The objective is obvious. Whoever is directing the undead wants to wear us down. We have stockpiles of raw materials to last for a very long time, but we can't turn them into useful things instantly. The damage to the buffer isn't severe with any one attack, but the pieces and parts aren't going to last forever. Fixing the buffer is our biggest priority since it keeps the undead from swarming the walls all at once.
Again, the good news is that we aren't overwhelmed. We've got people hauling in emergency stocks and checking around the county for any clues to where our hidden enemies might be keeping themselves. Sometimes, using the right tactics is all it takes to put yourself ahead.
One example would be sending out a two-man scout team on their dirt bikes, only to have one of them run into mechanical problems miles away from home. Those bikes make a hell of a lot of noise, so you just know that any Exiles out there have some idea where to find them. The other scout offers to take their partner back home on their bike, even watching from a distance the body language would be clear. The first scout refuses, and motions his partner to continue on. An argument ensues, distracting both scouts, and that's when you and the small, stealthy team of bad guys with you decides to take this golden opportunity.
Except when your people move in, they start getting hit with fire from nowhere. Half of your small team is killed immediately, and the other half surrenders as sprays of arterial blood hit them from all sides. You've blundered into a setup, and you realize right then that you're well and truly fucked.
Captives can be very useful things. When you're a highwayman, picking your targets is essential to survival. If you wander into a trap, chances are extremely high that the people who you're currently waging a silent war against, people whose backs are against the wall and who're feeling pretty desperate, aren't going to be kind to you.
You've probably guessed that this isn't a hypothetical. I wouldn't be telling you about it if one of the Exiles in question hadn't escaped. There's no point in keeping quiet about it; the enemy knows all the details already. We have three of them in our cells right now. I understand that the previous reluctance toward brutality against Exile prisoners isn't a problem this time. We're already engaged in a war with them, for all intents and purposes. The worst we can do is provoke them into attacking openly, and they won't. There aren't enough of them to beat us, nor are they armed well enough to make up the deficit through superior firepower. That much was obvious before people started asking the captives questions rather...emphatically. If the enemy could destroy us, they would.
The good news seems to be that while we're on the precipice of a no-holds-barred conflict with the Exiles, the Hunters aren't a problem. They can't attack convoys that aren't happening, and so long as the Exiles are keeping us penned up here we aren't a threat to whatever business it is they're doing out in the world. I guess they're hoping war will reduce our numbers enough that we won't be able to come after them.
They probably aren't wrong.
It should bother me, knowing that people are being put the question a few hundred feet from where I sit, but it doesn't. I don't feel happy about it, but whatever lingering concerns I had about our enemies are gone. There's no wellspring of pity or sympathy when I think about what's happening to them. More than two and a half years have passed. They've had every chance to see the light.
Play time is fucking over, and I'm done feeling shitty about the bad things people bring on themselves.