My Anglo-Saxon literature professor in Grad School once remarked that "history got boring when it stopped being about Otto the Fat and became about Corn Laws."
Characters make a story. My early feudal collection has quite a few characters and I've left them individually based because I didn't want to bury the Red Knight or the Golden Knight among the press of crashing chivalry.
But what to do with them? As you can tell, I was feeling very Arthurian when I named them, and the figures each gave me a sense of a distinct character.
|L-R: White Knight, Red Knight, Golden Knight, the Fool, Black Knight|
The White Knight is a Gripping Beast figure. His sense of fatigue and defiance really appeals to me. The Red Knight and the Black Knight are both Old Glory Crusader figures. The Golden Knight is from the Old Glory Norman command pack. The Fool is from Games Workshop back when Bretonnians were cool and had the HYW/Mort d'Arthur aesthetic.
|L-R: Iago the Black, Captain of the Black Company, unnamed Captain, Cardinal Berengar, the Hermit Knight|
Iago is an Essex figure. The unnamed Captain is from the Old Glory Norman command pack. I have a second figure from the same bag. The Cardinal and the Hermit Knight are I assume Military Order commanders from the Old Glory Crusader command pack. The Hermit Knight is presumably a Hospitaler commander. But he looks old and grumpy. He's come back from the Crusades with great battlefield experience and bitterness, so he has retired to a chapel in the woods to pray and only emerges to protect the poor and defend the realm.
I had first thought I could just get some more knights and give everyone a banner, effectively making two more squadrons by mixing them into the cavalry. But that involves buying and painting more figures.
Then I hit on the idea to leave them as singles so I can attach them to whoever, infantry as well, and let them move around the battlefield using their special abilities where needed. Many of these abilities are inspired by the magical rules in Dragon Rampant.
White Knight - attached unit rerolls any failed Courage test.
Red Knight - attached unit rerolls any missed combat dice.
Golden Knight - his uplifting songs of chivalric glory gives a +1 to any Courage test within 6".The Fool provides an extra figure for hits etc.
Black Knight -any 6 rolled in combat causes 2 hits
Iago the Black - rerolls one failed activation within 6" per turn
Captain - one free Move or Shoot activation per turn
Cardinal Berengar - any unit he is with gets +1 on all activation rolls.
The Hermit Knight - gets one re roll of any Rally, Courage or Activation within 6" per turn.
Any of the knights or captains can challenge each other or a leader to a duel. They are also subject to Lucky Blows. They count as an extra figure when taking casualties delaying half strength by 1 figure.
If they are attacked on their own then they count as a knight for armour, attack and defense values and roll 6 dice, but are killed if they take 4 hits.