Gimme the most cliche fantasy armies

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Gin_Hindew, Jul 20, 2022.

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  1. Gin_Hindew

    Gin_Hindew Well-Known Member

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    Im gathering notes for a project, and the story begins at the middle point of a war
    The whole angle is how a fantasy war gets disrupted by new technologies, so i need the previous half of the war to be recognizable by the average reader
    Thats why i want to know what are the most common kingdoms, and army types in fantasy you can think of, both good and evil, both large-scale or guerilla
     
  2. Yog-Sothoth

    Yog-Sothoth Well-Known Member

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    Mismatched evil army horde that has no idea about logistics and resources
    Dwarf infantry, armored enough to put Panzerkampfwagen Maus to shame, staying in tortoise formation even when marching for weeks.
    Elf archers, physically weak but nimble, managing to climb trees for days and pull their bows enough to penetrate full armor plate with ease (nobody cares how it works - screw anatomy and physics).
    Humans, heroes and commanders never wear helmets. The rest may have armor (lucky ones even get helmets), but it is useless as it gets slashed apart with ease and only acts as a reason to complain about its cost and weight.
     
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  3. Shio

    Shio Moderator Staff Member

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    Just watch LOTR and you'll be set.
     
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  4. IrregularPerson

    IrregularPerson Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of notable wars, there is that one that is suppose to happen before Ragnarok, aka the rebirth of the world. Between the orthodox good and chaos, some people interpret it as the winner gets to define the new age as their war ushers in the end of the world. I think the original essence is, all hands withholding, act out as everything except a select few are born/survive in the ashes of the old world.
    For a temporary solution, you can just simplify them into a superpower coalition versus etc. (sort of like the Allied Powers and the Axis Powers). It depends if you want to touch upon politics, campaign/agenda shenanigans or travel to distinct countries.
    As someone mentioned demi-humans is a plausibility. World of Hats (tvtropes) are simple enough but it depends how you want to utilize them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2022
  5. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    If you want "Cliche Fantasy-Story Armies", you have a few options. I will be suggesting ones that come up in Power Fantasy Stories, and things that can be considered variants of those. All names I came up with while writing this.

    - There's the "Mook Army", made up near universally by melee fighters and about five people with bows for a Powerful Protagonist to tear though like it's a single sheet of that thin, see-through wrapping paper. Usually pops up in stories where the MC is a melee fighter to show how bad-ass they are by wading through a literal army.
    - There's the "Temporary, aka Summoned, Army", where the army was manifested around a singular important individual and will usually literally vanish in a variety of means if that individual was defeated. Often made up of Elementals or easily storable Creatures that don't need to be fed actual food, or at least only need a drastically reduced amount of food & water. Done so that the MC can steam-roll their enemies with an army, without worrying about all those resources that's necessary for an actual army, or so that they can compete against an actual army when they don't have the capability to actually do so. It also allows the MC to travel around without the huge entourage an actual army would be when entering towns, but have an army on-call when required.
    - There's the "Zombie Army", which is similar to the Summoned Army but instead of being made up of Elementals or Animals, it's made up of Dead Humans in the forms of Skeletons, Zombies, Spirits & potentially more, through Necromancy. Usually used by characters with villainous characteristics, be they the MC or just an outright story villain. If used by the MC, they often only have one or two long-term Undead (sometimes including the MC in question), while most of the army only exists for during the actual battles, either being raised just before them, being made from the enemies defeated by the Necromancer & their more permanent friends/minions, or both.
    - There's the "Sudden Army", made up of four or more smaller, racial armies that have been allied by the MC and their good deeds due to put their previous enmity aside momentarily to fight a new threat against their lives and petty squabbles. Usually made up of Ranged Elves, Armoured Dwarves, Humans mingling everywhere and one to three more "additional" races helping out in their own ways. These smaller armies may have been known to exist, but probably haven't been seen in direct action, or were helping out in the background taking care of mooks while the MC was doing pretty much everything important.
    - There's the "Plot Army A", which is against the MC and are effectively Stormtoopers, good at killing bit character's but even a full squad can't harm an important character beyond a glancing blow. "Plot Army B" are a group of allied bit character's who's sole purpose is to distract "Plot Army A", die to "Plot Army A", and usually be about as ineffective against "Plot Army A" as "Plot Army A" is against the important characters. Like the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars.
    - There's the "Threatening Army", a variant of "Plot Army A" which is actually directly threatening to the MC and their allies instead of effectively being Stormtroopers. They often hunt the MC specifically for one reason or another, and are treated as some sort of existential threat. Basically a "do not get caught by these guys" situation, where the MC actually getting caught or seriously injured, even if temporarily, is a potential plot point.
    - There's the "Led Army", a variant or "Plot Army B" (aka an allied but useless army) which the MC leads as a major part of their power. This army is effective in battle, and follows the MC loyally due to their ability to deliver victory even in seeming impossible situations. The method in which the MC does this doesn't really matter, so long as it's obvious to the followers that the MC is responsible.
    This probably isn't all that helpful, but it is how I see it. Spoiler Tags used to shorten this post significantly.
     
  6. Xian Piete

    Xian Piete Author of many mediocre stories

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    Heavy Calvary - Knights in plate armor on heavily armored war horses use lances.
    Light Calvary - Knights in Chainmail on unarmored horses using crossbows and swords.
    Archers - Longbowmen unarmored
    Heavy Infantry - Armored troops with shields and swords.
    Light Infantry - Partially armored troops with pikes, spears, crossbows, etc.
    Conscripted infantry aka Peasant levies - Untrained soldiers using a hodgepodge of different weapons... Axes, spears, swords, clubs, etc
    Seige machines - Towers, rams, ladders, sappers, catapults, trebuchets, etc.
     
  7. hypersniper159

    hypersniper159 100% Introvert [ 上升] {Don't Disturb}

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    What I immediately think of is that wars don't start over petty reasons. Even a belligerent race/nation would honor war and fighting, for them although they don't have much of a sympathetic reason to start the war, it's extremely important to them. On the other hand, no logical human wants to go to war so there must be a compelling reason to enter it. Conflict, and characters trying to understand themselves and their goals, are the keys.