best troop

“Troop Leader” Part 1

Request: I’d love one where the reader is Starks little girl but in her early 20s. She’s a Girl Scout troop leader and brings her girls to the tower to set up their cookie stand in the lobby. Bucky keeps sneaking down there and buys cookies from them and winking and flirting at her making the little girls giggle at them.

Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader

Warnings: fluff central

Word Count: 892

A/N: this request made me smile so much! hope you enjoy, please leave feedback. my requests and taglist are open. I have one request left after this. let me know what else you want me to write. 

Troop Leader Masterlist

Originally posted by thenixcat

“Dad, remember I’m bringing my troops to meet everyone today. Please keep anything dangerous locked away. I don’t want to have to explain to parents as to why all their little girl’s eyebrows were burned off. Make sure the entire team is there. The whole point of today is for the troops to learn about leadership. Everyone needs to be there. Got it? And we’re setting up the cookie stand in your lobby. Please buy some boxes.” You left yet another voicemail for your father.

Today, you were supposed to bringing your girl scout troop to the tower to sell cookies, but they were all going to earn their leadership patches by going. Troop 159 did sell the most cookies out of all the troops in Manhattan, but it was all thanks to you, Y/N Stark. People just automatically want to buy cookies from a famous man’s daughter. It’s just the way the world works.  

All week you had been leaving the same message for him, but he would never pick up the phone or call you back. He was probably holed away in his lab, or avoiding Bucky Barnes. Sure, he might’ve killed your grandparents, but you didn’t blame him. You knew it wasn’t his fault. You had been through the same experience with Loki. He used his staff to brainwash you and he forced you to do terrible things. In a way, you understood Bucky, even though you had never met him.

 Standing outside of Avengers Tower, you were really hoping your dad had at least listened to the voicemails. With sweating palms, you lead your troops inside. The lobby was empty except for a few folding tables. Good, he had heard them.

“Alright girls, let’s set everything up. Then I will see if everyone is available to come down.”

The girls got to work and you went to Tiffany, the receptionist.

“Can you call my dad and see if everyone’s ready. Tell him the girls are set up and ready to meet everyone.” With a roll of her eyes, she got the phone and called to Tony.  

“They will be right down, Ms. Stark.”

You nodded your thanks and went to go check up on the girls, but they already had a customer. You hadn’t noticed anyone come in. All you saw was his back, and it was a hot back. You made your way around the table to stand with your girls. Before you could get a good look at him, you heard your fathers voice.

“Y/N! You’re here! It’s been so long! I see you’ve already met Barnes.” You froze in your spot. Bucky Barnes was the man standing behind you. He spoke up before you could say anything,

“well, I haven’t really had the chance to introduce myself. I’m Bucky, and you must be the prettier Stark. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Before you could blink, he had made his way in front of you. His front was definitely much hotter than the back. His eyes were enchanting and that smirk, the fucking smirk. He knew exactly what he was doing.

You slowly took his hand in yours. One of your girls decided to speak for you,

“this is Troop Leader Y/N. She’s the best troop leader we’ve ever had!” she exclaimed. Bucky had widened his smile.

“I bet she is. With a pretty face like that She could sell anything.” Your mouth dropped open, and with a wink, Bucky walked passed all the Avengers and into the elevator. You had just enough time to see his biceps flex as he crossed his arms before the doors closed.

Your girls were giggling uncontrollably. That snapped you out of your lovesick haze.

“A-alrighty girls, these are the Avengers. Most of you probably know my father, Tony Stark, and Captain America. Everyone is going to teach you the importance of being a good leader and today you will earn your leadership patches. So, go introduce yourselves and get started!” you told them excitedly. All the girls were beaming. Every one of your scouts loved the Avengers.

With all of them entertained, you sat yourself down in one of the plastic chairs. You felt a tap on your shoulder.

“Hey there Sugar, I realized I didn’t buy anything when I came down. Now, what do you recommend?” you heard your girls giggle again. Everyone was staring at the interaction between you and Bucky. Steve had a smirk on his face. He had never seen his best friend so confident. You could almost see the steam coming out of Tony’s ears, and everyone else was giving off a smirk. It was almost comical how flushed you got around him.

“W-well, my favorites are the Somoas, just because I love coconut, but I also like the Thin Mints. They taste better if you freeze them.” You gave out your short answer.

“Alrighty, Darlin’ I’ll take two of each.”

You handed him the boxes and called over one of your girls to do the transaction, they were the ones supposed to be selling after all.

“thanks, kiddo. I’ll be back down to see your pretty troop leader again. By Y/N/N.” and again he disappeared.

“Ms. Y/N, he’s cute!” one little girl told you.

“I know, Sweetie, I know.” You sighed out.

James Barnes was going to be the death of you.

Tags: @ursulaismymiddlename @opaque-daydream @betsy1066 @imagine-all-the-fandoms @ifoundlove-x0vanessa0x @pacifikaproudaotearoa

I saw this and now I can’t stop thinking about the Skywalkers as legends, myths, really, because…

  • Darth Vader the death god, this is perfect. He doesn’t set out to create this persona, not really. He doesn’t really plan anything that pertains himself anymore, anyway, but… he is the most lethal person in the universe. He kills and tortures and destroys, and he knows no mercy. His black cloak and mask is easily recognizable among the white armor of the Stormtroopers, and they feel safer when he’s around. He can’t be killed, they say, can’t be touched by enemy fire. When you stay close enough to him, they can’t reach you, either. He can protect you from cruel and incompetent officers, he can punish them. You can feel his power in your bones, can feel it make you stronger. As long as you follow his orders, you are safe, but nobody can help you if you displease him. He is a god, after all. He does not know mercy.
  • Padme Amidala is much more of a local myth, really. Both the Rebellion and the Empire try to co-opt her for their own ends, but… she just wasn’t that important to the bigger picture, you know? She was a senator during the Clone Wars, and she gave some nice speeches, but soldiers don’t really care about senators. She was beautiful and clever, and she is remembered kindly, but the only place where she is really a legend is Naboo. There, she is not a senator, but the queen who freed them, the queen who made peace with the Gungans, the queen who fought. Her picture hangs in almost every house of Naboo, dressed in traditional robes, her make up and hair perfect. She doesn’t look like a person, not really, more like an idea. They say that one day, when the time is right, she will return for them, and save Naboo again. She is theirs, after all, their queen. The only one that matters, really.
  • Luke Skywalker, the boy who blew up the Death Star, a soldier and a trickster and a boy. The first legends start after the battle of Yavin, after he was one of three pilots who survived, after he destroyed the machine of death. He was just a nobody, a nineteen year old farmboy, and yet he was the only one who succeeded. He can’t be human, can he? Not really. He must be some sort of demigod, young and reckless but powerful, still. Stormtroopers fear him, because this boy… their blasters bolts don’t hit him half as often as they should. Sometimes they do, that’s how they know he’s not like Vader, who is untouched by violence, but… they know they are good shots. And yet, they can’t kill him. And the rebel soldiers know that, too. Nobody tells him that, and his friends don’t really believe the legends, because they know him to be an idealist and a dork and the guy who was freezing like hell on Hoth because he’s from the desert, but… the rebels who don’t know him? He’s their myth. And then Bespin happens, and he survives a fight with the god of death himself, actually survives, and how can you not think of him as a demigod, as a spirit, maybe? And they are proud of him, because he’s theirs. Stormtroopers though, they are terrified, because they know better than to expect mercy from gods.
  • Leia Organa, the Last Princess of Alderaan. They don’t call her queen until years later, don’t really remember that Winter exists, either. She’s a symbol, more so than she is ever a person, because Leia herself, Leia the person, she’s on the edge of breaking, she’s full of hate and grief and despair, and that’s not inspirational, is it? So she lets them believe it. But there are legends about her, legends about her standing and seeing her planet be destroyed, of her surviving, still and beautiful as a statue, but alive, powerful. The Princess most of the rebels know wears white, long, beautiful gowns, her hair in complicated braids. She speaks loudly, with a clear, strong voice. She stands, despite everything. She stands. And she survives. Soon, there are rumors. She can’t be killed, they say. She was a prisoner aboard the death star, she saw the destruction of her home planet, and yet, she lives, yet, she fights. If she’s not dead yet, can the Empire even touch her? Can she even bleed? Or is she made of ice? Or is it fire? For Leia Organa is a myth of duality. The white princess made of ice, and the passionate fighter with fire in her veins, a blaster always at hand and the best at inspiring troops before a desperate battle. Ice and Fire, that’s what Leia Organa is made of, not flesh and blood. She’s the only one who sort of realizes the myth that’s grown around her, and she uses it, sometimes. Not too much, because she can’t control it, but sometimes.
  • Just… the Skywalkers as terrifying legends.

South Korean soldiers in the Vietnam War,

The Vietnam War is traditionally viewed as an American War, and while US forces made up the bulk of foreign personnel in Vietnam, the Vietnam War was actually a coalition effort, with troops from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and The Philippines. Interestingly, few people know that South Korea not only participated in the war, but provided the most troops of any other nation next to the US.  From 1964 to 1973, South Korean continually maintained a force of 50,000 soldiers, marines, and sailors in South Vietnam. During the war, South Korean soldiers gained a reputation as being the best of the war, feared by both the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army alike. Only volunteers were used for service in Vietnam, and only the best troops the South Vietnamese military had to offer were accepted for service. Throughout the war the South Korean military claimed 41,000 kills.  

An example of the South Korean’s balls of steel is best exemplified by the action of Feb 14th - 15th, 1967  near the village of Trah Bin Dong in Quang Ngai province. Their a company of the 2nd South Korean Marine Division prepared a trap for the Vietcong using themselves as bait.  After setting up an oval shaped camp, the South Koreans came under attack by two Vietcong regiments.  The South Korean’s fought fiercely, then fell back, tricking the Vietcong into believing they were in retreat.  In reality the retreat was a faint as the Korean marines reformed their lines and platoons hidden in reserve attacked from the rear, completely encircling the Vietcong.  The marines then fixed bayonets and finished the Vietcong in close quarter combat, killing 100 and forcing the rest to surrender.

The South Koreans were also noted as generally being better insurgency fighters than the Americans or other western forces, mostly because Korean culture had more in common with Vietnamese culture than say western culture. Thus South Korean soldiers tended to work better with South Vietnamese and native forces. However, South Korean conduct during the war was far from perfect, and the South Koreans gained a reputation for committing some of the cruelest atrocities during the war. Some of that reputation is hype created by the South Koreans themselves, but some of it is true, and South Korean records show that the military was responsible for at least 8,000 civilian deaths.

During the Vietnam War around 320,000 South Koreans would serve, with 5,099 being killed and around 11,000 wounded.


run, hide, plead for mercy, scatter your forces. you give way to an enemy this evil, with this much power and you condemn the galaxy to an eternity of submission. the time to fight is now. every moment you waste is another step closer to the ashes of jedha. send your best troops to scarif. send the rebel fleet if you have to. we need to capture the death star plans if there’s any hope of destroying it.”

“you’re asking us to invade an imperial installation based on nothing but hope.”

“rebellions are built on hope.”

Come Back to Me Pt 1

Cassian Andor x Reader

Summary: Y/N and her team are sent to Scarif in the place of Cassian, her boyfriend, and his team to retrieve the Death Star plans. The plans are successfully transmitted, but things go awry in the end and Y/N ends up with a lost memory. Will she make it back to Cassian?  

Warnings: Curse words

A/N: Thank you to @ly–canthrope  for requesting this fic! Love this girl! This will also be maybe a four part story. Please enjoy!

I do not own anything!!!

Originally posted by kyloshipsreylo

Keep reading

top 5/bottom 5 kudos fics (5/9/17)

I was tagged by @insideimfeelinpurrdy - she writes amazing stuff and everyone should go read her fics!

Rules: Tag the person who tagged you, always post the rules, answer the questions, and add the date!

What are your five most popular works by kudos? (in descending order)

1. Emergency Contacts (14K words)

When Bellamy gets a call from Ark Memorial Hospital because he’s the emergency contact for an unnamed girl in her early twenties, his only thought is Octavia. He can’t imagine that someone might have just entered his phone number by mistake. But when he sees the blonde girl lying unconscious in a hospital bed with no other contacts until she wakes up, something tells him to stay. So he does.

Based on the prompt: au where person a accidentally puts the wrong number as their emergency contact and when they end up in hospital person b gets called (and comes anyway, despite not knowing person a)

2. Arkadia Floral & Garden (24.5K words)

Clarke has owned Arkadia Floral & Garden Supplies for 3 years when Bellamy Blake, her high school rival, comes back into town following his mother’s death and needs Clarke’s help to restore his mother’s garden to its former glory. But gardening isn’t Bellamy’s strong suite, and neither is coping with losing another parent. He might need a lot more help than he’s willing to admit, but luckily for him, his feisty blonde former rival is there to guide him through some of the most difficult months of his life.

3. I Had Hope (2.8K words)

Bellamy’s used to his best friend treating his apartment as her own. She lives there half the time anyway. But he’s a little more than concerned when he finds her crying in his bed, blankets pulled up under her chin. He knows that she lets her work get to her sometimes, but he’s never seen her like this, and maybe the trouble is that she had too much hope.

4. Problem, Princess? (1.1K words)

Anon on Tumblr asked: 78 for the bellarke prompt pretty pls
78. “i’m sorry. i shouldn’t have kissed you.”

5. I Want This (2.8K words)

Clarke’s spoiled, rich princess attitude has always irked Bellamy when he wasn’t too busy crushing on her. And her attitude is what leads to a lot of their fights at work. But when Clarke gets a call in the middle of one of these arguments and she needs a ride to the hospital, Bellamy realizes that he might have been wrong about the feisty blonde all along.

What are your five least popular works by kudos? (in ascending order)

1. Évangéline (3K words)

*Title is French but fic is in English*

The year is 1755, and 17-year-old Clarke Griffin has just gotten married to her best friend when English troops march on the French-Canadian colony of Acadia, claiming everything in the name of the King of England. Clarke is separated from her husband of just a few hours and forced to flee her home with Raven and Luna. She travels all over America looking for the family that was taken from her, meeting up with Octavia in Louisiana, and never stopping her search for Bellamy.

2. Cold Feet (1.8K words)

Clarke is happy with Wells and with their upcoming wedding, but she doesn’t have the butterflies, the excited jitters, any of the things that would indicate that she’s truly about to marry the man of her dreams.

But everything makes sense when she gets a letter in the mail from the man who stole her heart from the minute she laid eyes on him, giving her one last chance to make things right. And suddenly, Clarke knows why marrying Wells doesn’t feel right–because she’s still in love with someone else.

3. Now You’re Looking Pretty (900 words)

Tumblr prompt : bellamy and clarke getting together but way later in life after they have failed marriages and realize all along they were probably meant to be together

4. You Drive Me Crazy (950 words)

Tumblr prompt : Clarke has to go to the Farmers station to collect some metal parts for the ship. She isn’t allowed to take the rover on her own so Bellamy offers to accompany her. During the long road trip there they somehow tell each other how they feel. Maybe kiss?

5. Fuck Your Jealousy (2.5K words)

Prompt : I want to see some jealous!clarke that takes out all that jealousy out on Bellamy in a powerful way.

I’m tagging @hiddenpolkadots @stargirlclarke @wellsjahasghost @bilexualclarke and @selflessbellamy

anonymous asked:

AU where the war didn't happen and all the DoD are with their families and are happy. Not very practical but still a nice thing to think about.

-Clay’s the BEST BigWings
-His whole troops adores him whole-heartedly because he’s just so nice and sweet and so Clay
-Tsunami’s killed. Anemone becomes the only SeaWing princess, years later
-Glory’s one of the few RainWings who isn’t just happy
-She overthrows the current queen system, becoming to only one
-And later she discovers the NightWing tunnel, coming across…
-… Starflight, who was born on the island
-He’s a runt, and is constantly bullied
-Glory rescues him when she takes in the NightWings
-Sunny doesn’t exist. No, she’s Beetle
-Beetle’s a fierce thing in a small package
-She is the most violent creature I swear

Bellarke Fic Masterlist

|If you’re looking for things to read after Emergency Contacts,  and something to ease your heart through the hiatus, check out some of my other fics. They’re sorted by rating and those with a * are some personal favorites. You can also find me on AO3 as wanheda_two_heda!

  • Évangéline | G | Archive warning: major character death | 3k | AU, historical, song fic, historical accuracy

*Title is French but fic is in English*

The year is 1755, and 17-year-old Clarke Griffin has just gotten married to her best friend when English troops march on the French-Canadian colony of Acadia, claiming everything in the name of the King of England. Clarke is separated from her husband of just a few hours and forced to flee her home with Raven and Luna. She travels all over America looking for the family that was taken from her, meeting up with Octavia in Louisiana, and never stopping her search for Bellamy.

Clarke wakes up hung over thinking there’s a burglar in her house. Turns out it’s just Bellamy wanting to make her hang over food and ends up trying to make sure that Clarke doesn’t give herself food poisoning. Fluffy banter and flirting ensues.

Clarke has owned Arkadia Floral & Garden Supplies for 3 years when Bellamy Blake, her high school rival, comes back into town following his mother’s death and needs Clarke’s help to restore his mother’s garden to its former glory. But gardening isn’t Bellamy’s strong suite, and neither is coping with losing another parent. He might need a lot more help than he’s willing to admit, but luckily for him, his feisty blonde former rival is there to guide him through some of the most difficult months of his life.

  • I Had Hope * | T | 2.8k | AU, best friends, friends to lovers, hurt/comfort, cuddling

Bellamy’s used to his best friend treating his apartment as her own. She lives there half the time anyway. But he’s a little more than concerned when he finds her crying in his bed, blankets pulled up under her chin. He knows that she lets her work get to her sometimes, but he’s never seen her like this, and maybe the trouble is that she had too much hope.

Anon on Tumblr asked: 78 for the bellarke prompt pretty pls
78. “i’m sorry. i shouldn’t have kissed you.”

janefosters on Tumblr asked: “i love you. i’m completely and utterly in love with you. please don’t get married.” Clarke to Bellamy Modern AU. He finally stopped waiting for her and moved on and she realizes it when he’s marrying someone else. :)

Tumblr prompt : bellamy and clarke getting together but way later in life after they have failed marriages and realize all along they were probably meant to be together

  • Good Morning * | M | 1.6k | AU, morning kisses, fluff, cuddling, porn with feelings

With early morning light streaming through the window and Bellamy’s arms wrapped around her when she wakes up, Clarke doesn’t ever want to be anywhere else in the world. It truly is a good morning.

Basically super fluffy and tooth-rottingly sweet Bellarke mornings.

Kink Meme prompt: Bellamy walking in on Clarke getting herself off in the shower and takes it upon himself to one up her.

Clarke’s had a long day at work, and if the man she’s been dreaming about for years happens to walk in while she’s knuckle deep inside herself, who is she to complain?

  • #ILoveYou * | E | 4.5k | AU, PWP, shameless smut, car sex, porn with feelings

Clarke’s unhappy in her marriage with the man responsible for her father’s death, and Bellamy is worried that if he leaves his loveless marriage with his business tycoon wife, he’ll never be able to stay afloat on his public school teacher’s salary. Neither can find the motivation to fight to break free until a text is sent and three little words slip out. Bellamy suddenly realizes that he’s more to Clarke than he ever thought he could be, and that maybe money doesn’t matter when you’ve got someone next to you to love you.

Based on a kink meme prompt that said “Bellamy and Clarke are both cheating on their boyfriends/girlfriends with each other and end up falling in love so i love you sex” and I somehow turned it into 4K+ words of super sappy smut with feelings.

Also, fics coming up!:

  1. Sea Mechanic modern AU that is tearing my soul apart at the seams
  2. Memori S5 canon compliant SpaceKru fic
  3. Bellarke Twister AU
  4. Bellarke angst/hurt/comfort enemies to friends to lovers fic
  5. Bellarke fluffy/smutty one-shot based on a text someone submitted as a prompt
  6. A smutty Bellarke one-shot based on this post because I’m a human-shaped garbage dumpster and also I love @starboybellamy
  7. A new modern AU Bellarke multi-chap fic with a twist because I enjoy torturing myself.

So see! The hiatus will fly by! Also, send me your prompts for one-shots! AND THE LAST CHAPTER OF ARKADIA FLORAL WILL BE POSTED THIS WEEK!

Notice on the death of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw:

July 31st, 1863

I regret to inform you that Col Shaw is killed. The 54th mass., of which he Col, fought so bravely that Gen. Gilmore put them in a white brigade. When the attack was to be made on Fort Wagner, the Gen selected his best troops, and among the rest, the 54th. The black soldiers marched side by side with their white comrades in arms to the assault. (Fill it with pride to the world). The parapet is 30 feet high. Col. Shaw was the first man to mount that high parapet. He waved his sword and shouted “come on boys”, and then he fell dead. He died well. Neither Greece nor Rome can equal his heroism.

Here is his obituary:

molotovpineapple  asked:

who would you say are the best troops of the ig? karskin, stormtroopers, catchatan or others i dont know of. i know they each excel in their own specialized areas but on avarage?

It is (or should be) well known that my favorite regiment is the Elysian Drop Troops. Better than the *shudders* Harakonis…
Elysians are regarded as highly trained elite space-paratroopers. I’ve always loved paratroops in world history warfare and 40K does a spectacular job of bringing them to the universe.
On every level but physical, I’m an Elysian.

Found another great post on FB today:

“In other news, Luis Enrique is probably not going to extend his Barca contract and after watching certain Barca fans’ reactions to this particular piece of news - I would be immensely glad for him to not renew. The club will suffer (it will, make no mistake there) but yeah it’s what we deserve for being such a faux-elitist fanbase full of illusion-doused backhanded "opinions” about our current coach.

I mean seriously this guy is a legit Barca legend, was a club captain, was one of the few consistent performers in our darkest days in recent history, has won more than Pep did in his first two years as a coach, assembled the best ever frontline in club football history (I kick on the opinion of those who say Charlton-Best-Law was better because frankly feck your uninformed Wikipedia-totting bullshit) and broke almost every record in the club’’s history. Yet, he’s inadequate.

I get why other team’s fans will think lowly of him (they think CR and Messi are on the same level so anything is possible) and frankly he’’s not as good as Pep was/is overall (Pep is one of a kind), but he doesn’t need to be as good. In a war, being a great general doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the greatest of tacticians. It means you have to be better than anyone else in bringing the best out of your troops. Pep brought the best out of Messi/Xavi/Iniesta/Keita/Pedro/Busquets. Lucho has brought the best out of Pique/Messi (again, like seriously), Suarez, Roberto, Busquets, Iniesta, and heck - even Bravo.

At the end of the day, all a general is concerned about is how his troops do in a war, and by that it means all he’s concerned about is winning. Now, that win might come via guerilla tactics (bus-parking), hidden traps (like those lethal MSN counter attacks) or by plain and simple all-out end-to-end clash (also add freakish luck in case of a certain other coach).

Fact of the matter is - Lucho knows he’s made history, and no matter what the clingy-cantankerous #LuchoOut brandishing Barca fans say - that simple fact won’t change. Lucho is one of the best/most successful coaches in the history of the club, heck, in the history of football, so yeah the joke’s on you.

Deal with it.“


We’re saluting the centennial celebration of Beverly Hills in style with a look at costume design drawings for Troop Beverly Hills (1989).

Shelley Long
stars as Phyllis Nefler, a soon-to-be divorced mom living in fabulous Beverly Hills style. As leader of the local Wilderness Girls troop, Phyllis has her tailor customize basic uniform staples with some serious 1980s style.  To quote two of the troop members, “Uniforms are sick.  They blur an individual’s sense of self.”  Working within the language of capes, jodhpurs, culottes, utility jackets and camp shirts, legendary costume design Theadora Van Runkle makes us think otherwise.

Her creative variations on camper’s uniforms rendered in a neutral color palette contrast starkly with Phyllis’s personal wardrobe, which is an outrageous take on ‘80s extravagance.  Van Runkle’s work even gets called out in one scene.  Arriving in divorce court and believing that her estranged husband has inquired about the design of her dress, Phyllis responds, “It’s a Van Runkle. Isn’t it fabulous?” 

Van Runkle’s papers and drawings for this film and many others are housed at the Academy Library. Her enjoyment of this particular project is evident in her oral history, just published by the Academy.  In it she is clearly pleased with her work and talks about the film’s over-the-top fashions, including this fitted jacket with its bird embellishment.

Although Van Runkle doesn’t say so explicitly, the outfit seems to reflect the importance of scouting in Phyllis’ growing self-confidence.  But the comic potential of the decade’s excesses is perhaps best realized in this costume, worn by Long’s character when she falls into a swimming pool. The costume with its structured bodice has a high/low asymmetrical ruffled skirt which billows out behind her like a pastel ink stain.

Van Runkle’s exuberant costume design is certainly part of the movie’s appeal and she manages to slyly work in references to several of the city’s landmarks.  When the troop ends up at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Long, standing in front of a wall clad with the hotel’s famous green floral wallpaper, appears in a pink dressing gown completing the hotel’s iconic color scheme.  With a knowing wink to the Giorgio fragrance store, Van Runkle reimagines its memorable yellow striped awnings as backpacks for the troop members. As troop leader Nefler asserts, “Just because you’re out in the woods it’s no excuse not to look your best.

Let's Talk About Armies, part 2/8

This is meant as an information resource for creative folk, not a complete guide. Be sure to supplement this with additional research. Find the rest of the series, including the previous posts on clergynobilitycommon medieval jobsdivinationspirit animalsmythical creaturesmedieval punishmentsarmorpre-gunpowder weaponssiege warfarecastle anatomymedieval clothing, and common terms of medieval life.

Part 134567, and 8.

Once the writer has determined whether they are dealing with a band of warriors or a trained army of soldiers, the next thing to do is decide how the units are laid out hierarchically, as well as what they’re called.

Let’s talk about: army hierarchies. Troops can be arranged in any manner of ways from the type of weapons they are trained in, length of service, level of training, or any number of other ways. The most frequently used method is that of training level. The more training (generally corresponding with how long they’ve been in service) a soldier has, the higher rank they are, the more power they wield. This may or may not have any link to how many weapons they are trained in. A veteran may be exceptionally skilled with a lance from years of being part of the lancer’s cavalry, but may not have any training with, say, crossbows, long bows, compound bows, daggers, halberds, battle scythes, etc.
     Green troops refers to soldiers who have little or no training, or sometimes well-trained soldiers with no field experience. They may (or may not) have good skill with their weapon and are able to march, but they have not been exposed to real action. Without strong leadership and steady units on their flanks, green troop units are likely to break under any sort of duress. (Take the Maryland militia during the Battle of Bladensburg in the War of 1812 who broke and ran when rockets were fired over their heads.)
     Regular troops will make up the bulk of a professional army. They have arms and maneuver training, with some limited action experience such as border skirmishes or putting down riots. They are likely to stand their ground during normal battlefield threats with proficient leadership, and they can be very reliable.
     Veteran troops boast extensive training with considerable experience. They almost invariably have a history accompanying them and are likely to reenact their past glories via storytelling, rituals, or pageants. They may have special privileges, wear special devices on their uniforms, carry extra well-made weapons, or have extra pay. Veteran troops often function as officers for units of regular troops. (For example, the legionnaires of the Roman Empire were veteran troops with their legion’s history displayed on standards that were carried into battle.)
     Elite troops are the best of the best, and they form their own units. They are not always found in armies, but are a prized commodity when they are present. Elite soldiers may be leaders of veteran troops. (A great example is the Sacred Band of Thebes, the two-hundred man unit that died defending their city against the armies of Alexander the Great, who later wept for their valor.)
     Heroes, while more warrior than soldier, have extensive training, experience, and frequently come accompanied by magical abilities. These may take the form of supernatural strength, magically enhanced weaponry, magical companions, etc. They are known to lead veteran or elite troops—sometimes even entire armies—or to function independently.
     Superheroes, demigods, demons, deities…all of these and more come after the above, if the writer so chooses or the world calls for them. Anything is possible, there just needs to be a plan.

Let’s talk about: things for writers to take note of. These are not rules. They’re more of guidelines, anyway. Historically, even elite troops have broken inexplicably while green troops have stood their ground under harrowing circumstances. Considering these things, truly dramatic scenes can be crafted.

Let’s talk about: naming troops. Units and troops can be broken up in a variety of ways and named according to all kinds of conventions. They may be named for the type of armor they use (Greek hoplites were named after their hoplon, a large, round shield.), a particularly esteemed commander (Sharpe’s Rifles or Arikon’s Winged Lightning), a town the soldiers are from (the Mill Village Militia), a weapon they specialize in (Lance Corp), a guardian (“White Wolves”), etc. Literally the possibilities are endless.

Let’s talk about: types of troops. Given that all of this is subject to the whim of the world the writer is using, the following information is simply basic historical examples. From these, writers can glean inspiration and a feel for how they might like to section up their armies.

Infantry: The most versatile arm of a military force are foot soldiers. They can operate under the greatest variety of conditions and with the least expense and equipment. Such troops also tend to be the least glamorous or rewarded of any sorts of soldiers.

Heavy Infantry: As heavily armored as possible (which, depending on the culture, may be very heavy indeed) with close-combat weapons and sometimes secondary hurling weapons. They are trained to fight toe-to-toe with the enemy in close formations. (The Roman legionary would be one example. They were armed with javelins, short-swords, and daggers; the Greek hoplite, armed with armor-crushing weapons like battle axes, maces, and flails also counted.)

Light Infantry: Wore light or no armor, or perhaps only shields and helmets. Typically, they served as skirmishers, launching missiles at the front ranks of an enemy force before close combat, dispatching wounded soldiers on the battlefield, or chasing down retreating foes. (Examples include the velites of Rome who were armed with javelins; the pletasts of Greece who were also armed with javelins; and the pindaris of India who sported pikes and other miscellaneous weapons.)

Missile Troops: Typically wore no armor and could not engage the enemy in close combat. Such troops were often among the most highly trained in the army. (The Balearic slingers of the ancient world and the English longbow-men of the Middle Ages were a few.)

Cavalry: Chariotry was the first effective form of cavalry. Forces of chariot troops conquered much of Asia and India in the second millennium BC. Chariots are even more limited than horses in the kinds of terrain they can operate on, however, and once horses were bred strong enough to carry an armored man, more maneuverable individual cavalrymen eclipsed chariotry around 500 BC.

Heavy Cavalry: Used swords, spears, and axes; wore heavy armor; and fought in close formation, often stirrup to stirrup. The horses of such units were often as heavily armored as the men, equipped with bard of quilted cloth, scales, mail, or plate. (Examples include the Byzantine cataphractoi; the armored knights of the Middle Ages; and the Mamluk slave soldier of medieval Egypt.)

Light Cavalry: Wore little armor and were used to skirmish against, harry, or pursue the enemy, usually using missile weapons such as javelins or bows. Prior to the introduction of the stirrup, most cavalry were this sort. (The Mongolian mounted archers, who could fire accurately from the saddle while moving at a full gallop, are the best example of such troops.)

Tomorrow we’ll talk about some common terms to refer to more specific types of soldiers.