"Give them nothing, but take from them... everything!"
This is where the Badass Crew
is taken to the next logical step and turned into an entire army. The Badass Army is made of 100% badasses and there is absolutely nothing that can stop them short of overwhelming numbers
or an even better
army. There is not a single soldier who can not hold his own in a fight. They are likely to be super soldiers
and have a high likelihood to have been raised in The Spartan Way
. They will not use Hollywood Tactics
Count on them to boast many a Colonel Badass
. Almost always commanded by one or several Four Star Badasses
The polar opposite of Red Shirt Army
. A sub-trope of this, where an especially Badass Army is sealed in the can, is the Sealed Army in a Can
. Proud Warrior Race Guy
is another variant where a guy is from a culture that makes an unusually big deal about trying to be this. Usually an Elite Army
. Compare Humans Are Warriors
, where having a Badass Army is humanity's hat
, and with Men of Sherwood
, a Badass Army on a smaller scale. Semper Fi
is similar, but they are quick to inform you
that they are not an army, regardless of the infantry, tanks, artillery, and attack helicopters that they use.
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Anime & Manga
- In Fate/Zero, Rider's Ionion Hetairoi is the name which puts any other army to shame.
- Balalaika in Black Lagoon commands one of these. Justified as they are all former Russian Special Forces. To highlight their level of awesome, they carried out a highly organized campaign that crippled and took control of the Japanese Underworld. Even Rock essentially said "These guys aren't just ordinary Mooks" when he first saw them.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The whole Briggs Division. According to Major General Olivier Armstrong, each one of her Briggs men can take down a grizzly bear in hand to hand combat.
- First Easter Mirage Corps, commonly called Mirage Knights or just simply Mirages, from The Five Star Stories. An elite knightly order of Kingdom of Grees, which serves as bodyguards and personal army to Emperor Amaterasu, Mirage.A.
- Near the end of the first half of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Team Dai-Gurren is joined by an entire army of humans in stolen Gunmen. Naturally, they're all Badass. Especially the scene where the entire force rallies around the Dai-Gurren and they takeoff into a huge melee.
- The Whitebeard Pirates and their allies consist of about forty-two Badass Crews joined into a single force to take on the World Government, itself sporting its own Badass Army of Marine officers and privateer pirates, and cyborg Pacifcas.
- Sengoku Basara has Date Masamune's army of Bad Ass Delinquents. ARE YOU READY GAIZ??!!
- In Naruto, the Fourth Ninja World War leads to the the five great villages pooling their resources to form a Badass Army. They are up against Kabuto's Badass Army of zombies. Both armies consist of individuals who can single-handedly destroy whole military units or level entire cities.
- One-Man Army Naruto makes the entire Allied Shinobi Forces take a level of badass by transferring his mixed Kurama chakra to everyone in the surviving army. Its enough to overwhelm Jyubi, Obito and Madara and sever the latter two's control over the former...on top of two tails of the former.
- The Maganac Corp from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, a group of 40 Arabian rebel pilots who are Quatre's personal squadron, True Companions, and occasionally father figures. And they kick ass in a machine that's outdated and underpowered because they're all ace pilots and they have exceptional teamwork.
- The Gotei 13 is an elite army unit split into 13 divisions. They only take the best students from the Academy into their ranks. Once the best students join, they discover to their shock that their abilities are only average... and that's just the rank and file. It takes truly exceptional shinigami to become seated officers, never mind lieutenants or captains. The Gotei 13 can handle most threats that exist, but the top threats have to be dealt with by the higher ranks.
- The Arrancar Army was Aizen's attempt to create an army that could rival the strength of the Gotei 13. Several of the highest ranking Espada couldn't be fought by individual captains and the shinigami had to team up to take them on.
- The Wandenreich, which invaded and conquered Hueco Mundo (which was being run by a Vasto Lorde level Arrancar at the time) and then proceeded to lay siege to Soul Society. Among their number are the Sternritter (Star Knights), which seem to be their answer to the Espada and Gotei 13 Captains, and the Soldats (Soldiers), which are obviously their grunts but are noticeably more powerful than counterpart Shinigami or Arrancar.
- In "Saint Seiya" it's stated that the titular Saints can move faster than the speed of sound. And that's just the lowly ones, the Gold Saints can move at the speed of light. Gold Saint Leo Aioria can punch you one billion times at that speed, his attack resembling a gold web of doom. And there are 88 of them. Not to mention the 108 spectres under command of two undead gods serving Hades.
- The Jomsvikings from Vinland Saga. Though their actual historic existance is unclear, they appear in stories from the 12th century (most prominently, Saga of the Jomsvikings) which quite match the way they appear in the manga.
- Xros Heart certainly qualifies. They may start out as only a few members, but they sure gain lots of powerful allies fast, and aside from that, they are all badass. They definitely prove this shortly before Beelzemon joins them, when the entire army is willing to risk their lives to protect their enemy, who also holds a grudge against the Bagura Army. And even after Ba'almon's death, he is reincarnated as Beelzemon, and is a dozen times more badass after that, and joins Xros Heart.
- And it was just the beginning. It becomes even more badass when Nene, Blue Flare and then Yuu join them.
- In the sequel series, they are helped by an even more Badass Army composed of the heroes of all previous Digimon series.
- Both the Saiyans and Frieza's army in Dragon Ball Z. To put this in perspective, these are groups that only consider a small handful of fighters enough to wipe out the populace of civilized planet. Raditz, who is only considered a common soldier, curb-stomped Goku and Piccolo, who were both persons of mass destruction at that point in the series.
- Experienced soldiers in the Survey Corps in Attack on Titan are this. Combined with their ability to dual wield swords and swing from building to building, many are already killed dozens of Titans. Contrast the Garrison and Military Police troops who die like flies once the real fighting starts since they have no real experience fighting Titans.
- The JSDF Army in Gate repels an invasion from another world, takes the fight to the other world, and annihilates them.
- Pretty much every Lantern Corps is. And the Green Lantern Corps is the longest standing one of them all as far as the real-world acknowledgement goes (we didn't start hearing stories about Sinestro CORPS, etc, until recently). For that matter, against foes other than Green Lanterns, the Thunderers of Qward would count.
- The Green Lantern Corps divides the galaxy into 3600 sectors. There are about 400 billion stars in the galaxy, so assuming things are divided evenly, each GL is responsible for patrolling an area containing about 11 million stars... and in the DC Universe, most star systems are host to intelligent life. It takes a really big threat for the Corps to consider sending more than one or two Lanterns to handle it, and something literally universe-shattering to mobilize the entire Corps.
- Hydra, AIM, and S.H.I.E.L.D. (under Nick Fury) wish they were.
- G.I. Joe would be a non-superhuman example, at least in the comics where a rifle pointed at you was at least vaguely threatening.
- The sadly underused Human Defense Corps once invaded Hell. They won.
- The Space Knights of Galador. First, two hundred of them in nuthin' but Powered Armor fought off the entire Wraith starfleet to defend their homeworld. Then they fanned out across the entire galaxy hunting down and killing every Wraith they could lay their hands on. Eventually, the last of their kind annihilated the entire species by sending their planet into Limbo. Bad. Ass.
- Buffy's army of slayers in Season Eight.
- The Judges of Judge Dredd have had to become this on occasion. Two notable occasions are after the Great Atomic War of 2070 when the Judges brought down Robert L. Booth and during the Apocalypse War against the Sov Block.
- Hell, they have their own defence division comprised of judges who are seen to be too dangerous for use on the streets, but have been found useful in wars around the galaxy as well as in defence of the city. Also, Mega City One has a space corps, a regular military which fights offworld.
- "Ghost Rider army" from Ghost Rider.
- The World Army of Earth 2 fought off the parademon invasion with the help of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman at the start of the series. After the parademon invasion, they start creating their own Wonders to combat future threats.
- 300: The Spartans. Xerxes' Immortals (being dual-wielding masked undead ninjas) are also this trope; according to the narrator they had never been defeated before meeting the Spartans. It's merely one Badass Army meeting an even more Badass Army.
- Non-human example. The film Destroy All Monsters features an army of monsters that are mind-controlled by aliens to destroy the major cities of the world. They help destroy the evil aliens after being freed from their mind control. This army consists of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Kumonga (Spiega), Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Manda, Baragon, Varan, and Minya. Oh, and the monster army has a truly epic Crowning Moment of Awesome where they fight and ultimately kill pre-Badass Decay King Ghidorah.
- In Gladiator Maximus starts out as the General of the Bad Ass Felix Legions. When he becomes a gladiator he fashions a Badass Army of his very own in the space of a few minutes to win a badly mismatched fight in the Colosseum. They remain loyal to him until the end.
- The Last Samurai has the samurai rebels who take on modern westernized weapons and gatling guns with swords and bows, giving quite a good accounting of themselves.
- The film version of The Lord of the Rings:
- The elven army is implied as being this trope, especially at the battle on the slopes of Mount Doom. They are also played this way at Helm's Deep, when they arrive to great triumph and stand-to in perfect unison. Of course, being immortal and a few thousand years old does tend to give you a bit of extra training time.
- The ghost army in The Return of the King, being immortal and all.
- The Rohirrim, at Minas Tirith, where the full might of their cavalry is able to perform some great deeds, even against oliphaunts twenty times the size of their horses.
- The Mummy Returns had three: the opening army led by the Scorpion King, the Army of Anubis, and the Medjai.
- The live-action Transformers series are very big on portraying the US military this way. Some Transformers fans disliked the fact that this is the only continuity in which Decepticons routinely get trounced by Puny Humans. You can count on just about any Michael Bay movie to be a love letter to the American military.
- The Joes from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Cobra's Neo-Vipers would be this if they had the numbers (only 26 were made at the time of the movie, though there appear to be more). The "More than 26" part was because the Vipers (normal soldiers) and the Neo-Vipers look the same (Neo-Vipers have metal color chest armour while Vipers are all black, and in the game blue, like they should be).
- The Leafmen from Epic, being incredibly structured and full of competent warriors.
- Any army in Gaunt's Ghosts, but notably the Ghosts, who can be best summed up as scottish-influenced-ninja-army-with-laser-guns.
- The 12th legion in The Heroes of Olympus.
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen has this in spades. Bridgeburners, Crimson Guard and later Bonehunters.
- The Mobile Infantry of Starship Troopers, at least in the novel. The adaptations not so much.
- Jedi and Sith armies in some of the Star Wars Expanded Universe material, when they aren't being a Redshirt Army after graduating from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
- The Draka military in the works of S.M. Stirling.
- The Bloodguard in the Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, filled with immortal warriors who don't sleep and fight with their fists.
- T He Bloodguard philosophy towards weapons can basically be summed up as "Weapons can break, or get lost, or be used against you."
- Frank Herbert's Dune series:
- The Sardaukar, an army of soldier-fanatics trained The Spartan Way on a prison planet.
- The Fremen, at least on Arrakis, and especially after Paul Atreides organizes them and teaches them the Weirding Way.
- The Fish Speakers and their successors The Honored Maitres have this spliced with Amazon Brigade. The Fish Speakers were created by Leto II from Sardaukar and Freman stock after the Fremen badassery was diluted through massive relocation from Arrakis (which was the source of their badassery). The Honored Maitres evolved from the Fish Speakers and the Bene Gesserit during the 1000 year exodus, and took their badassery to eleven.
- Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: the Sauron Supermen and the Motie Warrior class in the CoDominium universe.
- The Dinochrome Brigade in the Bolo universe, created by Keith Laumer. When your individual "soldiers" are self-aware artificially intelligent super-tanks the size of a WWII battleship, with individual firepower measured in megatons per second, yeah, you've got an army of badasses.
- The Orc/Goblin infantry in Arcia Chronicles is effectively indestructible on the battlefield, which is why they are inherently peaceful beings.
- A Song of Ice and Fire
- The eunuch slave soldiers called Unsullied are considered the best fighting force in the world. They are raised The Spartan Way and conditioned with drugs and brainwashing techniques to make them robotically fearless and literally immune to pain. They somewhat subvert this trope by the fact that they are substantially less effective individually. Their castration limits their physical strength, and their combat skills specialize in phalanx tactics designed for large-scale battlefields. One character notes that they are soldiers, not warriors.
- The Night's Watch consists of badass rangers who have to hunt down and kill groups of barbarians, zombies, giants and terrifying supernatural beings of legend. However, by the time the series begins, their numbers have dwindled to a virtual skeleton crew.
- The Golden Company, the most illustrious sellsword company in the world. They are 10,000 strong and have a reputation for never breaking a contract. They were formed by generals banished from Westeros during a civil war, giving them a stricter sense of pride and purpose than other mercenary bands.
- The Culture: Special Circumstances: its members are either Sociopathic Heroes before they joined, or they are formed to become this. Some advanced civilizations which are on good terms with the Culture simply refuse to let TWO members of SC travel together within their sphere of influence: too much foreign badassitude in the same place being apparently dangerous even to powerful space traveling civilizations.
- The Elenium: the four orders of Church Knights are examples of this trope. Not only do they generally tear equivalent secular armies apart in hand to hand combat, but (in an interesting shift from the Dungeons & Dragons clich?f warrior =/= wizard) can totally use magic as well. One of the Orders has such a fearsome reputation for what they do to prisoners that just about anyone they capture immediately spills the beans. Think about that for a minute. Of course, they spread that reputation themselves, specifically so they don't have to do anything.
- The eponymous Lensmen may be SF's ur-example.
- The Galactic Patrol is a pretty Badass Army in its own right. The Lensmen are its elite forces. The Grey Lensmen are the elite of those.
- Ian Irvine's View From the Mirror quartet has the Whelm, a race of human-like creatures who - when finding a master they deem to be 'strong', will become the fearsome Garshard - an almost unstoppable force.
- In Gordon R. Dickson's Childe Cycle, the Dorsai offshoot of humans have this as a hat. Five enemy officers willfully (practically) committed suicide by attacking one Dorsai officer.
- This is Rider's strongest Noble Phantasm in Fate/Zero. His shared Reality Marble is something like a reminder of the world from when he was basically king of the known world. It summons his entire army as low class Heroic Spirits, even his horse. This basically terrifies all the other Heroes when they find out about it, as it's EX ranked and, well, it's an army made of total badasses. It's also used to prove a point: Namely, Saber made a shitty king since she never inspired true loyalty no matter how good of a person or warrior she was.
- Both sides of the Trojan War as portrayed by Homer and other epic poets were a Bad Ass Army, filled to bursting with epic heroes.
- General Woundwort's Owsla in Watership Down. Apparently even The Thousand Enemies preferred to stay away from them.
- Codex Alera has The First Aleran Legion, primarily due to their Captain's influence. This is particularly impressive given that they were originally formed as a political statement from the people none of the High Lords wanted in their personal legions. Guess after you beat off an army of 8-foot-tall wolfmen outnumbering you ten-to-one, only the badasses are left.
- The Crown Legion, the personal elite guard of the First Lord, also very much counts as one.
- The Wheel of Time
- The Band of the Red Hand, not the most dramatic example on this page but they have more than earned the title of Badass. Led by Four-Star Badass Mat Cauthon, under his leadership they have never lost a battle, fought to a standstill some of the greatest armies in the world and pulled off marches of 50 miles then at the end of it dug trenches around their camp and set up barricades so that they would not be surprised in the night. And they have their own theme song, too. Like everything else he does, Mat formed the Band by accident.
- The Fists of Heaven are a rapid-strike airborne infantry force that is used to attack targets thousands of miles away from friendly territory. Soldiers are transported in boxes that are delivered by the dragon-like To'raken.
- The Aiel, a large culture of wasteland warriors who are each worth a dozen or more standard soldiers.
- The Asha'man, an entire army of battle wizards. They are trained exhaustively in all the ways that the Power can be used to kill. Even though they can rip other armies apart just by looking at them, they are still trained in swordsmanship so that they can kill you the old fashioned way as well.
- The orc marines of Grunts!. They're only stopped in the beginning because the modern weaponry from our world isn't shielded against weaponfail spells. Once they get magic nullifying talismans, they're pretty unstoppable. Until the sci-fi bug army shows up. Then they develop biological warfare. This army doesn't get defeated, only experiences mild set backs.
- Several forces in The Belgariad (from the same author as the Elenium example above), but most prominently the legions of the Tolnedran Empire, who are considered by more or less the entire cast to be the best trained fighting force in the world.
- The Mimbrate knights are a truly fearsome force, if you can just get them to stop dueling each other over real or imagined slights (and to understand that it's not good for the cavalry to ride down their own infantry just because they're in the way of where the best fighting is). The motto of Arends in general might as well be "Honor Before Everything, including Common Sense."
- Maria's newborn army in the Twilight saga certainly fits this trope. By using an idea pioneered by another Southern nomad, Benito, Maria began creating newborn vampires to create a virtually unstoppable army. With Jasper Whitlock and her sisters, Nettie and Lucy, she was able to take over many Mexican territories previously owned by other vampire clans.
- The entire Black company. They were the only force to survive the Battle of Charm. Take on overpowered wizards and win. Take on the entire southern hemisphere and a god.
- Who should guard that fort which is the key to the entire region? One of the nearly god on earth wizards? No you send in the Black Company. Who should be your guards at the last battle the Elite Mooks? No, the Black company. Who do you call when you need to take out an Eldritch Abomination? And who did you need to take out the avatar of death itself? The Black company.
- The Grantville Militia in 1632 which not only had More Dakka but could defy Croats with schoolboys with baseball bats.
- The Alliance Navy under Four-Star Badass "Black Jack Geary" of The Lost Fleet fame. Granted, his subordinates were more of a Proud Warrior Race Guy variety at first, but he drilled them into epic hardcases, kicking Syndic ass all the way to Varandal. And he's not the only example - merely the first in a long line that has girls like Captain Desjani and Colonel Carabali in it.
- Prince Roger: The Mardukans, once they get their hands on plasma cannons, are able to take on much larger armies, and do good even against Powered Armor foes while lacking such equipment for themselves (being only humanoid, and not human, with four arms each).
- John Maddox Roberts' Alternate History Hannibal's Children has the Roman Republic exiled north of the Alps. One hundred years later — one hundred years of constantly fighting and assimilating the Germans — it comes back. These new Romans don't swagger or bully; they're too badass for that. In one battle, an "inexperienced" Roman army under a "second-rate" general faces a veteran mercenary force twice their size and led by Carthage's best general. The Romans are wiped out — but the Carthaginian army is wrecked, with two-thirds of its troops killed outright, and most of the rest badly battered.
- William C. Dietz wrote Legion Of The Damned and sequels, about the French Foreign Legion IN SPACE!. Among them are 8-foot tall cyborgs with laser canons, machine guns, and rockets. Then there's the immense quadrupedal cyborgs who act as both troop transports and tanks. The ordinary flesh and blood troops need the cyborgs only because they operate in places where wheeled or tracked combat vehicles just don't work. Before the first book ends, they've defeated the invasion of genocidal aliens, and crushed the corrupt regime of the ruler of human space.
- The opening of the first book involves a (not entirely accurate) description of the Battle of Camerone, which is referred to later in the book as well. The Battle is explicitly stated to have been for absolutely nothing, and this is presented as being "both the beauty and the horror of it". In reality, the Battle was an incredibly clever way for the officer in command to complete his objective. The mission was to protect a supply convoy, and the (vastly larger) force they engaged was tasked with stopping the convoy. The Legionaries kept their opponents completely occupied all day, and the convoy was able to escape as a result. Linking up with the convoy and attempting to protect it directly could never have worked against such numbers.
- Various Icelandic sagas feature the Jomsvikings, supposedly an elite warrior band that only accepted first-rate fighters and which was based in a fortress called Jomsborg at the southern shore of the Baltic. They are the heroes (or are they?) of Saga of the Jomsvikings and also figure in Heimskringla and the "Tale of Styrbjörn". Unsurprisingly, they also appear in modern Historical Fiction literature, such as Frans G. Bengtsson's The Long Ships.
- Everybody except the Malwans in Belisarius Series. The Romans are more Consummate Professionals while the others are more like Proud Warrior Race Guys.
- The Royal Manticorean Navy in Honor Harrington has held its own against the navies of far larger star nations, with setbacks, for a long time, one of them over the span of several decades.
- British and Americans whenever portrayed by C S Forester. To some degree he was writing propaganda.
- In Dan Simmons'"Hyperion Cantos", the Hegemony's military force, simply called the FORCE, is a small but elite army using advanced weapons and gear (including spaceships able to devastate planets, power armors, One-Hit Kill "death wands", cybernetic implants, personal cloaking, etc.), trained using virtual reality, and depicted as able to face any threat in the known universe. Some of their officers, most notably Colonel Kassad, one of the main characters of the first book, qualify as Colonel Badass. They only have trouble with really powerful and unexpected threats like cybernetic monsters sent from the distant future or nearly-omniscient treacherous AIs.
- Most of this still holds true for the PAX from Hyperion's sequel Endymion, and especially their elite unit, the Swiss Guard.
- Imperial Security in Vorkosigan Saga is a Badass intelligence service.
- The Exile's Violin: Leblanc's air fleet wins the battel against the Big Bad's dreadnaughts, follows him to his secret base and then steadily plows through his defenses to reach him personally. Jacquie and Clay do nothing but watch them work. Then Max activates the Exile's Violin and they all die like so many Red Shirts.
Live Action TV
- The Sontarans from Doctor Who appear to have one of these, until UNIT figures out how their weapons are being disabled and rolls over them. Even without that (like with most of the new Doctor Who), their prowess is very much an Informed Ability, marching in close formation through enemy held buildings, etc.
- Classic Cybermen.
- UNIT, when they know what they're doing and have the equipment to shut the Doctor up. (Duct Tape?)
- A Good Man Goes To War blows all of them away.
- The Nietzschean's are another subversion where they wished they were these.
- They are. It's just that Andromeda's crew is even more badass.
- Individually, all the Nietzscheans are seriously badass, but they also have Chronic Backstabbing Disorder for anyone they don't consider kin, which made it impossibnle for them to form a stable government with only them in it.
- The Rangers aka the Anla'Shok from Babylon 5, who can be summed up as being part Jedi, part Ace Pilot.
- When push comes to shove, every single SG Team will take off their red shirts and pull out all the stops just to rescue their own. SG Teams only tend to be redshirts when on joint missions with SG-1, or when subject to The Worf Effect offscreen. When they're on their own, they're almost always this trope.
- The Klingons from Star Trek wish they were these, but Honor Before Reason hurts their strategy and tactics, and their equipment isn't the best, likely because a Proud Warrior Race Guy society doesn't exactly reward being an engineer.
- Jem'Hadar, on the other hand, are badass
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Hunted", a race called the Angosians forced their troops to undergo genetic engineering to become an entire force of One Man Armys. When the troops were no longer needed, they were sent to an orbiting penal colony. They manage to escape their prison and overwhelm the entire planet's defenses in a matter of hours.
- A single one of these soldiers is beamed onto the Enterprise, where he overwhelms two security officers and Chief O'Brien, after being shot. He later escapes Enterprise's brig, incapacitate everyone in the engine room, sabotages the ship, evades a ship-wide manhunt, and kicks the crap out of Worf. He then jerry-rigs a transporter that had been locked-out, and transports himself onto and hijacks the Angosian ship sent to pick him up. It was an embarrassing day for the Federation flagship.
- Star Trek Starfleet is one of these, as long as they stick to space combat. Minus the occasional curb stomping by foes like the Borg or the Narada from the new movie, Starfleet regularly goes toe to toe with the biggest and baddest and usually wins or forces a draw, even against foes with better tech. Starfleet even has certain ships that take whole fleets by themselves; these ships tend to be named Enterprise, though Defiant certainly earned her way into the ranks, and Voyager counts for those who admit it exists. Technically, the Borg could be considered a Bad Ass race.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger begins with 34 Sentai teams united against an Alien Invasion.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the Class of '99 becomes one to fight Big Bad Mayor Wilkins and his horde of vampire Mooks. The new Slayer Army during the Battle of the Hellmouth also counts.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The Space Marines of this setting are an excellent example. This is an entire army of genetically enhanced 9-foot-tall super soldiers encased in 3-inch thick power armor carrying handheld grenade launchers as pistols and massive chainsaw-swords as close combat weapons. Did we mention that they are put through Training from Hell, where the survival rate is about 1 out of every thousand?
- The hilariously feral Orks. Orks are hulking green-skinned monsters made of fungus. They were engineered by Precursors as bioweapons. They're ridiculously tough and able to smash a human into paste with their strength, and their guns- I mean, shootas tend to be wildly inaccurate BFGs as powerful as the previously described handheld grenade launchers. They also have latent psychic power that allows any technology or plan to work as long as they believe it so, so they're mild Reality Warpers. Oh, and they have absolutely no sense of self-preservation or fear of death. And they come in droves. Have fun.
- The Stoic and high-tech Eldar. Don't let the bright colours, thin frames and jewels fool you. Like the above Orks, they were engineered as bioweapons by a now-extinct alien race. All Eldar have agility and reflexes that make humans seem to move like clumsy children in slow-motion, they are all latently psychic and use it to great effect on the battlefield, and they have hyper-advanced weapons including guns that fire molecule-thin shuriken and anti-armour guns that fire black holes. Their Aspect Warriors are highly specialized elite warriors who train for decades to fight with a particular exotic weapon or fighting style, and any meeting with their intended opponent is a Curb-Stomp Battle just waiting to happen.
- The Forces of Chaos. Think cultists with horrifying weapons, murderously psychotic Space Marines with lots of powerful mutations and other "gifts" from the Chaos Gods, and real demons.
- Necrons. They get back up after you kill them, serve gods that eat hope, their standard infantry weapons can one-shot tanks, and they're not even all awake yet. Oh, and they managed to break through the defenses surrounding Mars (home of the Adeptus Mechanus... with only five ships. Granted, only one made it to the surface, and it was promptly destroyed, but this is a whole lot more than pretty much anyone else has done in millenia.
- The Tau Empire, an alliance of several alien Badass Armies, most notably the Tau and their BFGs and Mini Mecha, and their allies: the Kroot, the Vespid, the Demuirg, the Gue'vasa, and the Tarellian Dog-Soldiers. Their burgeoning empire has fought off Tyranid hive fleets, Ork invasions and Imperial crusades, and they're small fry compared to the galaxy's other major players.
- The Imperial Guard. Probably the biggest example of all the ones here, and that's saying something. It doesn't matter how many of them you kill, they will march forward grimly until they grind you into dust under the weight of their overwhelming firepower and their own bodies if need be. And that's just infantry. Imperial Guard Armour Regiments are composed of the most devastating warmachines in the whole universe, and the artillery is utterly lethal. They routinely go toe-to-toe with all the other hyper-advanced aliens and galactic horrors listed here despite being entirely unaugmented humans with shoddy equipment not much more advanced than what modern people already have. And they don't always lose.
- When it comes down to it, Warhammer40000 is basically all about several Badass Armies all fighting each other in a Forever War. Every army except the Planetary Defence Forces count as this trope.
- Tabletop Game\Warhammer has various examples that, for the most part, provided the inspiration and blueprint for it's sci-fi offspring's entries.
- Arguably the biggest are the Warriors of Chaos. Think hulking, 8 - 10 foot tall superhuman Vikings from the far north, their fiercest and strongest fighters clad in several inch-thick plate armour forged in the depths of Hell itself, their least and weakest still giant men clad in the hides of whatever slavering beasts they've hunted and killed, and all wield massive axes and blades that lesser men would struggle to lift, let alone use effectively. Did we also mention that the country they hail from is basically adjacent to a blasted landscape where at the heart of which lies an honest-to-god portal to the depths of hell itself? Hell, let the esteemed Richter Kleiss fill you in on why these guys will fuck you up.
From the harsh snowlands they come, blonde of hair, blue of eye and tattooed upon arms, face and chest. Their eyes are wild with bloodlust, for blood they thirst. Driven forth by the whims of the gods they seek to appease. Clad in few garments and wielding brutal and clumsy axes and maces, they rage against the civilized lands of the south. Burning, looting and slaughtering all before them as a sacrifice to their uncaring masters beyond the gates of hell in the Northern Wastes.
- Coming in at a close second are the armies of the Empire - essentially the Early Modern German army crossed with the Landsknechts and set up against things like the above. Similar to the Imperial Guard, they get by with massive brass balls, a lot of bodies, guns, fire, faith, steel and some badassed leaders - such as warrior-priests of the mighty god Sigmar. Unlike the Imperial Guard, they manage to kill Bloodthirsters without the aid of tank the size of city blocks.
- The Tech Infantry would be this, what with being an entire army of supernaturally strong and speedy Werewolves, Vampires, and Reality Warper Mages, all wearing Powered Armor and each one carrying enough heavy weaponry to level a medium-sized city. Unfortunately, they are usually incompetently led, spend half their time fighting each other instead of the alien enemy, spend the other half of the time trying to run away to avoid the draft, and their usual enemies are equally powerful fighters and far more numerous.
- Traveller has a number of these. The best usually follow Terran traditions because Humans Are Warriors.
- Exalted has the Realm's Dragon-Blooded military, a fighting force made up mostly of elementally-powered super soldiers. On the more mundane side, there's Lookshy's Seventh Legion, who are basically what happens when you take Spartans and give them giant robots.
- One feels the need to mention that the commanding officers of Lookshy are still basically Dragon-Bloods, and raised from birth to be soldiers even more so than their counterparts in the Realm. If Lookshy's mortals are elite badasses in giant robots and power armor, Lookshy's leaders make you wonder how the mortals managed to make it through boot camp.
- The point of learning War charms is so that you can have your own Badass Army. With the right combination of charms, you can have an army made of 'mere mortals' who can take on the Dragon-Blooded, will not be demoralized when fighting horde upon horde of undead, and even shake off supernatural influence that will shatter the mind of normal people.
- In Paranoia, the elite Vulture Warriors of Armed Forces easily outshine even the better Troubleshooters when it comes to direct combat, albeit at the expense of things like subtlety and cunning.
- The Troubleshooters are more known for being the Redshirt Army, but they can push into Badass Army territory as well. In general, they're described as the largest, best-armed group of psychopaths ever assembled; they're given combat training, lethal weapons, and permission to use them openly, and they were at least devious enough to rise above Infrared clearance (usually by fingering a buddy for treason as evidence of extreme loyalty). Faced with personal agendas and grudges, backfiring weapons, unreliable information, and actual competent enemies, good enough players can still (almost, sorta) succeed at the mission.
- Averted in TSR's Battle System Rules, in which a PC of very modest level, even if they were one of the squishier classes, was far more effective in combat than several squadrons of soldiers. By 10th level, a reasonably well-equipped fighter could take on literally hundreds of orcs with very little worry.
- The Clans from BattleTech. Not that surprising considering that their entire society revolves around martial prowess. It's also subverted in that they will frequently fall victim to Honor Before Reason. The Inner Sphere armies have centuries of experience in war with one another, and some mercenary commands are famous and badass enough to be respected by the Inner Sphere and the Clans.
- The nations in Iron Kingdoms field large well armed and trained armies. The factions in WARMACHINE have large warjacks the form the very muscle of the forces, and they are backed up with dozens of well armed infantry and lead by badass commanders. The factions in HORDE follow the same formation, except they have massive beasts in place of warjacks.
- Ace Combat:
- Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War: The Belkan Military, particularly their Air Force, are (or rather, were) the Badass Army of Strangereal. In about a week, they almost took over one of its neighbors and took took control of hundreds of miles of land from a US-equivalent superpower. Also, their airforce contains the most named aces than any other in the series—that has gotta tell you something.
- Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation: The Estovakian Military are close runners-up who, after suffering under years of civil war, were able to quickly bounce back its military and almost took over its neighbor, Emmeria. The fact that Estovakians profited from the work of Belkan emigrants probably contributed.
- Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies: The Erusean military could have had this had they done like the Belkans had (ten years before) and had a Badass Air Force... instead, their Badass Navy simply got cut off from supplies, trapped in harbor, then bombed to bits. Worse yet, their Air Force's Badassery was limited to a single (though elite) squadron and the effectiveness (to a point) of the Stonehenge Turret Network that had allowed them to deter ISAF air power, so when both of them were cut off, and the best of the rest probably fell at the satellite launch furball.
- Look at this link for a kind of in-verse "analysis" of Erusea's military and their shortcomings. Among other things, the navy was the only real badass part.
- While you would expect this in a Real Time Strategy game, it's particularly noticeable in Command & Conquer. The GDI has commandos who can massacre squad after squad of infantry while throwing out one great and memorable Bond One-Liner after another, the Mammoth Tanks that grind entire armies under their massive treads, Powered Armor equipped special squads with railguns that can quickly shred even tanks to pieces, devastating Humongous Mecha artillery platforms, and the MARV◊, to name a few. The Brotherhood of Nod, on the other hand, has heavy armor-clad flamethrower wielding anti-infantry troops, cloaked tanks that can unload missile after missile into a target before it can react, soldiers armed with weapons that spew tiberium, and the attack bikes, heavy motorcycles with twin missile launchers. No wonder the Scrin had trouble invading.
- In the Crusader series, the Silencer Corps definitely count. As far as can be told, they don't even care for mottos or creeds—the closest thing is a saying that has entered mainstream parlance: Silencers get the job done.
- Dragon Age has the Grey Wardens. Just to be considered for admittance you have to be pretty badass to begin with and joining the Grey Wardens just makes them that much more badass. To underscore how badass they are, the Dwarves are only willing to risk venturing into the Deep Roads in large armed bands and even then they often lose a few on account of the Darkspawn that have overrun the Deep Roads. The Grey Wardens, on the other hand, are the only ones who can venture alone into the Deep Roads without being considered suicidal.
Each Grey Warden is even considered a one man army. Apart from them, there is also the dwarven Legion of the Dead. The Legion swears off all ties to family, life, hope... everything. They enter the Deep Roads where they are accountable only to the King of Orzammar, never leaving nor ceasing their fight so long as they have orders. Their job is so lethal that upon their joining, a funeral is held and they are declared already dead. This way, they have nothing left to fear.
- Hell, the plot of the game is to assemble such an army under your command to defeat the blight. While a morally inclined Warden will get a typical fantasy army composed of humans, dwarves, elves, and mages, the far less scrupulous of players will get an army of humans, dwarves, stone golems, werewolves, and drug-addled, fanatical, mage-killing templars.
- End Of Nations has the Liberation Front, the Shadow Revolution, and the Order of Nations.
- Fallout: New Vegas has a fair few:
- While the NCR's regular troopers are the Red Shirt Army, the NCR Rangers and Heavy Troopers deserve a mention. Heavy Troopers are armed with heavy machine guns and miniguns and armoured in scavenged Power Armor, while Rangers are described as one-man platoons who go into battle wearing a Badass Longcoat over pre-war riot gear and are armed with some of the best revolvers and rifles in the game.
- Caesar's Legion has several examples. First, the Praetorian guard who defend Caesar go into battle with shotgun gauntlets and sunglasses, the Centurions are equipped with heavy weapons and armour scavenged from their defeated enemies, and even their regular troopers are known for defeating their much better trained and equipped NCR counterparts with only Improvised Weapons, numbers and sheer determination.
- Securitron Mk.II's are armed with machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, laser gatlings and missile launchers. They also self-repair and are resistant to small-arms fire. Except for the tire.
- The Boomers deserve a mention. A bunch of tribals descended from Vault 34, armed with heavy artillery, missile launchers, flame-throwers and a B-29 bomber. When they were attacked by raiders while travelling to Nellis air force base, they had a kill-death ratio of 43:1.
- Don't forget the Brotherhood of Steel.
- Final Fantasy VII has Shin-ra's SOLDIER units. And in its sequel, Dirge of Cerberus, the Deepground soldiers. The World Regenesis Organization too. Sure they got beaten up at first but once they decided it was time to play hardball, they quickly wiped Deepground out with their badass air force and shock troopers.
- Final Fantasy VIII has the SeeD mercenary army, which has 5 groups of three take on an army as their graduating test with minimal support. Additionally, most of the playable characters are newly-graduated SeeDs, and manage to fight the Sorceresses.
- In the Fire Emblem games, it is fairly common for the player's army to slaughter their enemies to the man while sustaining no casualties, while up against armies between twice and five times their size, no less.
- The COG in Gears of War definitely qualifies. Every last one of them is a stone-cold, battle-hardened badass, whose sole occupation for the last 16 years has been fighting for the survival of their race. They will willingly and repeatedly throw themselves into the most suicidal missions imaginable, and fight horrific subterranean monsters as part of their nine-to-five. And why? For most of them, it's because they have nothing else left to fight for.
- In Half-Life 2, the Combine, the army of the Universal Union defeats all the world's military forces and conquers Earth in 7 hours. Also, the HECU in the first "Half-Life", were pretty badass too, considering they were a bunch of cigar-smoking war veterans, fighting toe-to-toe with a whole alien army
- Despite being frequently demolished by the Covenant in Halo, the Elites consider the human military this - after all, it's tough to fight a losing war against a bunch of 8-foot tall aliens that generate a lot of the game's difficulty to the Master Chief himself, who are supported by hordes of other smaller aliens, who generally has superior technology to yourself. In fact, many Elites were so impressed they wanted to ask the humans to join the Covenant. The SPARTAN-IIs themselves, as a more obvious example. Before them, there were also the ODSTs - Orbital Drop Shock Troopers that quite literally, dropped onto a planet from an orbiting battleship in space onto the surface of a planet in a droppod the size of a Jeep within just a few minutes - and, after them, the Spartan-IIIs.
It has been stated in the extended universe of Halo that the humans are generally on par with the Covenant on the ground and fight like maniacs because this is a war for survival, its just that when the Covenant do not secure a planet on the ground they resort to glassing the planet because the Covenant space forces are much better than what the Humans can gather. The Elites themselves are a Badass Army, when faced with a similar Covenant force three times their strength their commander simply remarks, "then it will be a fair fight." and precedes to stomp their asses.
- The Covenant is a quite a badass army itself. The Grunts know how to use their numbers right, and they're experts with heavy weaponary. The Jackals are excellent snipers and very hard to kill when they have energy shields. The Drones are extremely fast and agile fearless warriors who comes in hundreds. The Hunters are basically living tanks instead of infantry warriors, who can take a lot of punishment and deliver even more punishment back to the enemy. And the Brutes are zealous devoted warriors who have immense physical strength, great endurance, and weaponry that is extremely deadly in and out of melee combat.
- The krogan and turians of Mass Effect are entire species of Badass Armies. The turians get their reputation for having universal military service and the most disciplined army in the galaxy, while the krogan got their status as a result of having evolved on the nastiest Death World in the galaxy, finding everything else the universe could throw at them to be an amusing game. Human soldiers can face larger numbers of turians because of a greater emphasis on mobile warfare, adding humans to the list. Plus the humans are really creative. It's mentioned that the whole concept of a aircraft/spacecraft carrier was completely human in origin. Humans also went from being incapable of interstellar travel, to being good enough to kick turian ass in only 9 years. A feat it took centuries for other races to do, if they have done it yet at all.
- It should be noted that the Turians are the only race to face a major Reaper offensive on their homeworld, and not be almost completely overwhelmed almost immediately, unlike the asari, batarians and humanity, though last ones managed to keep themselves in fight through guerilla tactics even on Earth itself.
- The asari or the salarians. Sure, their armies are much, much smaller, but they're no less Bad Ass. Consider the fact, for instance, that each asari soldier is a highly trained psychic commando and that the salarians are reputably the most badass spies in existence. This because in order to become a major race in the Mass Effect universe, you have to demonstrate your bad-ass army qualities on a large scale. It's made clear in the codex that a person going one-on-one against an asari commando (unless s/he's Commander Shepard) is practically committing suicide.
- The badassery of asari commandos is perfectly summed up by the War Assets entry for the Serrice Guard, a unit of asari commandos, in Mass Effect 3. After a space battle with a Blood Pack ship, they and the Blood Pack were forced to crash land on a planet. Over the course of nine days, the Blood Pack suffered over a hundred casualties from traps, ambushes, and night assaults. When the Blood Pack gave up and finally surrendered, they found out that they had only been fighting FIVE asari commandos.
- Quarians, who practically define True Companions. Although their marines are a Red Shirt Army due to their fragile physiology, that doesn't matter much when you have the biggest fleet in the galaxy, with even their liveships packing as much firepower as a dreadnought.
- The geth deserve a special mention. Every geth platform is armed, shielded and capable of combat, combat data and intelligence is shared between geth units instantly, and they employ drones and turrets as well as ambush and stealth tactics. In addition, they are probably the most technologically advanced race in the galaxy. The geth possess the largest and most advanced infantry and dreadnoughts in the galaxy, and if they're recruited, they provide more war asset points than pretty much every race except the turians and krogan.
- Most of Mass Effect 3 is building the most badass army the galaxy has ever seen: Turians, Krogans, Salarian STG, Asari Commandos, the Quarian Fleet, Rachni, and Geth Primes.
- The Alliance has N7 operatives, which are basically the futuristic equivalent of Navy SEALS or the SAS. Commander Shepard is one such agent.
- More broadly, Alliance military personnel have a letter and a number, the letter denoting their career field (N is special forces, for example) and the number denoting how much training and experience (7 is highest), so all N-series operatives are this trope.
- The Citadel Council has the Spectres, where in order to become one, an individual has to prove they are a One-Man Army. Naturally, Commander Shepard becomes one of them too.
- The Protheans used to be this Up to Eleven. They held the Reapers off for centuries even after the Reapers had disrupted the mass relay network and cut their systems off from each other, whereas the current cycle was almost tapped out after just one year.
- The Metal Gear series almost entirely revolves around the idea of Badass Armies that consist entirely of Super Soldiers. The Genome Soldiers from Metal Gear Solid are supposed to be this, having been augmented with genetic code from Big Boss, but against a full clone of Big Boss himself, they fail rather spectacularly. There are a number of supposedly elite mercenary groups in Metal Gear Solid 4, but only the Frogs can really take claim to that title. They get bonus points for also being an Amazon Brigade. Portable Ops and Peace Walker revolve around Big Boss assembling his own private army of Badasses.
- Prototype's Blackwatch is definitely one of these. Every individual soldier gets an honorable mention as a Badass Normal, and they have one of the best creeds of all time (its listed in the quote section for this trope). They are assholes, vicious even beyond the requirements for a hellish job combating bioweapons, but there is no denying their unflinching (sometimes crossing into psychotic) dedication to their duty.
- The Suikoden series should get a mention - they are the 108 Stars of Destiny, after all. That's one hundred and eight central figures in an army that eventually gathers into tens of thousands who are all exceptional in their chosen fields. In every game, you lead an army of pretty special individuals.
- Say what you like about them, the Koopa Troop from Super Mario Bros. has accomplished AMAZING things with nothing but their own power and a beloved leader. Together they've conquered the Mushroom Kingdom twice, assaulted the Star Spirits, and stolen from God... twice. Not to mention their fierce loyalty to their leader, even after several losses. If it weren't for Mario, the universe would be screwed several times over. Even in side games, where some Koopas usually help Mario, they're undoubtedly Badass. With a leader like Demon King Bowser there's no wonder they never give up.
- Super Robot Wars essentially takes the Badass Armies of every faction, weeds out the lesser members through a Sorting Algorithm of Evil, so by the end of the game you're fighting the biggest and baddest of them all. Arguably, by the end of most SRW games, you are the biggest and baddest of them all.
- Quoting High Commander Halford Wyrmbane in World of Warcraft : Through the valleys and peaks of Mount Hyjal, across the shifting sands of Silithus, against the Legion's dread armies - we have fought. We are the nameless, faceless, sons and daughters of the Alliance. By the Light and by the might of the Alliance, the first strike belongs to us and the last strike is all that our enemies see. We are 7th Legion.
- The Imperial Army in Yggdra Union.
- Squad 422 in Valkyria Chronicles III. While the combined force of Gallian military and conscripted militia have a hard time stopping Batomys, Kurt Irving and his men can take on Echidna by themselves and win. Keep in mind that Squad 422 does this without any meaningful support from the HQ because they have been declared Dangerous Deserter, and for all purposes are actually deserters. Altaha Abilia, indeed.
- The X-COM initiative in any of the games. The series' is based around the enemy being a completely unknown alien menace that vastly outnumbers and outguns humanity even on the most fundamental levels, and the player, the director of the X-COM project, has to hire troops, reverse-engineer alien technology and halt the invasion in less than a year. And It Worked. Furthermore, due to the nature of the alien threat and the troops' aiming skills, by the end of the game any small squadron of survivors from the rest of the game will count as this. And this isn't even touching on the rest of the series' which stacks the odds even more against humanity; nor the actual alien invasion force which will fuck you up if you're not ready to face them. And are smarter than they might seem at first.
- In Total War, the player can easily create an army of elite units and, with enough victories, gain them battlefield experience as well as upgrading their weapons and armor. It is especially noticeable in Shogun II. Not only can you have a Hero units with full upgrades leading the pack (who can often take on entire armies by themselves at that point) but then you can deck out the rest of the force with badass samurai units that are deadly enough on their own, let alone with upgrades.
- Project × Zone brings together a platoon's worth of ass-kickers from franchises owned by Capcom, Namco Bandai, and Sega, and pits them against a brigade of baddies that include a demon noble, a demon king, a super-soldier, a combat robot with a photographic memory, an all-consuming beast, and the Terror of Death.
- Several of the races from The Elder Scrolls. Mostly the human ones:
- The Imperials of Cyrodiil may lack the cool powers and strengths of the other races, but they more than make up for it through discipline and collective martial skill, and the armies of Cyrodiil have conquered all of Tamriel twice.
- The Nords are probably an even better example. The Nords are even less magically inclined than the Imperials, and yet these guys are the reason humans exist on Tamriel in the first place. To wit, the great Nord warrior Ysgramor led a small army of 500 warriors against an entire civilisation of Snow Elves, and much elven ass was kicked. Lots of elven ass was badly BADLY kicked.
- The very African/Middle Eastern Redguards certainly qualify. And they have a Badass Navy as well.
- The Orcs of Orsimer are some of the finest armoured shock troops in the Cyrodiilic empire, and they take the concept of Proud Warrior Race Guy to an even greater extreme than the Nords do. For example, Nords think a death in battle is a nice thing to happen to you, while quite a lot of Orcs actively seek it out.
- The Altmer are an entire army of wizards and Magic Knights.
- The Dogs of War from Cry Havoc are considerably more badass than their enemies.
- The Jägers from Girl Genius are considered one of the most dangerous armies in all of Europe. And one of the most psychotic, for some. The Geisters might also qualify, those it's been proven that they are no match for Jägers, but then again, it was Da Boyz
- In The Order of the Stick, the Sapphire Guard is the Praetorian Guard of Azure City. They merely count as Elite Mooks to the Big Bad Xykon, who kills them rather effortlessly. What happens after, though, frightens even him.
- The Alternian Trolls from Homestuck are implied to have this, seeing as though all adult trolls are sent offworld to conquer and plunder other planets.
- Sequel Series The Legend of Korra has Amon's Equalist foot soldiers, his Chi-Blockers. They're all Badass Normal Gas Mask Mooks trained specifically in a Pressure Point-striking fighting method designed to temporarily disarm and disable the wielders of Elemental Powers. One easily disabled The Chosen One Korra in a confrontation.
- Early Simpsons episodes often depicted mundane businesses which employ large, zealous, hyper-vigilant security forces.
- Disne—uh, I mean Itchy and Scratchy Land seems to be protected by the Gestapo.
- Mr. Burns' stormtroopers in Rosebud seem to be brutally efficient.
- Rosebud also shows that Burns also employs the palace guards of The Wicked Witch of the West. I guess they had to get work somewhere after their boss melted.
- Subverted in Boy Scoutz in 'n the Hood, where the arcade's badass army turns out to be just the Squeaky Voiced Teen, who politely asks Bart and Milhouse to leave.
- Inverted in the show's every depiction of the military.
- The KND is a Badass Adorable, Child Soldier, and Badass Normal (with a dash of Kid Hero) example of this trope, this is an army that protects their world's children from being oppressed and harmed by evil Child-hating adults, many of which have super powers, and yet, when they go toe-to-toe with the KND, they mostly lose in the end. It's a wonder why at least some of the villians don't cringe in fear or dread over the thought of taking them on.
- N-tek in Max Steel 2013