How can Rick and the survivors can win the war against Negan?

Walking Dead S07E02 Preview: 'The Well' - Scene in Photo from S07E01 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" Photo Credit: AMC via (Cass)
Walking Dead S07E02 Preview: 'The Well' - Scene in Photo from S07E01 "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" Photo Credit: AMC via (Cass) /

Rick and the survivors on The Walking Dead don’t have the numbers to take on Negan and the Saviors head to head. So how can they win against a bigger and better armed force?

All out war is coming quickly on The Walking Dead. When Season 7B kicks off in a few weeks Rick and the survivors are going to be moving quickly to be ready to attack Negan. Rick will have to use all his inspirational speeches to get the other communities to agree to go to war.

But even if Rick manages to convince the other communities to join the fight, the combined force still likely wouldn’t be enough to take on Negan and the Saviors directly.

At this point Rick can’t be sure how many Saviors Negan has in his army. But he knows it’s more than the survivors have.  So they are going to have to fight smart if they are going to have a chance at winning.

Rick has some serious disadvantages to overcome. Negan has the numbers to win. He also has the weaponry to win. Thanks to Carl’s almost shooting a Savior when Negan first came to Alexandria the entire community of Alexandria now has no guns or ammunition. That’s going to be a serious problem for the survivors.

But the survivors still have some advantages they can use to fight the Saviors. If they win it will be a tough fight. More than likely some of them will die. But if they fight intelligently they may be able to beat Negan, avenge Glenn and Abe, and start trading freely with the other communities.

Fighting Smart

Anytime a small force is taking on a larger, better equipped force that smaller force needs to work with any strength that they do have. Knowing how to play to their strengths and downplay their weaknesses is critical for winning. It may not seem like the survivors have enough strengths to be victorious over the Saviors. But they do have several things that they can use to their advantage.


Leadership is important for any fighting force. But for a small force it’s essential. Good leaders that think fast, adapt well to new situations, and can change plans on the fly can make the difference between winning and losing. The survivors don’t just have one good leader. They have several. Rick, Maggie, Sasha, Jesus, and Michonne are all very capable leaders. With them in charge of smaller units of fighters the survivors have a much better chance of winning.


Until Rick and the others attacked the Saviors outpost the Saviors didn’t even know that Alexandria existed. They don’t know about Oceanside. They may not know about the new community in the junkyard that Rick will meet in The Walking Dead Season 7B. The Saviors have a long reach but clearly not long enough. There are a lot of communities they don’t know about.

By working with these other communities Rick and the survivors can increase their numbers and get supplies to replace what the Saviors took from them. If Tara reveals the location of Oceanside the survivors could replace a lot of the weapons that Negan took from them.

The Saviors also don’t scavenge the way the other communities do. There’s nothing left in The Walking Dead world that isn’t hidden anymore. Scavenging will help the survivors find things they can use to make weapons. They may even be able to make ammunition if Eugene wrote down the formula somewhere. Rosita knows where the workshop is.

Knowing the local geography will also make it easier for Rick and the others to set traps for the Saviors. And because they have such a low number of fighters the survivors are going to need to use guerilla warfare tactics like setting traps in order to fight the Saviors.

Choosing The Battleground

There is no way that Rick and the survivors are going to be able to march up to Sanctuary and engage with Negan and the Saviors.

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The Sanctuary is well fortified. They have no idea how many Saviors are inside. And fighting Negan on his home turf gives him too much of an advantage.

If Rick wants to beat Negan and the Saviors the survivors are going to have to lure him out to fight them on a battleground that they choose. That way they can use the terrain to their advantage. That might give them enough of an edge to beat the Saviors. It’s the best chance they have.

Negan had the Saviors set traps for Rick and the group as they were heading to Hilltop to herd them to the spot where Negan wanted to introduce himself to Rick. Rick is going to have to use that same type of thinking to make sure that when the final battle comes it happens on where the survivors want it.

Next: Is Negan's brutality necessary for The Saviors to stay in line?

New episodes of The Walking Dead will air in just three weeks on February 12th when the hit show returns for the second half of season 7. Then the preparations for all out war begin.