For this I will use the who, what, when, where and why format. This discussion will be broke into 3 stages.
1) Introduction. Or First arrival at the farm.
2) Acceptance at the farm. Knowing they have a home.
3) Exodus from the farm.
The band of survivors is on the road. Looking for Sophia when Carl is hit with shrapnel from an exploded bullet that went through a deer.
They get to the farm house.
Okay. At this point they see survivor and the old man is capable of possibly helping the Carl. At this point Carls father is only worried about Carl as is to be expected. This is when a line of succession should have been made clear at a point prior to this. In this unofficial civilian run band, rank needn’t be of concern. However in this dangerous world, a second in command at least should be ready to step up if the leader is killed or becomes incapacitated.
And though we do see this after a fashion with Shane and Lori, it is far from a full transfer of leadership even if only temporary.
Shane would be the obvious choice for this transfer of leadership. He is also trained in police work and knows at least how to cordon off area, and control a situation. However Shane is impulsive and seems to have little control when it comes to his own emotions. The beating he was seen throwing doesn’t is not a factor in this. His quick to anger attitude when faced with adversity of various situations is more a factor when making this call. So who? Daryl, While a good leader once given a mission and a few people is a competent “combat leader” capable of reassuring and commanding respect of his subordinates. Unfortunately he is not yet moulded into a strategic leader capable of harnessing his small unit skills into a long term commanders position.
Dale? The moral compass is rarely a good idea for a leader. While they maybe a capable of leading, the concern over the philosophy of right and wrong and not necessarily the tactical or strategic decision maybe discarded out of hand for its moral ambiguity. This is a very important voice to have however and would serve well as a member of an advisory board or council. Though their decisions may fly in the face of this members voice, the points of morality would be heard and could influence the decisions of a group seeking to human in an inhuman world.
No. The Answer is Glenn. While wild and wanting to run off and do solo missions to help the group. He is capable of making split decisions and has shown a willingness to take directions from others. While he may need to make split second decisions for the group and those would weigh heavily on his shoulders, his interim term as group leader would mostly be based on keeping the group together and safe. Where to hole up, and who needs t scavenge for what.
The females in the group at this point were not picked or even considered for a solid leadership position because of their inability to understand the concept of leadership thus far in the series. Lori can’t even keep track of Carl. Carol just got out of an abusive relationship and is mousy. And Andrea is far too eager to prove to herself and the rest of the group that she is vital and a worthy member of the group. So for these reasons the females haven’t yet come into their own to be able to lead anyone. While Glenn is indecisive sometimes, his experiences as the group runner and unique understanding of the world they find themselves thrust into. I think it would easier for him to come into his own.
However. The problem is they assumed the location they were was safe because they were told it was safe. This is PART of the issue Shane has with Ricks leadership. The relationship drama is invalid in this part of the argument. Once they get to the farm as a group the interim leadership should overtly or covertly have the property checked out as needed. The perimeter needs to be scouted and all properties and structures need to be reconnoitered. As much as possible without drawing attention or offending their host. Infiltration and ex-filtration plans should be plotted and drilled. The land owner should be asked about his property boundary lines. Just outside of the boundary natural obstacles should be erected or strengthened to try to minimize at least 3 of 4 avenues of approach using cardinal directions. This would be perimeter one and should be patrolled just inside or even up to a few hundred meters outside to help with the alert process. Silent “walker” kill would be the word of the day. Wooden spears, knives, arrows, bolts or other quiet means.
Using Hershels’ desire to not kill the “walkers” the 2nd inner perimeter could be as simple as a jack leg fence with heavy poles locking the fence into place. These of course are holding maneuvers and will not hold off indefinitely. This willingness to work within the boundaries of the property owner would lead us to the next step.
Once the group has come and offered to help make the property secure at least under the guise doing it for thank. For the aid rendered to to Carl and allowing him to convalesce. This would give a symbiotic relationship to the group and prove Glenn and once ready Ricks leadership as being invaluable. Once Hershal starts telling Rick to leave he would have more leverage than an emotional argument on not wanting to leave. He could point to the security his group offers and the maintenance as well as security more numbers give to the now encampment. Once they are accepted trenches and extended recons with noise makers at nearby farms could be made up. Note that none of these harm the “walkers” and would help ensure the partnership with Hershal while keeping the group safe. Slaughters of the “walker” away from the reach of Hershal they would be totally acceptable and needed.
Salvage trips to other farms in the area would be prudent. Clearing a farm a mile or two away and enclosing it in defenses would give the group an escape route and would serve as a temporary shelter until a more reasonable situation could be found. This would once again be done without the knowledge of the property owner Hershal. Over time more farms could be cleared and should be. if they have 2 or 10 options it’s better than all the eggs in one basket. And the secure farm houses could serve as look out posts if they positioned in the right spot.
The nearby suburbs should be cleared as a matter of course. Using quiet and house to house. Starting from the outer most houses to the inner most. If large groups are encountered they should seek to lure them away to a place where they will be stuck, easily dispatched or secured. A sports stadium for example. Or a buffalo drop type of deal if available. This is all easier said than done I’m sure. But hard work would pay off I think. Especially if they enforce an encampment wide noise ordinance to prevent drawing attention to themselves from “walkers” or living hazards. Somethings like the improved jack leg fences would be a risk they would have to take.
Survival skill set training for the camp. For those capable of such things. Spears, bows and crossbows should be the primary implements. As well as snares, dead falls, pits and other various booby traps. The lack the great noise of a 9mm, .45, .223 or other firearms seen or unseen by us thus far. While weapons training would serve for extreme situations. Well made air rifles or pellet guns can serve for basics and for use in maneuver warfare training in small unit tactics and weapons manipulations. Once the students have shown promise with these weapons after only a few weeks or so, then a trip to a far off location to do live fire training should be made to get used to actual weapons kick, flip and various other needs for training. This isn’t going to make great soldiers. But familiarity and basic ability should go far in this situation. With defensive measures in place and the ability to practice with real and well made look alike weapons it should hone their skill to a very good degree.
Now the last stage.
Exodus from the camp. Lets say you did everything right. But a horde of “walkers” still comes meandering up the way.
Now we have several perimeters and a better chance at early warning. But accidents happen. Lets say they get past the first perimeter and get spotted at the secondary perimeter. The jack leg would prevent many of the “walkers” from continuing on their straight path and maybe force some to be killed off by the sheer numbers of a horde.
The ones that make it under the fence should be the slow crawling variety. As the weight increases the “walkers” could either roll the fence or create a ramp of dead, ‘walkers” to continue over. This would take some time and serve to limit the numbers in the actual camp right away.
lets say they are spotted on the way back to camp from a recon patrol. This group would have ready bags of food, ammo and other survival essentials they need and had available. Instead of heading to the highway and wondering where to go next. They get in their vehicles and get led to an appropriate safe house where they can look over a map and recon to hardened structure. Hospitals, Prisons, Military structures, or very remote towns with favorable land.
Reon briefs should be diligent and descriptive of size of zombie numbers, location, over view of the layout of the proposed building even if you only could view the outside the size and shape of the building are vital. These will probable change with the group.
And there are thousands if not millions of variations of what could be done in these types of situations. This is my take on this.
And since they chose a prison I will continue on next time with my personal evaluation of the prison. Of course this is all my opinion except where I used select parts of the show to give a brief description of where I am coming from. I believe this falls under fair use.
However I do give credit in those select instances to AMC and the Walking dead t.v show.