Has anyone seen any good strategies to maximize the effectiveness of day 1 and 2 scavenging? These days are special in that

  • All the zones start out undepleted
  • Many zones have no zombies at all, so it is possible to get far from town
  • There is no watchtower or upgraded map to let people know the number of zombies in areas, so you either have the color or nothing
  • People are not coordinated enough to have expeditions arranged, or know when other players are online and whether they are reliable
  • Good early scavenging can make or break a town

I'm looking for strategies that would maximize the number of searches that occur in undepleted zones, while preventing anyone from being lost in the world oustide (any day 1 deaths are unacceptable).

Edit: Adding a bounty to gather other ideas or at least get feedback on mine.


3 Answers 3


The best Day 1-2 strategy is definitely to go as far from town as possible! The zombie numbers will never be as low as you see them on the first day. This is the perfect time for the furthest zones you can possibly reach to be searched.

Your town should be using an external map application to mark all items left in the desert anyway, so it doesnt matter if you deplete 3 zones for example and can't bring everything home. The items will be listed there for later collection anyway, and it always lets you hand pick what the best items to take back on Day 1 are.

Now as it has been said, this potentially only works in towns with good communication. You need to know that if you get stuck you will be rescued. For this purpose, you should assign 2-3 "rescuers" for the first couple of days. These players will not spend any AP until everyone in town is home safely.

The majority of the time, if somebody gets stuck with zombies on day 1 or 2 another scavanger will be close enough that they can actually rescue them, rather than having to waste the AP of one of the rescuers. This is why you only need a small number of them.

Really, on Day 1, you want to get at least 30 people in your town out scavanging. The AP costs for Workshop, Watchtower, Search Tower and even Armour Plating are all quite low and easily achieved even with 30 people out scavanging (our town had 33 out of 40 players scavanging on Day 1 and still built 6 structures on Day 1, including the ones I listed above).

Nobody should waste 2 AP on a tent!

  • Too bad this answer wasn't here 24 hours ago, I totally would've given you the bounty.
    – bwarner
    Jan 19, 2011 at 12:30
  • not a problem bwarner, I just am happy to help. the more experienced player d2n gets the better! I should add this strategy is maybe not ideal for brand new player towns, the no tent policy is for a town with at least decent knowledge who will deffinately not die on Day 1 without the tents
    – desolation
    Jan 19, 2011 at 12:42

I usually only go 3 zones far on the first day. The advantages are

  • No water or food needed, means 1 more space in the inventory
  • Easy rescue if there are too many zombies
  • If you still need to build something that day, you have still water left

There are 12 zones that are 3 AP away from town and 8 that are 2 AP from town.

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If you start directly after the nightly zombie attack you should be able to empty a zone alone by autosearching. If people start later they can share a zone.

The zones 1 AP away from the town are emtpied quickly by passing travelers, no need to have someone stay there. The zones 2 AP away have some people passing through them, but not enough to necessarily empty them on the first day. There are also 2 possible routes to each 3 AP zone, so if you get everyone to take the same ones you have another 4 zones were you can post people.

This means there are 16 easily reachable zones that can be emptied by 1 or 2 people. If someone gets stuck due to zombies it is easy to get them back with minimal AP waste as they are still near the town.

More experience players should try to find some buildings and go either 12 or 18 AP away from town, either alone if they are scouts or in small groups if they are citizens. This is best achieved by people who already know each other and are in a coalition.

The hard part is getting most people to follow your plan, you would need to be very early in the town and get the people on board. I don't think it is necessary to assign one zone to everyone, it probably is enough if people check which are currently free and choose one themselves.

This is mostly theory, I have never tried organizing the early scavenging like that. This is more of a base for discussions than a tried plan.


Here's my thought. It doesn't really matter whether you deplete a zone on day 1 or day 10, you'll get the same items in the end. The key to getting additional resources is to deplete zones that might otherwise never get depleted. So you need to push out all the way to the edge, but you need to do it without losing anyone. So...

On day 1, everyone stays on the top half of the map. That way people would be closer together, and could easily join each other if someone accidentally stumbled into a bunch of zeds. The goals would be to quickly get people out to the edges and auto-search them first, leaving the closer zones for days 3-6. On day 2, you would do the same thing, only for the bottom half of the map.

A more extreme version would have everyone searching on day 1, forget construction or upgrading to tents. You should find enough defensive objects to get you through the first attack, and you'll be in a much better position to build things in a reasonable way.

The big problem would be the organization required. It feels to me like you would need to organize it with people before the town started, because otherwise people would just go do things their own way without ever reading the forums on day 1. But since it seems like the edge zones are the ones that rarely get searched to depletion, the benefits could be huge.

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