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What set of weapons would be best for a Zombie Apocalypse?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,087 times Debate No: 52159
Debate Rounds (5)
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For the purposes of this argument, we will use the Max Brooks style of zombies and assume it is a Class 4, or worldwide outbreak. As such, make your decisions considering these facts:
1: The brain must be destroyed to kill the zombie. Decapitated heads are technically still functioning zombies.
2: The zombie infection, Solanum, is spread through introduction of the virus into the bloodstream, e.g. Bites, zombie fluids contacting open wounds, etc. Eating zombie flesh will not infect you, but is highly toxic and will kill you. Zombie blood congeals into a gel.
3: Poison , radiation, and biological weaponry do not work on zombies. Electricity will paralyze then, but to do so requires 2x the voltage for stunning people, and can be used to fry the brain, such as a power line. Acid and fire are valid weapons.
4: Animals are afraid of and will not attack zombies. This applies to every single animal on Earth. They can however be used as distractions if necessary.
5: Zombies cannot use weapons, run, jump, or think. An average of 1 in four zombies are able to climb ladders, however.
6: Zombies can survive being frozen.
7: Zombies will continue to attack you without end until their muscles disintegrate.
8: A zombie can spot a glowing cigarette ember from a mile away. It may or may not investigate it.
9: Zombies are attracted to sound and light.
10: A zombie will moan when it detects you. This moan will attract more zombies, who will moan, and in turn attract more. This is called the chain swarm effect.

You may pick up to 4 weapons, or as many as you could reasonably carry, ammunition included. You may customize an object as you see fit, e.g. A baseball bat with nails in it, a sharpened waking stick, a silenced gun, etc. It must be a weapon that you could reasonably acquire or make before or during a zombie apocalypse. If you can make a working laser gun, you may pick a laser gun as a weapon. These rules apply to any other weapons: If you can actually get it, you can use it. Assume you have no vehicle, unless you choose one for a weapon.

These are my choices.
1: A Military grade machete. These can be bought from army surplus stores, and are often higher quality metal than civilian machetes, and are sometimes black, helping with concealment. They are legal to own, easy to train with, and can easily disable or kill a zombie. They can be used in tight or open spaces, and are very durable.
2: Crowbar. Useful for penetrating skulls and destroying barricades and doors. Extremely useful as a tool and a weapon.
3: A sharpened walking stick. I can't help it, my love for improvised weapons is too great to resist. I have at least three walking sticks in my house, so that's no problem. I have knives to sharpen it. I can stab wit one end and bludgeon with the other. Add that to further modification potential and replaceability, and you have a serviceable weapon that you can make easily and discard if necessary.
4: Silenced .22 rimfire rifle. I'm not very strong, so I wouldn't likely be able to use a shotgun or a big rifle. I've tried to fire a shotgun, and I discovered that I can't aim to save my life. A .22 rimfire, on the other hand, would suit me much better. It may have a shorter range, but it's silenced, and I'm good at being quiet. It has abundant ammo supplies, and is light.


As an amateur assessor of zombies, I believe there are two main classes to which all zombies fall into. Undead and Infected. I believe you have chosen the Undead, slower, but hard to kill. I would have to choose a selection of weapons that have multiple uses, do not attract more zombies, are durable and have a high lethality to them. I will not try to buff my physical strength here, but for the sake of argument, I suffer from no disabilities.

1; The Nodachi. A traditional Japanese sword dating back to the 15th Century, these custom made beauties are roughly 1.6 metres in length. While replaced by Katanas and Tantos, The Nodachi is the longest of the set, and therefore works brilliantly as a sharp cutter that can deal with medium size crowds. This means I can dismember with efficiency while remaining far away enough from the biters.

2; Crowbar. Gotta have the crowbar too. An invaluable survival item, this might not help against crowds,unlike my nodachi, but in a tight sport, nothing is more effective at takeing out lurkers, perfect for those raids on stores. You can't fault me for wanting one too.

3; Crossbow. I'm no good with a normal bow, but a crossbow does the drawing for you. Silent and deadly, I can take out spotter zombies before they moan and avoid enemies entirely. Different bolts could be used where bells and alarms could be distractions for larger crowds.

4; Pipe bombs. Crowd clearing distractions, these are the last resort and can be made from any explosive along with a sound source. This is for when I have to deal with hordes.

You'll notice that not guns are present on my list. Even silenced weapons are loud. A loud weapon is only good when you're spotted, and I would focus on avoiding that. I will choose a rooftop as a home, probably try and move to Europe by boat and migrate through warmer places. If resources are needed, I first use the crossbow to take out any that might alert the hordes. I move in with the Nodachi and take out any in my way. Once in a store, the crowbar is my backup, the nodachi is no good in there. If a horde does spot me, I chuck a pipe bomb with a large fuse the other way and run. Outside a coffin, a corpse will decay in 50-365 days, accelerated by tempature when I move to Europe. The zombies will either be reduced to skeletons, which the nodachi will make short work of, or be wiped out completely. If this is a rebuild scenario where enough genetic diversity present in other survivors, I may risk staying put for longer to find a group I can communicate with.

This kinda turned into my full plan for survival, but it fits into my choice. Avoid the zombies using silent and deadly weapons, based on avoiding not confronting. A race of rotting, self consuming idiots won't last long against natural decay and a badass blade.

I assume you plan to expand on the whole zombie scenario, unless ou plan to discuss weapons for 5 rounds. Either comment, mention it next round or pm me, I hit easter break tomorrow and I'll be waiting,

Debate Round No. 1


Right. I do need to elaborate on the zombie situation. According to the Zombie Survival Guide, which I am using for the zombie type, the toxicity of Solanum prevents most bacteria from ingesting it. A Max Brooks zombie, unless frozen or otherwise preserved, will be completely decomposed after 5 years. Also, zombies will usually pursue humans over most other targets, and will not attack each other. For the Purposes of this exercise, we will assume you will not be encountering humans until sufficient military force has been rallied to cleanse the country.
On to my arguments:
1: Nodachi. You mentioned that the Nodachi sword is 1.6 metres long. Naturally, as you acknowledged ,this would make it less than ideal in tight spaces, such as a store or building. However, there is also durability, mastery, and weight to acknowledge. Japanese bladed weapons tend to be very particular in how they are made. If they are not made correctly, they are not very useful. Also, it takes considerable skill to wield a katana, so it is reasonable to assume that it would take at least as much to wield a longer sword. Also, a bigger weapon means more weight. Mobility is the third greatest advantage we have over the undead, other than intelligence and weapons, and exhaustion is the price we pay for it. Having to carry that big sword for so long would tire you out. The legality of the object is also unmentioned. A machete is short, only requires one hand to use, and is meant to hack at tree limbs and thick vines.

Crowbar is one we agree on, so we can effectively leave it out of the argument from this point on.

3: Crossbow. A crossbow does not do the drawing for you. Much strength is required to draw it back without the use of special tools. The crossbow is also heavy. It is not suited to random encounters. A crossbow is a sniper's weapon. A .22 rimfire, while noisy, is semi-automatic, and can hold multiple bullets, allowing me to take out anything that hears me, unlike the crossbow, which has the same ammo capacity as a musket. While it has a shorter range, it is light, and ammo can be easily found or manufactured. Remember, there is a time to fire, and a time to run like hell.

4: Pipe bombs. An explosive weapon. There are a couple of problems with this. One, cigarette ember at a mile. zombies will likely see you light and throw it. It will explode and they'll go after you. You also have to take into account that an explosive on the ground won't damage the head very much, and will likely create crawlers. You also can't rely on Sudden Nerve Trauma or the Balloon Effect, which are what make grenades so dangerous to people. A bomb, while useful for blasting open doors, or creating instant barricades, is not something to use against the undead, save for, like you said, a last resort. A walking sick is simple, effective, and just as common, if not more common, than any explosive. There are more possible modifications, and it's more useful for taking out crawlers, just stab down. It's also legal, unlike explosives.

Your plan is very good. Even in Northern Europe, the cold temperatures will freeze the undead solid in winter, which would allow you to raid the surrounding area for supplies and fix your barricades untroubled. I would simply stay put, since I live in Washington, and It's usually pretty cold here. I would simply stay and wait for the military, or barring that, stay quiet and on the move.

I hope that clears up the scenario a little bit. You're pretty good at this.


The whole moan spread thing means that should a zombie notice you, and provided no other humans are nearby, a whole town will be after you within 10 minutes. The ideal solution is to mix between stealth and some essential combat items. The crowbar can double as a climbing tool, so rooftops will be my new home. Hence, I shall be moving south to warmer climates gradually.

1; The Crossbow defence. As I will spend most of my time hiding away from towns, I will only be entering them when I require resources. I will not be taking the crossbow with me. It is only to pick off zombies before I make my entrance, and I will not be enntering towns with it, rather using the scope to survey with. I can also reclaim bolts from zombies and resuse them. The custom nature of the bolts can be used to distract zombies, and a silence weapon is essential for stealthy approaches.

In contrast, your rimfire rifle, which will alert any other zombies in the town or city. The short term protection will be outweighed by the approaching hordes, and you'll need to be precise when firing, as only headshots will do you any good. On a side note, if the brain must be destroyed, then ideally you would need a bullet to bounce around the skull to deal any damage, entering and leaving would only work if you hit the base of the brain or the top of it. The motor and sensory functions are at the top, while basic insticts are processed at the bottom. A headshot between the eyes and out the back will damage logic, possibly motivation, and finally vision. The accuracy required to use your rifle would be the same precision as my crossbow, save that my crossbow is silent.

2; The Nodachi defence. With a few zombies taken out, I can make my approach into town. Any zombies that do sport me can be dispatched from a safe distance. The Nodachi won't be going into the store with me, that's the role of the crowbar. I live in a rural village, and while I may move to the larger town 20 mins away, by that time, the Nodachi is fair game. Its custom build makes it a durable weapon too, It weighs 3 kilograms and this includes a counterbalance in the handle to prevent loss of balance. The machete is a nice touch, but in close quarters, you risk infection. Question? How resistant am I to this salonium? A bite is permadeath? Or can I use medicines to kill it?

Anyway, being somewhat a fan of japanese weaponry, I would, if allowed, choose the Daisho, (Big-little), which is a pair of swords, usually a Wakazashi (like a machete) and the Nodachi. If a dual wield is not accepted as a single weapon, I choose to discard the pipe bomb.

My fighting style will be very medieval. A japanese set of weapons prompts the use of a martial art known as Iaido, meaning always prepared. It focuses on drawing quickly and getting the blade out of the target quickly too, perfect against large crowds of melee oriented enemies.

Same survival plan, stay hidden and out of reach. It also make me a badass with the whole japanese arts thing, which is a plus in any apocalypse scenario. I will be able to outlast the undead quietly, and when humanity climbs out from the ruins, I will be there as not just a surviving warrior, but possibly as a symbol of hope. Iado has some religious elements, as religion is an essential for tribe forming.

One more thing. Legality of weapons is not going to be an issue in an apocalypse. The Nodachi was outlawed as a weapon 500 years ago. The walking stick's legality is of little consequence.

See you next round,

Debate Round No. 2


To acknowledge questions. On immunity: "Once a human is infected, little can be done to save him or her. Because Solanum is a virus and not a bacteria, antibiotics have no effect. Immunization, the only way to combat a virus, is equally useless, as even the most minute dosage will lead to a full blown infection...Battlefield experiences have led to the immediate severing of the infected limb (provided that is the location of the bite), but such treatments have a 10% success rate at best."-Page 5. "Solanum is 100% communicable and 100% fatal. Fortunately for the human race, the virus is neither waterborne nor airborne...Infection can occur only through direct fluidic contact...Ingestion of of infected flesh (provded the person has no open mouth sores), however, will result in permanent death"-Page 3-4.

Defense for Rimfire: Like I said, I intend to stay put, and the cold temperatures give me a good 2 months where that's no problem. The "Bounce around the skull" part is an advantage this toylike firearm gives me. "Without the force to punch through the back of a zombie's skull, .22 rounds have been known to ricochet around the braincase, doing as much bamage as any .45."-Page 49. Should I have to abandon my hideout, the lightness of the ammo and weapon will be a godsend. And like I said, if necessary, .22 ammo can be manufactured.

A crossbow will need to be reloaded every shot, and you need to be able to watch your back. This makes it impractical when traveling in groups. The Guide says to "Use only against one zombie. any more and you may find yourself grabbed and mauled before you can load another bolt."-Page 40. On page 41, it notes that "The size and weight of any good crossbow will make it the primary weapon.Therefore, choose one only when the situation permits, such as traveling in a group, defending your home, or when no silenced firearms are available." So a crossbow would be better suited to my plan, and a .22 to yours.

Machete defense: The legality of the weapon is in fact of much consequence. Once the trade routes stop transporting and the boats are all stolen by panicking survivors, how are you going to get it? If you can't get it before the apocalypse, you sure as hell won't get it during the apocalypse. A machete is not only legal, but COMMON. I could go to Home Depot right now and buy one. I literally have never heard of the Nodachi, so what does that say about the availability? Plus, early on, zombie attacks are often mistaken for murder. Which is more likely to the police as a suspect: A walking corpse, the guy with the over-sized gardening tool, or the guy with a 5 1/4 foot long ILLEGAL Japanese weapon? Also, a sword that huge is two handed. A machete leaves one arm free, for something like an improvised shield, or another weapon. With a machete, I don't even have to kill them. I will allow you to exchange weapons if only to save myself some dignity. You compare it to a machete.

You didn't really address the stick too much so I'm not going to defend it for now.

Hope that clears some stuff up.


If I have to last out on my own, stealth is my primary tactic. The silencer will only make a gun as quiet as slamming a card door, which in and of itself, has been known to cause avalanches. The purpose of a silencer is to mask the direction from which the shot came from, but it will still alert zombies, who were previously ignorant to your presence. I won't be bringing the crossbow in with me anyway, it's purely for taking out zombies that might make sneaking in more difficult, and the scope it'll come with will grant distance and night vision.

Having done some more oriental research, the Automatic Crossbow, Chu Ko Nu, hails from China, and is an easy to load crossbow, allowing for several shots in quick succession. The Greeks used a weapon known as the Polybolos, which was a similar device. Rapid fire, accurate and silent, I can take out the bulk of a horde without them even noticing. You'll only have a use for your gun if you intend on alerting the horde, or have already done so, so why not a silenced smg then?

You said world outbreak was the stage of the infection, ie; the apocalypse has already happened. Media spreads so quickly, and zombies are known so well, that if you don't cut to 99% of the population infected, then the outbreak will collapse. It has to start somewhere, right? With Patient Zero, and lumbering, brainless corpse that is incapable of opening doors or breaking into a light jog. The first zombie might get a victim, but within the hour, a photo is on facebook, police are called, the military will roll in within the day and quarantine the area. Then it's just Dead Rising, trapped in a mall for three days kinda thing. So I'll assume the world is already 99% zombified, else my plan is to ignore the outbreak as it'll last less that a Kardashian marriage.

Also, you didn't talk about availability, you talked about what 4 weapons. If availability is an issue, why am I limited to 4? I have a provisional license, if everyone is dead, I'll just stock stuff in my car. Every house will have at east one set of keys and a car to match. If realism is a point you're bringing up, then the outbreak would fail anyway.

Finally, a walking has only three functions;

To help you walk. I thought we were forgiving physical disability here.

To push away single enemy zombies, possibly damaging the brain area responsible for logic. (Obsolete now)

To kill single enemy crawlers, which you can avoid by walking slightly faster or walking up some stairs. Stairs will defeat the zombie hordes.

Ultimately, this is a conflict between what zombie apocalypse is happening. If I am there to witness the outbreak, you will see that slow, mentally defunct monsters stand no chance against an agile, educated and intelligent species such as mankind. I therefore have decided to split into two loadouts; Outbreak and Apocalypse. The unrealistic nature of Apocalypse makes Oriental weaponry fair game, while the Outbreak is doomed to fail quickly, so convenient and realistic weaponry is a must, stuff you can put back in the shed when the outbreak is over after a week and go back to playing Skyrim or watching Netflix. The lazy man's outbreak.

Outbreak Loadout (ie; realistic spread of infection resulting in its failure even faster than the H1N1 virus, which spread by air, which was a much more efficient means of infection);

1; A car with lots of garden tools stuck to the front with lots of duct tape. Fast, durable, replacable. Modifiable. Realistic.

2; A combination of a saw and a chainsaw, ductaped together on a broom. Fun, easy to make, used like a Kayak paddle constructed in any family home with shed.

3; Flamethrower, made from lighters and deodorant cans. Burns away entire hordes. Can be attached to car for badass purposes. Duct tape is semi durable with excesive use, but can be cut off with knives if we're going with the Outbreak scenario instead of the apocalypse.

4; Crowbar, for reasons we agree on.

Keep in mind I live in a rural town with two shops and a population under 100, mainly children under 12 and elderly over 60. This is my Outbreak scenario gear. Also, I live in Ireland, where guns are mainly illegal anyway.

Apocalypse Loudout (ie; realism out the window because in no way could a single zombie catch up to a running person and then cause a blood wound, without media causing the police and emergency services and military just rolling in.)

1; Crowbar.

2; Nodachi; Multiple target weapon, cool to use.

3; Wakazahi; Oriental version of the Machete, used along with Nodachi for increased baddassery.

4; Automatic crossbow; Accurate, silent, rapid fire. The horde killer.

To summarise; if we can choose any 4 weapons on earth, why not let me have my apocalypse gear? If it's the realistic outbreak, I won't even bother getting up, it'll be over within the week. Just stack the furniture against the windows for a few days and I'll be fine.

There. Rather anti climactic, but that's zombies for you. See you next round,

Debate Round No. 3


You know what? I have nothing. I have no defense against that. As soon as I figure out how to forfeit, I will.
Good game.


A shame. It was a fun debate though. I really enjoyed it, and I look forward to seeing you again in future debates.
Debate Round No. 4


Falconstudios forfeited this round.


Duncan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheRussian 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gave up. All points go to Pro.

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