It takes a lot of energy to deal with that kind of crap, and sometimes, you just don't have it. That's when it gets really bad. Once you show a sign of weakness they latch on and won't let go. Some of them lived nearby, so we had to take the same road to get home. They'd follow me and call me every name in the book the whole way home. Maybe throw some rocks for good measure. Try to deal with that for up to an hour. The only real defence was to stop by the side of the road and wait for them to pass, taking the convenience out of their bullying set-up.I know all about girls "other" Tactics, however, I think it is also how you handled them in that regard as well. Most importantly, I honestly never really cared what anyone thought about me, I cared what I thought of me, and did what I wanted. As my friend put it, I am the type of person that people are drawn to me, but I honestly do not like people that much so I tolerate them but I usually do not like them. If someone " dissed me" I thought it was funny, it didn't make me feel bad.. I actually had fun with "dissing competitions" and we would try to come up with the worst most disgusting repulsive horrible insults for each other imaginable, and we found this funny, not got upset about it. I also had friends who were very loyal, so if someone attempted to say something about me, for the most part people took up for me rather than turned against me. I was also confrontational, and if someone did that crap, I called them out on it to their face.
In the real world, you can't solve these situations with a clever remark or a well-aimed punch. You have to try to deal with it knowing whatever you do could be used against you and make things worse. Much worse.
In the best case they'd move on to someone else. It's not the victims who are the problem. It's the bullies. Playing the bullying game is their way of staying afloat and controling the attention aimed at them. For instance, one of my bullies was a large girl, very large. She was an emotional eater. I don't know what was going on in her life, but eating was one of her ways of dealing with it. In another setting she may have been the bullied, but here she took the initiative and took her frustrations out on someone else. Her friends didn't join in but did tolerate her behaviour. I guess they were glad they weren't targets themselves.
To be honest, I think the best defence is to constantly remind bullies that their targets are people too. One of them did actually start to treat me normally after we talked. Problem is, you can't force them.