Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Army Lore 103 - Heavy Gear

This post focuses upon how to add background to those units of your army that have powerful gear that are clearly special, going into essential ideas that should be addressed when creating the lore for such units.
 I have always thought of units as being different if they are given special war gear or equipment, setting them apart from the grunts.  Why is it that those marines were actually made into terminators and aren't tactical marines anymore?  Note that this is different from elites because they are special because of their theoretical abilities, be they strength or dexterity or aim, this is how they are enhanced by what they are carrying.  An elite would be the difference of a grey knight paladin to a terminator, the heavy gear difference is terminator and tactical marine.  An easy way to think of this is to look at the stat line and see if they are particularly different.  Of course in some cases the stats are directly related to their gear.  For instance Tau battlesuits, their strength and toughness change, but that is because of their equipment.  On the inside all Tau are the same (isn't that a nice sentiment) so fire warriors aren't actually any worse than the guys crewing a battlesuit stat wise.  Certain events and abilities did lead to one being promoted and the other staying as a ground pounder.  This could have been luck, strategic aptitude, personal ability, or just being liked more, but I'll get into that in this post a little more.

Every item and thing on the battlefield and in your army has a story.  That warrior was born on Cadia as the 4th of 17, the rock on the hill was brought by freak chance through the warp from the planet Fenris and carried by the wake of a Space Wolf cruiser until it was left behind and dropped back into the material universe and fell to the ground of this planet, that weapon is the 167,460,238th produced by factory worker Ron of Forge World Armageddon from 300 years ago and is identical to all the others produced by Ron.  The point is somehow everything happens, and it does happen for a reason (though oftentimes it may seem like chance.  That isn't the point I'm trying to make though) and your job as the author is to produce those explanations.  Where it is important is when you are dealing with the individuals who have heavy gear, which I already explained.

Of course I already mentioned the possibilities for receiving the gear to have been luck, strategic aptitude, personal ability, or influential relations.  I think that you guys know what those mean, but just a really quick summary in case.  Luck would be the sheer chance of landing a shot or acting blindly and ending up on top, whether a thrown grenade that you tossed up over a building without knowing where anyone/thing was to rushing a trench and somehow causing the enemy to rout just by being there.  Strategic aptitude would be you had some say in how things went on a battlefield, perhaps a plan, and your ideas or orders (depending on your rank and involvement with the commanding officer) turned the tide or were spectacularly executed in a way that another plan might not have been able to be.  Personal ability could have been anything like sniping an enemy commander with your standard issue lasgun (which would be why you were then given control of the armored sentinel) to making a leap from one building to another in pursuit of an enemy combatant and personally capturing them.  Influential relations could mean that the character is a suck up to someone with influence, or it could mean that you are on good terms with powerful people for one of any reasons (you could actually be their friend or prove to be of interest to them because you aren't like others they have encountered.  You aren't necessarily better than others they've interacted with, they are just interested by you).  Any one of these could result in your receiving powerful munitions such as an Eldar bright lance or the opportunity to wear Tactical Dreadnought Armour.

What it comes down to is that in order for someone or group of individuals to have been given the equipment they must have had some instance to show their potential, some event that presented them in a good light for one or several reasons.  Generally dire circumstances are the best, so have fun fabricating scenarios that might have happened.  You probably have 5-10 guys/teams that are different from the average joe in your army, so you can put in some work into them and know that they will stand out and you can always come back to them for your army's story in the future because one of them is bound to survive your battles (and consequently your Battle Reports).

Hope you liked the post, see you tomorrow!

EDIT: Apparently I didn't post this last night, I just noticed it as I started to write the next post so here you go.  Next one in the next 30-60 minutes.  Sorry about this.  I am one of the most unreliable daily posters apparently.  In any case, toodles!

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