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Z-Day6

by Max Barry
Thu, 26 Oct 2017

By now, veteran nations should be used to the dead rising to feast on the living each year around October 31. In fact, we've gotten this down to such a fine art, we know exactly when it will begin:

Zombie apocalypse begins in:

I can't tell you how we know that. Let's just say we have a lab here with a bunch of clocks and corpses.

What normally happens is that vigilant regions close their borders and have a small but heroic minority of nations research a cure, while less vigilant regions are overrun by shambling nightmares. After a while, 75-80% of the world population is dead.

We expect that basic template to hold again this year, but with a disturbing new twist. In the past, nations researching a cure could level up increasingly powerful Cure Missile superweapons, and those fighting the undead hand-to-hand could level up Tactical Zombie Elimination Squads, but the infected themselves were limited to basic Hordes. Our clock-and-corpse-based testing reveals that is no longer the case! Instead, the undead are able to evolve into more dangerous forms.

Of particular concern is the intelligence of some of the more advanced Hordes. Normally, zombies simply run around biting people. That's your standard undead behavior. Some of these smarter zombies, however, appear able to target command & control structures, turning a nation from a cure researcher or exterminator into an exporter of the undead.

We definitely don't want advanced Hordes rampaging around creating a situation where an exponential number of nations are infected at the control level and start spewing out ever-more zombies. That would be bad. So watch out for that.

What You Need to Know

  • The zombie apocalypse will begin (click for local time)

  • It will run for 32 hours, ending

  • Zombies move between nations in the same region. This makes it important to be aware of what your neighbors are doing, as will be difficult for an individual nation to hold out in a heavily infected region. Each region will report its infection rate so that residents can make an informed choice about which are relatively safe and which are basically pools of pandemic-level z-virus.

  • You have three options:

    • Exterminate the zombies with military force. This converts them into dead citizens, who pose no further risk to the living. It is very effective when you have lots of survivors and few zombies, and less effective when your military forces have mostly been eaten. This year, better anti-Z weaponry promises that exterminators will be more effective than ever.

    • Research a cure, which helps to lower your region's infection rate. Enough nations working together can slow or stop the spread of zombies and even begin to turn infected back into survivors. However, this takes time.

    • Embrace the zombie hordes, becoming part of the problem as you spread zombies all around your region. This option isn't for everyone. But there's always someone.

    Your nation may also unlock superweapons over time. Once built, they can be manually deployed against targets of your choice by visiting their nation page and hitting the appropriate button.

    • Exterminating zombies develops Tactical Zombie Elimination Squads, who can enter other nations and kill zombies there.

    • Researching a cure develops Cure Missiles, which can be launched at other nations in order to convert zombies into survivors.

    • Embracing the undead develops Hordes, which can surge into other nations and infect their survivors.

    Superweapons can be deployed every 20 seconds. If you take a hit from a superweapon, the resulting chaos makes your own superweapon unavailable for a few minutes.

  • During Z-Day, Founders and Delegates can close their region's borders at no Influence cost, sealing themselves off the from the world, and the bleating cries of nations seeking refuge. I'm not judging that. I mean, it seems pretty harsh. You're just sitting there watching millions of people die. But zombie apocalypses demand tough choices.

The Z-Day Tally Board will track progress during Z-Day. Good luck!