Badass Army

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
I fear nothing, for I am fear incarnate!
"Give them nothing, but take from them everything!"
Leonidas, 300

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 Badass Army. There is not a single soldier who can not hold his own in a fight. They are extremely likely to be all, or mostly, super soldiers and have a high likelihood to have been raised in The Spartan Way. They will not use Hollywood Tactics like amateurs.

Count on them to boast many a Colonel Badass. Almost always commanded by one or several Four Star Badasses.

Often squared off against the Redshirt Army to demonstrate exactly how hard they rock.

The polar opposite of Redshirt 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 not an army, regardless of the infantry, tanks, artillery, and attack helicopters that they use. And don't call them that.

No real life examples, please; there's way too many of them to count.

Examples of Badass Army include:

Anime and 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, the Badass Crew of Dai-Gurren-Dan is joined by an entire army 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.
  • Sengoku Basara has Date Masamune's army of Badass 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.
  • The Maganac Corp from 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 from Bleach and there's also Aizen's Espada army. Special credit goes to the 11th Division.
  • 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.
  • Both the Saiyans and Freiza's army in Dragon Ball. 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 Stomp Battled Goku and Piccolo, who were both persons of mass destruction at that point in the series.

Comic Books

  • 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.
  • Hydra, AIM, and SHIELD (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.


  • 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-controled 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.
    • Does a half-dozen monsters really qualify as an army?
  • 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 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 Mummy Returns had three: the opening army led by the Scorpion King, the Army of Anubis, and the Medjai.
  • In All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker, we get to see...well the epic line up speaks for itself. It gets even more epic when they decide the Big Bad Shadowmoon doesn't just deserve one Rider Kick but all of them!
  • 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.
  • In Gladiator Maximus starts out as the General of the Badass 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 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.
  • 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 HeroicSociopaths before they joined, or they are formed to become this. Some advenced 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 cliché of 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.
  • 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 Badass 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: 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.
  • 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 Grantsville 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. Granted, the Bronze Barbarians are more Badass Crew (even though they are a military unit), but the Mardukans, once they get their hands on plasma cannons...
  • 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.
  • 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 Styrbjorn". Unsurprisingly, they also appear in modern Historical Fiction literature, such as Frans G. Bengtsson's The Long Ships.
  • Everybody except the Malwans in Belisarius Saga. The Romans are more Consummate Professional s while the others are more like Proud Warrior Race Guy s.
  • The Royal Manticorean Navy in Honor Harrington.
  • British and Americans whenever portrayed by C S Forester. To some degree he was writing propaganda.

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.
    • Daleks.
    • 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.
  • Andromeda: The Nietzscheans 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 impossible 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.
  • Stargate SG-1: 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 Armies. 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 Badass race.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger begins with 34 Sentai teams united against an Alien Invasion.
    • In "Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker", all Kamen Riders until "Decade" also form their own Badass Army.
      • In the upcoming movie "Super Hero War", both armies will have some of their respective villains joining their ranks and face each other (yes, it promises to be that epic).
  • 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.

Tabletop Games

  • 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?
    • There's also every other army in the setting.
    • The hilariously feral Orks
    • The Stoic and high-tech Eldar.
    • Chaos Space Marines, and their demonic allies
    • Even the Imperial Guard will march forward grimly until they grind you into dust, even if that generally causes them to be ground into the dust. Even then, the only reason why the Imperial Guard is so weak is because everything else is that insanely powerful.
      • Of course, we're speaking of infantry here. Imperial Guard Armour Regiments are composed of the most devastating ground vehicles of war in whole universe. But use of combined arms is generally suboptimal, since out of fear of mutiny the units are split to single type, not trained and deployed together and united only on the high command level.
    • 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 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.
  • 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.

Video Games

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, it's 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 knows how to use their numbers right, and they're experts on heavy weaponary. The Jackals are excellent snipers and very hard to kill when they've 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 extremely strong physical strength, great endurance and creative and dangerous weaponry.
  • 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.
    • The asari or the salarians. Sure, their armies are much, much smaller, but they're no less Badass. 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 Redshirt 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Any Fire Emblem game. Guaranteed.
  • The Metal Gear Solid 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 spectaculary. There is a number of supposedly elite mercenary groups in Metal Gear Solid 4, but only the Frogs can really take claim to that title. Bonus points for also being an Amazon Brigade. Portable Ops and Peace Walker revolve around Big Boss assembling his own private army of Badasses.
  • 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.
  • The Imperial Army in Yggdra Union.
  • 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.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • In the Whateley Universe, the Knights of Purity, who are set up in teams of ordinary baseline guys who face down and battle mutant threats.
  • The Anheim Organization from Twilit Overture is somewhere between this trope and Badass Crew. There are only 26 "Letters," or officers, but a single Letter is a One-Man Army in the LEAST of situations.
  • Each of the Five Powers of Lambda sports a Badass Army to some degree or another.
  • TAROT's military arm, the Swords, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe.
  • The Black Cats/DIS from the Protectors of the Plot Continuum. The PPC itself is pretty badass, but typically not organised enough to be called an "army".

Western Animation

  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the finale has the Order of the White Lotus, an army of Old Masters, among which are some of the most powerful benders on Earth. Despite being a smaller force, they single handedly liberate the Earth Kingdom's capital city in a Curb Stomp Battle against a much larger number of Sozin Comet powered Firebenders...
  • 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.