Friday, July 20, 2012

Rolling In

We've had another delay in the work that we're trying to do. Yesterday afternoon the first of what would be many severe thunderstorms rolled in on us. Normally we aren't worried about fighting in the rain, but winds reached frightening speeds and lightning was everywhere. Would our people have been okay? Probably. But why spit in the face of chance when playing safe doesn't cost us much?

No good reason to. Turns out that was the right decision to make. The rain the day before must have watered down the ammonia residue enough that the New Breed were no longer put off by it, because once the storms broke they were on New Haven like a fat guy on free cake.

Damn, I made myself want some cake just then.

Anyway, zombies came at us in waves, but none of them seemed overly creative in their approach. There was a mix of New Breed and old school zombies in the crowd, but the New Breed seemed duller than usual and less coordinated. We've speculated that the new plague might be affecting them as well, and this is another example of why we think that. New Breed don't usually just scoot up close to the wall and leave themselves open to having arrows put through their brain pans. Yesterday a good number of them did, and our archers and crossbowmen made sure they were obliged.

Another fun silver lining is that these little respites give us a chance to get to know all the new arrivals. Granted, there are too many of them to even meet all of them in that short a time, but hanging out with small groups and having a good time is awesome. I managed to kill two birds with one stone; getting to know some of the new folks while also using that time to gauge how the assault teams are doing. I mean, the numbers are all well and good, we know they're effective at their jobs, but actually having a conversation with the people whose boots are on the ground is infinitely more informative.

I think the honest assessment on both sides is that yeah, there are differences that make things difficult at times and maybe even frustrating, but that's vastly overwhelmed by respect for how effective everyone on the teams is at their jobs. No one expects seamless integration and frictionless teamwork at this point. Hell, the new people haven't been here long enough to even remember the names of all the New Haven natives that go out on runs with them. I'd say for the length of time we've been doing this, things are going quite well.

One small bone of contention is the differences in tactics. The new arrivals are still falling into the rigid habit built into them by constant training, sometimes without meaning to. That causes some confusion when integrated teams are out risking their lives to fight the undead, and it's something they're working on. On 'our' side--New Haven natives, that is--there seems to be some reluctance to use even the more effective maneuvers the newbies bring with them. I'd like to think we as a species have learned our lessons about pissing contests and who has the better system. Insert mandatory joke about penis size here. Whatever.

But people will persistently continue to be people, apocalypse or no. We're imperfect gems, each and every one of us, and that shows more easily in dangerous situations. Dodger is going to have a talk with our folks about adapting whatever tactics work into our fighting repertoire, and Will and I are trying to work some of our own techniques into the stringent exercises the newbies use in their practice. A little of both worlds seems like the best way to go.

Now if these damn storms would let up for a while, we might be able to try some of these ideas out. Maybe a few extra training sessions with the whole gang. Smoothing out all the rough bits seems like a perfect distraction from the boredom of not risking their lives, yeah?

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