Zombie combat techniques are key to surviving the coming necropocalypse, so we at ZombiePrep.net are starting a new series of articles: Zombie Combat Techniques. Today’s technique, like many, will be adapted from well-established techniques used by tactical teams and armies around the world. In a tactical or survival situation, every move you make must provide you the maximum protection while giving you the maximum ability to dispatch your enemy.
“Slicing the pie”, also referred to as “pie-ing” or “(to) pie the corner” is a technique that refers to how you walk around a corner in a dangerous situation. Slicing the pie provides a safe method to round corners with the least exposure to the unknown situation around that corner. It gives you maximum flexibility and cover as you execute the technique.
The Wrong Way to Corner
The easiest way to describe the right method to take a corner is to first describe the wrong method. This is almost certainly the way most of us round corners in our everyday life. Essentially many of us take corners by walking into the next corridor and then making a 90-degree angle turn abruptly when we’ve passed the corner. This is ok in everyday life, but in a zombie survival situation it could turn you into a tasty meatsnack for a lurking Zed.
Let’s use some diagrams to help us understand what is wrong with taking a corner at an acute angle. We’ll use SWAT team members in our images. Let’s call this guy Marcus. In this scenario, Marcus is approaching an intersection and he doesn’t know what’s around the next corner. Marcus is going to make the mistake of executing a standard 90-degree turn.
Marcus is staying very close to the wall because he thinks this will offer him the best cover. In fact, staying near a wall offers better protection when moving down long corridors, but not when rounding corners. In our example, here’s what Marcus can see from his position:
To Marcus, this intersection might look safe to cross or to round the corner. He may even peek around the corner to see what’s there. Let’s see what is really around this bend waiting for Marcus.
That’s a pretty serious threat, and the worst part is that Marcus won’t know about the enemy’s position before they know about his, due to his chosen method to round the corner. As Marcus moves into the corner, he’s going to expose first his weapon and then his self to the enemy before he can see them.
Let’s see what happens to Marcus:
By the time Marcus is ready to react to the new threat, it is almost on top of him. He’s exposed himself unnecessarily and now must rely on his reflexes to catch up to the unfortunate surprise. Things don’t look so good for Marcus.
The Right Way to Corner: Slicing the Pie
In order to maintain execute proper tactical cornering, first you’ll have to master a step called “strafing”. Essentially to strafe is to step to the side while rotating your body gradually. This is a popular technique used in video games, and that’s for a reason – it allows you to fix your focus while being able to change your path.
Slicing the pie is essentially strafing around a corner one “slice” at a time. The apex of the corner represents the center of the “pie”, so essentially 3/4ths of the pie is visible while 1/4th is occupied by the corner. As you approach the corner, you begin to strafe around an imaginary circle (the outside edge of the “pie”). With each step around the perimeter of the pie, you can see a bit further into the intersecting corridor.
Confused? Yeah, it’s hard to describe, but easy to show. This picture should explain it for you. Click the picture to view an animation of Slicing the Pie.
As you can see with our friend George here, circling the corner one slice at a time is a great way to see what you’re going to encounter. As you round each step, you are able to see more of what you’re getting into while exposing yourself to any threats only slightly more with each step.
If you perceive a threat and decide that discretion is the better part of valor (that is to say, you want to retreat) all you have to do is reverse your strafe around the circle and with a step or two you’ll find yourself back in cover.
Will slicing the pie prevent being noticed by a horde of zombies? Maybe. Even if it doesn’t, it provides critical extra moments that you can use to react to whatever nasty situation you find around that corner.
Yep, homework. You get to play GI Joe, or if you prefer, La Femme Nikita or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Your assignment is to practice slicing the pie as you approach corners. Do it at home, at work, as you walk through your neighborhood. Practice this maneuver with your zombie survival partners until it is an intuitive habit.
Your most important survival tool is your brain. Stay smart and stay alive! After all, you never know what is around the next corner…