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Survival, Inc. #3: Finland and Riverside, CA

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Nikvoodoo: So Revolver, before we get started: How about that new opening graphic??!! Pretty sweet, eh?

TCM Revolver: I like it. Kind of a survivor man gets his ass beat by zombies kinda feel.

Amazing what a quick google search can provide! Thanks to Kc for assisting us making it look awesome!

Now...on to the blog!

Summer is coming to a close. Labor Day is upon us in the U.S., beaches are closing up, children are going back to school.....I'm about to kick your ass in the Zombie Haters Fantasy Football League....

The closing of the beaches is a sad thing, means the "intelligent" people on the Jersey Shore are packing up and going back to the rest of the USA. That just leaves Snooki... *shudder* And as far as that Fantasy Football comment, your a Bills fan... nough said.

First of all, it's "you're" when you trying to say You Are. Second, New Jersey went through enough last week with Hurricane Irene...leave them alone. And third, I will have you know that that there are at least 4 really decent fantasy sleepers on the Buffalo Bills.....meaning there's nobody awake to actually play the games every Sunday.....

But we're talking about forum extra curricular activities. Let's get back to doing what we do best: Destroying people's survival plans for their own good! Where to first this installment?

FINNLAND!!! The home of... wait, what comes from Finland again??

Uh...... well.....sadly the only thing I used to think of when I thought of Finland is the former professional wrestler turned politician, turned self inflicted bullet catcher Tony Halme aka Ludvig Borga

May he rest in as much peace as that man can ever find...

Whoa! Did it get dorky in here, or is it just me??

.....Yeah, maybe just a little.....okay...a lot....

But thankfully, since joining the forum I now have a new way to remember Finland! And that is Luna Guardian! So let's continue our tour of the world and check out Luna Guardian's map.

Before we do any grading of any kind, we would both like to tip our hats to Luna Guardian, who not only presented us with a map, but also gave us 3 very detailed contingency plans should anything go awry with his main plan. His, thus far, is the most thought out survival plan we've encountered. But being so thought out, has actually trapped him in ways we don't think he considered.

You'll note in his map that there is a huge concentration of dots in Southern Finland, and then a few straggler dots to the north. Well, Luna intends to raid his home city of Espoo (second most populous city in Finland) as well as Helsinki (the most populous city in Finland) before heading North to "The Stronghold" which, as you can in the middle of Bum.....well you get the idea.

As always, we grade on Population first. This is the true indicator of how survivable your situation is. So as I said, Espoo and Helsinki are the two most populated cities in Finland, but the fact that he's planning on incorporating nearly the entire country in his escape route opens the debate floor up to this question: Should we consider the entire population of Finland and not just the two cities? To which I say: Yes. Even though his plan to get north to his stronghold involves sailing there and avoiding everyone on land, it opens up bad possibilities. There are 5 million some odd people in Finland, and the unofficial failing line of demarcation is 1 million people. So Luna gets an F in terms of population

I concur. Surviving in one city will be hard enoughÖ There is no way to have to contend against an entire country. I can imagine the people in Finland are WAY more friendly than Americans. In a survival situation, itís every person for themselves.

Luna's plan is also unique in that his plan to raid both Espoo and Helsinki is a great and solid plan but plans to leave all that behind and go to where there is nothing else he could raid from. If he were to run out of major things like medical supplies, he'd have to retrace his steps back to Southern Finland from his stronghold to get them. There's nothing near his location. We again appreciate the thoroughness of the plan, but going so far away from the major metro areas (despite the obvious advantage of distancing yourself from the masses) means you put a huge limit on what you can obtain easily. So if he were to stay in the city, I'd give his plan an A. But by leaving, I want to give him an F. Since he's planning on raiding before he leaves, I think proximity to resources averages out to a C.

Sorry dude, no way. When this whole thing takes off, you HAVE to some food that is ready to go. Canned food, packaged food, frozen food, etc. Iím not buying it. What are you going to do until you bag your first wild game? What about the trip up to the stronghold? If you are out hunting and break your ankle? If you donít have the right supplies, you are boned. And as a hunter, I know there are some days you come home empty-handed. OR, got forbid you run out of ammo. To even get enough food to sustain you long enough to get set up, you would need a large truck. Not exactly ideal for navigating through a zombie apocalypse. This in my book is a big fat F

I totally agree, but his plan is to raid as much as he can in the populated area first, before he sails. So he'd have supplies to start off with before he gets up north....I think we're agreeing that leaving the metro area makes this a total failing proposition, but I think the plan to raid before he leaves southern Finland should give him something. If you don't agree with the C, what if we go to a C- or a D+? It can't be an out and out fail.

I can agree on a D+. Reason being, you will be raiding at the same time EVERYONE else. Supplies will be short and chaos will be at itís max. Unless you are going to be a total ass-hat and not offer to take any other survivors with you, you will need a large vehicle to haul enough, food, ammo, water, propane, etc to get you off to a good start.

Well yeah, but the raiding at the same time as everyone else is going to happen no matter what. I'll say Espoo provides plenty as it's his home city, but probably will be slim pickings by the time he makes it to Helsinki. We're never gonna see eye to eye on this. So let's just go ahead and stick with the only grade we've been able to remotely agree on and say D+.

So now that we've taken the icy travel up north in Finland, lets talk about Luna's Tower that he's dubbed the Stronghold. Much like Hardkor, we've been given a Tower with no picture because google cars probably don't do so well on frozen tundra. But Luna was kind enough to provide us with the basic idea of what it looks like:

So immediately, it concerns me because it's a log cabin. And log cabins don't provide much in terms of protection. However, the really nice advantage (and we have to take him at his word on this) is that the cabin is literally in the middle of nowhere dead center of a field. Should something approach you would be able to see it from a great distance and have time to react. And in contrast to so many of the Tower's we've graded so far, windows are not really a hindrance here. There's only a small handful of them. And there's a nice balcony that you can sit on and watch the sun rise every morning with a hot cup of coffee and a bran muffin....

Luna's stronghold isn't ideal to me (I'd much prefer concrete of some variety), but being able to see what's coming and being in such an isolated area add some points. I'd be willing to say B- for the Stronghold.

I agree with your B- , but for different reasons. A log cabin is a great stronghold. Granted, it doesnít have 14 stories to set up traps, or whatever. But those walls are solid wood. Unlike a regular house which is layers of plywood, insulation, and sheetrock. These walls are frickin logs that have been stripped of their bark and pressure treated. All you have to worry about is barricading the windows and doors and your set. Ösee, Iím not always negative nancy

I guess I have lingering fears from the Evil Dead series...any log cabin to me equals Deadites and a possessed hand beating you half to death until you saw it off with a chainsaw while maniacally laughing...and lord help the tree that tries to rape me....

Next, and last, is proximity to natural resources. He's got water nailed down. There's a river that passes very nearby to the Stronghold location. Finland is also famous for reindeer, so Luna and whomever he has with him can survive on Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen year round. Disadvantage has to be that there wouldn't be much to do about farming that far north. I'm sure you could find some crops you can farm, but it's got to be limited by the shorter warm months coupled with the general lack of precipitation during those times. Remember: Finland is on the same plane as Alaska. They are very similar in climate make up. So the animals and water are great! The farming is......not so good.
I think that warrants a B-.

No objections here. Farming will be essential in order to survive. There are certain minerals and nutrients you need from veggies. There will be stuff that grows in the wild, but you have to know what you are looking for. If not, you may end up eating the wrong thing andÖ game over.

Here's the Final Grade for Luna Guardian and his Survival Plan in Finland:
Population: F
Tower (aka Stronghold): B-
Proximity to Resources: D+
Proximity to Natural Resources: B-

Giving Luna Guardian the passable, but not stellar grade of C-.

Finland is just one hell of a rough place to try to survive in. And as the Luna said on WND episode #22: They are still trying to master the fine art of fire....good thing he was joking or else that would be an automatic F grade overall no matter what!

Ok, I'm not gonna lie we've been to two of the world's four corners with the last two locations, lets go back to the good ol' U.S.A. And actually, we're going to next door to the location we all know and love as the setting of We're Alive, and we're headed to Riverside, CA for GodofInsanity's (GoI) map.

Mr. Revolver...your initial thoughts?

I like it. There looks to be a plethora of supplies nearby. And if all else fails, he could head west and meet up with Michael and the tower folk

Riverside is a medium sized city with just a hair over 300,000 residents calling it home. That's just over double what Cupcakezombie has to deal with and she got a B+, but it's still on the low end. I think we can just knock the + off and give GodofInsanity a B. everyone go to the "tower" and by Tower I mean massively huge complex! Like....really really massively huge. First look at that thing via satellite...ok now take a Street View tour of the facility and realize that thing is basically two huge avenue blocks unto itself. Now, there's a couple obvious advantages: It's a frozen food processing plant, so you can steal from your Tower to feed yourself (I'm sure that's a bonus to be tacked on later), it has some very nice already built natural defenses like tall stone fences, multiple buildings to hide in, and the buildings themselves (with the exception of the front facade) look pretty solid.

But by golly are there a lot of weaknesses. Starting first with the sheer size of it! I'd say it would be neigh upon impossible to firmly secure the entire perimeter of this place and keep it safe. Especially that parking lot which is basically wide open into the facility itself, and protected only by a chain link fence. I know defending a position is easier than overtaking one, but'd need a massive amount of support to try to protect this place from an attack. And much like CCZ's Tower in Dunedin, it's an island and can be surrounded making defense really really hard.

GoI has made considerations for the the obvious weak entrances (the "store front" as it were), but to count on a chain link fence is.....not great. I realize the fence is topped with barbed wire but chain link fences are used to act as a sheer annoyance to most people in normal days. If a horde of zombies is pressing against that fence, it's coming down and it's coming down rapidly.

I want to give it a good grade because of the ingenuity, I really do, but I cannot conceive of how you can keep two avenue blocks, and that many buildings secure. I have to say we go low and say D+

I am hesitant to agree with you. But I see your points. First starting off, it will be a pain in the neck to fortify. After you allow in other survivors and get some people that can help with you, it would become much easier and more comfortable. My counterpoint is that it looks like you could section this baby off and secure it in stages. I would like to up grade him and give him a C. But I suppose we can meet in the middle and give him a C-. If you down, that is.

You'd have to work really hard to secure the backside of that facility with so many loading doors (I count at least 7 or 8), butted against that flimsily protected parking lot. It looks to me like that entire building is internally connected. So once they are in, they are in. And's an entire city block, and it can be surrounded! C- is unacceptable to me. I thought D+ was being generous, but the more I have to argue, the more I want to give it an F because I'm thinking of worse scenarios than I had originally. Let stick with the D+.

But fret not my friends: For GoI lives in a city, therefore his score for proximity to resources is bound to be pretty solid....and it is. Now comes into play all those things that his chosen Tower provide him: Food, water (I'd assume there's water in that factory....there always seems to be a tank of water in every factory), propane tank, lots of diesel trucks, freezer trucks....and we still haven't left the walls of his Tower.

Now outside of that his resources are a little more spread out than I like (but then again, I'm the spoiled NYC brat who has repeats of everything every two blocks), but still we have access to medical supplies, gasoline, hardware (both of the Home Depot and of the Rambo varieties), and much much more. Being spread out over 7 miles isn't ideal to me but it's certainly not horrible. I also adore the addition of the Secret Service and FBI field offices as places to raid. Nice touch! I would say it's a B+ for resources since they are so spread out, but like I said his Tower provides so much that would alleviate the need to leave for certain things meaning we get a bump up to A-.

Itís an urban area. Not much of a surprise here. Some of the travel isnít ideal, but not horrible. When the going gets tough, there are a lot of houses to raid. I agree with your grade.

Now onto the final category for Riverside, CA: Natural Resources. There are two natural sources of water: The River (which I'd assume gave the town it's name) and a lake (which apparently contains fish) nearby. And uh...that's kinda it really. The area of Riverside looks pretty barren so farming might be out of the question on a large scale, but there are a couple of parks nearby that could be used Colony style and converted. Being a little closer to nature might provide more animals to hunt, but they weren't mentioned so we might have to go about as low as we did in NYC for natural resources and say C-.

I dig that vibe you are laying down, but it needs a small town point of view. There are mountains to the east and a river to the west. Now Iím not sure that you would want to drink out of that river, but there is a chance it will have some fish in it. As far as those mountains go, there has to be wild life up there. It may not be deer or any other big game. When it comes to survival, anything goes. I would imagine you will find squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, etc. Probably some birds also. I say we upgrade him to a solid C. and I just can't agree on anything this time.

I really don't feel like the mountains provide all that much in this case. It's not like the mountains by you that are flush with greenery and thus supports a vibrant ecosystem. It looks to me like that mountain range is an elevated desert. I feel like the barren nature of that mountain range can't even knock the - of the C for me. NYC has millions of sewer rats one could live on, would that have given me a better grade? There's also millions of pigeons one could eat too and they are certainly in everywhere. Besides, by it's very nature, deserts have trouble supporting life. That's going to make hunting so much harder if you have to spend 90% of the day tracking the one animal in your general area. But...I got my way with his Tower's D+, I'm willing to budge this time.
We'll compromise and give it a C.

So here's the Final Score for GodOfInsanity's plan in Riverside, CA
Population: B
Tower: D+
Proximity to Resources: A-
Proximity to Natural Resources: C

Which gives us the final grade of C+. It's not ideal, but it's still a solid Urban Score.

Before we depart Riverside, I want to get geeky in here once again: Click on GoI's first Veterinarian listing and then make sure you're on the Satellite view. Ok now go southeast to the Grocery Store and then due south from that until you have the Trees centered in your window. and zoom in not quite all the way but about 80% magnification.....Tell me that doesn't remind you of the original Legend of Zelda overhead map!

Revolver, that brings #3 to a close. We already have one entry for our fourth installment So we are looking for one more entry to make it into that Survival, Inc. How does one go about getting that done?

First they need to make their map using Google Maps. If you don't know how: Go here for instructions. Once you've done your work, it's time for us to do ours. Email the map link to

Perfect. That's it for #3. Look for #4 later on in September....though it might be a little more hostile. Week 4 is the week Revolver and I go head to head in fantasy football.....we might not be talking after that week.

I came here to do two things, drink beer and kick ass. Looks like I'm all out of beer.


....Anyone know any good mediators?
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  1. Luna Guardian's Avatar
    Good job as always, except I disagree on a few points:

    1) Unless absolutely necessary, I would never, EVER go to Helsinki if I was leaving on the boat. The whole idea of leaving on the boat would be to get away from people before the solid excrement hits the rotating oscillary.

    2) Espoo and Helsinki ARE the most populous areas of Finland. HOWEVER, the people within any likely reach of me and my escape route are significantly fewer that the numbers might indicate. Also, I would hardly be competing against the entire population of Finland while on a boat (a few nasty seacritters aye, but not the entire population of a pretty big country with a disproportionally small population :P)

    3) Nik didn't take into account all the liquor stores I'd be raiding on the way. You can do amazing stuff with alcohol

    4) Logs on a cabin like that are as tough as a solid concrete wall. No way any creature, zombie or human coming through without some pretty heavy equipment

    5) I bet nik gave me bad scores because I like Boxxy

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    Updated Sep 6th, 2011 at 12:02 PM by Luna Guardian
  2. nikvoodoo's Avatar
    Regardless of Helsinki, you are still abandoning civilization (which doesn't help your resources score), and you're still traveling along 9/10 of the coastline to get to your Stronghold (population score). You had so many scenarios, I guess we mixed and mashed Helsinki into it, but even abandoning that you still would get the same scores you did.

    Numbers don't lie. 5 million people is 5 million people. Your plan, despite using the sea to travel, involves a majority of the country. You will be passing nearly 9/10ths of the coast line to get to your Stronghold up north. Being a strong seafaring people, others will have the same idea as you do as well and will take to the sea to travel North where nothing is.

    You can do amazing things with get drunk and slam your boat into a shallows, or accidentally set your log cabin on fire. Alcohol is certainly a stress reliever and will definitely make those late nights more interesting but it's also not a necessity of life. I know we had a chuckle about the brewery with CCZ's map, but the key to her getting points for that brewery was the fresh water spring under it. Not the beer contained within it.

    If I throw a molotov cocktail at your log cabin, will it burn? Betcha my concrete building doesn't...

    Boxxy has nothing to do with your score....but your love of Boxxy does make this a little more satisfying
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  3. GodofInsanity's Avatar both gonna lose in the Zombie Haters League.....I got it all wrapped up
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  4. Luna Guardian's Avatar
    I agree that the resource score isn't going to be stellar, no matter what. But, there are population centres even in Lappland, and all of those have pharmacies. Also, schools and other such have smaller medicine cabinets, as well as most of the population. Also, given that the people who'd go raid the same stores as me are about four times my age (somewhere between ninety and death. Literally) I wouldn't have any problems getting to the raidable foods first. And no, I wouldn't be taking any of them with me. The people who'd come with me know these plans and either get to the boat on time or get left behind. Yes, I'm that big of an ass-hat .

    Now, natural resources. I agree, the minerals and vitamins will be the most difficult to come by in the north, but by no means impossible. Remeber, we are the people that survived famine by literaly eating tree bark! There are plenty of edible mushrooms and berries (some might not taste real good, but you're not allowed to complain during the zombie apocalypse!) and you can even eat the light green parts that pines grow every year if you boil them. It's actually one of the skills taught to the elite Finnish guerillas in the army. True, there are poisonous berries and mushrooms, but we're taught what those are as early as grade school, so we can identify them and not eat them when we're kids .

    Then the population. I'm still disagreeing with this most viamantly. Finns aren't vikings, we don't all sail. I'll bet you anything that the majority of the populace either stay where they are or go to their own summer resorts. And they'll go by car, because everyone has one. What about the two-three million people who aren't anywhere near the coast? What about over half of the people mear the coast who don't have boats and couldn't use them even if they could? If I were travelling through all of Finland on foot or in a car, I'd accept the 5 million people, but the whole point of taking the boat is that we'd NOT meet other people. Even if everyone with a boat were to set off, do you know how much water there is in the Finnish Gulf alone? They wouldn't be likely to try and attack us pirate-like with grappling hooks! Even if we would have to land from time to time, we'd still come into contact with less than 1% of the people in the coastal areas (BTW, the more populous coastal area is in the other direction from where we'd be travelling).

    And when I said "amazing things with alcohol", I meant more in the likeness of sterilization, molotovs, painkiller when those inevitably either run out or expire, fuel etc. Sure, it's a stress reliever and an aphrodisiac, but that's another story
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