Created By: gyrobot on February 26, 2010
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Battle Thralls

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You are an Evil Overlord who had just conquered another place, crushed the puny La Résistance, set up the proper measures to keep people in line and is ready to spill more blood for the blood god. The Les Collaborateurs may serve as Sargent to this new army, but often it is headed by a Fantastic Racist who will rarely show much mercy for this battalion.

There are several regiments of the Battle Thrall

Proud Warrior Race Guy: This branch consist of a Warrior Race group of people who believes might makes right, they will not question the leader's loyalty, believing that since they were beaten via trial by combat that they now accept him as the new leader. To them, serving the leader is the utmost highest honor this battle thrall can have and that he is the source of enlightenment amongst them. However, woe be unto there are some warrior race guys who felt you have insulted their honor. They will gladly be allies/non-aggressive with the rebels to return their group to their glory. In battle, they are toughest bastards with strategy to boot so if you face these guys: Good luck.

Examples: Mandalorian Clone Troopers in Star Wars (Some Clone Troopers who valued their roots then to the Republic and later the Empire).

Barbarian Marauders: Brute, dumb and the smartest being able to read. The Barbarian Marauder is perfectly fine with serving under the new rule of terror. But they fight for one reason. To kill and cause terror to anyone the empire doesn't like. Sociopaths pointed in another direction basically. Their brutality is offset by their shortmindedness. If they don't get their hedonistic needs met, they will pick apart your empire bit by bit.

The Engineers of Doom, Petter of rebels?: Every army needs folks to keep the war machine well sharpened and often these engineers will do the work. They rarely take sides in the conflict, only working to make sure the war machine is running and will rarely fight with the rebels if needed. They are often the straight man of the Battle Thralls, being the voice of reason amongst the Chaotic and Lawful Evil groups from killing each other. If the opportunity is given to rebel, they will merely offer a token of assistance but will not directly help in sabotaging the war machines.

Enslaved Grunts: The lowest rank of a Battle Thrall, basically rounded up and given a crude weapon and maybe a bomb. Their goal is to employ Zerg Rush Tactics against the enemy. They are regarded by both sides as target practice and friendly fire is often an issue.

They rarely have the courage to stand up and fight against their overlords. Realizing that their lot in life is to die anyway and thus will sacrifice themselves for the emperor, no matter how hopeless the attack is.

Sneaky Mercs: Thieves, bandits and other lowlife who are more willing to harm a helpless target but would run at the first sight of someone getting killed. Their role in combat is to act as the surgical knife of the lowlifes, stealing, robbign or causing acts of terror with minimum bloodshed. Or until they plant that bomb and get the fuck out of dodge. Have an egotistical complex

Alluring Amazon slave girls: The bedwarmers of the battle thrall army. To the Empire, they are a source of bedwarming goodness for the ruling elite and not quite bad as soldiers. Mostly used to infiltrate resistance cells or the beds of defiant generals. They often become enamored to the main character if he is a dashing hero. Often one will personally fall in love with the hero and realize that her love for the man who is trying to reveal his secrets is genuine. The Vamp version would often have a tragic romance with the ruler, realizing that he can not truly love her

Dogmatic Drones: Robot Mooks, Bug War, a Dogmatic Drone Army are pretty much nameless/faceless robots banded under one leader who gave birth to them and a purpose. Often in the Lawful Evil territory. They act as a deadlier version of a Zerg Rush. Unlike Grunts, they don't have rebellious tendencies but are prone to have "unacceptables" who have broken off with the main society and are pretty much now unleashing their anger in all directions.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • February 20, 2010
    Chabal2
    If I understand correctly, this is about using your newly conquered opponent's army as your own, is that it?

    Barbarian Marauders: Khorne Berserkers, they're more of a freelance group. If you don't give them enough victims or opportunities to fight, they will gladly turn on you.

    Enslaved Grunts: The Kushan Empire in Berserk uses captured enemy soldiers as frontline Cannon Fodder: They'll get killed if they try to run away, while the enemy may have difficulty shooting their countrymen.
  • February 20, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Star Control II - The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za have Battle Thralls, called as such in the game itself. They're quite possibly this trope's Most Triumphant Example.

    Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Thraddash. Possibly overlaps with the Barbarian Marauders (they're proud, but also dumb as bricks and unapologetically violent to a fault). The Yehat are a more straight example; being classic Proud Warrior Race Guys who serve the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za willingly under orders from their Veep-Neep Queen.

    Barbarian Marauders: The Ilwrath. They live for evil and became Battle Thralls to the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za solely for the purpose of obtaining sacrifices for their dark gods. The VUX are a bit of a subversion; they're intelligent and very eloquent, they're just narcissistic as heck and are heinously violently solely because they consider every non-VUX lifeform in the universe uglier than they are.

    Engineers of Doom: The Umgah. Pranksome geneticists that can be helpful if you can figure out why they're so quirky.

    Enslaved Grunts: The Spathi, a race of cephalopod cowards. The Mycon might also apply here, in the "living bomb" sense - they joined the Ur-Quan Slave Empire in order to gain new worlds to terraform by burying their children into its crust.
  • February 20, 2010
    gyrobot
    @Chabal: Pretty much, a stock idea of what type of army does an Empire conscripts folks into their ranks

    More types added

    Sneaky Mercs: Thieves, bandits and other lowlife who are more willing to harm a helpless target but would run at the first sight of someone getting killed. Their role in combat is to act as the surgical knife of the lowlifes, stealing, robbign or causing acts of terror with minimum bloodshed. Or until they plant that bomb and get the fuck out of dodge. Have an egotistical complex

    Alluring Amazon slave girls: The bedwarmers of the battle thrall army. To the Empire, they are a source of bedwarming goodness for the ruling elite and not quite bad as soldiers. Mostly used to infiltrate resistance cells or the beds of defiant generals. They often become enamored to the main character if he is a dashing hero. Often one will personally fall in love with the hero and realize that her love for the man who is trying to reveal his secrets is genuine. The Vamp version would often have a tragic romance with the ruler, realizing that he can not truly love her
  • February 20, 2010
    MarkusWolfe
    A note on those Barbarian Marauders:

    Near the end of its rein, Rome, the classic Vestigial Empire, was hiring a lot of barbarians, because its own army was depleted. They even hired Attila the Hun at one point to take down some Gauls in France. Attila quickly figured out there was a lot more gold where his paycheck came from, and spent several years shaking down the Eastern Roman Empire, who had fairly unprofessional soldiers. Then he got cocky and took on the West. The West had trained soldiers and every Barbarian Tribe that Attila had ever wronged on their side. Not surprisingly, Rome won, and Attila died on his wedding night (not of a nosebleed as is commonly thought; his heavy drinking caused a hemorrhage in his esophagus, and killed him with a combination of choking on his own blood and shock) Now here's where Rome made a huge mistake: it let its Western army slack off, and discriminated heavily on the barbarians. Then, the barbarians all teamed up to form The Horde and carried out what is still considered to be the greatest ever Rape Pillage And Burn ever conducted. The raid was so devastating that not only were barbarians all over Europe able to reclaim their land while the Romans just stood there staring at the bonfire they used to call 'home', but they actually destroyed 400 years worth of technology. Dark Age Europe ensued.

    Barbarian Marauders will happily wipe out the one bastion of civilization if their hedonistic needs aren't met.

    So Yeah
  • February 20, 2010
    Chabal2
    Possible other type: "Elite mercenaries/bodyguard" for lack of a better name. Basically a small group of soldiers from one tribe famed for its special combat techniques (Parthian mounted archers, war elephants, Viking berserkers, etc.). Byzance employed some Vikings as mercenaries, whether they actually were berserkers is subject to debate.
  • February 21, 2010
    gyrobot
    Soldiers of Fortune: Some are not Battle Thralls by force, some were paid to do so. This is where the soldiers of fortune comes in, usually a merchant like faction. They are mostly nomadic and could care less about politics. But cross that palm with silver and you got yourself a regiment of troops ready to serve. They act mostly as Niche Fillers or as Skirmishers of the battalion. Note that some are more fanatical to being a battle thrall while others will only do it while they are paid. Start putting a cramp in their profits and they just leave. No heel face turn or anything, they will just make business somewhere else
  • February 22, 2010
    gyrobot
    Dogmatic Drones: Robot Mooks, Bug War, a Dogmatic Drone Army are pretty much nameless/faceless robots banded under one leader who gave birth to them and a purpose. Often in the Lawful Evil territory. They act as a deadlier version of a Zerg Rush. Unlike Grunts, they don't have rebellious tendencies but are prone to have "unacceptables" who have broken off with the main society and are pretty much now unleashing their anger in all directions.
  • February 22, 2010
    Ettina
    So, Barbarian Marauders are basically a race of Psychos For Hire?
  • February 23, 2010
    Socius
  • February 23, 2010
    gyrobot
    Did I managed to fill out all of the regiments of a battle thrall or is there more?
  • February 23, 2010
    Specialist290
    I'd advocate against putting Soldiers of Fortune in the "Battle Thrall" roster, since:

    1. They're not being forced into a permanent relationship, which seems to be the point of this trope, and
    2. We've already got a supertrope.
  • February 23, 2010
    GameChainsaw
    You can recruit such thralls in the first Medieval Total War. Specifically, the expansion pack, Viking Invasion.
  • February 25, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    I agree with Specialist290.

    @gyrobot - Good stuff. The Mycon of Star Control II would fall into the Dogmatic Drone category, being the unholy combination of Planet Eaters and a Horde Of Alien Locusts.

    IMO, I'd say you can Just Launch It Already.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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