Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Brass Horde

Historically the Golden Horde represents the armies and territories of the Mongol Empire as they spread across Eastern Europe and Russia pillaging the wealth and enslaving people to further their conquests. The Survivalist movement recognizes the Golden Horde as the loosely organized mass of urban refugees streaming out of the cities in search of food and shelter after a calamitous event or societal collapse. This mindless throng would overwhelm local defenses violently stripping the rural countryside of resources destroying everything in its path.

I am not worried about this great Golden Horde moving across the land raping and looting as they consume all my beans and wreck my lawn. They will never reach me and I am not in a resource rich environment. I am worried about the bugged out survivalists encamped in the trailers down the road who's idea of preparedness is 40,000 rounds of ammo and a can of barbecue Vienna sausages. I call these unbalanced groups the Brass Horde.

The Brass Hordes have the resources to reach me entrenching themselves a few miles from my house. These groups neglected survival consumables but are obnoxiously well armed. When their minimal supplies run out they will turn to the guns and ammo. These are the groups I worry about. Below is an example.

The Brass Horde at least tried to prepare. They had a plan to leave the city, some supplies and a large stockpile of weapons. Their intent was to relocate to a remote site as a group and hunt for food. The small group is made up of family and close friends occupying the trailers used to escape the city. Unfortunately their resources are limited and unwisely thought out.

At first they have good luck taking a deer and several rabbits for a stew, all looks good. But after a week or so their water rations are getting low and their expensive filter systems are useless on the frozen lake. They are able to melt some water over the fire pit and on propane stoves but this consumes critical resources. Most of their daily man hours are spent collecting and transporting ice blocks to melt for water. The meat is running low, they are exhausted.

The Horde elders decide that a couple of the women should visit a nearby cabin and ask to fill their water jugs. The established local, not wanting to seem rude, invites the ladies into the warm cabin...the aroma of fresh baked bread fills the air. Warm cinnamon rolls and hot coffee are served over light conversation next to the wood stove. The ladies fill their water jugs from the solar powered well, thanked the local and reluctantly venture back out into the cold, it was the first time they had truly been warm since leaving the city.

That evening the women huddled around the fire telling the others of their days experience. A strong north wind brought frigid temperatures and a heavy snow started around sundown...the Horde retired to their campers to weather the night.

Then the propane runs out!

The temperatures quickly plunge after the heater went out in the far north trailer of the circled compound. The father whose survival skills were honed by many hours watching the discovery channel, decided to start a small wood fire in the oven to keep his family of four warm. The ensuing inferno consumed two of their trailers and damaged the other six as over 10,000 rounds of ammo cooked off in the conflagration.

In the blinding snow the elders huddled for warmth around the smoldering ruins of their grand scheme...they knew what had to be done. After arming themselves and securing the women folk and children in the remaining heated camper, the horde took off for the neighbors cabin. The howling winds of the blizzard masked their plunder as they made off with six twenty pound bottles of propane, a chainsaw and five gallons of gas. The blowing snow filled their tracks as they retreated back to the compound confident in their escape.

Unbeknown to the Brass Horde the local had witnessed the entire thing from the warmth of the bedroom after being alerted by his growling dogs. Shouldering his gun he realized that confrontation was dangerous against eight heavily armed men and there was a good change he would die if shooting started. The local also realized that this was the first of many visits by the armed bandits who, made confident by their guns, would steal what they failed to store through proper preparation...so he started baking cookies.

"Good morning, I have fresh cookies and hot coffee" shouted the local from his truck as he pulled into the Horde's compound. "You all look like you could use a treat on this cold morning" he continued. The men leerily looked at each other assuming that the local man had not yet discovered the robbery and was just being a good neighbor. The local waved and yelled "God Bless You" as he drove away. Over their snacks and wicked strong coffee the Horde laughed at how easy a target this cookie baking fairy would be...

Looking through the rifle scope from his vantage point in on the hill he saw no movement...the last one fell several hours ago.

Later that evening the local man returned to the compound, collected the bodies and placed them neatly in the largest trailer. Gathering the stolen items plus the Hordes guns and abundant ammunition for barter he proceeded to pour gas in each of the remaining campers then burned everything to the ground. Cyanide in the coffee and cookies.

A heavy snow that night covered over the remains and the evident "mass suicide" was not discovered until later that springs. It was chalked up to collapse related hysteria...no further investigation.

This past elk season there was an encampment like the one mentioned above down the road from me, they stayed for ten days. Of course I had to run the what if scenarios through my mind. And just cause you will ask no I did not poison them.

How would you have handled the group? What would you have done differently?


Lweson said...

I may be cold hearted but they started the ball by stealing. The local just figured the end result and took appropriate action to end the threat as peaceful and without much fuss. The brass horde also scares me with their idea of prep.

Mrs Flam said...

Its your place to protect you and yours.

You must do what is necessary to secure your Family.

I would do the same without a thought.

Being a Mother enhanced my instinct , wild scenarios of every kind come to mind all the time. I guess its natural to protect my offspring at all costs..

Stephanie in AR said...

Tough call isn't it? The horde made a lot of mistakes but the local did too. Why was local worried about being rude? If it was necessary to fill their water why not take the containers inside & fill them - lie and say someone was ill with flu or some other unpleasantness. Why was his stash so easy to get to? I know you don't want to store propane and other fuel inside but shouldn't there be several storage spots instead of one?

But at the end of the day, if it was a choice between my kids or theirs - well it isn't a hard choice. Unfortunately they would be thinking the same thing. Someone had better have a backup plan.

The Scavenger said...

Great post Big Bear and well thought out. I would have never thought to handle it that way, but I will now. The Brass horde are the most dangerous of the whole bunch when it comes down to it. They have just enough preps to make them a real threat to folks like us. Would be better for us all if they either are preped really well or just not at all. Thanks for the well thought out post, makes me think.


PKS said...

This is why I like 'sheltering in place' as opposed to 'bugging out'. The only scenario where bugging out makes sense is global thermonuclear war.

Look, in this scenario, our hero won the day. But it's not like this is the only time you're gonna have to face bandits. Maybe next time they'll be a bit smarter. Maybe they'll be semi-organized bandits, instead of well-armed desperate individuals.

They notice signs of life (and fuel and other goodies) by the melted snow on your roof. They set up a nice sniper position with a clear shot to your front door, far enough back that your dogs don't get upset, and then they take you out with a rifle shot when you're taking your dogs out to pee or whatever.

Whatever scenario you imagine, defending your home/retreat against 8 or 10 well-armed determined attackers is basically impossible. You can't stay inside forever, and you can't be on guard all the time.

If you're out in a nice secluded area, you need at least a half dozen people on rotating 'guard duty' 24/7. (so we're talking 3 shifts of 8 hours or 2 shifts of 12 hours)

If you don't have that, you'd be better off in an urban apartment building with sound and light discipline.

Anonymous said...

I also have a cabin way out of town but since I'm not living there full time I'm not going to stock supplies for a bug-out. Unless they sit down and figure the calories required per day few people realize the logistics of moving and storing enough food per person for several months. For now I'll have to go along with PKS and hope to be able to go unnoticed right where I am. Good post; glad I don't drink coffee. :-)

Mayberry said...

Great post Big Bear, and exactly why I'm stocking tools, supplies,food and seed more than guns and ammo. And my bugout locations are with friends or family in established locations. With a little luck, I'll get my own retreat this spring..... Now where can I find me some cyanide.... Heh heh heh.....

Anonymous said...

After much thought, I've decided making a stand right here in the city makes the most sense. I'd rather take my chances with the city thugs than some locals who've been hunting deer all their lives in my remote location. Country folk, even the ones not into prepping, could probably survive, and hence be a danger, for quite a while after a crash. My local city thugs will be shit out of luck as soon as all the 7-11s are looted clean.

I figure both the crack dealer and the deer hunter will be well armed, but I'm betting one will be a better shot than the other.

Michael Hawkins said...

Ferrocyanide, available from most home improvement stores or ceramic suppliers, add sodium hydroxide (drain cleaner) in order to convert to sodium cyanide (the poisonous kind). Filter off the iron hydroxide and boil your solution down to scrape up the cristalline sodium cyanide salt.

... what? You asked for it.

Anonymous said...

I was talking about TEOTWAWKI responses with a 75 year old Colorado ex-con, convicted felon, can't possess a firearm legally type. He said, "I don't need to store food. All I need is my shotgun." I guess I'll be looking out for his visit.

I read all the survival blogs. You are at the top, and here in Colorado too. Makes me proud.

Anonymous said...

excellent post. Rouses thoughts previously skipped over. Blog on Big Bear!

Anonymous said...

You have a devious mind. I like it !
I hadn't even given this realm of possibility a thought. Thank You for opening my mind.

Michael Hawkins said...

I totally didn't think about this the last time:

Rather than depending on a stock of chemicals that can get you thrown in prison if found out of, try looking for a natural alternative.

Digitalis for example.

Looks lovely too.

fallout11 said...

Great post Bigbear, and absolutely agree that the "Brass Horde" types WILL be our greatest threat post-TEOTWAWKI. You know the kind.
PKS and Anon 9:57 hit this one right on the head.

Anonymous said...

A well written story. I am 67 and a different person then I was at 21. I hope to leave this world peacefully having always provided for my family and been a good friend and nieghbor. I will help friends and neighbors unless they caused their problem with drugs or indifference. But I was in the military for 20 years and the best advice I ever heard went something like this: "treat everyone you meet with politeness and respect but have a plan in mind to kill them at the first sign of treachery". Hard words but you simply cannot trust everyone and sometimes anyone. I hope I never have to dispense justice, I don't want to but I am ready at the drop of a hat if I need to. I do not carry a gun and I'm too old to get into fist fights so I will have to use my head, subtrafuge and dirty tricks. If TSHTF I WILL have a gun handy but would still prefer some other avenue of solving a problem. Every situation is different and if you are actually facing the threat it is a very difficult problem. But inaction is not an option.

Anonymous said...

Big Bear:

Awesome website! Great story. As for me (or the people I consult), hopefully I would have them channelized as they appraoched the house, not having anything accessible outside of the house in the first place, and based on pre-arranged and practiced drills (to include doning body armor), give the dorks lead.

Considering how stupid these brass horde types are to begin with (using tyhe example in your story), their weapons are probably not even zeroed properly.

Again, awesome website! If you'd like, you can link to www.suburban-self-reliance, and I will reciprocate.


Anonymous said...

I agree that the story is not very realistic. More likely the "Brass Horde" guys would be smart enough to murder the local and then steal all of his stuff.

The story does raise an interesting question. What does a prepper (or community) do if a group starts squatting in their vicinity?

Seems to me the best defense is to choose a remote enough area that nobody is likely to wander in.