Monday, July 9, 2012
Army Lore 102: Elites
So here's to writing a blog post in about 10 minutes. Lets see if it works out and remains at a high quality. Don't forget to check out the awesome sites such as Graven Games, http://warllama40k.blogspot.com/ , the Shell Case, 40k Noob, and all the other links that are posted on the side or top. Now moving on to the meat and potatoes.
Clearly many of you will look at the title and think that I am talking strictly about 40k for the Elites slot on the FOC. To clarify I am not. I am using that term as it is meant to be used, units that are powerful in some fashion or another and are not common in your army, they are meant to do some serious damage or just be awesome. This might be Paladins because of how they are supposed to function to your heavy warjacks for their durability and killing power to maybe even a sniper team. Whatever you feel deserves to be raised up above the majority of the army and shown off as something special, greater than the rest, a unit that you really want to accentuate and show off for just how bad a$$ it is. These are the Elites that I want to focus on (4 minutes in. Here we go!)
Generally a unit of elites will have a history together if there are multiples in a squad or category. You have the option to try and unify them with a common background or you could bring them together later on. Because they are elites you could grant each character its own history and flesh them out with plenty of detail. Maybe not as much as the commander, but still a significant deal. This is what I mean by Elite, you can probably see what I mean considering how much effort is needed to put in the effort for a unit to create unique characters. Creating these characters to begin with you can use the same methods you used for the Commander or your Narrating Character in the Battle Report post if you have done that (check the post out if you haven't yet) but obviously go a little easy on the detail and make it simpler so that you don't burn yourself out on this story. If you don't plan on focusing too much on them in your Battle Reports than you don't need to spend as much time on them (8 minutes)
Once you get to their unifying bit (whether you started there or not) that is where they get unique. Here you need to realize what kind of identity you want to give them. They need to have some experience or set of them that gives them a singular identity and bonds them in a way that makes them such an effective and able group. While you could try and create a squad that hates each other, that would be extremely difficult to pull off and maintain a level of realism for them to continue functioning as they do. So what kinds of experiences entail these changes in behavior or close bonding? Oftentimes the case is one where it is life or death and they all nearly died but were just able to pull themselves out of it through cooperation and utilizing all of their select skills (whether they are unique to each individual or as a whole they were all needed at once). Others could include a common enemy and finding out that the others could assist them (though the situation is not nearly so dire) or perhaps one individual could bring them all together. This would be a perfect role for the sergeant of the squad or even the commander (15 minutes).
But what else is there about the Elites that could be developed further for your whole army's identity? Perhaps come up with a few situations that they went through and saved the day, scenarios that they came out on top and looked totally epic, instances that you can refer to and slowly define or reveal through multiple Battle Reports or installations of the Army Lore that you are writing and perhaps releasing to the public with time.
Otherwise the Elites are all up to you, their personalities could range far and wide, there aren't really any stereotypes that I think are worth writing since there are so many and there are also plenty of other possibilities beyond the stereotypes that could work so well. I hope you guys enjoyed this post, no hobby update because unfortunately I did not get to any of that despite what I thought I would get to (though I did buy a Farseer and warlocks and changed the list so I won't need Eldrad, instead I have a normal farseer ally). Cheers folks and good night! (19 minutes)