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anas76

ZGS guide

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Posted (edited)

I thought to consolidate some of the posts for new players (hope if this is useful it gets pinned). I will edit based on comments and feedback, so feel free to bring them on!

First off, enjoy the game! Don't sweat it if you don't get amazing weapons or can't beat certain levels.

Starting out:

  • Link your account to Game Center or Play Store to avoid losing everything if something wrong happens with the device or app.
  • SAVE YOUR GOLD! Right now, imho, best use of gold is to buy metal to boost a legendary AC. Don't buy crates with gold unless you check the other threads about crates.
  • You want to reach level 30 as fast as possible to unlock all weapons. Grind the fastest mission (in terms of time) that you can. This is usually a 1 building mission on the highest map/tier you achieve, even if it's not the highest difficulty level.
  • Bear in mind that crates may drop ANY weapon you unlocked, just because you are level 30 doesn't mean you're getting an AC 30 on your next box.
  • Do each and every mission you can every day on every difficulty level. After the first time, the loot will be reduced to 20% until reset (8pm EST for me).
  • WATCH ADS! You get 12 ads in total for each day, they refresh every 5 mins or so. Click on the + next to your gold and look to the right for a box labeled "Free".
  • Keep upgrading your main buildings to unlock more gunship slots and troop slots. HQ & Hangar first, then supplies, metal and armory, then defensive towers/mortars, then everything else.
  • Don't worry too much about base defense, they are completely optional.
    • They basically award you common crates which you will get from missions as well. They may also award epic crates.
    • The epic crates (8 hours) have been notorious for dropping green weapons while the common ones have dropped higher rarity weapons consistently, so you're actually better off on the common (3 hours) in terms of odds as you also get more weapons, metal, supplies and gold).
  • Boost your highest tier/rarity AutoCannon (That would be the highest number you get, in order of worst to best: 5.56, 7.62, 20, 25, 30) to keep going and beat more difficult maps. It's your best all around weapon. Don't fret too much about this though as the difference between them is marginal. Example: don't switch to a green AC20 over a blue 5.56. If you get a legendary AC of any type, treat it like winning the lottery and even invest your gold (hope you saved it) on metal to boost it.
  • Second favorite: boost a gunship sniper, they're essential for titans.
  • Third favorite (jury is out on this one, but I like it): A missile. Earlier levels have a lot of shamblers (basic zombies) that a missile will wipe out as they cluster. Don't overboost this one, you want just enough damage to kill the zombies, any extra damage would be wasted.

General strategy:

  • Pick a deployment point closest to a building as possible, preferably away from ground defenses so they can provide some support before you have to take them out.
  • If you can't loot all buildings, deploy closest to the one with the resource you need most in case you need to abort.
  • If there are 3 buildings, choose a deployment point closest to the leftmost/rightmost building, don't go for the middle one first, your troops will waste time and you won't be able to finish the map in most situations.
  • The number of zombies on the screen is constant at a certain point of time. However, that number increases at regular intervals and events.
    • When you start off, say there are a total of 10 zombies that can spawn. As you kill them, 10 more will spawn immediately. If you don't kill them, no additional zombies will spawn.
    • As you loot a building, time passes by or wait for evacuation, that total will increase exponentially.
    • So, generally speaking, you want to hold off as long as possible before killing zombies and only take out those in the path of your troops or attacking the building they are looting.
    • Shamblers (basic zombies) are so slow, you can ignore those behind your troops. Focus fire on the faster zombies.
    • This way, slow zombies far from your troops stay there and you have less risk of new zombies spawning in your path or closer to your troops.
  • DON'T STOP! Scouts give you a loot bonus that might help shave a second or two from building looting, but, more importantly, they will stop less to shoot zombies. That's essential to have them keep moving.
    • Destroy the barricades in the way of your troops as early as possible, but leave the rest to keep zombies busy.
    • The worst thing is to have your troops "pinned down" even though their path to the next building is open, but they are focused on what is coming from behind. As they kill them, zombies will spawn everywhere and you will have a hard time managing the horde coming from all directions.
    • If your troops stop and zombies are pouring from every direction, focus fire to create a gap in the pouring horde. Your troops would kill the closest zombies while you kill those behind them, if done properly, this should have them moving again in no time.
    • (Slight variant of the above point) Your troops aren't entirely useless though. In a pinch, they can clear a path while you focus fire elsewhere to ensure they can move again after they deal with a certain group of zombies.
  • Your ground troops should be used for the last 30 second stand, you shouldn't rely on them otherwise.
    • You only really need one troop with even 1% health to win.
    • Scouts are good for the area splash even though the weapons don't mention there is one.
    • Add a demo to your scouts for their health to survive longer.
    • Demos are great for their health although the splash isn't what you would expect, but they can take that pounding buying you a few precious seconds to win.
    • Leveling up the weapons will add health to your troops although the number of bars doesn't change.
    • Don't worry about bombarding your troops with your gunship, they don't take damage although they will complain forever.
  • Fire your AC in short bursts to avoid overheating. If you have 2 equipped, you can tap both at the same time for double firepower or you can alternate.
  • If using scouts in particular, destroy sniper towers first, they will destroy your scouts.
  • Soften ground defenses ahead of time, but keep them alive as long as they are helping kill zombies. Use down time such as no zombies in the path of your troops, but you're letting them drag behind to take out the ground defenses.
  • If the building being looted is heavily sieged, abort: Better to finish with some loot than no loot at all. Do try a few times first before you resort to this. There is no penalty to losing a mission.
  • When dealing with Impalers, use a Cannon. They don't work well on anything else, so save your shots for them.
  • When dealing with Titans, use snipers. Make sure you zoom all the way for full damage (tap and hold). Use your AC in between reloads to either take out other zombies or chip away at the titan. Use the snipe zoom time as AC cooldown time.
  • Snipers don't damage buildings. Snipe individual zombies chipping away at obstacles to keep it up as long as possible.
  • Loot buildings NEVER get damaged by your weapons, so don't worry about that!

Weapons:

  • Best early game setup: Autocannon, AutoCannon, Missile. (Silencio Heights)
  • Best mid game setup: Autocannon, Missile or Autocannon, Sniper. (North County & Grey Valley)
  • Best late game setup: Autocannon, Cannon, Sniper. (Interstate)
  • Don't bother with green weapons, best use is fodder to fuse with other weapons.
  • The only exception to the above rule is if you only have a green AC.

Farming:

 

Additional credits for @mabaeyens for contributing and @TurboTIB for his list of Farming maps

 

Edited by anas76

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Posted (edited)

Good feedback @anas76 and good job gathering all in one place, and my comments to your sections below.

Starting out:

- Link your account to Game Center or Play Store to avoid losing everything if something goes wrong with the device or the app

- Rush to get rank 30: yes, it unlocks better weapons but only gives the chance of dropping them, not that you will get them for sure. I’m more inclined towards balancing the rank and the quality of weapons. But that's me.

- MG/AC: while weapons in the game don't follow the technical reality of each (is a zombie game after all so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), the truth is that the game is basically about 5.56 or 7.62 (based on their stats), unless you get an epic or legendary AC.

- Focus on gunship weapons first: they will make the difference in keeping the path clear

- Focus on rare weapons first: even rarer may drop, but according to your level, work on those with higher damage. Rare means expensive, but pays off.

- Levelling up buildings: HQ and hangar first, then the supplies, metal storage and armory, then defensive towers or mortars, then the others

General strategy:

- Deployment: choose to loot first whichever building has the resource (supplies or metal) you need most in case you need to abort

- Deployment: if using scouts, destroy sniper towers first. Mortars and towers can be handled by a longer time unless they are in the path the troops have to follow, and especially mortars can help a lot while looting by taking care of several Zs

- If the building is heavily sieged, abort: better to finish with some loot than no loot at all

- Ground troops: add one assault among your scouts if you have difficulties surviving the 30 secs prior to evac: they do less harm but are stronger against hits

Farming: 

I would add a new section about Farming, with those single building missions that can be accomplished with minimum or no effort, and worst case they provide some decent experience in the hardest level. Or otherwise easier missions like Grey Valley - Snowman where troops are also quite protected

Edited by mabaeyens
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To test the above strategies, I am actually replaying the earlier campaigns with some common weapons: 4* 7.62 AC at level 40, 2* 7.62 AC at level 10 and a blue AGM176 at level 1 ( to save on metal upgrading a common one). I forgot how good missiles are for earlier campaigns!

For troops, totally pigeonholing them with shotguns and demo, all level 1.

@mabaeyens, do you mind if I incorporate some of your comments into the guide?

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6 hours ago, anas76 said:

To test the above strategies, I am actually replaying the earlier campaigns with some common weapons: 4* 7.62 AC at level 40, 2* 7.62 AC at level 10 and a blue AGM176 at level 1 ( to save on metal upgrading a common one). I forgot how good missiles are for earlier campaigns!

For troops, totally pigeonholing them with shotguns and demo, all level 1.

@mabaeyens, do you mind if I incorporate some of your comments into the guide?

Having that experience first hand will help a lot. We played those missions for the first time long ago and that was quite different.

Please do copy or adapt whatever is useful.

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21 hours ago, anas76 said:

...Don't worry about bombarding your troops with your gunship, they don't take damage although they will complain forever....

I've been playing ZGS since beta and didn't know this fact. Very handy info when protecting your guys & demo gal.

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43 minutes ago, TurboTIB said:

I've been playing ZGS since beta and didn't know this fact. Very handy info when protecting your guys & demo gal.

Actually, they do take damage from your gunship, but it's so negligible, might as well not count it. I kept them under continuous fire from my legendary AC25 (776.11 dmg, 0.07 fire rate) and the scouts barely felt it. The demo was laughing at my feeble attempt to scratch her. So I decided to present it as no damage (for now).

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25 minutes ago, anas76 said:

Actually, they do take damage from your gunship, but it's so negligible, might as well not count it. I kept them under continuous fire from my legendary AC25 (776.11 dmg, 0.07 fire rate) and the scouts barely felt it. The demo was laughing at my feeble attempt to scratch her. So I decided to present it as no damage (for now).

I tested it also using direct and sustained fire on my troops from my 4-star purple 5.56 machine gun and 4-star green Griffin missile and while my troop icons blinked red, damage wasn't registering on their health bars so, negligible damage would be a valid description. Thanks again.

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A bit random, but confirming the above:

Just cleared Silencio Heights on Hard using:

  1. Common (grey) 4* 7.62 doing 76.9 dmg at level 40
  2. Blue 1* AGM176 doing 480.2 dmg at level 1 (to mimic a leveled up common AGM176)
  3. Common (grey) 3* AC 30 doing 55.4 dmg at level 30

North County & Grey Valley both on Hard using:

  1. Common (grey) 4* 7.62 doing 76.9 dmg at level 40
  2. Blue 1* AGM176 doing 480.2 dmg at level 1 (to mimic a leveled up common AGM176)
  3. Green 3* Sniper 20 doing 751.65 dmg at level 20 (a grey 3* sniper 20 at level 30 does ~600 dmg)

For all 3 campaigns, my troops were given level 1 shotguns (3 scouts) and level 1 RL SMAW.

I think these setups are pretty fair in terms of being achievable by just about anyone new. I would even say better setups are achievable replacing commons with greens for instance and leveling up troop weapons.

Based on that, I am adding a couple of edits to the guide.

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On 6/14/2017 at 11:07 PM, anas76 said:

A bit random, but confirming the above:

Just cleared Silencio Heights on Hard using:

  1. Common (grey) 4* 7.62 doing 76.9 dmg at level 40
  2. Blue 1* AGM176 doing 480.2 dmg at level 1 (to mimic a leveled up common AGM176)
  3. Common (grey) 3* AC 30 doing 55.4 dmg at level 30

North County & Grey Valley both on Hard using:

  1. Common (grey) 4* 7.62 doing 76.9 dmg at level 40
  2. Blue 1* AGM176 doing 480.2 dmg at level 1 (to mimic a leveled up common AGM176)
  3. Green 3* Sniper 20 doing 751.65 dmg at level 20 (a grey 3* sniper 20 at level 30 does ~600 dmg)

For all 3 campaigns, my troops were given level 1 shotguns (3 scouts) and level 1 RL SMAW.

I think these setups are pretty fair in terms of being achievable by just about anyone new. I would even say better setups are achievable replacing commons with greens for instance and leveling up troop weapons.

Based on that, I am adding a couple of edits to the guide.

Worth mentioning, strength of troops increases with stars. So given a 1 star level 1 weapon and the same with 3 stars, use always the higher. Damage will be the same, but strength will be higher!

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Posted (edited)

On 6/13/2017 at 9:47 PM, anas76 said:

If the building being looted is heavily sieged, abort: Better to finish with some loot than no loot at all. Do try a few times first before you resort to this. There is no penalty to losing a mission.

But there is a "penalty" in maps with several buildings. Once the mission is successful (one looted building) the rewards will decrease even if the other two were not. 

So either total defeat or abort. Anyway, still, better one building than nothing. 

Edited by mabaeyens
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20 minutes ago, mabaeyens said:

But there is a "penalty" in maps with several buildings. Once the mission is successful (one looted building) the rewards will decrease even if the other two were not. 

So either total defeat or abort. Anyway, still, better one building than nothing. 

This is more for people who can't beat the map in the first place :) I will note it in the guide though if you don't mind.

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3 minutes ago, anas76 said:

This is more for people who can't beat the map in the first place :) I will note it in the guide though if you don't mind.

Feel free to quote me right or blame me wrong!

This post is a must that should be also highlighted in game. Keep it up!

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Base Defence

 

Base defence is on the one hand largely immaterial -- "weapons testing time", as one user put it -- as defeat has no consequences apart from a lost crate.  On the other hand, there's pride, compulsion and simply the fact that it adds a different facet to an otherwise very repetitive grind.

 

I found that in climbing from level 20 to 30, defending the base got MUCH more difficult.  The zombies that attack me now have more health than anything in the hardest levels.  I see from 100 to 150 impalers every defence.  After how easy it used to be, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor the first time I read "DEFEATED" around rank 25!

 

I tried about 15-20 different base layouts before I finally found one that seems to work consistently for me.  SPOILER ALERT if you'd like to solve this puzzle on your own!

 

Divide your towers up into 3 equalish groups.  Plant one group right on the front doorstep of the HQ.  Place one of your two warehouses immediately adjacent to that group, moving straight out into the field, away from the hangar.  This assumes removal of all groves, contamination sites and unbought buildings in your path.  Plant the second group of towers immediately adjacent to that warehouse.  Then the other warehouse.  I sprinkle the third group of towers in a tight perimeter around the outer edge of this last warehouse.  You've basically now constructed a Great Wall of Zombieland down the centre of the field, packed so tightly that nobody can walk through it.

 

Lastly, take all of your barriers and spread wings out from each of the 3 main buildings such that the complete 5 grids on either side of each building are covered.  Now any zombies going for your main structues have to either dismantle an entire wing to expose a building's side (which the impalers will try) or they have to run the gaunlet down the "funnels" between wings into your tower groups.  Which all of the others will try - with very limited success.

 

If you've been consistently upgrading all of your buildings, your armoury will be your toughest barrier, so I place it on the end of the wing facing the worst impaler onslaught.  Now I just concentrate my fire on the imps and let the towers do the rest.  Three meaningless stars and a craptastic crate every time!

20170619_010049.png

P.S.  Obviously there's more than one way to skin a cat -- I'd love to see working strategies that others have come up with!

Edited by JimmyJazz

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Thanks @JimmyJazz! I might be copying this layout right now.

My main issue is that even with epic weapons, they are not good enough to take down impalers faster. My key for defeats or near misses is the impossibility of handling impalers before they wreak havoc. They don't care about getting damage, they go straight for your defensive towers and mortars, and then the buildings, no matter what. And at rank 30 and all buildings at level 8, they still need a few shots to take all those down.

So I have not tested it yet, but my gut feeling is that they would go on the right flank to demolish those buses and sheds, or even straight to the group of towers and take them down. Then to the buildings and even if the towers can kill some of them, there are plenty, and fast enough to keep that fire rate while I'm on the left flank.

But definitely worth try.

My approach was dirtier: since I cannot remove some infested oaks where they come from, specially on the sides, I put several buildings as barricades so it take them a few seconds to get out of the oaks, I can notice the shaking screen when they break those buildings and going to that side of the screen to 5.56 them.

Still they always get to destroy one side and allow shamblers and hellhounds to reap the buildings.

Base.jpg

Edited by mabaeyens

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Yeah, any time I tried an enclosed base format like you've shown there, the imps just rip through it like nothing, as you stated.  In the layout I showed, the imps on the right always go for the armoury first, and the imps on the left go for the end of my Great Wall -- the machine gun towers & metal storage.

 

With regards to the outer groves, I tried that, too.  I found that they just bust out too quickly.  I did find that I could successfully funnel them into mortar fire out there -- I just didn't have enough barriers & mortar towers to go around.

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1 hour ago, JimmyJazz said:

Yeah, any time I tried an enclosed base format like you've shown there, the imps just rip through it like nothing, as you stated.  In the layout I showed, the imps on the right always go for the armoury first, and the imps on the left go for the end of my Great Wall -- the machine gun towers & metal storage.

 

With regards to the outer groves, I tried that, too.  I found that they just bust out too quickly.  I did find that I could successfully funnel them into mortar fire out there -- I just didn't have enough barriers & mortar towers to go around.

Good to know, I will mercilessly copy your layout then, and get back with the feedback!

Which I just did with relatively good success, but only a one minute defence. Defensive towers on the first row got destroyed by impalers but I'm working on adding more depth there. We'll see how this fares with longer ones.

I'll keep adding more buildings on the sides to make impalers go the road to the mortars.

Which by the way I just realised, while repositioning the buildings, that mortars should be the longest ranged defensive element in the game, above marksman towers. A modern mortar is effective well over 5000m while the best sniper rifles by expert marksmen are recorded to hit targets around 2500m. I'm not surprised though as it follows some other real-life-counterpart weapon inaccuracies. 

Edited by mabaeyens

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I've found a couple tips that have helped make base defense super easy (though I'm only level 21, so no Impalers yet).

Leaving a grove of trees near your base mean that the vast majority of enemies will spawn from there. It's covered by a mortar with a few layers of walls in front. This does about 70% of the damage.

The other thing that helped a lot was basically just leaving paths into the center of my base and not walling off anything. Everything wants to get at the main buildings with the minimum of pathfinding, so most creatures will just funnel in single file, allowing me to get really good DPS. Seems like the enemy AI has a preference toward walking around a barrier if there's a path rather than trying to blow it up. We can use this to our advantage.

Check the screenshots to see what I mean.

base-layout.jpg

eg-1.jpg

eg-2.jpg

eg-3.jpg

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Thanks for sharing as usual @Primathon. Now we can follow you in game!

The key here are the impalers though. I also left one oak surrounded by mortars and sooner rather than later, impalers fire instantly from where they spawn, no need to move. Mortars are gone in seconds. Also because if I fire to the impalers, the radius would also break my mortars.

I have defended a couple more times (3 minutes each) with a setup very close to @JimmyJazz's and was quite successful, with no buildings destroyed in any case. Neither impalers care for buildings or walls as it seems they can only fire, meaning ranged, so having the key buildings in this cross setup helps to increase the towers and mortars lifespan, and there is enough space in the alleys to shoot them down without affecting other buildings.

It's now easier than several other setups I tried, more classical "fort" approach heavily armed on the corners.

A different discussion is if with the strength of impalers and the difficulty of dropping a decent weapon for a rank 20+, should they be a bit easier to kill or even better, some buildings much stronger or heavier damage, so they are useful. Right now, and similar to what happens with shotguns vs any other ground troop, mortars are the only effective defensive building to use. Marksman are very slow to reload, and don't do that much damage, and towers fire bubble gum bullets.

Don't get me wrong, if it is only the gunship against waves of Zs without other defences, let it be, but then make weapons more damaging.

Not as easy as in 0.6, but not as difficult as running out of most or all of towers and mortars during the first 15 seconds of the base defence no matter what (if only because of the massive amounts of supplies to max them to level 8, well over 100k supplies each tower and mortar).

EDIT: Oh! And definitely, don't repair those buildings because they are really indestructible!

Edited by mabaeyens
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This thread has more info too regarding defending you base.  My base is pretty much the same as when I posted it originally. I only have to really defend the left and right side with my GS weapons when the impalers come out in droves.  Other than that the mortars can take care of pretty much everything else.  You can leave a sacrificial defense tower outside of your main walls to lure the impalers towards the mortars as well, just watch out because they will level the defense tower very quickly...

 

Please note that I have rebuilt all the defense structures so I have 4 mortars to place...

 

Edited by OnLikeDnkyKong
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