decision to gouge your eyes out instead of bash your brains in, i guess the point im trying to make is that the zombies from 28 days later are to aware to be chaos zombies.


Can't agree here, rage type zombies typically have almost no cognitive process, they run heedlessly at machine gun posts and across minefields, it doesn't take a tactical genius to conceive of a number of ways to herd them into a bottleneck and hose them down or lure them into some kind of killing field. Booby traps will work great on RZ's, a couple of carefully placed claymores or a tripwire attached to a cluster of grenades between you and them will cause significant damage, scatter a few red barrels around the place and you're laughing like a slightly disturbed drain.



My thought are that 28 days later type could be overkill, as in they would over run almost any position, but very grimdark.

As above, they only need to be considered overkill if your protags are unarmed and untrained in the use of firearms (and the trusty Lasgun will shine in this scenario, far more shots than a human could ever carry for hard-round weapons), well drilled Guardsmen with an officer to bark orders will be a lot less vulnerable (cue scenes where guys are emptying heavy stubbers into oncoming swarms as they close in, detonate explosives as they squeeze through the breach in a barricade and so on). Careful and stealthy circumnavigation is also possible, leading to tense moments when you have to stay very quiet and still as some of the nasties are rampaging right past your hiding place. In fact, being quiet is a good idea generally as these creatures tend to be on a hair-trigger.


Dawn of the Dead types would be a good old status quo, but they are kind of over done.

Maybe a little passÚ now, but still useful as an "environmental" threat. Consider a setting where the both exist, either by virtue of damage they have sustained or as a direct result of whatever has caused them to become a zombie in the first place. If both types are around, large congregations would have to be avoided simply out of caution. Unless ultimate salvation is surrounded by a huge crowd of them....


The other is Evil Dead though these are more like some kind of possessed, and would add some... err... well it most definitely wouldn't be funny for the poor Imperial Guard.

Certainly an interesting idea, allowing the enemy to be numerous and could still have a fairly decent level of intellect, harrowing in a way brainless zeds can never be because they can taunt you, goad you or just make really, really unpleasant threats.

Commissar Davis
01-04-2013, 18:15
As above, they only need to be considered overkill if your protags are unarmed and untrained in the use of firearms (and the trusty Lasgun will shine in this scenario, far more shots than a human could ever carry for hard-round weapons), well drilled Guardsmen with an officer to bark orders will be a lot less vulnerable.

Except that they don't feel pain, so hard rounds that could blow a limb off are more effective (better still to have shotguns), but I think I get where you are coming from.
I think that the 28 Days Later ones can also use simple locks and remember things, and I know the ones in the sequel were able to sneak up before going ape.


Certainly an interesting idea, allowing the enemy to be numerous and could still have a fairly decent level of intellect, harrowing in a way brainless zeds can never be because they can taunt you, goad you or just make really, really unpleasant threats

And very hard to kill if I remember right... chopped off hands able to crawl along and get you where it hurts. This has me thinking.


Who is it that put that they have a better idea? I want to know what it is!

baphomael
02-04-2013, 03:15
Theres certainly a precedent for zombies in 40k. Necromunda has plague zombies, the 13th Black Crusade noted a zombie plague, and the current chaos 'dex has the option for nurgle plague zombies.

However,it seems largely related to nurgle and follows the shambling undead stereotype - classic B movie zombies rsther than the modern runny-jumpy-climby-tree zombies of late.

That is not to say l4d or rage virus type zombies arnt possible. Nurgle is, afterall, something of an experimenter when it comes to deadly diseases. Its just so far GW has focussed on the old skool traditional zombie stereotype... because GW likes to draw on iconic themes and shambling hordes moaning "braaaains" is about as iconicly zombie as it gets.

totgeboren
02-04-2013, 12:32
I don't think current w40k zombies are as "shambling undead stereotype" as some think. Ok, they have SaP, but when they get the scent (within a move+assault, that is about 12"-16" away) they are just as fast as normal humans.
They are slow when there are no prey around, but they become fast when they get close, and they can take a beating.

To put it like this, a w40k zombie is as fast and deadly up close as a professional soldier (WS, I and S 3), but they can lose an arm or take a burst through the torso and still keep going (FnP). Of course, they will stop and feast on the fallen, meaning that as long as you leave someone behind, you can make good your escape (SnP does not allow Sweeping Advance).

I think they work well as the more 28 days later type zombies, as they are definitely a match for a human soldier one-on-one.

Chem-Dog
02-04-2013, 17:49
Except that they don't feel pain, so hard rounds that could blow a limb off are more effective (better still to have shotguns), but I think I get where you are coming from.

I don't think a lasgun is any less capable of blowing off a limb than a shotgun*, it just has a better range and a much larger reserve of ammo. And you really want to be engaging a horde of angry zombies at range without having to be overly careful about expending ammo.


I think that the 28 Days Later ones can also use simple locks and remember things, and I know the ones in the sequel were able to sneak up before going ape.

Been a while since I saw it but wasn't the one sneaky Zombie father to two kids with an immunity? Kinda puts him in the exception-to-the-rule category. But that's getting hug up on the wrong details. Face to face with a non infected person (or low-flying helicopter :evilgrin: ), those things have one setting - CHARGE!

Regardless of what kind of zombie you actually end up using, you need to consider the cause, through a 40K lens here's a few ideas I've come up with....
Mind Slaves:- Chaos flavoured mind control, psychic domination or Daemonic infestation (imagine an entire settlement where each person becomes host to a small potion of a powerful Daemonic entity). An alpha level Psyker would be able to dominate people across a planet but probably not all at once. Whatever the mechanism, you can have those who submit willingly and those who resist. Consider the process of Arco-Flagellation, that could be simulated or subverted for darker purposes and maybe not all who undergo the process are particularly pleased about the idea.

Zealots:- Not technically a zombie but effectively the same thing with the right amount of conditioning and exposure to the bale energies of the warp, or widespread use of exotic mind altering substances. Any human who dedicate themselves to the dark powers risks losing their sanity as it is (could be argued that they already lost it when they turned to the dark gods for aid). Could be where your Evil Dead types come in, low level Daemonic entities being bound or invited into the body of a, frankly, nutso worshipper.

Infected:- More like your classical non 40K zombie, anything can be the vector and will affect how the condition spreads. Don't be afraid to use a non traditional source of "infection", Stephen King's Cell does a great job of making a common technological device the mechanism for turning normal people into something...else (which begin as something very similar to 28 Days' runners), Horus Rising has already touched on the idea of the Daemonic encroaching upon technology....
Samus. That's the only name you'll hear. Samus. It means the end and the death. Samus. I am Samus. Samus is all around you. Samus is the man beside you. Samus will gnaw on your bones. Look out! Samus is here.... and I'm sure there's a variety of examples other people could suggest for this kind of thing.

The Risen Dead:- Blame Chaos or psychic control on a massive scale, either hordes of unthinking reanimated bodies or something using them as a puppet or vehicle, similar to mind slaves but for the fact they aren't willing (unless they are members of a suicide cult that has a promise of a somewhat misrepresented eternal life).
The Necromongers of Chronicles of Riddick fame raise the dead using something that could be roughly analogised for the Warp and the newly raised seem to undergo something of a philosophical epiphany, so your dead need not be a shambolic horde of rotting cadavers, they could be lucid and driven individuals with a personality.

Hopefully something there will spark a light :)

*Even if a lasgun lacks the force to literately remove a limb from a person, the trauma caused to the extremity will be a parallel in effect to it's loss- Cook a muscle it's not going to work any more, cauterise a wound and you could well cut off blood supply or nerve control to it rendering it effectively dead.

Commissar Davis
02-04-2013, 22:19
Thinking... A virus cooked up by some crazed Apothecary for the cultists, grants life eternal, and has other effects on the non believers. Cultists are more like Evil Dead, unbelievers become runners.

Thoughts?

MvS
03-04-2013, 12:10
There was a similar (and quite interesting) thread a few weeks back: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?363158-The-Zombie-Plague

My thoughts.

Plague Zombies in 40K

So after a lot of consideration on criticisms of the nature of zombies and how unfeasible they are as a consistent threat – at least as they are frequently depicted in movies and on TV – I’ve tried to come up with a description and rationale for the Zombie Plague in 40k that would make it something to be truly feared and worthy of a response from the Astartes and not just the local Arbites.

The first step is to assert that 40K Plague Zombies (a’la Typhus and his evil mojo) are supernaturally infected. The ‘disease’ isn’t really a disease at all – or at least not in the mundane sense of bacteria, viruses and other infecting microbes. It just doesn’t make sense. Dead tissue that is rotting away cannot simply be animated by some sort of invasive microbe. Typhus gets around that by using sorcery and daemonology. There is certainly an infection that is spread around, and that involves microbes of a sort, but they are cursed microbes – daemonic microbes. They possess you as much as they infect you, and they animate you through Nurglish Chaos sorcery mojo.

So with this “it’s all evil magic” ground rule in place, let’s address the specifics:


Criticism No.1: Zombies Have Too Many Natural Predators

So the theory goes that what with all the flies, rodents, wild animals and other carnivorous and/or scavenging creatures in the galaxy, shambling zombies that only hunt and infect humans, and don’t even necessarily feel when they’re being slowly eaten themselves, wouldn’t last long.

So how about we say that anything that tries to feed on the infected tissue of Nurglish zombies starts to rot instantly and horrifically, with the notable exception of flies and maggots, which become warped and mutated into freaky Nurglish-fly versions of one of these little beasties: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgaunXToM4g.


Criticism No.2: Zombies Can't Take the Heat

The idea being that in weather that is warm or hot, zombies would rot extremely quickly and explosively. Well that’s okay. We can say that Nurglish Zombies rot and regenerate simultaneously. The important thing to Nurgle is that they spread rot and disease, thus having them fall over and decay to nothing wouldn’t be very helpful. So although they are constantly rotting and stinking up the place, they are also regenerating tissue at the same time. The decay doesn’t end until they are killed by an act of will, rather than through environmental pressures. The symbolism is probably important to the Daemon Gods.

So if they have an arm, leg or head hacked off, it stays hacked off. But if their bowels and muscles rot, they won’t suddenly explode with pent-up gasses or have all the meat slough off their crumbling bones.


Criticism No.3: Zombies Can't Handle the Cold

Bearing in mind that the above still stands, I don’t see anything wrong with them slowly freezing solid. It might be a good last-ditch hope of escaping them. Although woe betide you if you ever defrost one by mistake – as per any number of classic horror movies.


Criticism No.4: Biting is a Terrible Way to Spread a Disease

Indeed, although it’s also a great image. So we can say that the Zombie Plague works in at least four distinct ways: firstly, initial infection of a planet. Well this is probably up to Typhus or whomever is introducing the plague. Yes it could be done at ‘low-level’ with the introduction of a few zombies in an overcrowded slum one night. However I can’t really imagine a figure like Typhus being that subtle. I imagine there would be some sort of zombie biological-sorcery device of doom that can be fired into a city (or teleported into an underhive), explodes, contaminating water, food and air supplies, infecting/cursing anyone exposed to this initial process and killing them in short order, only for them to come back shortly thereafter as zombies. Then the plague can be left to run its course.

The question could be asked why such a weapon couldn’t be used for carpet bombing everywhere. To that I would suggest that the process and symbolism of the plague spreading from person to person, with all the fear and despair that it causes, pleases and empowers Nurgle more readily than just bombing the hell out of them over the course of a day or two. Also the blow to morale within the wider Imperium if any footage or word gets out about the plague would certainly fire up emotions pleasing to Chaos.

Secondly we can say that from that point, *any* physical contact with infected tissue or fluids leads to infection. Period. Bites count, but so do scratches, blood and gunk splashes, or even just a skin-to-skin smear during a fight. You get infected, you’ll get very sick very quickly, eventually falling down and effectively dying, only to rise again as a zombie.

Thirdly, if you’re getting too despairing about the fact that there are zombies everywhere trying to get you, this can leave you open to infection by the plague as a curse. It *is* supernatural and daemonic after all. If you feel an emotion that empowers Nurgle too much while your town/city/country planet is being overrun with plague zombies, you might start slowly fading like a consumptive in the early 19th Century. This is the less sure way of getting infected. It takes longer and you might, just might, be able to turn it around before you’re lost to the plague. But it’s still and ‘in’ for the plague. Perhaps in the final stages of your utter and sickly despair you kill yourself or throw yourself to the zombies, only to come shambling back as one yourself.

Fourthly, what about all those quasi-daemonic and cursed flies that grew from maggots feeding on the zombies’ flesh? What if they bite you? Nurgle is the lord of all diseases and just think how many are spread through insect bites...

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Plague Zombies couldn’t be interested in eating living humans. That’s a great image but a flawed and unnecessary one for our purposes here. Plague Zombies aren’t looking for lunch, they are looking to kill the uninfected and spread their unholy condition as far as possible. So yes, they will still attack, bite, scratch, tear and kill you as soon as look at you, but they won’t spend ages trying to eat you or dismember you (although dismembering probably happens unintentionally when there’s a crowd of Plague Zombies and just one of you), because their basic instinct is to enlarge Nurgle’s family indefinitely, not wipe out every human in existence over a particularly messy dinner.


Criticism No.5: Zombies Can't Heal from Day to Day Damage

Aha! Our ones can, after a fashion! See point 2 above.

They can't regrow limbs that have been blasted away or burnt to charcoal, but Nurglish Zombies rot only up unto a point, then they just stay as they are, mouldering and regenerating indefinitely, without ever getting to the point of complete debilitation for the zombie.


Criticism No.6: The Landscape is Full of Zombie-Proof Barriers

Some people like their zombies so stupid that they would continue walking into a glass door indefinitely without even realising it’s there. Or likewise, walk off a cliff because they’re too stupid to know better. Others have zombies running around with intelligence and intent to get you.

I think Plague Zombies should fall somewhere between the two. They aren’t so stupid that they don’t recognise a cliff edge or transparent barrier, but neither are they so self-possessed and critically aware that they can backflip through the sunroof of your truck as you’re driving by and get you in a full-nelson from the backseat.

I’d say give them the intelligence (though not speed and agility) of an average dog, but obviously an EXTREMELY predatory ‘average dog’ that is utterly fearless in the face of violence. Clever enough to avoid plummeting to a stupid death or just loitering in a bottleneck for you to pick them off one by one, but not so clever that they can climb buildings or see through reasonably intelligent traps before the fact.


Criticism No.7: Weapons and the People Who Use Them

Yes, people with gun collections will probably want to use them. Yes they are probably practiced in using them. Yes the Imperium has humungous armed forces, paramilitary police forces and heavily armed gangers of all kinds who would think nothing of blasting away at any target presented to them.

Well we come back to the methods of infection for our Plague Zombies. These aren’t ‘normal’ zombies. The curse/infection that they carry is vastly more contagious and virulent, so unless you have some sort of hermetically-sealed bio-warfare suit as well as your gun, chances are you’re going to get splashed by infected grossness or bitten by infected flies at some point – and that’s saying nothing about whether you happen to be near ground zero and drink some infected water or breathe some infected air.

Yes the attrition rate against the zombies would be enormous, but with every zombie blasted apart you would be releasing infected blood and goop into your immediate environment, making it a very toxic and dangerous place indeed...

Angry SisterOfBattle Nerd
03-04-2013, 15:34
Did nobody suggest good old-fashioned, pre-Romero zombie ? Voodoo, White Zombie-style mindless slaves that don't try to eat your brain until ordered too ?
Though it's true those are less suitable for the big-guns-epic-battle world of 40k.

unwanted
04-04-2013, 23:25
@MvS: I really like all of your points, especially considering the daemonic/supernatural aspects of a Nurglish zombie-infection and its' spread. Another aspect of this is the notion that there's the possibility of resisting the infection, through strength of will and faith, something that can explain why some servants of the Emperor live to fight back?

Drasanil
05-04-2013, 00:58
@MvS: I really like all of your points, especially considering the daemonic/supernatural aspects of a Nurglish zombie-infection and its' spread. Another aspect of this is the notion that there's the possibility of resisting the infection, through strength of will and faith, something that can explain why some servants of the Emperor live to fight back?

Aye that's something I like about 40k, if zombie plagues are as much a 'spiritual disease' as much as a conventional ones, then the truly faithful should not only be able to resist it's affects, but never get infected in the first place. Would make Sisters the Ultimate Zombie Killers, instead of Spehss Murhreenz who generally don't have that 'pure faith' element despite all their indoctrination and training.

EDIT: As a funny aside, imagine if the zombie plague 'resurrects' recently dead people who had pure faith in the emperor, would be pretty awesome to see some Zombies turn against the others because Nurlge didn't hold sway over their souls :D

Inquisitor Aaron
05-04-2013, 01:07
Read world war Z. Now that's a good book about zombies and describes them pretty darn well.

I know it's not 40k esque but it tells you a lot about a zombie apocalypse and the troops fighting it.

MvS
05-04-2013, 09:39
I just gave examples of what I imagine to be the most infamous, widespread and dangerous zombie-plague - the one that Typhus seems to seed wherever he goes. I'm sure there's room for every other variation of movie-style zombie in the setting though.

Karlos Valois hoodoo zombies; Khornate 28 Days Later 'Rage' zombies (who aren't really zombies at all); Slaaneshi 'flesh ghola', like more nightmarish mixtures of deviant sex toys, shambling Gimps, Frankenstein's Monster and Chucky; Tzeentchian puppeted corpses, so just sorcery powered walking dead; random walking dead because of too much Warp overspill in an area. They could obey any cocktail of zombie movie tropes.

Angry SisterOfBattle Nerd
05-04-2013, 12:30
Khornate 28 Days Later 'Rage' zombies (who aren't really zombies at all)
No zombie movie display real zombie, except White Zombie and maybe a few other I haven't heard about. And White Zombie is so very dated, and the low budget really shows when they start recycling a Gothic movie set with a castle on a cliff near the sea for a story… in Hait´.
Actually, “real” zombies display no threat at all on a military scale : way too low numbers, don't have any personal initiative, …

MvS
05-04-2013, 12:51
No zombie movie display real zombie, except White Zombie and maybe a few other I haven't heard about. And White Zombie is so very dated, and the low budget really shows when they start recycling a Gothic movie set with a castle on a cliff near the sea for a story… in Hait´. Actually, “real” zombies display no threat at all on a military scale : way too low numbers, don't have any personal initiative, …

Ha, yes. I meant 'real zombie' in the sense of the modern trope rather than the hoodoo reference. :)

Retrospectus
05-04-2013, 14:21
What about dead space type necromorphs? slashers are pretty slow until they spot prey, they are difficult to kill but not too tough (blowing their limbs off is easy but you have to do it repeatedly and under pressure) and have myriad different forms to add variety to the scenario. imagine one of the brutes barreling through a hail of las-fire to smash open a barricade and let a swarm of slashers in amongst the guardsmen. it could be a collaboration between nurgle and khorne. (a zombifying infection that causes intense aggression and a desire to murder everything) those two seem to get along alright

M@L@L
05-04-2013, 18:02
What about dead space type necromorphs? slashers are pretty slow until they spot prey, they are difficult to kill but not too tough (blowing their limbs off is easy but you have to do it repeatedly and under pressure) and have myriad different forms to add variety to the scenario. imagine one of the brutes barreling through a hail of las-fire to smash open a barricade and let a swarm of slashers in amongst the guardsmen. it could be a collaboration between nurgle and khorne. (a zombifying infection that causes intense aggression and a desire to murder everything) those two seem to get along alright

Or maybe the Tyranids did it. The whole Dead Space thing seems very Tyranid, to me. Maybe a new form of mind slaving biomorph which not only keeps the victim as a mindless automaton connected to the hivemind, but mutates the victim into a more "combat ready" state with scything talons and clacking mandibles. >.>

Commissar Davis
06-04-2013, 17:56
Okay... So perhaps a myriad of zombie types on the go all at once (where did I put those combat K novels...) with the majority being normal zombie shufflers.

This is going to be interestingly difficult.