[Guide] Military RP


Here it is, your favorite guide now brought back to you from the old forums! It is a short and to the point guide to military RP. Please note that this is for the ones who want to a somewhat realistic take on your military RP guild. If you don't want that, they this guide isn't for you.

----------Steelhammers guide to military RP---------

1.1- Important things to remember
1.2- Ranks
1.3- Types of military RP
1.4- We started a military RP guild. Now what?
1.5- Naming

1.1- Important things to remember

-Be active. A military RP guild needs to actively do things, or it will lose its meaning, and eventually the members.
-Huge egos have no place in a military RP guild. The members, especially the higher ranking ones need to know how to be humble. Far too many guilds suffer from people’s OOC ego getting in the way.
-Promotion #*#*%s also have no place in the guild. Don’t promote people after just one week. Let it take time, and if people can’t handle the wait they have no place in military RP.
-Make sense. You can't be a part of the Stormwind army if your character openly opposes Varian, for example.
-Don't be a douchebag officer. Nobody wants to log in and deal with some ##!#*%! who is living out his power fantasy by ordering them around all the time. If you want to be this iron-assed martinet you oughta keep in mind that those guys were often murdered by their own troops.
-Don't be a douchebag member. You signed on to make-believe you are a soldier, so meet your "officers" halfway by acting like their completely unenforceable authority means something to your Private Pyle.
-Try to find a balance between fun and what makes sense. Don't skip on an interesting RP plot just because in reality, it would take weeks of requisitions and complicated forms. But don't go running wild either. If you RP a part o the Stormwind army, you should do things which is at least somewhat reasonable for the Stormwind army to do.

1.2- Ranks
While ranks are an important part of any military concept, they should never be allowed to take up too much space. People should be in the guild because it’s fun, not so that they can get a fancier rank. It is also important to remember to get the ranks right. Far too many people miss this and make the leader Grand General Super Marshal Optimus Prime of Doom.

In my opinion, the highest rank that any military RP guild can have is Captain or possibly Major. The reason for this is simple. A Captain (or Major) commands a company, which consists of 75-200 soldiers. It’s simply not viable for a guild to have more members than that. If we go higher up in the ranks, the guild will need members in thousands. A Lt. General (the rank below General) for example, can command as many as 45.000 soldiers. Which simply isn’t going to work.

Another very common mistake is that people have too many ranks and/or promote people too soon This usually end up with the guild having more officers than privates or NCOs (Non Commisioned Officer). I suggest the following ranking system:

• (Major)
• Captain (Typically in command of a company, consisting of 75-200 soldiers)
• Lieutenant (In command of a platoon, consisting of 25-50 soldiers)
• Sergeant (In command of a squad, consisting of 9-13 soldiers)
• Corporal (In command of a fire team, consisting of 4 soldiers)
• Private

Now, you don’t have to pick the highest rank. If you want a smaller guild, go with Lieutenant. In the above list you also see the structure of the military. Company-->Platoon-->Squad-->Fire team. Organizing your guild into platoons, squads and fire teams can be fun and add some realism to your RP.

1.3- Types of military RP

Official Army- This is one of the most standard types of military RP. For example, you RP as a part of the Stormwind or Ironforge Army. This however means that you have to stick to the ideals and principles of the nation whos army you RP a part of. If you for example RP a part of the Strormwind army, you can’t have warlocks, shadow priests or anything else which is outlawed in Stormwind. Death Knights is a tricky case however. While they are officially allowed in Stormwind, most of the other soldiers would find them disturbing/creepy/scary/etc and wouldn’t work well with them. Not that a DK would want to join the Stormwind army anyway.

Now. The Stormwind military (for example) consists of many different things which you can include in your RP. What I'm talking about here is things like Cavalry, Infantry, Riflemen/Bowmen/Caster, Paramedics and so on. Cavalry are mounted fighters, Infantry are soldiers who fight on foot, and I think you understand the meaning if Riflemen/Bowmen/Caster and paramedic. If you want to, you can RP a Cavalry (for example) only guild, or you can include bits of everything, having infantry squads, cavalry squads, ranged squads and a couple of medics. Note however, that this is of course related to your size. If you only have a handful of people, it's best to only use one part for now. This paragraph may apply to all kinds of military RP.

Paramilitary- Now, paramilitary can mean many different things. In Northen Ireland for example, paramilitary refers to any illegal group with a political purpose. The “dictionary definition" of paramilitary is “of, relating to, being, or characteristic of a force formed on a military pattern especially as a potential auxiliary military force <a paramilitary border patrol>”
That said, a paramilitary group does not have to be illegal. If we look at real world examples of paramilitary forces, we find organizations such as the French Gendarmerie Nationale, the Spanish Guardia Civil, the Israeli Border Police, The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Special Activities Division of the CIA. In history we find organizations such as the Schutzstaffel (SS) of Nazi Germany

A paramilitary force might very well be organized in the same fashion as a regular military force, but they normally have other tasks, such as border patrol, anti terrorism or similar things.

Mercenary- A mercenary guild can be many different things and is one of the military types which offers the most variety. Since this is not necessarily governed by any form of higher authority or ideals. It is what the characters make of it. In the official army or paramilitary, the guild have to subject to the ideals and morals of the nation which governs them. Here, the members govern themselves. They can be a bunch of ruthless baddies who only fight for money, or they can be a band of independent soldiers who fight for honor and glory, doing their best to help their surroundings.
This kind of guild may have a less formal structure and be less formal with the uniforms. Perhaps they haven’t even got a leader, but are just a bunch of guys with similar goals who have decided to stick together.

Rebels- Rebels may work and function much like the mercenaries in terms of structure and goals,. However, there are a few vital differences. Firstly, being a rebel is bound to get you in trouble. You’ll be outlawed and hunted. Secondly, you are also less likely to have proper equipment and training than if you were say a regular army. This because…well…you’re outlaws. You can’t just go to Stormwind and buy more. Instead, you have to make do with what you can find, make yourself, steal or take from dead victims.
Rebels may also use less conventional means of fighting and might take hostages, perform terrorist attacks and such. Real world examples include the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP). For more information and inspiration, I would suggest reading up on the above mentioned. Note, as a rebel you have to have something to rebel against. Something to oppose. This can be a nation, an organisation or something else (such as the nobles).

Special Forces- The following explains what Special Forces mean pretty well. “Special forces is a generic term for elite, highly-trained military, police or civilian paramilitary tactical teams that conduct specialized operations. These include reconnaissance, surveillance, sniping, guerilla and unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, direct action and counter-terrorism actions.”. Example of known special forces groups include the US Navy Seal, the US Green Berets the british SAS, the Russian Spetznas and the Swedish SSG.

1.4- We started a military RP guild. Now what?
Training is a vital part in any soldiers life, and should thus be included in your guild aswell. Examples of training include but is not limited to:
Physical training- Your standard training which the soldiers need in order to keep fit. This could be pushups, sit ups, running, weight lifting and that sort of thing. Note that while it can be good fun for the officers to walk around yelling all day long, this often gets boring for the soldiers after a while since it’s not very interactive and mainly just consists of doing /lie and /e does pushups. No one wants to spend their entire evening doing that.
Combat training- This is more fun than pure physical training. It can include everything from the soldiers sparring against each other to carrying out pretend missions. In pretend missions, some of the soldiers can play the enemy while the others attempt to carry out the mission, and then they switch places. Combat training can also include soldiers being instructed in how to use different weapons, or act in certain situations.
Theoretical training- A ranking officer can give lectures on combat ethics, tactics or other things relevant to your military force.
Now, all military forces need to carry out missions or they’ll just be a waste of space. This is really up to you and depends on what kind of force you RP. The most common is obviously carrying out military attacks against an enemy. It can be the Defias, ogres, or orcs cutting down your trees in Ashenvale. Just know this; if you are a part of an official military, you must adhere to the politics and the relations of your nation. Stormwind would never mount a full assault against Orgrimmar for example. (At least not at the moment)
Before a mission, there is typically a briefing where the soldiers get ready and the commanding officer tell them what’s going to happen. After the mission, a report is normally filed (though, it’s not necessary to RP it out if you don’t want to). The report tells what happened during the mission, who participated and so on.

1.5- Naming a military RP guild.

Now, naming a military RP guild is hard (at least if you ask me) You don’t want to sound too cliché and your name needs to be accurate. You can’t have a name with “Fourth company” if you only have 20 members. That’s why I prefer to leave out words such as squad, platoon, company etc. If you ask me, something simple such as “Stormwind Infantry” or “Silverwing Sentinels” work best. They tell others what you are and do, without being cliché or inaccurate.

Thanks to Theroux, Deepmine and all the others who gave me feedback and helped me out with this guide!

There. Now you're all free to start posting :D
Awesome guide!
As the leader of a military guild, I'd like to point out that being humble as an officer is in no way necessary. It might make your guild feel more approachable from an OOC standpoint, but in-character there's no need to tone it down unless your character is like that. The officers in the Thirteenth regularly yell and curse at the Footmen when they screw up, and it just adds to the feeling and the discipline because then they won't make the same mistake again out of fear of getting shouted at.

I feel that the part about the "douchebag officer" thing is very inaccurate. You need a douchebag officer that knocks the troops down and makes them do everything they hate. It's all in-character after all, and if your character can't take it then they've no place in military RP - at least on the level we do it in the Thirteenth. Nothing brings the troops together better than having a nice comforting hatefigure to hate together. It's all about realising what's IC and what's OOC. If you're a bastard out of character, then sure, you've no place in a military guild or any guild for that matter - but being a bastard in character is fine.

I think you should make that distinction in your guide. And oh, on the "official army" bit: The part about not taking on Shadowpriests, Warlocks, Death Knights and such is SPOT ON. I wish more people were aware of that. My two cents!
As the leader of a military guild, I'd like to point out that being humble as an officer is in no way necessary. It might make your guild feel more approachable from an OOC standpoint, but in-character there's no need to tone it down unless your character is like that. The officers in the Thirteenth regularly yell and curse at the Footmen when they screw up, and it just adds to the feeling and the discipline because then they won't make the same mistake again out of fear of getting shouted at.

The humble part is mostly ment OOCly. There's no room for egos the size of a planet in a military guild. It just won't work. I know this from experience. However, this need to be applied ICly too some extent aswell. The sergeant not doing what he's being told by the captain just because his OOC ego is too huge to let his character be bossed around IC (and thus, his IC ego is equally huge) won't work.

I feel that the part about the "douchebag officer" thing is very inaccurate. You need a douchebag officer that knocks the troops down and makes them do everything they hate. It's all in-character after all, and if your character can't take it then they've no place in military RP - at least on the level we do it in the Thirteenth. Nothing brings the troops together better than having a nice comforting hatefigure to hate together. It's all about realising what's IC and what's OOC. If you're a bastard out of character, then sure, you've no place in a military guild or any guild for that matter - but being a bastard in character is fine.

I'd like to point out that you don't NEED anyone to be a complete douchebag. It's not in any way vital to the function of a guild. If you want to be a douchebag of course up to you as long as you can deal with the consequences. I know for a fact that someone walking around being a *%** (even IC) can cause plenty of unwanted drama which just takes away focus from what you're trying to do. And believe it or not, officers can be tough and respected by the troops, even if they're not hated by everyone.

...also, if the troops are afraid of being shouted at, I'd rather not think about how they must be scared *#*@less when they see an enemy.

Edit: I'm Steelhammer, obv.
The only thing you didn't mention were uniforms. If you're an Official Army in particular it is very immersion breaking if you're all wearing something different. For Mercenary groups this can still apply although it isn't as necessary. You'll have to do some research into armour sets but the key important helms (for Human military roleplaying in any case) tend to be:
Bonelink Helm/Champion's Helm/Steel Plate Helm - White Plumage as seen with Theramore troops
Helm of the Great Chief - Red Plumage as seen with Stromgarde troops
High Bergg Helm - Green Plumage as seen with Kul Tiras troops
Imperial Plate Helm - Blue Plumage as seen with Stormwind troops

Most military RP would consist of plate armour, although mail armour can suit the look as well.
Platemail Armor/Belt/Boots/Bracers/Gloves/Leggings makes a good plain look. Alternatively you can use a Silvered Bronze set with either a Shining Silver Breastplate or Steel Breastplate - all of which are craftable. To get a coloured trim you'll have to get creative. The Imperial Plate set is a no brainer for Stormwind-styled blue trim. If you know of a red or green trimmed set for Stromgarde and Kul Tiras please do post.

Shoulders are a matter of preference. Personally I prefer cloth shoulders because they look better and more ornate (like a cloak clasp) than the heavier shoulders. Gold/olive shoulders look particularly good against the grey plate.

Tabards can be bought or designed, depending on what you're trying to create (you could even use both). The best site to preview/design I found has got to be:http://www.merciless-gilde.com/index.php?show=tools&tool=3
You can farm honour for a little bit and buy Stormwind (and Kul Tiras in Cataclysm I assume?) tabards which are more accurate than custom ones.
This thread has been added to the “Informative & useful threads for Roleplayers” compilation sticky: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/900640229
This has been added to the ‘Informative & useful threads for Roleplayers’ sticky :-)
Oh I was reading for fun and I noticed the numbers of soldiers you place under command of each rank.

Where are you getting those numbers ?

Archmage Thas'ranan AND General Lordenson
Control a team of 300 people together... big titles with 300 underlings.

Darkshire : 3,500 people
Stormwind City : 200,000 people
Sentinel Hill : 300 people
Goldshire : 7,000 people
Westfall : 5,700 people
Redridge Mountains : 2,000 people

Now lets think about it... this is women, children, men, merchants, bankers, traders, blacksmiths, commoners, beggers, homeless people and so on includes....

Where is the 45,000 army ?

There are many Generals and Commanders. This is medieval world, they aren't so populated.
Hironaden Crusade! Seeing that guild tag made me giddy with joy :P
09/12/2010 1:58Posted by Karmine
Population statistics

The societies in Warcraft are probably significantly more militarized than the average RL society. The whole world exploding probably has something to do with that.
I realise this is an old thread, but still part of the sticky and as such I'm assuming on-topic "necroposting" is still welcome.

I'm still thinking about joining an RP server, been playing for over 6 years and things like military guilds and the like can breeze new life into WoW.

I have a few on-topic questions related to military guilds which weren't added in the guide:

Generally, NPC guards in Stormwind always walk around in full plate, a one handed sword and a shield. Captains and the like (Before the "Hero's Call" board in the center of Stormwind) sometimes wield two-handed swords, or dual wield one-handed weapons.

Do military guilds give thought to having "Defensive" (1h weapon + shield) and "Offensive" squads (dual-wielding, two-handed or dual two-handed)?

It crossed my mind that it would be odd to let's say, you see an Orc invasion coming towards Stormwind, that you line up all guild members and it's just one mess with "offensive"/"defensive" members scattered through the groups instead of having "Defensive" members at the front and "Offensive" more towards the back.

My other question is regarding Hunters, how do you treat those in military guilds? Do you generalize them and say "You're all treehuggers gtfo my military guild" or keep their background in consideration (Such as Hunters not using beasts but just prefer a bow/gun over getting up close and personal)?

I thought I'd just ask these questions here because it adds a bit of perspective to an uncovered portion of the guide. I'll gladly read your response!
12/01/2011 9:17 AMPosted by Xeneonic
My other question is regarding Hunters, how do you treat those in military guilds?

Way back when, I was in the Stormwind Militia on SSL for a time. It was an all human guild, with the exception of Dwarves, who served the role of gunmen, just as they did in WCIII. It’s quite funny actually when you see all those plated humans rush into defensive formation, whilst the little dwarfs waddle to their barricade.

Anyway. I’m off the understanding that the majority of guilds treat hunters as simple being gunmen – either your bog standard guy who’s good with a good, or sniper, scout etc. Very rarely do you see them with their pets out. At the end of the day, “hunter” is just game mechanics and you can be what ever you want, within reason.

I imagine it may differ by race – Night Elves for example. I can see them using a standardized pet in an military unit.

Would also depend on type, in my guild we are, according to this guide, “Special Ops” and so we have a bit of a mish mosh on types. Most of our hunters are ex-farstriders, and some of them use their pet in combat situations, other’s don’t even acknowledge having a pet.
That's an interesting point of view. What about the "real" "hounds" being introduced in Cataclysm, I guess you could put those as #1 "Guard dog" or "K9" units? Of all the pets/animals in real life anyway, dogs are very loyal to their master, so I would see this as an option for hunters that want to have their pet out in military guilds AND have it justified lore-wise.

Just a thought.
Ranks and the number of soldiers under your command differs from RL military ranks in WoW. Considering the entire alliance has a population of 800,000 people, 45,000 troops would probably be somewhere around 1/4 or 1/3 of their entire army, so you'd have to be a super glorious grand marshal war hero to command that. Still, awesome guide, very deserving of it's sticky.
The exact numbers are less important than the implications for RP: a General does not command a small band of troops or even a single large regiment. A General commands an ARMY - and thus, frankly, any player roleplaying a General should be the commander either of a large force for a one-time event or (by OOC agreement) of three or four separate military guilds.

The Partisans are something between special forces and rebels, being an ill-equipped but unconventional guerilla force fighting the Forsaken in Gilneas. I believe the best way to handle military ranks in RP is not to use them as rewards (you could use medals for that) but as positions of responsibility that help you, both IC and OOC, co-ordinate the guild.

Firstly, I know from experience that in a battle situation when you're trying to tell this lot to go there and that lot to go here it is far easier to have a solid organisation of squads - and sergeants who command them - than to try and organise everyone individually. When you're trying to write raid emotes to indicate enemy attacks, or work out in your head how the event's going to go next, having to micromanage will do your head in. Delegation is essential and it's much easier to shout "Jackson, move up the sheltered side of that hill. Hargrove, get up in that house and cover 'em with rifle fire. The rest of you come with me" than to organise the details of all that yourself.

OOC, officers should also be capable of keeping the members under their wing busy with RP, introducing little situations and ensuring they have a sense of purpose. If your enemy consists entirely of raid-emotes, it can be hard to keep track of all that yourself, so you can assign different officers to emote different enemy units. Moreover, if you get sidetracked into a conversation with one specific person or a difficult situation, your officer can make sure those not involved directly in this have something else to do.

Finally, using officers in this way creates a sense of community where rank really means something - it means holding the life and death of others in your hands. Having or being a reliable subordinate or indeed an unreliable one can bring excellent RP, and is the very stuff of military narrative.

This is how I would interpret ranks for player guild, with numbers adjusted for RP as I have found it. I think the actual numbers are less important - yes, a Lieutenant Colonel in real life might command five hundred men, but you'll never see five hundred roleplayers in one place. What matters is that you have enough roleplayers within each rank category to make things believable.

Corporal - partly a prestige rank, unless you actually do have ten people under each sergeant, but means sergeants can delegate stuff to you and use you to organise their men. Also takes over if Sergeant dies or is injured.
Sergeant - the lifeblood of any military. The officer's hand among the men. The bridge between the enlisted and the officer ranks. Commands 4-12 people.
Quartermaster - optional but useful rank. Can handle provision and description of equipment, authorisation of special items, add 'flavour' by telling people what they're eating that day or week, send people on hunting trips, etc.
Lieutenant or Captain - these are good ranks for a guild leader. A Lieutenant could command two or three sergeants (with groups), or a Captain three or four; a Captain could have one single Lieutenant under him as a sort of secondary leader (so that he can split the force) or could have two or three, each one commanding two or more sergeant-groups. The top bod could also be a Major if he wanted to sound posh, or a Captain could be promoted to a Major if the whole guild did something real badass under his command. This is sustainable with anything between 10 and 50 members.
Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel Quite possibly only for use in larger military events and campaigns, but it's possible that with enough people in a single RP guild (very unlikely as I see it) a Colonel could command two or three Captains or Majors, each of which commands a bunch of sergeants. At a pinch, this could work with 35-40 guild members, and works even better with 40-60.
With all the talk about lower military ranks (Colonel and below) being used as ranks for guild leaders it started to make me think. The Grand Alliance Army has a High Command, obvious by the vast amount of high ranking npc's findable all around. I cannot remember if there is any affiliation called that way but just humor me all the same and roll with it.

Orders have to come from somewhere and on AD I've noticed a severe lack of broader military control. The siege of Dragonmaw Port being a prime example. Various neutral guilds were hired into aiding the siege or joined of their own moralistical accord aside from the regular Military guilds. This didn't go very well however as guilds were constantly falling back to Kirthaven. With respect to the awesomeness of the entire event, it was rediculous.
I cannot remember how many times Thunderbraid screamed over his communicator that a siege is not a siege when people fall back to safe haven as soon as they take a point from which to siege the enemy. But I know it went into the dozens of times.

With that in mind, how would a High Command guild work? I have personally been going over the idea for a few hours now and have come to the conclusions that:
- All guilds being ordered need to have given ooc consent which one can expect to be nearly impossible to get.
- The guild needs to be small, have tactically capable officers and a small personal guard for each CO.
- You need to be able to communicate orders to every guild in an understandable fashion. For example, the Ninth Battalion uses very strict code words (Though these are not exactly being used by anyone but some officers), such as Wilco to convey that you understand the message. Means of communication might be different from guild to guild and this needs to be accounted for.
- The respect also needs to be there. I have been to many rppvp events and I can safely say that around 1 person per event WILL play the hero and dash the enemy lines and die a horrific death. But I'm not berating that. What I mean is that when a Lt Gen gives the order to a Captain to hold the line against all costs, that Captain does NOT retreat unless his casualties are racking up into the dozens. As much as the ooc consent needs to be the understanding that orders are orders. Seeing that guilds at this point still fail at times to endorse orders even from their own guild leaders it would be nearly impossible to add an even higher tier of hierarchy into it all.

What do you guys think? Do you think it is a viable idea to create a "High Command" guild, even with the ooc consents fromt he major guilds? How would you organize it? What kind of rp would you organize?

This ought to be a very educative discussion on an even more educative guide's thread.

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