View Full Version : Naming Characters and Units

20-07-2012, 00:09
Having played a few games recently, I've got a pretty settled army list going. I thought it might be interesting to give my units and characters names, based on their exploits: So, my NG Shaman who seems to have a habit of casting Itchy Nuisance to great effect gets the name Skratchen Sniff. My Blorcs who have killed a total of 3 Hydras recently get the name Da 'YdraKillaz, with the Big Boss with Gold Sigil Sword who leads them gets the name Flashgit 'YdraKilla, the Savage Orc Big Boss who's unit always seems to fail it's animosity test gets christened Maggit Orcsmakka, etc etc etc.

Is this a reasonably common thing to do? It feels like it's going to make my games more exciting, because instead of "my Savage Orc Big Boss with Axe of Striking doing 2 wounds to a Clanrat Champion", it becomes "Maggit Orcsmakka wallops the biggest rat he can find, leaving nothing but a pulped red mess and a still-twitching tail".

Please let me know if you do a similar thing. Also, I'd love to hear about any particularly amusing / appropriate names, and how you choose them!

Ultimate Life Form
20-07-2012, 00:21
It's not that uncommon apparently. If you like it, go for it; it can greatly enhance the experience, especially in campaigns.

Just be careful around people you don't know; this story-based playstyle is not everyone's cup of tea and if you keep constantly rambling on about this stuff it might annoy the heck out of them if they're more competitively oriented and want a game rather than a story. In that case, keep it to yourself and enjoy secretly.

Personally I used to give nicknames to a few of my Mordheim models when they achieved a feat of strength. I still have particularly fond memories of a Zombie Granny who for some reason killed everything that stood in her way, man or monster, every game. Great memories indeed.

20-07-2012, 00:24
I haven't really thought about that one. I plan on giving cool names to every unit in my Empire and Chaos armies respectively because they're a story/diorama project. One instance I have of doing something similar was during this small, 1000 point tournament back in 7th edition. I was playing dark elves, and my only character was Lohkir Fellheart. During the course of the tournament, I faced two lizardmen armies that had stacked up on stegadons. Lohkir managed to break and run down not one, but two stegadons in two different games, winning both of those games and securing my spot at the top. The next day, I made a trade with someone for an Engine of the Gods that they didn't want and purchased a second Lokhir Fellheart. Some jeweler's chain, hobby knifing, and dark elf bitz later, I have Lokhir Fellheart riding an enslaved stegadon with a great big statue of Khaine on the back. I use it sometimes as a hydra, sometimes as a Cauldron of Blood. It always turns heads, though, and the story is fun to tell.

20-07-2012, 02:31
great recent thread on this you might want to read for lots more opinions + stories + names


20-07-2012, 13:10
I like to name my units and characters because it does make it feel more like a story to me. Sometimes I forget them in the heat of battle if things become a bit too mechanics-oriented, but I still like the fact that they have names even if I don't use them. I don't like the humorous names too much though, I prefer "serious" names like they might have in the books (so something like Bonesmasher works for me, but My Little Pony-orc would not).

Baron Charles D'Auvay
20-07-2012, 17:37
From 40k to my recent delve into Fantasy, I've experimented here and there with character names and army backgrounds. I find it's a fun way to make your army unique and stand out from other players who use the same army book as you. When you name your characters, sometime you'll even get a bit sentimental from time to time! Even if you don't share your army's story with everyone you meet, it can be a great way to stay motivated through assembling and painting your models.

20-07-2012, 22:22
Oh yeah. I don't even necessarily plan to tell all my opponents the names, but I think even just giving them names helps them to come alive in my mind.

Waagh Rider
20-07-2012, 23:39
I'm fond of giving my characters names, but can never remember them unless I write them down. So all my Orc bosses are called 'Boss' followed by something that describes them. My Warboss is Boss Tusk, my BSB is Boss Banner, Savage orc shaman is Boss Juju, and occasionally a black orc big boss takes to the field, affectionately known as Boss Tank.

22-07-2012, 01:04
I also name my Heroes and Lords just adds flavor in my opinion.

22-07-2012, 19:38
Oh yeah. I don't even necessarily plan to tell all my opponents the names, but I think even just giving them names helps them to come alive in my mind.

I find it helps with continuity - it's your army, you spend hours and hours painting and writing army lists so linking games together really does add to the 'character' of the army in my eyes. I prefer 'serious' names as to me 'Chaos Lord Chuck Norris' sounds like something a 5 year-old would come up with (whilst also fully acknowledging that naming plastic soldiers in any manner might seem infantile to most people! :) ).

I generally hit the internet for a list of genuine historic names - so for instance my Lizardmen army all have Mesoamerican/ancient Mayan names e.g. my Slann mage priest is Lord Huehueteotl (Huey for short...) which means Old One in ancient Mayan. My space marine chapter has is all based around the heroes of the Iliad, with fluff and names to match.

However I don't bring any of this up in game, as it's pretty dorky, and mostly just for my own amusement. Though the formatting of my ancient Mayan army lists does look pretty cool (maybe...not?!)

Lord Dan
23-07-2012, 06:40
Mine are typically named after friends or famous people. For instance my Hydra is currently named after one of the members on this forum, and in an old VC army I had a samurai vampire who I affectionately called "Tom Cruise".

25-07-2012, 00:36
Beastlord Greggor the three armed and his famous wooden sword has recently smacked up some wandering ogres on his way to Lustria.

It makes the game more fun if you turn it into a story, like a elf prince passing out because he didn't have any tea that morning, then his unit gets hacked to pieces by some scary daemons.

Just beware some WAAC players, they will not like your story telling slowing down the game.

26-07-2012, 17:40
I have actually been quite jealous of the people I play against who do this. I tend to name a few characters, and I like a backstory for my army, but there are people who have named regiments and one unit of Goblins has a story seperate from the rest of the army... I really like that stuff, but I have trouble thinking of the units as anything other than "This unit here, and then that one over there."

I don't need to announce my character's names for every fight, but I love being able to add up the victories and defeat of my make-believe ogre tribe in my head afterwards. Or skaven clan. Or whatever.