So what is a unit? For the most part, a unit is a group of fighters that fight together, train together, and try to coordinate their fighting on the field to a much higher degree than a loose collection of people would. They usually include some sort of rank/command structure and a general style of fighting as a group. At most events, we also do 'unit battles' where each unit fights on their own team. Outside of fighting, units are often friends that hang out and have fun off the field. You will also find that most units choose to camp together at larger events. Along with that, units are generally set up to help their newer members gear up and often coordinate to help each other work on fighting related projects like garb, armor, and weapons.
Each unit also has its own method of accepting new members, usually into some sort of grace period known as petitioning or pledging. This is a chance for the unit and potential recruit to figure out if they are a good fit for each other. Different units also have a variety of trials, either for membership or to advance ranks within the group. Sometimes, you'll hear someone refer to a "barrel", this is a specific type of trial involving fighting a long series of fights.
There are many more units out there than I will talk about today, since I'm only going to be looking at units with members that fight in Numenor (at UIUC). Several of the units represented locally are also national units, with members spread all across the country that get together to fight at events.
Wolves of the North:
Squire Takus recently founded the Wolves with the intent of making a unit that was accessible to newer fighters. The end goal is to get a combined arms group using a mix of flanking, an armored front line, and support weapons like spears, glaives, and bows all working together. This is a great unit to look at if you are wanting to try out the unit experience and see what it is all about.
As a newer unit, I don't know their process of inducting new members, so feel free to ask Takus about it.
Local members include: Squire Takus (leader/founder), Sir Gradamere, Macintosh, and Finrod (among others).
The Amyr is a unit with a strong focus on training themselves and teaching others. While fairly small in number nationally, their average skill and fitness is generally higher than most units. A majority (I think?) of the unit is currently local to Numenor. The typical gear you will find them with is either sword and shield or two swords. Almost all of them have fancy garb with the lotus symbol on it.
I don't know too much about their rank structure, but there are plenty of people to talk to if you are interested.
Local members include: Sir Cyric, Sir Hurin, Dame Volpin, Sir Himmel, Horus, and Arc (and many more).
Another unit inspired by Lord of the Rings, the Urak-Hai are designed to be a hard hitting, heavily armored unit. Founded by Sir Vhil (a local knight that is a rare sight), many of the unit's inner workings are designed to inspire the members to conform to the hard hitting group they are named after. In order to achieve the rank of Ravager, for example, a member has to achieve so many points in various challenges of strength. They also have a minigame called "Ork Bowling" where various members compete to knock down the most people (from standing) in a given day.
While once very large locally, many of their members have moved, and are now spread out nationally. At larger events, you will see a large group of fully armored up orks charging into the enemy line, not simply to kill them, but to bash their way through.
Local members include: Feral (local leader), Sir Orso, Rainbow Shark, and Shadrac.
Dark Guard was founded locally by the now retired Sir Klaws from former members of the Urak-Hai, and still has a majority of its active members in town. Their primary focus is flanking and exploiting the weaknesses in the enemy line. They work very well in pairs and small groups.
The unit's "theme" is based on Mordor, from Lord of the Rings. For example, the Nine Nazgul are the veterans and leadership of the unit, a rank that was achieved by completing a series of trials to put their skills to the test.
Local members include: Sir Sarif (leader), Nikita(leader), Kabibbles(leader), Squire Larkin, and Squire Kyle.
For a long time, the entire unit would carry javelins, along with their usual gear. The group itself is well known for the trials they place their petitioners (those wishing to join the unit) through, including a number of pushups with each headshot or death.
Draggeron is the only full member locally (I think?), but petitioners Lynard, Simba and Bean fight locally as well.
The Triad is actually three different units, that all come from the same origin many years ago and sometimes group up at events. The three all started as Brotherhood of the Falcon, then split into three groups: Brotherhood of the Falcon, Elite Blood Falcons, and Dark Angels.
The three units are fairly close nit, often referring members of the other two as "cousin", a reference to the Brotherhood origins.
Brotherhood of the Falcon:
Often shortened to BOF, Brotherhood of the Falcon centered around teamwork and family. Full members refer to each other as "Brother", both as a rank, and a sign of being part of a family. On the field, they used a combined arms approach with a heavy front line of large shields and armor supported by a few support weapons and a strong group of flankers. They spend some time drilling and practicing working in pairs.
Joining the unit requires a full member to sponsor you as a pledge. During time as a pledge, it is a chance for you and the unit to decide if you are a good fit for each other.
Much of the rank structure and iconography used by the unit is drawn from Warhammer/Warhammer 40k, which a number of members play. Spotting their members is usually easy, they all wear a belt sash with the Falcon on it. Local membership is limited, but nationally the unit is quite large.
Local members include: Sir Piper (national leader), Sir Torry, Sir Rukus, Zuloo, and Bronek.
Elite Blood Falcons:
Elite Blood Falcons, EBF for short, is similar to BOF in their family approach to their members. The most common equipment used by several of its members is flail and shield. Those wishing to join the EBF are known as "Almost Blood Falcons", ABF, which function similarly to petitioners/pledges to other units.
In order to ascend from ABF to EBF, they must complete a trial where they must protect an unarmed (and pierced in both limbs) person from a few waves of attackers. This barrier to full membership helps keep the unit's overall skill on the field high.
Some of the EBF's trials are named after those of the Clans from Battletech/Mechwarrior, though similarities are limited. While small locallly, the unit has a fair number of members nationally.
Local member is Sir Galin.