Is it possible to fight primarily with traps?

In the past, Nailboard Traps were my go to for early game fighting, especially after running was added. They are, however, significantly less viable as of late. I was wondering if it’s possible in the most recent experimentals to fight (and more importantly, win), using mostly traps.

Nailboard Traps are a start; easy to make and serviceable against normal zeds. They quickly become obsolete, however. There doesn’t seem to be much between Nailboard Traps, which are really only effective against normal zeds, and Caltrops, which require accumulation of tools, materials, and skill to produce. There’s bear traps, which I’m not sure what you need to make, but they’re more for holding things still and poking/plinking them to death. Pits, spike pits, and glass pits tend to hit pretty hard, but are better for defense than scavenging since they take far longer to set up.

Basically, what I’m asking is this: Is it possible to use primarily traps to fight and win, if not forever then at least at the beginning of the game, and if so, how? Assuming that I have no tools or materials and 0 in all skills to start with, what does the progression of traps look like, if there is any?

I’m assuming something like: “Nailboard Traps > Pits, I guess? > Caltrops/Bear Traps”, or something along those lines.

I would say no. More of a supplement. Maybe youre “rolling” a new character and he’s particularly weak. It would be a useful to lure hostiles into trap zones to make them easier to kill. I’m mainly thinking about pits and beartraps… can’t see much use to a shotgun trap as it just creates a worse scenario.

Blade traps can deal quite a bit of constant damage if you can set them up and if monsters stay in their zone of effect.

I consider turrets to be traps, so if you can gather and set them up you’re set.

Mines are easy to scavenge and will end the lives of most normal-sized things pretty quickly. You can make them down the line.

Gun traps, this includes crossbows and shotguns and the like, are great but need to be reset once they go off.

Portal traps, created with portal generators that you can find in labs, are awesome underground because it’s almost guaranteed for things to teleport into a solid/impassible tile and instantly die. Don’t think about scavenging them though, it’ll take you ages to find the point they teleported to through mining and I’m not even sure the items will be there if you do happen to mine through the tile they teleported into. Portals are also good above ground if you’re lucky enough that most of the things that walk into the portals simply explode, which is an effect they have they have a chance to apply.

Ledge traps, basically just a z-level fall, can damage and kill a lot of things. Damage scales with amount of z-levels fallen I think. Examples of this trap without setup is two buildings who are close-enough together for the player to jump from one to the other. Most enemies cannot jump from my experience, so just about all enemies will simply fall off the building. Can be built if you are willing to spend the time on it.

A boobytrap is a trap involving a grenade and some tripwire. Pin is pulled on wire trip, grenade sets as active, explodes soon-after.

If you find lava that would be your go-to as a last-ditch to lead a horde to.

Pits, as you’ve said, are mostly for defense, but you can set up some just outside a town and lead its hordes to said pits. You can also upgrade pit damage with glass or spikes. I’ve also found that a fire pit, a pit with something burning inside it, is enourmously deadly.

Caltrops and nail-boards I consider to be the slightly more offensive traps in terms of being carried around and frequently deployed, but they don’t do much damage. Good thing too, because they’re actually pretty cheap to make.

You can carry around a bunch of braziers and flammable materials with a bunch of lighters and set up fire traps, but they’re likely to be smashed or destroyed. If you plan to use fire traps you can just carry around a bunch of rags and set them up to be lit as a wall of fire.

I consider glass bottles with acid to be one-use traps. Throw the bottle to a spot and it will splatter and fill a spot with acid. Most things are damaged by walking through acid or being directly thrown with the acid bottle. Same thing goes for molotovs, but they belong more in the fire traps category.

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I can’t remember if radio activated dyamite is still a thing but if it is then you could always rig a car and set off its alarm/rig an area and set off a noise maker.

Bear traps and a spear work fairly well against a lot of zombies, pits too since you can dig a double line of pits and just kite along getting free hits.
These are from an illiterate, no guns/electric/mutagen/CBMs run I did a while back where I explored traps a bit:

Sadly it isnt, at least not with items on the traps section (except for the bear traps and mines) and there isnt any mod that add more trap items or make the more viable. The only trapping that works is those like the rag and a lighter, or making a grid of pits and throwing a molotov/acid bottle

If Hollywood has taught me anything, it should be entirely possible to make crushing wall traps, rolling boulder traps, sand burial traps, collapsing bridge traps, and other such things using ancient stone mechanisms. These have the added benefit of still being functional for hundreds if not thousands of years!

As everyone else has already said, not really. They’re supplemental if anything. I like to use them to support weaker but more low tech and easily replenishable ranged weapons, like javelins, slings, bows, and the like.

Thank you for all your responses. I never thought about using a fire wall to kill things.

The construction menu says that pits require digging 2 in order to make, and the digging stick only has digging 1. Does anyone know if there are any relatively accessible tools with digging 2? Making a shovel right out of the gate isn’t possible, unfortunately, which means I’ll be stuck looking for one if there isn’t a craftable tool with digging 2.

Also, does anyone know if it’s possible to make bear traps, and what skill you need if it’s autolearned or what books otherwise?

The stone shovel is trivially easy to make with materials available everywhere and at very low skills that are easy to grind up.

About using fire, unless you have some accelerant on hand the zombies will walk right through your fire taking minimal damage, unless you want to sit on it for 30 mins while it gets hot enough to spread and do real damage. Pouring a gallon jug of gasoline on a pile of planks however… :smiley:

For traps, early game options are limited as you’ve observed, altho I suppose you could look for minefields , survivor bunkers, paranoid houses and whatnot to build a respectable supply. Not a trap in the classic sense, but a nice mid-late game option is to build a mini drone loaded with turrets, a horn/stereo and a drive-by-wire control. Mine’s sort of like an armored, eletric powered motorcycle with a turret mounted on each wheel. When I park my deathmobile near a new city I set up a few turrets as a fallback position, offload the combat drone from the bike rack, put it between me and the city and start honking and making donuts. When I got a large enough mass of Zs chasing it I switch the guns to auto aim and let em rip :smiley:

Mind you, just like regular traps this only work within the reality bubble (it stays with you, not the controled vehicle), and vehicle RC controls have a short range (just a bit less than my sight on a clear day with 9 perception), but it’s still extremely effective if you’re sitting on a large enough ammo supply.

Thinking about it more and the whole fire wall idea, I’ve had pretty good luck in the past getting a horde to follow me into a pre-looted and scouted house and burning it down on top of them. You can close doors behind you as you enter and escape out the back window. They’ll waste time bashing through the doors to get to you while the fire engulfs the house, then you can clear out the rubble and handle the corpses that are left. As a bonus you can get tons of nails and rocks.