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In the last battle of a story I am working on the last battle to be over the Space needle in Seattle Washington and I need a strategic reason why...

The Set up: Two groups are fighting over the Space Needle in the now destroyed City of Seattle.

What would be advantage to holding the Space Needle or wanting the Space Needle in an apocalyptic world and why people would fight over it? What are some strategic things about that Space make it a desirable location to try to secure and hold?

The one thing I can come up with is height, where who ever held the Space Needle would have a height advantage. I need other ideas why the Space Needle would be a desirable location.

Plus it's a land mark and a sign of the old world, so prestige and pride in holding a land mark of the old world. Other than that why?

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    $\begingroup$ Is the space needle still operating with some generator? Being up there would make for a good defensive point, good view not many ways in. Also its easy to find so looters that get sent out can easily find their way back to it even in panic? $\endgroup$ – ChoTimberwolf Nov 19 '19 at 10:10
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    $\begingroup$ It's their prison, and somebody wants out. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Nov 19 '19 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ If they have access to bombs, they could escape at the last second and blow up the base of the Space Needle, which would fall onto the troops. $\endgroup$ – Snowshard Nov 19 '19 at 18:34
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Prestige

It's an iconic landmark, the perfect place to show that you are in control of the city. Great for a survivor group with an ego.

Defense

This is a good place to defend against a zombie attack. Climbing up the outside isn't possible, so you have to use the elevator (which the survivors can control) or climb up a narrow maintenance staircase. The staircase would negate the zombies numerical advantage by forcing them to fight survivors one at a time. The stairs also give defenders a height advantage in melee combat. Both would very much favor letting a few well equipped survivors defend against and army of zombies. Especially if they did things like dropping bowling balls down the stairs, or coating every other step in a something to reduce friction.

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The Space needle is an observation tower. I have never been there but i suppose there are coin-operated viewers you can temper, or you can just bring spyglasses. Combine this with a radio transmitter and you can spot groups of zombies and broadcast their location. You may also ask your men to carry standards so you can see their location at first glance and give them directions.

With the space needle you can detect zombies, signal them so people can evacuate, and maneuver troops to fight them. That basically makes you the city boss.

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    $\begingroup$ Long lines of sight are also useful if you have a high-powered rifle and a steady hand... $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Nov 19 '19 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ Which is what the Old dogs would have a lot of being an old military force. $\endgroup$ – Stupidzombiet Nov 19 '19 at 16:41
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One major problem with the Space Needle that makes it less than desirable for a clear thinking leader is, ironically, its height.

If the electricity is out (virtually certain after weeks or months of zombie apocalypse), the only way up or down the Needle is one of the emergency stairways. The Needle, at about 180 meters, is like climbing a sixty-story building. Very much possible to climb, but why would you if you can avoid it (that's about four times the height of an average forest fire watch tower or lighthouse, for comparison).

That means the only reason to fight a battle to defend the Space Needle is either for its symbolism, as a visible reminder of the old days, or to control access to the tunnels that, in better days, brought in power, water, and sewer for the restaurant at the top (obviously defunct since at least when the power failed). Those nearly sixty year old tunnels offer access to every building in Seattle Center (with the possible exception of the fairly recently constructed The Experience Music Center), and connect with the under-street utility tunnels in the Denny Regrade area of Seattle -- and from there, quite likely, to similar tunnels under the sidewalks throughout downtown, the bus/subway tunnel, and utility spaces in many of Seattle's high-rise buildings.

That makes access to those tunnels (more so than the Needle itself) a serious strategic and tactical value, and since the elevators at the Needle have short shafts below ground level that access those tunnels, they're a good, defensible way into and out of the modern "underground Seattle".

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    $\begingroup$ Judging by the fact there is an Annual Base 2 Space Stair Climb, that advertises choosing between two open-air stairwells to take all the way to the top of the Space Needle, I am going to go out on a limb and say there is stair access. Still a valid point about not wanting climb them every time you go home. $\endgroup$ – Hink Nov 19 '19 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Holy moly that is AMAZING! I did NOT know that! That is the PERFECT reason for them to want to take it: being able to travel through Seattle saftley! $\endgroup$ – Stupidzombiet Nov 19 '19 at 16:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Hink I don't recall those stairways, but thinking about it, there has to be a way down in case of emergency. Even so, 60 floors of stairs is more than I want to climb for any reason (I walked down 28 flights once during a fire alarm, wouldn't even consider going up twice as far). $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Nov 19 '19 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ The top of the Space Needle is an excellent place to observe the obligatory Monorail chase. With the intrepid hero holding onto the outside while getting pelted by the Pike Street fish-throwing gang. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Nov 20 '19 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ That is glorious. $\endgroup$ – Stupidzombiet Nov 20 '19 at 2:03

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