HvZ is a giant game of tag, played with nerf guns and lots of fun. Some players choose to carry lots of guns, some just sock-bombs. As a Human is is your job to survive. As a zombie your job is to kill all humans. This is a game of paranoia. Humans should never trust a zombie, or feel safe.


  • During the game there will be a non-player admin observing to make sure things are going smoothly and to answer any questions that may come up. In addition, there will be several moderators who will be in play, but able to pause in order to solve disputes or help players.
  • Admins/Moderators will be identified by glowsticks. If you are talking to a moderator or admin about an issue in game play, you will be considered in a safe zone as long as their glowstick is lit. Red glowsticks are for the Admin, Blue glowsticks are for Moderators, Orange for Contributors, and Green Glowsticks generally are for special zombies/zombie mods.
  • Moderators often will be found playing the game. They are identified by wearing their glowsticks, but while the sticks are not lit they are fair game for attack. If their glowstick is lit, then they are performing important game duties.
  • Zombie Mods will have both a Blue and Green Glowstick at the same time.


  • Humans are identified by a single bandanna tied to either the left or right bicep. Only one bandanna on one arm should be used. Bandannas should be visible and not camouflaged with the outer clothing. Humans are in play and “active” 24/7. A human should be wearing their bandanna at all times unless there is an emergency or injury.
  • If a human is tagged by a zombie on either arm between their wrist to their shoulder, the player is now a zombie.
    • Tag can be on EITHER arm, not just the one with the Bandanna.
    • Must be more than a mere brushing, but does not have to be a complete hold.
    • Zombies should try to run past Humans, and not directly at them to avoid injuries.
    • Does not include Nerf guns, equipment or blowpipes
    • Exception is to any equipment or weapon the person has attached onto their arms directly. Anything that is attached and covers a portion of the arm becomes a Taggable area.
    • Tagged Human should immediately lower any weapons they have, and remove their bandanna from their arm.
    • You become an Active Zombie when you have moved your Bandanna onto your Head
    • Once a Human has been Tagged they should stop using their Nerf Guns. You may carry them in a non-shooting manner until you have time to drop them off, but may not pretend to use them in order to fake out Humans.
  • To protect themselves from zombies, humans must deactivate zombies by shooting them with nerf-style foam guns or by throwing rolled-up socks, refered to as Sock Bombs.
    • Here at HvZ:Athens we allow a wide variety of Nerf style blasters to be used. Anything used must follow these rules:
      • NO MELEE
      • No “Chinese darts” that have a hard plastic tip. If you use these a Moderator may ask you to stop, and find ammo with the soft tips.
      • No “loaded” darts with anything used to weight the tip. A small amount of glue may be used, but the tip must still have some “give” to it.
      • Sock Bombs may be used, but must be a single sock rolled up with minimal amount of tape to hold them together.
        • Sock bombs must be thrown by hand, and may not be launched, nor held and touched to a Zombie in order to stun them. The only exception to the Hand Thrown rule is the use of ProPipes which may be used to toss an amount of Sock Bombs all at once.
        • Nothing may be placed inside the sock.
      • Any Nerf Style blaster may be used, regardless of manufacturer.
        • We accept modded blasters, but a mod may ask you to test your blaster to ensure it is safe. Our test is for you to shoot yourself point blank. In the head.
        • Mods may ask that any blaster that fires at too high a power not be used. If you are asked to stop using it, and continue you may be asked to leave the game.
      • Blowpipes may be used as long as they are powered by a person. No mechanical system may be used to propel the dart from a blowgun.


  • Zombies are identified by a bandanna around the head only. (We no longer allow active zombies to wear bandannas around their neck) The bandanna should be visible from all sides, e.g. not hidden under a hooded sweatshirt, and should be a completely different and visible color than any clothing/equipment/hair a player may have.
    • You may wear your bandanna on a hat, or on the outside of a hoodie. Again, the Bandanna must stand out as obvious and separate from whatever it is worn over, and must be visible from all directions.
  • Zombies are deactivated by being shot with nerf style guns or hit with socks. The bandanna is then removed and the zombie is inactive until respawn.
  • Respawns- Zombies respawn either at a regular times (e.g. every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, hour or so depending on the specific game) or during special respawns as dictated by the Zombie Mod or Boomer.  Zombies MAY NOT spawn outside of the respawn times except during Missions.
    • During Missions the timed respawns do not happen. Only spawn when instructed by Admin or Zombie Mod.
    • Zombies should always respawn as close to respawn times as possible. If you are surrounded by Humans you may hold off until you can separate, but you can not decide to simply wait 10 minutes, and respawn later. If you are being Stalked by Active Humans then do feel free to wait until you get away from them.
    • Zombies DO NOT have to be a safe distance from Humans.  Humans need to be aware of respawn times and inactive zombie locations at all times. This is a game of paranoia. Humans should never feel safe.
    • Zombies DO NOT have to be out of sight of Humans.
    • If a Zombie dies right before the respawn (ie 8:59) then they respawn at the regular time of 9:00, there is no minimum stun timer. (Hint: always charge a Human if you are still Active right before a respawn)
    • ONLY Zombie Mods or Game Admin may call Special Respawns. This is usually during missions, or during other special times in the game. Do not listen to respawns called by anyone not an Admin or Zombie Mod outside of special missions.

Special Zombies

HvZ:Athens has several special zombies. These zombies will always be identified in special ways, and usually played by a current or former Mod staff, or those highly familiar with the game itself.

Zombie Mod– Runs the Horde during missions and many times during free Play. Only person allowed to call special respawns besides the Game Admin.

  • Will always be wearing a Blue and Green Glowstick around their neck.
  • Will have a Bandanna around their Head when acting as an Active Zombie.
  • Will usually be carrying a Boom Staff with them, left unlit unless Zombie Mod calls a Boom  or Special Respawn.

Boomer– Usually played by the Zombie Mod(s) Zombie Mod

  • Will always be identified by a Green Glowstick around neck and a Lit Boomstick.
  • Boomstick not lit- Inactive or simply Zombie Mod
  • Boomstick lit steady green- Active Boomer
    • When an Active Boomer is shot, they will immediately Boom
    • When an Active Boomer gets close to a group of Humans they may choose to Boom
  • Boomstick Flashing Green- BOOMING!!!
    • Boomer will crouch/kneel, plant Boomstick into ground, and scream BOOOOMMMMM.
    • Will wave Boomstick above their head in a circle, inactive zombies need to simply circle around them in THAT DIRECTION to respawn.
    • Will count down how long the Boom will last Loudly. (can be anywhere from 5-30 seconds)
    • Zombies may respawn as many times as they can circle the boomer, get back to combat, die, and circle again.


Tank– LOUD and slow.


  • Will always have a Lit Green Glowstick when active.
  • Will usually have a Harness/Vest with a Flag above their head.
  • Darts do not kill Tank, they simply stun him.
  • When stunned the tank will take the following actions:
    1. Stop where they are, and count VERY LOUDLY to 3.
    2. When they reach 3 they will resume their slow march. Even if immediately shot, Tank is permitted ONE Step and ONE Lunge.
  • The Tank will always endeavor to do 2 things:
    1. Attack anyone who shot them
    2. Attack the largest mass of Humans
  • While they may pay immediate attention to a Human who has shot them, they will always try and approach the largest group of Humans near them. Trying to draw them away from the Humans will simply anger the Tank.
  • Witch- Quiet while in wait, the Witch becomes a ferocious zombie that is temporarily Unstunnable when triggered.


  • Witch will always be marked by a Green Glowstick and Witch Apparel. The Witch will be crouching while in wait, silent and apparently paying no attention to the Humans. There will always be a Witch Handler nearby, which will be a Mod with a Blue Glowstick and whistle.
  • The Witch can be startled by any noise or bright light close to it. Startling the Witch is very bad. When this happens the following will happen:
    1. Handler will blow a whistle Once
    2. Witch is UNSTUNNABLE for 5 seconds and will run at whoever startled it.
    3. At the end of 5 seconds, Handler will blow a whistle Twice. At this point the which may be stunned in the normal manner.
    4. When stunned the Witch will return to its starting position and reset. At that point normal rules for startling it apply.


Wraith– The Wraith is unable to kill Humans, and is also unstunnable. Shooting the Wraith with darts or sock bombs will not stop it.

  • Will always be marked by a Green Glowstick and (something else)
  • Wraith will attempt to grab a Human, at which point:
    1. The Human becomes Stunned, and may not pull away from the Wraith, nor defend themselves from other Zombies. Stunned Humans may still communicate with their fellow Humans.
    2. Wraith will count to XX, at the end of which the Human is free to defend themselves or flee.
    3. Wraith will then have a cooldown period before they may respawn.

Hunter– The Hunter is just that. A zombie that hunts.

  • Will always be marked by a Green Glowstick and Green LED Armbands.
  • Hunter tags humans and is stunned by humans in the normal manner, but has a very special respawn timer
    • The Hunters respawn depends on whether or not he gets a nom.
    • If the Hunter is stunned before he nom a Human, he will respawn  sooner after each stun. I.e.- 15 minutes, 10 Minutes, 5 Minutes, and finally 1 Minute.
    • The final respawn timer when the Hunter does not get a nom is 1 minute. After each stun the Hunter will respawn in 1 minute. During this time his arm bands will flash rapidly.
    • Whenever the Hunter gets a Nom, he is reset to the 15 minute respawn.

General rules

  • In HvZ:Athens, the majority of players start the game as a Human. A small number of volunteers are chosen to be Starter Zombies.
  • It is highly encouraged that your weapons remain brightly colored so that they can be identified as such by law enforcement.  Do not try to make it look like an actual weapon. The tip MUST remain orange, or you may be asked to tape over it.
  • Neither side may directly lie about whether they are players, but they do not need to answer an opposing player if asked. For example, if a human sees a zombie walking towards them and asks “Are you an active zombie?” the zombie wouldn’t be able to respond “No.” They could, however, ignore the question entirely.
  • Inactive zombies should not influence the game in any way. This includes blocking projectiles (known as “meat shielding”), looking for Dossiers, or scouting for active zombies.
  • RULE 0 – Don’t be a dick!

Tags and Stun Disputes

  • This game is run on the honor system, but there will still be times where the outcome of a tag might not be clear. If there is a situation where the rules are in question, the first thing that should be done is to try and work it out amongst those involved. Good sportsmanship is essential to keeping this game running smoothly.
  • Feel free to flip a coin, play rock-scissors-paper-lizard-spock, or even offer an Honor Duel.
  • In most cases where it is unclear if a human was turned, it should be decided in favor of the human. Humans have but a single life, while Zombies respawn repeatedly.
  • If someone begins to be involved in multiple disputes then they may be killed for simplicity sake. It’s not abnormal to dispute an iffy kill, but if it happens too often then most likely you have been tagged.
  • If it is needed, a Moderator can always be found to help resolve the situation quickly. Look for a Blue Glowstick.
  • If someone refuses to take a clearly good Tag, then notify a Moderator. If someone refuses multiple takes, let the Mods know, and then just start to ignore that player.

Safe zones

HvZ:Athens runs on a 24/7 basis. This means the game does not have scheduled down times, meal breaks, or rest periods. We do not have to stop playing by a certain time, or start after another.

Safe Zones: As long as you have one foot inside any of these you are considered safe, and out of play. You may also not engage players outside of the safe zone while inside one yourself. You may not jump in and out and in and out of a safe zone in order to get a kill or avoid a kill.

Safe zones include:

  • Inside any building
  • Inside or on any vehicle

Areas where play is not allowed:

  • In the streets. Seriously. Stay out of streets. Really.
  • Athens City Parking garage on corner of W Washington and College Streets
  • Inside any Business. This includes outdoor  eating areas
  • Any private property not open to the public
  • Any construction zones
  • Gardens and places of other delicate plantings
  • Any high ledges, windows or trees where someone would be hurt to fall from

Areas where play is encouraged:

  • Anywhere outdoors on campus not otherwise prohibited
  • Inside all parking garages on Ohio University Campus
  • Anywhere outdoors in the city that is open to members of the public
  • Anywhere in the world you can find other players


  • Always listen to what the Moderators instruct you to do. Unless told to do something different by the Admin or Police.
  • Always always do what the Admin instructs you to do, unless told to do something else by the Police or University officials.
  • Always listen to the police and university officials. If a cop tells you to move along or wants to talk to you, be completely courteous and listen. Your attitude and actions will directly affect the game’s image and our ability to keep it running year after year.
  • Remember to have fun, be courteous of others, safe, and sporting. If you see someone fall, stop and check if they are hurt or need assistance. Remember, it’s only a game. If someone is hurt the game should be suspended until they can be tended to.
  • Invite your friends to play the game! You can be the best advertisement we have for new players.


  • Physical violence in any form is absolutely prohibited. Use common sense; getting a kill is not worth someone being injured.
  • Don’t use any weapon that might hurt someone. Once again, use common sense. Nerf guns that leave welts are only going to cause problems for you and other players.
  • Sockballs shouldn’t contain anything except for a sock. Small amounts of tape can be used, but nothing inside of the sock.
  • Do not wear anything that will cover your face during play, including masks, balaclavas, or your bandanna over your face (bandit-style). This is a request from the police. They don’t want anyone playing who cannot be easily identified. Other than this, any attire is acceptable as long as your bandanna is clearly visible and you aren’t naked. Face makeup is allowed, within reason.
  • Don’t play in the streets. Do not run into the street to avoid zombies or humans. Do not hide behind cars in the street. Do not ambush players crossing the street. If someone is crossing, give them room and time to do so safely.

Rule Zero

  • If your bandanna blends in with your clothing or is concealed by hair, hoodie, or anything that prevents it from being clearly seen from at least 30 feet away, YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO
  • If you are a human or a zombie who attempts to avoid being tagged or shot by jumping into the street, YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO! While playing in the street is discouraged, you can still be tagged and shot in the street! If a player jumps in the street and attempts to use it as a way of avoiding being in the game, you are encouraged to continue pursuit as long as you are all not in danger.
  • If you are a zombie and remain inactive until it is convienent for you to tag a human. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are a zombie and you are sprinting towards humans and become active in mid spring. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are a human who debands because they are about to die. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are an inactive zombie and you are purposely following humans. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are a human and you are following inactive zombies to kill them as they spawn. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are jumping into buildings or into vehicles for the sole purpose of avoiding gameplay. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are using a vehicle and you jump out of that vehicle to get a kill/stun a zombie and jump back in order to ensure your safety. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are using China Darts or Full Vinyl Jackets: YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are tearing up darts or damaging other people’s property. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!
  • If you are being an asshole and ruining everyone elses fun because you think you are clever and found some kind of loophole. You are not funny, you are not smart, you are not clever. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE ZERO!

Humans vs Zombies