Episode 489: We’ll Watch

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Stand Back, I’ve Got This

We’re talked about a lot about the importance of groups and teamwork when it comes to surviving the zombie apocalypse. I stand by all that, of course, but a lot of of times things come down to just a single person. Even when the whole of your group is facing off against a horde of zombies, each person in that group is fighting their own battle.

This trope really tends to come to the forefront in video games. Games, in point of fact, take it to the logical extreme by essentially having a single person responsible for damn near everything. This is, or course, a convention to keep the player engaged, but when looked at from a story perspective, it’s absolutely ridiculous. I was really happy to see Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead at least point this out in their latest episode.

About this Episode:

There’s a great bit of back and forth about whether Joy and Michael actually have any ammo for their guns. One theory is that they’re making Stewart take out the zombie because they’re completely dry, while others have pointed out that they probably wouldn’t have wasted their only cartridge on a warning shot.

Discussion Question: Blades or Bludgeons?

In the last episode, I discovered that the key to getting a lot of great responses to discussion questions is to ask about weapons. Now, I’m not sure if that’s specific to guns, but hopefully today’s question clears that all up.

Excluding guns and other distance weapons like bows or slings, what would be the most effective and safest weapon to use to fight zombies? Note, I asked both about effectiveness and safety here. Are blades safer because they could possibly kill quicker and end the threat? Or are bludgeons the safer choice because there is less of a chance of blood spray?

37 thoughts on “Episode 489: We’ll Watch”

  1. Typo alert, Discussion Question, second paragraph, third sentence: blade–>blades 😀

    I’m fairly certain that’s the only typo for this episode, Dave seems to have recovered from his attack of the “the’s” by now! 😀

    • Fixed! Glad I got over the thes.

  2. Regarding the discussion question itself: Define blood in a zombie as it fits your comic, or a particular kind of zombie. Dead blood wouldn’t really spatter or spray because it’s coagulated. Unless zombies have some kind of circulatory system that pumps blood or other biological zombie liquids around their body, there’s not much to discuss about which weapon is better IMHO! 😀

    • The fresher the zombie, the gooeir the blood, but it would likely coagulate very quickly. I use a lot of blood in the comic because I think it looks cool and it goes along with a lot of the zombie cliches we all know and love.

  3. Well, I think, as we see in almost all zombie-movies, read it in books, comics and so on, a zombie will be dead, when you smash its brain. So I decided, that a mace or a big hammer should be the best weapon to kill a zombie. If you use a blade, you’ll have to cut of its head or cut through its skull, and that is much more difficult than smash the head with a hammer! … but if you like a big boom … what about grenades 😀

    • I’m certainly no expert, but don’t grenades kill by cutting people up with shrapnel so they bleed out? That wouldn’t work with zombies.

      • Shrapnel or Blast/shockwave are what kills you when a grenade goes off. The shockwave only extends to about 5 feet and shrapnel to over 7 feet.

  4. I’m thinking of a cross between the 2. hanging in my room is a bearded axe. axes r basically the middle guy in melee weapons. but reason being 4 my axe is that i can cleave of heads, through skulls and have much power. as well it can be used in very close quarters without much worry. as well in a pinch i can get through wooden doors in short order or even walls. plus wouldn’t bludgeons make more of a splater when hitting the skulls in order to cause the damage needed to keep zombies down?

    • Stalker is now on the subjects of low long stuff last and how long are things useful.
      There is a game called: “zombicide” in it you must have door opening tools or abilities. Often we get killed due to the lack of opening doors while playing.

      An item that is a tool normally, can easily be a melee weapon. The best examples are the long thick screw drivers, clawed hammers with long necks, and of course crowbars. The new cliche “white girl ammo” however are shovels (slash, crush, poke, and ranged are the damages the shovel has produced). Weapons that were suppose to be tools are sais, staffs, and daggers. <– the more you know!

      • Using tools as weapons is one of my favorite zombie story tropes, and it’s the reason most of my characters don’t have guns.

    • Good point about blood splatter with bludgeons; that’s something I hadn’t really considered.

  5. I cant agree with the hammer idea. Sure Hammers like Tyreese’s would work, but sledgehammers? If you have one zombie attacking you, a sledgehammer or mace would be an excellent choice. Of course, there will never always be one zombie. Good luck getting any breathing room if you have five or six zombies in the way. I still vote for Katana as the ultimate melee weapon. They are lightweight, and made for severing bone. Sure, slicing a skull might not be the best idea because of the chance of the blade getting stuck in the head, cutting the head off at the neck would work well. Of course, for most zombies the severed head could still bite, but you can just stomp that in.

    • Well, I agrree, that it would be no good weapon against a horde… but all these weapons can’t hold the Zs in a distance… maybe we should think about some medieval weapons like billhook, warhammer… all these on a tall stick… (excuse my bad English ;))

      • And all that in combination with chainmail and plate-armour… oh damn, we’re going back in time 😀

      • Your English is just fin, Kal.

        Polearms would likely be effective, but again you’d need room to use them, which might be tough to get.

    • Are katanas really made for severing bone? I would think they’re designed for cutting meat so the victim bleeds out.

  6. i always liked the idea of a cordless drill,its a great tool to do impromptu brain surgery with

    • Cordless drills make for good one-time weapons in movies because they’re just nasty, but it’s not anything I’d ever count on. You’ve got a limited battery, it takes time to drill into a head, and they’re fairly heavy with the battery. Not super practical.

  7. either that or a ripsaw i know it makes noise but its make a lot less than the chainsaw and btw you dont have a lot of knockba

    • Is a ripsaw the same thing as a circular saw?

  8. Katanas were made for samurai by the Japanese, and are worn in ceremony today. The samurai would swing the sword, and it would cut a man in half. You can look this up on youtube; a hot (but not to the point of bending or becoming soft) can cut through a (small, but not thin) tree. I dont think a zombie would stand much of a chance with that…

    • Huh, I wasn’t aware of that. Very interesting. I need to get a test katana and a pig skull or something.

      • I’d also recommend you get proper training from a weapons expert versed in the katana. They may look easy to use but you have to know how to swing a bladed weapon properly so you don’t trip and make yourself into two Dave’s! 😀

        • Hah! But it makes for better videos when I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

        • Yes but two dead halves of Dave can’t put anything together, let alone a video! 😀 Make sure you’ve got the proper idea of how to wield and swing it at a target without injuring yourself first! 😉

    • I struggle to understand why people still think that a katana is this incredible super-sword that can kill any zombie within it’s reach, requires little maintenance and requires just a basic understanding of swords to use. They need regular polishing, powdering and cleaning, or they will just chip into tiny pieces.

      Do people take too much from movies and TV?
      Do they just like the idea of themselves, the lone swordsperson, wandering through the zombie wasteland?
      Is the whole community of zombie fans permanently 12 years old?

      We might never know.

  9. My weapons of choice would be a katana and a military grade hatchet, one meant for combat. The katana is a long and made to cut through bone and flesh and the hatchet is meant go through a kevlar helmet and then pierce the skull. the skull has some space in it for the brain and the fluid that it sits in and most of the fluids would be coagulated so the only fluids would be those that stuck to your weapon.

    • God, I had no clue there was a military grade hatchet made for helmet penetration. Crazy.

  10. Hey Guys? A katana is not a baseball bat. The Samurai trained for years and years in order to be able to make those kinds of legendary cuts. Expecting your average schmuck to be able to just pick up a katana and cut a human in two is like expecting him to be able to break a cinder block with his bare hand…..just because you’ve seen a highly trained marital artist do it doesn’t mean you can.

    A true katana is also a unique piece of metallurgy forged by continually folding a long piece of steel and beating it together to create a layered microstructure that allows the blade to be sharpened to a very fine edge. Only a very small percentage of the “samurai swords” out there are true katanas and can be sharpened to this kind of edge.

    It should be noted at this point that any bladed weapon is almost as dangerous to the person wielding it as to their target. The first thing police investigators do when they suspect someone of attacking another person with a knife is check the hands and arms of the suspected attacker for cuts. (I know the OJ trial was 20years ago, but Google the cuts on his hands when he was arrested) Start swinging an axe or a sword around without a lot of training and your just as likely to injure yourselves.

    In “All Quiet on the Western Front” there is a great scene where the grizzled old Sargent is berating a new recruit for filing notches in his bayonet. He advises the recruits to forget about their bayonets altogether because “if it gets stuck in a mans ribs you have to kick him to get it out” He advised them to rely on their entrenching shovels for close quarter combat.

    • I visited a war museum in France that had some WW1 weaponry on display. We were told that bayonets on rifles were made to stab an enemy soldier horizontally. This would enable the weapon to go in between the ribs and cause considerable damage. If the attacker jabbed his bayonet vertically, it would get stuck and he would struggle to get it back out.

    • Ah no just like European swords a very few were high quality but most were but together by apprentices for the large numbers of foot soldiers

  11. Blades and bludgeons have their own drawbacks and advantages.

    Blades used for stabbing are liable to get stuck. Blades used for slashing are liable to get stuck. Even if used for blocking, a blade will get stuck. However, a decent blade is lighter than a good bludgeon, and a blades are easier to control and are a more streamlined option.

    Bludgeons are usually heavier and more unwieldy than a blade, but if used correctly can deal huge damage to an opponent. And most of the time I see people talking about bludgeons as some variant on the “baseball bat with nails in it.” That will get stuck just as easily as a blade.

    Personally, I would choose a blade.

  12. One thing that I’ve been thinking about for a while is something all active prepared individuals run into at least once. We all have people we know that say ”Well, my friend/cousin/neighbor is one of those survivalist types, so I’m perfectly safe in the event of any disasters.” I just wanted to hear the BOTD community’s own understanding on the eventual problems that this could cause, and how it could be dealt with effectively.

  13. I’ve said it here before but I didn’t see it today. The baseball bat is your friend. Lightweight and no skills or sharpening needed. 🙂

  14. I swear, sometimes I miss dates that mean something to certain people. The date of this comic is the 13th, and it’s Friday, it’s a wonder nothing bad has happened to Stewart! 😀

    • Of course, for me in Australia it’s the 14th, so I’m safe … But is the comic safe? 😉

  15. Just have to say that zed was so slow they just should have walked away picking flowers instead of wasting time killing it