Tactical criticism of the walking dead; season one episodes one and two

The second scene in the show when the cops are talking about women is pure Red Pill. The difference between men and women is a man would never say anything like that. Women involved with men with dangerous jobs like mine or being a cop do not refrain from saying hateful things despite knowing it might be her last words to him. Every man I know has experienced this to some degree

#1) the cops 1st shootout: To set the scene, the cops get a call on their radio that some bad men are heading their way. Off the cops go to set up a road block. They set up a spike strip in front of the cop cars; use the cop cars to make a “V” with the point of the “V” facing the direction of travel for the bad guys. They take up both lanes. Not a bad a way to do it. Spike strips are strips of rubber with what are basically nails driven through the rubber and a leash to pull the strips off the road. You lay them on the road, in front of whatever car you are trying to stop. They deflate the tires of the car, reducing the bad guys speed and maneuverability and if you’re lucky the bad guys will run off the road, bringing the car to a stop. The spike strips should have been more forward of the cars, and usually a cop is down by the spike strips to pull them off the road so they won’t damage the tires of the cop cars following the bad guys. In the show, the car hits the spike strips and flips over. The cops should have rushed the car and taken the bad guys captive while the bad guys where disorientated from the crash. In my line of work we would have fired a copious amount of rounds into the car 1st (unless we were there to kidnap I mean para-judicial extradition. Then we would have used flash bangs to further disorientated them before Taz’ing them into submission, duct taping sandbags over their heads and using zip ties to cuff their hands behind their back).

Cover is what stops bullets; concealment helps you hide from bad guys. The cops were not in a position to worry about concealment. Contrary to popular belief, cars are not very good cover. You want to be behind the wheel wells and engine block. Doors and seats and what not don’t stop modern high speed rounds, yet movie after movie you see cops use car doors to stop rounds. Don’t do that.

When the car flipped over, the cops with shotguns should have rushed the car and put the shotgun barrel in the bad guy’s face before said bad guys’ could recover their wits. The TV show cops didn’t do this. They let the bad guys get on their feet and come out guns a blazing. The best Op’s are when the rounds are all out going. Any rate, the cops win the fire fight, and approach the downed bad guys in a very amateurish, relaxed manner. Another mistake. Your game face stays on until you’re off the clock and drinking beer. You have no idea how many people are in that car. Could be two like the dispatcher said, could be 20 midgets hyped up on meth and death metal music. The two cops with shot guns should have approached the car 1st. Not clearing that car and ensuring the bad guys are down for real before tending to the wounded officer is a huge tactical failure, one the TV show writers acknowledge by having a third bad guy jump up and shot the lead character. Who was dumb enough to take his vest off without the car being cleared etc. Amateurs. Not only dump but a pussy. Yea it hurts, big fucking deal. Pain means you’re alive. Deal with it and do the job by the numbers. We do shit by the numbers because it ensures more of us stay alive. You eliminate the threats then tend to the wounded. That way you don’t get more wounded, and you don’t take your body armor off until you know the shooting is done. And there is a medic there to work on you. Fair certain cops should know that and now y’all do too.

I keep mentioning the cops with shotguns. Why? You always lead with your most lethal weapons. Shotguns are more lethal then pistols. One cop is using a revolver. Huge giveaway in fire power because of the lower number of rounds carried and therefore a mistake. These are uniformed cops and concealment isn’t an issue.

#2) resource poor environment
Given the fast rate of the die off/ Zombie conversion rate, the survivors would be living in a resource rich environment. This is the rural and small town South. More homes then not have guns and frank and beans. Any town like Atlanta which looks like a battle field out of WW2 would burn through their resources, ammo and fuel, if the battle went on for any length of time. They don’t say how long it all took, but it seems to be around the 30 day mark. The small towns would be stocked full of canned food, clothes, soap etc. I’m fair certain the big towns would be too. I’m not saying you wouldn’t burn through them in time, but your 1st couple of months wouldn’t be hungry months. Farms are loaded down with fuel. That too wouldn’t be something you’d be short on, though with no electricity getting the fuel wouldn’t be easy in all cases. Just because a car is out of gas doesn’t indicate it’s completely out of gas. Odds are good you can punch a hole in the bottom of the tank and get some fuel. I love bikes and I love horses but they wouldn’t be ideal for travel. No protection from weather and zombies, cannot carry much stuff

#3) They know the disease is spread by getting bit. The South is full of motorcycles. Lots of riding gear. Reckon it would be hard for a zombie to bite through a set of motorcycle leathers. The sport bikes guy’s have full sets of leather; head to toe kind of stuff. Work boots over tennis shoes.

#4) they know early on the noise from gunfire draws the zombies but do not switch to knives and what not until much later on in the show. A .22 pistol or rifle would reduce the noise and probably work since it doesn’t seem like the head wound needs to be particularly large to get the job done. In the real world there are only two places in the head that will shut down the human body instantaneously, but that doesn’t seem to matter on zombies. Then some Asian kid drives a car back to their camp with the car alarm blaring the whole way. Dumb

#5) Double tap, they don’t do it. If you crawl in that tank and see a dead tanker, your 1st thought should be to put a knife through its head to make sure it’s dead. Than loot the body.

#6) tactical parking, they don’t do it. If you are in a caravan like they are, you would want to park in such a manner that the cars act as a barrier between you and the rest of the world or so you can haul ass in a hurry. Maybe both if you can manage it. You’d do the same thing if it was just you in your 4 door sedan.

#7) eating wild mushrooms. Don’t do it unless you are a real expert. Not an internet expert.

#8) At one point, the Cop is stuck in a building with a group of people. I think it’s a department store. The building is surrounded by zombies, zombies banging on glass doors to get into the building and turn Rick and his crew into human happy meals. Rick and his crew do shit to make their defensive position better. You should try to improve the defensive aspects of place you spend any serious amount of time. This could be as simple as stacking racks of clothes and what not in front of the glass door, to blocking other doors and stairwells you don’t use. Make sure you have two points of exit. I’m pretty sure a stair well full of empty clothing racks would be pretty much impassable to zombies given their deranged coordination and intelligences (well all them folks were living in Atlanta so we have to question their smarts on their pre-zombie days). Multiple story buildings would be the best from a defense standpoint. Live on the third floor, tear out the stairs leading to the third floor and the zombies wouldn’t make it up to you. Not something you can easily do on metal stair, but still doable given time and some basic tools.

They crew of folks the Cop join’s up with is a pretty good spot. It’s off the main road, not far from Atlanta, which they correctly loot for resources, its far enough from Atlanta no one is likely to randomly stumble into them, it has one road leading to it, a good hard pack dirt road which gives them a high speed exit, and they are close to a large water supply. On the negative side, it has only one way for them to leave so if that road is washed out, or swamped with zombies they have to leave their vehicles to shit and get. Mobility is a game changer. Gehnis Khan pretty much took over the world because he effectively combined mobility with firepower. Nothing has changed. I mentioned tactical parking. All their vehicles should be face the only direction they can travel, down the road. They should have a plan on which vehicle leads, which one follows and who fills in the other slots. They should know that X vehicle pulls out 1st, Y vehicle pulls out 2nd, Z pulls out 3rd etc. They have done nothing to improve their positions defensive qualities. Let’s say you have 3 cars lined up on onside of the camp, three on the other, all facing north. You could pile up logs, brush and what not between the cars. Drive some stakes into the ground, and then sharpen the ends that face outward from your perimeter. Close off the trail end of the vehicle line up with another wall of brush, logs and stakes. Close of the leading edge with something the cars can run over without being damaged. Do the old school string, tin cans with rocks in them say 10 yards from the edge of your perimeter. Zombies walk into the string, the cans rattle and you have some version of advance warning. Damn near any dumb thing you can think of would work against the brain dead zombie. Anything that alerts you and slows them down gives you time and options. Two things you are always short on when the shit hits the fan. Your perimeter defenses will never be perfect, but doing all the small stuff right leads up to major advantages, and you work on improving your perimeter for as long as you are there.


25 thoughts on “Tactical criticism of the walking dead; season one episodes one and two

  1. Sumo

    Nice job, brother. This post reinforces something that I’ll tell anyone who will listen – “tactical” stuff you see on TV and in movies IS NOT REAL. Take the analysis of the car chase/High Risk Takedown (HRT). Ton is spot on with pointing out the mistakes that were made by the TV cops, but the way it played out in the episode makes for better drama/viewing.

    Personally, I love Hong Kong martial arts films. Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Jackie Chan – that stuff is highly entertaining to me. I am even physically capable/knowledgeable enough to do some of the things you see in the movies, but I would never try any of that shit in a real fight, because it’s impractical and ineffective unless you’re fighting a bunch of 14 year old boys who have never been in a fight in their lives.

    1. sfcton Post author

      Thanks Sumo, I understand a lot of the dumb stuff in movies and TV are for dramatic effect/ to keep the show rolling along. Mostly our job is dull and I don’t have a problem with them needing to sell tickets and make money

      Jackie Chan is amazing

  2. Liz

    Interesting take, Ton.
    Movies/shows seem to always get it wrong.
    Whether it’s medicine, law, military related matters, ect.
    At least the audience is supposed to know it’s a fantasy, unlike the media…which feels us equally inaccurate rubbish and we’re supposed to accept it as truth.

    1. sfcton Post author

      I get the need to make the story dramatic so they can make a story.

      Real life isn’t as interesting. My last mission for the Army entailed driving out to this spot over looking a road. Every got out and chilled for a goodly while while my team got in the blind. Then they drove off while we hide for damn near three days to pull the trigger once. Not much of a movie. I do wish folks who were interested learn from real life, not movies.

      1. Sumo

        Agreed. If a movie had been made about my former occupation, it would be about five minutes of action at the very beginning, and 2 hours of me sitting at a desk doing paperwork.

        Academy Award material, it is not.

  3. BuenaVista

    The largest newspaper where I’m at yesterday ran a promotion for an arts story related to The Walking Dead. The promotion was page one, above the masthead (very prominent). It showed a character from the show with a carving knife and a severed head (beside the headless corpse) in his hands. Of course, two days ago than ran a picture of a man in black with a kneeling man in orange, etc.

    Popular ‘art’, this week, overlaps too much with reality. It was impossible to view the promotion yesterday without viscerally recalling the ISIS executioner. I also have to wonder if there were any adults in the newsroom when they put that paper to bed.

    1. sfcton Post author

      Perhaps BV. Mostly I think it comes down to essay living makes life cheap. They are pussies who’ve never dealt with any type of bad shit happening in their life. Everyone in their family probably lives to a ripe old age, with good health since they didn’t get ground down doing manual labor, children live to adulthood now, they don’t deal with crime or rampant disease. They simply are ignorant of how horrific a decapitation is

  4. BuenaVista

    Ton, if you would email me, I’d appreciate it. I have a work-related question, points east, you have direct knowledge. Thanks.

  5. Spawny Get

    Just watching episode one now. I wouldn’t follow him anywhere, I wouldn’t want him as my partner either. I’ve seen to the end of series three (missed series one), he’s still a tactical dipshit. Opening gates and entering zombie filled compounds when he could have used a sharp stick through the closed gate to kill them all first, without risk. Dumb mofo.

      1. Spawny Get

        Later on in episode 1 he
        1) runs his car out of fuel and ends up on foot
        2) takes a horse when there’s a car with keys likely nearby in the house
        3) takes said skittish horse which he can’t keep quiet into a city (clip clop on the tarmac) and gets it killed
        4) shoots a 45 / 357? inside a tank when the zombie was moving slowly…damaging his hearing. All he had to do was move away from it quickly, at least cover one ear with a free hand, hopefully do something about the other…then shoot it (if there’s not a quieter, more ammo efficient manner)
        5) is shooting an unmoderated pistol (noise attracting attention) at targets that are no threat.

        and that’s the leader?

        he made an enemy out of the loud mouth unnecessarily. get him on side, or kill him…it’s the zombie apocalypse, you don’t need more enemies. You don’t need dumb allies either.

        episode 2

        no thought of noise distractions to cover his egress from the building.

        dickhead kid drives off in car alone with alarm sounding. stay together.

        These people are too dumb, not sure how much more I can watch. You’d be better off on your own, honestly.

        Have you seen the movie ‘The Purge’? That had me shouting at the TV too, fucksakes that family did every single thing wrong.

  6. Cill

    I read your post in j4g. Everyone should read it no matter how comfortable they think they are.
    Thanks for saving me the trouble of watching walking dead and the effort of walking out on it.
    Like I did with “All Is Lost” after 10 minutes. I’m a sailor.

    BTW I know who taught Liz emoticons.

    1. Spawny Get

      “All is lost”

      I got to the end by being busy, with the film in the background. What an abysmal film. Crap to the last scene. Judging by his decisiveness, the sailer might actually be a zombie. So we’re not even off topic.


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