Sunday, July 8, 2012
Army Lore 101 - Commander
Do you want to start giving your army a detailed background that you can be proud of? It all starts with the Commander, and you can find out more after the jump.
I have a shout out to a follower of the blog, a certain Mr. Walker (who can be found on Twitter @warllama40k) who tweeted about getting ready to write up a battle report following the guidelines given in the previous posts. So I checked out his blog (I don't know how I missed it, I generally follow the links on people's accounts when I follow them but somehow I forgot to do it this time) and he has a very good, high quality blog. You can find it at http://warllama40k.blogspot.com/ where he provides reports on the White Dwarfs regularly with pictures (a very useful idea for those of us that don't want to buy them, read them to see what is in them and potentially go out and buy the magazine if it is something you're interested in). Also he includes posts about modeling (the most recent being creating paved tile bases). You can also find rumors there, he has several posts up on the rumors for 6th edition and before that the Ork fliers and the storm talon before they came out (and then did a subsequent review on the white dwarf that included them). I highly recommend you follow his blog and find him on twitter, I'm looking forward to seeing what you are able to accomplish for your Battle Report!
For the hobby update I have finally moved on from the two primary colors and I've provided the outline to all the sharp edges of a dark red on one of the two models. Now to apply that same outline to the other (it took about 45 minutes to an hour) and then to clean up both of them from the resulting mess (the red is too thick in many places and not straight, sloppily done at parts). I should be spending most of today painting once I finish a few tasks so hopefully those two will be complete by the end of the day.
One part of the Battle Reportification Series that I did not really touch upon was how to design the background for your army. I made sure to avoid this because I felt it was worthy of its own series like I have done previously, and the moment for its introduction has arrived! I have always felt that when designing the background to the army it is best to take it apart piece by piece before coming up with a common history, you need to define all the components of the army before you talk about its history AS an army. As such I have decided to begin with one of the most important and common roles in any force: the commander, the head quarters, the caster, what have you.
So where should you start when you want to flesh out your commander? First is he a named/unique individual per the codex/army book/etc.? If so then it is pretty obvious, because either it is actually that individual or someone who has a similar style of fighting. If you don't want to put in that much effort to creating a whole new character you can always copy and paste certain key identifiers that made them who they are and just fill in the blanks with a slightly different planet/culture/heritage and so on. That is the quick and dirty way to personalize your unique commander.
If that is not the case and you don't already have a cool idea for your commander you can start with the unit itself. Does he have a bodyguard? That will determine how important he is to the army or faction supporting him/that he is acting on behalf of. This clues you in on some amount of history or personality for him. He could be important because he's charismatic and has political connections because he is able to sway people to his way of thinking. He could however be very good at what he does, the top of his field and necessary to do anything related to it and so people put up with him or go to him (he doesn't have to be nasty, that’s just an option) when taking the battle to the enemy in a specific way. Look at the Designing a Planet post on factions if you want material for creating a potential backer for added flavor.
The other thing that you can look at for your commander is what he is taking with him. What is his gear, how will he actually perform on the table top? Is he close combat, ranged, does he die easily, is he very specialized, does he support or weigh in and throw guys around? You can determine a personality based on this or at least it could be important that he does not let his work affect his morals or who he identifies himself as. Perhaps certain events in his life led to him being the way that he is, he's stealthy because he learned on the streets that hiding from trouble was the best way to deal with it. Of course you could always look at how the entire force looks together and is supposed to function and make some judgments based on that if you want, but there isn't much I can say in regards to that because there are too many systems and situations that would have to all be discussed if I were to comment on that.
Hope you guys liked the post, check out war llama, and bloody spam bots viewing my blog I wish you would stop so that the view count doesn't look all messed up (they literally just started in the past two days). Cheers mates!