Juggernauts (a.k.a Big 'Uns, Big Bastards) are a type of freak zombie encountered in State of Decay. They are a lot more powerful than normal zombies and require special consideration when the player attempts to evade or fight them. Juggernauts can be considered a "tank"-type enemy: slow but possessing powerful attacks and high durability.
Description and behavior pattern Edit
Juggernauts are large zombies, over six feet tall and heavy to the point of obesity. They have a distinctive silhouette which is easily recognized, marked most prominently by their large, rounded bodies, gray skin and disproportionately small heads. They move with a lumbering waddle, as opposed to the jerky gait of a normal zombie. Juggernauts are typically found in greatest concentration in The Farmlands regions north of Marshall, both in the center of the map as well as the farms off the south edge of the loop road, between the road and river north of Marshall.
Juggernauts can appear anywhere, however they do not commonly appear in open fields. Instead, it is not uncommon to see them in the yards behind the houses in the warehouse and downtown districts of Marshall. Juggernauts are also known to spawn near the entrances of East Marshall, due to the fact there is free, open land. On rare cases, Juggernauts also spawn or appear in the parking lot near the Fairfield, due to there being even more free, open land.
In rare cases, a Juggernaut can spawn inside a building. This is typically beneficial, as Juggernauts have significant difficulty fitting through doorways. This safety isn't assured, however; the beast can pass through the doorway or even potentially glitch through the wall or doorway and become a threat.
When not actively pursuing a survivor, most Juggernauts will "patrol" a small area, about the size of a house yard, but will occasionally adopt a wider range in open areas. Juggernauts must be approached relatively closely to gain its attention.
Within State of Decay 2, they spawn later into a community's progression, with a small amount of zombies lurking nearby. Their attacks, movements and build are similar to the first iteration, though not in overalls but in a blue t-shirt and ripped shorts. They are also not bald.
Attack Patterns Edit
As is expected given their size, Juggernauts are very well suited to close combat. They possess an enormous amount of health as well as an ability to deal considerable amounts of damage. Additionally, despite their size, Juggernauts are capable of charging at relatively high speed to close distances and/or knock down prey.
Upon spotting a survivor, the Juggernaut will typically stomp the ground and roar. While not as powerful as the call of the Screamers, a Juggernaut's roar will attract nearby zombies. Juggernauts typically attack in one of four ways: a charge attack to close distance, an "accordion" attack on any survivor within arm's reach, a backhand swing, or an earth-shaking pound attack.
These are shared between the two games, including the roar.
The Juggernaut attempts a charging attack, which can cover a considerable amount of distance very quickly. Should the attack connect, the survivor will receive a substantial amount of damage, be sent sprawling and stunned for a few seconds, becoming vulnerable to the Juggernaut's subsequent attacks.
When the Juggernaut spots survivor(s) in a building, it will keep charging into the wall. If there are barricades, each charge will remove one barricade level on every window of the compound. If a survivor is fixing any barricade whilst the Juggernaut is attempting to smash it, he/she will be knocked away from the window and receive damage.
Backhand Swing Edit
The Juggernaut swings at the survivor. If the attack connects, the survivor will be knocked down on the ground for a moment, open to subsequent attacks.
Pounding Attack Edit
The Juggernaut pounds one or both fists to the ground. This attack creates a shock-wave that causes damage, makes the survivors stagger back and stuns them briefly, making an ideal target to be grabbed.
"Accordion" Attack EditOnce a survivor is within its arm's reach, or approximately 4-6 feet, the Juggernaut will attempt to grab the survivor. If successful, the zombie will then attempt to rip them in half. On a full-health survivor, this attack is capable of reducing the victim's health by 50 % and causing "hurt" status (reduced max health). If the survivor is already weakened (less than 50 % health), the attack is typically fatal: the victim will be ripped in half and die.
A less damaging variant of this attack is "grab and bite". Occasionally, after successfully grabbing the victim, the Juggernaut will bite on their neck then throw them away. This attack does less damage than the former.
Both attacks have chance of inflicting Hurt status (reduced maximum Vitality), making Health items less effective and subsequent attacks more likely to be fatal.
State of Decay 2 Edit
The Juggernaut's accordion attack still exists, however it is only seen if a survivor has low hit points. The Juggernaut will usually attempt to grab the survivor if they are very close, (striking distance) at this point a health check will follow, if the survivor is healthy and can sustain the attack an animation triggers where the survivor is slammed into the ground, then has their ribs pummeled by the Juggernaut, they will get away with a large amount of damage and some reduced maximum hit points. However if the survivor is damaged and has lowered health, (usually less than half) the Freak will proceed to bite the survivor, then rip them in half, killing them instantly.
Juggernauts are dangerous foes, thus it is advisable that the player avoids them if they do not directly pose a threat. While Juggernauts will charge a prey, staying out of its line of sight will generally result in the zombie losing interest and going back on "patrol".
If ambushed by a Juggernaut, the best strategy is to enter the nearest building. Juggernauts cannot easily fit through normal-sized doorways (the key word is "easily". Due to a glitch, it can sometimes get inside buildings). If the building has another exit, fleeing through the other exit will typically put enough distance between the survivor and the Juggernaut to make the zombie lose interest.
However, when confrontation is inevitable (such as in a Besieged mission, in a Zed hunt, or the freak is attacking another survivor), there do exist a number of strategies to successfully destroy one.
Weapon choice Edit
Like almost all zombies, the Juggernaut is vulnerable to gunfire. However, only head shots will deal any significant damage, and even then it still takes a few rifle shots to stagger them; body shots will not even make them flinch. Also, enough hits from melee weapons (especially blunt or heavy weapon) can also knock them back and stun them briefly.
- In general, the most effective anti-Juggernaut weapon is the Grenade Launcher, which can kill it with two direct hits, but ammo is extremely rare and very likely to cause collateral damage to vehicles or allies.
- Powerful scoped Rifles are the next best thing for softening up Juggernauts before moving in closer; however, do note that they tend to be too slow in close encounters which makes it difficult to fire more than one or two shots each time, requiring the player to make each shot count.
- Assault rifles provide a good balance between range and damage output.
- Pistols, Revolvers and Submachine Guns have similar range; SMGs have the fire rate and magazine capacity advantages, Revolvers have the stopping power, and Pistols is in between.
- Shotguns are often considered ineffective, but they do have some advantage at close range (powerful and do not require precise aiming thanks to the spreading pellets), which tend to be the situation in many encounters.
- Machine guns like the M60 can be very effective at close range, so long as the player makes sure to put some obstacles between themselves and the Juggernaut — low walls are ideal. The machine gun's high rate of fire can deal a lot of damage to the Juggernaut's head very quickly, though the noise is likely to draw many more zombies.
Another factor in choosing weapon is the noise. Shotguns, Revolvers and Grenade Launchers are among the loudest of firearms and cannot be suppressed, which is sure to draw zombies and can potentially get the player overwhelmed. Thus, they are often useful in open, easily manuverable areas, or when the player is confident that the extra zombies can be dealt with, or they have many accompanying characters.
Using Explosives Edit
The player can plant Mines or Flame Fougasse and put enough distance between the character and the Juggernaut to cause it to charge. Be sure to keep the mine directly on its path. The explosive will cause massive damage to the Juggernaut and stagger it, opening it up for further attacks. Juggernauts are also vulnerable to fire, so incendiary explosives like Molotov Cocktails, Firebombs, Wilkersons Reserve, Chemical Incendiaries, Thermite or Flame Fougasse can make short work of them. Note that this no longer applies in SoD 2, where the Juggernaut is now immune to fire. The player should make sure no allies are in the blast radius so as not to hurt them and lose their trust. The player can also kill them in one shot by throwing the marker directly at them for the Radio Command Death from Above. If directly underneath the strike it will trap them and kill them.
Using Fodder (a.k.a allies) Edit
Most if not all of the Juggernaut attacks are intended to hit targets in front of it, so it is perfectly safe to stay behind it as its attention is directed at a computer-controlled survivor. Take the opportunity to shoot at its head or swing at it with a melee weapon. When the freak turns its attention to the player, run around and put the other survivor between it and the controlled character. When the player is accompanied by 2 survivors or more, the combined assaults from them will interrupt most of the Juggernaut's "killing moves" and consistently knock it back. When only one companion is available, however, it is important that the player not let the Juggernaut grab on that survivor for too long; try to cause as much damage as possible to make it stagger and let go.
In Breakdown mode, either the allies have been weakened, or the Juggernauts have been "buffed". In Story mode, a (full health) ally can shake off a Juggernaut a few times by him/herself before getting ripped in half. In Breakdown, however, it is possible for a full health ally to be killed in the first or second grab, so using an ally as fodder is a lot less desirable if the player is fighting with an ally they'd rather not lose.
Hit and Run Edit
Find a wall or fence, place the character's back to it, face the Juggernaut and wait for it to charge. When it starts charging, dodge by sprinting or rolling out of the way; the freak will hit the wall and gets stunned for a few seconds. When this happens, get off a few shots at its head (or use melee attacks) then move further away, waiting for the next charge. Repeat this until the freak is dead.
Wall Hopping Edit
If there is a low wall (about chest or head high) nearby, the player can take advantage of the Juggernaut's behavior for easy killing:
- Hop over the wall and shoot a few times at the Juggernaut's head if possible
- The Juggernaut will attempt to climb the wall to get to the character. As it does, continue to shoot at its head. After a few shots, it will stagger back and attempt to climb the wall again.
- When it successfully climbs the wall, quickly climb back to the other side, make sure to stay out of its reach
- Repeat as necessary.
Using a vehicle Edit
Probably one of the safest means of dealing with a Juggernaut, vehicular combat is nevertheless problematic. Unlike all other zombies, running into a Juggernaut with any vehicle will not kill it immediately. While it will stagger the beast and drop him to the ground, he will get back up and attempt to attack the vehicle. A Juggernaut can cause incredible damage to any car or truck.
To kill a Juggernaut with a vehicle:
- Approach the Juggernaut at decent speed, ideally on a flat straightaway, and strike the zombie squarely.
- This will drop him to the ground and cause the car to rebound as it is damaged.
- Keep trying to accelerate. The point is to build speed back up and run the Juggernaut over while he's still on the ground. Running the Juggernaut while he's still down will result in an instant kill.
- If the Juggernaut manages to get back up to his knees, he's no longer considered "down" and will require another hit, while the car is already heavily damaged and most likely unable to run as fast as before.
On impact with the beast, the vehicle will take substantial damage. The tires on the striking end of the vehicle (front or rear) will blow out as a pair, impairing acceleration and maneuvering. Substantial body damage will also result, potentially knocking all the doors from the vehicle. As this effectively destroys the vehicle, if a Juggernaut is spotted, consider switching into a nearby "less-desirable" car. Any car *except a hatchback-type* will be able to kill a Juggernaut.
These strategies are more or less effective in both games. However vehicles are a lot more valuable in the sequel so it is is not recommended to use one in State of Decay 2.
- Juggernauts are usually first encountered in the mission: The Old Farmhouse. However, they can also show up before that, during Besieged missions, when at least one freak zombie always spawn.
- Juggernauts can sometimes glitch through doorways and inside houses.
- Upon killing a Juggernaut, the player is awarded a concept art gamer picture of the Juggernaut's face. (Xbox Only)
- Upon seeing the first Juggernaut during the mission The Old Farmhouse, Mickey identifies it as "one of them Miller boys" (presumably a family known to be particularly large-built). At the sight of the second one, Job wonders out loud how many Miller Cousins there were.